Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dissecting the NHL CBA Proposal

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman issued a new proposal from the league on Tuesday to the NHL Players' Association.  For fans, the highlight of the new collective bargaining agreement is that the season would start on Nov. 2, but what else is between the lines of this proposal?

Bettman and the owners (unfortunately does not refer to an awesome mo-town group that should exist) originally issued a ten-year plan, in which the players' share of hockey-related revenue would go from 57 percent down to 43.  The NHL countered, saying they would be willing to work with the league, and lower the revenue in a fixed way over a fixed number of years and settling down at 46 percent at the end of the ten year period.

The owners through a tantrum, did away with the deal, and walked away from the tables.  A month after the lockout officially began, the league has come out with a new proposal, and here are a few of the main bullet points.

- The plan is not for ten years, rather it is a "long-term" deal, speculated for around six years.

- The cutback of 57 percent to 50 means that there will be a shift in the salary cap, but it will not include a rollback on current contracts.

- The puck would drop on Nov. 2, with each team playing an extra game once every five weeks, re-scheduled from the first two weeks that have already been cancelled.

- The union representatives, Donald and Steve Fehr will be taking the proposal back to the players, after which discussions between the two sides will pick back up.  A timetable for these discussions, or whether or not a counter-proposal will be tendered, is unknown at this point.

It is estimated that the league has already lost $250 million because of the cancellations, so hopefully this proposal can stop the bleeding.

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