Buy-Outs and Escrow Still Major Issues
I think we can all agree if the leaders representing both sides can’t get a deal done before time expires they should be removed.
Then again if the season was lost and these two were removed after the fact what would it matter?
Again I still believe we’ll have hockey and it appears both parties are prepared to take this into January before they’re ready to finalize a deal. Unfortunately neither side is ready to make a deal now, therefore fans must find a way to keep their sanity for another few weeks.
In an email from Bill Daly this morning, he questions why so many are ignoring the fact compliance buy-outs and caps on escrow are not part of the package the league is offering the players.
“Our "transition rules" are that Clubs can exceed cap in 2012/13 but must be in compliance with Upper Limit by 2013/14. Some Clubs will have to trade Players to get there, but new rules contemplated allow for sufficient lubrication in system to get to the right place. Allowing Compliance buyouts just creates and additional sum of money being paid to Players "outside" the system, said Daly.”
Back in 2005 there was a short seven day window in July that allowed NHL clubs to buy-out a contract at no charge to the upper limit of the salary cap.
This time around the league wants no part of this suggesting it would pay players additional money outside the system or above their 50% share.
In the quote above you read “lubrication in system” to help teams get down to the cap upper limit prior to the 2013-2014 season. Allowing teams to pay part of the salary owed to a player to allow another team to fit him on their roster is part of what Daly is referring to. In other words if you want to trade a $7 million player but the team bringing him on has only $5 million in available cap space, this would allow the team trading the player to pick up the additional $2 million.
Many refer to this as the Brian Burke rule.
Personally I think if the cap is going to be around $60 million in 2013-2014, there should be some flexibility that allows clubs to get out from underneath a contract. Most, including the NHLPA, would probably be ok with putting a limit on how many contracts a club can buy-out.
In other words the NHL should consider backing off of their zero tolerance policy here. Putting limits or restrictions in place would prevent teams from using compliance buyouts as a tool to get rid of contracts.
Allowing compliance buy-outs is a different way of having a step down approach the NHLPA was looking for early on. The NHL feels the only reason the players want compliance buy-outs is to increase the money being paid to them from outside the system. The league doesn’t feel they need them.
Length of CBA….
The players will accept a long-term cba in the 10 yr range if the NHL meets them on some of the remaining contract issues. The NHL doesn’t look at players accepting a long cba as particularly big ‘give”.
Cap on Escrow….
The players want the league to put a cap on escrow which is determined based on how much revenue is being generated. The escrow amount is adjusted quarterly each season. The NHL views a cap on escrow as another “backdoor” on the agreed upon make whole payments. The “deal” last week required the NHLPA to confirm no compliance buy-outs or caps on escrow as transition mechanisms.
As you can see there are still some hurdles to jump over before we get a deal done. I don’t see the difference in the two parties being enough to kill the season.
Prospects Jordon Binnington and Ty Rattie both have very strong shots at making the Canadian roster for the World Junior tournament beginning later this month. Binnington has a chance to be the second Blues prospect in recent years to enter the tourney as Canada’s number one goalie.
Rattie should make the roster.
Head Coach Ken Hitchcock and the Blues coaching staff have been busy recently running a number of youth hockey practices in St. Louis. Tonight they’ll run the U-18 Midget major AAA Blues practice out in Chesterfield.
More to come,
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