Toronto, ON – The National Hockey League and NHL Players Association met for several hours through the early afternoon on Tuesday, with a significant proposal from one side now on the table.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has offered the players union a plan which would result in a 50-50 split in all hockey related revenues, no salary rollback, and the possibility of a full 82-game regular season, set to begin as early as Nov. 2, if the NHLPA accepts those terms.
"We very much want to preserve a full 82-game season and in that light we made a proposal, an offer really," Bettman said. "It is our best shot at preserving an 82-game regular season and [Stanley Cup] Playoffs."
Also included in the plan, according to additional reports, will be a five- year limit on all future contracts, entry-level deals will expand to four years, and players will be eligible for unrestricted free agency at age 28 or after eight years of service to one team.
The lockout, which reached the one-month mark on Monday, already caused the cancellation of 82 games from Oct. 11-24. The possibility of canceling more games in another two-week block by the end of this week loomed large for both sides.
"Gary indicated to me and I assume he indicated to you that they would like to get a full 82-game season in," NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said. "We, of course, share that view and would like to get a full 82-game season in. And, so, what our hope is that after we review this that there will be a feeling on the players' side that this is a proposal from which we can negotiate and try to reach a conclusion. But, we are not in a position to make any comments about it beyond that at this point."
The NHLPA has a conference call scheduled for 5 p.m. ET to discuss the proposal and how to proceed with a response.