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With half the season already canceled due to the ongoing lockout, the National Hockey League has reportedly made an offer to its players that moves a little bit from the string of previous "offers" demanding massive concessions.
The player, who requested anonymity, said the NHL made a new offer to the NHLPA on Thursday, one that moved on the term limit for player contracts, salary variance and buyouts, according to the player. [...]

Details of the new offer include:

  • Term limit on player contracts moves to six years from the five years NHL asked in previous offers (seven years if you're re-signing your own player).
  • Year-to-year salary variance moves from 5 percent (NHL's previous offers) to 10 percent.
  • Each team will be allowed one compliance buyout before the 2013-14 season that will not count against the salary cap but will count against the players' share.
  • The Make Whole provision stays at $300 million.
The NHL is not confirming this report, but there is a reason for movement to come now: players voted last week to allow their union, the NHL Players' Association, to dissolve, which would allow players to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the league. The NHLPA's executive board has yet to follow through, but that threat could shake loose a better offer from league management and owners. That said, we're talking about a massive money and power grab of a lockout—there's no way the players are coming out with anything that in a reasonable world would look like a win. There's only the possibility of something short of a total loss.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:50 AM PST.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think the players are being ridiculous here... (6+ / 0-)

    Once they agreed to the 50-50 split, all this other stuff is basically non-issues.  As a hockey fan I hated the 12 yr deals that were front loaded to circumvent the cap - the players agreed to this cap last time, and the owners and GM's worked around it - not blaming the players at all for this, but if they agreed to the cap before and now this time around they are just closing the loopholes to enforce that previously agreed to cap (and protect owners from themselves) - what's the big hold-up?

    And NHL contracts are guaranteed, so I have no issue with 5-6 yr max length deals - if you're performing up to your contract you shouldn't care either.  It's not like the NFL where it's non-guaranteed contracts and thus a one-way street where if you're underperforming you can be cut with no money owing, but if you are outperforming you can't walk away to look for a better deal.  If you are underperforming in the NHL you get paid for the length of your contract, it's guaranteed.  

    And I don't care if it's a win or a loss - they're coming out with million dollar contracts.  They lost more money missing half the season than they would have lost over the length of this deal in giving up the % they did to get to 50-50 split.  

    All the while the vendors, arena workers, parking lot attendants, bar owners, wait staff etc are permanently out of that lost work.  

    Minimum salary in the NHL is $525,000, average salary is $2.4M.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:14:48 AM PST

    •  and they were being ridiculous in 2004 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Lone Apple, Nautical Knots

      ridiculous and greedy.  As my friend and neighbor Stan Fischler put it then, the players think they're in a sport as popular as the NFL and the NBA, with the same size audience and amount of money.  No way.  Hockey is the distant fourth sport in North America.  The salaries can in no way compare to the other big three sports.  Gezzus- Half a million? I'll take it.  As I recall, Stan said: "They're crazy".  And this is from life long hockey fans

      There are very few subjects which do not interest or fascinate me.

      by NYFM on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:07:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The NHL agreed to the deal (5+ / 0-)

        in 2004 and they want to walk it back.  It took a few years for the sport to come back after the season was lost, but the play's improved and tv ratings were going up.

        Comparing salaries across sports is not really the issue.  All that shows is football and basketball players are underpaid.  Set aside the accounting gimmicks, and the owners in aggregate are making money on the last deal, just not as much as they'd like.  

        Further, given the propensity of the owners to renegotiate labor deals in progress, if I'm a television network, I'm very reluctant to bid a lot of money.  They owners got lucky with NBC needing a tentpole for the sports franchise and re-brand of the cable channel.  NBC won't be so generous again, now that it's guaranteed good placement on any comcast-owned system.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:48:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  LMAO, the NHL (owners) did not 'AGREE' to the deal (7+ / 0-)

          ... in 2005 ... THEY WROTE IT.

          The owners UNCONDITIONALLY WON the 2005 lockout. The previous CBA was dictated down to the last letter BY THE OWNERS.

