38 days: NHL confirms lockout will happen without new deal on Sept. 15

(SB Nation) -- NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr has said all along that his union would be willing to continue on under the current collective bargaining agreement should they not be able to come to a new deal with the league by its Sept. 15 expiration date, but that's always seemed like a far-fetched possibility.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman left little room for doubt on that Thursday, telling the assembled media after a short bargaining session in New York that the league will not play another season under the current agreement. If Sept. 15 comes and there's no deal in place, we're heading to a lockout.

According to the Sporting News, Fehr remarked that the Players' Association will finally send a counter-proposal to the league on Tuesday, after which it's expected that negotiations will really get serious. Fehr said that revenue sharing continues to be a hot topic and that there's a "meaningful gulf" separating the league and the union on that issue.

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