NHL Moving on Last “Final Offer”BREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL Friday, December 28th, 2012
The NHL has repeatedly held its breath and stomped its feet after past collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations with the NHLPA did not end with the players accepting the entirety of their proposals. There have been at least three “final offers” issued in the last two months.
According to Eklund of HockeyBuzz (and confirmed by Pierre LeBrun ofESPN), on Thursday, the NHL provided the NHLPA with yet another proposal that moved on some of their previous “hill we will die on” provisions. The revised provisions include:
- Moving free agency limits from five years to six years (maintaining seven years as the limit for free agents who sign with existing team).
- Adjusting the max limit for annual salary differences from 5% to 10% of previous years (i.e., $10 million one year can now be $9 million next instead of $9.5 million)
- Compliancy buyouts allowed to help teams reach $60 million cap hit, but buyouts are to be taken against players’ share of hockey related revenue.
The last option is going to be a sticking point- the owners don’t want to be paying the players any more money, but the players have stuck by their coda that they want owners to honor their contracts.
Additionally, the $300 million “make whole” provision offered by the NHL at the bargaining table (and essentially agreed to publicly by Fehr) is once again on the table, as is the ten-year length for the next CBA.
It’s not exactly what the players had been asking for, and certainly Donald Fehr and his constituents are drafting a counter proposal as I type.
Still, it’s progress.
Several reporters, including Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, have reported that January 19 is being targeted as the start date for the 2013 NHL season.
“I’m hearing NHL has targeted Jan. 19 as potential start date. Would like week-long camp. Wants this deal done by Jan. 10, 11.” – Heika
There have been too many times that these updates have resulted in little to no “real” progress to ending the NHL lockout, but any movement at this point can be considered a good sign.
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