Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/28/12 at 12:23 PM ET
from Scott Burnside and Craig Custance of ESPN,
BURNSIDE: ...As our good friend and colleague Pierre LeBrun reported Friday morning, the NHL has presented the NHLPA with a new offer that moves off key issues like a cap on salary lengths and transitional payments. The league has agreed to move off a five-year cap on all contracts, the so-called hill on which the league would die, offering a six-year cap with an additional year for teams resigning their own players. That’s been a huge deal for the players.
At the risk of tooting our own horns, the new NHL offer bears a striking resemblance to the framework of a possible deal provided to us by an NHL governor a couple of weeks ago. Top players that we canvassed reacted favorably to such a framework suggesting at the very minimum it was the kind of deal that could/should be taken to the membership for a vote. There are obviously miles to go before we sleep (with all due respect to Robert Frost), but given the backdrop of a rapidly closing window of time in which to get a deal done, one has to view this as a significant development, or am I simply seeing what I want to see at this point in the process?
CUSTANCE: I've tried to develop a healthy dose of pessimism with each offer because it seems like the response from the other side is never as cheery as it is from those of us so eager for this all to end. But you're right, there are some important movements made in this offer. I've never gotten the sense from players I've spoken with that the length of the CBA is nearly as important as the limits put on standard player contracts. Considering the talk we heard in New York, the change to a six-year max on signing free agents from other teams is significant. And you can't overlook the variance, which the NHL has now moved to 10 percent. That's important.
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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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