THEY continue to agree to disagree, but NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr is hopeful his crew can get back to the negotiating table with the league ASAP.
The NHL lockout hits the one-week mark today. No discussions were planned for the weekend, but could resume afterward.
"I hope it will be sometime next week," said Fehr, speaking on TSN 1290's Hustler and Lawless show Friday afternoon. "We're waiting for them to be in a position to do that.
"It's up to them."
Fehr's comments came one day after NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Free Press the union has yet to change its response since Aug. 14 and the league won't be making the next "new" suggestion in bargaining.
The sides continue to argue the most fundamental issues: the NHL wants to slice the players' share of hockey-related revenue down from 57 per cent; the players want the teams to consider sharing that hockey-related revenue among themselves.
"We think that the proposal the players have put forward is a clear road map to a fair and equitable deal," Fehr said. "We said that as revenues grow the players will take a much lower share of future revenues, that means their share is going to fall toward 50 per cent.
"We said secondly there needs to be a different form of revenue sharing that is targeted to the teams that need it. We have said, third, that if there are real problems out there we assume that some of the higher-revenue clubs will be willing to share and provide some additional revenue-sharing assistance.
"And, fourth," continued Fehr, "if there's going to have to be sacrifice after seven years of record revenues and the enormous concessions the players made last time, more than $3 billion over the life of this agreement, that there has to be some other costs somewhere the owners could limit or cut."
POSTMA, SIX OTHERS, HEADING TO ICECAPS: The Jets' AHL affiliate announced Friday it had signed seven players to contracts, including D-man Paul Postma. Joining Postma are defenceman Derek Meech, forwards Spencer Machacek, Ben Maxwell, Maxime Macenauer, Aaron Gagnon and goalie Mark Dekanich.
-- with files from Tim Campbell
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