Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/10/12 at 10:46 AM ET
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
My belief is that in order for the NHL to get that new proposal from the NHLPA that it is so craving, the league is going to have to show compromises as well, specifically in the area of individual player contracts. The league has never officially taken off the table its list of desired changes to player contracts from its initial proposal, such as extending the entry-level contract system from three years to five years, the elimination of salary arbitration, moving the eligibility age for unrestricted free agency to 10 years of NHL service (it’s now seven years of pro) and the crackdown on back-diving contracts (front-loaded cheat deals). Of those demands, the back-diving contracts is by far, in my mind, the most important demand from the league and I don’t think that one ever comes off the table.
However, I do believe that if the league is willing to officially drop some of the other systemic changes it proposes in player contracts, it might help NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr go to his constituency and gauge the level of interest in submitting a new offer to the league that also shows more compromise, obviously in the area of the players’ share from hockey-related revenue.
In other words, both sides need to move before this process actually gets traction. Oh, and the sky is blue.
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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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