10/17/2012 01:27 EDT | Updated 12/17/2012 05:12 EST

Players' rep Fehr responds to NHL offer with little enthusiasm

A day after the NHL offered a 50-50 revenue split, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr was less than enthusiastic in a letter sent to his membership and player agents on Wednesday.

In the letter, which was leaked to TSN, Fehr explains that the proposal "represents very large, immediate and continuing concessions by players to owners."

"Simply put, the owners' new proposal, while not quite as draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights."

Fehr said he wonders what the owners will offer in return for the salary reductions.

"As you will see, at the five per cent industry growth rate the owners predict, the salary reduction over six years exceeds $1.6 billion US. What do the owners offer in return?"

Hockey Night in Canada'sElliotte Friedman wrote that after Tuesday's players' conference call, the membership was uncertain about several issues. Some of the hardliners are skeptical, especially since the NHL set the original bar so low that any offer would look good. Plus, Tuesday's submission means a smaller share of the hockey-related revenue pie and contract concessions.

The NHLPA is expected to offer a formal response to the proposal when the sides meet again on Thursday in Toronto.