NHL puts new proposal on table for players

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference announcing that the Islanders will move from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., to play at Brooklyn's Barclays Center starting in 2015. (Oct. 24, 2012) (Credit: AP)

The NHLPA on Friday night was poring over an amended, 300-page collective-bargaining proposal from the NHL that the league hopes can spark renewed negotiations and an abbreviated season beginning Jan. 19.

The goal, according to a league source who confirmed a laundry list of details in the proposal, is to re-ignite the stalled talks and have an agreement in place for training camps to open by Jan. 12 and start a 48-game season by Jan. 19.

The NHL is expected to host a conference call with player representatives Saturday, and face-to-face negotiations are tentatively scheduled to resume Sunday.

Two of the changes presented to the union involve increasing caps on player- contract lengths to six and seven years from five and six (the longer term if a player re-signs) and one buyout per team before the 2013-14 season, in which a player's salary would not be charged against the cap. The league also softened its stance on the percentage change allowed between years on long-term contracts from 5 percent to 10 percent.

"I can confirm that we delivered to the union a new, comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA late [Thursday] afternoon," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

There still are unresolved differences: The league is sticking to a 10-year deal with a mutual opt-out after eight years; the union prefers an eight-year pact with an opt-out at six. The league has agreed to increase revenue sharing from $150 million to $200 million; the union sought $240 million.

Among the intriguing new concepts: Trades could include swapping players and cap space; an interview period for unrestricted free agents before the deadline for signing, and joint committees on revenue sharing and broadcasting/marketing.

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