2012 NHL CBA Negotiations: Bettman Says 'Wide Gap' Remains After NHLPA's Proposal

Cautious optimism permeated the hockey community yesterday when word was spread that even the NHL side of things was pleasantly surprised at the NHLPA's first counter-proposal in these CBA negotiations. 24 hours later it's all but evaporated.

"The sides are far apart and have different views of the world," Bettman said of the brief meetings today. His opinions on the wetness of water are still forthcoming, but no one realistically expected the owners to take the players first proposal very seriously.

The league declined to address specifics, but had many general problems with the PA's presentation yesterday, brought to us by tweeting members of Canadian media.

Michael Grange has been providing top-notch coverage live from media scrums in Toronto. Here's a sampling...

"Industry trends" being the deals the NBA and NFL cut last year - both near 50/50 splits on revenue...

Ominous warning signs after the jump...

For all the player's perceived concessions in their offer yesterday, they'd still take home well above 50% of HRR, and they put an option in to revert back to 57% in the fourth year. That's obviously not realistic in the owners eyes and it never had a chance of standing up. The players offered hundreds of millions in concessions. The owners are looking for billions over the coming years.

The league is also positioning themselves as disappointed that the NHLPA did not respond to their positions on contracts (capping contract lengths, changing RFA length, etc). They're calling the players proposal incomplete.

The owners expected the players to respond to their initial offer made in July. The players declined to do so by creatively crafting a completely different kind of response. The players would now like the NHL to respond to their proposal. The league did not do that today, calling it incomplete.

Both sides, essentially, seem to be looking to set the starting point in the negotiations - to frame the discussion in their parameters rather than the other side's.

Who will give in first?

31 days to go and the two sides have agreed to meet next... An entire week from now, next Wednesday. Settle in.

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