To the dedicated hockey fan and NHL buffs around the league, it seems like CBA negotiations have been ongoing for months. Even when it isn’t the headline topic on days like the draft or free agency, it’s still in the back of everyone’s mind. “Will the season start on time?” “Will there even be a season?” These questions are passed around daily at the watercooler with no clear answer, only speculation.
Today is September 1st, that means that there are only 14 days left until the NHL and the Owner have guaranteed a lockout. So, today I would like to recap where we currently are in the CBA negotiations.
- Several months ago, the NHL opted out of the CBA extension. The current CBA had an option for a one year extension and the NHL chose not to exercise that option in order to begin negotiations early……..we all see how well that worked out.
- NHL and the Owners get the party started on July 13th with a ridiculous opening offer:
- reduce players hockey related revenues to 46% from 57 %.
- 10 seasons in NHL before being UFA.
- contracts limites to 5 years
- no more salary arbitration. 5
- entry-level contract 5 years instead of 3.
- Hopes of a 2013 season are dashed
- The NHLPA counters the opening offer with a more reasonable one of their own:
- $250 million could be entered into revenue sharing under the PA’s proposal
- hard salary cap would remain.
- PA’s proposal calls for a luxury tax that would allow big-spending teams to exceed the cap by a certain number.
- Player contracts would stay largely the same under the proposal.
- Following both proposals, talks stall for some time.
- Gary Bettman announces to the media that the counter offer was incomplete and there was still a “big gap.” He claims that the players will be locked out if a deal is not reached by the 15th.
- NHL offers second proposal:
- The new proposal, according to Bettman, reduces the players’ share of hockey-related revenue by 11.5 percent in Year 1, 8.5 percent in Year 2 and 5.5 percent in Year 3. The league believes that their offer will result in a rise in the players’ share in Years 4 and beyond.
After all this, we still come today. Today, labor talks are at a stand still between the NHL and the NHLPA and the PA has yet to submit their counter offer, although they claimed they would have one by the end of this week.
With less than 15 days remaining and seemingly no real progress made, what do you think will happen to the season?