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Lockout Inevitable With NHL Negligence
If I were a player sitting in these meetings I would straight up laugh in their faces. At this point the NHL sounds like a crying child who refuses to leave the store until they get every single piece of candy they want from the NHLPA.
Every passing week, the league looks dumber and greedier. No one, no team, no league is above the game. That was demonstrated decades ago when the WHA was formed and directly competed with the NHL for talent, succeeding in luring star players such as Bobby Hull, Andre Lacroix, Marc Tardif, Frank Mahovlich, and Gordie Howe, as well as developing their own talent in Mark Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Michel Goulet, and Rick Vaive. Of course eventually the WHA folded but to this day it remains the NHL's toughest competitor and there is no reason to believe it can't be successful if it's resurrected at the right time -- a time like this.
I can't imagine how frustrating this process has to be for the players... not to mention now the 16 general manager's that were told the cap would be as high as $70 million. The NHL very well knows the NHLPA will not allow a $12 million cap reduction per team, so why even propose it?
So how does the NHL take the NHLPA's proposal this week? They wipe it with their asses and tell the players they must give up nearly $360 million this upcoming season and cut contracts by 11%. Great way to keep your employees happy, not to mention piss off your general managers.
There will be a conference call at 5:30 PM EST today, so we'll update this post as more information rears it's ugly head.
UPDATE 3:45 PM CT
- NHL improves their initial offer of 43% HRR to 46%.
- NHLPA projects escrow would go to 15%-20% under NHL's proposal.
- NHLPA still hasn't received last season's specific club by club breakdowns on HRR.
- NHLPA's original counter-offer proposed to reduce Players Share from 57% to 54% for 3 years to create an Industry Growth Fund with $100 million for small markets.
- NHL's counter-offer proposed that the share of the players will go down 11.5% in the first year, 8.5% in the second year, and 5.5% in the third year.
The owners essentially proposed a creative way to pay the players less and masked the numbers through different forms of cutting back. Bettman stated that they moved more money but in reality where they moved 3% they gained 15-20% in escrow. How it works is that they'll take a portion of player salaries during the season (escrow) and once the season is completed all forms of league revenues are added up. Based on those HRR figures, the cash is then divided up and if there's enough, they send it back to the players.
In short, the NHL wants to change the definition of Hockey Related Revenue and Fehr says the players want it to stay the same. The NHL also wants a longer deal to be made while the NHLPA wants a shorter CBA. The players are willing to take a pay cut, but the owners want more through escrow funds and although they increased HRR to 46%, essentially more money could be lost through their new proposal.
Although the two sides are nearing closer to a revenue sharing plan (as the NHL is not only pushed by the NHLPA but small market teams as well) there is still a lot of work to be done regarding player contracts as well as smaller details. Don't expect hockey to start on time.
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