This news is definitely already out there, so I won’t bore you with too many details, and instead simply cut to the chase: The NHL has finally presented an offer that, upon first glance, looks to actually be a reasonable one. It’s not perfect and the Players’ Association will definitely have to fight for some tweaks to it, but it gives the sense that the league is finally ready to start negotiating instead of playing hard ball and refusing to budge.
Details are still leaking and we don’t have the full picture yet (and the NHLPA is still poring over it as well), so it’s hard to say just how reasonable it is, but there was certainly a lot of optimism when it was first announced. As stated, there are definitely some things the NHLPA will want to further negotiate, but appears this will at least get both sides back at the table and we now have a starting point. It appears that the NHL is ready to have an adult conversation, and negotiations can finally begin.
Compiled from various tweets from hockey media folks, here is a quick list of what is commonly being reported as part of the offer.
- 50/50 split share of Hockey Related Revenue, as it is currently defined(!), begins first year without a phase-in period
- 82-game season stays in tact, to begin on Nov 2
- Possibly no salary rollback (some reports are saying there is a “type” of rollback). Current contracts would be honored.
- Entry Level Contracts would be 3 years in length [edit: this was previously incorrectly listed as 4]
- Max contract lengths set at 5 years.
- Free Agency starts at age 28/8 years of NHL service.
- Arbitration would still exist
- The salary of players under NHL contract playing in the AHL would count against the salary cap.
More details are sure to come, but those points seem to be the agreed upon details at this time. Some of these items the NHLPA is definitely going to want to negotiate more, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Are we seeing the start of something great? Let’s hope so.
Jer is praying for the miracle that will save the rest of this season. Follow him on Twitter @JerMeansWell.