NHL: Is The Lockout Over?
That's the deadline the NHL has given the NHLPA under its new CBA proposal offered this afternoon. If the NHLPA accepts the new proposal, the NHL will squeeze in a full 82-game schedule with the Stanley Cup awarded in late June.
From The Canadian Press - "The new deal calls for a 50-50 split of the revenues between the owners and players and includes a deferred salaray plan designed to ensure that players would receive all the money they've been promised in existing contracts."
The players, if they accepted the 50-50 split, would drop 7.5% from the previous CBA which would be a loss of $231M based on the $3.3B league-wide revenues. Corey Schneider is one of the many NHL'ers who have been left to 'fend for themselves':
"To Bettman, the percentage is the biggest part," said Schneider. "To us, it's one of the few big parts. Contracting and revenue-sharing are other issues for us. But (the percentage) is a hurdle that has to be overcome at some point. So it's good that we're heading in the right direction."
The few meetings that have happened in the last couple weeks have done little to move along the already painful process of this lockout, but those discussions have been largely limited to secondary issues such as ice conditions and drug testing. This is the first formal proposal since September 12, and it not only gives a new 50-50 split, up from the owners original number of a 47% share for the players, but also calls for unrestricted free agency to come into effect at age 28 or after eight years of service (one year later than the last CBA) and keeps entry-level deals at three years (which the owners had wanted to make 5 years). The only thing that remains the same from the owners original proposal is a maximum contract length of 5 years.
NHLPA Executive Director, Donald Fehr, reviewed the lengthy proposal on Tuesday afternoon and held a conference call with some 60 players to go over the offer.
"I would like to believe that it will be an excellent starting point and we can go forward and see if there is a deal to be made," said Fehr.
So, the NHL has finally caved to the waiting game that the NHLPA has been playing for over a month. With players bailing to play overseas and threatening to not come back if the owners cut salaries to lower the salary cap, it seems the owners have cracked under pressure. According to Gary Bettman, this deal should be 'long-term' if the NHLPA decides to agree with the offer.
The NHLPA has 10 days to figure out its next move before the deadline for a full season has passed. The PA will most likely counter, but with a 50-50 split to work with now, it looks like a season is going to happen. It's just a matter of when.
There's a lot of misinformation out there right now, so I will have more tomorrow.
Photo Credit: The Canadian Press