The National Hockey League has withdrawn its latest CBA proposal to the NHL Players' Association after a deadline to play a full 82-game season passed Thursday evening with no new discussions between the two sides.
An announcement to cancel games for the rest of November is expected as early as Friday.
Cancelling major events such as the Winter Classic and the All-Star game could be the league's next move. The league cancelled regular season games from Oct. 25 throught Nov. 1 last week, wiping out 135 games in total.
There were no talks held between both sides on Thursday and none have been held since last week's NHL proposal and counter-proposals from the NHLPA.
The NHL presented a proposal that included a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues. But that was contingent on the sides making the Thursday deadline. The union responded with three counterproposals, all of which would get the sides to a 50-50 deal, but the league quickly rejected them.
"When we delivered the proposal last Tuesday, we told them it would be on the table through today," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on ESPN.com Thursday afternoon. "Having not reached agreement through today, I expect that we'll formally notify the union Friday that the proposal is no longer on the table. We're going to take it back internally and figure out where we go from here."
Daly also emphasized that he was not threatening the players in any way, but underlying what the league had already told the the NHLPA last Tuesday when it delivered the proposal.
"This proposal no longer works because it was a proposal to save 82 games," Daly said. "We have to re-think where we are, and what type of season we're looking at, and we have to formulate and construct a proposal that makes sense for the reality of where we are."
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr was not surprised by the league's statement on withdrawing the offer.
"This is a standard approach, I think it was done in the NBA in the same way," Fehr told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on ESPN.com. "Review the history here: they make a proposal, it's essentially a take it or leave it, we respond on the core economics, they take 10 minutes and say no. They tell all the players if we're agreeable to everything except the Make Whole (provision) including all the stuff that's in there, I can give Gary a telephone call. And then we have made several efforts, including yesterday, to say we're prepared to sit down and negotiate with no pre-conditions. They essentially said No. It takes two to negotiate. They seem to be really good at imposing deadlines and issuing ultimatums and having lockouts. It seems to be something they're well-practised at."