New NHL deal could save season
Wed, 17 Oct 2012 2:53p.m.
By Logan Swinkels
Hockey could soon be back on primetime.
Following the release of the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) proposal, the NHL office have abandoned their stance which originally caused negotiations to stagnate – when it argued the players’ union must bring forth a new proposal.
The latest proposal by the NHL calls for a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue between the league and players - a solid compromise on the initial offer of a 47 percent share offered to players back in September.
One upside for fans, officials and players alike is the new offer gives the possibility of a full 82-game season beginning November 2.
“We have about 10 days to get this all put to bed, signed, sealed and delivered in order for this offer to be effective and for us to move forward,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters.
The new offer comes out of the blue for the NHL Player’s Association but NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr has acknowledged the strength of this proposal and says it is now up to players to make the next move.
One impasse for players was salary rollbacks, as they worried about losing money on their current contracts.
It is believed that the NHL’s new proposal has the option to defer payments based on future growth to help ease financial pain on players.
This back down from the league could be seen as a response to several Russian stars, including Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechin, threatening to stay with Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) if the lockout continued.
Losing players and fans is a risk incurred from the lockout, one the NHL will not want to endure as they look to build on the success of recent years - including a staggering US$3.3 billion in revenue from the 2011-2012 season.
Ultimately, this gives a new deadline to the lockout saga. If the players’ union can come back to the League with an agreement or suitable counter proposal, overseas players will need to rush back to their NHL clubs and get ready for a week of training camp before the proposed November 2 season opening.
Gary Bettman closed his address with the following statement, “We hope that this effort we’ve undertaking today will be successful, because we know how difficult this has all been for everybody associated with the game, particularly our fans.”
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