Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Grange of Sportsnet,
When you're stuck without a hammer, the smart thing to do is not get nailed, and so Fehr and the NHLPA have chose to wait, and wait; making a single significant offer in 12 weeks of bargaining.
But with the NHLPA's first pay day gone and the NHL literally begging the players to bring forward any kind of proposal to breathe some life into the dead air that had infected the process since negotiations effectively stalled on Sept. 12, Fehr stayed silent.
‘You come to us’ was the message he was giving, but did he outsmart himself is the question.
Bettman took his bait, striding into the NHLPA offices at the foot of Bay Street in Toronto and pulling a substantial, multi-page document out of his briefcase and laying it on the table.
A term of at least six years; a 50-50 split of hockey related revenues; free agency after eight years of service or age 28 and a maximum length of contracts capped at five years. Arbitration rights stay and entry level contracts shortened to two years. A full 82-game season played starting on Nov. 2. So close you can taste it.
And suddenly, instantly -- if perhaps unjustifiably -- Bettman can paint himself as reasonable. As fair. As motivated to do what's best for the game.
Make sure to read more tweets from Bob McKenzie in regards to additional details in the new NHL proposal.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN who breaks down the proposal...
I believe there’s going to be a deal, but how the NHLPA responds to the league’s offer is the biggest single moment in this entire negotiation.
Then we have Elliotte Friedman telling us what was not included in the offer...
Finally, George Malik of The Malik Report has been fighting a nasty virous and hopefully will be back blogging soon.
In the meantime, George used TwitLonger to discuss rollbacks and those long/lifetime contract.
Instead of linking to George's piece, you can read it below...
The one thing that should absolutely not do (the players) is fight for a month to get 51% rather than 50%. Cave now or take them to the wall. No half measures. Tug the forelock or resolve to blow it up.
-Tom Benjamin at hisNHL blog where you can read more on this topic.
Well worth watching, get all the little tidbits from the CBA talks today.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Maybe it was the growing anger from the fan base.
Maybe it was the belief that the players weren't going to crack, at least not before another season was lost.
Maybe there was enough dissatisfaction within the ownership group as a second season in eight years seemed to be slipping away.
Or maybe it was just time for some common sense to enter a situation that had been entirely lacking in some from the outset.
The motivation is moot and so even the most cynical of observers have to credit the National Hockey League for taking what can only be viewed as a bold and potentially decisive step towards ending the month-old lockout of players and likely saving the 2012-13 season in its entirety.
The surprise offer delivered by the league to the players in Toronto Tuesday would see the players' share of hockey related revenues drop from 57 percent to the 50-50 split most observers have predicted would be the final settling place in a new labor deal.
That's not to say some information will be floating around.
Time for the real hockey insiders to earn their pay.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In the context of what many think could be a breakthrough in the NHL labour impasse, here is a short history lesson from the 10-day 1991-92 NHL players strike, designed to mute expectations - a little anyway.
The negotiators back then were Bob Goodenow for the players and John Ziegler for the owners. A couple of days in, Ziegler called a press conference and essentially said, ‘we capitulate, you win, here is our offer, it should be everything you want.” He talked about gold-plated dental plans, just bizarre stuff. But optimism swelled because it looked as if the league had surrendered. It was just assumed the strike was over. Hours later, Goodenow came back and rejected the NHL's proposal out of hand. The air leaked out of the balloon fast.
Mood swings like that happen all the time in NHL labour discussions, especially on the days when NHL labour discussions spill into the public eye. So on Tuesday, when the NHL made what appears to be a significant step towards resolving a lockout that has lasted a month and a day, my advice is: Wait.
Wait for now before getting your hopes too high.
The NHL put a new offer on the bargaining table for the NHL Players' Association on Tuesday morning, which includes a 50/50 split of hockey-related revenue across the board and contingent on an 82-game season beginning Nov. 2.
"We hope we've given our best shot," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
Bettman added that the offer calls for no salary rollback and the revised schedule - if implemented - would see one week of training camp and every team playing an extra regular season game every five weeks.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said the offer - which is at least six years in length - is an "excellent start" and he would go over it with his membership in a 5pm et conference call.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org