Union continues review of NHL's new offer

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In what could be a record for the longest time that a sports move is spent "under review," the NHL Players' Association is still poring over the latest collective bargaining agreement proposal submitted by the NHL.

Details of the proposal were discussed Saturday in conference calls that included representatives from the league and the union, and the sides are expected to continue at least an informal exchange today. Whether that leads to formal bargaining isn't clear but apparently is a good possibility.

Penguins forward Craig Adams, the team's union representative, said he was "not sure where we are after [Saturday]" and that he did not "know if everything was covered and clarified or if there is more to do."

The league and the union previously had formal talks Dec. 13 with the aid of a federal mediator.

The NHL, somewhat surprisingly, handed over a reworked proposal late Thursday that moved in the players' direction on several contract issues. The offer is roughly 300 pages.

Whether the NHLPA crafts a full counterproposal or opts to negotiate off of the league's most recent offer remains to be seen.

It is believed the league has decided that a shortened season of 48 games can be played only if a new CBA is in place, the lockout is lifted and games can begin by Jan. 19. There would need to be a short training camp before that. The schedule has been canceled through Jan. 14.

That leaves only a bit of wiggle room for negotiating before the NHL might cancel the 2012-13 season.

The lockout began in mid-September when the most recent CBA expired. The previous NHL work stoppage, also a lockout, wiped out the 2004-05 season.

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For much more on the Penguins, read the Pens Plus blog with Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1721 or Twitter: @pgshelly.


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