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Report: NHL wants CBA to involve immediate player pay cuts

Aug 31, 2012, 8:11 PM EDT

Donald Fehr Getty Images

As we previously reported, the NHL and players’ union met on Friday, but talks ended without any indication of that progress had been made or timeline for the resumption of talks.

Now we’re starting to get an indication of what might have stalled the negotiations.

As Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, the NHL isn’t interested in entertaining offers unless they include an immediate reduction in players’ salaries. That can be achieved either through escrow or rollbacks. It sounds like that, as far as the owners are concerned, it must be part of the deal.

The players don’t want to do that and Russo issued the following argument in their defense, “Teams negotiated these contracts. Teams agreed to these contracts. The NHL registered these mutually-signed contracts. If teams signed players this past summer and the past few years to contracts they never had any intention of paying in full because they knew all along what they would be demanding in terms of paycuts in the next CBA negotiations, well, that’s completely disingenuous.”

That’s certainly a valid point of view. However, it’s worth adding that when these teams and players entered into these contracts, they did so with the knowledge that a new CBA would have to be reached and that everything would be on the table during the negotiating process. Given how the last CBA negotiations went down, the players had to be aware that these kinds of demands from the owners were at least a possibility.

Regardless, if the fans view the NHL’s reported demands as unfair, then that might put pressure on the owners and help the players. Based on a recent PHT poll, our readers are overwhelming siding with the players.

Either way, just because both sides appear to be drawing lines in the sand today, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be a compromise in the not too distant future. As TSN’s Darren Dreger recently suggested, the real negotiations might start at or around Sept. 10.

  1. dlk75150 - Aug 31, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Screw the owners and Bettman. If there’sy a lockout fans need to strike in theie venue the first game so it is empty. That would be the only way to have a voice.

    Y

  2. DTF31 - Aug 31, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    I wonder how well this will go over when Lemiuex and Leonsis have the Christmas party at their mansion and are sitting at the table with Sid and Ovi all “Sure duped you in those contracts we signed hey! HA! Thought I was actually gonna pay you 100 mil like we negotiated!”

  3. xaf605 - Aug 31, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Nbc sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. id4joey - Aug 31, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Screw them all! Why don’t we all go on strike?

  5. mpg44 - Aug 31, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    I’ve been on the side of the owners for most of this …. But that is straight up illegal !!

    • stakex - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:05 AM

      Funny enough, I’ve sided with the players the whole time, but do see that the owners have a bit of a point here.

      I mean look, even if they eventually go with a 50/50 split… most of the teams in the NHL will be over the new cap, some of them by a lot of money. How do you make that work without a cut in player pay? I just don’t see it as possible. Thats not me agreeing with the owners, its me looking at reality.

      Obviously I don’t think that will solve anything. The real issue is there are too many NHL teams in awful hockey markets that aren’t making enough money. Things won’t be better until those teams are relocated to more hockey friendly markets, and there is a better revenu sharing system in place. However on this one issue, if no one wants to actually fix whats really broken, the owners have a point.

      • mpg44 - Sep 3, 2012 at 4:07 AM

        I want the 50/50 split. But any contract changes should Only apply to new ones not any current NHL approved ones. I understand the owners want help , but they did make those deals and should have to stick by those.

  6. eugenesaxe - Sep 1, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Enjoy the lockout, hockey fans.

  7. ron05342 - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Am I the only one who thinks that stock photo of Fehr looks like Drew Doughty about 35 years from now?

  8. sonofsuzycreamcheese - Sep 1, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    No, wait…give him some grey facial hair, then yes

  9. thomaspratt - Sep 1, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    I frea we are one step closer to decertification and a lawsuit charging the owners with failing to negotiate in good faith.

    • jimw81 - Sep 1, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      that is the next step and they have a very good case.

  10. source7769 - Sep 1, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    why is this an issue they didnt have to pay these guys what they gave them and now they want a mulligan for overspending and not controlling their urges

  11. sippindasyzurp - Sep 1, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Ya it sucks and its unfair for the players… We as fans will always be back (well at least where I am in Canada anyway)..

    Fact is the owners can sit out longer than the players.. Plus the teams who struggle financially, they would do better off by not having to pay out a dime and having a lockout!

    Every paycheck the players lose is money lost forever and they will never see it again… In that regard the players will cave eventually.

  12. manchestermiracle - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Leave to NHL owners to want to try and put a condom on after they’ve already jizzed all over themselves….

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