May 7, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks at a press conference regarding the potential sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to the Jamison Group prior to game five of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Bettman Stumped Again, Counter Offer Expected Tomorrow

Wednesday afternoon, Donald Fehr emerged with a response from the players to the latest CBA offer presented by the league.  As most expected, the players and owners are still ‘far apart’.  However, there is said to be notable progress in the negotiations.

“We want to work on a proposal and respond on the NHL one, hopefully tomorrow,” the union’s executive director told reporters Wednesday.

The good news is that the players are actually going work with the league’s offer.. the bad news is that we’ve seen this before.  Fehr also told reporters that the proposal offered the players 46% of hockey related revenue, a 3% increase from the previous proposal.  However, Fehr assured the media that the players would prefer to keep the revenue sharing similar to the current CBA, “Our preference is to keep the same definition of hockey related revenue.”

Darren Dreger provided the details of the proposal via twitter:

“NHL proposed a 6 year term today. Players Share: 2012/13 – 51.6% 2013/14 – 50.5% 2014/15 – 49.6% 2015/16 – 50% 2016/17 – 50% 2017/18 – 50%”

“Proposed Salary Caps: all projected and fixed: 2012/13 – $58M 2013/14 -$60M. 2014/15-$62M. 2015/16-$64.2M. 2016/17 – $67.6M 2017/18 – $71.1M”

Wait a minute.. *rubs eyes*.. doesn’t this say that the players are getting over 50% of hockey related revenue over the next six years?  Sure, but TSN’s, Aaron Ward, explains that the two sides are still hung up on which revenues to include as “hockey related” and the fact that Gary Bettman wants the players to ‘pay at the office’ in order to address the fundamental economic issues that the league currently faces with 30 teams.  Basically, the leagues’ definition of ‘hockey related revenue’ is different than the players’.  This means that the percentages provided by the league are deceiving.

Ward also notes, via twitter, that the relativity of this proposal would be as if the players proposed a 65% player revenue share, while decreasing the percentage each year, as it would still be an increase for the owners.

The second bit of Dreger’s proposal information is in regards to the salary cap.  It appears that this is the league’s compensation to the players’ revenue cut.. an annual cap increase.

Zach Parise also weighed in on the negotiations, “We’re ready to play. We want to play. But Gary’s pretty adamant about his third lockout of his tenure.”

As you can tell, the players are slightly irritated with the lack of progress and cooperation at these negotiations.  Last night brought a pleasant surprise to hockey fans, but perhaps this is a damper to the spirits.

But when you consider the absolute lack of progress, that was last week, one can only hope that this is a positive sign.. the fact that the players are working with the owners’ latest offer.  And if players are expected to present their counter offer tomorrow, it could suggest a somewhat common ground on main issues.. the fact that they’re willing to fire back so soon.

One more time this week, us hockey fans are put on hold for yet another day.  Stay tuned for the counter offer, which is expected tomorrow.


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