With the collective bargaining agreement set to expire on Sept. 15, the on-again, off-again NHL-NHLPA contract talks may be back on according to Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips.
The Ottawa Sun reports Phillips, a member of the NHLPA's bargaining committee, confirmed Tuesday the union will pick up the phone to let NHL commissioner Gary Bettman know it’s willing to come back to the table.
“I don’t know if it’s anyone’s court,” said Phillips following an informal skate at the Bell Sensplex.
“We’ve made it clear, and I know we’ll reach out again this week to say, ‘We’re here, we’re available if you want to talk’ because we know nothing is going to get it done if everyone is sitting on the sidelines.”
Hockey fans hopeful of avoiding a lockout were disheartened when the NHL's latest offer of 46% of revenues was rejected after both parties agreed to 57% in 2005's deal. Phillips told the Sun he was trying to stay positive and was “optimistic” a deal could still get done before Sept. 15.