Report: NHL makes significant offer in CBA negotiations

Report: NHL makes significant offer in CBA negotiations
December 28, 2012, 3:40 pm
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It would appear theres been a major development in the NHL CBA negotiations.

One day after NHL officials told some media members that a new move or idea was needed in order for talks to be rekindled, the NHL has made an new offer to the NHLPA in which movement has been made toward the players on several fronts.

Details of owners' offer

CSNNE.com reached out to one NHL player, who said he hadnt heard a thing this morning about the reported offer from the league. A second NHL player told CSNNE.com that "I'm not getting excited if there is one offer. I haven't heard a thing or looked into it."

According to one source there was an NHLPA memo that went out to its membership on Friday about "documents" they received from the league on core and none-core economics. There is an NHLPA conference call scheduled at 3 p.m. where the players will decide the next course of action, and whether things are close enough to potentially put it toward a vote.

According to Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun, the NHL owners have privately informed commissioner Gary Bettman that missing another entire season is not an acceptable option this year and the league is hoping that training camps will open on Jan. 12.

Here is the NHLs offer in nutshell form:

The NHL has raised the term limits on personal player contracts from five to six years with seven years still acceptable for a player re-signing with his own team. The NHL had previously said this was a hill they would die on. The NHLPA had countered with eight-year term limits in their last counter-offer, but this should be a compromise the players are willing to work with.

The NHL has also raised the acceptable variance on year-to-year salary amounts in contracts from 5-10 percent, a provision that still allows the league to prevent the back-diving deals that circumvent the CBA.

The NHL has also allowed each NHL team to buy out one contract per club without salary cap penalties prior to the 2013-14 season, a major transitional concession that the NHLPA had been pushing for with players like Wade Redden buried in the AHL due to his salary cap hit. The NHL had previously shied away from this provision because so many small market NHL teams simply cant afford to waste money on contract mistakes. The buyouts will count against the players share of Hockey Related Revenue, however.

The NHL has also kept the 300 make whole provision on the table after declaring several weeks ago in a fiery Dec. 6 press conference that this along with everything else in the NHLs CBA offer -- was off the table.

According to reports, the NHLPA is now poring through the offer and preparing their response to an NHL offer that appears to push things very close to a done deal late in the process. Caution is probably the best word to use in these negotiations, however, as theres no telling what the NHLPAs response will be at this point. It will be important for union leadership to gauge whether they feel this is another take it or leave it offer from the league, and whether a counter-offer would once again send discussions flying off the tracks.

One thing is certain: there will be plenty of pressure from the NHL players toward their union leadership to make this work and get back out on the ice. The players simply want to play and know there cant afford to be any mistakes this late in the negotiating process. Give the NHL credit for this much: they recognized that they needed to move toward the players in this negotiation in order to preserve a 2013 shortened campaign with a 48-game regular season, and theyve done just that.

The new NHL offer was first reported by Eklund on his Hockeybuzz.com web site at 3:45 a.m. this morning.