NHL Lockout 2012: Latest News and Rumors on 2012-13 Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Commissioner Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League speaks to the media at Crowne Plaza Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL lockout has continued through the month of October and the two sides are still very far apart. Here is all of the latest information regarding the new CBA negotiations.

UPDATE: Sunday, January 6 at 7:17 a.m. ET

Fantastic news for sports fans worldwide as the NHL and NHLPA have reportedly reached a tentative agreement to end the lockout, according to TSN's Staff.

After 113 days of the lockout that included a marathon 16-hour negotiation session on Saturday, a tentative deal on a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement has been reached between the National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association.

'Don Fehr and I are here to tell you that we have reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement, the details of which need to be put to paper,' NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed to reporters early Sunday morning. 'We have to dot a lot of I's and cross a lot of T's. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the basic framework has been agreed upon.'

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, January 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant

It appears the NHL and NHLPA are back at it, as hockey fans everywhere once again will hold their breath with the latest round of negotiations. James O'Brien of Pro Hockey Talk helped report that the two sides have resumed talks on Wednesday.  

His report came after ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reported that this meeting could have serious determinations on whether or not the players file a disclaimer of interest.

From NHL player: "How they respond to our latest proposal will determine if we disclaim or not." Huge meeting tonight to say the least

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) January 2, 2013

Needless to say, it's a big night in professional hockey. Stay tuned throughout the night, as the NHL might have another major announcement after the latest rounds of negotiations.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Friday, December 28 at 9:25 a.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald

Pierre LeBrun of both ESPN.com and TSN has the latest on the negotiations, and it actually should inspire at least a ray of optimism if it's confirmed to be true:

An NHL player says the NHL made a new offer to the NHLPA on Thursday, one which moved on contract term limits, buyouts and variance...

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 28, 2012

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly would not confirm it when reached

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 28, 2012

New offer sees each team afforded one compliance buyout prior to 2013-14 season. Doesn't count vs. cap but it does vs. players' share

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 28, 2012

Also the Make Whole $$$$ stays at $300 million

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 28, 2012

There have been several prior false alarms in terms of "progress" between the two sides on a new collective bargaining agreement. But the fact that the league came forward to move negotiations along shows that the players' recent vote to dissolve the union may have given them leverage.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Thursday, December 20 at 4:00 p.m. ET by David Daniels

TSN Insider Darren Dreger has bad news for hockey fans. Or at least, news of whispers of bad news.

Expect word today\tonight the NHL will cancel regular season games thru Jan 14th. End of the line after that...I suspect.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 20, 2012

The NHL is running out of time to get a deal done. If it does indeed lose the entire regular season, the league would've canceled a grand total of 242 hockey games since 1992 due to labor negotiations, not including postseason play.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Friday, December 14 at 7:35 p.m. ET by Rob Goldberg

After months of failed negotiations, the NHL is ready to bring this dispute to the courts, according to NHL.com:

Today, in response to information indicating that NHL Players have or will be asked to vote to authorize the National Hockey League Players' Association's Executive Board to proceed to "disclaim interest" in continuing to represent the Players in collective bargaining, the National Hockey League filed a Class Action Complaint in Federal Court in New York seeking a Declaration confirming the ongoing legality of the lockout.

Things could come to a quick end if a judge decides that the lockout is indeed illegal. The league simply wants to make sure that both sides are still interested in resolving the issue. 

Hopefully, this move could help bringing hockey back to the fans. 

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, December 12 at 7:27 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

New York Daily News reporter Pat Leonard supplied an update from the NHLPA:

Don Fehr confirms no change in position from the league. Doesn't know if there will be meeting tomorrow, but he expects to speak w mediator

— Pat Leonard (@NYDNRangers) December 13, 2012


---End of Update---


UPDATE: Monday, December 10 at 10:53 a.m. ET

The NHL has cancelled more December games as the sides failed to agree on a new CBA, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Further NHL regular season cancellations today. Thru Dec 30th.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 10, 2012

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7:56 p.m. by Tyler Conway

Don't start icing those champagne bottles yet, folks. Just when it looked like the NHL lockout was nearing an end, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun is reporting that the league has deemed the NHLPA's latest proposal unacceptable:


Fehr says NHL left a voicemail message saying NHLPA counter wasn't acceptable. No need to stick around today or Friday. Talks broken for now

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 7, 2012


What's more, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr has told players he does not know when talks will resume, according to The Fourth Period's Twitter feed:


Fehr says: "I don't know when discussions will resume"... the NHLPA will advise the players on what's going on.

— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) December 7, 2012


Fehr also was quoted as he doesn't see the lockout ending in the "immediate future," according to The Star Ledger's Rich Chere:


Don Fehr: "It looks like this is not going to be resolved in the immediate future."

— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) December 7, 2012


---End of Update---


UPDATE: Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. ET by Pete Schauer

Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer provides this quote from Donald Fehr:

Fehr: "This should put us on the road to a quick end to this dispute."

— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) December 6, 2012

According to Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada, a deal has been proposed, as he tweets more from Fehr:

As a result of discussions we believe we have a pension agreement and a transition agreement

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 6, 2012


8 year agreement with opt out after 6 was their proposal

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 6, 2012


Says contracting issues remaining are length and year-by-year variations

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 6, 2012

We proposed max 8 year length. on variability: 7yrs or longer contract -- lowest year of contract had to be at least 25 per cent of highest

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 6, 2012

Where does that put us? But for any transition issues, we think there's an agreement on dollars

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 6, 2012


We expect Batterman and Daly to discuss this with Bettman and owners

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 6, 2012


—End of Update—

UPDATE: Sunday, Dec. 2 at 5:20 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney

The NHL and NHLPA are set to have another meeting on Tuesday between owners and players. Dan Rosen of NHL.com has the details about what owners will be in attendance:

NHL expects these owners to be in meeting: Ron Burkle, Mark Chipman, Murray Edwards, Jeremy Jacobs, Larry Tanenbaum and Jeff Vinik.

— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) December 2, 2012

---End of update---


UPDATE: Thursday, Nov. 29 at 5:10 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney

According to the Canadian Press' Chris Johnson, yet another meeting between the two sides was met with yet another dreary update. Sorry, NHL fans:

Daly: "After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart."

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 29, 2012

---End of update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, November 28 at 8:07 p.m. ET by Pete Schauer

In an effort to resolve the NHL lockout, CBS Sports' Eye on Hockey reports that mediation will take place on Thursday.

Don Fehr says in statement that mediation will resume on Thursday.

— Eye on Hockey (@EyeOnHockey) November 29, 2012


—End of Update— 


UPDATE: Wednesday, November 28 at 8:22 a.m. ET

TSN's Darren Dreger reports that a mediation meeting is scheduled today between the NHL and NHLPA .

Mediation meeting between the NHL and NHLPA is scheduled for 1pm today.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 28, 2012

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Monday, November 26 at 3:15 p.m. ET

U.S. federal mediators have been brought in as the NHL and NHLPA continue to negotiate during the lockout, according to TSN's Staff.

U.S. federal mediators are now involved in the labour talks between the NHL and NHL Players' Association.

'I have had separate, informal discussions with the key representatives of the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association during the course of their negotiations for a successor collective bargaining agreement,' said Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George H. Cohen in a statement...

...'Due to the extreme sensitivity of these negotiations and consistent with the FMCS's long-standing practice, the Agency will refrain from any public comment concerning the future schedule and/or the status of the negotiations until further notice.'

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, November 21 at 3:17 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

Though there is progress being made, the league and NHLPA are still far apart on some big issues. According to Darren Dreger of TSN, the NHL is remaining firm on their proposal for fixed payments totaling $211 million:

Close on rev sharing, but no contract concessions and league remains firm on $211 mil Make Whole. Talks will continue, but may not meet Thur

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 21, 2012

The league's hard-line stance on that subject is seemingly leading to some frustration from the NHLPA, according to Aaron Ward of TSN:


NHLPA feels they've gone as far as coming off the structure of PA proposal and have gone to NHL proposal structure and are nowhere still.

— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) November 21, 2012

As always is the case in these negotiations, let's hope the two sides find a middle ground sooner rather than later.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, November 21 at 1:42 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

The folks over at TSN have gotten their hands on the official memo NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr sent to players on Wednesday. Here are a few choice highlights from the NHLPA's new offer:

  • The owners would award the players $393 million in fixed payments over the first four years of the deal. The owners had previously offered to pay $211 million.
  • There is no fixed share for the players. It is instead based on hockey-related revenue. 
  • The deal would last for five years

To take a look a the rest of Fehr's memo to the players, go here.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, November 21 at 1:18 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

More news continues to trickle out about the NHL and NHLPA's meetings on Wednesday. According to The Star-Ledger's Rich Chere, the NHLPA made a new offer to the league that gives the owners a 50/50 split initially, but asks for $393 million over the next four years:

The Players' Association plan would be a 50/50 revenue split immediately, but it asks for $393 million over four years. The owners have offered $211 in their proposal on Nov. 8.

Representatives from the league have been discussing the proposal, which NHLPA executive director Don Fehr called "about as good as we can do," and are likely to respond early this afternoon.

While a full agreement still seems unlikely in the immediate future, at least both sides are starting to come down from their hard-line stances.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, November 21, 11:40 a.m. ET by Donald Wood

While there was serious hope that Wednesday would be the day that the NHL and NHLPA put aside their differences and got a new Collective Bargaining Agreement done, Chris Johnston of The Canadian Press is reporting that the two sides are still far apart:

Donald Fehr says sides are $182 million apart over the five-year deal.

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 21, 2012

Donald Fehr says new proposal is "about as good we can do."

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 21, 2012

This is yet another setback for a CBA negotiating process that has dragged on far too long. With a compromise still so far off, the likelihood of a losing a complete season is growing by the day.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, November 21, 10:19 a.m. ET by Donald Wood

In what can only be described as an act of desperation, ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun is reporting that the NHL Players Association has submitted a letter to the Canadian Parliament concerning the NHL lockout (below is an excerpt, for full letter click here):

...In an attempt to move the discussions forward, we met with the NHL last week for a series of meetings in New York. Unfortunately, they continue to insist that they will not move off their “take-it-or-leave it” approach to bargaining.

The players have proposed that their share of hockey-related revenue move towards the NHL’s stated desire for a 50-50 split, with the only condition being that they honour contracts they have already signed. Honouring contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request...

While the concept of sending a letter to parliament was probably a good idea on paper for the NHLPA, this came off as a child telling their parents about something bad an older sibling did.

Instead of both sides continuing to posture for more leverage, compromise must be made.

In a more positive note, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN.com, the NHL and NHLPA have also agreed to a meeting this morning to make a new proposal:

NHL and NHLPA to meet at 10:30 a.m. in NYC. NHLPA expected to make a proposal. Let's see where it goes.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 21, 2012

While this has happened numerous times over the past few weeks, maybe this meeting will be the one that finally sees both sides eager to get a new CBA agreed upon and ratified. Guard your optimism, though.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Shelly Anderson went on to quote Penguins star Sidney Crosby regarding the new CBA proposal:

Sidney Crosby on NHLPA proposal: "We're making a move in their direction, so I don't see why they wouldn't consider it." #Penguins

— Shelly Anderson (@pgshelly) November 21, 2012

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Saturday, Nov. 17 at 4:56 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the NHL and NHLPA will meet again on Monday:

NHL and PA expect to meet Monday night. Smaller group, but players and owners likely included.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 17, 2012

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Thursday, Nov. 15 at 10:00 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald

Unfortunately more news on the NHL lockout front doesn't translate to good news. New York Rangers beat writer Andrew Gross of The Record has the latest on the frustrating CBA situation:

NHL and NHLPA agree to take a two week break from negotiating. That's not great for my prediction of December hockey.

— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) November 16, 2012

Gross is right: the cessation in negotiations doesn't exactly inspire optimism among those hoping to see hockey in December—or at any point in the 2012-13 season.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Sunday, Nov. 11 at 3:30 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr put forth some grave news for any hockey fans expecting to watch the NHL this season (via ESPN's Katie Strang):

#CBA Given NHL's stance on contracting issues, Fehr said he doesn't currently "see a path to an agreement"

— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) November 11, 2012

Strang gives us somewhat more positive news, but the outlook is still far from bright:

#CBA Fehr said he "suspects it won't be too long" before 2 sides meet again, but no immediate plans. PA will also request talks shift to TO

— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) November 11, 2012

It doesn't appear as though this lockout is going to end anytime soon.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:04 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

Frustration continues to mount from the NHL toward NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr after talks stalled on Friday. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Michael Russo, the league feels like Fehr is not being fair about his portrayal of the latest offer.

Per Russo, the league plans on honoring contracts and splitting the hockey-related revenue 50/50. 

However, Fehr did not tell the players that in a memo, according to the Star Tribune

The league has been under the impression that the majority of players are ready to get back onto the ice if revenues are split 50/50 and all contracts are honored in full. Several players have told the Star Tribune that in recent days.
That’s exactly what the owners have offered the players, the sources say, something Fehr did not spell out in his memo. I have an email into the NHLPA asking if I can talk with Fehr or confirm what I'm about to report below.
It seems just when there is hope in this lockout, something new comes and derails all the progress.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Friday, Nov. 9 at 6:49 p.m. ET by Ryan Rudnansky

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com tweeted out what we all figured would happen in Friday's meeting between the NHL and the NHLPA (insert bitterness here):

Source from talks says no real progress today...

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) November 9, 2012

John Shannon of Sportsnet added:

Just been told the two sides will not meet again tonight. #tickticktick

— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) November 9, 2012

The good news is that the NHL has agreed to work through the weekend, per Tom Gulitti of the Record:

RT @reporterchris: Gary Bettman says the NHL is willing to meet through the weekend. "Whatever it takes."

— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) November 9, 2012

--- End of Update ---


UPDATE: Thursday, Nov. 8 at 6:50 p.m. ET by Ryan Rudnansky

The NHL responded to the NHLPA's proposals in their CBA meeting on Thursday, but Don Fehr was tight-lipped, according to Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet. The two sides will reportedly meet again on Friday.

Grange tweeted on Thursday:

Don Fehr spoke briefly after #NHL CBA meeting today, didn't say much. Two sides to meet Friday. League did respond to #NHLPA proposals.

— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) November 8, 2012

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 9:07 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

According to ESPN's Katie Strang, the NHL and NHLPA have adjourned talks for the day:

#CBA CBA discussions between NHL and NHLPA have ended for the day after almost six hours.

— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) November 8, 2012

Strang's report doesn't give any word on what's come out of these talks, but it's important to know that the two sides are talking at all. With no word regarding where this thing is headed next, you better stay tuned for more updates.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Monday, Oct. 29 at 3:40 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney

With both sides not even willing to meet or discuss terms right now, it appears likely that the popular Winter Classic will also be canceled.

From ESPN's Katie Strang:

Although there was limited communication between NHL Players' Association special counsel Steve Fehr and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly over the weekend, the stalemate between the sides continues, making it likely that the Winter Classic will be canceled.

Daly said Monday that the two sides had no plans to meet but that the league is ready and willing to meet as soon as necessary.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Friday, Oct. 26 at 2:33 p.m. ET by Rick Weiner

Well, now it's official—there will be no hockey in November.

Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record confirms earlier reports that all games slated to be played in November are no longer on the schedule, something NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says is a disappointing turn of events:

The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action...

We acknowledge and accept that there is joint responsibility in collective bargaining and, though we are profoundly disappointed that a new agreement has not been attained to this point, we remain committed to achieving an agreement that is fair for the players and the clubs—one that will be good for the game and our fans.

