Sunday, October 21, 2012

CBA Negotiations Right on Schedule

The Finnish Worm
I selected the photo at the right as it was entirely irrelevant to the proceedings I am going to talk about.  But I think it would be appropriate punishment for Bettman, Daly, and the Fehrs if they don't get a deal done.

That aside, I thought I would take this moment to check in on the progress of the negotiations.  To do this most effectively, I want to share part of an email exchange with my buddy Bill.  I had asked him what he thought of the NHL's most recent offer.  This was Tuesday morning, prior to the players arriving to present their counter-offer.  I think you will find Bill's observations interesting.  Here is an excerpt from his email responding to my asking his opinion on the NHL's offer:

I thought it was a pretty decent offer.  I think it was extremely well calculated and timed to be delivered for maximum effect.  Just when the players lost a check, here comes the NHL with a plan to save the whole enchilada.  I think the players will reject it and offer some joke of a proposal today, the league will flip out and there will be yelling and screaming for the next week or so, things will look pretty bleak and then we’ll end up with a deal.  

What an amazing prediction.  If you look at this, we are in the latter days of the 'yelling and screaming' phase.  But I think there is a good chance a deal gets done.  Here's why.

As Aaron Portzline points out so well in this article in Sunday's Dispatch, the sides really aren't that far apart. Both sides are at a 50-50 split of HRR (Hockey Related Revenue), and the notion that the players should be 'made whole' for the 2012-13 salaries is on the table as well.  As we pointed out in this post, the owners haven't paid any player salaries since 2004 (we'll delve deeper into that in another post).  Player salaries come out of the players share of HRR, so the players end up with a percentage rollback which was dictated by the NFL and NBA labor negotiations to 50-50.  Both sides have already offered this.

The players are screaming about salary rollback.  Get your arms around it boys, salary rollback really starts the moment we get past the October 25 deadline for the NHL's proposal for a full season.  If you don't have a full season, you don't get to 3.3 Billion in HRR.  And if you don't get to that number, you won't be 'made whole' for this seasons salary, because your share of HRR won't support it.  Maybe its not fair, and maybe you don't like it, I can understand those feelings very well.  But right now we are bickering about when free agency occurs, and other trivial parts of the contract.  Is it worth losing a season over that?


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