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BREAKING: NHL offers players 50-50 split of revenue, NHLPA to review

Oct 16, 2012, 12:50 PM EDT

Gary Bettman

The NHL has made a new proposal to the NHLPA, offering the players a 50/50 split of hockey-related revenue.

Commissioner Gary Bettman called it a “long-term offer” and believes a full 82-game schedule is possible if the season starts by Nov. 2.

The league’s last proposal, presented on Sept. 12, called for players to receive 49 percent of hockey-related revenue in Year 1 of the agreement, 48 percent in Year 2, and 47 percent in the remaining four years.

The players received 57 percent of HRR under terms of the last CBA.

The Record’s Tom Gulitti reports that the offer also “in some way protects player salaries as is in 2012-13.” The NHLPA has been adamant it won’t accept a deal that results in a pay cut (via rollback or escrow), so if accurate, that’s significant.

How could salaries be protected in “some way”? According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the “NHL intends on calculating lost salary in getting to 50-50 and will pay the players back over time.”

Gulitti also reports that the “NHL proposal was comprehensive, including length of contracts, free agency age, salary arbitration, etc.”

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr refused to comment extensively on the specifics of the offer, but he did say he was hopeful it would provide an “excellent starting point.”

Fehr also said the term of the proposal was “at least six years.”

The NHLPA has scheduled a conference call for 5 p.m. ET to discuss the specifics of the offer with the players.

Here’s Fehr:

Related: When does enough become enough for the NHL?

  1. danphipps01 - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    In answer to your question: apparently, now.

    • sabatimus - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Fehr simply MUST take this. They WILL NOT get a better offer.

  2. gatorjr - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM


  3. ThatGuy - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    As long as its an eventual decrease to 50/50 this could have some legs. If the league is expecting an immediate rollback to 50/50 I dont think the players go for it.

    • lsxphotog - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      The players have already danced with offers that reduced their HHR a good amount. But this is a 50/50 split and no salary rollbacks. The two key points that has kept the sides apart. The question now will be what is cleverly disguised under the plan and what is defined as HHR according to owners. Either way…this is an obvious sign the league wants to make a move as it has caved on extremely important positions. The players have won with this…if they get greedy, then they will lose the PR battle and hurt hockey even further.

      Come on boys…talk this one over…get it ironed out…remove the pen caps and ink the deal. I have some season tickets to enjoy.

      • ThatGuy - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        How do you get to an immediate 50/50 split without Salary Rollbacks when the league already has contracts out approaching 57%?

        The answer is Escrow, do you think the players care one bit how they lose the money? They are still going to lose money from their contracts with an immediate shift to 50/50, which is why it won’t fly unless its gradual or a more creative measure is taken to ensure they don’t.

  4. blomfeld - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    “……………………………………………………………” :)

  5. ravenscaps48 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM


    • danphipps01 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM


  6. schlitzy - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    sign it. that’s what the NFL and NBA players get. you’re not gonna get a better deal. the other sports’ CBA’s have set the standard.

  7. stakex - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Ok the owners have balked, and made what on the sruface at least seems like a good offer.

    If the NHLPA doesn’t take the damn thing, there is only one side left to blame for this mess.

  8. bensawesomeness - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:12 PM



  9. martysbetter - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    If the NHLPA turns this down, the PR backlash would be horrendous – if anything, Bettman has gained a few more fans.

    • sabatimus - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      How? Bettman’s initial absurd proposal is the main reason why we haven’t had hockey. The current offer is, I believe, fair (as far as I’ve read), but I will never be a fan of Gary Bettman.

      • lordfletcher - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        as much as I would hate to hate Gary, I have a hard time doing it. He is the voice of the owners and has tried to expand the game, I can’t really fault him for that (could have made better choices in where to locate teams) but if the owners asked you to speak for them and say whatever they feel for about $8million a year, would you say no?

        Sure they are several reasons to get on Gary’s case but it’s too easy to just blame him when there are several people / parties / owners / players / Joe Bob’s to blame.

      • lordfletcher - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

        oh and that was supposed to start… love to hate.


        Anywho, great news on the 50/50. Come on players :)

  10. dropthepuckeh - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Looks like that focus group must have had some diehard hockey fans, thank god.

  11. kodyknight2821 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Had a bad day until I read this.. 😀

  12. skate28 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Take it and get back to hockey!

