The NHLPA’s Recent Offer

The players union unveiled a new CBA offer this morning. It is fairly comprehensive and, unlike some of their previous offerings, has a sound basis for negotiation (from a league perspective, naturally).

The most significant movement is on the issue of player share of hockey reltaed revenue. The players accept an immediate 50/50 with the stipulation that the teams "make whole" existing contracts to he tune of $393 million spread over four years:

  • 2012/13 $ 182 M
  • 2013/14 $ 128 M
  • 2014/15 $ 72 M
  • 2015/16 $ 11 M

That number and schedule represents the first potential tripping point. The second is an additional provision that "in years two through five of this Agreement, the players’ share in dollars may not be less than it was in the previous year." Meaning the players want guaranteed protection in case of negative growth (perhaps in response to this lock-out?). While the league grew at about 6-7% annually under the previous CBA and both parties have been assuming about 5% growth this time around, I doubt the owners will accept that sort of clause to slip through the cracks. If the fans take an extended hiatus from the game in response to this labour strife or if extrenal economic forces put downward pressure on the NHL’s revenue growth, then the players split of the revenue in years 2-5 necessarily climbs above 50% as a result of this guarantee.Related, the PA demands the upper cap limit not fall below $67.25M in any years of the agreement.

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The NHL will likely negotiate off of the "make whole" request, but expect them to reject a guaranteed players share out of hand.

Other interesting bits

– NHL re-entry waivers eliminated, so teams can recall guys who have been sent to the minors without fear of them being claimed by other teams.

– Contracts over $1M that are relegated to the minors or Europe will count against a team’s caps but not against the players share.

– Clubs may not buy-out players whose cap hit is below $3M.

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– An elimination of back-diving contracts, but only applicable to deals over 9 years in length and to new contracts signed going forward.

There’s much more, so make sure to click the link to the proposal above.

Overall, there are some obvious problem areas which will require further negotiation to get by: primairly, the players share of monies with the addition of "guarantee" clauses isn’t going to fly. In addition, the union’s rather limp attempt to limit front-loaded contracts probably won’t pass muster either.

Still, it seems there might be a basis for talks here. Now we must wait to see how the league responds this afternoon.

  • supra steve

    aside from zombie Cleary talk, i think although the proposal is changed and moved (so says the NHLPA) there are some really sticky points. for example CBA term, contract terms etc…

    no clear agreement here and i’m pessimistic at best.

    money perception will be vastly different.

  • supra steve

    relative to the 5 year term limit on the CBA, i would propose this.

    if after 5 years, within 1 month of completetion date, the parties involved (NHL and NHLPA) do not come to an agreement, they must contribute x number of dollars (high #) to local charities in the communities they are affecting. whether be through minor hockey initiatives or rehabilitation of facilities.

    this at least would be an incentive for them to complete on time and further to that, discuss much sooner. engage in talks a fair duration of time prior to end date.

  • No way the NHL takes this deal without extreme revisions. It takes way too long to actually reach 50/50, there was nothing on contract length limits, and it has a provision that protects player shares from going down thus unlinking the Cap from HRR.

    Have a good winter everybody, I think this season is gone.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Season is done. Fehr is smart, he has convinced the players that they are giving in so much. So that means he has union solidarity. The players are like sheep being led off the cliff. But its a big pile of fluff. This is nowhere near 50/50, and still guarantees income if revenues drop. Why do NHL players insist on being the best paid athletes in professional sport (% wise).

    I hope they cancel it. Honestly I do.

    I used to come to this site a few times per day. Haven’t been back in weeks. My interest is fading fast and I’d consider myself a super fan. Imagine the casual fans and/or American fans.

    I really hope they cancel it, and I hope a few mega sponsors pull out and I hope the league revenues drop by at least a billion, hopefully more.

  • jakeryley

    This is moronic.

    I used to believe the NHLPA represented a better educated PA when compared to the NFL and NBA – but this sad display of school yard negotiations is pitiful.

    Congrats to all the outspoken members of the PA, Mr. Iginla, Mr. Toews, Mr. Crosby – you’re showing your true colours. You all have a lot of sway in these negotiations, and clearly don’t give two craps about anything other than your current contracts and paydays – hence the 5 year term, and demand that “make-whole” is in place.

