NHL & NHLPA Reach Tentative Agreement on New CBA.

Various sources report this morning a tentative agreement has been reached between the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association on a new collective bargaining agreement, bringing an end to the lockout which lasted 113 days. Check in regularly here for more details as they appear throughout the day.

NHL & NHLPA reach agreement on tentative CBA.

NHL & NHLPA reach tentative agreement on new collective bargaining agreement.

CBA Term, Salary Cap for ’13-’14, Contract Term, Revenue Sharing, Salary Variance, Arbitration, Start Date for Free Agency.

As per SPORTSNET’s Nick Kypreos, the term for the CBA is ten years, with a mutual opt-out at year 8.

The salary cap for 2013-14 has been set at $64.3 million.

Player contract term limits has been set at seven years, eight for re-signed players.

Includes revenue sharing at $200 million plus $60 million growth fund.

Salary variance has been set at 35 percent. CBC’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted “lowest-paid season of any multi year deal can be no lower than 50 per cent of highest season”.

Friedman also reports teams cannot walk away from salary arbitration award unless it is “at least $3.5 million”. It will be indexed to increase each year at same rate the salaries do.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the salary cap for this season is set at $60 million, but teams are allowed to spend up to $70.2 million. Cap floor is $44 million. He also reports the start date for free agency remains July 1 at the players insistence. For this year only, the start date for free agency will be later because the 2o12-13 season will end later.


It appears a 50-game schedule for 2012-13. SPORTSNET’s John Shannon reporting possible January 15 start date. Teams will only play within their respective conferences.

Training camps may be set to begin on Wednesday, January 9, and season should begin on January 16, 2013.

Amnesty Buyouts, Minimum Salary.

Chris Johnston of CANADIAN PRESS confirms there will be two amnesty buyouts per team prior to the ’13-’14 season, which count against players’ share of revenue. No word yet on when the buyout period will be, but not during the shortened season.  He also reports amnesty buyouts, though not counting against the salary cap, will cost two-thirds of what remains on the players salary.

Regarding minimum salary, Johnston reports it starts this season at $525K climbing to $750K by Year 10 of the CBA.  He also reports any salary over $900K on a one-way contract demoted to the minors will still count against a team’s salary cap. “To be clear, one-way deals in AHL totalling the minimum salary plus $375,000 are exempt from cap”, he writes.

Nick Kypreos, meanwhile, reports NHL teams can use the two amnesty buyouts over the next two summers only. Have the option to use both in one summer.

CSNPhilly’s Tim Panaccio reported NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed amnesty/compliance buyouts cannot be used for players on long-term injury reserve (LTIR).

NHL Draft Lottery, 2014 Winter Olympics, Supplemental Discipline.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the NHL draft lottery will change, as all fourteen non-playoff teams “fully eligible for first overall pick. Weighting system may remain, but 4-move restriction out.” Dreger also reports on 2014 Winter Olympic participation will be made “outside the CBA”, but NHL likely to participate. Regarding supplemental discipline, player goes through league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan first, can appeal to league commissioner afterward. Suspensions for six or more games will be decided by a neutral third party.

Player Pensions

RDS.CA’s Renaud Lavoie reports the NHL owners will be responsible for potential pension losses. The pension funds will be upon what Major League Baseball players have. Sportnet’s John Shannon tweeted the league has agreed to share limited long-term liability with the union.

Division of Hockey-related Revenue, “Make Whole” provision.

TSN reporting the division of hockey related revenue will be 50-50 over the length of the deal, with a $300 million “make whole” provision to off-set reduced player contracts by escrow.

Divisional Realignment.

SPORTSNET’s Daren Millard reports there was no discussion and thus no decision on divisional realignment.

Trades/Free Agents.

CTV’s Brian Wilde reports general managers cannot talk contract with their free agents until the new CBA is ratified on Tuesday, January 8, 2012. I’m assuming the same rule applies for trades.


Apparently there is no cap on escrow starting in year two of the CBA.

Trade & Free Agent Deadlines.

Bruce Arthur of The National Post reports an April 5 trade deadline and July 5 start of unrestricted free agency have been proposed but yet to be approved, but the two sides have yet to formally sign off on those. Those dates are for this season only.

Deal is tentative pending ratification of the written document by the 30 NHL Board of Governors and over 700 NHLPA members. A press conference formally announcing information on the start date of the season schedule and training camp is expected on Monday, January 7.


