At 1 p.m. this afternoon Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman will finally meet again to formally continue their CBA negotiations. So far, things have been a little rocky, with both sides making a proposal and not liking what they see on the other side of the fence.
That doesn't bode well for a negotiation, especially when the two sides only have until September 15th to come to an agreement.
Today, after a week of no official meetings, hopefully the two sides can review each offer and start nailing down some of the main differences the two sides have. Right now, both sides have their talking points. The good news is that both sides do seem to want some form of a revenue sharing plan for the NHL, but they don't agree on how to get it done.
Join me after the jump for more.
Here's a few of the other talking points that should get brought up today:
- Max Contracts: The NHLPA never gave an official counter to the NHL's proposal to max contracts being limited to five years. This is probably a major (read: major) issue with the NHL. The players don't want to see a limit on contract lengths, and they probably view the owners idea of limiting the years as a way to save them from themselves. It also doesn't bode well that the Philadelphia Flyers have handed out two six-year contracts since the owners offered their original proposal. Hopefully this gets figured out soon, the longer it lingers the worse it's going to get.
- ELC Lengths: The owners proposed that ELC deals be extended to five years. Currently entry level deals are three years, and it allows younger players to hit RFA status sooner. This is something younger players want to push for, but unfortunately there aren't too many players in the NHLPA who are still on their ELC deals. Rookies almost always get pushed around in CBA negotiations, so it wouldn't surprise me if the players didn't fight this one too much. Still, five years is extreme, we might see the two sides settle on four years.
- Length Before UFA Status: Of all the points in the proposal the NHL offered, this gets everyone in the NHLPA up in arms. This is a move that directly hits the player's pockets. Ten years worth of NHL service -- or turning 28 -- would allow players to become UFA's under the owner's proposal. That means players need to wait even longer for their big payday when they can finally hit the open market. Players aren't going to just agree to push back their payday, especially when the NHL is also digging into their pockets with salary rollbacks. We'll see how this gets solved, but expect this to be another major sticking point.
We'll know more this afternoon, but for now, thoughts?