        •  Only half a dozen NHL franchises are healthy... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ILDem, Loge

          ...and consistently profitable, according to a financial analyst with whom I had lunch last Saturday. The analyst is a former NFL player, a former member of the NFLPA, and was involved in putting together a complete financial analysis and financial plan for a group contemplating purchase of an NHL franchise.

          The analyst said that the NHL gets next to nothing in TV revenues, compared to the NFL and MLB. He said only about six franchises are constantly profitable based on regular season revenues, and the others depend on getting into the playoffs just to break even. He said many of those teams have to get deep into the playoffs to turn any profit at all.

          He said the financial situation for a majority of NHL teams is "tenuous."

          There were a number of former NFL players at that lunch, which was a private affair. One was a prominent Democrat who has been an elector for President Obama. The discussion was not about who is right or wrong in the NHL matter, but dollars and cents.

          Sorry about not identifying the financial analyst, but I was honored to be a guest at this luncheon, and feel it is best to respect his privacy.

          •  my guess is that (0+ / 0-)

            expansion into the sunbelt was about getting a national tv deal, where affiliates and cable systems operators in places like Phoenix or Dallas would have a stake in the league.  I know the Flyers and Rangers are owned by the same people who run the local cable channels broadcasting games, which I think is probably key.  The expansion theory backfired, as the only real effect was to dilute interest in the better markets.

            The players aren't really responsible for the business model, especially the business model after the 2005 deal, though.  And I suspect the teams may well have cash flow problems, but franchises seem to be increasing in value.  If it's that dire, a lockout would just be cosmetic, anyway.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 10:33:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Lol, of course you'll take it (12+ / 0-)

        whether anyone would give it to you is another matter. These players take a beating over what for most players is a short career. They deserve every cent they get.

      •  Stan Fischler Is Knowledgable (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blackhawks, MrJersey

        But he works for MSG Network who is owned by the same Dolan that owns the NY Rangers. I'm sure there is a lot of merit in what he says but he makes it seem like the incompetence and malfeasance of the owners is not a part of the reason the NHL is a failed league. Blame the guy who is saying "pay me" and not the person who is paying him.

        The foolish expansion of the league that is a "fourth sport" was a short sighted money grab by the owners and the NHL and is the chief reason the NHL is a disaster. Let the league fold and start again with something that makes sense.

        This head movie makes my eyes rain.

        by The Lone Apple on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:59:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That is only true if you compare leagues (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Some of the individual teams have cachet in their markets far beyond those of ANY sport, including the NFL and NBA.

        The Toronto Maple Leafs, for instance, have a religious hold on their city that is virtually unknown to any other sport, well, anywhere.

        Looked at as an antitrust issue, no way the Maple Leafs shouldn't be handing out NBA sized deals to everyone they sign.

        Rick Perry - the greatest scientist since Galileo!

        by Bobs Telecaster on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:39:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Leafs Value (0+ / 0-)

          To a US TV contract is US $0.00

          That was the crux of Bettman's folly - chase shifting demographics into the US sunbelt, a fat domestic TV deal would follow, everybody's happy.


          As to your latter point, the New York Cosmos are still a internationally recognized brand, selling jerseys and soccer balls twenty-five years after they last played a game and their league folded.  

          Under Time-Warner ownership and with no cap, they effectively had an infinite budget cheat that imploded the NASL.

          "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

          by ILDem on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 10:16:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  NBA players... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...make more than twice what NHL players make and about three times what NFL players make.

        It's absurd that the two most dangerous sports of the Big 4 have far and away the lowest salaries, particularly when the lowest one is the most popular sport in the country.

        Comparing salaries across the sports doesn't lead you to believe the NHL players are delusional.  It leads you to believe NFL guys are criminally underpaid.  

        Sounds like Stan Fischler's a tool.

        Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

        by Drew J Jones on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 05:58:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good players draw fans... (14+ / 0-)

      and at the same time, a good player can find his career ended in a split second due to injury.

      If the NHL is hurting so badly financially, why have the owners been able to so blithely p...s away half a season (more than once) with take-no-prisoners positions?

