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Questions As The CBA Talks Are About To Begin

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

Talks begin less than 48 hours after Dennis Wideman signed a five-year, $26.25 million contract with Calgary. That will be an interesting backdrop. In the outstanding book Lords of the Realm, there is a story about the 1993 baseball negotiations, where Fehr questioned the owners’ complaints of financial issues as Cecil Fielder signed a five-year, $36 million contract that featured a $10 million signing bonus.

Other questions as things get started:

• Will anyone be making an opening proposal?
• How much common ground exists?
• What are each side’s non-starters?
• Do Fehr and Bettman stick to their histories as last-minute negotiators, decreasing the importance of these early July discussions?
• Will the owners try to split the union by offering an increased minimum salary and the promise of more jobs through expansion? (It’s actually a decent strategy.)
• Will either side refuse to discuss any of the lesser issues until the major ones (e.g. what percentage of revenues the players get) are settled?


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink


wolverine's avatar

Elliotte, really enjoy all your articles, you certainly put in a lot of work.  The last paragraph puzzles me though.

It was pointed out to me recently that the players actually got a better deal by sitting out the entire 2004-05 season, because the final offer made in early 2005 was a flat $42 million cap.

From the NHL CBA website:

The payroll range in Year One (2005-06) of the CBA will be $21.5 million (U.S.) at the lower limit and $39 million (U.S.) at the upper limit

By flat $42 million I’m sure the league weren’t allowing any escalators, but still you have to keep in mind that every single player took a 24% reduction in current and future salary.  That is a major concession which, in and of itself, makes it a much worse scenario than the $42 million they were offered prior to the cancellation of the season.

Posted by wolverine on 06/28/12 at 04:39 PM ET

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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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