Business of Hockey

CBA Round 1: No need to panic yet

Much noise was made yesterday about the owners initial proposal to the NHLPA to kick off the negotiations towards a new CBA for the 2012 season and onwards. There are many talking points during these negotiations, and each side will need to come to an agreement on each before these negotiations will finish.

The important aspect to realize about the next few months is that this is a long process. Each side will present what they want, and then they will negotiate until they agree on something in the middle. Any offers made now, including the owners offer below, are just steps toward meeting in the middle. Per Renaud Lavoie, the demands focused on five key areas:

1-reduce players hockey related revenues to 46% from 57 %. 2-10 seasons in NHL before being UFA. 3-contracts limites to 5 years 4-no more salary arbitration. 5- entry-level contract 5 years instead of 3.

The item that seemed to strike a nerve with many is the first item regarding revenues. That is an 11% drop in the current revenue share, and something the players will not agree to. Everything is about money, but this first steps is simply a negotiating tactic.

Let’s think about this logically. If your goal is a 50/50 split of revenues, would you lead off the negotiations with the 50/50 split?

You would not, you would start it lower in your favor, and then you would negotiate to meet in the middle, closer to your overall goal of 50/50. It’s Negotiations 101, you have what you are looking for, and you start the process by asking for more to make it seem like you are moving from your initial demands.

Based on that tactic, expect the NHLPA to propose something equally outrageous and one-sided next week. It’s just part of the process. There are still two months left before the current CBA expires, and an additional two weeks before the season starts. There’s no reason to panic about the sides “being far apart.” If the sides are this far apart in September, then it’s time to panic.

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    • Oh yeah and i forgot to mention that it could be a good idea to compare the NHL and NBA with all the CBA negotiations. It took a long time for NBA CBA negotiations to be resloved. There might not be any hovkey for a while. Lets hope the CBA negotiations end with the players and owners all happy with the new CBA

  • This is the owners flexing their position, to give away concessions later on. They will never get all their demands, nor the players, its a stupid game that has to be player out!!!!!

  • This is the owners flexing their position, to give away concessions later on. They will never get all their demands, nor the players, its a stupid game that has to be played out!!!!!

  • I get that this is a negotiation tactic, but it just shows how delusional the owners are. They are the ones who give out stupid contracts year after year and then in these negotiations they ask the players to save them from their stupidity. The NHL is making more money than ever and these billionaires not only want to reduce what is considered hockey related revenue, but then also ask the players to give back their percentage of that money? Ridiculous.

    I am trying to be optimistic that cooler heads will prevail and they will realize how well the league is doing, but i dont trust bettman or the owners. Lets see how this plays out

  • What scares me the most with the owner’s intial proposal is the salary cap of $52.5 million. This is the lowest cap since ’08/09. I feel the owner’s are lowballing to bring negotations more toward their side of the table. Moreover, their proposals are so low that negotations will drag on causing a lockout again. Can the NHL survive another lockout?

  • Sure this is one the 1st offer but if any of this is even remotely true then Gary Bettman and CO are not being really smart here.

    There is something to screw over every NHL player rather than the 3rd and 4th liners. Not a good idea giving Don Fehr ammo to unite the players.

    Ina fight I would bet Fehr over Bettman in a heartbeat

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