Creative CBA solutions? Do you have one? Have you seen any?
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09-05-2012, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
The owners have a few things to give the players, and I believe they have signaled at least one in their last proposal.
The biggest thing is the idea of achieving the new % of HRR gradually, probably via something that will closely resemble a wage freeze for 3 or so years. I expect that the final agreement will do this, as this is a key player position (no rollbacks) and one that can be bought with a very finite amount of money over a short period of time with no repercussions at the end of the agreement.
The next thing is the HRR definition. In BOTH the NFL and NBA CBA's, the players share was cut but the revenue definition was expanded (though the NFL had some money cut out for capital improvements, which the NHL put in their proposals). I believe that the realignment spat was a proxy for expansion/relocation revenues to be included in HRR. Since expansion/relocation money is quite rare (though I believe will be received during the next CBA), I believe that the NHL may give some (perhaps less than 50%, but some) to the players, and/or move more towards the current HRR definition.
The next thing is the contract stuff. I believe it is in both parties interest (at least in a linked to HRR CBA which seems most probable) to limit contract length and the huge upfront payments and light tails. These contracts increase the escrow problem for the players, and cause insurance and other issues for the owners. Besides that, I believe that the NHL is happy with the current contract rules and would keep them, so I would expect to see them back off the "hard line" approach from their first offer. Expect to see the only change to be in either the max contract length OR how contracts count against the cap (the PA would be better off if the cap was based on actual money out the door each year as opposed to the average anual value used now).
Finally, I believe Fehr's other primary goal is to try to avoid this situation in the next negotiation, where the players are negotiating from a position of weakness. The NHLPA's proposals have included a last year which is very unfavourable to the owners in an attempt to encourage negotiations (and a new CBA) a year before the expiry of the current CBA. I am not sure how willing the owners will be on this front, but this is why I believe Fehr has stalled throughout the negotiation as he knows he can only get this at the deadline. I would expect to see the Owners being willing to give up a little on this front (so long as it is a LONG CBA) to get a deal done, and Fehr is going to push this point hard the entire time.
EDIT: Many people bring up revenue sharing, but this is a red herring (as was the UFA age in the owners proposal). Revenue sharing is almost irrelevant to the actual situation, though it plays well in the media and amongst fans. I guarantee that Fehr would let the NHL completely eliminate revenue sharing if the owners gave him the four points above.
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