After hearing cautious optimism in the initial day the NHL offered up a 5050 deal to the NHLPA in their lockout negotiations, NHLPA Exec Director Donald Fehr didnt sound enthused in a subsequent letter to players and agents.
The letter detailed over 1.6 billion in lost revenues over the course of a six year deal with an option for a seventh year as first reported by CSNNE.com while lauding the NHL for making marked improvements from their previous offers. Fehr also wondered aloud to his membership whats in it for the players as NHL ownership is still asking for across the board salary cutbacks and contract reductions while raking in 3.3 billion in revenue.
Some of the content from Fehrs letter courtesy of TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie:
"Simply put, the owners' new proposal, while not quite as Draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights," he wrote. "As you will see, at the 5 per cent industry growth rate the owners predict, the salary reduction over six years exceeds 1.6 billion. What do the owners offer in return?
"The proposal does represent movement from their last negotiating position, but still represents very large, immediate and continuing concessions by players to owners, in salary and benefits (the Players' Share) and in individual player contracting rules."
Fehr also openly wondered in the letter if the NHL offer was more PR move than CBA olive branch, but he vowed to soldier on with negotiations before potentially putting out their own offer in the coming days.
"We do not yet know whether this proposal is a serious attempt to negotiate an agreement, or just another step down the road," Fehr wrote. "The next several days will be, in large part, an effort to discover the answer to that question."
The NHL later released to the public the full offer sent to the players on Tuesday, but NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly denied that it was in any way connected to Fehrs letter becoming public.