Friday, 13 July 2012

The NHL owners don't really want a deal, they want to crush the NHLPA

Renaud Lavoie tweets the NHL owners initial contract offer to the NHLPA, and it's a doozy.
Mike Boone of the Gazette recaps it thus:
• The players’ share of revenues drops from 57 per cent to 46 per cent
• 10 seasons in the league before a player can become an Unrestricted Fre Agent. It’s currently seven.
• Entry-level contracts run five years, up from three.
• Contracts are limited to five years. There is currently no limit.
• No salary arbitration.

Nice non-starter of an initial offer. If the owners have 46% as their cynical opening bid for splitting revenues, it’s an indication of how much they’ll fight to get 50% or under. The players will be in a fight to stay anywhere near 57%. We’ll have our lockout yet, and burn off a year of Scott Gomez’ contract the easy way.
5 year entry-level contracts and no arbitration are another ridiculous opening position. They know that can’t stand, players like Steve Stamkos and Drew Doughty would be underpaid for years in that system. It would probably open them up to legal challenges too. They’ll probably yield on that in a last-minute deal. pretend to give up on something they don’t believe they’ll get anyway. The system works fine now, rookies have to earn their big second contracts and beyond, and owners aren’t on the hook for first-round busts.
10 years to free agency is an honest opening position, in that an 18 year old phenom is a free agent at 28, at the height of his earning powers. Problem is the majority of players or college players who make it at 22 or 23 years old, and would probably never have a shot at free agency. A compromise can be worked out there.

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