Bruce Bennett - Getty Images
Today the NHL released a bit of a peace-pipe of an offer to the NHLPA of a 50/50 revenue split. Should the players even consider it?
This lockout isn't ending any time soon, honestly. We've all resigned ourselves to that fact, which is why, when the NHL released today's proposal of a 50/50 split of the revenues the reaction was "meh, that'll do no good." Fans aren't optimistic, and you don't need a focus group to figure that out.
• The cap on long-term contracts will be five years with a variance of 5%.
• Revenue sharing would be at or near 200 million dollars.
• Free agency would be at 28 years old and 8 years of NHL service.
• Players' Salaries for those NHLers playing in the AHL would be part of the cap.
Well, so much for hiding huge salaries that you're trying to get rid of. The cap on long term contracts is also interesting, as it will prevent teams from exercising fancy cap circumventing measures a la Ilya Kovalchuk. Those two concessions are the NHL giving something up in exchange for a smidge more revenue. It's a pretty good example of giving to get, though honestly the latter one will prevent players from getting those huge $110 million contracts that seem to be en vogue nowadays. Maybe neither side's thrilled with that concession.
Anyway, a 50/50 split brings the NHL in line with other sports leagues. That's cold comfort for players who would like to keep most of their paycheck. Of course, today was their first payday and there wasn't any cash being auto-deposited into anyone's bank accounts. That's a pretty big motivator right there too. The players with huge contracts now might be concerned, but there's a failsafe built in to where their contracts need to be honored for the first several years of the CBA, so at least there's that.
So, what say you guys? Take the deal and start getting ready for training camp, or do the owners still drive a hard bargain?