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Here’s a CBA framework one NHL governor thinks could get a deal done

Dec 13, 2012, 5:11 PM EDT

Gary Bettman, Bill Daly AP

An anonymous NHL governor has provided ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside with a CBA framework that the governor believes would be “palatable” to each side of the NHL’s labor dispute.

Now, whether this governor has any say in negotiations isn’t clear, but here’s the framework:

Assuming the elements that were discussed last week in New York were still in place — like $300 million in “make-whole” monies, agreements on free agency and arbitration rights — the governor believes the following elements would represent the middle ground in the outstanding contracting, CBA term and transition issues.

-A nine-year CBA with a 7-year out for either side.
-A six-year contract limit with front-load/back-diving protection and 8-year limits for players who have been with a team for five years.
-Some simple buyout option as long as the buyouts were within the salary cap.

In other words, each side would have to ever-so-slightly soften its current demands, aka compromise.

Burnside spoke to one “high-profile veteran player” who believed the framework could at least garner a vote by the union. Other players and agents agreed it had potential.

Again, this may not mean a thing if the governor doesn’t know how far the league’s lead negotiators (i.e. Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and Bob Batterman) are willing to bend. Remember that the owners have given the commissioner’s office extensive power to bargain on their behalf.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t sound like anything got done today.

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