- Pierre LeBrun, NHL
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The NHL Players' Association sent a letter to members of Canadian Parliament earlier this week updating them on the status of the NHL lockout.
The letter, dated Nov. 19, was sent, according to a union source, because the NHLPA is aware that constituents in those Canadian ridings represented by those members of Parliament are getting questions about the lockout.
Written by NHLPA director of hockey operations Alexandra Dagg, the letter states about the NHL that "they continue to insist that they will not move off their 'take-it-or-leave it' approach to bargaining. The players have proposed that their share of hockey-related revenue move towards the NHL's stated desire for a 50-50 split, with the only condition being that they honour contracts they have already signed. Honouring contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request.
"We have repeatedly advised the owners that the players are prepared to sit down and negotiate on any day, with no pre-conditions.
"To be clear, the lockout was a unilateral decision taken by the owners. It is the third lockout in eighteen years. Hockey has lost more games to work stoppages than the three other professional sports leagues combined, virtually all as the result of owners' lockouts."
It is expected, another source told ESPN.com on Wednesday, that the NHL will respond with a letter of its own to Canadian Parliament.
The NHLPA letter goes on to say that the players' union understands the damage caused by the lockout.
"The players understand the selfishness of the owners' lockout position all too well. Countless people -- from league and team employees, to hockey fans, to small business owners and their workers -- are suffering unnecessarily as a result."
The letter ends with examples of how the NHLPA has reached out to people affected by the lockout to help them out.
7dScott Burnside and Craig Custance