The NHL has sent the NHLPA a new proposal. Will it be enough to end the lockout?
Pierre Lebrun outlined all the points here…
Here is a quick breakdown from some of the points that Lebrun outlined:
• Ten-Year Agreement (through 2021/22 season); Parties have mutual opt-out right
after 8 years.
I still see the NHLPA wanting 8 year deal.
• $300 million in “Make-Whole” payments (outside the system) to compensate Players
for the reduced value of Player contracts in the early years of the new CBA.
What? I thought this was off the table. We knew it would be back and it is.
• No contractual “roll backs” of Player Salaries.
I’d like to see the details of this offer. The devil is in the details when it comes to rollbacks.
• Clubs can operate with an effective Upper Limit of $70.2 million in 2012/13; must
come into compliance with $60 million Upper Limit for the start of the 2013/14
This should make for an interesting summer of 2013 when some teams will have to trade some big tickets.
• Each Club will be entitled to execute up to one “Compliance Buy-Out” prior to the
2013/14 season pursuant to which payments made to the Player will not be charged
against the team’s Cap, but will be charged against the Players’ Share.
It will be interesting to see if the NHLPA agrees to this being part of their share. It would be a fan’s delight to see which teams will jump at this "buy-out" opportunity…Interesting to note that this option will occur this coming summer, not in January.
• Rules for Entry Level System, Salary Arbitration and Group 3 Unrestricted Free
Agency will remain unchanged.
Players will keep 3-year entry level deal.
• Maximum contract length of 6 years subject to a Club’s ability to re-sign its own
Player for a term of up to 7 years (provided the Player played his last full season
with the re-signing Club). In addition, year-to-year Salary variability will be limited
(up or down) to no more than 10% of the value of the first year of a multi-year SPC.
Geez, where have I heard about this? I’ve said for months this was an easy solution. Only the stars deserve seven-year deals, and this also encourages players and teams to re-sign their top talent. I guess the NHL wasn’t willing to "Die on this Hill."
• Money paid (above a defined threshold) to Players on NHL SPCs in another
professional league (e.g., the AHL or a European league) will be charged against the
NHL team’s Cap, but not against the Players’ Share.
Basically stops teams from hiding "Wade Redden" in the minors. Means teams have to be smarter with who they sign. Well, at least in theory.
• Ability for Clubs to retain/allocate Salary and Cap Charges in the context of Player
Trades within specified parameters.
Brian Burke has pushed this for years. It could lead to more trades which is more entertaining for fans, but more trades isn’t something the players love. It is hard on their families, but I suspect this will be part of the new CBA.
• Flexibility-related adjustments to Payroll Range System, including:
- Lower Limit obligation without performance bonuses.
- Elimination of Re-Entry Waivers.
- Creation of Salary Cap exceptions for emergency roster situations/goaltender injuries
- Waiver exemptions for mid-season signings of Club’s own European Players.
- Availability of Performance Bonus Cushion in every year of the CBA.
- Creation of “interview period” for Unrestricted Free Agents.
The last point is interesting. Essentially free agents would be able to talk to teams starting July 1st, but they couldn’t officially sign until July 10th. The NBA does this, but I think it makes free agency somewhat anti-climactic. Although it might be beneficial for players to have more time to go to a city and meet the coach, see the city and make a decision.
I just used July 1st as an example; I’d love to see free agency start before the draft. If I was in charge I’d have free agency start June 25th, and then hold the draft around July 5th-7th. Having the draft after free agency would see more trades occur on the draft floor after teams didn’t land the free agent they were looking for.
I commend the NHL for offering the following issues. Player safety is a major concern and something the league needed to improve. I’d love to see more strict/frequent drug testing.
• New CBA Article devoted exclusively to Player Health and Safety measures and
covering such matters as:
- 1. The establishment of a Joint NHL/NHLPA Health and Safety Committee with
equal representation from the NHL and the NHLPA;
- 2. The establishment of “Standard of Care” and “Professional Duty” obligations
owing from team health care professionals to Players;
- 3. The establishment of minimum requirements for “health management” staffing
- 4. The establishment of standards for the creation, updating and maintenance of
Electronic Medical Records for Players;
- 5. Improvements to Second Medical Opinion procedures and protocol and
Fitness to Play determinations;
- 6. Implementation of additional steps and safeguards to monitor the use (and
possible misuse) of prescription medication by Players.
- 7. Increased flexibility for Players for rehabilitation of injuries during the offseason.
• Completion of expert third-party review of SABH Program and commitment to make
recommended modifications and improvements, as appropriate.
• Improvements to existing Performance Enhancing Substances Program, including:
- 1. Expansion of Prohibited Substances List to include illegal stimulants;
- 2. The establishment of testing protocol for HGH;
- 3. Varied forms and times of testing throughout the year;
- 4. The establishment of protocol for “reasonable cause testing”;
- 5. Incorporation of agreed-upon appeal procedures from “positive” test results;
- 6. Commitment to work with the AHL and the PHPA to expand Program to cover
• Implementation of a weighted Draft Lottery in which all non-Playoff teams compete
for opportunity to choose first overall in the annual Draft.
The % of this weighted lottery is the key point. If the 14th place team has a 1% chance then it isn’t much of a change. But if the worst team only has a 20-25% chance, down from 48%, then that is significant. I’m not certain teams lose on purpose. I’m not sure I want a team with 94 points, missing playoffs by one and then getting a signifcant shot to draft 1st overall.
The key is what the % will be.
• Exclusive negotiating rights window for European Draftees extended to one period
covering four years, instead of two periods covering two years each.
Interesting. I like this proposal.
• Modification to “Four-Recall Rule” to remove limitation on “number of transactions”
following the Trade Deadline; replace with limitations on the total number of Recalls
on roster at any one time after the Trade Deadline.
Love this idea. I’ve always thought it was dumb to not allow teams to give more players a taste of the NHL late in the year. Of course, some will argue this is an easy way to "tank" the season, and that is concern, but a team would need a lot of injuries to really load up their roster with AHL-caliber players.
There are more points in Lebrun’s article, if you want to see all of them.
Does this proposal give you hope?
More importantly will the NHLPA seriously consider it, and will they come back with a realistic counter-proposal?