The National Hockey League has confirmed reports that it extended a new collective bargaining offer to the players’ association on Friday.
In a statement, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said:
“In light of media reports this morning, I can confirm that we delivered to the Union a new, comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA late yesterday afternoon. We are not prepared to discuss the details of our proposal at this time. We are hopeful that once the Union's staff and negotiating committee have had an opportunity to thoroughly review and consider our new proposal, they will share it with the players. We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible.”
The NHL and NHLPA will resume formal negotiations on Sunday in New York.
According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the league has made some significant concessions since the two sides met two weeks ago in New York. They include raising the maximum contract length from five to six years (seven if its your own free agent), and increased the salary variance from five to 10 percent. The $300 “make whole” money, which the league threatened to take off of the table after the previous round of talks broke down, remains.
Other details have also emerged, including:
- A $60 million salary cap for the 2013-14 season, while maintaining a pro-rated $70.2 million cap for a shortened season
- A team buyout option for one contract that could be utilized prior to the start of the 2013-14 season. The money would not count against the salary cap, but would count towards the players’ share of hockey-related revenue
- A 10-year term to the CBA, with a mutual opt-out clause after eight years
- An “interview period” for unrestricted free agents, with the date they would be eligible to sign moved back to July 10 (from July 1)
- A weighted lottery for the top pick of the entry draft, giving each non-playoff team a chance at the number one overall choice
- Revenue sharing increased to $200 million from the previous proposal of $150 million
The league has cancelled all games through Jan. 14, and according to one report, the latest proposal was made with a start date of Jan. 19 in mind. In 1994-95, a 48-game NHL season began on Jan. 20. Commissioner Gary Bettman has already said he can’t envision a season with fewer than 48 games in order to maintain integrity.
The NHL informed the NHLPA that a deal would have to be in place by Jan. 11, or the entire sesaon would be cancelled, according to RDS' Renaud Lavoie.
The NHLPA will review the 300-plus page proposal internally over the next few days headed into the Sunday bargaining session. It has already held a conference call on Friday afternoon to update its membership on the latest developments.