Getty ImagesHello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend's events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.
And so it was late on Friday night that word of the league's first offer to the NHL Players' Association was handed down and was, shall we say, not particularly favorable.
Among the list of things the league presented to the NHLPA, knowing that not one would be accepted, was a significant rollback of the share of hockey-related revenue from the current 57 percent to just 46 percent; no more salary arbitration; a period of 10 years before a player reaches free agency; a five-year limit on contracts; and entry-level deals lasting five years instead of three.
All were likely to be viewed as non-starters for the PA, and understandably so. These demands are insane. Of course they are. It's not yet clear whether the apocalyptic language surrounding these revelations — Larry Brooks, who was out in front of these details, called it a "Declaration of War … in the guise of a first proposal" and Adam Proteau began furiously railing against the owners — is well-founded.
As Harrison Mooney said Friday night, were there a line in the sand to which the owners planned to defend to the last, then that would certainly be cause for concern. But let's keep in mind, this being a negotiation — and indeed, the first offer in one — there is by definition going to have to be some give and take from both sides.
Should you officially be more worried about this deal getting done before the season is scheduled to start than you were, say, a week ago? Probably.
This kind of hypocrisy from the league is hardly anything new — see also: Minnesota's contracts for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, months after its owner cried about the inherent unfairness of big, long-term deals — and all attempts will be made to wrest whatever money it can from the players' pockets going forward.
But that's also the owners' job in this.
(Coming Up: Teemu-mania, running wild; Shane Doan is the canary in a coal mine; Rangers ante Derek Stepan for Rick Nash; Hurricanes push for Bobby Ryan; Malcolm Subban sucks up to Boston fans; replacing Jarome Iginla; Avs re-up Jamie McGinn; Dustin Penner was rather injured this season; and Jonathan Bernier to the Leafs?)Read More »from What We Learned: Does NHL’s radical CBA proposal declare labor war?