Fed­erer says he will cut sched­ule

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - By sam Carchidi Philadel­phia inquirer

Roger Fed­erer says he won’t play as of­ten in the next few years but wants to com­pete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The 31-year-old Swiss star fin­ished the sea­son ranked No. 2 in the world.

About a half hour af­ter Don­ald Fehr said the la­bor war be­tween the NHL was al­most over, it seemed to get blood­ier Thurs­day night.

While Fehr, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the NHL Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, was paint­ing a rosy pic­ture dur­ing a news con­fer­ence in New York and say­ing the sides had “a com­plete agree­ment on dol­lars,” the NHLPA was re­ceiv­ing a voice mail from the league, telling it that the union’s pro­posal was re­jected.

The lock­out lives. The NHL sea­son stays dark. Fact is, the sea­son may be headed to­ward its death if you lis­ten to Gary Bettman, the NHL’s be­lea­guered com­mis­sioner.

Speak­ing in a con­trolled but irate tone, Bettman said all of the NHL’s “make whole” pro­posal of $300 mil­lion — the money would go to­ward guar­an­tee­ing play­ers’ con­tracts — has come “off the ta­ble.” He added that own­ers who at­tended some meet­ings this week told him “the process is over.”

Bettman spoke af­ter the NHL re­jected a pro­posal from the play­ers’ union.

“It comes as a dis­ap­point­ment, ob­vi­ously,” Fehr said dur­ing the 82nd night of the lock­out. “The next move is to talk to the mem­ber­ship and fig­ure out what we do from there.”

Bettman said he was “dis­ap­pointed be­yond be­lief” and that “we’ll take a deep breath and try to re­group.”

Ac­cord­ing to Bettman, the union was “shock­ingly silent” when the league upped its “make whole” of­fer from $211 mil­lion to $300 mil­lion on Wed­nes­day.

“The own­ers were be­side them­selves,” he said. “Some of them, I’ve never seen so emo­tional. (They) told me the process is over.”

Ten min­utes be­fore he was aware of the voice mail that said the league had re­jected the play­ers’ of­fer, Fehr said he be­lieved a col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment would soon be signed.

Bettman called that view “al­most in­com­pre­hen­si­ble” and that it’s “not the first time (Fehr) said we’re close when we weren’t.” He added that the last time Fehr said the sides were close, “we were a bil­lion dol­lars apart.”

Fehr’s pos­i­tive spin was odd be­cause ear­lier in the day, the union said it wanted fed­eral me­di­a­tors to in­ter­vene again, hint­ing there were ne­go­ti­at­ing prob­lems.

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