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NHL offers counterproposal to players' union

Both sides say the offer is comprehensive, while Commissioner Gary Bettman adds 'we're clearly not done yet.'

January 01, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • Donald Fehr, the executive director of the players' union, said the NHL's counterproposal is comprehensive.
Donald Fehr, the executive director of the players' union, said the… (Louis Lanzano / Associated…)

All was not quiet on New Year's Day.

The NHL and the players' association continued to negotiate in New York, inching toward the lockout's finish line in what has been almost painstaking fashion.

On Tuesday, the league submitted a counterproposal to the NHLPA in an effort to salvage a shortened season.

This was against a backdrop of a looming deadline with massive implications.

It comes late on Wednesday, the deadline for the union to file a disclaimer of interest, which would dissolve the union.

First there will be more give and take between the sides before the union makes a decision on the disclaimer-of-interest move.

"We gave a full, complete, comprehensive response," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters in New York. "The players' association is going to take it back and review it. And we anticipate getting back together again tomorrow."

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr also used the word "comprehensive" in describing the NHL's latest proposal.

"Now what we have to do is go through the document — try and make some sense out of it — see what the appropriate thing is to do next," Fehr told reporters.

Multiple reports suggested that the sides were close to a consensus on revenue sharing but that there was a snag on the pension issue.

There were smaller group meetings throughout the day before the larger session Tuesday night. Those were said by Bettman to be of an explanatory, technical nature.

"In our response, there were certain things that the players' association asked for that we agreed to," he said. "There were some things that we moved in their direction, and then there were other things we said no. But that's part of the process."

That was about as specific as he would get about the remaining outstanding issues.

"That wouldn't help, and actually nobody is counting like that. We're not trying to keep score," Bettman said. "We're trying to get an agreement done."

A 48-game season would have to get started by Jan. 19, according to the league. This means an agreement would have to be reached about a week before that.

"The fact that we're involved in a continuous process is something that I'm glad to see," Bettman said. "But we're clearly not done yet."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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