Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/11/12 at 05:03 PM ET
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
We already know the players are wiling to roll the dice on future revenue growth and accept a haircut in the overall percentage they get every year, and it's an open secret that the owners would be willing to sign on for a 50-50 split.
So the way they get there from here in the short term is blindingly obvious: cancel a few games (say eight or 10 or 12), play a shortened season a la NBA with pro-rated salaries and a sweetener in the form of, say, a one-time escrow holiday. Owners pay a little less out of their pocket this year, players get something very close to what they signed on for - 100 per cent of 85 or 90 per cent of what you're owed is better than missing paycheques into the indeterminate future.
Presto, first year problem solved, and you haven't imperilled any commercial relationships (yes, I'm referring to NBC, and I'm presuming here that there's a point this fall at which sponsors like MillerCoors are going to start wanting their money back and/or start putting their dough elsewhere, although the ins and outs of from deal to deal are apparently quite different).
Hell, you could even tweak the playoff system to have an eighth-place play-in game to goose revenues and general fan interest (don't laugh, it worked for baseball).
For subsequent seasons you negotiate an escalator for the owners' share of total profits where they can claim most or even all of the total revenue growth in the medium term (not sure how that would work, quite certain the players wouldn't want it to be through escrow) until the split hits 50-50 in two or three or four seasons' time.
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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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