Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 12/07/12 at 02:10 AM ET
The Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan conveniently snagged a copy of NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr's email to his 700-plus constituents, summarizing Thursday's collective bargaining events as seen through the PA's eyes. Prepare for technical terms!
1. Transition payment ("make whole"): We moved off of our $393 Million proposal and accepted the League's December 5 offer of $300 Million. This means there is an agreement on dollars.
2. Individual SPC (standard player contract) length and Variability of SPCs: The Owners have proposed (i) a limit of 5 years, except that Players who re-sign with their Clubs could contract for 7 years, and (ii) a 5% limit on year-to-year salary variability in long-term deals. We believe that these restrictions would devastate the "middle class" of players and result in the NBA model, where a few players earn huge salaries while pushing everyone else down toward the minimum. (Their proposal would also undermine the free-agent market by giving a significant advantage to Clubs that want to re-sign their own Players.) Moreover, in spite of our concerns, in order to close the deal we moved from of our last offer (a 10-year limit and no limit on variability) and instead proposed an 8-year limit on all SPCs and a variability limit of 25% over the term of the SPC, applied to contracts of 7 years or longer.
3. Pensions: We agreed to the Owners' proposal on pensions, which included the Players' commitment of $50 Million of the $300 Million transition payment in order to address Owners' concerns about their liability in the event of underfunding.
4. CBA Term: The League pressed hard for a 10-year term, moving off their previous proposal of 6 + 1, and doubling the length of their initial proposal of a 5 years. In fact, they've moved away from us on this issue from the very start. Nevertheless, in an effort to reach agreement, we made a major move towards them, offering an 8-year term, with a Player right to opt out after 6 years.
5. Cap Benefit Recapture: We again made a move towards the League, responding to their complaint that this provision must apply to existing SPCs as well as new ones, by offering to cover all existing contracts that have 7 years or more remaining.
Continued...And no, I don't know why the Sun newspapers are going to this "Sun Plus" format...Paid subscriptions are obviously thorny issues, but they annoy the hell out of me, especially as I like the Toronto Sun's Sunshine Girls...
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