TSN.CA: The NHL reportedly made a new CBA proposal to the NHLPA on Thursday. According to Darren Dreger, “the NHL adjusted its maximum contract length from five to six years (seven years if a team is re-signing its own player) and boosted the variance from five to 10 per cent.”
Pierre LeBrun adds ”the ‘Make Whole’ provision that stays at $300 million and allows each team one compliance buyout prior to the 2013-14 season. The buyout would not count against the cap, but it would against the players’ share.” The offer is for 10 years, with a mutual opt-out clause at year eight, and a salary cap starting at $60 million for 2013-14. The league also wishes to change the start date for unrestricted free agency from July 1 to July 10.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the league’s claim they wouldn’t return to the bargaining table unless the NHLPA made a new offer, that the five year term limit was what NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly called “the hill we will die on”, or NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s claim the $300 million “make whole” option was off the table.
Now we await the NHLPA’s response. I’ll be surprised if they accept that offer, but I do see them negotiating off it. NHLPA director Donald Fehr was gambling the league hadn’t made its “last, best offer”, and was proven right, so odds are he believes the league is now expressing a willingness for flexibility. Fehr could reject it outright, but I expect he’ll use it to make a counter-offer, trying to get the term of the CBA reduced to 7 or 8 years, to press for more “make whole” dollars, and for seven year contract term limits across the board.
**UPDATE** ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun has the full details of the league’s latest proposal, which is quite extensive, including a proposal of a weighted draft lottery for all non-playoff teams to have a shot at the first overall pick in the NHL entry draft lottery each year.