Some websites, like, say, this one, have been overtly positive about the NHL’s latest proposal, and the possibility of it advancing the two sides towards a new CBA proposal.

Unfortunately, our boy Donald Fehr, the head of the NHLPA, would like to remind fans that the latest proposal only looks decent when compared to the NHL’s initial bullshit offer.

Fehr sent a letter to all players and player representatives after reviewing it, and included some of the following tidbits (and more – check out Bob McKenzie’s blog for complete details).

From McKenzie’s blog, a summary:

- “Simply put, the owners’ new proposal, while not quite as Draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights. As you will see, at the 5 per cent industry growth rate the owners predict, the salary reduction over six years exceeds $1.6 billion. What do the owners offer in return?”

On specifics:

- “They want to “clarify” HRR definition and rules. It is not immediately clear what this means, but so far all of their ideas in this regard have had the effect of reducing HRR, and thereby lowering salaries.”

This is a big one, a just another hurdle the two sides could easily stumble on.

- “The Players’ Share is reduced to 50 per cent from 57 per cent immediately — this season. This is a reduction in the share of 12.3 per cent. On last year’s revenue numbers, this would mean that players’ salaries would be cut by about $231 million.”


- “We do not yet know whether this proposal is a serious attempt to negotiate an agreement, or just another step down the road. The next several days will be, in large part, an effort to discover the answer to that question.”

Welp, that was overall depressing.

In reality, the point is so, so solid: The players were getting 57% of revenues. Most owners were making bank, as was the league. Then the league wants concessions. Wwwwait, what?

But we all knew which way the players were going to have to move in these negotiations, and they knew too. If they can get the owners to 52 or 53%, I bet they’d pull the trigger. It’s not like the latest NHL offer was rainbows and butterflies, but nobody wants to forfeit the season. It’ll be interesting to see if the PA remains hard line on its demands (they do seem prepared to miss the season), or is willing to meet the owners somewhere closer to 50.