NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters Thursday afternoon that there will not be a 2012-13 NHL season without a new collective bargaining agreement in place, according to Matthew Cotts of CTVNews.ca. In a press conference following a two-hour meeting with the NHL's board of governors Bettman said that "We've had seven years of incredible competitive balance," according to Cotts. Bettman went on to say that "the game on the ice has never been better. But I'm not going to apologize for saying we need to adjust [the current system]."
Representatives of the NHLPA and the owners were in negotiations Wednesday, while at the same time the NHLPA held meetings with almost 300 players to discuss the state of the situation. Union head Donald Fehr says that the league is asking for a 17 percent cut in player salaries, and it doesn't sound as if the players are going to accept that anytime soon. Bettman stated that the offer will be on the table until 11:59 Saturday night, at which time the players will be locked out if a deal is not reached.