NHL Tables a Real Offer

 

 

Word across twitter currently is the NHL has stepped up to the table with a legitimate offer to the NHPA this morning. Details are still filtering through but it seems the main points are:

1.) A 50/50 split of hockey related revenue. Apparently the split is based on current definititions of HRR, which short circuits a lot of potential new fights and headaches.

2.) The league would strive for a full 82-game schedule to be played this year (starting Nov. 2).

This is the first ray of light to break through the heavy clouds of posturing and rhetoric that has hung over the NHL’s labour negotiations this off-season. The league dropping a re-definition of HRR and breaking the 50% mark is a big potential step forward. Indications that the league could still squeeze in a full schedule are also encouraging.

There are, of course, far more details and issues to work out, including how the league plans to cut the players down from 57% of revenues to 50%. Fehr and the NHLPA have been very resistant to deep salary rollbacks to existing contracts, so that could be a primary roadblock. Darren Dreger has more on that issue here

In addition, it’s unknown how other contract issues were changed or affected by the NHL’s proposal (UFA age, entry level contract status, amnesty buy-out clauses, etc.).

Still, it feels like the two groups might actually start talking about real solutions here…

  • T&A4Flames

    I keep hearing about the players wanting a partnership with the NHL. Can someone explain to me where the players side of that lies? A partnership, to me, means sharing both risk and reward. I hear the players “wants” on the rewards side of things, but what risks are they putting up? Is Syd Crosby or Alex Ovechkin going to put up a % of their salaries to help the struggling teams and therefore help keep their bretheren working?

    It’s a serious question, so if someone has anything on this please explain. Thanks.

    • Because salaries are capped by total revenues, the partnership is de facto: if the league loses money or has lousy growth, the players suffer as a matter of course. So they’d naturally desire a relationship where they can help steer or determine certain aspects of the league that will lead to more dollars and bigger growth because that will result in bigger salaries.

      The risks NHL players endure aren’t necessarily in the business arena, at least not when it comes to the big picture, CBA stuff. NHLers forgo other career opportunities, put themselves at risk for chronic, debilitating injury and are subject to all sorts of other pressures that are necessary aspects of being a pro athlete (difficult travel schedules, time away from family, risk of being traded to another team/city at a moments notice, etc.). Even then, the average NHL career is just 5 years long.

      Many are well compensated for their troubles, of course, but that’s because they bring tremendous value to their clubs – not just as “employees”, but as “the product” as well.

      • T&A4Flames

        Thanks Justin and Kent. I still don’t see the true risk for the players, though. I understand that they put their health at risk for the good of the product but all jobs have a degree of risk that way. My employer doesn’t share profits because of risk, that’s where insurance comes in, which I understand my employer pays.

        The players want the owners to step up and help the struggling teams. They blame the owners for paying to high of salaries but the players themselves, along with their agents, have facilitated that problem. I’ve said it before, the NHL is a competitive business who’s business is to be competitive. If they don’t cave somewhat to the demands of players, they will fall into irrelevancy and risk losing their fan base/customers.

        IMO the players need to give somewhat in the financial risk in order to completely give to the “partnership” idea.

        • beloch

          see, but the product is the players. normally the workforce isn’t the moneymaker – here it is.

          blaming players or their agents for taking money extended to them is kind of unfair.

          • T&A4Flames

            Oh, I’m not blaming them, solely. I just don’t like that they blame the owners for the mess they are in when they have as much to do with it. They say they want a “partnership” but they don’t offer any solutions to the problem of rising player costs. They are as much to blame. I would want as much as I could get as well. So, from a players perspective, what’s the solution?

  • beloch

    Forget the finepoints & probable nasty small print, the Owners effectively removed some big teeth from the NHLPA. Being first one to come out with the 50/50 split is a huge public brownee point. The players are really in a corner & for any reason a deal doesnt get done, the NHLPA image will take a huge hit. Great tactic by the Owners.

  • beloch

    basically

    “here, we’ll give you more money but the new money we make isn’t going to be included and oh you have to wait longer till you’re a ufa now. lol”

  • beloch

    I really want to get enthusiastic about this deal, but I’m going to wait until we get some kind of reaction out of the NHLPA. It’s entirely too probable that they’ll make a counter-offer for 56.95%.

  • Sean Gentille has more on the salary rollback problem/solution:

    Bettman wouldn’t go into detail on how the proposed escrow system would work, or how the players’ revenue share would drop from 57 to 50 percent next season. It’s effectively impossible for that to happen on its own, especially if the definition of hockey-related revenue remains the same—which, according to The Fourth Period, is the case.

    ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, though, has some important news—the proposal has a provision to “protect” (quotes his) players from initial salary reductions. That plan, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger: Calculate the salary players lose because of the drop, and pay it back to them over time.