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Bettman Angers Players, More Mediation Today

NHL: NHL Press ConferenceThe positive vibe may have left the CBA talks a couple days ago, but the NHL and NHLPA continue to work at it with the help of federal mediator, Scot Beckenbaugh.

Yesterday, Beckenbaugh went back and forth between the NHL headquarters and the players hotel for 13 hours. Mediation is schedule to continue sometime this morning. As with all instances when a mediator is involved, not much info is being leaked about how things are progressing.

It’s safe to assume that the players will have voted in favor of giving their executive board the authority to file for ‘disclaimer of interest.’ Voting is to be concluded by 6:00 PM tonight.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported that Gary Bettman angered players on Thursday by telling them that some GMs would like to “dismantle” their teams. Bettman claimed that some GMs have told him that they regret some of the contracts they’ve signed some players too, and would welcome the chance to shed some of them to get down to a lower salary cap for next season. The players demanded to know which GMs were saying this, but Bettman obviously wouldn’t tell them.

The sides have made some progress in the last couple of days on a couple of issues.

The NHLPA agreed to go to 10 years in CBA length, finally matching the NHL’s desire on term for the deal (although the NHLPA has an opt out after Year 7 while the NHL would prefer one after Year 8).

The NHLPA asked the NHL to up its compliance buyout to two per team, up from one per team before the 2013-14 season. The league agreed.

The NHL upped its salary variance rule to 30 percent, up from the 5 percent and then 10 percent demands it had had in previous offers.

According to LeBrun’s sources, there are still seven or eight issues that need to be resolved. Three of the more meaning issues are next seasons salary cap, max length of contracts and the players pension.

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Mark is the NHL editor for Sports City and myNHLtraderumors.com. Lives north of Toronto in the snow-belt, not a big fan of snow. Despises lockouts.

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