18/10/2012 § Leave a comment

Since day 1 of the CBA negotiations I have been confident a deal would be reached, simply because there’s a deal out there and both sides have intelligent people guiding them. Unfortunately, egos, gamesmanship, common sense, public relations, etc. has gotten in the way of meaningful negotiations – until now.

The NHL offered up a third proposal with what I believe is a genuine attempt from their side to get hockey going again. It’s more than a starting point; it’s a template of what needs to be implemented. The players can counter with some modifications and negotiations can ensue but if the players try to reinvent the wheel, as they’ve done this entire lockout, well then we might as well call it a year.

Today is critical. The NHLPA has to make some concessions and move forward. The reality is that 50/50 will happen maybe not this year or next year but in the very near future. It’s the industry standard and the NHLPA would be wise to realize this sooner rather than later instead of calling it a massive concession.

The next week is crucial. Here are my early predictions as far as what you can expect.


Today the NHLPA will counter the NHL using the NHL’s template. Bettman will claim they are still “very far apart” but negotiations will begin. You will see some modest concessions from the players in this offer. Perhaps a 53/47 split in Year one shifting towards 50/50 (if they don’t get to a 50/50 number it will be an insult to the NHL).

Once the split is determined there are several key issues still to workout. In order:

1)      Where will the salary players lose this year come from

  1. Currently the NHL has proposed a “players paying players” concept, which I’m sure will need some tweaking. Players will lose $220 million this year. If the owners can fork out half of that over the next 5 years I feel like an agreement can be reached.

2)      Contract Length

  1. The league wants 5 year maximum contracts. Expect it to be 7 when it’s all said and done. The players will fight this until the bitter end.

3)      Salary Arbitration

  1. The league wants this to be an option after 5 years (4 years under the old CBA) It will stay at 4 years.

4)      Entry-Level and UFA Status

  1. The NHL currently wants 2 years of entry-level and 8 years before you become a UFA. Expect it to stay at 3 years and 7 years (the same as the old CBA).

Finally as far as the revenue sharing goes (the big issue):

Year 1: 52/48

Year 2: 51/49

Year 3 and beyond: 50/50

This results in the players conceeding a lot and the owners not changing certain clauses from the last CBA. Advantage owners. They owners may have to give a bit more but I wouldn’t be expecting a lot more than what I’ve just put out there – whether its now, Jan 1st, or next summer.

No matter what side your on – we’re all wanting hockey back. Let’s hope this is the beginning.


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