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01-04-2013, 11:24 AM
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Where did all the Gary Bettman defenders go, anyway?

The union believes the league’s stance changed after PA executive director Don Fehr decided against filing a disclaimer of interest at Wednesday’s midnight deadline that would have sent the dispute into court. The PA believes the NHL pulled a bait and switch in the immediate aftermath of Fehr’s continued commitment to the collective bargaining process.

The NHL, we’re told, attempted a late change in the language regarding penalties for clubs caught hiding Hockey Related Revenue (HRR) through audits by the NHLPA.

The previous CBA, and previous proposals, stipulated that clubs in violation of HRR-reporting requirements would be fined $1M plus the loss of one first-round draft pick for a first offense, with a second offense carrying a fine of $5M plus three first-round picks.

The NHL on Thursday attempted to change that so that Bettman himself would decide all the penalties. The league withdrew the changes when the PA objected.

And in one that is all but impossible to believe but has been confirmed by several sources, the NHL also has proposed that it be allowed to re-open the CBA if an arbitrator confirms an NHLPA audit that the league is hiding a substantial amount of HRR, with the amount pegged at 2-percent.

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Gary Bettman is continuing to drive this process into the ditch. At least Deadspin gave him the "Worst Commissioner in Sports" title.

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