NHLPA sends letter to Parliament regarding lockout Staff

11/21/2012 10:18:56 AM

With no end in sight to the NHL lockout, the NHL Players' Association sent the following letter to Canadian Parliament on Monday:

"Dear Member of Parliament:

As the lockout approaches the eleventh week, I wanted to provide you with a brief update of the status of bargaining between the NHLPA and the NHL.

On October 26, 2012, the league officially informed the NHLPA that they had withdrawn their latest proposal and had cancelled regular season games until the end of November. This move was deeply disappointing for all hockey fans and everyone who makes their living from hockey, including the players. Since that time, the NHL has also cancelled the Winter Classic.

In an attempt to move the discussions forward, we met with the NHL last week for a series of meetings in New York. Unfortunately, they continue to insist that they will not move off their "take-it-or-leave it" approach to bargaining.

The players have proposed that their share of hockey-related revenue move towards the NHL's stated desire for a 50-50 split, with the only condition being that they honour contracts they have already signed. Honouring contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request.

We have repeatedly advised the owners that the players are prepared to sit down and negotiate on any day, with no pre-conditions.

To be clear, the lockout was a unilateral decision taken by the owners. It is the third lockout in eighteen years. Hockey has lost more games to work stoppages than the three other professional sports leagues combined, virtually all as the result of owners' lockouts.

Given that the NHL has just enjoyed seven straight seasons of record revenues, we believe the owners have no justification for their actions. The players have repeatedly offered to open the season and play without a new contract in place.

Negotiations could have continued while games were played. It did not have to come to this."

The National Hockey League is expected to respond with a letter to Parliament as well.