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12-08-2012, 08:12 AM
Bleach Clean
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Originally Posted by SufferingCatFan View Post
Relax. A deal is very close.

The issue regarding the length of the CBA is a throw away. Fehr is keeping it on the table solely to maintain a bargaining chip. The real issue is contract length, which equates to "job security" from the players perspective and "back diving" from the owners perspective. But, it is also an issue that impacts a relatively small number of players.

We know that the owners are willing to go to 7 years, since their own proposal includes that period for a team resigning it's own player. We also know that,as a practical matter, allowing a reasonable percentage variance between the highest and lowest year of a players contract ends the problem of back diving if the maximum contract length is 7 years.

My guess is that even now the players and owners are having back channel communications trying to find a way to bridge the gap. Both sides through their respective surrogates are sending messages through the press how "close" they are and how "confused" they are by the other sides refusal to agree as to contract and CBA length.

I expect a deal by January 1 at the latest.

Pretty much agreed, but I expect a deal in mid January.

The key thing to me is pushing past December while maintaining that 300m in make whole. If the owners ever take that off the table, this season is trouble. Because if they do that, the players won't care if they get 7/8 years max contract lengths.

Backes made a good point about limiting contract lengths: It essentially puts pressures on owners to pay out to their high end guys, leaving little to fill out the roster. While this system works in the NBA, hockey is more of a team game, so it's likely to impact the depth on rosters indirectly.

7 years will be what they agree upon IMO, for all UFAs (in house or out). Once that's done, I too feel we'll have a season.

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