Hockey fans hoping for a resolution between the NHL and NHLPA prior to Saturday are going to be sorely disappointed. According to the latest report from Stu Hackel of SI, the latest offer from the owners is unacceptable to the NHLPA, and thus, a lockout looks all but certain.
Don Fehr sounded as if the league's latest proposal is not any more acceptable to the players than the players' latest was to the owners.
He confirmed some of the details of the NHL's latest offer, which would start at 49 percent of HRR and fall to 47. This is from the current level of 57 percent. "They've moved from an extraordinarily large amount to a very big amount," he said, and Fehr was quick to remind listeners that prior to the salary cap, the players' collective "free market" value was 74 percent of all revenue; it is now 51 percent under the salary cap.
The owners' offer to the players comes with an ultimatum -- the NHLPA has until Saturday to accept it, and once the lockout starts, the deal is then off the table.
Though it's not a guarantee, and there's still time, it certainly looks like the second work stoppage in the NHL in seven years will occur this Sunday. It'll be a very, very, dark and sad day for the league, and the sport.