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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NHL Makes Promising Proposal in Effort to Save Season

Posted at 06:40 PM

While the NHL and NHLPA have been meeting a few times a week over the course of the past month, economic issues -- the heart of the CBA dispute -- have not been a topic of conversation. That is, until late this afternoon. 

The National Hockey League has placed a new proposal on the table, and this one is promising. Among the outstanding aspects, hockey-related revenue is split 50/50 from the get-go, and will remain constant right on through the entire length of the CBA, which is reportedly five years. In prior proposals, the NHL was reluctant to give the players half of the pie in terms of revenue, easing into larger percentages in each passing year. That, obviously, has now changed and will most certainly catch the eye of the NHLPA, whose been demanding such a strategy from the beginning of negotiations.

In addition, the new proposal (if accepted) will salvage the full 82-game season and will begin on November 2. The consensus is that the league would roll with the schedule already in place, simply picking up from Nov. 2 and tacking on the games that were scheduled before then to the month April. Training camp would last for seven days leading up to November 2.

As far as other aspects aside from the major issues, entry-level contracts would be decreased to two years in length and a five-year maximum limit would be placed on all newly-signed contracts. There shouldn't be much of an issue accepting the second half of that, but the first half may present some issues for the younger players on rookie contracts. But again, the magnitude of that issue is tremendously smaller in comparison to the issue of HRR, which seems to be settled at the moment. 

So what does this all mean? For starters, progress has finally been made. The 50/50 split being proposed is huge, and you know, even after all of the bashing that has been done against the owners/league, they deserve some credit for finally giving in and putting that on the table. If this season was going to be saved, that needed to be done. 

And in regard to deadlines, if the current season is to be 82 games, a new CBA must be agreed upon by October 25. But in all honesty, I don't think many of you care whether the season is 82 games or 70 games at this point... We just need some hockey. 

My belief is that the NHLPA will not come right out with arms open and accept this proposal, but as Don Fehr put it, it's an "excellent start." Expect negotiations to heat up over the course of the next week to hopefully get this thing done. 

Salvation is on its way!

Commissioner Gary Bettman on today's proposal:



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