2012 NHL CBA Negotiations: NHLPA Intends To Counter Thursday Or Friday [UPDATED]

The NHL CBA negotiation dance continued Wednesday afternoon as the NHLPA met with the league regarding their latest proposal, and the players could make a formal response as early as tomorrow. The best you could say right now is that talks are moving forward and the dialogue has remained at least civil through this point.

The two sides continue to compare apples to oranges where the HRR split is concerned, however. The owners call their latest six year offer one that gives, on average, a slightly greater than 50% split to the players - But that's using a new definition of HRR not agreed upon by players association. The NHLPA says the league's newest proposal would actually give them just 46% of revenues, using the current HRR definition.

The league's first proposal equated, in the PA's estimation, to about 43% of HRR, down from the 57% they enjoy currently. That represented a 24% reduction to players. The latest math works out to a 19% reduction, but doesn't include a rollback on salaries. The owners intend to make it up by having the players pay more of their salaries into escrow. Fehr remarked this afternoon that a pay cut is still a pay cut, no matter how they term it.

The NHLPA intends to respond to (counter) this proposal before the end of the week, possibly as early as Thursday. One of the things the players are concerned with is how the league's latest ideas affect individual teams, and that's information they could want clarified (probably tomorrow) before they respond formally.

[Update: Some follow up reactions and quotes from Bettman and Fehr after the jump.

Major issues moving forward appear to be...

  • Basic understanding of what HRR will be. The league has arbitrarily and unilaterally removed part of the pie right off the top. The issue isn't only how to split the pie now, but what's included to begin with.
  • Term. The owners moved from a five year proposal to a six year. The players want a shorter term. Three to four years. "It's hard to predict the future" Fehr said.
  • Escrow payments. The league wants to use escrow payments to supplement not rolling back salaries. It's semantics. It amounts to the same thing. The players estimate escrow payments could rise to 15 or 20 percent. On top of taxes players would lose well over half of their negotiated deals.
  • Player contracts. There's still a whole world of RFA terms, contract terms, arbitration issues, etc, etc to discuss once the core economic issues are put to rest.
  • So much more

If you're looking for a positive today it's that the two sides are still communicating, and appear to be doing so in a gentlemanly fashion, though what goes on behind closed doors in anyone's guess. As long as they're conversing a little hope remains that a deal can be done sometime in the month of September.

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