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Report: NHL willing to budge on some contracting issues

Nov 21, 2012, 8:42 PM EDT

garybettmangetty Getty Images

NHLPA head Donald Fehr claims that the owners provided zero “reciprocity” after Wednesday’s talks ended, but ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun received some anonymous information outlining some of the areas where the league might budge.

First, that unnamed source outlined 10 “major” points of potential compromise. Click here for all of them, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Entry-level contracts would stay at three years; owners originally asked for two.
  • They didn’t totally give up on moving unrestricted free agency age to 28 and didn’t budge on five-year maximum deals. They did, however, show “willingness to be flexible” on year-to-year salary variation maxing out at five percent. (Whatever “flexible” means.)
  • Interestingly, the cap floor would be determined by “a percentage of the midpoint” instead of just being $16 million less than the ceiling.
  • They agreed to eliminate re-entry waivers.

There are more interesting bits in that “main” area, but there were also nine “system-related” matters. Again, some highlights:

  • The union would “get more say” in setting the escrow rate.
  • Minimum salaries would continue to increase during the CBA.
  • Perhaps most interestingly, the cap would be at $60 million in the first year (although with that $70M+ transition exception in mind) and, interestingly, a guarantee to keep it at $60 million in the second year even if the formula would call for a lower cap ceiling.

Again, these offerings aren’t official out there – like, say, the NHLPA’s proposal – but they might indicate that Gary Bettman’s claims about “momentum” are more accurate than some believe.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

  1. grillmarks - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Same headline day after day.

  2. flaccodelic - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    They’ve trained me to live happily without hockey.

  3. kiopta1 - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Go ND….so your telling me hockey hasn’t started yet?

  4. sportsfan69 - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Mr. Bettman,

    Keep up the great work. Working with Fehr and Fehr must be pretty challenging considering their milking the NHLPA everything they can. It’s too bad Roenick and Linden aren’t there put a muzzle on the Fehrs.

  5. blkhwk21 - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Gary Bettman, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, hopeless, heartless, fat-headed, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey S@# he is! Hallelujah! Holy S@#! Where’s the Tylenol?

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:58 PM

      Well played, sir, well played.

    • alexbaymac - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      I think I hear an old RV firing up right now!

    • valoisvipers - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:08 AM

      I would agree with everything you said if you would change Bettman name to Fehr’s.

  6. dhillca - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Go patriots
    I love hockey but the NHL can bl?w me

  7. hockeyknowledge - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Bettman is not a popular guy, but it is also not a good idea to call him names. Fehr is also partially to blame.

  8. blkhwk21 - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    My comment was a quote from Griswald from the movie Christmas Vacation. Thought I would add a little holiday cheer to this travesty.

  9. mississippimudslinger - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    PHT should probably quit posting articles that 99.9% of it’s readers cant understand as far as the numbers and the mathematics are concerned.

    • valoisvipers - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:13 AM

      Miss mud try taking the protractor and slide rule out of your ass and figure out what they are really for. No they are not for removing rogue ferrets from your butt hole.

  10. orangeandblack67 - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Yo mudslinger speak for yourself. If you care about the sport and the state that it’s in wouldn’t you want to know every detail no matter how small or would you rather be kept in the dark? But then again your from miss. so I don’t expect you to understand big numbers and fancy words.

    • mississippimudslinger - Nov 22, 2012 at 1:34 AM

      Hey Orange and Black, 1975! enjoy 7 more years of playoff futility with that Bryzaster between the pipes! , oh and you live in a cesspool up there in Philly , the laughing stock of Professional Sports Cities

  11. thedavesiknowiknow - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:46 AM

  12. orangeandblack67 - Nov 22, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    The laughing stock?? How many pro teams are located in Mississippi ? Exactly… Stick with your college sports buddy but then again when was the last time Ole Miss were national champs in any sport ???? And sister kissing does not count.

    • ravenscaps48 - Nov 22, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      Mississippi > Philadelphia

      • mississippimudslinger - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        actually i dont live to far from a famous town named philadelphia mississippi , .. good research ravenscaps

    • mississippimudslinger - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      1975, 1980 1983 ,2008.. wow what a sports town that is!
      michael vick
      iyla bryzgalov
      ad aging cliff lee and roy halladay

  13. id4joey - Nov 22, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    F. H: Hello Canada and hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland. This is Foster Hewitt live from the Gondola at Maple Leaf Garden. Howie Meeker is with us during this second intermission. Howie, we’re seeing the ownership dictate the timeline of the conflict using strong arm tactics. Its been said the players will holdout even though they risk losing a year’s salary. Do you put any stock into this theory?

