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The general reaction from hockey fans appeared to be positive after the NHL’s offer on Tuesday to share revenues 50-50 with the players, but there still needs to be plenty of bargaining between both sides to end the lockout.
The general reaction from hockey fans appeared to be positive after the NHL’s offer on Tuesday to share revenues 50-50 with the players.
After taking several hours to examine the NHL proposal that was put forth at the NHLPA offices in Toronto on Tuesday, the players felt the league’s move could unlock the negotiating logjam if the NHL is willing to bargain off its latest offer.
“We have questions about the proposal. There are parts we need to understand. There are some areas we feel we’re still taking too much of a haircut, but it’s better than before and it shows a willingness that maybe the league is now serious about doing a fair deal.”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman lured plenty of supporters to his corner because many have believed all along the fair compromise would see both sides arrive at a 50-50 split on hockey-related revenues.
Bettman let on in his session with reporters.
NHLPA lawyers were still examining and evaluating the proposal after a 105-minute conference call between executive director Donald Fehr and the players’ executive board concluded in the early evening.
The players need clarification on several matters and will seek answers from the league on Wednesday. It’s uncertain whether the two sides will get together for the next bargaining session on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday.
The big issue for the players remains that they do not want to see a drastic drop from 57 per cent of hockey-related revenues tied to salaries to 50 per cent. They want to see a gradual reduction back to 50 per cent. They want the owners to honour all the current contracts. They don’t want rollbacks.
Bettman said there is a mechanism in this offer that allows players to earn the full value of their current contracts – believed through deferred payments that were tied to revenue growth – but the players still have questions about how exactly this will work. They still will have to wait to earn full value of their contracts under this proposal and they want to know if they get interest on the deferred money.
Under this proposal, which is six years plus an option season in length, teams would have a transition year that would allow them to spend $ 70 million US on payroll if they want. But the decline back to 50 per cent in the second year still was viewed as steep, considering there has been record growth in league revenues in the seven seasons since the last lockout.
Other components of this deal include:
The NHL has not liked the way term and average salaries have increased in recent seasons in a player’s second contract.
So we’ll see how the NHLPA reacts to all this in the next 24 to 48 hours. But again, it appears the NHL’s latest offer finally could lead to some serious negotiations after a lengthy period of little movement.
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CBC | Sports News