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Two sides dig in as NHL deadline nears

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – Don Fehr has his players holed up in a hotel ballroom while a few blocks away Gary Bettman has his board of governors sitting around a table at a Manhattan law firm.

The NHL and NHLPA may be in the same neighbourhood today but they might as well be in different worlds.

The two sides remain far apart with Saturday’s midnight deadline beginning to look like it will come and go with no new CBA on the table.

Fehr spoke to his players last night after the league and union traded a pair of proposals and has them gathered again this morning.

Bettman is updating ownership, Jets chair Mark Chipman is in New York for this morning’s meeting, and will address the media at 2:30 p.m. CDT.

Fehr and the players are expected to wrap around noon and among the union members present today are Jets captain Andrew Ladd, team representative Ron Hainsey and veteran blueliner Mark Stuart.

The last offer the NHL put to the players had the portion of Hockey Related Revenue used for salaries trimmed from 57 per cent in the first year of a six-year deal to 49 per cent and then declining to 47 per cent by the end of the pact.

Fehr was quoted as saying the latest offer dropped from "an extraordinarily large amount" of money lost to the players to a "a really very big amount."

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