    H.M.: znot one tea spoon or pinch of chicken stock. That’s just like putting lipstick on a pig. Players must stop chasing the grizzly bear wearing a dress. They’re not going to win this battle. Players are used to wining battles in the corners using their muscles, but, owners use their brains to make money. The membership must engage their grey matter before engaging their mouths, otherwise the grizzly bear in that dress will shred them to pieces. Can you imagine these big strong boys running to the owners with their tales between their legs begging for a deal? Players are acting like children out of their sandbox without their toys. They’re grasping at straws.

    F.H.: so what you’re saying, Howie, is you think the players are too ignorant to see the bear wearing the dress, or the lipstick on the pig.

    H.M.: I didn’t say that. I said the players need to get their heads out of their jock strap and take a breath of fresh air to clear there heads from the stench and realize they have as much chance of breaking the ownership than a wildebeest has to survive a lion’s attack.

    F.H.: “He shoots, he scores!” Thank you, Howie. Well! there you have it hockey fans. The owners are looking to win big again against its arch rival NHLPA. This is Foster Hewitt signing off from the Gondola at Maple Garden in Toronto.

    The second intermission interview has been brought to you by Proskauer Rose LLP. Former employee of David Stern and Gary Bettman. “Our approach is not simply to “represent” our clients but to get into their heads; to understand their business and to know their industries as well as they do. We do this so we are not presenting legal advice in a vacuum but rather with the understanding of how it will affect their bottom line. When they grow, we grow. It’s called momentum. Our Sports Law Group has been the leader in the field for 50 years, providing all aspects of legal service to the world’s major sports leagues and teams, their owners and executives and their marketing, media and intellectual property affiliates. We resolve the business issues and disputes that arise daily in this highly competitive sector by applying the multidisciplinary capabilities of our sports law team, which includes lawyers experienced in corporate, labor, litigation, antitrust, real estate, bankruptcy, intellectual property, new media and tax matters.”

    Key Representations

    Collective bargaining with players’ unions on behalf of Major League Baseball, National Basketball Assocation, National Football League, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer and Women’s National Basketball Association


  14. slickvb82 - Nov 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    My biggest beef right now, one minute things look promising, then it falls apart. Things look like they COULD be moving in the right direction, then they’re not. Sit your asses in a room until you figure things out. As unfair this is to fans, businesses, families that are financially supported by hockey, its even more a disgrace by the way its been handled. The constant roller coster is just sickening and proves we as fans mean nothing to some involved….and I’m not going to put players in that, I truly believe they love the support and feel incredibly bad for the months of frustration we’ve felt.

    • id4joey - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Right now the players heavily involved in the negotiation process have their heads in the jock straps trying to figure out what to do next, so I doubt they have enough time to worry about us. I will say though that players not as close to the negotiations speak on behalf of the fans, but should focus their energy on pushing Fehr to read the situation more accurately. i.e. give the owners $100 million on players share, accept that players will get a percentage of HRR for the duration of the CBA, free agency at 28 years old, and at least a 6 year deal. Owners shut the league down once before, who’s to say they won’t do it again.

  15. orangeandblack67 - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    So ravens caps, you read this whole article and the 17 comments prior to yours and that is all you have to add? It’s not even hockey related and if you could I would like to know how a state that is known for just about nothing could compare to my great city oh Philadelphia.

  16. orangeandblack67 - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Well missi if you want to use titles as a measuring stick then you have no room to talk and your buddy ravens can keep quiet as well

    • mississippimudslinger - Nov 22, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      Orange and Black relax LMAO I’m just breaking your chops ! Happy Thanksgiving! …

      • mississippimudslinger - Nov 22, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        and we’re not Ole Miss fans in my house , we grew up not far from Tuscaloosa Ala , Roll Tide ! , they could probably beat the Beagles (oops I mean Eagles these days huh)

  17. orangeandblack67 - Nov 22, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    It’s all good mud slinger, what would sports be without a little banter back and forth. Oh and unfortunately you mite be right about the Bryz thing. Happy turkey day

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