After weeks where both sides did little more than mark their territory, finally we may be getting some good news toward ending the NHL lockout. Commissioner Gary Bettman announced owners extended a new collective bargaining offer to the players' association on Tuesday, proposing an even 50/50 split of hockey revenue.
It was the first presentation by either side since before the lockout began.
What's more, the league believes their attempt to meet the union halfway may be coming early enough to preserve a full 82-game season beginning on November 2. According to Tim Panaccio, Bettman said of the proposal, “We've given our best shot." Donald Fehr, the union's executive director, will present the terms to the players later today.
Puck Daddy has much more on the plan's specifics which are continuing to leak from a variety of sources, but so far the deal has been met with optimism. One very critical component is the lack of a rollback on existing contracts, considered a non-starter by the NHLPA from the start.
There are sure to be further negotiations on some of the additional provisions, but this is clearly a huge step in the right direction. It's still a little difficult to believe they can get this wrapped up in time to save a full slate of games, although at this point, any progress is welcome.