NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2012.

NHLPA set to makes counter-proposal today, an update on the Devils debt situation, the NHL paid over $6 million in legal fees fighting to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, Commissioner Bettman earns big bucks, an update on Mattias Ohlund, and Gilbert Brule heads to Switzerland.

TSN.CA: The NHLPA is set to make its long-awaited CBA counter-proposal to the NHL today, which is expected to include “expanded revenue sharing and more flexibility than is currently allowed under the league’s rigid salary cap system.

NHLPA’s long-awaited counter-proposal expected today.

KUKLA’S KORNER: George Malik has a complete round-up of anticipation and reaction among the NHL punditry regarding the PA’s upcoming proposal, which could include a luxury tax.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not a question of “if” the NHL rejects the PA’s proposal, but “when” and “how vehemently”. If the PA’s proposal includes what many expect to be a call for an improved system of revenue sharing,  PA director Donald Fehr could be trying to woo owners of struggling markets – who would benefit from such a system – to his side, hoping to open and exploit a split between the owners.

If the proposal calls for the elimination of the current cap system and implementation of a luxury tax, that’s an automatic deal-breaker for the league. The team owners won’t give up the current cap system, and while they might be willing to consider an improved system of revenue sharing, I don’t believe they’ll consider a luxury tax.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek isn’t expected to settle his debts by today’s deadline to do so, but it’s expected his lenders aren’t likely to force the team into bankruptcy.

“A source said Vanderbeek has already worked the debt down to less than $35 million and raised roughly half of that remaining figure, leaving him needing about $18 million more to fully cover what the team owes the banks. If the lenders were to push the team into bankruptcy, they would likely recover much less than that. That gives them every reason to give Vanderbeek the time he needs to raise the rest of the money the team owes.”

SPORTING NEWS: The NHL has spent more than $6 million in legal fees in its efforts to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed the NHL is reluctant to accept an improved system of revenue sharing in its negotiations with the NHLPA, yet when it comes to the Coyotes, it’s been engaged in a form of revenue sharing since 2009, when it took over ownership of the team.

SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman received nearly $8 million salary for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unlike the players he could lock out on September 15, Bettman will continue to draw his salary while he plays hardball with the NHLPA.

TAMPABAY.COM: Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund has made improvement in his recovery from knee surgeries, but remains a long way from returning to the ice.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Former Phoenix Coyotes forward Gilbert Brule has signed a one-year contract with ZSC Lions in Switzerland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once upon a time, Brule was among the most highly-touted picks of the 2005 NHL entry draft. 


  1. On behalf of Kings fans everywhere I’d like to thank the columbus Bluejackets for selecting Brule over the top rated European player, second best center in the draft, and future Stanley Cup Champion Anze Kopitar.

  2. 1) You hit it on the head Lyle with respect to the CBA. Its a matter of learning from recent history. The owners rejected a like-proposal in 2004 that the players made. In it was a luxury tax/revenue sharing system that I’m sure would have had a much better positive impact on the financial health of the game than the existing system that apparently isn’t working
    2) Yes, there is ZERO chance the NHL accepts even part of the players offer. The only unknown is how vociferously they respond. My gut is they are polite (like the NHLPA was) but the players offer wil e labeled a non starter or ‘going back to the past’, etc
    3) So who makes the next move from here? My guess(based on history) is the NHL say take our offer (or something like it,or leave it. The players say, no way and we’re at a stale mate until October.

  3. And why shouldnt Bettman get paid. This is the exact reason he was hired. To be the face of the league and represent the owners in all negotiations. Should Fehr not be getting paid?

    Here’s an interesting question for those so sympathetic to the plight of the players. What if the league accepted everything the players proposed, with one caveat. The elimnation of guaranteed salaries. Teams would have the right to dump and/cut any player at any time. Seems to work fine for the NFL, and in fact, the NHL average salary is actually higher than the NFL.

    I think the players might end up preferring the owners original proposal.

  4. Don’t compare NHL and nfl that’s just dumb.. There’s like 60 guys on a football team that’s why the average is higher. They will figure it out don’t worry

  5. Я думаю, Бетмен піхву, і кожен піхву потребує хороший шуруповерти один раз в той час.