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Still details to negotiate on CBA length

Jan 3, 2013, 11:00 PM EDT

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr Getty Images

A couple days ago, the NHLPA reportedly agreed to the NHL’s demand that the next CBA would last 10 years. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they can scratch that off of the “things to negotiate” list, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.

Just because they both have settled on a 10-year deal doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll get a decade-long break from any possible work stoppage.

There’s still a chance that either side will opt-out of the agreement, but when and how are sticking points. The players want the option to opt-out after seven campaigns, while the NHL thinks it should be eight. Additionally, the NHL wants to require that any party wishing to opt-out must notify the other following Year 6.

The NHL would also like the CBA to expire on June 30 while the players want to keep the date at Sept. 15. A June 30 expiration date would prevent the NHL from going on a spending spree just prior to any potential work stoppage, as was the case last summer.

Of course, the league and union still have quite a bit to talk about beyond just the CBA length. ESPN and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun estimated that 7-8 issues remain unresolved.

  1. schlitzy - Jan 3, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    it’s starting to feel like it’s never going to end…

    • bensawesomeness - Jan 3, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      It feels like you’re on the tilt-a-whirl at a carnival, ups and downs, and then when you think you’re slowing down, the a**hole driver puts it in reverse and you do it all again.

      • jtrain1966 - Jan 3, 2013 at 11:43 PM

        That’s flippin’ AWESOME !

  2. purp1234 - Jan 3, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    I don’t know if it’s more frustating than it is laughable. The major problem seems to be in the reporting. According to the story, this issue was discussed “a couple of days ago”. It only comes to light now, as the sides are seemingly close, as a source of cold water on what’s going on. Had this been reported “a couple of days ago”, there would have been a sense of optimism that the two sides were close. By releasing this tidbit now, it dampens whatever optimism we can garner from the hourly updates. So, who is the source releasing this information? Who is negotiating through the press? Which side wants to put a damper on the proceedings to test the resolve of the other side? The easy answer is both. The side that leaked this is the side that, IMHO, is in the weaker bargaining position/desparate to get a deal so it makes it seem like even the deal is fragile. I bet it’s the owners.

    • mp1131211 - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:26 AM

      I’m not really sure either side is involved in this article appearing today. This info hit PHT two days ago, but it has just now been analyzed here. The link to Elliot Friedman in the first sentence shows another blog with this content inside of a longer article. This is what bloggers do: they take each others content and discuss. It’s the greatest difference between journalists and bloggers and this is definitely a blog. Anyway, point being that I think you are reading too far into it. These guys probably have a minimum count of posts to reach each day and there is only so much to talk about without a season. I don’t think it means anything about who has the upper hand.

    • purp1234 - Jan 4, 2013 at 7:38 AM

      Here is something to support my theory above….

      • mp1131211 - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        I agree that the players may have the upper hand. Just not sure how this 10 year CBA analysis factors into that.

  3. fortwaynekomets - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    NHL wants make sure NOTHING will mess up their centennial event, which would be in 2017, so they’re going to make sure they’re covered at least until after that year which is going to bring in TONS of money.

    Funny thing is with all these work stoppages, 2017 really isn’t the 100th year of play, just the anniversary of the league. Let us remind them of this!

    Again… is a deal made yet??? otherwise, all I hear is noise in this article…

    DROP THE PUCK already you little shmuck!

  4. fortwaynekomets - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    “ESPN and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun estimated that 7-8 issues remain unresolved.”


    There should only be ONE issue… and that issue should be WHAT DAY DO WE START THE SEASON!!! 12th, 15th, 19th???

  5. ron05342 - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    “Of course, the league and union still have quite a bit to talk about beyond just the CBA length. ESPN and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun estimated that 7-8 issues remain unresolved.”

    In the interest of complete reporting, can you please tell us what the “7 or 8” issues are?

    I mean, are you really reporting that another reporter is estimating there are “7 or 8” issues remaining? From my own research, I know the big three sticking points are (1) player contract lengths, (2) 2nd year cap, and (3) the pension plan. You mentioned a possible 4th above (CBA length). So what are the other “3 or 4?”

  6. woodstakes - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Anyone else out there find it utterly sad how everything from the league side seems to be in order to protect themselves from themselves? Every major issue always seems to come down to making sure that the owners won’t be able to do this or do that. Do they have no control over what they and what they allow their GM’s to do?? The statement “The NHL would also like the CBA to expire on June 30 while the players want to keep the date at Sept. 15. A June 30 expiration date would prevent the NHL from going on a spending spree just prior to any potential work stoppage, as was the case last summer.” pretty much says it all! It just backs up the PA’s reasoning on how THEY are not responsible for the players salary rates… The OWNERSHIP is! The GM’s ARE! So the owners overspend (in their opinions) then not only want to protect themselves from themselves from doing it again by putting it in writing in the CBA so that they can be controlled as if they are toddlers who don’t know any better.

