NEW YORK -- Labor talks between the NHL and NHLPA have stalled, making a lockout increasingly likely with the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire Sept. 15.
After three days of discussions this week, the two sides decided to recess Friday. The NHL and NHLPA have reached a standoff on the core economic issues and have no further talks scheduled.
The impasse resulted after discussions Friday, when the NHLPA responded to the league's counter-proposal submitted earlier this week.
The critical issue preventing the two sides from forging common ground is the league's request for a decreased share of revenue for the players.
The players do not want to entertain any offer that requires them to make any absolute salary reduction.
The league's latest proposal asked the player to reduce their share from 57 percent to 46 percent. The union countered with a three-year system that featured multiple fourth-year options that would allow the players to snap back to the current share.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman accused the union of "stonewalling" and said he was disappointed by Friday's events. He also disputed NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr's assertion that the owners elected to recess.
"That's an unfair and inaccurate characterization," Bettman said.
Both sides said they are amenable to resuming discussions should the other have new ideas to present, but neither camp seems willing to budge at this point.