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NHL vs NHLPA — Breaking down each side’s proposal

Sep 13, 2012, 11:38 AM EDT

NHL and NHLPA logo

Confused about the CBA negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA? You’re not alone. There’s a lot of math being thrown around.

The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle has a good breakdown of the numbers,.Click on the link if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of each side’s offer.

For those that just want a takeaway, here it is in Mirtle’s words:

“…the union is trying to stay at or above that $1.87-billion figure earned last season in order to avoid big-time escrow payments by its players right away. That’s one of the things players have asked Fehr for, and he is listening and trying to deliver.”

So basically the NHLPA doesn’t want to take a pay-cut. Ultimately the players would probably be OK with their share of revenues slowly diminishing over the course of the deal. Currently their share is 57 percent.

Where’s the compromise? At this point, nobody knows for certain. But if we had to guess, perhaps it’s something like 54 percent to start and gradually ending up at 50 percent.


  1. frenchy510 - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    All i can is 3 lockouts in Bettman’s tenure it’s time to get rid of that SOB. I feel so sorry for the Winnipeg Jets Fans. Finally get an NHL team back and now this. It’s not the players or owners that lose here. It’s the die hard fans and all of the staff people at the Arena’s that will be out of work again

    • shimshimshiree - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      While i agree with you for other reasons on Bettman…this is not him. He is only doing what the majority of the owners are wanting. Blame the owners…and to and extent players…both have not been in much of a rush to get a deal done or atleast make comprimises on both sides

      • tatdue - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        Read the actual article in the Globe and Mail by James Mirtle (the whole article, it’s the link above) The players are not to blame at all. The players are willing to give a lot more than you think, and at the same time they are trying to fix things so this crap doesn’t keep happening, but the owners don’t want things totally fixed because that would take their ability to cry poor away at the next CBA talks. This is a cash grab disguised as a negotiation! The only ones giving anything up are the players. Last I checked a negotiation was both sides giving something up to accomplish a fair deal, but there is nothing fair going on here!

      • tealwithit - Sep 14, 2012 at 3:23 AM

        tatdue – Whoa. Take it easy. Gotta quote The Hockey News here: “…anger leads to vitriol and vitriol leads to a pool of misinformation that clouds any reasoned understanding of what is actually painfully playing out in front of us.”
        Accusing the owners of purposely screwing up the CBA because they want to make sure the league is still a financial sh*tfest for the next round of negotiations, just so they can “rob” the players again… That’s pure crazy.

      • nyrangersnation - Sep 14, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        tatdue- the Players get 57% of the revenue in the least popular of the 4 major sports. That’s not okay. The owners need to make a pretty large majority of the revenue so 43% is about where it should be for now so owners can make money and the smaller markets can get well into the black. It should end up at around 47-49%. The only place the owners are dead wrong is the salary rollbacks. Especially after this ludicrous free agency and the GM’s and owners circumventing the cap by giving out these ridiculous contracts then saying oh no you have to make less than the contract you just agreed to. The players are wrong in still asking for a majority of the revenue and wanting a short CBA. They’ve done the right thing of going from 3 years with an option to a 4 or even 5 year deal. But the Owners did the right thing from askign the players to take 43% of HRR to 49% that goes down to 47% over life of CBA. It’s not just the owners, it’s the players too and it’s not Bettman. Bettman was hired to be a hard ass and be very stern. The owners hired him so the players couldn’t bully them around. They hired him to take a stand and he has. He’s also brought a lot of tremendous revenue. Now I hate, Bettman as much as every other hockey fan and his triumphs are met with a ton of miscues. But to put the blame on his shoulders is wrong. He’s just a guy doing his job.

  2. lsxphotog - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Also, in other words, the league is looking to reduce the amount of money players make in two avenues, HRR, and salary.

