Fehr, NFL players fear lockout looming

The Sports Xchange

The threat of an NHL lockout appears to be getting closer.

Backed by nearly 300 players Thursday in New York that included Sidney Crosby, union head Donald Fehr said at a news conference that the players would like to play while negotiations continue with owners over a new collective bargaining agreement but that a lockout before the Saturday deadline appears inevitable.

???The players want to find a way to make an agreement,??? Fehr said. ???They want to negotiate until we do.???

Fehr added that was surprised and disappointed with the owners??? position and their apparent resignation to a shutdown. The NHL???s current offer allows for increased revenue sharing with the players, but Fehr said the proposal calls for a 17 percent pay reduction.

"We'd like an agreement that stabilizes this industry, allows markets that need to grow to grow," Fehr said. "Hockey is poised, I think, to really move over next couple of years."

Crosby said, "A lockout is kind of what they're looking for."

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