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A young hockey fan waits in the lobby of the building housing the NHLPA offices in Toronto on Wednesday August 15, 2012. (Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
A young hockey fan waits in the lobby of the building housing the NHLPA offices in Toronto on Wednesday August 15, 2012. (Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

CBA Timeline: Looking back at negotiations between NHL and NHLPA Add to ...

A chronological look back at the collective bargaining negotiations between the NHL and NHL Players’ Association:

Jan. 6 — Tentative deal announced jointly by commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr during brief press availability. The sides reached the agreement at approximately 4:45 a.m. ET in a second floor conference room at the Sofitel Hotel following a 16-hour negotiating session — the longest of any point during the entire process.

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Jan. 5 — U.S. federal mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh convinces the sides to return to the bargaining table with one another. As it turns out, it was for the final time.

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Jan. 4 — Beckenbaugh spends almost 13 hours shuttling between meetings with the NHL and NHLPA in an attempt to get negotiations back on track.

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Jan. 3 — Sides meet in two small group settings — one covering an issue with legal language over hockey-related revenue and another on pensions. Tension is high in talks, which seem in danger of being halted. The union opens a second voting window, lasting 48 hours, for players to grant their executive board the chance to declare a “disclaimer of interest.”

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Jan. 2 — Negotiations continue past a midnight deadline for the NHLPA to declare a “disclaimer of interest” with the union electing not to dissolve. Movement made on key issues by both sides, but talks fizzle by the end of the night.

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Jan. 1 — The NHL makes a counter-proposal to NHLPA’s Dec. 31 offer. It’s the third offer to change hands between the sides in five days.

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Dec. 31 — With thousands of New Year’s Eve revellers walking past the league office towards Times Square, the NHLPA delivers a counter-proposal to the league’s Dec. 27 offer. Top NHL executives work past midnight reviewing the document.

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Dec. 30 — Representatives from the NHL and NHLPA hold face-to-face information sessions and decide to resume bargaining the following day. It will be the first such meeting since Dec. 6.

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Dec. 29 — The NHL and NHLPA hold a series of informational conference calls to review the league’s Dec. 27 offer.

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Dec. 27 — The NHL tables a 288-page proposal that moves maximum contract length from five years to six years and increases the yearly variance from five per cent to 10 per cent. The offers also includes a one-time compliance buyout that would count against the players’ share and reintroduces the US$300 million in deferred “make whole payments.”

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Dec. 21 — Players overwhelming vote in favour of giving the NHLPA’s executive board the authority to file a “disclaimer of interest” by Jan. 2.

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Dec. 20 — The NHL cancels regular-season games through Jan. 14, bringing the total number wiped away to 625. That represents 50.8 per cent of the season.

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Dec. 14 — The NHL files a class-action complaint asking a federal court in the U.S. to rule on the legality of the lockout — a pre-emptive move with the NHLPA considering a “disclaimer of interest.” The league also files an unfair labour practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.

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Dec. 12-13 — Two days of meetings with Beckenbaugh produce no progress.

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Dec. 10 — The NHL cancels regular-season games through Dec. 30, bringing the total number wiped away to 526. That represents 42.8 per cent of the season.

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Dec. 6 — After the NHLPA delivers a new proposal to the league, Donald Fehr tells reporters a deal is imminent. He returns shortly after to say the NHL has rejected the offer and pulled its own off the table. A visibly angry Bettman holds a lengthy news conference and scolds Fehr for raising hopes.

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Dec. 5 — The sides exchange new proposals during a lengthy session and agree for the first time on the economic aspect of the deal: $300 million in deferred payments and a 50-50 split of revenue. The NHL also drops proposed changes to unrestricted free agency, entry-level contracts and arbitration. The talks are tense and see a member from the NHL side tell players that bringing Donald Fehr back to the table could be a deal-breaker.

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