  1. The reason this got settled is because the NHL decided to finally NEGOTIATE, instead of just making take it or leave it ultimatims.

    • NHL finally negotiate?
      Try Fehr finally negotiate.
      Bettman made 4 proposals in a row with no counters from Fehr and when Fehr finally made one in response things got moving.
      In the end Fehr cost the players a bundle for nothing.
      had he brought up this stuff in october it would have been done much faster but he had to play games and be stubborn.
      It ended up costing the players overall and dandy don got schooled by bettman.
      i said all along fehr’s tactics were outdated and going to be not worth it and he was a dinosaur.

      • TRC…ultimatums are not negotiating. Bettman thought he could continue to weaken the union, like he did last lockout. GM’s and owners wanted their cake and to eat it too by dictating terms to players then by going behind each other’s backs and finding loopholes to add salary that didn’t count against cap because they had the money to do it. Yes, agent can be a cause of rising salaries, but just because a price is thrown out there, doesn’t mean you have to buy it!

        No one got schooled on this deal. What did happen is the owners were forced to see the union had more resolve and strength then they thought, and that in the future negotiations would need to be just that, and not ultimatums.

  2. Lockout over? Too bad I don’t care much anymore… people on both sides have ruined hockey for me and so I am going to stick with junior.

  3. Shame on the owners for giving in. Watching junior and college hockey has been great.

    The dollars our firm allocates to the NHL for advertising will not be returning. Hopefully other businesses feel the way we do and the annual revenues fall for the NHL.

    Having 20 teams lose money makes no sense. Six teams should be eliminated immediately. This sport isn’t close to football, basketball, baseball, etc.

    Replacement players should have been brought in.

    • I hope you are kidding with the whole post because
      1. We watch the NHL because it’s the best league in the world – not random players.
      2. Why will you stop with NHL ads if fans come back? To miss out on alot of people seeing your product?
      3. Since NHL teams don’t have to show how they lose their money in many ways, you don’t know if the owners lose money or gain more money in other ways. Like sharks who owns the arena that sharks get to rent – can’t be anything fishy there, right?
      4. NHL players are entertainers like popstars, I don’t know about you, but I think they should make most of what they are selling. After all – no players – no NHL owners.

      • @Capsfan

        I don’t agree with item number 4. If you extend that logic, it applies to any business. Nobody working the drive-thru at McDonalds… no Big Macs. Nobody putting out produce in the grocery store… no food. No electricians… candles on the kitchen counter.

        If the players had the business savvy, they could cut out the owners, NHLPA, and agents and just run the league themselves. Unfortunately, they can’t. So you need businessmen and owners to get arenas built, draw crowds while limiting liability, hire supporting staff, etc.

        • It’s not the same, at McD the burgers are the product, at electric-company – electricaty and so on. Here the players are the product you buy, not the ice they skate on :)

    • The owners caused their own problems. Multiple owners were willing to throw 8 million dollars at Shane Doan this off season. Are the owners stupid? perhaps, or perhaps they think he would make the club money. The owners are the reason the salaries are so high, they set the contracts.

      • Actually the fans and home team media cause higher salaries.
        If your team needed a couple of players to move up would you be okay with the team saying no thanks we do not want to spend that much because he is not worth it?
        Would the media write the team was smart saving money and not improving?
        No,it would be more like the fans getting mad and calling the team cheap and money grubbing and the media ragging on the team for being mediocre and not interested in improving.
        Look at any free agent over the past few years and the fans comments and they always say get that guy we need him and have cap space.
        they do not care if the player is overpaid if they think it improves the team and that should sell more tickets.
        i have yet to see ticket sales go up after a team signs nobody and the team looks like it will not be better.
        add in all the media hype before free agency starts and there is huge pressure to sign guys.
        it will always be this way in all sports and that is why salaries are way too high.
        fans will pay to see winners and teams will have to try and meet that demand even if they must overpay.
        add in teams like philly etc with huge cash flows do not mind overpaying to get what they want and that ups salaries.
        if columbus is offering 4 mil and philly knows thats top dollar going 5 is nothing to them to satisfy their fans.
        i have heard fans get mad at a trade but yet to hear one complain about a free agent signing saying well i can live with that since all it cost was money.
        they may complain a year or 2 later because the guy sucks or coasts but at the time of signing are happy a hole was filled.

  4. It should be a complete right to work program.

    Union is a joke. In 5 years 75% of players today will be gone.

