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Bettman: NHL “not even focused” on CBA

Nov 14, 2011, 7:17 PM EDT

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Gary Bettman Getty Images

The NBA might be on the verge of losing its season to a labor dispute, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman isn’t worried about the expiring CBA (Sept. 12, 2012) between the league and players union.

“We’re not even focused on it,” Bettman told Sportsnet today. “(The NHLPA) have a new executive director … Don Fehr has been on his fall tour; he has told us with the learning curve he has to go through that he, at the earliest, won’t be ready to focus on collective bargaining at least until the all-star break.”

I don’t think NHL fans should be too worried about a labor stoppage. The league is in a different place than it was before the 2004-05 lockout. There are still franchises in financial trouble, but overall things are much more positive.

In stark contrast, you could see the NBA lockout coming a mile away.

The NHL’s negotiations are bound to be more like the NFL’s this past summer. There may be some strong words thrown back and forth, but at the end of the day there are too many people making money to justify a labor stoppage.

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