      Frankly, I think the owners are a bit surprised at just how much cohesion the players have demonstrated to date.  And reports of the owners intransigence while the players (at least here in Pittsburgh) are training and playing regularly with each other to stay in shape, don't cast the owners in a very good light.

      If Simon Cowell can pay Christina Aguilera $15 million for a single season of junk TV work, why is a few million to a star player who fills the seats, and risks his career every time he takes the ice, some form of fiscal threat to the owners?

      Yes....the associated jobs linked to major league sports do suffer during these labor disputes, but the bottom line is that the NHL is trying to squeeze its players into major concessions in terms of rights and salaries.  Good for the players for hanging together.

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:09:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If by a few million you mean 7-8-9 million... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        se portland

        Star players are not making 2-3 million a year.  That's near the league average ($2.4M in 2011).  

        They risk their career with guaranteed contracts.  6 years at $7M per means they get hurt on their first shift in their new contract they get the $42M guaranteed - poor guy for risking his career to play the game.  

        Even 3rd/4th line guy playing in the NHL is making league minimum in 2011 of $525,000, so if you're risking your career every time you step on the ice and have a three year contract, you're guaranteed to walk away with $1.5 at the end of it - it takes a lot of folks their whole working lives to make that kind of money (ie $50K a year for 30 years).  

        Union should be about the league minimum/league average guys and the minor league guys on two way contracts - protect the bottom and the top takes care of itself.  

        The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

        by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:01:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Average salary tells you nothing (0+ / 0-)

      What's the mean salary?

    •  Ahem. You seem to be overlooking the fact that (7+ / 0-)

      the owners locked out the players. Don't blame the players for the suffering of the vendors, etc.  

      Also, the players are the talent.  Talent gets well paid.  Look at the entertainment industry (of which pro sports are a branch).  Look at the obscene rewards in the financial industry.  

      The owners are unbelievably greedy pigs.  Same ilk as Koch Bros. and their cohort.  They are as stupid as the Republican Congresscritters, cutting off their noses to spite the players.

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:08:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention how many of our taxpayer dollars (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      are being used to build some of their new stadiums.

      If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

      by RUNDOWN on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:33:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and who gave these contracts out... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs, Nautical Knots

      ...that you so disparage? NHL management.
      A player should be allowed to get the highest contract that the market will allow.
      Say you own a dump truck company and while in still needed and providing a quality service are locked out of business.The entire construction industry is owned 30 companies that work together as a single monopoly. Normally they would bid on your service for the value you can provide but one day they come to you and say "take a pay cut,we need you to help cover our bad subdivision losses." They then lock you out.You cannot move to a new town and leave the system in place.
       Would you just take your pay cut and be happy? Maybe you would but most sane people would not.
      This is market rigging at it's worst and the stupid part of this is that these issues should have been raised in the last lockout.A movie star get's paid by the money they create,hockey is no different.
      I hope the players get every penny they can.Weed out the bad franchises and let common sense prevail.

    •  It's all about what is in the volumes of fine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nautical Knots

      print that came along with the deal.  You read through some of that fine print and you may find that the 50/50% deal is not exactly what is says in the Executive Summary.  That is why they have their people looking at the entire package very carefully since you never know what types of land mines the owners may have buried in the fine print.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:35:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This hardcore lifelong Kings fan is ready to lose (18+ / 0-)

    The whole season so that this year's players don't sign away critical rights that they and future players deserve.

    Whatever it takes, guys.

    And obviously, we were primed to have a very good year.

    NHL ownership has some of the most incompetent in major sports, but they demand the most concessions. Screw 'em.

    We're managing out here. It's sad to see "NHL Classics" on certain cable channels. Let the owners continue to lose even more money while many of the  guys play abroad this year.

    This is breaking my heart, but I'm tired of players being treated like disposable Walmart employees. Of course, I'm tired of Walmart employees being treated like disposable Walmart employees.

    Most NHL players are from middle class families; many grew up on farms or in large families. This isn't "millionaires vs billionaires" (although the NFL strike wasn't either for most NFL players). These players deserve our support.

