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11-09-2012, 11:55 PM
Lost Horizons
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Sources: NHL offering 50/50, willing to honor all contracts plus interest
The league has been under the impression that the majority of players are ready to get back onto the ice if revenues are split 50/50 and all contracts are honored in full. Several players have told the Star Tribune that in recent days.

That’s exactly what the owners have offered the players, the sources say, something Fehr did not spell out in his memo. I have an email into the NHLPA asking if I can talk with Fehr or confirm what I'm about to report below.

I'm told one of the NHLPA's demands that the league is not willing to do is pay 100% of the salaries this season no matter how many games are played. If there's a shortended season, the league will want to prorate that, not pay players in full.

But it's clear the league is getting very concerned that the players have not been told the nuts and bolts of their 50/50 proposal. And from the players I've talked to, they feel 50/50 plus honoring all contracts is fair once the other contractual issues are negotiated as well.

We are at a critical juncture even though many want to point out games started Jan. 20 in 1994-95 and the season wasn't canceled in 2005 until Feb. 16.

This is (was actually) a $3.3 billion business. If Fehr is not willing to go to 50/50 at $3.3B, think he will when it's $2.2B, $1.8B? He has spent his entire career fighting the salary cap. There comes a point where revenues become so damaged, it makes it awfully difficult to proceed with a cap. And if that becomes the end game, we're in for a long, long hiatus with no hockey

As for pensions, NHL and NHLPA lawyers met for much of the day on that issue, but the league was left waiting for the Fehr Bros. and a handful of players until 4 p.m. ET after originally expecting to meet at 10 a.m.

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