    Let us not forget that the current salaries players are making were from offers presented by owners to either retain their commodity (the player) or to attract a new one. The salary cap and floor are set by and agreed to by the league. The current CBA is almost entirely what the owners wanted and is their own recipe for success from back in 2004.

    Let’s see where we are today.

    The owners want players to take immediate pay cuts in salary on contracts they have signed. They also want the players to take a dramatic reduction in HRR (Hockey Related Revenue). In addition to this, the league and owners have boasted all year long about increased revenues and record profits…

    This lockout is a product of owners essentially being poor businessmen. They have done nothing to compensate for increases in operating costs over the past eight years and that has bitten a few teams in the ass. So, to make everyone happy (that is, every team owner), a blanket operating system is to go in place that allows the players to absorb the hit from their own mistakes.

    The players aren’t ignorant. This is what the league and many reporters want you to feel “their just dumb, spoiled athletes who make too much money” so you will side with the league, but it’s not the case. They are willing to take a hit, but the league is asking for too much of a hit at once. The NHLPA’s proposal spreads that hit across the life of the CBA, rather than the majority being in the first year. The owners are so accustomed to front loaded contracts, they’re looking to make a front loaded CBA. haha jk

    I side with the players on this one. It’s definitely give and take…but the league is asking for far too much at once – everyone can see that.

    • tealwithit - Sep 14, 2012 at 3:27 AM

      What happened in the last eight years? How did the CBA, which seemed to benefit the owners and punish the players, transform into something the players want to keep but Bettman can no longer live with? Answers:

  3. frenchy510 - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    The owners wouldn’t have these money issues if they didn’t sign these crazy contracts with players. Example Minnesota Wild signing Suter and Parise to that ridiculous contracts. 196 million between the 2 is totally pathetic.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:30 PM

      It would be nice to know which teams were losing money and how much. I know Leipold was complaining about losses but he can’t be doing too poorly. They’ve had sellout or near-sellout seasons every year since their inception, and ticket prices aren’t particularly cheap here.

      • tealwithit - Sep 15, 2012 at 8:18 PM

        This is the best I’ve been able to find, in terms of a list of teams and their operating incomes, but it’s not entirely accurate:
        I’m pretty sure it’s based on the 2010-11 season. According to that, the Wild lost about $6 million. San Jose has the same problem – They sell out every game but the owners say they lost $15 million last season. A big part of it is the TV deals and sponsorships. But the fact that teams like MN and SJ, who are consistently filling their arenas and selling merchandise, can’t break even is what has me thinking an even split (or close to it) of HRR would be a reasonable move.

    • elvispocomo - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:11 PM

      I agree, but the players signed those deals as well, and even played teams against each other to drive the price up. They aren’t innocent in all this.

      The NHLPA is meant to protect all the players, not just the stars, so tell me how it’s in their interest to have the minority making a significant majority of the money to an accelerated degree.

      • paperlions - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:30 PM

        So….your position is that the players are also to blame because they should have known the owners wouldn’t honor the contract? Really?

        The players are willing to honor the terms of the contracts they signed. The owners are not, and the reason the owners don’t want to has nothing to do with the players (whose play is generating all of the revenue to begin with) and everything to do with poor and lazy business practices.

        One could charge the owners with fraud for signing contracts they had no intent of honoring.

      • elvispocomo - Sep 14, 2012 at 1:25 PM

        Where did I say the players should have known the owners wouldn’t honour the contract? What I did say is they signed contracts knowing they might price themselves out of what was affordable for most teams, or more particularly, might be detrimental to other players in their union.

        The players had a full year off to think about why the owners wanted the last CBA, and then gave in to much of the demands because it was hopefully going to better the financial health of the league as a whole. If they didn’t learn any lessons from that (certainly the owners didn’t) then they have their own blame to accept. They can’t just go for the money and hope it doesn’t have any negative repercussions.