    No NHL licensed products, no "NHL classics" on TV; we only interact with the NHL by sending regular letters protesting the lock-out.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:16:07 AM PST

    •  You're probably the only (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bronx59, sethtriggs, ILDem

      hardcore, lifelong Kings fan in existence.  From Flyers East, I'm glad you enjoyed the Cup, just as we gifted the Avs (nee Nordiques) one in 1995.

      I'm surprised the NHLPA didn't try the decertification route earlier, as the dispute isn't really owners versus players, though.  An uncapped market wouldn't hurt the Kings, Flyers, Rangers, or Bruins, but the NHL, being an antitrust violation on ice, thinks it better to cap and limit the ability of teams to bargain, so that the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville can have sustainable franchises.  

      I totally understand the argument for expanding into the sunbelt, to get a larger tv deal by building up local interest for various regional affiliates and cable system operators.    But since that argument didn't work and actually backfired -- diluting the product and hurting fan interest in good hockey markets -- the better approach would be contraction and relocation back to the Northeast and Canada.  (LA's too big not to have a team, but only one.)

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:36:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bravo! Even though it hurts for this (0+ / 0-)

      Vancouver fan to say it, I agree with every word of your comment.  

      Gary Bettman, current NHL commissioner, was once a VP (or something) in the NBA.  I'm wondering if he has the balls to apply for David Stern's job.  ROFLMAO.

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:31:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  From a diehard Kings fan since Gretzky... (0+ / 0-)

      I agree.  The owners could've bargained in good faith, but didn't.  If the season has to be cancelled to show the owners their own stupidity, so be it.  Figures it'd happen just when the Kings got great.

  •  I'd given up on the Hockey season (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MI Sooner, slangist, sethtriggs, Matt Z

    I hope this will spark new talks and this picture of Donald Fehr isn't the players answer to the offer.

    Uploaded with

    "When you quite pickin' your nose owners, we will talk."

    It is a starting place perhaps, but let's see what the counter offers are. But, there is some speculation that the player's union leaked the story to show just how un-serious the owners are. We will see.  

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:19:37 AM PST

  •  this is still about (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland, Loge, mideedah, sethtriggs

    protecting the owners who shouldn't have teams.  rumor has it that the last contract helped the detroit tigers because the wings made their usual boatload of money and the excess was used to help get the tigers to where they are now.  while Illich wisely made money and reinvested it, several other teams continued to loss money with the old contract.

    Born in Oklahoma Raised in Ohio Escaped to Meechigan!!!

    by MI Sooner on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:35:29 AM PST

  •  i can live w/o the NHL/owners! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blackhawks, US Blues, sethtriggs

    clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

    by renzo capetti on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 01:30:09 PM PST

  •  Saw a Tweet from Logan Couture, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    one of the San Jose Sharks top forwards, that he was back in the Bay Area (he'd played in Switzerland for a bit, then returned to his family home in London, Ontario, Canada). I've also heard reports that NHL players are not reupping with the European squads they've been with. Hoping that means there's movement with a resolution in sight. Might be too late for me this season -- I'm already looking towards baseball and my SF Giants defending their title -- but hopeful we'll have a full season next year.

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

    by Cali Scribe on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 01:52:22 PM PST

  •  Bettman has been out to break the union (17+ / 0-)

    for years.  He's an evil, incompetent little man, and the sooner he's out the better.

  •  Seems like they need to consolidate. (6+ / 0-)

    They never should have started teams in the Sunbelt.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:12:43 PM PST

  •  I Used to Watch Hockey (0+ / 0-)

    Now I have a Subscription to Netflix.

    When they Decide to Play Hockey Again, I Might
    Actually go Back to Watching.

    Then Again, Maybe NOT.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:13:13 PM PST

  •  I really, really miss my Red Wings. (5+ / 0-)

    Going to the games.  
    The whole experience; parking downtown, those crazy steep steps at Joe Louis Arena, the sounds and smells, the fans, the vendors, watching the action away from the puck......
    Please guys, work it out already.

