While the NHL and NHLPA continue to hammer things at the negotiating table in New York City, Bruins forwards Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic have returned to Boston after taking part for two days.
Both rugged Bs players were on hand for the nearly 13 hours of discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday, but couldnt remain in the Big Apple as they things to attend to back at home. That was in no way a reflection on the direction of CBA talks, however. Instead David Backes, Chris Campoli, Mathieu Darche, Ron Hainsey, Johan Hedberg, Manny Malhotra and Kevin Westgarth were the seven NHL players to attend the meetings.
The NHL was planning on unrolling their changes to the make whole provision on Thursday in perhaps the biggest pivot moment of the week for discussions, but neither was on hand to for the big moment in discussions. Thornton wouldnt characterize where he thought discussions were headed, but said that its just good that theyre talking.
The Thursday meetings in New York City began around 1 p.m. and were expected to include some NHL reaction to several offers made by the NHLPA during two separate Wednesday sessions.
According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, the players made an offer that would increase the revenue sharing collected into an Industry Growth Fund, retain player contract rights (free agency, term limits etc.) at their current levels and also include a guarantee of last seasons players share plus a small growth rate of 1.75 percent until that number reached 50 percent of HRR. This "make whole" provision would reduce the players share of HRR to 50.3 percent in Year 3 of the deal assuming only 6.1 percent HRR growth.
Essentially their offer would get to the 5050 HRR split in the 2014-15 season.
The NHLPA entered today waiting for Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and the NHL owners to unroll their adjustments to the make whole provision as well any supposed flexibility on player contract rights and revenue sharing. According to the same source the league hadn't given much feedback on any part of the players' proposal entering Thursday's meeting.
The reaction from both sides could be very telling once the meetings have concluded for the day: either they find common ground or both sides might take the weekend to rethink their compromises while aiming to start the season on Dec. 1.