Details Of NHL’s Six-Year Collective Bargaining Agreement Proposal
The NHL released details of its offer for a six-year Collective Bargaining Agreement deal with a mutual option for a seventh. The plan includes a 50-50 split in hockey related revenue.
Management included a provision to ensure players receive all money promised in existing contracts, but the union is concerned with what management termed the “make-whole provision.” If the players’ share falls short of their $1.883 billion in 2011-12, up to $149 million in the first year of a new deal and up to $62 million in the second would be repaid to players as deferred compensation. However, the union believes that money would be counted against the players’ share in later years.
The latest proposal also includes:
• A listed salary cap of $59.9 million for the 2012-13 season, with a provision each team could spend up to $70.2 million during a transition season.
• Changing eligibility for unrestricted free agency from age 27 or seven years of service to age 28 or eight years of service, down from 10 years of service in the league’s earlier proposal.
• Increasing eligibility for salary arbitration from four years to five years.
• Including all years of existing contracts beyond five years against a team’s cap, regardless of where a player is playing. If a player is traded and retires or stops playing, the applicable cap charge would be applied against the team that originally signed the contact.
• The reduction of entry-level contracts to two years.
• A term limit on any contract beyond that set at five years and a stipulation that the average annual value can only vary up to five percent. This is a mechanism designed to eliminate long-term, back-loaded contracts. The NHL wants to prohibit lengthy deals, such as the $98 million, 13-year contracts Minnesota Wild agreed to in July with forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter.
• The elimination of re-entry waivers.
• Increasing the annual revenue sharing pool by 33 percent to $200 million, assuming annual league revenue of $3.033 billion, with a provision that half the pool be funded by the 10 teams with the highest gross revenue. A cutout against clubs in large media markets, such as Anaheim, New Jersey and the New York Islanders, and clawbacks against not selling enough tickets would be eliminated. A new revenue sharing committee, which would include NHLPA representation, would have input to determine distribution.
Among the items not addressed in the league’s public detailing of its offer was realignment, drug testing or the NHL’s participation in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
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