Frustration continues to rise for hockey fans in North America, as the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations took a step back.
|Donald Fehr talks to the media with fellow NHLPA representatives behind him. (Courtesy: Flickr/Shot7Photos|
The Players’ Association entered the meetings Thursday afternoon having the next move in the negotiations after the League submitted a proposal to them Tuesday. The Union denied the deal with three counter proposals.
Among the many issues involved in the CBA, “all the Union wanted was to have the players’ current contract be honored,” said Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.
According to Aaron Ward of TSN, the three offers were the following:
“1) Set dollar values in Years 1, 2, and 3 for player compensation. In years 4 and 5, the value is set at whatever is higher (50% of Hockey Related Revenues or the year 3 number). 50/50 is in effect.
2) Players hang on to current compensation but only take 24.7% of all growth. At NHL estimated growth of 5%, over 5 years you get to 50/50.
3) Day 1 starts at 50/50, remove 12.28% only to set the cap, benefits, and escrow (estimated 87%) number only.”
Included in all the offers, players make full face value of negotiated contracts.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said, “All three offers were shot down in ten minutes.”
Both sides are clearly discouraged in this situation as nothing really benefited in Thursday’s meetings. The most important thing to realize though, is that a CBA is closer to being done this week, unlike last week.
Also, noone expected a deal to be done this week. Hard negotiations were supposed to happen, and this is what is being done. There is still plenty of time to get a new CBA in place and have an 82 game season.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had this to say on today’s events, “I am totally disappointed. I don’t know what’s the next step. I’m really discourage.”
“We still believe that what we offered Tuesday is a fair deal.”
Commissioner Bettman isn’t the only one disappointed. The players are using Twitter to sound their disappointment as well. David Backes, captain of the St. Louis Blues, tweeted to ESPN/TSN NHL Insider Pierre Lebrun, “I fear that we may miss an extended amount of time now.”
Also, another Blues forward Andy McDonald texted Lebrun saying, “[I am] still optimistic something will get done.”
Johan Hedberg, goalie of the New Jersey Devils said, “It seems like it’s the NHL’s way or the highway.” Former Nashville Predators and current Phoenix Coyotes forward Steve Sullivan tweeted out, “50/50 split and honor the already signed contracts… Game on?”.
Important to know that the NHL owners who represented them at the meetings were owners Jeremy Jacobs (Boston), Craig Leipold (Minnesota), Murray Edwards (Calgary) and Ted Leonsis (Washington), according to TSN.ca.
Funny that Leopold, also former Predators owner, doesn’t want to honor the mega contracts given to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter this offseason. Completely disgusting and shouldn’t be allowed.
UPDATE: According to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the 50/50 of HRR the PA supposedly offered to the League ended up being 57 percent in favor of the Union. Also, in the five year deal, it would never reach the even 50/50 of HRR.