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07-14-2012, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Zapp Brannigan View Post
NHL proposal to players:
1-reduce players hockey related revenues to 46% from 57 %.
2-10 seasons in NHL before being UFA.
3-contracts limites to 5 years
4-no more salary arbitration.
5- entry-level contract 5 years instead of 3.
In any negotiation:
A. You will never get more than your request.
B. You need to first decide what you will accept, and then negotiate to that
point from your first request.

The NHL "offer" is plain old fashion theater, just as I am sure that the NHLPA has an equally silly position to offer first. No one expects the league to hold firm on any of these positions. What this offer does do is tell us that the issue is again all about money, and the split in the ownership between large market owners and small market owners.

The NHL approach is to lower the cost of players, so that even the small market team can make money. The players are going to take the position that it is not their responsibility to ensure the profitability of all 30 teams. Instead the players are going to push the league for more revenue sharing, so that the large market teams, rather than the players, help support the small market teams.

In the end there will be an agreement, since both sides have too much at stake to not reach a settlement. The player have offered to play the season under the old CBA and there is no real reason why the league would not do so. In reality, the clubs have acted as if the ceiling and floor are 54 and 70 million, so they might as well play the season.

The clubs are not going to want to risk an antitrust challenge by unsigned players, such as Shea Weber, if the CBA expires on September 15 and no one is willing to sign Weber. He would not be under contract and the labor agreement binding him to Nashville will have expired, legally making him able to sign with any team. If all of the teams refuse to try to sign him under those circumstances, then he would have a reasonable legal claim against the league and the individual clubs. Even riskier, for the clubs, is the possible wash out of the 2013 draft. If there is no CBA agreement in effect there is a significant legal risk in holding the draft.

I suspect in the end, the clubs will get some sort of salary relief, but there will also be some sort of enhanced revenue sharing. I do not expect a cap rollback, but I do expect a new cap formula, with the existing cap grandfathered in until the new cap exceeds the old cap. I can see four year ELC's, as that transfers money from younger players to older players. I can also see something like an eight year limit on new contracts, as that doesn't hurt the players too badly, and help to resolve some of the large/small owner issue.

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