When Gary Bettman strode to the microphone early Thursday afternoon it was clear there would be no good news for hockey fans.
The NHL commissioner prides himself on remaining in control and being even-tempered in public. But this time he was seething. The anger practically vibrated from him as Bettman said the owners took little time in rejecting three counterproposals from the NHL Players’ Association for a new collective agreement.
Both sides said they remain willing to negotiate for a new labour deal but no further talks are scheduled as the lockout enters its second month. The commissioner said earlier this week an agreement was needed by Oct. 25 to save a full 82-game season.
Bettman said none of the union’s three counteroffers came close to the owners’ demand for a 50-50 share of hockey-related revenue (HRR), which was made Tuesday.