The National Hockey League (NHL) tabled a proposal for a labor agreement on Tuesday that included an equal split of hockey-related revenue with players in a bid to bridge the gap on core economic issues and try to end the lockout.
The proposal, which is contingent on a full 82-game season starting on Nov. 2, came one month after the NHL locked out its players when the previous deal expired with both sides at odds over how to divide a $3.3 billion revenue pie.
"We very much want to preserve a full 82-game season and in that light we made a proposal," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters after an hour-long meeting in Toronto with key negotiators from the league and union representing its players.
"It is our best shot at preserving an 82-game regular season and (Stanley Cup) playoffs."
The lockout, the NHL's fourth work stoppage in 20 years, has already cost the league about $250 million in lost revenue after it canceled the entire preseason and the Oct. 11-24 regular season action.
If the two sides fail to reach a new collective bargaining agreement soon, the NHL is expected to cancel the next block of regular season games later this week.
Over 100 players, including Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and NHL most valuable player Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have since signed deals to play in Europe while the two sides work to resolve the dispute.
Ahead of Tuesday's meeting, the NHL's latest offer was over six years and would see the players start with 49 percent of revenue and fall to 47 percent. Players received 57 percent of revenue under the old deal.
The most recent offer from the NHL Players' Association was a five-year pact that would see the players' share in revenue drop from 54.3 percent of revenues to 52.7 percent over the course of the deal.
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