  13. mydadyourmom - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    sign it you pricks. last chance at an 82 game season.

  14. davebabychreturns - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Interesting. I don’t accept the PA to simply accept this offer as is but hopefully it is the beginning of the thaw that allows the two sides to get down to brass tacks and get this resolved.

    • davebabychreturns - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      Excuse me, “I don’t expect the PA to simply accept this offer”..

  15. greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I love all the optimism, but let’s not forget about who’s running the PA. He’ll say no because its less than what they want. I’m all for the season starting now. Heck I have 2 98 million dollar reasons for this happen. But I don’t see it. Fehr will balk at something.

    • davebabychreturns - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      So the PA will pass on the offer because of Donald Fehr, who will say no because it’s not what “they” (presumably the players) want.

      I’m confused, are you blaming this on Fehr or on the fact that he is respecting the wishes of his constituency?

      Anyway I actually agree with you on this (that the PA aren’t going to simply sign on the dotted line now that they have a decent offer to work with) but if the league is serious about getting a deal done that shouldn’t be a problem.

      If this offer is truly the best Bettman can do (right now), then he is a worse negotiator than I thought.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:37 PM

        Yeah I think the PA is in a no win situation right now. Bettman has Fehr cornered. Fehr has to go back to the players, knowing he can get a deal done right now at 50%. The players won’t like it. However, if the players don’t like it, they look like the greedy ones turning down the offer of 50% split where the NFL and NBA are.

  16. t16rich - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    If they don’t accept, then this exposes the players. They been throwing jabs at the owners for not caring about the fans, well here you go, they care. Your turn to show that you care, players. In my opinion a 53-47 split is very fair. 50-50 and no roll back, what could possibly hold this up except for player greed?

    • ThatGuy - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      What you don’t understand is 50/50 is a rollback, regardless if it comes from Escrow. The details aren’t out, but if the league’s offer is 50/50 first year, the PA will not accept it because they would lose the same amount of money via escrow as they would be straight Salary rollbacks. This wont get settled until the NHL agrees to a gradual reduction to 50/50 that forces the teams to honor the contracts they’ve signed.

      • t16rich - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:47 PM

        Ahh yes, I see. There is still rollback, just not technically called a rollback. Hahaha, taking it from Escrow. Very good start for negotiations though…… Finally.

      • ThatGuy - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        It is a good start I agree, but its likely not something the players are going to just up and sign.

  17. tmoore4075 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    A good offer on the surface and in terms of revenue split, what we all expected in the end so that’s good. however being the optimist that I am, and how stupid these SOB’s have been throughout this entire process I’m not hopeful. I pray to God I’m wrong. If the NHLPA says no the season is gone for sure. At the very least this should be something to negotiate off of rather than the punting back and forth that we’ve had. We’ll see I guess. Let’s get this thing going. I have a Winter Classic to get to.

  18. augsburg12 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    They are not getting my money this year. No…. No …. Ok I tried sign and let the games begin

  19. x50cal - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Yeah but we do not know the details it could be just as bad of a deal. So wait for more details then if it all looks good sign it

  20. stangz11 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    This is as fair as fair gets. The PR backlash the players will get if they don’t accept this will be tremendous. Of course, there may be things to tinker with but this has to get done

  21. natrixhockey - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    No way they sign this. They want upwards of 57%, why would they take 50?

    • chiadam - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      No, they don’t. Clown.

    • ThatGuy - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      Yes they want 57% which is why in their offer it had them dropping to under 53%.

      • sabatimus - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        Dale Arnold on WEEI was saying that he thinks the players already get too big of a piece of the pie anyway–he argued that the other salary cap leagues (NBA and NFL) are at 50/50, so why should the NHL be any different? Bettman’s original offer was 43%, so 50% is certainly a significant concession on his and the owners’ part. Unless Fehr wants to damage the sport further, he’ll sign.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        They don’t want 57%. That’s where they are at right now. It needs to be 50/50 just like the NFL and NBA

      • ThatGuy - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        Its not a significant concession from the league, its a significant concession from the players. The players already have contracts around 57% which where given by the owners. Anything less than that is them giving concessions(which is necessary to get a deal).

