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Labor Log: Statements from #NHL and #theplayers on Nov. cancellations

The NHL cancelled regular-season games through November on Friday as the owners’ lockout of players stretched into Day 41. Notably, though, the Winter Classic was spared, for now. The league has not reached a decision on when to scrap its signature regular-season event.

= A statement from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly:

“The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action.  By presenting a proposal to the NHLPA that contemplated a fair division of revenues and was responsive to Player concerns regarding the value of their contracts, we had hoped to be able to forge a long-term Collective Bargaining Agreement that would have preserved an 82-game Regular Season for our fans.  Unfortunately, that did not occur.

“We acknowledge and accept that there is joint responsibility in collective bargaining and, though we are profoundly disappointed that a new agreement has not been attained to this point, we remain committed to achieving an agreement that is fair for the Players and the Clubs — one that will be good for the game and our fans.”

= A statement from NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr:

“The league officially informed us today that they have withdrawn their latest proposal and have cancelled another slate of regular season games. This is deeply disappointing for all hockey fans and everyone who makes their living from hockey, including the players.  But it comes as no surprise.

“Last week the owners gave us what amounts to a “take-it-or-leave-it” proposal.  We responded with the framework for three proposals on the players’ share, each of which moved significantly, towards their stated desire for a 50-50 split of HRR, with the only condition being that they (honor) contracts they have already signed. (Honoring) contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request. Unfortunately, after considering them for only 10 minutes they rejected all of our proposals.

“Since then, we have repeatedly advised the owners that the players are prepared to sit down and negotiate on any day, with no pre-conditions.  The owners refused.  They apparently are only interested in meeting if we first agree to everything in their last offer, except for perhaps a few minor tweaks and discussion of their “make whole” provision.

“The message from the owners seems to be: if you don’t give us exactly what we want, there is no point in talking.  They have shown they are very good at delivering deadlines and demands, but we need a willing partner to negotiate.  We hope they return to the table in order to get the players back on the ice soon.”

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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