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Monday, April 4, 2005
Updated: April 6, 9:13 PM ET
NHLPA does not offer counterproposal

Associated Press

TORONTO -- The NHL players' union rejected two league proposals Monday during a seven-hour meeting aimed at trying to end a lockout that shut down the season.

The NHL, meantime, filed a second charge against the union with the National Labor Relations Board, this time challenging the threat of decertification for agents representing replacement players.

"The players' association began today's meeting by rejecting the two proposals made by the NHL on March 17," the last time the sides met, said NHL executive vice president Bill Daly.

The first was a team-by-team, $37.5 million salary cap deal that did not have a fixed link between player costs and league revenues; the second was based on linkage, with player costs taking up no more than 54 percent of league revenues.

There was no counterproposal from the union.

Both sides agreed to talk again later this week, Daly said.

The union's senior director, Ted Saskin, also said he expected the sides "to set up future discussions."

The NHLPA has warned agents, although not in writing, that they faced possible decertification if they represented any player crossing the line to be a replacement player.

The NHL hinted at the use of replacement players at a March 1 board of governors meeting and planned to revisit the issue at an April 20 meeting in New York.

The league's first charge against the union was filed with the NLRB on March 25 and involved a policy that appears to financially penalize members who become replacement players.

Attending the latest meeting were NHLPA president Trevor Linden and the players' executive committee. The ownership group was led by chairman of the board Harley Hotchkiss of the Calgary Flames and included New Jersey Devils general manager and CEO Lou Lamoriello.

They joined NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Daly and Saskin.

The NHL became the first major American sports league to cancel an entire season in February because of the lockout.