It happened. The NHLPA brought it’s 6 (?!) page document to the table and showed the NHL exactly where they stood on all the major issues. That’s pretty much where things started to go wrong.
The new proposal is not particularly lengthy but it contains enough bad news to possibly wipe out the rest of the season for the NHL.
First and Foremost it takes the NHL 4 years to stop paying into the Make Whole to “honour” contracts that have never been in jeopardy of not being honoured. Considering the CBA is a 5 year deal, it’s pretty hard to see the NHL actually agreeing to this. It takes way too long to REALLY get down to 50/50. The entire “Make Whole” concept is absurd in the first place considering that all player contracts are subject to the terms and conditions of the CBA and the player’s share of the HRR. It was a good faith gesture for the NHL to even offer the Make Whole but the players are under the impression it is actually owed to them.
The players also tried to sneak in a provision that says the Upper limit of the Cap cannot fall below 67.25 million in any year of the CBA. This of course means that if the NHL loses any significant revenue that the players would not have to bite the bullet. Perhaps this could be fixed by ensuring the Escrow would take care of the problem anyway, but this little tidbit suggests the NHLPA wants no part of the risk for wasting this season and definitely wants no part of a 50/50 partnership that could see some losses. However, the NHLPA also wants it to be made official that the player’s share may not be less than it was the year before. So there wont be any use hoping for Escrow to regulate things because the players share will never drop. Yet again, 50/50 only works for the players if their 50% is bigger than the NHLs or never shrinks. Ever.
The new proposal says nothing of the proposed limits on contract length or changes to free agency, but it does have some nice ideas about dropping re-entry waivers and Salary Cap trading.
Lets face facts though. The NHLPA was put under the gun, the threat of canceling another year looming over their heads, and they offered up a deal where the NHL doesnt get 50/50 until just before the CBA expires and the Player’s 50% is exempt from ever shrinking.
Have a good Winter, everybody. This season is over.