Bettman believes NHL’s CBA proposals “need serious consideration for us to move forward”

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The NHL and players’ union met on Wednesday with 15 players in attendance.

“I’ve been in a couple of these, and this is the most players that we’ve had,” Brandon Dubinsky said, according to a report from Jesse Spector of the Sporting News. “So I think that the players are together, and I think that we all want to play hockey this year.”

They were perhaps drawn to the event by the NHL’s first CBA proposal.

“Obviously, we’ve made some proposals,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “And they’re proposals that we believe need serious consideration for us to move forward. … We’re devoting as much time as the union wants in this process and we’re going to work very hard to work it through. … I’m focused on making a deal, not what’s going to happen if we don’t. I’m not even exploring what we might or might not do on September 15.”

For his part, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr doesn’t see a need to shut the NHL down even if there’s no agreement by Sept. 15.

The NHL’s initial proposal worried some members of the media and, it seems, at least one industry insider. However, the players appeared to be taking a measured approach.

“I think everybody’s expecting us to say how upset and disappointed we were in there, but it’s a negotiation,” said Dubinsky. “That was their starting point.”

That’s true and let’s remember that both sides still have plenty of time to come to an agreement before we have to start worrying about losing games.