PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After several days of progress, the talks amongst NHL players and owners are off again.

Some fans had high hopes for the talks and others have called it “millionaires versus millionaires.”

But NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said optimism started to fade Wednesday afternoon.

During a press conference Thursday night, Bettman said a long-term contract is desired and that it’s what the fans and players deserve.

He said the owners put a new $100 million on the table to prove how serious they are about reaching an agreement.

CBS News reports, however, that Union Chief Donald Fehr says they received word via voicemail that their offer was unacceptable.

“There was a great deal of optimism, good communication and hope,” Bettman said. “That sense of optimism, though, was something that almost inexplicably disappeared.”

Fehr said they were told there was no reason to stay around for meetings until the weekend and that the players would be in touch.

More games will be postponed and fans will have to continue to wait to see players on the ice.

Our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a statement from Penguins owner Ron Berkle Friday.

“I believe a deal was within reach, we were therefore surprised when the Fehrs made a unilateral and ‘non-negotiable’ decision — which is their right, to end the player/owner process that has moved us farther in two days than we moved at any time in the past months,” part of the statement read.

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Heather Abraham