Gary Bettman

NHL Releases New Offer

After of stalemate, the NHL today released a proposal that might just begin moving the negotiations forward.  Key features in the proposal include a shift to 50/50 split on Hockey Related Revenues (HRR), and the removal of an immediate roll-back in favor of deferred payments.

The move caught the NHLPA somewhat off-guard, and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr remained reserved in his response as he sought more time to review the proposal.  The timing, along with a November 2nd deadline for season opener, to enable an 82 game season were no doubt planned tactics by the NHL in the effort to strike a favorable deal.

By moving to a 50/50 split, the NHLPA would in effect give up around eight percent of the revenue stream, or around $264M of last year’s HRR.  The move would likely cost the players somewhere around $1.3-$1.8B over the lifetime of a six year proposal, but is more likely to impact the highest earners (depending on other clauses such as the cap on individual contracts and contract length).

In place of an immediate roll-back, the NHL is now proposing to escrow the balance, and pay back the players over time.  This would allow the current contracts to be honored, albeit with delayed payments of between 8-12 percent per annum.

Additional details:

  • Limit of 5 year maximum contract length
  • Free agency would be at age 28/8 years of service (current 27/7)
  • Revenue sharing between teams would be limited to $200M
  • 82 game schedule dependent on November 2nd season opener
  • Agreement would have to come around October 25th
  • It had been 34 days since a proposal had been made
  • Final offer was fine tuned over the weekend, but has been in works for several days
  • NHLPA to meet at 5pm Eastern to review
  • Compressed schedule would see existing schedule used, add around one game per five weeks and some at end of year
  • NHL Players in AHL would have their salaries count against cap
  • Offer is for “at least six years”
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