NHLPA draws closer to decision

nhlpa counter proposal collective bargaining agreement

TORONTO (AP) - The NHL Players' Association is almost ready to table its own vision for a new collective bargaining agreement.

As negotiations with the NHL resumed Tuesday, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr indicated that the union was getting close to responding to the league's initial proposal, which included a decreased share of hockey-related revenue, term limits on contracts and a 22 percent salary rollback.

``I doubt that it will be weeks - plural,'' Fehr said. ``But could it be two? Yeah. It could be two, it could be less.''

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The sides have entered gently into talks. This week's three-day session in Toronto marks the fifth consecutive week Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman have sat across the table from one another, but they still seem to be feeling their way into the process.

The NHL delivered its initial CBA proposal to the union during a bargaining session on July 13. In response, the NHLPA requested a ``fair amount of additional information,'' according to Fehr.

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