The NHL made a new proposal to the NHLPA on Tuesday, a move that commissioner Gary Bettman called "significant" in the negotiating process. According to a report by Chris Johnston of the The Globe and Mail, the new offer reduces the players' share of revenues to 51.6 percent in the first year and 50.5 percent in the second year of the deal. The initial league proposal of July 13 offered 43 percent of revenue to the players. The recently expired agreement paid the players 57 percent. This new increase from 43 percent to over 50 percent was hailed by Bettman:
"It was a proposal that we believe is significant and had meaningful movement," said Bettman. "It was also designed to address issues that they've raised with us and to address the proposal they last made to us in terms of structure and format."
But NHLPA director Donald Fehr did not sound as optimistic. Johnston writes that the union did not seem receptive to the new offer, and Fehr's quotes indicated as much:
"It's a proposal that we intend to respond to," he said. "I'm just going to leave it at that."
With training camp fast approaching in September, there's growing pessimism on both sides that a lockout is becoming inevitable -- and this increased proposal from the league doesn't seem to change that.