Commissioner Threatens NHL Lockout
The Columbus Blue Jackets are scheduled to open the new season on October 13th at Chicago. But the opener may be put on hold. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will lock out the players if the sides can not reach a new collective bargaining agreement by the end of the current deal on September 15th. Bettman says player salaries are the main issue. The league also wants to cut the players share of revenues from 57 to 46 percent. Bettman says just over a third of the league's 30 teams are profitable. The last NHL lockout was before the 2004 season. The players wound up agreeing to a hard salary cap and a 24 percent wage cut. NHL Players Association Director Donald Fehr says the union is working on a counterproposal that will be offered during talks next week. NHL preseason play is tentatively scheduled to begin on September 23rd.