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Bruins' Thornton: NHL 'not willing to negotiate'

Posted by Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff  October 26, 2012 02:39 PM

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Bruins winger Shawn Thornton today accused the NHL of 'strongarm' tactics, following the announcement this afternoon that the league has wiped out all games through Nov. 30.

Thornton, contacted by Toronto-based Josh Rimer (@joshrimerhockey), noted his frustration over a Collective Bargaining process that has yet to yield an agreement between the league's owners and players.

"We keep trying to meet," Thornton said, tweeted by @joshrimerhockey. "They keep declining. They are obviously not willing to negotiate."

"They would rather put the game in jeopardy and try to strongarm us and shake us down."

The league has been in lockout, the third in its history, since the CBA expired on the evening of Sept. 15. The NHL's latest offer, made public last Tuesday, was withdrawn just hours before the league today announced the cancellation of all games through Nov. 30. The league made that offer in hopes of finalizing an agreement by this week and beginning a full 82-game season by Nov. 2.

The Players' Association last Thursday, responding to the league's offer some 48 hours earlier, tried to engage the league in dialogue over what it portrayed as three counteroffers to the NHL proposal. The league dismissed those three proposals within minutes and earlier this week declined a PA invitation to resume talks.

With today's cancellations, the league now has erased 326 regular games, or 26.2 percent, from the 1,230-game regular-season schedule. If play were to resume at the start of December, the existing schedule would have the Bruins begin the season Dec. at TD Garden at 7 p.m., against the Sabres.

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