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Report: Based on NHL charts, league thinks gap might be over $1 billion

Nov 16, 2012, 8:15 PM EDT

Gary Bettman AP

The NHL wants a 50/50 split of hockey-related revenues and it doesn’t believe the players are even close to giving them that, based on a series of NHL charts obtained by the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo.

Part of the problem from the league’s perspective is that the union wants a “guaranteed” player share of $1.916 billion in 2012-13, which doesn’t account for lost revenues as a result of the lockout. By the NHL’s model, if the league’s revenues shrink by 17.5% in a lockout shortened 2012-13 season, then the players would end up with 70.3% of HRR.

“The issue of how you deal with damage from the lockout is a tough one, particularly since it is impossible to know the extent of the damage,” NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr told Russo.

“What we have suggested to the owners several times is that we put aside that issue for the moment and concentrate upon the overall structure of the deal. If we do that, based upon the last proposals from each side, we think the parties are much closer than they have ever been on the economics. If we could bridge that gap, then we could come back quickly to the lockout damage issue.

“For whatever reason, the owners have declined to do that, and seem to be intent on portraying the parties as further apart than we think we are.”

The NHL also doesn’t feel that the union’s proposal will result in a 50/50 split by Year 5. In fact, if 50/50 is the goal, then two NHL models have the players and owners over $1 billion apart over the course of the next five seasons.

The NHL’s models anticipate that the league will grow by 2.5% in 2013-14, compared to the record $3.3 billion that the NHL raked in last season. From there, the NHL anticipates annual growth of 5%.

Every day that passes takes money out of the potential pie that the NHL and union have to split from, which might make a deal that much harder.

Related:

Kaberle: Both sides need to smarten up

Ian White calls Gary Bettman “an idiot” and civility flies out the window

Why did Bettman suggest a two-week moratorium on talks?

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