    The reason we won’t advertise is when we ran numbers during previous years versus the lockout years, our revenue did not change.

    With the money we won’t spend on advertising, we can help our international growth.

    Might not be a big check we gave the NHL, but hopefully there are other owners who feel like we do.

    • Ah yes, anti-union sentiment at it’s best…”right to work”. Guess what, if that’s what the players wanted, they could vote on that any time. People have unions for exactly this reason, so they can’t be forced to take a bad deal for their labor. I agree that ownership provides revenue, however, just like with taxes, when revenue exceeds much more than a single person’s or small group of person’s needs, then it needs to be shared. And that sharing needs to be fair and equitable. After all, in the case of hockey, how many of those same owners (with the exception of Lemeiux) are, or have been hockey players on a professional level. The only entertainment owners ever provide is when they get caught by their wife with another women or something and it gets in the news.

      • @Uncle Slavko

        Sorry, I’m not a fan of unions myself. Every time I hear people talk about unions, they always mention the good but never mention the bad. How about unions sabotaging their work place? How about union violence? How about the fact that virtually every mobster in the U.S. had extensive ties to labor unions? Many mobster rackets relied on unions.

        Anyway, that was about unions in general. In your assessment of the NHLPA, you failed to mention in addition to the NHLPA, the players have agents. Everything you mentioned (“take a bad deal for their labor”) would be prevented with an agent. Thus the agent and the NHLPA serve, to a great extent, the same role.

        And if the sharing needs to be fair and equitable, shouldn’t the players give back when they don’t live up to expectations? By their very natures, sports and business are not about sharing and equality, they’re about competition.

  5. Bettman’s (and the league’s) first offer and every offer after that until just recently was basically a take it or leave it “package” that included clauses like a reduction in the revenue split from the players previous 57% to 43%. 
    Negotiating is when both sides do some giving and taking and Bettman was only taking and then throwing little televised hissy fits when Fehr dared to come back with a count offer. 
    In the end Fehr got the players a lot more that anyone else would have or even possibly could have. If Mr. Bettman had not played his squash the union and oust Donald games there could have been an agreement in place a lot sooner.
    It was not that long ago that Bettman and his boys were using phrases like “the hill we are prepared to die on,”  it since then they have not only come down from the hill but walked over to the players. If not for Fehr and his, as one poster put it, “outdated” tactics the players would not have seen that hill disappear. 
    In the end Fehr was exactly what he appeared to be and what he is advertised as, one very tough negotiator and nothing Bettman could or did do, including trying to get the union to dump Fehr worked. Some will say that Bettman met his match but I personally think that he met his better and no matter which tactic Bettman used Fehr was ready for it and had already told the players to expect the move. Bettman has been using the same playbook every time he went into negotiations but not only had Fehr read that book he may very well have written it. 
    Some of the more sophomoric posters may call Fehr schoolyard names and try to have people believe that he is a dinosaur but in the end he gave the players exactly what they hired him to do. Stand tall throughout the lockout, stay focused on the objective, keep them informed every step of the way and get the best deal possible. Without him they would have been screwed once again, just like or maybe even worse than they got screwed last time. This time they got something rather than giving everything and that in itself was amazing. He continued to tell the players that there was a better offer to be had and his prophecy proved true each and every time Bettman made his “final” and “last” offer. Did the players get everything they wanted? NO. Did the owners get everything they wanted? No. Could the players have received more? Possibly, but I dare anyone to tell me what and who other than Donald Fehr could have gotten it for them.
    Bottom line; the league and Bettman lost credibility and no amount off urban legend stories about an NHL player getting booed out of a coffee shop will stop the league and especially Gary Bettman from shouldering the majority of blame for this needless lockout.

    • the coffee shop story is not urban legend as the friend that told me is a good regular guy and not a story teller.
      you can believe that fehr did well and it was worth losing half a season if you wish but for what extra they got it was a waste of time.
      had donny brought all this up in october instead of his stupid delay tactics they would have been playing in november.
      I think there are a number of union reps that could have done as well or better and been playing sooner due to the fact they would have been negotiating much sooner and not out to feed their huge egos and prove that getting booted out of his job 20 years ago and not getting another one until now was worth it.
      had fehr actually started negotiating off the first proposal instead of trying to completely rewrite the NHL this would have been done longago.
      in the end he finally did negotiate off the NHLproposal anyway so he just wasted 3 months for nothing.
      the final agreement would have been the same had he just started right from day one instead of day 110.
      if anything waiting this long i think got the owners an even better deal then they expected.
      as for your hill they will die on give in remember don said no way they go 10 years or year/salary restrictions of any kind but did.
      especially remember don saying they could no way have a cba more than 5 years because that is totally unfair to future players.
      a bunch of overpaid bums will be cut and the cap is going down and phoney contracts gone.
      don is now gone and gary will get a raise.

