Following NBA Blueprint?
Was this the NHL’s plan all along?
The idea of an owner’s proposal coming out of the blue on Tuesday doesn’t necessarily stack up, with the NHLPA that is. Was it Commissioner Gary Bettman’s plan from the beginning to present his first serious proposal one month into the lockout? The NHL didn’t come up with an 82 game schedule that has the season starting on November 2nd overnight. In reality a 50/50 split of revenue is what the owners have been after from the beginning and it’s starting to look like they just might get it. After all that’s what the NBA agreed to nearly a year ago.
Speaking of the NBA, this is playing out incredibly similar to the NBA lockout when you look at the timing of the owners offer. Maybe it’s because many of the same lawyers who represented the NBA are also working on the NHL’s behalf.
The NHL was successful Tuesday is putting the pressure square on the shoulders of the players. Given the timing of when training camp needs to start, basic math tells us players have no option but to get on their horse if they want a full season.
Why are the owners just now presenting this offer?
Regardless, Tuesday’s events could eventually lead to a resolution and for that we can all tip our glass. To the majority of people that’s all that matters.
A high-ranking NHL official told me late last week the league wasn't going to sit around and wait for the player's to make a move. Good to see they stuck to their word.
The NHLPA won't escape blame when this is all said and done. The same league source tells me how frustrated the NHL is with the way Union Executive Director Donald Fehr has handled some of his business. Besides delaying talks in the spring and over the summer Fehr is being accused of not returning phone calls to the NHL when he says he will.
Sooner or later the finger pointing will disappear.
Here’s what we can tell you.
If the NHL is willing to negotiate off of this proposal then we’re clearly on our way to securing a deal. If this becomes a take-it-or-leave-it scenario then this will continue to drag on.
My sources confirm the NHLPA will present a counter proposal on Thursday.
As I wrote several weeks ago the NHL needs to put something on the table that makes the players think. Today they did that. This is the first proposal that the players are taking seriously and the result has things moving in the right direction. After weeks of posturing we are finally making progress.
While the focus continues to be on revenue percentage, the larger issue is what defines hockey related revenue (HRR). Sources confirm the players are not willing to accept how HRR is defined in Tuesday’s proposal. The players have made it clear they want the definitions of HRR to remain the same as it was in the previous agreement.
The players are fine with splitting the revenue right down the middle but that still largely depends on how we’re defining HRR.
The owners also proposed a “revenue sharing board” consisting of a combination of owners and NHLPA representatives. This sounds better than it actually is according to one individual who serves on the NHLPA negotiating committee. “The PA won’t have nearly as many people on the board as the owners and therefore will have very little decision making power.”
Word is the owners are willing to increase revenue sharing from $190 million to $200 million.
Any financial concessions the players are making are being taken out of their 50% of the pie.
The salary cap would sit at just under $60 million according to the proposal.
More will continue to trickle out this week as the PA fine tunes their proposal before presenting it in a few days. Are we close to a deal? We’ll know on Thursday.
More to come,
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