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Former Canucks owner: League’s recent stance “disregards the growth in the game”

Dec 11, 2012, 8:11 PM EDT

Arthur Griffiths

Arthur Griffiths used to own the Vancouver Canucks, but he seems to be mostly siding with the players these days, based on a recent interview with CBC.

That’s especially true now that the players have agreed to a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues, plus Make Whole back before it was taken off the table. However, the owners balked at the NHLPA’s latest proposal, in part because they firmly want player contracts to be capped at five years.

Griffiths expressed his disappointment in the meltdown of negotiations last week.

“The owners have suddenly come back to the table and found this solidarity that disregards the growth in the game,” Griffiths said. He also feels that the league’s actions ignore that some markets were beginning to show the progress they want.

Griffiths thinks that the NHL season has to start by about the second week of January at the latest, which means that a new CBA would have to be agreed to within the next two weeks. That contrasts Dan Cleary‘s prediction that the two sides still have about a month to work something out.

Griffiths said that losing the season would be a “horrible, horrible, horrible black mark on the sport” and would make it hard for the NHL to get fans back, particularly in the markets where they’re not as passionate about hockey.

The good news is Griffiths is still optimistic about the chances of the NHL and union saving the season despite the rapidly approaching deadline.

The NHL and NHLPA are set to meet again tomorrow and mediators will be present.

If you want to watch CBC’s interview with Griffiths, you can do so below:

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