Gary Bettman interview
Read the whole thing here:
Exclusive: NHL commissioner discusses lockout issues - Winnipeg Free Press
"FP: Was the aggressive nature of your first offer to the players a mistake?
GB: I think the view some have of our first offer is fairly naive as it relates to collective bargaining. A sophisticated negotiator would have looked at it and said, 'Obviously they want a 50-50 split.' If we're at 57 and they propose 43, they must be telegraphing where they want to end. If your intention was to use it in an inflammatory way, you could do that. If your intention was to make a deal, you could pretty much chart out what the course should be."
"FP: Last week stories broke to the effect that you told Don Fehr it was time to take a two-week break from negotiations. Now you're set to talk on Monday night. What happened to change things?
GB: What happened is that conversation was clearly misportrayed and mischaracterized. Don called me on Tuesday to have a conversation. It wasn't a negotiation. It was nothing more than a simple conversation. In the course of that conversation he said he didn't know what to do or how to proceed. I said maybe we should take a little downtime, a couple of weeks, especially since we had just five sessions in six days and nothing was produced. In light of that fact he didn't know how to proceed, I said that as a suggestion. He gave it a long pause and then said, 'I don't think so.' I said OK. So this notion that we proposed a moratorium is nothing more than union rhetoric. We were always willing to go back to the table. The lines of communication are open. They know they have our best offer, which is a 50-50 sharing and the other issues that we've proposed to them. They proposed 17 issues last week and we agreed to 13 of them. We know where the negotiations led to, they know they have our best offer. We've always said if they have something to discuss, we're always available to meet."