NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman had a meeting with the NHLPA on Thursday, but it did not end the way hockey fans wanted.
The biggest issue between the two sides, the split in revenue between owners and players, continued to be a source of frustration on the negotiating table. The players were given 57 percent in the last CBA, but the owners wanted the majority this time around.
A few days ago, Bettman announced that he offered the union a 50-50 split, according to Jesse Spector of the Sporting News. In a press conference, he told the media:
The fact of the matter is, we offered a 50-50 share of (hockey-related revenue between owners and players), and we believe we addressed the concern that players have about what happens to their salaries as a result in this year of reducing the percentage from 57 to 50 percent.
Unfortunately, the response by the NHLPA was not great, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
Bettman confirms NHLPA made three counter proposals. Says none of them "even began to approach 50-50." Not encouraged— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) October 18, 2012
Bettman was hoping to either settle the dispute in Thursday's meeting or at least move in the right direction. However, things do not look bright for a settlement in the near future. LeBrun tweeted some of the commissioner's reactions.
"I am to say the least totally disappointed." - Bettman— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) October 18, 2012
Bettman calls it a "step backward."— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) October 18, 2012
The difference in percentages is no small ordeal. The league earned $3.3 billion in total revenue last year, and the players would lose a total of $231 million if they lose seven percent of that number, according to TSN.ca.
TSN anchor Nabil Karim quotes Bettman on Twitter about his next move.
For players, owners and fans hoping for a quick and peaceful resolution, that opportunity is gone. The lockout has lasted more than 30 days and has taken away 82 regular season games. If the latest meeting is any indication, the start of the season is still a long way away.
Hopefully, the next two sides will be much closer the next time they meet.