Twenty-Five days are left to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that ends on September 15, 2012. Here is what I was able to find out about what each side wants:
The National Hockey League (NHL) wants players’ share of revenue to drop from the current 57% to 43% which is a shift approximately $450 million to the owners. Also, on their demand list is limiting contracts to 5 years as there is currently no limit. Hmmm… if they had a problem with the length of contracts why haven’t they addressed this with their General Managers, and allowing them to sign players to lengthy contracts that are completely absurd? For example: Vinny Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks are two players many years ago that were signed to ridiculous contracts. This off-season has been one of the most ridiculous I’ve ever seen. It’s almost like General Managers do not care what position the club is in if the Salary Cap (which is tied to league revenue) drops.
The NHL also wants the time it takes for a player to become an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) to increase from seven years to ten years. Along these lines the elimination of Salary Arbitration is on their wish list.
The National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) wants a 50-50 split between players and owners. What a concept! The National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) do this. Onto the salary cap structure – the NHLPA denied this when it was first reported, but it was rumored they wanted a luxury tax imposed on the teams that exceeded the salary cap. For the record, there are penalties already in place for teams who exceed the cap.
Individual contracts are something owners (through the NHL) want to change. Those changes wanted (or things they want eliminated altogether) include Free Agency, Salary Arbitration, Entry-Level Contracts, Contract Lengths, Bonuses, and Front-Loaded Contracts. The NHLPA wants nothing to do with this as they do not want any changes.
Eventhough, Gary Bettman has stated owners are more concerned with controlling salaries than revenue sharing – it is on the table. The NHLPA wants as much as $250 million of it to be shared with teams that are in distress, and teams that find themselves in financial difficulties, but cannot share in it due to the television market serving more than 2.5 million homes. Example: New York Islanders.
Other information I found out tonight is that the NHL owners really oppose revenue sharing (or atleast the perception is there). Team owners make a few million every year (if lucky) or they find themselves in the red every year. The real profit is made when the team is sold as to use the San Jose Sharks as the example – they were bought ten years ago for approximately $147 million, and are currently valued at $211 million.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are worth about $174 million as of last season, and valuations are at an all time high. However, the team still lost $8.5 million.
Til tomorrow, WE WANT TO DROP THE PUCK THIS SEASON!!!