  • Vintage Flame

    I heard some players failed the fighting questions on the Tesco test way worse than I did. I suggest bigger escrow payments. That means the Labor Ready CEO can’t protect his own family, no? 🙂
    So K.Glenn is finally getting a shot. It would’ve been funny if Edm won the Cup. This offer gave me a headache. I like contracts longer than 5 years, maybe 7. The age is more important to me. Chelios is the only active mid 40s player I know of recently.

  • Vintage Flame

    The NHL moved as far as it could toward the players weeks ago. This season is done and the offers to the union get worse once the season is cancelled.

  • Vintage Flame

    – NHL re-entry waivers eliminated, so teams can recall guys who have been sent to the minors without fear of them being claimed by other teams.

    Noooooooooo!!!!!!! We’ll NEVER get rid of Matt Stajan now!!

    • Vintage Flame

      Wait a second, doesn’t that imply someone would want to take……..

      Oh wait a second I see what you did there! Try to pull one over on me eh?

      I must say I have been wishing that when he played this year(or next) he would somehow just get it and kick his ass into gear and score and get points and win faceoffs..

  • jeremywilhelm

    Lets talk about the ” Twinkey Principal”. The makers of Twinkeys and Ding Dongs told their Union, “unless we ge some concessions, we may be forced out of business”.

    Guess what, the union cut off their collective noses, to spite their face…… 10,000 employees are out of work.

    Unions will always do the stupidest things when negotiating……..they always seem to sink to the lowest common denominator, or to put it bluntly the stupidest least qualified player in the bunch!

  • 24% body fat

    Bettman said no. Good.

    Everyone saying the owners are trying to save them from themselves. They are trying to lock up players as best they can so these players don’t just leave. The system was set up for the owners to do this. How many of you would like to be on the nashville end of the Weber situation.

  • Cheap Shot Charlie

    Let’s remember this isn’t a true union. A union would pick sticking points during each negotiating period and expect to achieve those goals but give in on others. Generally, all CBAs are equal on both sides. If the dollar amount is more important than the terms then negotiate on that. If the refusal to roll back contracts is important than focus on that. The NHLPA needs to understand that they can’t have everything.
    Conversely, the NHL has to realize that it’s there job to fix the broken teams, not the players. Give the players 50/50 and tell the GMs they have to stop giving out ridiculous contracts. Make a code of conduct that goes beyond the CBA and then the “union” can’t fight what is done. It’s not collusion if the NHL is seen as one large entity.
    Does anyone agree that this has been worth a lost season?

  • Vintage Flame

    It is very interesting to compare the reactions here to everyone else in the civilized world.

    Oilersnation: Players are greedy and stupid, I love owners.

    Everywhere else: Owners are willing to play brinksmanship over the future of the NHL in order to secure unnecessary concessions.

    If you read widely the contrast really is fascinating.

    In any case, I wouldn’t mind the season being lost, the NHLPA decertifying and then crushing the NHL in the courts for violating anti-trust law.

    What the owners want is illegal unless the players consent to it. In order to get their consent, they have to offer the players terms to which they are amenable.

    Remember, boys and girls, the owners position is anti-competition, and hence, anti-free market. Anti-competitive measures that serve private interests must be justified by some compensating common good. What common good does is the NHL cartel offering here? Until you understand these basic points you forfeit your right to have an opinion.

    • 24% body fat

      And players wanting revenue sharing is communist and inefficient.

      So really the players are also anti-free market.

      They both want what serves their purpose.

      So Until you understand these basic points you forfeit your right to have an opinion.

      And saying some one forfeit their right to an opinion (regardless of how educated it is) is more tyrannical and suppressing that what you are claiming the NHL is doing.

      • jeremywilhelm

        Yes, deny him his right to an opinion, that is the truly smart way to have a discussion.

        Until you understand these basic points of human interaction, you have no opinion.

      • B S

        Problem with your 1st point: Players DON’T want revenue sharing, never wanted it. That’s a Bettman/owners stipulation from the last lockout.

