The mudslinging via the media between the NHL and NHLPA returned following Friday’s CBA talks, fueling concerns negotiations could break down.
TSN.CA/CANADIAN PRESS: The NHL and NHLPA exchanged heated words following another lengthy session of CBA negotiations Friday as the two sides remain $380 million apart. The fundamental issue remains reducing the players share of revenue toward a 50-50 split with owners while honoring existing contracts. The NHL’s latest offer would see the players receive $211 million in guaranteed deferred “make whole” payments, based upon revenue growth, but the PA continues to have concerns revenue growth would be sufficient to cover the losses to the players contracts. No bargaining sessions were scheduled for Saturday, but league commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA director Donald Fehr both expressed the desire to continue talks over the weekend.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports more detail on the main sticking point: the “make whole” option:
“Sources on both sides confirmed to ESPN.com that the league’s Make Whole offer — an attempt to honor players’ existing contracts — amounts to $211 million of guaranteed money ($149 million in Year 1 and $62 million in Year 2, both deferred in payment by one year and payable with interest). The league’s belief is that by Year 3 of the deal, revenues will have likely grown enough that at 50 percent of HRR the players shouldn’t face much if any salary erosion in escrow. At which one NHLPA source countered, what if the revenues don’t grow that much? Then what? The union says in that case players aren’t made whole on their contracts.”
“The NHLPA, sources on both sides confirmed Friday night, instead told the league Friday that it wants a guarantee that players won’t earn a dime less than the $1.883 billion in salaries made last season plus 1.75 percent on top of that. You can imagine the league’s reaction to that. The whole point of this lockout from the owners’ perspective is to back the players down from $1.883 billion a year in salary costs.”
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reported sources claimed the league negotiators believe the memo Fehr sent out on Thursday evening to the PA membership claiming a “significant gap” still existed between the two sides didn’t accurately portray what the league was offering, which was a 50-50 split with existing contracts being honored, something the players reportedly want if they’re to return to action under the new CBA.
- He doesn’t negotiate off their proposals.
- He continues to make offers that include an overall salary raise for the players in year one
- This week, he actually raised the amount of money he was looking for in revenue-sharing (to $260 million).
- Friday, he kept the owners waiting before beginning scheduled talks; the second time that’s happened.
- Rightly or wrongly, even moderates among the teams question his true devotion to the players, believing he has invested nothing in the sport and will damage it, simply walking away once this is all over. “