  4. lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Well, of course the Globe and Mail would do it for us. You think ESPN, the NY Times or USA Today would do it for us?…

    Anyhoo, all cross-border prodding aside, here’s the crux of the PA’s position, and why I think I support the players in all of this:
    “Instead, the union is trying to protect what it has already and gradually shift down closer to 50 per cent while (a) pushing the league to grow revenues by abandoning or helping small markets and (b) upping the overall revenue sharing contribution considerably.”
    I think it would benefit the PA to take a bit of a hit to achieve these goals, and it would show the maturity of both parties to get this done soon. One way to grow the game? Don’t alienate your casual and fringe fans. In the wise words of the always introspective Larry the Cable Guy, get ‘er done.

    • tatdue - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      It’s good to see you finally come around to see the real picture here! Fehr and the players are trying hard, they only want what is fair….If the players were to cave this time after the last CBA negotiations, imagine what that Goblin Turd Bettman would be trying for next time…this crap would never end!

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        I’m not sure I’d say I “came around.” It’s just hard to come to any sort of definite conclusion with limited details and trying to figure out who’s bluffing or not. I’m not “against” anyone per se, and it’s not for me to make judgment calls on anyone’s motivations. I’d ultimately like to see both sides benefit and get the season started on time but that rarely happens in real life.

        I’m mostly just happy that the players are pushing the league to do something about the dead-weight teams and addressing the revenue sharing aspect. The league has never had more on-ice parity, and we all know money doesn’t just turn a crap team into a contender (looking at you, Pegula). It boggles my mind when teams like Florida, Phoenix and even NJ or the Stars struggle improve their butt-to-seat ratio when they’re winning games. Good on the players to say something about this.

  5. tackledummy1505 - Sep 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    The Flyers would own this league if we could just spend whatever. The only thing that stops us is the cap lol. Can’t help that all other teams in the league can’t match. Players do need to ease up a bit. Hockey isn’t the NFL.

    • elvispocomo - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      The Rangers tried that prior to the cap and it didn’t seem to help them much. No guarantees, even with a buttload of money, that you’ll win games.

  6. nhstateline - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    The players and owners both wanted this fight. I substantively agree a bit more with the players but I emotively wish a pox on both their houses. The owners wanted to start negotiating a year ago, it was the pa that dragged this out until a summer 2012 start date. There was hardly any chance a deal this complicated would get done in three months and given the leisurely way they both went at this none at all. I don’t blame the owners for locking the players out now before Don Fehr could call a strike in February (see MLB 1994) as he would have been foolish not to do because that’s his max leverage point. I don’t want to hear about how both sides care about us the fans, they obviously don’t and I never want to hear again about how they’re important parts of our communities. No they aren’t, important community assets don’t behave this way towards their hosts. If they actually go through with this, hopefully it drags on for a couple of years and bankrupts both sides and they have to watch a couple of beer league teams win the Cup in the process. As much as I’d miss the NHL while it happened, it is what they all deserve.

  7. mungman69 - Sep 14, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    The Commish has all of the power. He got away with it in 2004 and he will again.

  8. nyrangersnation - Sep 14, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    I don’t think people realize that the economy has a lot to do with this. The absolute terrible state of the economy has made the last CBA ineffective. The owners didn’t see the economy getting this bad. And I say the economy because it’s left teams in smaller markets out in the cold because people have lost jobs in the area and taxes have gone up creating less revenue and more expenses. The owners are trying to do the right thing by getting a majority of the HRR. Hockey is the least popular of the 4 major sports and yet the players are the only pro athletes to make more than 50% of the revenue sharing. That can’t work when you’re the least popular of major sports. People don’t realize that cap hits are not what the player is making that year. To say hockey players get paid far less than the other pro athletes is ludicrous. They don’t get paid as much but it’s not like they are getting peanuts compared to the other pro athletes. And don’t mistake that as me saying pro athletes get paid too much. They don’t. They are the only people in the world that can do the things they do and provide entertainment for hundreds of millions of people in the world.

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