TORONTO - The NHL has made a new offer to the players' association that proposes a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue and a full 82-game season starting Nov. 2.
As talks resumed Tuesday in Toronto between the league and the NHLPA, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the offer, which is crafted for -- if nothing else -- a quick response from the head of the players' association, Donald Fehr.
The NHL locked out its players on Sept. 15, and the regular season was scheduled to begin on Oct. 11. A Nov. 2 start date would extend the season well into June, but would preserve some of the marquee events, such as the Jan. 1 Winter Classic in Michigan.
Bettman said the long-term deal takes steps to guarantee the players will get full value from their existing deals. And in order to pull off the logistics of the schedule, each team would have one additional game every five weeks in order to get a full season in.
It is clearly the best offer -- or counteroffer, for that matter -- that has been made in the months of negotiations since last season ended. And the proposal is now in the hands of Fehr and his team of executives. The union has requested time to look the proposal over.
This is the third lockout under Bettman's watch, but unlike the previous two, dialogue has remained steady. The two sides last met last week in New York.