    • Sorry Ahab,i had to go back and read some past posts to find the sophomoric posters and found one big one.
      one poster conitinued to post conspiracy theories like crazy saying bettman had a wild plan stretched out over 4 months before there was a settlement.
      it seems every single move was planned months ahead of time and every presser readied with script in hand months ahead of time.
      some posts were too far back to find but i am sure it was that fehr would not negotiate during last season because bettman was consulting with the CIA about dealing with poor leaders.
      fehr would not counter offers from bettman in oct/nov because bettman was getting advice from the Roswell captured aliens.
      and fehr would not negotiate at christmas because he had to hire more lawyers to read and understand the legal lingo and not miss any important details,which they did anyway,and that said hired lawyers were actually NHL plants that were there to decieve poor Don.
      and a week ago bettman used invisible ink on the offer hiding the suggested hrr changes and that the ink only showed after being submitted to 48 hours of warm air so that don could rant about attempted rip off and then the highlights and page pointers only then appeared making fehr look like an idiot.
      so you are correct,making fehr look like an outdated dinosaur is wrong based on the above proven facts that are in fact real conspiracies and not just in some posters mind.

    • Spot on post, Capt Ahab. Bravo!

  6. For those of you new to this site, we will now move our arguments over to the “Rumors” section. :)

    I’m not sure why all of the animosity about this. Here’s the bottom line:

    1. While people can talk about how much the league is damaged, I don’t think it is. The league survived a completely lost season. I don’t think this will have a dent. The fans will come back and when they do, the advertising will be right behind. I never canceled my season tickets. As a matter of fact, I was so sure a deal was forthcoming, I emailed my season ticket rep on Friday.

    2. Fans say they won’t come back, but when push comes to shove, they will. When they guy on their team is leading the league in scoring or their team is fighting for the playoffs, I don’t think they’ll turn their back. A month from now, everybody will be posting how silly a rumor is and this whole thing will all be a memory.

    3. For those of you saying that teams losing money should be moved or contracted, consider this: Seth Jones of Team USA is considered one of the top picks in this year’s draft. He was born in Plano, TX. Twenty years ago, he would have never considered playing hockey. He might be a top football prospect. You have to cultivate a fan base even if it takes twenty years. It doesn’t happen over night.

  7. Well since everybody who has posted before me has said most of what I would of said, I’ll offer this..hey, we can now once again speculate on trades..wonder how many trades are actually already done and just waiting on the new CBA before becoming official?

  8. Hey TRC:
    I asked who could have done better not for you to say a bunch of union reps. Names, TRC, names and what more could they have negotiated than what the players got through Fehr.
    I enjoy reading your posts (most times) and equally enjoy you posting a different point of view from mine but to think for one minute, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, that it was Fehr who caused this lockout is a stretch even for you. I know you are a constant consumer of the Bettman Kool-Aid and bought into his propaganda that Donald Fehr as the boogeyman man but in this case you are wrong. Let your mind expand and allow the truth in. The owners, of who Bettman is their highly paid mouthpiece, are exceedingly greedy and wanted more of the pot and had Bettman devise a plan on how to accomplish this, but bottom line, a lockout was going to happen if the players did not bow down and capitulate to each and every one of their demands as a “whole.” What was presented to them last summer was a take it as a whole, no negotiating from there as a starting point, no input, no dialog or leave it and you will be locked out ultimatum. Even you would not have accepted those kind of terms. What choice did the players have but to unleash their big dog in this fight and what ensued was a result of the owners not the players.
    As far as the urban legend goes..
    In this day and age if some NHL player goes into a coffee shop and gets booed out of it without his coffee and is heard slinging profanities back at the assembled boomers without anyone using their iPhone or similar device to record it is unheard of. Unless you were actually there to witness it yourself or have proof (other than “a friend”) you should keep it to yourself and help stop the spreading of rumours. There are too many examples of people being hurt by gossip and rumour.
    Too many people say they know someone or have a friend who saw Bigfoot, was abducted by aliens or saw Brian Burke smiling and being nice to a reporter. Unless you can prove it, and by that I mean actually prove it with a video or who, what, where, when and why with more than one person seeing it let it go, you’re better than that.

