NHL CBA talks reach its fourth straight day in New York amid concerns of little progress between the two sides.
CBC.CA/CANADIAN PRESS: The NHL and NHLPA appear to be “inching closer” to a new CBA, but league commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA director Donald Fehr admit there’s still a lot of work to be done. The NHL responded Thursday to two proposals regarding revenue sharing and the “Make Whole” option presented by the PA on Wednesday, but neither side would acknowledge progress was being made.
SPORTSNET.CA: Michael Grange reports there’s “no real momentum” happening in the current negotiations, which sources claimed were “slow and labored”, suggesting the two proposals put forward by the PA were considered “more of the same” by the league. Once again, the main problem is the league’s determination for a 50-50 revenue split to occur immediately, while the players – concerned over potential losses from such an immediate reduction – want the league to honor existing contracts.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the PA presented a proposal which would see their division of HRR lowered to 51 percent by Year Three and 50 percent by Year Four of the CBA, depending upon the rate of revenue growth. Sources also claim the PA won’t accept a cut in pay as a result of their share of revenue declining to 50 percent. The league reportedly responded with a counter-proposal but it’s unknown what it contained.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the two sides avoided a “meltdown” in negotiations over the PA two proposals on Wednesday night, while Craig Custance reports how the amnesty clause might be needed for teams hoping to keep their rosters intact under a lowered salary cap.
NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos lists the NHL teams with players they might wish to cut loose via amnesty buyout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Progress may be slow, but as LeBrun noted, talks didn’t break off with both sides trading barbs in the media. While CBA talks remain at a critical stage, it’s apparent there is real determination on both sides to get a deal done and get back on the ice. As always, the main sticking point is how they reach the 50-50 split. The players don’t want to give up their existing salaries, but by proposing a gradual decrease, it appears they’re acknowledging they’ll have to accept some reduction to their pay. The league, meanwhile, maintains it wants the implementation of that split immediately. How they sort this out is key to advancing these talks toward a resolution. It’s expected negotiations could carry on into the weekend, but we won’t know for certain until today’s talks conclude.