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2012 NHL CBA Negotiations: NHL Board Of Governors Unanimously Approves Lockout If Necessary

The NHL's board of governors met in New York on Thursday and voted unanimously to approve a lockout, should it be necessary come midnight on Saturday, September 15th. It will likely mark the third NHL lockout of Gary Bettman's tenure as commissioner.

Don Fehr, after a meeting with the players this morning, reiterated what's been said time and time again: A lockout will be the choice of the league, and the players are willing to play while negotiations continue.

Bettman said the board voted on that [not playing another year under the current system] today as well. It too was unanimous. As everyone has known for months, there will be no hockey without a new agreement in place.

Gary Bettman also told media this afternoon that the owner's "take it or leave it" proposal from yesterday was anything but. Except that it is? He added that the players' proposal was couched in nearly identical terms yesterday.

The two sides remain utterly divided on core economic issues with little more than 56 hours remaining. The players want to give back a percentage of speculated growth moving forward. The owners want an absolute reduced percentage for the players tied to revenues.

Continued after the jump, why not...

In addition to not agreeing on how best to reduce the players slice of the pie, the NHL added that they've [the NHLPA] made no meaning movement from proposal to proposal. Our friend Mr. Mirtle begs to differ...

The league says they've come a long way. One can only assume they mean they've come a long way off their first proposal and not the current agreement in place. As the players have noted, the league has not offered a single thing in concession where the current agreement is concerned.

"Less money, fewer rights," Fehr said. "I think everybody understands why the owners would like that. Every employer would like that. I have a difficult time understanding why anyone would expect the players would make an agreement on that basis."

Fehr continued, discussing that the players are the only ones taking any kind of a hit in the proposals made so far. Quote transcription from Puck Daddy...

"What you might call 'shared sacrifice.' If there is going to be sacrifice here, and the players are going to take less money than the current agreement provides them, then the question is are they the only ones whose compensation and circumstances are to be limited or reduced. Is there any other cost or expense - anywhere in the NHL, National Hockey League enterprises, any team or anywhere - where the owners are willing to say they are willing to constrain those costs as well. So far, the answer is 'no,'."

The owners could speak up for themselves and offer some wisdom and justification from their side of the fence, as many players have been doing this week - Except for the fact that the NHL Bylaws prohibit them from doing so.

There has been much speculation that the owners of the Panthers, Islanders, Blue Jackets, etc, may have a different perspective on things as compared to the Toronto's and Philadelphia's of the world, but the unanimous votes and the so called "gag order" squash any such talk at the moment.

Both sides are united and holding firm. Both sides also continue to claim an open door, ready to listen to any new thoughts the other may have.

All the fans have is a really open schedule for the next seven months.