The NHL and the NHLPA met on Wednesday morning with the players' union presenting their latest proposal in hopes of kickstarting negotiations. While the PA denied it would release its proposal publicly, it did find its way into the inboxes of various NHL reporters just as the two sides were reconvening Wednesday afternoon.
Here are some of the highlights from the NHLPA memo, via TSN:
• First, the big stuff:
Honouring Players' Contracts/Transition payments: Players' Share will equal 50 percent of HRR plus fixed payments in the first four years to partially honour player contracts and ease the transition to 50/50:
2012-13 - $182M
2013-14 - $128M
2014-15 - $72M
2015-16 - $11M
*The owners had previously proposed $211M
If revenues decrease, the players' share will still go up. That might be a bone of contention with the owners.
• Gone will be front-loading of deals that are longer than nine years signed after the new CBA is agreed upon. Elliotte Friedman has a good breakdown here.
• No limit on recalls in playoffs.
• Re-entry waivers to be abolished.
• Any team that sends a player with a minimum $1 million salary to the minors will have that count against their cap. Big markets would no longer be able to hide signings-gone-bad like Wade Redden and Jeff Finger.
• A neutral arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators will handle all discipline appeals. From the proposal: "The standard of review will be whether the League's finding of a violation of the League Playing Rules was supported by substantial evidence, and, if so, whether the penalty imposed was within the League's reasonable discretion and consistent with past practice." Some precedence in suspensions going forward?
• This proposal would expire Sept. 15, 2017, which means, yes, another summer of free-agent spending right before a new CBA is needed to be agreed upon.
• Finally, this was the last item of the proposal under "Transition Rules to be negotiated":
May cover, among other things, compliance buyouts, pro-ration of status/service and statistical criteria/thresholds based on the length of the season, movement of deadlines, and any other relevant matters.
"Compliance buyouts." That could be the much-talked about amnesty clause or just the buying out of contracts for teams to get them under whatever the salary cap ceiling ends up being.
Before you say, "Hey! This sounds pretty promising. Maybe there's some hope here," that was the same feeling when the NHLPA offered its previous proposals last month and, with us still talking about CBA negotiations here on Nov. 21, we all know how that ended. Let's see how the NHL responds before remembering what hope felt like.
Donald Fehr spoke to reporters after the morning meeting broke and said there won't be any more movement on the PA's end. From the AP:
"We have moved far more than halfway," Fehr said. "It is about as good as we can do. Gary [Bettman] said we were $900 million or a $1 billion apart," Fehr said, referring to the gap over a five-year deal. "At the moment we are exactly $182 million apart."
Read the entire proposal at TSN and pray by the time you're finished the NHL hasn't already shot it down.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
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