Expectantly, NHLPA head Donald Fehr had his own comments on the latest developments:

The league officially informed us today that they have withdrawn their latest proposal and have canceled another slate of regular season games. This is deeply disappointing for all hockey fans and everyone who makes their living from hockey, including the players.  But it comes as no surprise.

This is just the latest episode in what is turning out to be a disaster of epic proportions. While it's hard for NHL fans to remain optimistic, neither the league nor the players association wants to see the Winter Classic get cancelled, and that game officially sits on the chopping block.

With that date drawing near (November 15), we can only hope that cooler heads will prevail and an agreement can be reached before then.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Friday, Oct. 26 at 11:50 a.m. ET by Tim Daniels

The league has informed teams all games through the end of November will be cancelled due to the lockout, reports Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada. The Winter Classic appears to have been spared, at least for now.

NHL informs teams games up to and including Nov. 30 will be cancelled. As far as I know, there was no mention of Winter Classic.

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 26, 2012

No progress has been made toward an agreement since the NHL's offer of an even split of hockey-related revenue last week. The deadline to get a full season passed yesterday, leading to the new set of cancellations.

All told, the outlook isn't promising right now, but hopefully that changes before the Winter Classic is lost.

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Friday, Oct. 26 at 12:05 a.m. ET by Tim Keeney

Hockey fans received some bleak news late Thursday night, as it was announced that the NHL took its newest proposal off the table.

The news comes from ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:

The NHL will withdraw its latest proposal to the NHL Players' Association after Thursday's deadline passed without a new deal in place.

There were no talks held again Thursday and none have been held since last week's NHL proposal and counter-proposals from the NHLPA.

"When we delivered the proposal last Tuesday, we told them it would be on the table through today," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com Thursday afternoon. "Having not reached agreement through today, I expect that we'll formally notify the union Friday that the proposal is no longer on the table. We're going to take it back internally and figure out where we go from here."

Let the negotiations—and unfortunately, the lockout—continue. 

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Saturday, Oct. 20 at 12:05 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr sent a letter out to the players Friday, which ESPN ran this morning. Fehr breaks down the three options drafted by the players' association as alternatives to the owners' demand of an immediate 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue (HRR). All of these proposals were dismissed by NHL owners rather swiftly, as Fehr notes:

Our hope was that the owners would find one of these three approaches worthy of serious discussion, but the owners rejected these ideas in less than 15 minutes, and further advised the players that their last offer was, in essence, a take it or leave it offer, subject to “tweaks only”.

The depreciation of players' stake in HRR is the biggest rubbing point between the two sides. Every alternative the players offered saw their hockey-related revenue diminish in each of the next five years.

Despite Gary Bettman's comments to the media about being disappointed by their offers from yesterday, it seems the players are being rather fair to the owners. Because the more growth that hockey sees, the less HRR the players receive under all three alternatives offered by Fehr and the NHLPA.

Stay tuned for more to see if the two sides can draw closer to a conclusion over the weekend.

---End of Update---

According to Katie Strang of ESPN, additional regular season games have been canceled:

#CBA League makes it official: announces cancellation of regular-season games through November 1

—Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) October 19, 2012

This is coming off an unsuccessful week of negotiations where the NHL owners and the NHLPA each made offers that were very far apart.

The biggest issue has been the division of revenue between the sides. The players received 57 percent in the last collective bargaining agreement, but the owners want a bigger slice of the pie this time around.

Jesse Spector of the Sporting News reported that commissioner Gary Bettman offered a 50-50 split in revenue. Here's what Bettman 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.

This was followed by what Bettman referred to as an unreasonable response by the players' association.

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun tweeted the quotes from the commissioner:

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 calls it a "step backward."

—Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) October 18, 2012

"I am to say the least totally disappointed." - Bettman

—Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) October 18, 2012

Games have now been canceled through two months of the season. With the two sides still so far apart, it would not be difficult to believe more cancellations will be on the way.

For the sake of the owners, the players and most importantly the fans, this will hopefully come to an end soon.



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