The NHL has made the opening move in labor negotiations with the NHLPA and tabled an offer. It's one that isn't going to garner any smiles from the players when they wake up this morning.
According to what I have read so far some of the apparent major changes to the current collective bargaining agreement include:
- reduction of players' hockey-related revenues from 57% to 46%
- players would need to accrue ten seasons of service before they can become unrestricted free agents
- cap ceiling would be set $4 million above the midpoint - floor would be $8 million below
- future contracts would be for a maximum of five seasons
- elimination of salary arbitration
- future contracts will have an equal monetary value for every year of the contract
- entry level contracts would be for five seasons instead of the current three
- elimination of signing bonuses on future contracts
Obviously the NHL is asking for the kitchen sink in this first offer knowing that they aren't going to get it but this proposal is a lot more stringent than I expected.