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Full season unlikely with no labor talks scheduled: Bettman

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the media in New York September 13, 2012. The league and the players collective bargaining agreement
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the media in New York September 13, 2012. The league and the players collective bargaining agreement

By Edith Honan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A full 82-game National Hockey League (NHL) season in 2012-13 was becoming increasingly unlikely because of the lack of progress between the league and union representing its locked-out players, Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Wednesday.

The NHL, which locked out its players over a month ago when the previous collective bargaining agreement expired, had set Thursday as a deadline to reach a new labor deal that would allow a full season to open November 2.

But Bettman, speaking at a news conference to announce the New York Islanders' plans to move to Brooklyn [ID:nL3E8LO6G9], said the prospects were dim with time running out.

"The union has chosen not to engage on our proposal or to make a new proposal of their own so unfortunately it looks like the 82-game season is not going to be a reality," he said.

"And although the clock still has a little bit of time to run things seem to be not progressing as we would like and we are disappointed."

The NHL presented a six-year offer to the NHL Players' Association last week that proposed an equal split of hockey-related revenue.

The offer was contingent on the sides reaching an agreement by Thursday so teams could hold a one-week training camp starting Friday.

The union offered three counter-proposals last week that the league quickly shot down, saying later that all failed to approach a 50-50 revenue split.

The NHL, which has already canceled the first three weeks of the regular season as part of a work stoppage that has cost it about $250 million in lost revenue, locked out players after failing to agree on how to split a $3.3 billion revenue pie.

No talks were scheduled between the league and union.

(Writing by Frank Pingue; Editing by Julian Linden)

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