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Zimbow staff with files
10/25/2012 6:08:42 PM

The National Hockey League will withdraw its latest CBA proposal to the NHL Players' Association once Thursday's deadline to finalize a new deal passes.

There were no talks held between both sides on Thursday and none have been held since last week's NHL proposal and counter-proposals from the NHLPA.

"When we delivered the proposal last Tuesday, we told them it would be on the table through today," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on Thursday afternoon. "Having not reached agreement through today, I expect that we'll formally notify the union Friday that the proposal is no longer on the table. We're going to take it back internally and figure out where we go from here."

Daly also emphasized that he was not threatening the players in any way, but underlying what the league had already told the the NHLPA last Tuesday when it delivered the proposal.

"This proposal no longer works because it was a proposal to save 82 games," Daly said. "We have to re-think where we are, and what type of season we're looking at, and we have to formulate and construct a proposal that makes sense for the reality of where we are."

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr was not surprised by the league's statement on withdrawing the offer.

"This is a standard approach, I think it was done in the NBA in the same way," Fehr told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on "Review the history here: they make a proposal, it's essentially a take it or leave it, we respond on the core economics, they take 10 minutes and say no. They tell all the players if we're agreeable to everything except the Make Whole (provision) including all the stuff that's in there, I can give Gary a telephone call. And then we have made several efforts, including yesterday, to say we're prepared to sit down and negotiate with no pre-conditions. They essentially said No. It takes two to negotiate. They seem to be really good at imposing deadlines and issuing ultimatums and having lockouts. It seems to be something they're well-practised at."

While Daly did not offer specifics, the NHL is expected to cancel games for the rest of November on Friday. The league cancelled regular season games from Oct. 25 throught Nov. 1 last week, wiping out 135 games in total.

"Obviously those decisions are imminent and we're going to have to do what we have to do," he said.
.... And now, a word from our President....

Associated Press
10/25/2012 4:51:48 PM

LOS ANGELES -- Barack Obama is urging the NHL and its players to resolve their labour dispute.

During an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno on Wednesday, the U.S. president took time to answer questions submitted from viewers and the studio audience.

One fan from Los Angeles asked Obama if he could pull any strings to end the NHL's work stoppage.

"You know, I do have a comment on this," said Obama, who is campaigning for re-election. "Every time these things happen I just want to remind the owners and players: You guys make money because you've got a whole bunch of fans out there who are working really hard -- they buy tickets, they're watching on TV.

"You all should be able to figure this out. Get this done. The fans deserve it."

It's not the first time Obama has weighed in on a sports labour dispute.

The president sent a tweet a month ago urging the NFL and its officials to end their lockout.

"NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon," he tweeted after a mistake by a replacement official decided the outcome of a game between Seattle and Green Bay.

The lockout ended a few days later.

The NHL lockout has lasted 40 days. All regular-season games through Nov. 1 have been wiped off the schedule, with more cancellations expected to come before the end of the week.

All was quiet between the two sides Thursday, the final day before an NHL-imposed deadline to make a deal with the NHL Players' Association and preserve a full hockey season.

A partial season remains a possibility. No new talks are scheduled.

The U.S. presidential election is Nov. 6.
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