By Detroit Free Press (via USA Today)
One day after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman promised the league would lock out its players if a new collective bargaining agreement was not in place by Sept. 15, the league and the NHLPA met for nearly three hours Friday at the NHL offices in New York.
The session centered on hockey issues, specifically an appeals process for supplemental discipline and the lengths of training camps.
The lack of an independent appellate process for supplemental discipline is a point of contention for the players. Under the current CBA, only Bettman hears appeals of NHL senior vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan’s rulings.
Discipline rose to the surface in discussions, and in particular, the case of Phoenix left wing Raffi Torres, who was suspended 25 games for elbowing Chicago right wing Marian Hossa under the chin in the playoffs. Torres appealed the suspension May 17, and the league announced July 2 that the suspension had been cut to 21 games.
“Raffi has come up in conversation,” said Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey, who spoke for the NHLPA after the session. “(The players are) very interested in the whole process.”
Of course, all of this is secondary to the NHLPA finally submitting a counterproposal to the league’s first offer. That is expected to come early next week in Toronto. The two sides will meet at the NHLPA’s offices there the next two weeks, starting Tuesday.
The NHL presented its proposal on July 13. It asked for the players to accept a reduction in hockey-related revenue from 57% to 46%. The NHLPA says that the mathematics involved means the final number is closer to 43%.