The NHLPA and its membership are slowly dissecting todays Collective Bargaining Agreement from the NHL. Even better the NHLPA and Executive Director Donald Fehr should be answering with their own counter-proposal response within the next few days and continuing a dialogue that could lead to a hockey season in November.
According to a source close to the CBA negotiations the NHL proposal is indeed a 5050 split of Hockey Related Revenue, but it also contains some vague language about the first year transitional period that will need to be fleshed out over the next 10 days of negotiations.
The proposal is for a six-year deal with an NHL option for a seventh season, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, and would in all likelihood be extended if things are working for the long-term benefit of the league. In addition NHL players wouldnt become free agents until the age of 28 and eight years of service in the league, entry level deals would reportedly remain at three years and contract terms would be locked with a five-year limit rather than the 10-12 year deals that have been prevalent in recent years.
The NHLPA conference call began at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and went on long after players had expected it to be over. But that was a good thing according to one of the many players sitting in on the call and waiting patiently for the NHL to return to action. Theres also a slight level of vexation that the NHLs best offer didnt come sooner in the process, but it appears that both sides are willing to put that behind them and focus on saving the 2012-13 hockey season.
"It's good that we had a long conference call today because it means that we actually had something to talk about, said one player to CSNNE.com. It's a step in the right direction. If the league's latest offer was the first offer that we received months ago then we'd be playing hockey right now."
A second source within the NHLPA told Comcast SportsNet that an appropriate response should be forthcoming over the next couple days.
The league has finally put forth a proposal that looks like it is in good faith, said the NHLPA source. After analyzing the proposal, the negotiating committee will be acting accordingly over the next couple of days.