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December 7, 2012 | 10:58am ET
Winnik surprised by turn of events
TheFourthPeriod.com

Anaheim Ducks forward Daniel Winnik stood back and watched as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman explained the League's decision to reject the NHLPA's latest proposal.

To say he was surprised might be an understatement.

Winnik, who has been part of the NHLPA's negotiating committee since the start of the lockout, was confused that the League was so quick to reject the Players' latest offer.

"They asked us to address their three main issues," Winnik told the Orange County Register. "And that's what we thought we were doing today. We didn't know (that) by us not completely agreeing to what they want ... that's it.

"I should say we didn't think it would lead to that."

The NHL's initial offer was based on a 10-year agreement, with an opt-out clause after eight years. The NHLPA proposed an eight-year deal, with a six-year opt-out.

The NHLPA also proposed an eight-year max on player contracts (the NHL offered a five-year max, with seven years to re-signing your own free agents).

The Players' offer also addressed the variability of a player's contract (the annual amount a salary can increase). The NHLPA proposed that the last year of deal cannot be 25 per cent less than the highest year of the deal. The NHL offered to have a five per cent variant.

The two sides did not agree on transition rules, nor have they discussed it, that apply to how the $300 million gets paid back to the players.

"This is clearly their boldest move they've made," Winnik said. "And to think that if everything's off the table and everything that was done since June or the first time we met is all gone, it is insane to me.

"That's just insane to think that any progress we made is gone because we refused to accept those contracting rights."


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