NHLPA Unveils CBA Proposal, Does Not Ask For End Of Salary Cap
The NHLPA today unveiled its CBA proposal to league owners in Toronto during a meeting that lasted just under two hours. The union asked for a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year that would return to the current CBA if the owners decide they do not like it. The union’s proposal does not include the elimination of the salary cap and calls for no changes to player contracts under existing rules. The players would agree to take a reduced share of hockey-related revenue, but the union wants more aggressive and targeted revenue sharing among the clubs.
In a two-minute briefing with reporters after the meeting, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman declined to address specifics of the union’s presentation. “We need time to evaluate it and make sure we fully understand it,” said Bettman, who added that he expected his group to “respond appropriately” to the proposal when the sides meet tomorrow in Toronto. Bettman was joined at today’s meeting by Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and outside labor counsel Bob Batterman and team owners Jeremy Jacobs (Bruins), Murray Edwards (Flames), Craig Leipold (Wild) and Ted Leonsis (Capitals).
The current CBA expires on Sept. 15 – one month from tomorrow. “Our hope is that we can take care of business in the next month,” said Bettman. “That’s our goal.” There were 23 players in attendance. Penguins C Sidney Crosby and Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin flanked NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr as he spoke to the press. Fehr refused to predict how the owners would respond to the proposal. “I’m out of the prediction business,” he said.