    I can see Canada from my house. No, really, I can.

    by DuzT on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:21:42 PM PST

  •  The offer went like this (0+ / 0-)

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:25:51 PM PST

  •  The owners have done real damage to the sport. (5+ / 0-)

    Here in South Florida, for example, the Panthers had a good season and things were looking up.  Had the lockout not happened, they could have looked forward to dramatically increased season ticket sales.  Now, the Panthers are an afterthought.

    What a shame.  The owners are idiots.

  •  Screw them. They're all rascists. The NHL needs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    diversity, like the NBA.

  •  Grew up in Philly... (3+ / 0-)

    followed the Flyers since they came here in 1967....NOBODY here misses hockey...and that's incredible.....but can you blame us?....we got Snider.

    he's a RightWing A-hole who treated us to Sarah Palin dropping the "first Puck" in Oct. 2008........

    he's raised his ticket prices so much....the only place a normal person can sit is in the nosebleed seats...I took my son to a game a year ago....we sat in the lower section...and NOBODY was watching the game....they were all on their cellphones....cutting deals......

    Shut it down and go back to the "Original Six".....we got Cable....ESPN....and I speak French...........

    I can pronounce Yvan Cournyerer!!!!!!

  •  Frankly, if I were the Owners (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'd get all the other owners in a room together and say:

    "Let's just go away for a year or two.  We're all worth hundreds of millions of dollars, or we woudn't even own these teams.  Who the hell are a bunch of employees, or judges for that matter, to tell us we "have" to run a hockey league and pay them to play for us?  Let's just shut the whole thing down.  So, we won't make the profit we are making now from the NHL, but we're not talking NFL money anyway.  Hell, most Americans don't even know we're in lockout.  Unless you live in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, or Canada, you don't even miss us.  In two or three years, we'll still be very, very rich.  We can reform then, and these players, who will have spent the last two years parking cars (really, if these guys weren't professional hockey players, most of them would have never even gotten into college, and they'd be working for minimum wage) will be begging to play for us for 1970's wages."

    I hate professional sports unions and professional sports strikes.  Hate them, and have hated them since I experienced my first NFL strike in 1982.  In what other real union can you have collective bargaining AND have multi-million dollar personal services contracts?  And guaranteed contracts, no less - even if you suck,...even if you're hurt.  Give me a break.

    •  Got an owner in my family.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And to be honest you're right.  He could care less how much money he makes or loses.  He's made his money already.  Gobs of it.  He bought in because he loves the game.

      He'd certainly prefer to see games being played right now but in the end the owners really don't have to do anything.

      "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot

      by paulitics on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:05:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Brilliant -- sabotage the sport and lose the fans! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Actually, really stupid.  Piss away all the owners' investments?  Other owners would start another league.

  •  Bust the Lockout (6+ / 0-)

    Stay strong boys....The fans are with you...

  •  owners not serious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    South Park Democrat

    ...since owners' proposal still refuses to fund make-whole at a level that would fulfill the player contracts they offered and signed, the union should vote to decertify on jan 2. the union will not take this offer, nor should it. only fear of loss of their antitrust exemption will drive the owners to serious bargaining. federal court intervention will put the owners' backs to the wall. but i fear the season will have to be canceled and the courts involved for the owners to give up on trying to break the union. players have no incentive to sign this deal and, i predict, will not do so...

    "Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible." - Janet Malcolm

    by slangist on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:52:53 PM PST

  •  I mean, who cares- Tim I-hate-the-President Thomas (0+ / 0-)

    took the "year off" from the Boston Bruins after refusing to attend a White House ceremony celebrating their Stanley Cup win, because basically he doesn't like our president. grrrrr -  hmmm how did he know?

    I have no use for whining millionaires who are overpaid to play a violent game where each match-up features more fights than goals.  I mean, do you know a "good" hockey player who has a straight nose?

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 07:13:04 AM PST

  •  How does Canadian law interact with US here? (0+ / 0-)

    There's a mix of business entities here, but the way I'm reading this it's all US law that applies here. Anybody?

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 07:48:17 AM PST

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