For the second straight season, there are labor problems in the world of professional indoor lacrosse.
The Buffalo Bandits have canceled training camp, which was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in Marine Midland Arena, because the National Lacrosse League Players' Association has advised its members not to attend.
"We don't have any agreement regarding (insurance)," said one player source, who requested anonymity. "What if I get hurt badly? Am I covered? I don't know, nobody really knows. It's just too risky."
The source said negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement between the NLLPA and the new NLL ownership group have bogged down.
"We're far apart on the amount we want per game and the amount they're offering right now," the source said. "Their latest proposal has guys, veteran guys, being forced to take a pay cut. We were told we'd get more money when the new league became a reality. Now, the money's just not on the table. We don't understand."
The source said the league is proposing paying the players on a "tier" system -- based on performance -- rather than the seniority system the Major Indoor Lacrosse League used in the past.
"The 'franchise' player on each team would get $1,000 a game and that's a big increase from last year for sure," the source said. "But they're proposing $11,000 total of each team per game per payroll. That's for 17 dressing and six non-dressing players. Take away the franchise player's $1,000 and $150 for each of the guys who don't dress and that leaves a little more than $9,000 for 16 guys. Do the math. That's not much of an increase."
Sixth-year players received $525 per game last year in the MILL. Last year, the MILL season was threatened when the Players' Association and ownership couldn't reach a contract until Thanksgiving Eve. Had the impasse lasted through the holiday weekend, MILL owners said at the time they would have canceled last season.
When asked if he felt this season were in jeopardy, the player source said, "At this point, I feel it is."
The season is scheduled to begin Jan. 3.