SBD/December 28, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NHL Lockout, Day 104: NHL Reportedly Makes New Proposal To NHLPA

The NHL has "made a new proposal to the NHL Players' Association with time ticking toward a canceled season," according to an unidentified player cited by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com. The player said that the league "made a new offer to the NHLPA on Thursday, one which moved on the term limit for player contracts, salary variance and buyouts." LeBrun notes the league's "insistence on a five-year limit has been a major sticking point with players," but the new offer is believed to include moving the term limit on player contracts "to six years." It would go to seven years "if you're resigning your own player." Year-to-year salary variance would "move from 5 percent to 10 percent." Also in the proposal, the "Make Whole" provision "stays at $300 million" and each team "will be allowed one compliance buyout before the 2013-14 season that will not count against the salary cap but will count against the players' share." NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly did not confirm the player's report. Meanwhile, the NHLPA's executive board "has until Jan. 2 to decide whether or not to file a notice of disclaimer of interest -- dissolving the union -- after players last week voted overwhelmingly to give the board the right to do so." Players have said that their "preference would be to quickly negotiate a new deal rather than file the disclaimer but if there's no traction in talks, there would be no other choice but to file" (ESPN.com, 12/28). TSN's Darren Dreger wrote on his Twitter feed, "Hard to imagine the NHL's latest proposal doesn't result in potentially season-saving meetings. Players wanted flexibility and they got it." The National Post's Bruce Arthur wrote, "Before anybody gets too excited, let's see if the NHLPA agrees with the numbers the NHL is leaking right now. But hey, it's something."
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