The NHLPA’s Recent Offer

The players union unveiled a new CBA offer this morning. It is fairly comprehensive and, unlike some of their previous offerings, has a sound basis for negotiation (from a league perspective, naturally).

The most significant movement is on the issue of player share of hockey reltaed revenue. The players accept an immediate 50/50 with the stipulation that the teams "make whole" existing contracts to he tune of $393 million spread over four years:

  • 2012/13 $ 182 M
  • 2013/14 $ 128 M
  • 2014/15 $ 72 M
  • 2015/16 $ 11 M

That number and schedule represents the first potential tripping point. The second is an additional provision that "in years two through five of this Agreement, the players’ share in dollars may not be less than it was in the previous year." Meaning the players want guaranteed protection in case of negative growth (perhaps in response to this lock-out?). While the league grew at about 6-7% annually under the previous CBA and both parties have been assuming about 5% growth this time around, I doubt the owners will accept that sort of clause to slip through the cracks. If the fans take an extended hiatus from the game in response to this labour strife or if extrenal economic forces put downward pressure on the NHL’s revenue growth, then the players split of the revenue in years 2-5 necessarily climbs above 50% as a result of this guarantee.Related, the PA demands the upper cap limit not fall below $67.25M in any years of the agreement.

The NHL will likely negotiate off of the "make whole" request, but expect them to reject a guaranteed players share out of hand.

Other interesting bits

– NHL re-entry waivers eliminated, so teams can recall guys who have been sent to the minors without fear of them being claimed by other teams.

– Contracts over $1M that are relegated to the minors or Europe will count against a team’s caps but not against the players share.

– Clubs may not buy-out players whose cap hit is below $3M.

– An elimination of back-diving contracts, but only applicable to deals over 9 years in length and to new contracts signed going forward.

There’s much more, so make sure to click the link to the proposal above.

Overall, there are some obvious problem areas which will require further negotiation to get by: primairly, the players share of monies with the addition of "guarantee" clauses isn’t going to fly. In addition, the union’s rather limp attempt to limit front-loaded contracts probably won’t pass muster either.

Still, it seems there might be a basis for talks here. Now we must wait to see how the league responds this afternoon.

  • vetinari

    It’s not just the distribution of money that the owners will hate… the lack of any cap on the length of player contracts will tick them off and there is really nothing on entry level contracts… so, instead of worrying about the 2012-13 season, can we discuss how the 2013 draft is going to work?

    Also, can we register our protest by temporarily changing the name of the website to “BaronsNation” until this mess ends?

  • Derzie

    Fehr is leading the lambs to slaughter. Bettman is everything Ian White believes. The NHL is a mess. Success is killing them. Cancel the season. A cup with a * for a shortened season is disrespecting the trophy. As for the Oiler draft picks, how many Fab numbers will it take to get out of the basement? Fab9? 10? Seems 5 is not enough. No one is arguing that the Oilers are not picking great players. Their incestuous hiring (Kreuger anyone?)and team direction is a guarantee they will lose the stars to free agency before they win a thing. I’m a Flames fan who actually likes the Oilers and wants them to do well but they have Leafs syndrome. No motivation to try if the seats are full.

  • Captain Ron

    Mr. Derzie

    If that’s not the pot calling the kettle black.

    Leafs syndrome? How about holding on to a few good players, and not supporting them until they are too old, and then holding on some more?

    And then thinking you can win? That’s the Leafs my friend. Or the Flames. At least at some point the Oilers saw the light at the end of the tunnel, coming straight for them.

    Flames, not so much. Just needed an offensive defenseman with crappy underlying numbers and an unheralded European to set things right.

    Giv’er boys.

  • Captain Ron

    In the last month and a half I have been in both Green Bay, and Denver spending a week in each city. This included travel through O’Hare in Chicago and lunch at the Black Hawks bar, and a trip to the Pepsi Center when I was in Denver. During my entire time in the USA I did not on any occasion here a single word about the NHL lockout. Not in a bar, restaurant, or while watching sports or ESPN on TV.

    Nothing, not a single word about it.