NHL Officially Withdraws Last CBA Offer, Eliminates Hopes Of 82 Game Season

Bruce Bennett

Not that this is a shock, but the last CBA offer that the NHLPA refused to sign has been withdrawn. Get ready for a shortened hockey season.

In what is just a formality, the NHL is withdrawing their last CBA proposal. The NHLPA declined to sign it, instead proposing three alternatives --all of which reached the 50/50 revenue split that the league desired, and all of which NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman dismissed within ten minutes.

The NHL put a deadline on getting an 82 game schedule iced; that deadline was Thursday. Obviously, with no agreement and no talks scheduled any time soon, the NHL was going to withdraw that offer, and they did. Now they can try to point to the players and cry that it's their fault that the season's shortened, not the league's. It won't work -- most everyone knows about the NHLPA's offers and desire to get something completed, and just as many people know of the NHL's lack of desire to compromise and get something done.

So gone is more revenue for the league, gone are sizable chunks of the players' paychecks, and gone is the chance for the people who work at NHL arenas to actually get paid. Instead in the coming days, the NHL will be cancelling another couple week long block of games, all the while saying "we really hate to do this, but..."

Bill Daly released this statement to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun:

"When we delivered the proposal last Tuesday, we told them it would be on the table through today," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com Thursday afternoon. "Having not reached agreement through today, I expect that we'll formally notify the union Friday that the proposal is no longer on the table. We're going to take it back internally and figure out where we go from here."

No plans for a new offer are forthcoming from the NHL, which is not at all surprising given the owners' "take it or leave it" approach to bargaining. How many more weeks of games are gone is anybody's guess, but like I mentioned before, trying to fit an 82 game schedule into such a short amount of time isn't good for the players or the quality of the game.

UPDATE 11:31 -- Elliotte Friedman is reporting that games up until November 30th will be cancelled.

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