When Donald Fehr first spoke to the media on Thursday night, there appeared ot be positive signs. But about 10 minutes after his session with the media, Fehr returned to the podium to say that the NHL has rejected the players' most recent counter offer.
Fehr said, "There is no reason to believe a deal will be done in the immediate future."
Gary Bettman responded by saying every concession they have made in negotiations is now, "off the table."
Bettman then held a 45-minute press conference in which he expressed the league's frustrations with the players. The commissioner said the owners put an extra $100 million on the table than they had before, but the players' reaction was "shockingly silent."
"The owners were beside themselves. Some of them I had never seen so emotional. They said they don't know what happened but this process is over."
Bettman also said that the NHL was willing to make certain concessions if the union agreed to a few key areas, including five-year player contract limits, and the length of the CBA, but will not make those concessions going forward.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that contract lengths in particular are “the hill we’ll die on.”
Players had asked for eight year contract lengths, the owners wanted five year limits. The union was aiming for a 8-year CBA, with an opt-out clause after six but the league wanted a 10-year deal.
Earlier, Fehr had claimed the players had already made a great deal of concessions.
"The players have gone a very, very long way," said Fehr. "The players have done far and away the lion's share."
In a statement from owners, Ron Burkle said "I believe a deal was within reach." Larry Tannenbaum said "I am very disappointed and disillusioned."
Read the complete statement here
There are no future talks planned.
More from Bettman's press conference:
On why talks broke off:
"At some point you've given as much, if not more than you should have. At some point you have to say this is the best we can do."
"What you're witnessing is very tough bargaining. ... We kept negotiating against ourselves."
On whether the league had a date for cancelling the whole season:
"I keep hearing that we have some magic date. You know what my magic date was? Oct. 11 when we should have started a season."
"as we get closer to the 14th we will make a decision"
"In 1995 we played 48 games, I can't imagine playing fewer than that"
"my biggest concern is that we'll lose more franchises if we take the wrong deal"
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