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NHL presents offer of 50-50 split with players

The SportsXchange

The NHL extended a new offer to the players on Tuesday that includes a 50-50 split of hockey revenues and a plan to play the entire 82-game schedule.

The proposal was announced during meetings in Toronto by commissioner Gary Bettman.

"We hope we've given our best shot," Bettman said.

Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players' Association, said the league's offer includes a contract agreement for at least six years.

"Gary indicated to me and I assume he indicated to (reporters) that they would like to get a full 82-game season in," Fehr said. "We, of course, share that view and would like to get a full 82-game season in."

The players' union plans a conference call Tuesday afternoon to discuss the proposal, but a formal response isn't expected by the end of the day, ESPNNewYork.com reported.

"What our hope is that after we review this that there will be a feeling on the players' side that this is a proposal from which we can negotiate and try to reach a conclusion," Fehr said. "But we are not in a position to make any comments about it beyond that at this point."

The league is pushing to end the lockout, which began Sept. 15, with a deal that would allow a full season to get under way on Nov. 2. Regular-season games originally were to start Oct. 11.

"We very much want to preserve a full 82-game season and in that light we made a proposal, an offer really," Bettman said. "It is our best shot at preserving an 82-game regular season and the playoffs.

"We're focused on getting the season started on Nov. 2. That's what this offer was about."

Bettman said the league is not seeking salary rollbacks for the players. ESPN.com reported that the NHL's proposal is designed to protect players from salary reductions.

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