posted on Feb, 2 2005 @ 07:11 PM
here is the latest posted today, but seriously at this point does it really matter, any season they slap together now along with the playoffs would
just be a sham imo
NHL makes new offer to players' association
By IRA PODELL, AP Sports Writer
February 2, 2005
NEW YORK (AP) -- The NHL's latest salary-cap proposal to end the season-long lockout was rejected Wednesday by the players' union, which came back
with its own idea: Bring commissioner Gary Bettman to the bargaining table.
Bettman accepted, and is set to rejoin the talks Thursday for the first time since Dec. 14. He'll meet with union head Bob Goodenow, NHLPA senior
director Ted Saskin and attorney John McCambridge.
Bill Daly, the NHL's chief legal officer, and attorney Bob Batterman will join Bettman on the owners' side.
``Bob and Gary really have to be in the room to do the deal,'' Daly said.
In turning down the league's offer, the union reiterated it won't accept a salary cap as a solution.
``The league presented a written proposal with minor variations of concepts that were presented orally by the NHL last Thursday,'' Saskin said. ``We
told the league last week and again today that their multilayered salary cap proposals were not the basis for an agreement.''
The sides met for four hours in Newark, N.J., the fifth time in two weeks they've talked. Time is running out, and the NHL is in danger of becoming
the first major North American sports league to lose an entire season to a labor dispute.
``They asked for a meeting again tomorrow, and we'll see what they have to say,'' Daly said. ``The proposal was put together with their interests in
mind, what they've communicated to us across the table.''
The lockout reached its 140th day Wednesday, and has forced the cancellation of 762 of the 1,230 regular-season games plus the All-Star game.
With time being a factor, there appears to be little wiggle room in negotiating off this proposal.
``We're at the end time-wise in terms of being able to continue this process and still play games this season, so there's not a lot of room
flexibility-wise,'' Daly said.
The NHL proposed a six-year deal that contained a cap that would force teams to spend at least $32 million on player costs but no more than $42
million -- including benefits. Both figures would be adjusted each year to reflect changes in league revenues.
Bettman has said that teams lost a total of more than $1.8 billion over 10 years and that management will not agree to a deal without a defined
relationship between revenue and salaries. Owners say teams lost $273 million in 2002-03 and $224 million last season.
Last season's average salary was $1.8 million, and the NHL has proposed pushing that back with a salary cap. This offer would give players between 53
and 55 percent of league revenues, so the new average salary would depend on earnings.
An economic study commissioned by the NHL found that players got 75 percent of league revenues. The union has challenged many of the league's
If a deal is reached in time for hockey to be played this year, the NHL proposed that the players' association would still receive 53 percent of
revenues generated from a full playoff schedule that would follow a shortened regular season.
``The players will be made whole on that 53 percent guarantee even if it involves us writing a check at the end of the season,'' Daly said.
Also included in the offer -- which could be reopened by the union after four years -- was a profit-sharing plan that would allow the players'
association to evenly split revenues over a negotiated level with the league.
On Dec. 9, the players' association proposed a luxury-tax system with an immediate 24 percent rollback on all existing contracts. The NHL liked the
idea, since it would cut average salaries down to $1.3 million, but called that offer a short-term fix.
That portion of the union's plan, however, was accepted and included in the league's new proposal.
An entry-level contract cap of $850,000 -- including bonuses -- also was proposed by the NHL. That would return the ceiling to that of the 1995 draft
class. Last season, the cap on entry-level contracts was $1.295 million.
The four-year, two-way contracts would also cap bonuses at $100,000 in each year of the deals for top five draft picks. Those bonuses would drop to
$75,000 for players chosen between six and 15; to $50,000 for players taken between 16-30; and to $40,000 for players chosen after the 31st pick.
The league has proposed giving its own bonuses to entry-level players who finish in the top five in voting for the Hart, Norris, Vezina and Selke
awards -- including $500,000 for winning each award.
The NHL also offered to implement a jointly monitored accounting and audit system that would penalize teams with multimillion dollar fines and the
loss of draft choices if they failed to disclose financial information.
Players would gain unrestricted free agency at 30 instead of 31, starting with the 2006-07 season. That age would drop to 28 if the NHL elects to
eliminate salary arbitration during the course of the deal.
The minimum salary would be raised 62 percent to $300,000 per year, and guaranteed contracts would remain in existence but would be limited to
The league agreed to retain arbitration, a change from its counterproposal to the union on Dec. 14, but the NHL wants to make it so teams can take
players to arbitration instead of it being a one-way process.
The NHL has been operating under the same collective bargaining agreement since 1995, when the last lockout went 103 days before a 48-game season was
played. The Stanley Cup has been awarded every year since 1919 when a flu epidemic wiped out the final series between Montreal and Seattle.