In the staring contest for a new collective bargaining agreement, Gary Bettman (right) and the NHL may have just blinked. Or at least rubbed some crust out of their eyes.
The league proposed a 50/50 share of hockey related revenue to the NHLPA today in hopes to get a quick resolution to the dispute which has cancelled the first two weeks of the season thus far. The NHL's initial offer called for the players to receive 43 percent of revenue. Under the previous CBA, the players received 57 percent.
According to John Shannon of Sportsnet, the new offer some changes with regards to free agency terms.
-A player would not be eligible for unrestricted free agency until he turns 28 or has eight years of service in the NHL. Under the previous CBA, a player must be 27 or have seven years of service.
-Entry-level contracts would be extended to four years. Under the previous CBA, they are three years.
-Players such as Rangers defenseman Wade Redden who are "banished" to the AHL in order to gain the NHL club relief against the salary cap would still count towards the cap regardless if they were in the NHL or AHL. Under the previous CBA, Redden's $6.5 million cap hit was relieved from the Rangers' salary cap since he was playing for the AHL affiliate in Hartford.
-The length of this proposal is six seasons. The previous CBA covered seven seasons.
-Revenue sharing among NHL teams would be expanded to $200 million. The previous CBA spread $100 million among the 30 franchises.
According to the NHL, this offer was made with the hopes of salvaging a full 82-game schedule which would potentially begin No. 2.
The NHLPA is scheduled to hold a conference call at 5 p.m. this afternoon to review the new proposal.
EN Says - A 50/50 split was/is the end game as far as the revenue split is concerned. If it happens today or a year from new, a new CBA will split money between the NHL and NHLPA down the middle (or close to it). With that established, terms of free agency become a larger matter.
We have a hard time seeing the NHLPA accepting this offer as its presently constructed. We can't imagine the players would be too eager to give up some freedom with regards to free agency. But that doesn't mean those issues can't be worked out.
Overall, this is a step towards getting a new collective bargaining agreement but it's not the end of this dispute.
(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)