Skip to content

Fehr reveals NHLPA proposal specifics: “We want to make a deal”

Aug 14, 2012, 3:11 PM EDT

Donald Fehr AP

Following Tuesday’s meeting with the NHL, players’ union boss Donald Fehr met with reporters to discuss specifics of the NHLPA’s offer to the league — and passed along a key message.

We want to make a deal.”

Fehr covered various aspects of Tuesday’s meeting, discussing both the tone of the meetings and the details of the PA’s proposal.

The nuts and bolts of the NHLPA offer are:

— Proposed three-year collective bargaining agreement, with an option for a fourth. (link)

— The fourth year is an option to revert to the current CBA. (link)

— Players are willing to take a lower HHR (hockey related revenue) share over the next three years. (link)

— Current rules for player salaries, contract lengths and free agent eligibility would remain unchanged. (link)

— Deal would include a hard salary cap “with some exceptions.” (link)

— One exception appears to be a luxury tax. (link)

As for the tone of and reaction to the meeting, Fehr said the talks were “frank” and “certainly professional,” but added that players and owners “don’t see the world the same way.”


NHLPA offer: Won’t eliminate salary cap, deemed “better than expected” and “interesting”

Bettman on NHLPA proposal: “They didn’t put it together in an hour or two”

Crosby, Ovechkin on hand for NHLPA presentation

Players’ union presenting an “alternative view” to owners

  1. dayno66 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Screw a luxury tax. People complain about the haves and the have nots under the current cba. Imagine if the big money teams could spend 20 million over the cap. It be like the idiotic nba where only a very select few have any shot of winning a championship.

    • tmoore4075 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      I’d wait to see what the proposal of the luxury tax is before getting all worked up. I highly doubt that teams would be allowed to spend that much over the cap. One dont think the NHLPA would be dumb enough to propose it. Two, league wouldn’t accept it anyways. And three, league probably would have said no to that already and wouldn’t bother reviewing it at all. We’ll see though.

      • elemeno89 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        Sounds like this deal is pitting owners against each other. Small market vs big market.

      • tmoore4075 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        I agree. And it’s a nice move by Fehr to do this. Also shows players willing to give now it’s up to the league.

  2. tmoore4075 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    The fact that the NHL seems intrigued by it is good. I want to see the luxury tax/revenue sharing stuff before I say if the NHL would accept it.

    I don’t think the NHL would be totally against the current rule for contracts because the Kovy Rule helps a little. I think the NHL would like to change it so players get paid what their cap hit is. So you can’t front load contracts. If you have to pay Parise 7.5mil at the age of 37 you probably aren’t giving him a 13 year deal so there wouldn’t be a need for term restrictions on contract length.

    Most positive thing out of this is the players willing to take less than what they are currently at. That should help get things moving towards a resolution….I hope.

  3. kitshky - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    So once again, the players are willing to give … while the owners and Bettman continue to try and play hardball and demand more and more.

    The fact of the matter when it comes to haves and haves not … is that there some organizations are better than others. Money and high payrolls do not change that. Teams that are willing to invest in their product both on the ice and off the ice will always succeed where others do not. (How many years did we see the Leafs and Rangers throw money at every Free Agent they could get their hands on, have massive payrolls, and still fail?)

    A true revenue sharing system that includes a luxury tax (thus increasing profits that can be shared with smaller market teams giving all teams the opportunity to compete) is the only way to run this league in a fair manner. If there is no season this year it will fall squarely on the shoulders of the owners … no one else.

  4. islandersfan - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    It took them this long to come up with an offer that essentially boils down to we’ll take less of a % if you take a luxury tax?

    I don’t mind the offer, it’s a goodish first offer to start the debate, but the PA dragged its feet in making this offer for way too long and these people don’t have much time. (Though I strongly suggest to both sides that the term be a lot longer than 3 or 4 years, sponsors and fans are going to want some certainty after this debacle)

    Now the NHL can look at the offer and make its own proposal, I hope they don’t make the same mistake the players did and drag their feet.

    • tmoore4075 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      Well first you gotta remember the cap is still gonna be there. My guess is that this is a very complex proposal and not as simplistic as you put it. Should it have taken a month? Probably not but I’m wondering if they did this to put pressure on the NHL. Put forth an offer that’s better than most people thought they would, which from what I’m reading many are surprised, and it paints the NHL into a corner. You say no and you look like you are unwilling to move on your positions so you use this as a starting point.

      Agree on the length of the deal. My guess is league will want at least a little longer. I understand the thought of a shorter deal means you can see if it works but NHL won’t like it in terms of business.

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      Do you have any idea how specific and intensive these proposals actually are? Read through the current CBA and see if you still have the same opinion.

  5. jimw81 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Fehr has masterfully pinned Rich vs Poor owners and pinned Bettman into a corner on what group of owners he stands behind. If he goes with the small market teams, bye bye Gary.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2012 at 6:52 PM

      Yep, Bettman is in trouble, I can’t see the new Leafs owners (who just bought the team for $1.3 billion) or the Flyers, Rangers, Hawks etc owners wanting to not play games. I could see the bigger owners going behind Bettman’s back to make a deal with the middle of the road owners.

