Not bad, amirite?

I know that’s a bit of a tease of a headline, but I can’t help but feel the warm and fuzzies over progress between the NHL and NHLPA. They can bat around all the little issues like “but who pays for the extra trainer on the road?”, but until a new proposal came from either side, we weren’t getting anywhere. Let’s hope we are now.

Here’s my understanding of the core pieces of the new NHL offer:

* They offered a 50/50 split of Hockey Related Revenues.

50/50 is where the NBA recently ended up, and where everybody assumed the new NHL deal would. The owners are the first to throw that out there, which as I may have mentioned, gives me hope. Even if the players counter with an extra percentage point in their favour, I don’t think it’s impossible that the owners would agree.

The NHL’s previous offer suggested the players take 49% in year one of a new deal, 48% in the second, and 47% in the next three. So again: progress.

* John Shannon of Sportsnet’s Twitter feed is chalk full of information right now, so instead of embedding every tweet, you get a list (go there for more). In the proposal is:

- Free agency would start at 28 or eight years of service

As of now, free agency is at seven years of service, or at 27 years old. That buys owners an extra year before having to shell out the monster deals.

- Entry level contracts would be at four years

Current entry level contracts max out at three years. That also buys owners an extra year before having to shell out a big five year deal (as we just saw Edmonton do with Hall and Eberle). Being that offensive studs tend to have their best statistical seasons around three/four years in, drafting well would become even more important. Sadly, so would tanking.

- Contract length would max out at five years

Right now they max out at sideways eight (there is no max length). NOW let’s see how everyone does under Brian Burke’s personal rules! My only question is, what happens with contracts signed before this new CBA?Those 14 year deals obviously can’t go *poof* and disappear. Tom Gulitti, the Devils beat reporter for The Record tweeted:

…so there’s that.

- Revenue sharing would be at or near 200 million dollars

- Arbitration would still exist

Arbitration obviously existed before, but didn’t in any of the NHL’s previous offers this summer, so they gave a little bit here.

- Players’ Salaries for those NHLers playing in the AHL would be part of the cap

As Wyshynski responded to that tweet: this would have to officially be called the Wade Redden rule, correct? No more burying contracts in the minors is a pretty reasonable suggestion.

***

The NHL has said that it wouldn’t even consider a proposal that included salary rollbacks, so the fact that Gulitti says their current deals may be protected could make this a meaningful jumping off point. There are going to be things the NHLPA will want to change, and the NHL knows this. But still there’s no room for a counter-proposal now, and with major issues addressed…don’t cancel your season tickets just yet (yes, I’m bi-polar on the lockout right now, allow me to be manic for a second).

One of the most interesting things, to me, is that this proposal still allows for an 82 game season that would start November 2nd. The PA may not love that, given the increased injury potential with a condensed schedule, but as a fan, I say chuck ‘em out there (Bettman explains in his comments that this only amounts to one additional game every five weeks).

More to come on this shortly.

***

UPDATES:

* Michael Russo reports that teams have been asked for available building dates for after the season was originally scheduled to end.

* Donald Fehr spoke with the media after getting the proposal:

* @SpectorsHockey thinks that longer entry-level contracts could deter European prospects from coming over.

* Brian Costello, senior editor at The Hockey News tweeted: “If NHLPA rejects NHL’s 50-50 offer, it will be because there’s no significant change in revenue-sharing model the union seeks.”

* A crucial correction from John Shannon of Sportsnet:

Comments (29)

  1. 50/50 totally depends on what they define as part of HRR or not part of it. Need details….

    • Same as they used to define it, no changes. They reached that agreement in previous negotiations.

      • I wasn’t sure if previous negotations were still in play or part of the the nhl’s last proposal which had an end date. Thank you for info

        One has to think this whole “play hardball from day 1″ deal from the NHL and now come up with something that looks good in comparision was part of the master plan all along. Bad cop good cop.

        • Yeah, all the panicked “OMG DRACONIAN OFFER!” stuff was ridiculous. It was a negotiating stance, nothing more, to make the players happy with a 50 / 50 split.

          • Doesn’t mean it still wasnt a shit offer that set things back months.

          • ^ agree.
            If the NHL owners sent out that initial offer as part of a master strategy to find common ground at 50/50 then, they are idiots and also; assholes.

          • the players should be estatic with a 50/50. I dont think you can completely blame the owners for these past few months

  2. The way I’m seeing it, the PA and NHL have about a week and a half to figure this thing out if they want to start on Nov. 2. Players need that week of camp to get back in the swing of things. If we go past Nov 2 without any hockey, that’s pretty much a wrap. 24/7 would start filming mid-Nov and the NHL needs/wants that.

  3. Thanks for the news. Lockout’s over! I’ll start telling everyone…

  4. I refuse to fall for this.

  5. Thanks for the hat tip to Tom Gulitti. He’s an excellent beat writer for the Devils.

    All indications are that this is a legit offer. I think the deal is done before the weekend. Hopefully we can all go back to hockey.

  6. John Shannon has stated ELC’s are still 3 years, not 4…misreported.

  7. Pretty much a genius PR move on the NHL’s part. I don’t expect a deal for a couple of weeks, but this gets them most of the way there.

    • Yeah, sounds very promising. Hopefully the PA doesn’t screw this up. Make the minor changes that need to be hammered out, and get back to work!

  8. I remember thinking the realignment was a done deal and I was pretty excited about it. I’ll wait and see here before I get my hopes up.

  9. Based on Wysh’s podcast, November 24th is the drop-dead date for the Winter Classic, so that’s also playing into it (along with HBO’s pressure).

    For all the bitching about Bettman, if he manages to pull this off it’s a big feather in his cap.

    Personally, I think the PA will come back with a 53.5% proposal if they’re still using the old, highly questionable, HRR definition. The League would obviously be okay with something over 50%, since they wouldn’t have offered that number without any other comment otherwise.

    • They could’ve had a deal a month ago if they had just offered 50/50 to start with.

      • No they wouldnt, this is Donald Fehr (See MLB 1994) they needed to play hard ball because Fehr was going to as well.

  10. I read the 4 year entry level contract has been recanted. Still at 3 years.

  11. This is a pretty good deal if you buy into the numerology that 50/50 is fair. The key is still getting this season in.

    Where the owners sort of have the players over a barrel on this is that with this deal they are looking at a %10 delay in payment (with probably some risk to it if the repayment is growth based), but on the other hand, if they turn it down, they are kissing goodbye 1/2 of a season, the money from which they will likely never see again.

    Long term, I think even most players will admit, 50/50 ends up being the deal. So as a player, are you willing to throw away 1/2 a years salary, and at what cost? If the alternative is a delay and some risk of %10 of your salary? It only really even seems to be a question for existing very long term contracts.

    Very clever on the part of the owners to let just enough of the season get cancelled, while keeping the ability to bring it back as a bonus, that this looks good. Not dumb people.

    pete

  12. Entry level deal 2 years

  13. Deal or no deal?

  14. If the NHL had offered this LAST October there would have been a CBA in place and no one would have missed anything.

    • Complete garbage. If your first offer is something reasonable, the opposing side’s next offer is going to be something even more in their favour.

      No one ever, ever, EVER puts out a reasonable offer as their initial position. Ye gods, you must get raped on a lot of fantasy trades if that’s how you bargain.

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