NEW YORK (AP) -- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the league is prepared to lock out its players if a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached by Sept. 15, when the current deal expires.
Bettman says time is running out and that the league reminded the NHL Players' Association during talks Thursday that owners are not prepared to enter a new season under the current deal.
Bettman added that there is a "wide gap" on numerous issues.
NHLPA executive director Don Fehr has maintained the two sides can continue discussions beyond Sept. 15, and there is no need for the league to lock out its players.
Fehr did acknowledge there's "a meaningful gulf" between the two sides.
The NHLPA is scheduled to present a counteroffer when talks resume in Toronto next week.
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