Saving the NHL season?

Talks between the NHL and its players broke down Thursday night after owners rejected the latest offer tabled by the players association.

Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA, presented the proposals to reporters at a press conference in New York, only to return to the podium within 30 minutes to say he’d received a voicemail message that league owners were not accepting the deal, and that it looked like the dispute “would not be resolved in the immediate future.”

Fehr said there were no plans to meet for another two days.

The players’ proposals including an eight-year cap on term contracts with an opt-out option after Year Six, player-funded pensions and transition payments.

The latest developments notwithstanding, Fehr said the two sides had been “very close” to reaching an agreement on most other issues.

Talks on the ongoing NHL labour dispute had entered a third day of negotiations, and appeared to be gaining momentum before the latest rejection.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Fehr had stayed out of the negotiations in recent days, instead allowing the players and owners to negotiate directly with each other in an attempt to ease tensions in the room.

The biggest point of contention during the negotiations has centred on money.

Both the league and the union have proposed a 50/50 split of revenue, however they remain separated on the outside payments that would ease the transition from the previous deal, which saw players receive 57 per cent of profits.

The NHL has offered $211 million in deferred compensation, while the union has asked for $393 million.

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