According to a person familiar with the terms of the plan, yesterday’s six-year counter-proposal indeed does include modifications to the league’s framework in its initial proposal.
Listen, without the offer in front of me and an attorney/accountant to analyze it, I don't know all the impact. But here are the parameters:
It envisions the salary cap at $58 million in the first year, $60 million in the second and $62 million in the third year, with a 51.6 percent share of re-defined “hockey-related revenues” in the first season and a low of 49.6 percent in the third year. The final three years would be a 50-50 split.
The players currently receive 57 percent of HRR and the cap is $64.3 million.
So, the first three years, with this framework and under the new HRR definitions, are decreases of 11.5 percent, 8.5 percent and 5.5 in the 2011-12 numbers.
The NHL is offering to reduce its original “ask” by about $460 million over the term of the deal---$120 million in the first year. There would be no negotiated across-the-board rollback to existing contract values.
Would the NHL be willing to move again off these revised numbers? Perhaps.
Will the players negotiate off this framework, which is based more on the structure of the initial NHL offering and not the players’ proposal? We’ll see. That’s the nature of bargaining.
If the union is married to its proposal, presented a few weeks ago, which links smaller concessions to a pool of revenue-sharing that asks wealthier teams to share more with financially-needy teams, and outright rejects the basic format of the deal, that’s a sign that there is little common ground on structure, format and economic philosophy, and I can’t foresee any agreement by Sept. 15---or longer.
For the moment, the next move in the chess match is with the NHLPA.