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A Proposal and A Podium: Where Things Stand
- Updated: December 6, 2012
Day 82 of the NHL lockout (yep we’ve had as many days locked out as the length of a team’s full schedule).
Going into Tuesday there was a great deal of uncertainty and coming out of Tuesday there was ‘cautious optimism’. There was a sense of urgency Tuesday and both the NHL and NHLPA played along nice enough for special council of the NHLPA Steve Fehr to say that it was “the best day they’ve had yet.” That phrase “cautious optimism” makes me want to vomit by-the-way.
Wednesday brought with it a feeling that there could be an agreement made. Twitter was buzzing with reporters reporting and fans getting excited to put an end the misery. The players and the owners went back and fourth with offers and the last offer made (by the NHL) is being reviewed by the players union.
Let’s look at what’s on the table:
The NHL wants the term of the CBA to be 10 years with out-clause after year 8. The players are aiming for a 5 year deal. Seems reasonable.
The league would also like to limit the terms of contracts to 5 years but teams attempting to re-sign their own players can go as many as 7 years. Again seems reasonable.
NHL has upped their “make whole” pot to $300 million from $211 million though it is contingent on the CBA being 10 years. Players asked for $393 million. The owners moved $89 million in the players direction. Not that bad.
The league also conceded with contracting rights offering to keep them the same as they were in the expired CBA.
At this point the players gotta look at this offer, thinking it’s pretty darn good, and accept. How much better will the proposals get? Who knows? They could get better but is there time for them to get better? Keep in mind that playing 62 games is the magic number for the NHL to get 100% of their sponsor revenue. The players could wait out the owners and hope for a better deal, sure, but if they wait long enough they’re going to find themselves not playing any games.
We know what Gary Bettman said about the leagues offer in July being the ‘best the league can do’ and we heard him echo that statement again after another offer a few months back. But what there was then, there isn’t now, and that’s time.
Both sides are scheduled to meet around 5pm or later. The players have called for the federal mediators to get back in the talks but so far the league has not indicated whether or not they will accept their request.
Tonight on The Orange Update Radio Show (10:30pm EST) we will have special guest Bill Meltzer on to help sort out all of the information that’s being thrown out there regarding the negotiation process.
A side note: Wednesday involved lots of Twitter chatter from hockey writers/fans about a podium. Yes, a podium, we’re desperate for games. Long story if you’re not plugged in on Twitter.