    It’s no wonder this has taken so long… the owners not only WANT a new CBA preventing them from being able to overspend but they utterly NEED one. Give me an f’in break! Your BILLIONAIRES! Your suppose to be the smartest business guy in virtually any room you walk into, but you can’t stop over paying players?? So they need to have their little hands held every time they sign a player to a contract apparently. Sad, truly sad. They really don’t get that THEY and THEY alone control how much a player makes. It’s pretty simple, Player A wants $10m a year.. GM A/Owner says, “No $8M and that’s it!” So Player goes to GM B/Owner and says “I want $10M a year”…. GM B/Owner says, “No $8M and that’s it!” So Player goes to GM C/Owner and says “I want $10M a year!” and GM C/Owner says, “No $8M and that’s it!” and over and over again… GUESS what the player is going to get paid… YUP you guessed it $8M! Until they are willing to let a player walk and other GM’s/Owners do the same thing NOTHING will ever change, because the player can ONLY sign the CONTRACT OFFERED to them!

    • mp1131211 - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:34 AM

      Except if owner B needs what the player can offer on the ice, he will say, no to 10, but offer 9. Then the player goes to owner c who so needs these particular skills and says they will give me 9, I want 11 from you and I’ll sign. Then owner c has to either choose to let his rival team gain those skills or to pick up the player. In the best interest of the franchise, the owner says no to 11, but offers 10. Boom. Player gets what he wants. It’s not to protect themselves against themselves, it’s to remove leverage from players to keep salaries limited.

  7. ducksk - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Reminds of divorces. X 10.

  8. tile84 - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    ‘it’s about damn time” Lebron James (Greatest Basketball Player of all TIME!!!)

  9. barroomhero80 - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    ^^^^ delusional

  10. pastabelly - Jan 4, 2013 at 7:02 AM

    Part of any negotiation should be the firing of Gary Bettman. His leadership and handling of labor negotiations is a total fail. I actually supported the guy subsequent to the growth of the league and the deal with NBC. He hasn’t been all bad. But three shut downs of the league and a lost season are three strikes. Good bye. Good riddance.

    • purp1234 - Jan 4, 2013 at 7:42 AM

      Isn’t he just doing the league’s bidding, though? You need a group of level-minded owners to get together and realize that he’s doing the bidding of a few (Maple Leafs, Bruins) and risking the good of the game for everyone else. It’s like Fat Paulie saying he can’t control crazy Tommy in Goodfellas. Sure he could, but Tommy was a producer. Once Tommy became a liability, he was killed without a second thought. The moderates in ownership need to realize that Bettman is a liability. Evidence of this is the players bringing in a hawk like Fehr to deal with him.

  11. northstars17 - Jan 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    I like Sellane’s optimism, but unfortunately he’s wrong. We won’t see hockey until next Fall. I’ve talked to a few very respected people in this business who’ve said it’s just not going to happen. This CBA is a lot further to being complete than what people have been lead to believe.

    Do you really think the NHL will settle the CBA dispute and start the season less than 2 weeks after what was supposed to be their biggest game of the year financially, the Winter Classic? Do you really believe the 2-3 MAJOR issues will be settled in just mere days? Let alone the other 4-5 issues that also need twists and tweaks… it’s just not going to happen.

    The NHL and NHLPA have made this interesting enough to follow, but boring enough to forget about for a while. Do you really believe its this difficult to come to an agreement, and they’re willing to lose and ENTIRE season of revenue because of it?

    They won’t officially cancel the season until the beggining of February, but everyone will know well before the. the gig is up. Remind you, the 04/05 lost season wasn’t officially cancelled until the middle of February. By then fans will only look forward to the upcoming return of hockey season, and the owners know the demand will be even higher. They know there is damage being done, but their going by history which shows increased fan support and sales after a major strike or lockout. Sorry to be the bearer of bars news but you already know this if you’ve been following this circus charade, or lack thereof should I say. But stay tuned… you might as well ride it out for one more week if you’ve been along for the ride these last 3 months!

  12. matthewmacisaac - Jan 4, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Once this is over, the owners should really consider firing Bettman. He starts “negotiations” with take it or be locked out (a lockout should be a last ditch bargaining chip). He also was bragging about record growth (to 3.3 billion $) back in April, just mere months before he had to go into negotiations and plead poverty (not smart). Most of his case for poverty is the struggling franchises that have tried to move but were thwarted because he wants to force feed hockey to people who don’t want it. I feel bad for the fans in Atlanta that supported the Thrashers, but there weren’t enough of them. That franchise has benefited enormously from moving to a smaller market that is hockey mad. Phoenix is in the same boat. They should be allowed to be sold and moved, but Bettman keeps forcing them to stay even though there are as many taxpayers trying to sue to get out of any lease deals their lawmakers broker as there are fans supporting the team. The people of Phoenix have been given enough time to become fans but they choose not to support the team (it’s their right) so why not let them move to a market that wants them. I feel bad for the people of Phoenix who do support the team but there just aren’t enough of them. If I was an owner, I’d be looking at the cause of the leagues problems (the teams that are losing money and repeated work stoppages) and see that Bettnan’s fingerprints are all over them and come to the logical conclusion that he is the league employee that needs to go. He gets paid big bucks and is costing the league even more. How is that good business? FIRE BETTMAN!

  13. shortsxit34 - Jan 4, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    The CBA should expire at the end of the regular season, just before the playoffs start. See how many owners/players are willing to play these games when part of an existing season is in jeopardy.

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