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NHLPA set to offer counter-proposal to NHL


Another strong showing of NHL players has turned up to help the union table a counter-proposal in collective bargaining .

The NHL Players’ Association confirmed it will make a new offer Thursday afternoon with 18 players in attendance, including Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Jonathan Toews and Eric Staal.

It was a similar scene to the one that played out when the NHLPA made its first proposal in August.

The latest round of NHL collective bargaining talks has brought out more than top league executives and players.

On Tuesday, the NHL sent its offer to the players’ union, proposing a 50-50 split on all hockey-related revenue (HRR). The offer consisted of a 10-point plan, which the league made public on Tuesday.

NHL commissioner said he hoped the two sides could come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in time to salvage a full 82-game season beginning on Nov. 2.

The proposal included a six-year deal with a mutual option for a seventh season. But the offer also came with a warning if a deal isn’t reached by Oct. 25.

“Delay [beyond Oct. 25] will necessarily leave us with an abbreviated season and will require the cancellation of signature NHL events,” the league said following the release of the offer, making a clear reference to the Jan. 1 Winter Classic game.

“Failure to reach a prompt agreement will also have other significant and detrimental impacts on our fans, the game, our clubs, our business and the communities in which we play. All of this will obviously necessitate changes to this offer in the event we are unsuccessful in saving a full season.”

Proposal drew optimism

The proposal drew immediate optimism from some players, fans and a few members of the media.

The excitement subsided, however, after NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr sent a letter to union members and player agents on Wednesday, expressing concern over the offer.

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

Players received 57 per cent of the $ 3.3 billion revenue generated last season. Based on the numbers from the 2011-12 campaign, players would forfeit $ 231 million a year if they accepted a 50-50 split.

The position of the NHLPA has been that they wouldn’t mind eventually getting to that split, but have suggested a slow and subtle move, accompanied with other changes to the CBA.

Leaf supporter wants voice heard

Maple Leafs fan Barry Murphy was camped out at the NHL Players’ Association head office hours before a scheduled negotiating session.

The 29-year-old was hoping to earn an audience with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr to voice a fan’s opinion during the lockout.

He believes both sides have overlooked the paying customers.

The NHLPA was expected to table a counter-proposal during the afternoon bargaining session.

Earlier in the week, the league tabled an offer that would see revenues split 50-50 and would have an 82-game regular season start on Nov. 2.

With files from CBCSports.ca

CBC | Sports News