June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on stage at the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
The NHLPA made their counter offer to the NHL on Tuesday, marking the first proposal actually put forth by the players. In reality, it shouldn't be called a counter proposal, since Donald Fehr and the player's basically acted as though the NHL never gave an original offer in the first place.
What I mean by that, is Fehr and the NHLPA presented a new offer completely devoid of the NHL's offer. It wasn't an attack back at the league for their original proposal, and it wasn't a ludicrous offer that has no chance of being accepted. And while I don't think the NHL is going to accept the offer placed in front of them, I think the offer was a brilliant jumping point, something I speculated about yesterday.
Here are a few notes I have about the players offer:
- I think it was a pretty brilliant move by the NHLPA to realize that revenue sharing was one of the biggest talking points that the NHL had, and tailoring the offer to help out the teams that need it. The offer the NHLPA presented also shows the owners that the union is willing to make some concessions in order to get a deal done, proving that they want the league to not only grow, but also be as successful as possible.
- The offer also puts the ball completely in the owner's court. It was a pretty brilliant move by Fehr, and one that not many people are expecting. Back in 2004 the owners successful broke down and divided the player's union. It was what they used to get the deal they wanted. Tuesday, Fehr put forth a proposal that separates the owners, pitting the big market teams against the smaller market teams in terms of revenue sharing. It remains to be seen if the strategy will work.
- Not that this particular CBA is a short one, just three years with a players option for a fourth year, in which revenue sharing will revert back to the current CBA format, giving the players a 57% cut. It's a short deal, but it's a deal that Fehr thinks is going to being a "transitioning" deal into a longer CBA.
- The deal the union gave was rumored to have been removing the salary cap completely. In the end, that wasn't true. What Fehr proposed was that the NHL create a cap, but allow teams to go over the cap and have to pay a luxury tax. This does two things, it allows teams with extra financial backing to use it, while also giving the lesser teams a cut of the extra green.
- The main point is that the NHLPA didn't just spit in the owners' faces. They created an offer that they think makes the NHL a better league and will help things grow. Even if the NHL doesn't accept it, they might be able to move forward with the same ideology.
Basically, I think yesterday was a good thing. It could have been a bad thing. It wasn't. The NHLPA did what they were supposed to do, now it's the NHL's turn.
Note that the NHL is reviewing the deal, and is supposedly going to counter Wednesday morning. Obviously stay here for all the details.
Thoughts on this though?