On Tuesday the NHL made a significant step in the ongoing CBA negotiations by presenting a surprise proposal to the NHLPA, which would hopefully set the framework for a deal to be reached. The NHL's proposal is based on an 82-game season occurring, which would start on November 2, and makes the very important leap to a 50-50 split in revenue sharing between the league and the players.
The proposal was met with optimism and hope from fans and the media, based on what many felt was a very significant step in the right direction that apparently brought the NHL's desired outcome closer to the middle between the two sides.
The entire proposal was placed online by the NHL, which you can read here.
The proposal came less than 24 hours after a public relations focus group was leaked to the media, which served to create even more fan animosity towards the league and put fans back on the side of the players. With this proposal, the tide has turned once more and the pressure is now on the NHLPA for a deal to be reached.
As some expected, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr did not respond favorably to the NHL's offer, stating in a letter to the union that while the proposal was certainly an improvement on what the NHL had put on the table before -- it was far from enough.
"Simply put, the owners' new proposal, while not quite as Draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights," Fehr wrote. "The proposal does represent movement from their last negotiating position, but still represents very large, immediate and continuing concessions by players to owners, in salary and benefits (the Players' Share) and in individual player contracting rules."
The main issue at hand is how the league would address current salaries, which the NHL has said would be valued. The true definition implies, according to the NHLPA, that it would be the players paying themselves instead of the league paying the players the full value of the contracts.
The NHL and NHLPA are set to meet on Thursday at noon.