    • Ahab,
      it has been fun butting heads and i do respect you sticking up for your side no matter how wrong they were,:).
      the coffee shop lasted about 30 seconds so missing it on utube would be easy.
      i have personally seen a player sworn at and return swearing while walking on yonge st and nobody filmed that either.
      his extended flipping of the bird could have easily been iphoned but really nobody cared and everyone just chuckled.

      as for fehr being the creator of sports lock outs i stand by that.
      he was the guy that took in season talks into strikes and the killing of the world series which then led to owners having no choice but to have lock outs to protect themselves.
      after fehr’s cheap tactics of poor negotiating waiting to strike led to sports not being able to trust unions to negotiate fairly and possibly cost them playoffs and champions they had to go the lock out route.
      no sport up until then had the problems MLB did with fehr at the reigns and had to fear in season negotiations.
      no coincidence mlb’s problems all disappeared when fehr disappeared.
      but now fehr is history and we both digress,this nonsense is over and we can retrun to debating trade rumours and stupid coaches.
      i suppose in the end if a pro owner and a pro player posters both think the agreement was good for their side then it must be a decent deal.

      • I agree that it has been entertaining to trade posts with you and joust verbally. I enjoyed it and believe that we both gave as good as we got and without hockey players, coaches and GM’s to rag on we found a way to keep following Spector’s Hockey website until there was a deal done.
        Whatever the CBA ends up looking like, and no matter how many millions go into the owners pockets or the players bank accounts we, and the rest of the fans of the NHL were the losers.
        Hopefully in the coming weeks our favourite teams do well and we can both gain some much needed entertainment from the games that they will finally get around to playing.
        Stay strong and enjoy. It’s been a blast.

  9. I guess the idea of who was more right or wrong is really divisive. And it is really like (stomach) or despise when it comes to Bettman and Fehr. Would the NHL’s initial offer have been any different if Fehr wasn’t there? Would it have been any different if Bettman wasn’t running the league?

    Right from the get go the league was low balling. Most media spoke about how the poor teams were okay with losing the first three months of the season and didn’t want to compete with the end of baseball and football seasons. Great tactics and way to grow the game.

    As for “violence” in the historical sense of labor disputes, I believe both sides have been guilty. And I would guess historically governments would be more sympathetic to the companies and corporations than to small labor groups. as for associating unions and “the mob”, dirty politicians/government have also long been associated with “the mob” (wasn’t the mob supposed to assassinate Castro?) and I am sure “companies” have been associated with “the mob” too and corporate espionage has been around since the first corporation.

    I was somewhat hoping the players were going to de-certify just to see what would happen next.

    I am glad it is over (still waiting for the votes), drop the puck already.

  10. Geez TRC, the biggest labor violence I’ve seen in the NHL was back in the 50’s in the Maurice Richard incident. All kidding aside, while it’s well known that the Teamsters had mob ties (I know, I was Teamster a long time ago until I actually saw the mob connection and quit), labor violence is pretty rare since the twenties and thirties, mostly because, with the exception of miners, unions are grudgingly accepted by management. But that doesn’t mean management doesn’t try to pull fast and lose when they can, which is what Bettman did here as a mouthpiece for management. Perhaps, at least we can agree though, that, as in physics, equilibrium is achieved by equal and opposite forces. If one force is consistently greater, than a reaction will eventually go in one primary direction. If we want to keep the best league in the world, then a just deal is the price one pays to keep the better players in the same league.

    • Hey Slav.
      not me that called out the mob,it was hillbilly that will be getting the horses head,lol.
      i am an ex union worker myself and i will admit many times the union over did it.
      sure we ended up better off but we all knew eventually the tide would turn and payback would be a bitch.
      unions were great but eventually got too powerful and i think forgot what a deal was and it became about power.
      now the companies are pushing extra hard and want the power back with interest.
      i retired just in time as my fellow workers got killed in the last cba and they are very unhappy even tho they knew a couple of years ago it was coming.
      it is a real shame that it no longer is about both sides working out a mutually beneficial deal but about which side will gain power.
      i still root for the everyday guy with a union just not sports unions.