NHL notes: No new deal, no hockey, says Bettman
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will not play next season under the current CBA. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters/Files)
Commissioner Gary Bettman is cranking up the spectre of labour war, saying Thursday a lockout looms if there is no new collective bargaining agreement by Sept. 15.
The NHL has "no intention" of playing the 2012-13 season under the existing CBA, he said.
"I reconfirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last nine to 12 months, namely that the time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season," Bettman said after meeting with the union in New York.
Outwardly, talks have seemed amicable during the past six weeks, but that tone has changed.
The current CBA expires Sept. 15, the regular season is scheduled to open Oct. 11, and now its time to get serious about hammering out a deal, Bettman said.
The league has made a proposal for a new revenue-sharing system, which the union has rejected.
"It didn't look to us like the way to go," NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said of the owners' offer.
"It seems to us that overall and on a club-by-club basis, all of the revenue-sharing payments -- both the new ones and the existing ones -- would be paid for by player-salary reductions."
Fehr expects to make a counter-proposal Tuesday.
The bottom line, Bettman said, is that the teams need to be "paying out less in player costs."
BUTLER A DEVIL?
Former Ottawa Senators prospect Bobby Butler has signed a one-year, two-way deal with the New Jersey Devils, according to various reports.
The Senators last week bought out the final year of the 25-year-old forward's contract.
Butler had six goals and 10 assists in 56 games with the Sens last season.
LEAFS SIGN FIRST-ROUNDER
Forward Tyler Biggs, a 2011 first-round draft pick, has signed a three-year entry-level contract, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced Thursday.
Biggs, 19, played this past season for the Miami University (Ohio) RedHawks, getting nine goals and eight assists in 37 games.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound right winger is a native of Loveland, Ohio.
The Detroit Red Wings are making a renewed pitch to acquire defenceman Jay Bouwmeester from the Calgary Flames, MLive.com has reported. The Wings are short on defence with the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart's move to San Jose. Bouwmeester, 28, is scheduled to be paid $6.6 million next season. He has yet to appear in a playoff game after nine NHL seasons ... Sources told the Phoenix Business Journal that prospective Phoenix Coyotes owner Greg Jamison has raised the final $20 million he needs to buy the team, but no word on when he might close the deal.