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NHL players make CBA pitch to owners

The SportsXchange

NHL labor talks took another turn Tuesday, when the players' union presented its CBA proposal to owners in Toronto.

In a meeting that lasted nearly two hours, the union requested a three-year deal that includes a reversal option for the fourth year in which the CBA could revert to the current terms if the owners opt for it.

The union's proposal does not include the elimination of the salary cap and calls for no changes to player contracts.

Players agree to a reduced share of hockey-related revenue in exchange for more aggressive and targeted revenue sharing among the clubs.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league would break down the talks further behind closed doors.

"We need time to evaluate it and make sure we fully understand it," said Bettman, who added that he expected his group to "respond appropriately" to the proposal when the sides meet again Wednesday in Toronto.

"Our hope is that we can take care of business in the next month," said Bettman. "That's our goal."

At least five owners and 23 players were in attendance. Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Capitals' winger Alex Ovechkin flanked NHLPA director Donald Fehr, who wouldn't guess what Wednesday might bring. Fehr and the players remain focused on avoiding a work stoppage. The current CBA will expire on Sept. 15.
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