After more than 100 days after the NHL/NHLPA CBA talks began, the two sides have finally decided it’s time to negotiate.
The National Hockey League, under the guidance of commissioner Gary Bettman, has proposed a 50/50 split amongst hockey related revenue (HRR) with the NHLPA. With this proposal, Bettman is attempting to save the 82-game schedule, with it expected to start on November 2nd, if the NHLPA agrees.
With fans sighing with relief that at least one side has made a move, all is not quiet on the home front. The current split is at 57% in favor of the players, which (without doing the math) tells you with this new proposal, the players will lose money, wether all at once or long-term.
So what could possibly hold the players’ association back from accepting this slice of pie, besides the 7% decrease in possible income? Well, there’s more to this proposal than a 50/50 split of HHR. Here is some of the fine print:
- Five-year limit on long-term contracts. As of right now, there aren’t any limits.
- Salary arbitration stays the same.
- Unrestricted Free Agency would begin at the age of 28 and/or eight years of a NHL term.
- Entry-level contracts would be extended from three years to four.
So, what does Don Fehr and the players have to say? Not too much; at least, not for now. As much as we would have enjoyed the NHLPA to announce they’re acceptance to the proposal today, that was definitely a long shot in the dark. The NHLPA did announce that they will respond to the NHL’s proposal within 48 hours, so sometime on Wednesday or Thursday (hopefully). Fehr also mentioned that, if the new proposal is agreed upon, the deal would last at least six years.
Again, after 100 days, we have lift off to a possible end in the lockout.
– Photo courtesy of: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images