In a perfect world the National Hockey League and its players’ association would sit down and conduct a friendly meeting where the end result would be a brand new Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows the 2012-13 season to start on time. Unfortunately this is not a perfect world.
Last night it was being reported that the NHL had made the first offer for a new CBA as the current one expires in September. If the NHL was serious about what they offered in their first proposal we all should prepare for a lockout.
In this proposal the owners are asking the players to reduce their share of revenue from 57 percent to 46 percent. There’s no chance the players will let this one fly. It’s pretty well known that revenue sharing is a key subject in the negotiations.
Next up we have my personal favorite owners proposal which is that players need 10 years of NHL experience before they hit unrestricted free agency. With some of the monster free agent deals we have seen over the past several seasons this is another proposal that I expect the players to quickly shoot down.
To stick with the free agency theme the owners want to put a 5-year cap on the length of deals. With the recent surge of 10+ year deals this is one that I actually like. Five may be too short, but I can see the players accepting a six or seven year cap.
One of the last proposals from the owners was to stretch out entry-level contracts from the current three year deal to a five year deal.
I also like this proposal. Sometime it’s tough for these kids to make the jump to the NHL level. If a kid comes in and has two shaky years, followed up by a tremendous one, his next deal may be a bit “off base”. At least with five years on an entry-level deal it will give the young kids more time to show signs of how their future will look like.
It certainly was a interesting offer from the owners, but they are nuts if they think the NHLPA will accept this deal. If this is what the owners are shooting for and are sticking with their guns it’s going to be a long time before we see NHL hockey being played.