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NHLPA makes significant move in owners’ direction in latest CBA talks

Greg Wyshynski
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One of the stalemates in the NHL's CBA talks has been the players' refusal to work within the framework of the owners' most recent proposal.

One of the basic conflicts: The NHL wanted a deal that's linked to revenue growth rather than a guaranteed amount of money to the players.

"If their proposal continues to be a guaranteed player amount, sitting here on Nov. 19, that's not a proposal that would ... ever be acceptable to us," deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on Monday.

The NHLPA was expected to come back with a proposal on Wednesday, and propose they did: According to union chief Donald Fehr and multiple sources, the NHLPA has moved to a percentage-based proposal rather than a fixed dollar amount.

From Kevin Allen of USA Today, some context:

Previously, players had been seeking a fixed dollar amount: last year's $1.883 billion, plus 1.75% interest over the life of the deal.

Also, [according to a source], the union is asking the league to add $180 million to its make whole proposal. The league had offered $211 million in deferred payments designed to ensure that players didn't lose money off existing contracts with the drop of the players' share from 57% to a 50-50 split.

Hence, the devil's still in the details. Fehr said the sides are $182 million apart over five years.

According to Allan Walsh's math, that's "$1.26 million per team per year." Let's see how the NHL calculates it.

Even if the core economics are agreed upon, there are still a number of contracting issues at play. James Mirtle reports that "the NHLPA's only move on contract rights was a proposal on eliminating back-diving contracts."

That's great; but is that enough for the owners, who were asking for several other changes to current contracting?

The NHL's response is expected this afternoon. At the very least, we won't have to hear more complaining that the players aren't negotiating. At least in theory.

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