Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
It's going to be interesting to see the NHL's reaction to the NHLPA's next proposal, which may be delivered Friday.
On Wednesday, agent Anton Thun told the radio show Prime Time Sportsthat he saw Oct. 11 - the scheduled start of the season - as a more important date than Sept. 15, when the CBA expires.
It seemed innocuous because Thun, unlike most, was generally positive and optimistic. Csnphilly.com's Tim Panaccio wrote on Thursday that three agents told him something similar. Some league and team executives didn't like that message, because it threatens lucrative (at least in some markets) pre-season games, and indicates their deadline isn't being taken seriously. Players are not paid for exhibition games, but still get 57 per cent of the revenues under the current CBA.
For his part, Thun said it was his own opinion and not any kind of NHLPA/agent messaging.
But it makes sense: Oct. 11 is a true pressure point for both sides. But I found the reaction interesting, because it illustrates the tension bubbling under the surface.
If the important games get missed, do the NHL's offers get worse?
via the CP at the Globe and Mail,
The NHL’s collective bargaining talks won’t resume until Friday.
Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players’ Association, had originally said he was “optimistic” the union would table a counter-proposal Thursday.
It’s unclear if the union will present that offer when talks restart.
Michale Grange of Sportnet discusses some of the key points of the CBA talks.
Or you can read the article at Sportsnet.
First Fehr with a 14 minute meeting with the media followed by Bettman below at 16 minutes.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustraded (Thursday edition),
Bettman can suggest that revenue sharing "will not make or break" these negotiations, as he did in a post meeting press briefing yesterday. But since that's the main plank in the NHLPA platform, it illustrates that the two sides are not even close to speaking the same language.
The players are willing to take less money, but for their sacrifice they want a new system in place, a more effective revenue sharing model among the teams. The owners want to guarantee that they retain more revenue through a significant diminishment of salaries.
Is there any reason to expect that to change before Sept. 15? Hardly. The reality is that the owners have no motivation to make "meaningful" concessions at this point.
They'll continue to play their shell game, moving the ball around the table in a way that makes their offer seem more palatable to the public while the clock winds down and the pressure begins to weigh on the union.
The NHLPA took the offer home last night to mull over. It's likely that much "meaningful" laughter ensued, but they have to know they're up against it. Their response when the two sides meet again today will be telling.
After about 90 minutes, the meeting is over for the day.
from Chris Johnston of the CP at the Winnipeg Free Press,
Details of the proposal were provided to The Canadian Press by a source. The NHL has drawn up a six-year deal that includes three years at a fixed salary cap — similar to the NHLPA's proposal two weeks ago — before returning to a system where the cap is based on overall league revenues with a 50-50 split.
According to the source, the offer doesn't include rollbacks for current contracts, meaning Sidney Crosby would earn all $104.4 million of the 12-year extension he signed with Pittsburgh earlier this summer and Zach Parise and Ryan Suter could each collect the $98 million they were promised by the Minnesota Wild....
The NHL's latest proposal would call for a dramatic change next season. According to the source, players are being asked to give back 11 per cent in 2012-13, which would set the salary cap at $58 million — more than $12 million less than where it would have been under the expiring CBA.
While current contracts wouldn't be rolled back like they were in 2005, players would have to pay more in escrow to accommodate for the lowered cap. Modified rules on contracts would also be introduced.
from the CP via TSN,
"It's a proposal that we intend to respond to," said Fehr. "I'll leave it at that."
The current collective agreement expires Sept. 15 and the NHL has it will lock the players out if a new deal isn't reached by then.
Fehr and top assistant Steve Fehr met with commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy Bill Daly on Tuesday morning at the NHL's offices in New York.
The Fehr brothers left the morning session to consult with their constituents, but returned four hours later with players Mathieu Darche, Ron Hainsey and Douglas Murray.
The afternoon session ended in under an hour, with both sides agreeing to meet again after the players' association thoroughly reviewed the new proposal.
"I'm encouraged that we're talking, to be honest with you," said Darche, who added that it's obvious the league took time to come up with the new proposal.
"We believe that we made a significant, meaningful step," said Bettman after the second session.
Now that the two sides have met this afternoon, news is starting to trickle in.
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.
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