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Did Gary Bettman just set NHL lockout date?

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman took a hard line on CBA talks. (Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

As the NHL and NHLPA negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, commissioner Gary Bettman has thrown a time-frame to the mix.

From ProHockeyTalk.com:

“We reiterated to the union that the owners will not play another year under the current agreement,” Bettman told reporters following Thursday’s meetings.

This statement is significant regarding the agreement’s expiration — Sept. 15. The owners’ stance on not extending the current bargaining agreement means it’s essentially a lockout date.

Previously, NHLPA boss Donald Fehr stated Sept. 15 “is not a magic date unless someone wants to make it so.”

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