With the current NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement set to expire on September 15, 2012, expect a lot of chatter to begin once the NHL team owners and the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) start negotiations which is expected to start after the end of the season. Below are some of the highlights from the 2005 CBA:
  • The salary cap was set at $39 million per team for 2005-06 NHL season, the first season played under the deal. By the 2011-12 season the salary cap was $64.3 million.
  • The salary cap was calculated each year to guarantee players 54 percent of total NHL revenues. The players’ share increased as revenues rose to specific benchmarks. Estimates for the 2010-11 season had players getting about 57 percent of total revenues.
  • For the 2005-06 season, the value of all existing contracts was rolled back by 24 percent.
  • 2004-05 contract years were wiped out.
  • No player could earn more than 20 percent of his team’s salary cap. The age at which players qualified as unrestricted free agents dropped from 31 in the first year of the deal to 27 or seven years of NHL service as of 2008.
  • A new protocol was introduced governing restricted free agents, salary arbitration, and how restricted free agents switch teams under the “offer sheet” system.
  • In the summer of 2005, a team could buy out a player contract for two-thirds of the contract value, without counting it against the 2005-06 salary cap. After that, a percentage value of all buyouts counted against the cap in future seasons.
  • Revenue sharing split an unspecified pool of money from the 10 highest-grossing teams among the bottom 15.
  • A tighter rookie salary cap saw entry-level players restricted to a maximum of $850,000 per year, with strict limits on bonuses.
  • A drug testing protocol was introduced, with suspensions for offenders.
  • NHL players were committed to participate in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.

You can download the 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement here

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