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Examining the crucial bargaining issue of escrow

Oct 17, 2012, 10:00 PM EDT

Donald Fehr AP

NHLPA head Donald Fehr outlined the players’ qualms with the owners’ latest proposal, but the “making whole provision” might just be the make-or-break issue.

(For those who aren’t totally up to date on these talks, that’s one of the biggest money debates.)

For those of us who aren’t math-minded, the numbers thrown around can be rather difficult to contextualize. Luckily, the Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle crunched some numbers to make it all seem a little easier to understand.

His verdict? The escrow (aka “making whole”) issue might just submarine the negotiations.

Follow the link to get the specifics, but here’s a more palatable summary from Mirtle:

Ultimately, players would get back a large chunk of what they lost in escrow in Years 1 and 2, but it would ultimately be coming out of their share in Years 3 through 6.

Essentially, as we’ve heard PA sources already grumbling, taking from some players to pay others.

Mirtle points out that things could be a little different if the cap rises slower than anticipated, but the message is largely the same.

The NHLPA might look at that setup as the players essentially giving themselves the “Robin Hood” treatment.

The union is expected to present a counter-offer covering a wide variety of the CBA topics, but for many, it will once again come down to this complicated way of cutting up the revenue pie.

  1. mpg44 - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    There will be no revenue pie left when Fehr is done!! Can’t the players see how is just leading them along!!

  2. joeyashwi - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:29 PM


  3. freneticgarfieldfan - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    It’s so obvious Fehr not only want’s a win, he wants the total victory. Way to go. He will always find a hair in the soup. Hopefully the players filled their bank account beside buying yachts, they might use their savings for quite some time.

  4. williplett - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:30 AM

    About one third of NHL owners are billionaires. The rest have hundreds of millions to their names. NHL owners are used to people crumpling at their whim. This offer could end up being nothing more than a PR move. Hate the players, hate unions and hate ANYBODY but the super rich guys who own the teams! Why should the guys who actually make this league their money by damaging their bodies and minds take a penny less when this is the third time the NHL has done this in twenty years?

    • rogersjd16 - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      Exactly. I love how people are just blindly saying “accept it! accept it!” without understanding how terrible a position the “making whole” clause is for them right now. Not to mention all the other concessions they’re making as well – year more before arbitration, year longer for free agency, shorter rookie contracts to dilute and water down all the second contracts and drag down market value.

      Exactly how are “salaries owed” revenue? And a) on the surface, why should that come out of their % and more to the point as the article lists”, why should they basically pay each other rather than, you know, their billionare and millionare employers???

  5. bcjim - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    The players are basically high priced carnys…side show freaks to entertain us. Now get out there and dance….or work on your deep fryer operating skills. Those are the choices for most of you, let’s be honest.

    • snowman218 - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:13 AM

      ^ You Sir, Are an Imbecile. Sounds like your operating skills of a deep fryer have been mastered for some time now.

      • rogersjd16 - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:29 AM

        Don’t even dignify it with a response…

  6. id4joey - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    Stay composed people. Players have done nothing wrong here. They were forced to stay home. The league decided to lockout the players. Now the waltz is in full swing, and that’s called negotiating. Players are represented by a union who should take action with the player’s best interest in mind. Owners are business men who want to increase profits. They also realize that the current system needs to be fixed. In other words, the wealthier and more competitive owners currently have a huge edge over the smaller market teams. The wealthier owners found loopholes in the previous CBA and have exploited them at the detriment of the small markets. Yes! We the fans miss the game, but hockey is a business owned by business men. Winning the cup is primary for sure, but turning a profit is vital to sustain a business.

    • sporkov - Oct 18, 2012 at 10:53 AM

      id4joey, the players did nothing wrong in this? What about refusing to discuss the new CBA until this summer instead of the summer of 2011?

  7. sippindasyzurp - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Right now, both players and owners shares is ZERO! There is no more 57% those days are gone… That CBA is now over…

    I guess you can look at it that they are still getting 57% of ZERO, I guess that makes players feel better…

    Professional athletes and owners suck…

    As fans at the end of the day, it is our fault to letting them get to this position fighting over OUR MONEY..Stop doing things like buying merchandise or concessions at games… Buy your ticket, and watch the game.. Make these people feel there hit in the wallet!

    Just think if each person chooses to buy one less jersey, two less beer etc.. that will add up to millions!


  8. elvispocomo - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Think of it in a real world analogy: You boss comes to you and says, “We have to cut your salary by 12% but we have a ‘making you whole’ clause that will pay you back the money you lose over the next two years.” You probably think, “Ok, well at least I have a job.” Too bad what the boss didn’t tell you was the money they are using to ‘make you whole’ is coming from your salary/bonuses in years 3-6.

    So not only did you take a pay cut on the promise you’d be protected for the value you would have earned, you have your pay cut further in years to come so they can make that promise true.

    The NHL has the right opening phrases to make their deal sound very good, but has protected itself from really giving the players anything more with all the clauses.

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