CBA Breakdown...Where We're At
To put the ongoing CBA talks into its simplest form, it’s safe to say neither the NHL nor the NHLPA believes the other side has gotten to their final position yet. Therefore both sides believe there’s still time to push the envelope with hopes of getting what they desire in a responsible timeframe.
The alternative is canceling the NHL season and it’s clear neither side wants to consider this a real option.
Therefore we will play hockey this season.
Sources tell me both sides are speaking the same language which can allow fans to finally pump their fists and lower their middle finger. We are slowly inching towards an agreement.
There are some wrinkles to iron out, one of which being the pension/benefits. Sources with the NHLPA tell me the league has changed their previous position. The players have always been funding 100% of the pension. To lower the chances of any under funding the players elected to put aside $50 million from the “Make Whole”. It’s no longer the same plan the NHL had in their previous proposal to the players.
The pension is now believed to have been changed to an annuity which includes fees. This doesn’t excite the players all that much.
According to sources familiar with the CBA talks, the NHL recently proposed a maximum of six-year contracts for players signing with a new team and seven years for players re-signing with the same club.
The NHLPA has countered with eight years across the board, both for players signing with a new team as well as those re-signing with their own organization.
The salary variance is still an issue as the players are concerned the 2013-2014 cap number will squeeze teams up against the salary cap.
2013-2014 Cap Number….
Sources say the NHLPA has moved in the NHL’s direction when it comes to the 2013-2014 cap number. The NHL has it set at $60 million while the NHLPA has come down from $67 million towards the NHL’s position. Not quite all the way down to $60 million but less than $67.
The NHL has moved on compliance buyouts which as of a few weeks ago was a zero tolerance policy. In the NHL’s last proposal that number has been increased to two per club. The problem the player’s have is that the buyouts would count against the players share. As I’ve written before the NHL does not want money added from outside the system. Although in this case we’re talking about just one year so I’m not sure it should be as big of an issue as it seems to be.
Not officially confirmed, sources indicate they believe the NHLPA has come off of their stance of wanting a cap on escrow.
I like the fact the NHLPA has a level headed group, including Shane Doan, Martin St. Louis, Mathieu Darche, and Jamal Mayers, present at the current meetings.
Will have more later….
Blues Buzz airs tonight live from Johnny Mac’s sporting goods on Watson Rd. Hall of Fame legend Peter Stastny, father of Yan and Paul, joins me at 6:00 on 590 the Fan KFNS.
More to come,
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