Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/13/12 at 05:20 PM ET
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Is a deal within our grasp or is it merely wishful thinking from a group of people dumbfounded as another season appears ready to go off the labor cliff?
Well, according to at least one top-level executive on the owners’ side of the table and a number of key players and agents, yes, the two sides are close.
One NHL governor provided ESPN.com with the framework for a deal he insisted would be palatable to both sides. Assuming the elements that were discussed last week in New York were still in place -- like $300 million in "make-whole" monies, agreements on free agency and arbitration rights -- the governor believes the following elements would represent the middle ground in the outstanding contracting, CBA term and transition issues.
Let’s call it the Do This Deal Or Get Coal In Your Stocking For A Thousand Years deal.
-A nine-year CBA with a 7-year out for either side.
-A six-year contract limit with front-load/back-diving protection and 8-year limits for players who have been with a team for five years.
-Some simple buyout option as long as the buyouts were within the salary cap.
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