Earlier today the NHL made an offer to the NHLPA that has taken many by surprise and created a real sense of optimism in hockey fans that hasn’t been seen in weeks. Not every detail has been released from the offer but the key facts we know of are the following:
- The deal is a 50-50 split of HRR (Hockey Related Revenue)
- The players will face no rollback on current salary. This was a big issue for players as they were concerned about giving up money on contracts that they had already signed before the lockout which were not being honored
- The Entry Level Contract (ELC) length will be three years
- Free Agency begins at age 28 or after 8 years of service in the NHL
-Increased revenue sharing between teams
- Contracts have a max length of five years
- The deal would last six years
- The season will begin on November 3rd and still feature 82 games
- The NHLPA has 10 days to review and accept this offer before it expires
Players Association head Donald Fehr has said that the union is looking over the offer and will have further comment later, probably tomorrow afternoon. After nearly a month of no significant negotiating, this may be the move that gets a deal done. The players association probably will argue over some numbers, such as when free agency begins or some of the other details that we still don’t know. However, the pressure is now being felt by the NHLPA as they have to now have to review this proposal then either accept it, or make a counter proposal all in ten days
Ironically, it may be have been a large faux pas by the league that lead to this development. Yesterday it was reported by Deadspin that over the weekend the league had hired a public relations expert who advises GOP candidates on how the owners can win the PR war. Screenshots and descriptions of the focus group were leaked online. It lead to outrage from some groups that the league seemed more focused on winning the public opinion and less focused on making a deal. It is not known whether or not this leak has contributed to the new deal, however the owners probably made a smart move here. For much of this lockout the owners have been seen as the group that is unwilling to compromise and started the whole lockout in the first place. Now they have made a deal that moves off their hard-line stance and seems fair at first glance. This then makes the NHLPA seem like bad guys if they reject the new proposal.
Give the owners credit for moving negotiations along. Hopefully I can update you in the next few days that the lockout is over and that the NHL is back.
About the Author
Written by Eric O'Connell
Eric O'Connell is Junior at St. John's University in Queens, New York but hails from Connecticut. He has been a life long fan of the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New York Rangers. Other interests include hanging out with friends, listening to music, having a good time, and Coffee Oreo Ice Cream. Follow on Twitter @EOCONN36 (opinions are mine and not Pro Sports Blogging)