Here is a summary of the NHL offer today based on what I can gather from various reports:
1. Even split of Hockey Related Revenue (HRR). This is still a big change from the current 57% (Players)-43% (Owners) split, but it is improved over the NHL’s previous offers.
2. Some protection on players’ salaries in first year where any losses would be paid back over remaining years of the player’s deal. Need more details on this, but it looks to be a positive step.
3. Free Agency starts at 28 years of age or eight years of service. Currently free agency begins at 27 years of age or seven years of service.
4. Entry level contracts go to four years in length from three years.
5. Revenue sharing of approximately $200 million.
6. Maximum contract length of five years.
7. NHL Players who are “buried” in the minors would have their salary count against the cap. Not sure if this is being grandfathered in or not (i.e. Wade Redden).
The final revenue split of 50-50 is where many people have expected this deal to end up, but it will be interesting to see how the NHLPA reacts to the reduction in HRR beginning immediately. They have been adamant that they want the current value of contracts to stay they same. Although there appears that there is some protection for player salaries in the first year of the deal, I wonder if this is enough to get it done.
The five year contract length is definitely something that I think the players will take issue with. It’s not a deal breaker, but I’m sure that we will see a max contract length closer to seven or eight years.
The inclusion of NHL players buried in the minors counting towards the cap is actually a win for the players. Teams will now have to think twice before sending someone down. It now gives the teams an incentive to find a use for a player that may not be living up to his deal.
It’s fair to say that this offer won’t be accepted outright, but it gives the NHLPA and NHL a true starting point for negotiations. As I said in this post, the NHL needed to blink first and I think they did.
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