Collective Bargaining Update
Collective Bargaining Update
Saturday, Feb. 19th, 2005
NEW YORK - Representatives of the NHL and NHLPA met for approximately 6-1/2 hours today to discuss collective bargaining matters but made no progress toward a new agreement. No further talks are scheduled. The League was represented by Bill Daly, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer; Wayne Gretzky, Managing Partner, Phoenix Coyotes; Mario Lemieux and outside counsel Bob Batterman. The NHLPA was represented by Ted Saskin, Senior Director; Trevor Linden, NHLPA president; Vincent Damphousse of the Colorado Avalanche; Mike Gartner, Director of Business Relations, and outside counsel John McCambridge.
Following the meeting, Bill Daly released the following statement:
"We met for six hours today in New York to further explore the possibility of reaching a new Agreement with the Players' Association. Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux joined and participated in today's meeting, at the request of the Union. We talked through the parties' respective positions on the numerous elements that would be involved in designing a new salary cap-based system. The talks were cordial and informative, but revealed that there remain significant differences that need to be discussed and resolved by the parties. No new proposals were made by either side. While no new meetings are scheduled, we remain committed to continue working through the process until a new Agreement can be reached."
Wayne Gretzky made the following statement:
"Mario and I were happy to be part of the process and everyone seemed to work very hard together. We had a constructive meeting and we only hope they will continue meeting for the betterment of the NHL and its fans."
Mario Lemieux made the following statement:
"I hope all parties continue talking and come to a solution for the betterment of the game. I certainly appreciate the work Gary and Bill have done a lot more, now that I have been part of one of these sessions."
Comments From the NHLPA
Following Saturday's collective bargaining meeting in New York, NHLPA Senior Director Ted Saskin released the following statement:
"The NHL invited us to meet them today in New York. We met for about six hours. The League did not make a new proposal but did outline new details about their earlier proposal which made it crystal clear that we are much further apart than many people had speculated about earlier in the week.
We reviewed our proposed framework on CBA Deal Points, which was attached to our Feb.15/05 proposal, and the NHL today revealed a number of significant differences between our respective positions, such as:
1) While we expected the upper limit number on payroll would increase over the six-year term of the deal as hockey revenues increased, the NHL's position today was that the upper limit would remain a fixed number for six years, regardless of any growth in hockey revenues.
2) While we were told earlier in the week that the NHL's revenue sharing plan would not decrease over time, the plan they revealed today could decrease significantly over the term of the agreement.
3) While we anticipated a minimum team payroll number in our proposal, the NHL was today not interested in providing any minimum team payroll number, but only a maximum number.
4) While we had anticipated using our Dec. 9/04 system changes, with a couple of exceptions to be discussed, the NHL today outlined more significant exceptions which they were seeking, particularly in the area of salary arbitration and qualifying offers."
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