        But saying the owners are giving a concession by going from 43% to 50% is akin to saying you are giving someone a concession by stomping their foot as opposed to kicking them in the balls.

      • ThatGuy - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        Also Dale Arnold is a NESN employee, which is partially owned by the Bruins. Shocking that he would walk the party line…

  22. chiadam - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Let’s all pump the brakes a tad. The NHL will gladly share all the details that make themselves look good, like 50/50 and 82 games. But what about arbitration, free agency, contract length, and how cap hits are applied? And is their definition of 50% the same as the players’ definition? I doubt they bridged the gap by lunch.

    • tmoore4075 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      UFA is 28 years old or 8 years of service. arbitration is still on the table. Still have a 5 year cap on new contracts so that might hurt. Plus amount of money going to revenue sharing is up to $200mil. as far as HRR definition I haven’t heard that yet.

    • jimw81 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      Steve Fehr said if they got HRR figured out, the rest could be done in six hours.

  23. kodyknight2821 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Someone please tell me when they will accept or decline it? I need to know. Thank you.

    • chiadam - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM

      They will decline it. Soon. The owners look to be on the run now. They cracked. So the players will ser what else they can get. This is the league’s first real offer. You never take the first offer.

      • trick9 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        This offer is significant though, because if the players would completely laugh it off, we wouldn’t have a deal done for atleast while. Once the bigger events like Winter Classic and All-Star game have been cancelled the owners will want their money back, and that would set everyone back.

        Players know that if the deal isn’t done, even their salaries for 2 months are so significant that they wouldn’t get that much back from the league.

  24. trick9 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I don’t think this is the deal NHLPA wanted when this lockout started, and neither do i think this will be the final deal. Players would lose 225 millions in salaries by accepting that.

    This is the long-waited start of the real negotiating though. League and the owners have now cracked and since NHLPA can’t afford media backlash, they will soon make a new proposal which should soon either lead to new deal or new offer from the owners. Either way, by the end of next week we will have new CBA and the hockey will start again.

    Just don’t screw this up now.

    • hockeydon10 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Yours is about the most realistic take on this offer I’ve seen here.

      I’ve been saying all along the players may accept a deal that eventually gets down to 50/50, but not if it hits all at once.

      With the league now offering 50/50, the PA can come back with something like 54% on year one, then going down 1% per year until its 50/50. The players would see a tiny loss (not the $225M, but also not $0), the owners get their desired 50/50.

      As long as the owners didn’t change the definition of HRR. Again.

      The fact that the offer included everything like contract length, entry level contracts, etc is a good sign. These things are relatively easy to hammer out plus there can be give and take among all the items, including the revenue. If the players want a gradual reduction (which makes sense for both the players and many of the individual teams that would be hammered by the cap), they may have to take a limitation on contract length, just as a quick example.

  25. hockeyflow33 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    If it’s an actual split, that’s great news and seems like an ideal partnership

  26. sdelmonte - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Not much of an improvement for the players in terms of percents. Just not as terrible as it was before in terms of contracts.

    I am still waiting for the owners to prove that they can’t afford 57%, especially given how big the contracts the owners give out have been.

  27. flyeredup - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Fingers crossed. I will soon be boozing at Chickies and Pete’s before home games. Lets get FLYERED UP!

  28. kiopta1 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Miss me some hockey. Go Wings!

  29. jimw81 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    take it dammit. i’m getting tired of watching J.J. Daigneault force a game 7 vs. oilers.

  30. comeonnowguys - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Please, please please do not play an 82-game schedule.

    Those who also watched basketball last year saw what a grind the compressed schedule was towards the end of the year.

    Try that with hockey’s physicality, and it’s not going to end well.

    • ThatGuy - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      If its figured out soon they could do 82 games without condensing it to much by canceling the all-star break and adding a week or two at the end of the season. Make a really late end to the year, but not a huge deal.

      • tmoore4075 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        Yeah according to Bettman at least it would be an extra game every 5 weeks. It wouldn’t be terrible. I’d rather have a shorter schedule but most likely they would take away games from the other conference instead of division games though which I wouldn’t want. I want to see everybody.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        You already don’t see everybody. Unless of course realignment is accepted for next season

    • miketoasty - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Supposedly, they will play the normal schedule with an extra game every 5 weeks. Not bad at all. Basketball missed a lot more time than what we are looking at right now.

