Commissioner Bettman says formal CBA talks with players’ union haven’t started

TAMPA, Fla. – NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says formal negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement with the players’ association haven’t started.

Bettman said there is contact on a regular basis with the union, and he thinks talks will begin “sooner rather than later, but we’re not there yet.”

The NHL’s current CBA is set to expire in September.

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Bettman addressed the topic between the first and second periods of Tuesday night’s game between Ottawa and Tampa Bay.

Also, Bettman said efforts to find a group to buy the Phoenix Coyotes with the intention of keeping the team in Arizona remains a work in progress.

“There are some very serious people taking a very serious look at it,” he said.