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NHL Offers 50-50 Revenue Split With 82 Games to End Lockout

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The National Hockey League offered a 50-50 revenue split with players as part of a proposed collective bargaining agreement that would end a lockout and enable all 82 regular-season games to be played.

The proposal would have the season start Nov. 2, three weeks later than had been scheduled.

“We very much want to preserve a full 82-game season and in that light we made a proposal, an offer really,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said on the league’s website. “It is our best shot at preserving an 82-game regular season and playoffs.”

Bettman discussed the proposal following an hour-long meeting at the NHL Players’ Association offices in Toronto.

Don Fehr, executive director of the union, said he needs to review the proposal further before responding.

“I’ve been looking for a way to get these negotiations jump-started and if this does it, that would be great,” Fehr told reporters in Toronto. “We’ll see. It’s always good to get another proposal and I hope after we digest it, we’ll think its a place from which we can go forward.”

Fehr said there was no timetable for when the two sides will hold discussions again.

“I suspect it will be sooner rather than later,” he said.

The offer is contingent upon a full season being played, Bettman said. The league said it isn’t asking for salary rollbacks from the players, and that the 50-50 split would involve hockey related revenue. The players received 57 percent of such revenue under the contract that expired on Sept. 15.

“We’re focused on getting the season started on Nov. 2,” Bettman said. “That’s what this offer was about.”

Owners and players are arguing about how to split revenue and other issues including salary arbitration and the length of unrestricted free agency.

The league locked out players on Sept. 16, the day after the collective bargaining agreement expired.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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