        The players would be happy to see a set salary cap (well, really, no salary cap either) that increases each year to reflect inflation, but the League wants to safeguard itself from financial crises by forcing players to take less if the league makes less money.

        • jeremywilhelm

          Until all those contracts come up and you gotta dole out 6 mill a player. Can’t build a team on forwards alone. And not many FA’s players wanna sign with a perrenial bottom 3 team.

          • I guess you’re right. No team ever has built a winner on lottery selected forwards (Pittsburgh, Chicago, Vancouver) and no highly sought after free agents will ever sign with the Oil (Schultz). Edmonton should just pack it in.

            All those budding superstars will totally hurt the the Oilers in the long run. What a bunch of losers.

            Nobody has ever turned around from perenial loser to Cup Winner by stockpiling good young players (Pittsburgh, Chicago, LA, Carolina, Colorado).

            And in the event that the Oilers feel as though one of those big ticket players has to be traded then I’m sure nobody will want any of them (As if you wouldnt give your left nut for any one of Hall, Eberle, Nuge, or Yakupov)

  • supra steve

    The one noble thing the players/union have always been able to hang their hat(s) on has been the “we’re sacrificing for the next generation” argument.

    Now, there is a lot more concern for the star players with signed contracts. Screw the young guyes and the roll players, they will share a smaller piece of the pie.

    Several weeks ago there was a rumour that Gary was offering a minimum $1,000,000/yr NHL salary. That may be the smartest thing the NHL could offer if he wants a majority of the players to agree to a deal. There are a lot of players making south of (or not much more than) $1mil who might finally decide that having the “right” for a select group to earn $4-10 million/yr over 5-15 years is not necessarily in their own best interests. Even the grunts at the NHL level have “earned” the right to make a nice living.

  • jeremywilhelm

    In regards to the lockout the only thing more insulting than 750 grown men fighting over 3.3 billion dollars is realizing that when this is finally over, 700 grown men showing the maturity of petulant children will still end up cashing in on it.

    What ever happened to at least acting like you belong in the conversation.

  • Michael

    Bob McKenzie said the proposal breaks down as the players receiving 55% of hickey related revenues in Year 1, 54% in Year 2, 52% in Year 3 and 50.3% in Year 4. Combined with the no reduction clause, don’t see the owners getting to excited about this one…another round of cancelled games here we come.

  • vetinari

    It’s not just the distribution of money that the owners will hate… the lack of any cap on the length of player contracts will tick them off and there is really nothing on entry level contracts… so, instead of worrying about the 2012-13 season, can we discuss how the 2013 draft is going to work?

    Also, can we register our protest by temporarily changing the name of the website to “BaronsNation” until this mess ends?

  • Derzie

    Fehr is leading the lambs to slaughter. Bettman is everything Ian White believes. The NHL is a mess. Success is killing them. Cancel the season. A cup with a * for a shortened season is disrespecting the trophy. As for the Oiler draft picks, how many Fab numbers will it take to get out of the basement? Fab9? 10? Seems 5 is not enough. No one is arguing that the Oilers are not picking great players. Their incestuous hiring (Kreuger anyone?)and team direction is a guarantee they will lose the stars to free agency before they win a thing. I’m a Flames fan who actually likes the Oilers and wants them to do well but they have Leafs syndrome. No motivation to try if the seats are full.

  • Captain Ron

    Mr. Derzie

    If that’s not the pot calling the kettle black.

    Leafs syndrome? How about holding on to a few good players, and not supporting them until they are too old, and then holding on some more?

    And then thinking you can win? That’s the Leafs my friend. Or the Flames. At least at some point the Oilers saw the light at the end of the tunnel, coming straight for them.

    Flames, not so much. Just needed an offensive defenseman with crappy underlying numbers and an unheralded European to set things right.

    Giv’er boys.

  • Captain Ron

    In the last month and a half I have been in both Green Bay, and Denver spending a week in each city. This included travel through O’Hare in Chicago and lunch at the Black Hawks bar, and a trip to the Pepsi Center when I was in Denver. During my entire time in the USA I did not on any occasion here a single word about the NHL lockout. Not in a bar, restaurant, or while watching sports or ESPN on TV.

    Nothing, not a single word about it.