The NHL tables its opening CBA proposal to the NHLPA, the top remaining players in the UFA market, Dominik Hasek’s agent confident he’ll play in NHL this season, and more.
TSN.CA: The NHL tabled its opening offer to the NHLPA on Friday night, which includes a reduction in player revenue from 57 to 46 percent, players would wait ten years to become unrestricted free agents, contracts would be limited to five years, entry level contract would increase from three to five years, the elimination of salary arbitration and signing bonuses, and all future contracts would carry equal value for each year of the contract.
TORONTO SUN: NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr is no fan of salary rollbacks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have my detailed take on this proposal from the league later today in my “Soapbox” section. In the meantime, the league was obviously trying to employ an old PR trick of releasing bad news late on a Friday in hopes of dampening the immediate negative reaction, but they forgot about social media, the blogosphere, and the fact the MSM is far more internet-savvy than it was eight years ago. This release lit up the Twittersphere last night, and several pundits and bloggers are already all over it, with the response overwhelming negative to the league’s proposal.
What must be remembered, however, is this is an initial offer, and unless the league refuses to budge from it in the coming months, future proposals could look considerably different.What the league will stubbornly stick with, however, is the reduction of the players share of revenue, and while that rollback figure could become closer to a 50/50 split, the NHL’s negotiating team is unlikely to back away from a reduction. If they dig in their heels on this, the start of the season could be delayed.
The PA will make its counter-offer, likely sometime this week, and from that, the jockeying between the two sides will truly begin.
As TSN’s Bob McKenzie wisely noted on Twitter, it’s only July 14th, and there’s still two months to go until the current CBA expires. In other words, there’s still plenty of time for a new deal to be hammered out, so let’s not succumb right away to the automatic assumption another lockout is coming.
USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen lists the top remaining players in the NHL free agent market. Looking at it, you can understand why there’s been so few notable signings in recent days, though Kyle Wellwood can come off the list, as he signed a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.
MLIVE.COM: Dominik Hasek’s agent firmly believes his client will make a return to the NHL this season. Given the lack of quality goalies remaining in the UFA and trade markets, I wouldn’t be surprised if a team gave him a training camp tryout, but I still doubt he’ll secure a job.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars re-signed defenseman Philip Larsen to a two-year deal, and there’s nothing new to report on contract talks with RFA Jamie Benn.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Phoenix Coyotes signed former Minnesota Wild right wing Nick Johnson to a one-year, two-way contract.
NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils goon Cam Janssen apologized yesterday for homophobic remarks made during a recent interview.