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Just like that, all the pressure’s on the NHLPA

Oct 16, 2012, 4:30 PM EST

Donald Fehr, Kevin Westgath, George Parros AP

Forget focus groups. Turns out the best way for the NHL to win over the public was to make the NHLPA a new proposal.

And not just any proposal. The one the league presented Tuesday in Toronto called for a 50-50 split of revenue between the league and players – a split that’s right in line with recent labor agreements in the NBA and NFL.

Of course, in comparison to the last CBA, which gave the players 57 percent of HRR, the offer still represents a better deal for the owners. But if the NHLPA dismisses this proposal without some sort of reasonable response, it better have a great excuse.

Consider:

—- Most observers figured the NHL and NHLPA would ultimately settle on a 50-50 split. Well, there it is. And if, as commissioner Gary Bettman maintains, the offer “addressed the concern that players have about what happens to their salaries as a result in this year of reducing the percentage from 57 to 50%,” how can the players ask for much more?

—- The league made the offer, not the players. After weeks of posturing and spinning from both sides, the NHL’s willingness to move the process forward will earn it points.

—- According to the NHL, a full 82-game season can still be saved. But not if this thing drags on any longer. So do the players “just want to play,” as they’ve said over and over? If they do, then they’d be wise to show it, not just say it.

Your move, NHLPA.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Oct 16, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    The split is great but I wonder if the 5 year max on contracts will be agreed to. That was about the only thing reported so far that I think should go.

    • bigtganks - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM

      I wonder if one who had say two years left, can get a five-year extension? Otherwise, players will play 2-3 years, then always want an opt-out at that time where they can re-negotiate.

      • hockeyflow33 - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:37 PM

        Yea because the extension is a new contract with new terms.

  2. hitman3687 - Oct 16, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I agree. However on the whole i think it’s a good offer. The PR backlash would be tremendous if the PA balks or laughs it off. I’m interested to see the counter offer. It will tell us how serious Fehr is about his players ending this.

  3. sjsharks66 - Oct 16, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    If the players take this deal, they will be the heroes. We all know this is a plan by the NHL to make them look bad if they don’t take it. If they players do accept then the fans will see that they wanted a season all along. It will back up all their statements about the NHL dragging their feet. I say take it. You lose some money but in reality, even 4th line goons make more money than most of us average people do anyways.

    • hockeydon10 - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:17 PM

      Yes and no.

      The core structure of the deal will probably remain intact, while they are negotiating little details here and there.

  4. scionofflame - Oct 16, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    This really is the NHL absolutely painting the NHLPA into a PR corner. Turn it down and you take hockey away from the fans, is basically what it comes down to.

    My guess is that they’ll accept it, perhaps with minor tweaks to it. It SOUNDS like a reasonable offer, and I certainly hope it remains so.

  5. scrouch - Oct 16, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    I don’t expect the NHLPA to take the offer as is but this at least sounds close enough that they could make a reasonable counter-offer and hammer out the rest of negotiations pretty quick. The NHL doesn’t expect them to take what’s there directly either but that’s why there are still a couple of the contract related issues in there that the NHLPA is expected to want taken out. The NHL is probably fine with one or two of them going taken out in the counter-proposal.

  6. buffalomafia - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Get back to work! You punks make enough money!

    I save lives for a living & get paid squat!

    My co workers & I should be getting paid millions for doing what we love but don’t!

    It is bad enough that the NHL doesn’t get the recognition they deserve as a sport.

    The fans are the stupid ones for paying high ticket prices for over paid cry babies.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      I’m guessing you’re a paramedic or something along those lines. I’d pay $20 to watch you compete against another paramedic or team of paramedics in some sort of flaming-building arena. They’d bring in real dying people with various injuries like 3rd degree burns over 60% of their bodies, kitchen knives in their chests, and vertebral columns fractured in 4 different spots. Throw in a woman giving birth to premature twins and I’m there, man!

      However, if you’re a pool lifeguard, shut up.

    • hockeyflow33 - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      No you shouldn’t, no one pays to watch you do your job.

