Tuesday, October 16, 2012
NHL Submits 50/50 Offer to NHLPA
According to Darren Dreger at TSN, the NHLPA is expected to submit a counter proposal in the next 24-48 hours but all signs point to significant progress being made.
Originally, the players were earning 57% of hockey revenue but, since it was resulting in net losses for more than half the league, the owners wanted a change. Their original proposal called for 47% of revenue to go to the players. After a few months of strained negotiations, the owners agreed to offer a split.
Even more encouraging, is that both sides appear eager to play a full 82 game regular season. If both sides can come to an agreement soon, the league could start as early as November 2nd after a week of training camp. Starting a season a month late while still maintaining the full amount of games could jeopardize player safety if the league decides to cram all 82 games into a shorter schedule. On the flip side, adding a month would be ridiculous given that the Stanley Cup champion is usually crowned in mid-June in a normal year.
Without a league in the states, many NHL players have gone overseas to play in the KHL or Swedish league. Evgeni Malkin has teamed up with Sergei Gonchar to play in Geno's hometown, Magnitogorsk, while Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk faced off last night. Other players, like Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang, have spent their time conditioning and playing in exhibition games.
Once a CBA is in place, all players will be allowed to leave their current leagues and come back to the NHL.
Other parts of the NHL's proposal included a rollback of player salaries (something that was originally denied by the owners), a five year limit on contracts, and the top ten money earning teams will pay 50% of the revenue to lower teams (per Dreger). That means more revenue will be coming to the lower-revenue teams although that may also pose a problem if the NHL can't find more than three teams to make a profit.
There are many more issues to work on that just the revenue sharing including player safety and the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. But, for now, the Players Association at least has something to work with and discuss. Hopefully, this proposal is a sign that the worst is over and the NHL can get back to playing games real soon.