    • mcbratz1187 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      who said anything about compressed schedules?

      • jimw81 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        they can’t play a compress schedule because it’s in cba, hopefully that they can only play back to back unlike nba in which they were playing back to back to back games.

    • sabatimus - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      This would basically mean 3 games in a row every 5 weeks. Given the fact that they will have had no preseason (though a lot of players have gone overseas to keep their skills up), this will likely result in a LOT of injuries and team-cohesion problems that wouldn’t otherwise have happened.

      • bhawksrule - Oct 16, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        3 games in a row? Sounds absolutely fantastic, are you kidding?

        It’s Hockey!!!

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:46 PM

        This ain’t the NBA there will not be back to back to backs.

        Steps to figure out your favorite teams schedule:

        1. Take your pocket schedule and cut off everything before November 2.

        2. On the part you cut off, cut out the preseason schedule and throw it in the nearest trash or recycling container of your choice.

        3. Take the rest of your cut off schedule and paste it to the end of the April.

        4. Cheer for your favorite team. I’ve seen Wild play 13 of 18 first games on the road.

  31. antkowiak666 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    i can’t stop smiling….i’m so giddy right now!!

  32. hockeydon10 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    To be honest, the talk about cap relief for teams over the cap. I’m a little disappointed with that. I was hoping some teams would be forced to make trades to reduce payroll.

    Shake the league up some, like an early trading day.

    • jimw81 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      buyouts might occur to get teams under the cap

  33. langforc - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Relax a bit here everybody. The 50/50 split is a start but there is way more to this than just splitting the money. The max contract has already been reported to be 5 years and I think this is a good thing. Still need to know about RFA, arbitration and other important details. Most important detail to the 50/50 split is if the owners definition matches the players. Don’t simply jump up and say the PR backlash will be crazy because they owners offered 50/50. They may have made a truly crap offer and we just know it is a 50/50 split. That being said, I am very happy to see some progress.

  34. somekat - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    the fact that they called it “a good starting point” is why the nhl didn’t want ot make an offer. This idiot and his brother are going to ask for much more, and this is still going to drag out much longer

    • davebabychreturns - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      Hello, welcome to Negotiating 101. Rule one, never make your best offer first.

      It is a good starting point. It is probably pretty close to where the two sides will end up, and it’s the first offer to really approach that. Kudos to the league for finally putting something on the table worth talking about.

      • somekat - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        welcome to memory 101, it’s their 3rd offer

      • davebabychreturns - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        Oh, you were taking the league and PA’s summer long display of posturing and rhetoric seriously?

  35. gc19 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    with the players going overseas they hold the cards and will probably ask for more. it’s clear the only reason the NHL is needed is to make more money than they would overseas. on top of that the overseas games are televised on espn. if this continues hopefully espn brings back gary thorne!

  36. rpiotr01 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    It’s not a matter of accepting or declining straight up. The NHL has finally made a concrete, realistic offer off of which serious negotiations can happen. At first glance it looks to be a good starting point, and I expect serious talks to begin very soon and a deal to be reached in the next week or so.

  37. eyeh8goodell - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    I’d be interested in seeing some of the other language of the deal. The average fan sees “50-50 split” and thinks it’s a great deal. There is far more to a CBA than that.

  38. phillyphanatic77 - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    I can’t believe Bettman and the owners legitimately came out with a reasonable offer. This morning I had come to terms with the fact that there would be no season and I was extremely depressed. Then I hear this news and I feel hope again. I know it’s not a done deal or anything but this means that the owners side wont stay entrenched in their position. I’ve sided with the players throughout this process but it scares me when Fehr says this is an excellent “starting point”. As if there’s a lot of things he wants changed. I’m fine with a few tweaks but that 50/50 split is exactly what the fans have been calling for since day one b/c it’s the most logical solution. I like the limit on contract terms as well so we wont see anymore 15 year deals. All I can say is please Mr. Fehr the ball is in your court and it’s time to give us our hockey back. And hopefully the actual cba is for more than 6 years so we don’t have to go through this again so soon. Sign the papers Don!

  39. slumdog66 - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    no season equals no money.i hope this goes down

  40. siberia06 - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    We Want Hockey!!!! Sign It!!! Please???

  41. footballer4ever - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    50/50, all of a sudden? That smell fishy.

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