While I refuse to call anything the NHL and NHLPA does “progress” at this point, it’s worth noting that as of this morning the NHL has apparently submitted a new proposal with a few further concessions in an effort to end the NHL lockout. Maybe this is that “new idea” people were looking for as recently as last night.
From Bill Daly:
“In light of media reports this morning, I can confirm that we delivered to the Union a new, comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA late yesterday afternoon. We are not prepared to discuss the details of our proposal at this time. We are hopeful that once the Union’s staff and negotiating committee have had an opportunity to thoroughly review and consider our new proposal, they will share it with the players. We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible.”
If the devil is in the details, here’s what’s being reported:
- Make Whole – offer the same at $300 million, likely meaning the proposed term of the CBA is still 10 years and there is still an opt-out possibility at 8 years. No Earth-shattering news here.
- Salary Variance – Up to 10%, a 5% increase from the last proposal. This prevents circumventing the salary cap with front loaded contracts that span a number of years. This is a pretty good increase and should be seen as a good step forward.
- Contract Term Limits – Up to six years, seven if you’re dealing with your own drafted players. Up from five years recently.
- “Amnesty Buyouts” – apparently on the table, would allow teams a one-time period prior to the 2013-14 season to buyout players with no impact to the salary cap. The money would however count against the players’ hockey related revenue share.
There’s no hiding the fact that if a deal doesn’t get done soon there isn’t going to be enough time to have a legitimate season (though some, including myself, would argue there’s no time for that already). The proposal does give a little into the NHLPA’s demands, so there is some hope that this could spark a deal. The Boston Globe is even reporting that some execs believe this offer will be a “tipping point.” Whether that’s the case obviously remains to be seen.
This move shows the NHL is likely feeling the pressure over the possibility of losing yet another season, and if Donald Fehr and company feel they can go further, there’s a good chance he may take the low road again. The other question mark is whether or not the players feel this way as well. The next few hours and days could really paint a clearer picture on what the next month or so will hold.
But while we wait, the clock is still ticking…