Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 08/14/12 at 05:57 PM ET
As Paul already noted, the NHLPA’s counter-proposal to the league’s initial CBA offer involves both increased revenue sharing and, by Sportsnet’s Michael Grange’s calculations, a significant drop in the players’ share of league-wide earnings for three years to ensure that the league’s most troubled franchises regain some sort of stability…
And, as the Canadian Press’s Chris Johnston suggests, the NHLPA’s not only turned the league’s draconian CBA proposal on its head, but also turned it inside out by offering a thoughtful proposal of its own that will hopefully kick-start negotiations in a meaningful manner:
Union leader Donald Fehr says players could give up as much as US$465 million in revenue under the proposal if the league continues to grow at an average rate. If the league grows at the rate it has over the past two seasons, he says the amount could reach $800 million.
“We do believe that the proposal the players made today, once implemented, can produce a stable industry ... that can gives us a chance to move beyond the recurring labour strife that has plagued the NHL the last two decades,” said Fehr, flanked by players and union representatives including superstars Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.
Fehr also said the union’s proposal does not call for the removal of the hard salary cap the league won in the last round of negotiations. The NHLPA also proposed expanded revenue sharing to help financially struggling clubs, which could reach more that $250 million per year.
“In essence, when you boil it all down, what were suggesting is that the players partner with the financially stronger owners to stabilize the industry and assist the less financially strong ownership groups.”
Fehr didn’t say what percentage of league revenues players were willing to accept. An NHL proposal tabled last month called for a significant decrease for players in revenue share by introducing new contract restrictions, including a five-year cap on deals.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday he has received the union’s proposal and hopes to continue talks Wednesday.
“It’s clear to me that they didn’t put it together in an hour or two, and as a result we’re going to need to take a little bit of time to evaluate it,” Bettman said.
Bettman gabbed with the media after the talks…
And I’ll try to provide a more thorough examination of the press’s reactions to today’s proposal later this evening. This really is the start of negotiations more than anything else.
Update: Johnston also offered the following…
I’m told a luxury tax is part of the NHLPA’s new proposal. Cap won’t move much under the deal, but some teams can go above and others below— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 14, 2012
And teh NHLPA just posted a video of Donald Fehr and the 20-some star players (including Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby) who attended the proceedings speaking to the media:
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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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