Donald Fehr met with the media today via conference call to discuss the ongoing negotiations and to make public the players' stance on just how far apart both sides currently sit with less than a month remaining before the current CBA expires. With the NHL not responding too favorably to the NHLPA alternate proposal this week, pessimism is running rampant that another work stoppage is on its way.
I wonder how much those fears will be magnified after today.
Some quotes after the jump.
According to Fehr, the league and the players already share a 50/50 revenue split when you factor in all revenue -- not just Hockey Related Revenue, according to how the NHL would like to structure it.
"Let me caution you when you start taling about 50/50 splits," Fehr said. "If you start talking about all revenue as opposed to hockey-related revenue, the way we calculate it the players are already at just about 50/50. Hockey-related revenue begins by subtracting some amounts of revenue. They don't count. What I'm saying is that if you add those things back in and then take what the players get, we calculate that to be about 51 percent."
Fehr would continue.
"Suppose the players came in -- as we have not done -- and we said,'This is what we want. We'll have no salary cap, have a minimum salary and benefits, which will be a small fraction of the salary bill, and all the owners can pay whatever it is they want to pay. They can adjust their salaries up and down based on what they think is best for them. Whatever the free market produces, in a real free market, the players will take.'"
Once again, this is all coming back to the players not wanting to be the ones to once again take the full brunt of costs when, as Fehr puts it, there's no cap on general manager salaries, coach's salaries, front office spending or ticket prices. But there is a limit on player salaries.
More to come on Monday.