    • hockeydon10 - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      There are around 700 people that will play NHL hockey in any given season, out of 6.9 billion.

      I’m sure there are far more than 700 of your profession.

  7. rpiotr01 - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    The NHLPA isn’t going to turn it down, they’re going to see what they like and don’t like and see if they can negotiate some of the less favorable terms. If the NHL meant this to be take-it or leave-it, then it’s disingenuous on their part. From what I can tell this looks like a good place to start on a proper deal. There is no reason a deal shouldn’t be done in the next week or so, as long as both sides are willing to give and take a little on various points.

  8. gc19 - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    we the fans are all for this but the players will still think it’s a lowball offer from 57% to 50%. i can see both the good and the bad for the players and the league of having a 5 year max contract. a 5 year max contract has the potential to make things interesting with players getting shuffled around the league, but i don’t see the players going for that either. i’m not all in favor of a 5 year max contract but i’m definately not in favor of a 15 year contract with a 40y/o guy getting paid great money to play 3 shifts a game for his last 2 or 3 years/be a healthy scratch for the last 2 or 3 years/or even be retired. i do believe they need to get rid of the lifetime contracts.

  9. trbowman - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Not a chance the players accept this offer, hate to break it to ya.

    The NHL is gonna make the players look like the villains in this now.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Oct 16, 2012 at 7:32 PM

      They may not accept this offer but they will most likely accept one that’s very similar. I understand part of negotiations is lowballing, but I really wish the NHL presented this offer before most of the players had signed overseas. Because now the players may be in less of a hurry to come back to a deal that’s still taking a significant chunk of their money, even if it’s a fair 50/50 split. After all they’re getting preferential treatment overseas eventhough they’re making less than they would here. I still think the union will accept a deal close to this after they argue the 5-year max contracts and free agency eligibility for a while. Atleast this is a glimmer of hope in what was beginning to look like another missed season.

  10. ermur22 - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    5 years and what, they have to sign with another team, or could they resign with the same team?

    • hockeyflow33 - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM

      go back to hosting tea parties and leave sports to us

  11. id4joey - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Funny how settling the Coyotes issue has coincided with the latest NHL offer suggesting nov 2 as a start state. Go GB!

  12. hitman3687 - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    What makes you say that? If you are just gonna say outright its not gonna happen, at least give an argument for your side. Otherwise you just look arrogant.

  13. ricepilof - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Two words for NHLPA: take it

  14. takingbovadasmoney - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Touch Mr. Bettman, touchè.

  15. takingbovadasmoney - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    lmfao…..damn spell check…. touchè that should be…..

  16. steelturf76 - Oct 16, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    IMO I think that if the players really want the long term contracts they should give up the guaranteed contracts. If your not playing up to the level of money you are being paid then the team should be able to release you and find another player to take your place. If a normal professional don’t do their job as asked by their employer they get fired, why should athletes get treated any different than the rest of us? This should go for all sports, not just hockey!!

    • dtob79 - Oct 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM

      All your comment was missing was some kind of statement about the purity of youth sports, and how those kids just play for the love of the game, and how you’d much rather watch them instead of a bunch of overpaid crybabies. Almost!

  17. ducksk - Oct 16, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    I hope most of the players that know they are not rocket scientists and know a good deal when they see one, stop there whining, sign, quit, stay in Europe or ruskie. Enuff!

  18. jimw81 - Oct 16, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    adater @adater
    My sources say NHL felt fair bit of pressure from TV partners and major sponsors to get ball rolling again. NBCSN real worried about it

    **Cough** Ed Snider **

  19. dannythebisforbeast - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    @buffalomafia. Unfortunately fireman/police there are plenty of people qualified to do that job and willing to that job for “squat”. – which includes decent salary, healthcare and usually a good pension. If it paid millions maybe some more qualified people would apply and take your job from you.

  20. ewoods6 - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Best it’s going to get and it address their concerns for the player’s salaries for the year under the new CBA.

    I don’t see how the players can turn this down.

    Let’s drop the puck!!

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