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NHL Withdraws Offer as Deadline Passes

2:33 PM, Oct 26, 2012   |    comments
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NEW YORK (AP) - The NHL's Thursday deadline for saving a full 82-game season has come and gone without a new labor deal.

By Thursday afternoon, the sides were still not in contact.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman already painted a pessimistic picture on Wednesday, saying it was unlikely that a new collective bargaining agreement would be reached by Thursday that would allow the NHL to play a condensed 82-game schedule starting on Nov. 2.

In making its most recent offer to the players, the NHL presented a proposal that included a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues. But that was contingent on the sides making a deal by Thursday and getting the season under way following a week of training camp.

The NHL says it will withdraw that offer and is expected to cancel all games through November as early as Friday.  The Winter Classic is also now in serious jeopardy.

Talks broke down last week, and the NHL turned down the union's offer to return to the table this week with no preconditions.

President Barack Obama is urging both sides to end the dispute.

While taking questions from viewers on NBC's "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno on Wednesday, he was asked if he could pull any strings to end the NHL lockout.

"Every time these things happen I just want to remind the owners and the players: You guys make money because you've got a whole bunch of fans out there who are working really hard - they buy tickets, they're watching on TV," said the president.  "You all should be able to figure this out. Get this done."

AP/ESPN

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