With time running out on NHL labor talks, Commissioner Gary Bettman cautioned Thursday that the league is prepared to lock out its players if a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached by Sept. 15, when the current deal expires.
"Time is running short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season, so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon," Bettman said after the two sides met at the league headquarters in New York.
When asked if Sept. 15 is a hard deadline, Bettman said, "Our efforts are going to be devoted to trying to make a deal." He then reiterated his previous statement that owners aren't prepared to operate under the current system.
Saying a "wide gap" still existed between the two sides on numerous issues, Bettman added the potential for a lockout is something the NHL Players' Assn. has been aware of for much of the past year.
NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr referred to the split as "a meaningful gulf."
Fehr returned to the negotiating table after a trip to Europe, where he met with players in Moscow and Barcelona.
The NHLPA head did not have an immediate response to Bettman's comments, because he spoke before the commissioner made himself available to reporters. Fehr did reiterate the union is open to continuing talks beyond Sept. 15 if no deal is reached, and entering the season under the current system.
The NHL is proposing to cut players' share of revenues from 57% to 46% — and that percentage drops to 43 when taking into account revenues the NHL deems should not be shared with players. That would translate into as much as a $450-million shift in revenue in the owners' favor.
The league is also seeking to restrict free agency on several fronts. That includes limiting length of contracts to five years (there are currently no limits in place); lengthening the time a player must wait to be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent from seven years to 10; and eliminating players' rights to salary arbitration.
Kings goalie and Stanley Cup MVP Jonathan Quick had a "minor surgical procedure," repairing a disc fragment and an inflammatory cyst, according to the team.
Quick, who helped lead the Kings to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history this past season, will start his back rehabilitation activities in about a week, and the team said that a full recovery should take a minimum of six weeks.
— Lisa Dillman
Penn State's board of trustees will meet this weekend to consider whether to ratify a consent decree with the NCAA that imposed penalties for how the university handled the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
Board chairwoman Karen Peetz told fellow trustees in an email, which was obtained by the Associated Press, that said there was confusion about how Penn State accepted the sanctions and whether it was the "best course" for the university.
"We have heard from President [Rodney] Erickson and from our legal team," Peetz wrote. "We have had an opportunity to speak our minds. I appreciate everyone's candor and your sincere and heartfelt comments. However, it is now time to put this matter to rest and to move on."
The resolution before the board would say that it "wishes to and hereby does ratify" the consent decree.
"We are leaders of this university," Peetz told the trustees. "We need to lead."
The NCAA on July 23 barred the school from postseason play for four years, fined it $60 million and invalidated 112 of the football team's wins for the way school officials handled abuse complaints against Sandusky, a retired assistant football coach who was convicted in June of 45 child sexual abuse counts.
Pernilla Lindberg holed birdie putts of 40 and 50 feet and added three 25-footers in a round of seven-under-par 64 to take a two-shot lead after the rainy opening round of the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic in Sylvania, Ohio.
Two shots back were Angela Stanford, Japan's Mika Miyazato, South Korea's Chella Choi, Louisiana State graduate Meredith Duncan, Thailand's Numa Gulyanamitta and France's Karine Icher.
Marquette has reported a possible rules violation involving the men's basketball program to the NCAA. The school did not disclose the nature of the violation.
The Washington Wizards hired former NBA player and coach Jerry Sichting as an assistant coach.
Andy Murray pulled out of the third round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto with a knee injury.
The Olympic gold medalist said he hurt his left knee during the opening match against Flavio Cipolla of Italy. Murray was to play Canadian Milos Raonic on Thursday night.