  6. jernster21 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    These all looks pretty good without seeing significant details. It shows the players are willing to compromise to continue to grow the game itself. Three years is a good amount of time to help that cause and then they can re-evaluate and maybe, just maybe, the owners will concede a bit and give more to the players. You have to figure, in three years, hopefully the Phoenix Coyotes situation will be a distant memory and the league/owners aren’t having to shoulder that burden any longer, the game will grow, revenue will grow…and we’ll see. The only thing that matters is keeping the train moving because it’s on the right track.

  7. killerpgh - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Is it still considered a hard cap if there are exception? The current systems allows for the best product to be put on the ice and that is what the fans deserve – competitive balance. Look at the Panthers last year. Tallon their GM was not to happy about having to spend to hit the floor. But since he had to it turned out great for the fans. The Panthers won their division and pushed the Eastern Conference champion to a 7 game before losing in the first round. that wouldn’t have happened if if there wasn’t or the salary cap floor being as close to the ceiling as it is. Having a high floor is just as important as having a salary cap Max, imo. It give the fans hope and means no fans should have to pay to see a lousy product on the ice like the 03-04 Pittsburgh Penguins again. If you need a laugh look up the roster. Now I don’t claim to understand how the NHL luxury tax will work, but it is a joke in MLB. Teams spending 3or 4 time as much as other teams in the league in not good, imo. Sure it’s good for those markets but overall for fans of league it sucks. The Penguins now have Ronald Burkle as a co owner of the team with Mario. Burkle is worth 3.2 billion according to Forbes. That worth of 3.2 billion is more what Mike Ilitch (red wing), Terry Pegula (Sabres), Ed Snider (Flyers) and probably every other owner in the NHL (I didn’t look them all up). So in theory the Penguins could afford to use the luxury tax as a tool to help them succeed, but I’m still against a luxury tax because I think it will do more harm than good for the overall success of the League. At least from a fans perspective.

    • hockeydon10 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      I got the impression of a soft cap of like 60M, with a hard cap of like 68M. Teams that spend over the 60M would be hit with a luxury tax on the last 8M, but could not go over 68M in any case.

      • killerpgh - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:49 PM

        That seems somewhat reasonible. How does it work? Say a team spends spends to the limit of 68 and since they are going over by 8 million they have to put an additional 8 million in a fund to be divided up by teams that are losing money? I’ll admit I don’t know much about a luxury tax. But it doesn’t make sense if a team like the Wild who spent like crazy this off season would get money IF they lost money next season. I think it was when the Penguins signed Martin and Michalek and were near the cap max I read they needed to,make the 2nd round of the playoff to make a profit for that year. If they spent money to be a contender and failed to do so I don’t think it makes sense to compensate them. If a luxury tax happens in the NHL I’ll read all about it and have a better understanding. It’s probably just the baseball aspect (and with a cap floor/max it probably completely different) that makes me against it. Being a Pirates fans and watching the owner stuff money in his pockets year after year while putting a sub par team on the field while collecting millions in luxury tax makes me hesitant of the term luxury tax.

  8. barkar942 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    At least….
    1) Both sides seem to be professionally “negotiating”. Last CBA, there was no negotiation. The Cap System was needed, or the NHL wouldn’t just own the Yotes, they would own half the league.
    2) Owners submit their proposal with massive concessions from the players, and submit financial documentation as to why these concessions are needed.
    3) Players union recognizes the need for concessions from said documentation and counter proposes some givebacks, and some other ways for owners to equalize equity among themselves.
    4) Owners are listening and will review and, I am sure, will come back with a counter proposal that will, once again, look for more than the players want to give up, and after two or three times of going back and forth, they will cut a deal. Both sides are too stupid to have any kind of work stoppage. The NHL has gained too much in the last 5 years to blow it all.
    5) Donald Fehr is the first leader the union had had that allows them to professionally present a united front, unlike in the last CBA go round. He has presented a proposal that admits that there are some financial issues for some of the owners by the players agreeing to some concessions, and has now lobbed the ball back to their court to hash out. The players present to the public that “We are willing to work with the owners”, and that now does put the ownership side on their heels , because the owners cannot be the bad guy this time and lock the players out. Last time, it was necessary to save the league. This time, it about overall ownership equity.
    6) Neither side is calling the others bad names in public. That is the best sign of all!

    • jimw81 - Aug 14, 2012 at 6:00 PM

      Bettman fears Fehr

      • revansrevenant - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:23 PM

        If I were him, I would too.

  9. kevindunn21 - Aug 14, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    The players should include a poison pill in the proposal that gives their side a significantly larger share of TV revenue in the case of a lockout, punishing the owners when no one shows up to the gate.

    Or they can just stop all of this goofy crap and come to a logical proposal. Either way.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1833)
  2. P. Kane (1532)
  3. M. Richards (1332)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1323)
  5. N. Backstrom (1190)