ESPN's Katie Strang reports the "Big Four" met in Manhattan for an informal meeting Friday night.
The "Big Four" consist of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, deputy commissioner Bill Daly, NHL Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr along with his brother Steve Fehr. Formal discussion broke down, but Bettman views that constant communication between the sides vital for striking a deal.
"It's always good to have dialogue," Bettman said of Friday's informal discussions. "And the dialogue never stops, even when we're not formally meeting. The lines of communication have been open and they'll stay open.
There is still so much disparity between the two sides that an agreement being struck prior to Sept. 14 seems unlikely. Therefore, a lockout will ensue on Sept. 15.
The current CBA has players earning 57 percent of league revenue. In the NHL's two proposals, they are looking to cut that number first to 43, now to 46. The NHL Players' Association hasn't agreed to terms on either as they're still fighting to make more than 50 percent.
Along with that, they want the owners to establish a revenue sharing system (much like that of the NFL) to help struggling franchises.
Bettman doesn't view that as a viable option, calling it a distraction for the league.
With the league earning more than $3.1 billion last season, the Players' Association can't understand why the NHL representatives what the players to take such a big burden in the new agreement. Along with the big revenue cut, the league is also looking to lower the salary cap, place restrictions on free agency and abolish a players' right to salary arbitration.
All three are big issues for the players, and rights they don't want to give up.
The two sides are still in negotiations, which is good, but it seems as if they aren't moving in the right direction, like Bettman says.
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