Differences Over Revenue Sharing Could Be Sticking Point In NHL CBA Negotiations
Revenue sharing is where NHL owners and the NHLPA "have their sharpest difference over a solution to the league’s lingering economic problems," according to David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. There are "fewer of the NHL’s 30 teams in serious economic trouble -- six in the estimate of one former governor -- but the owners are still looking to find the solution in the pockets of the players." There is a "chance the players will make their first counterproposal this week" when they hold two days of talks with the owners in N.Y. Union sources have said that when the counterproposal is made, it "will suggest far more revenue sharing between the league’s richest and poorest teams." NHLPA Special Assistant and former NHLer Mathieu Schneider said, “It’s a key component of the system we have now and will be a key component of any system we have in place. If the overall goal is the health of the entire league, then there needs to be some meaningful revenue sharing.” The NHL "lags behind the other three major North American professional sports leagues when it comes to revenue sharing." In addition, "the NHL's system is easily the most complicated of the four major sports." When the players make their counterproposal, it is "expected to follow the baseball model." This calls for a "greater share of the rich teams' local revenue to go into the pot." Both a current NHL governor and a former NHL governor admitted that the league's "richest teams are not keen even about the limited sharing [that] exists now." The former governor said that the owners "would only accept [a] sharp increase" like the NBA owners did if NHLPA Exec Dir Don Fehr and the union "can convince them every team will become profitable" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/31).