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Don Fehr: "No Reciprocity From NHL" Despite NHLPA Concessions

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The players finally countered with a proposal built on the league's framework, dropping their demands for fixed dollar amounts in lieu of a percentage. The league is unimpressed.

Bruce Bennett

Points to the NHLPA for trying.

This morning the NHLPA submitted their first comprehensive proposal to the NHL - A six page document detailing the players' stance on core economics and player contract issues. For the first time the players agreed to "speak the same language" as the league in a counter-proposal, basing their numbers on a percentage of what the league would earn rather than fixed dollar amounts.

That's a significant step in the right direction, but increases in desired dollars pertaining to the "make whole" provision are seen by the owners as something of a step back, as well as the players' lack of concessions where contract matters are concerned. The players agree only to measures eliminating some of the cap-circumventing moves.

Don Fehr and his team waited over lunch for the league to meet and respond. The hockey community held its breath again to no avail, as there was "no movement" from the owners, who are evidently unimpressed by the new stance presented by the players.

The league desires their "make whole" provision to stay at their previously proffered $211 million (the PA suggested a total of $393M today), and, according to Donal Fehr, refuse to move on any player contract issues, despite the new approach from the players.

"The players have done an awful lot here," remarked Fehr today. "Everything they could to get the game back on the ice."

The PA feels they've made a pretty major concession in finally coming off their own framework and onto the league's - An issue for months now seemingly resolved. The league has been dour before, then come back with improved offers. While no talks are scheduled for the immediate future the hope is that after the holiday cooler heads might prevail.

Read the breakdown of the players' new proposal here at Puck Daddy.

The league may have "responded" to the players' proposal in conversation today but they've yet to actually counter. The ball should be in their court to next move toward the middle, as the players appear to have done today.

Fehr maintains that the players are now just $182 million apart from the league over the life of the proposed five-year deal. It's likely the league doesn't calculate the numbers quite the same way, but they're undeniably closer than they've been.

Cancellation of some, or all of the December schedule will come soon. It does not mean that the season will be lost. Yet. They still have a few weeks to come to an agreement. If there's one to be made, it likely won't come until the absolute last possible second. (Fa La La La La, La La La Laaa...)

Bill Daly will speak to represent the NHL's side of things. We'll update this post as our schedules/will-power allow.

So enjoy Thanksgiving with your families. We'll worry about this mess next week.