We're finally closing in on what is hopefully the finish line to this every-lasting labor dispute between the National Hockey League, and the NHL Players' Associations. For the first time during this whole process, we have finally begun serious negotiations, with proposals being thrown across the table. The NHLPA came back with yet another counter-proposal in hand this afternoon, and the NHL is expected to review it and the sides will reconvene around 8:00 PM tonight for another bargaining session.
According to The Fourth Period, there are rumblings that the NHLPA is willing to accept the NHL's 10-year CBA term, but with unknown circumstances as a part of the acceptance. They're also willing to accept six-year contract limits, plus seven-years for players re-signing with their current team). The only difference is the NHLPA has countered the 10% variance, and they are fighting hard to raise next year's cap over the proposed $60 million in the NHL's latest proposal.
There also appeared to be a mutual agreement on the pension plan earlier on in the process, but with a change by the NHL, there is now a wrinkle in those plans. While it may not seem like a complete deal breaker, this is still a huge sticking point for the NHLPA in the new CBA.
The NHLPA has also scheduled a conference call for later on in the evening, where the membership will discuss whether or not to file disclaimer of interest. They have until midnight tonight to file their disclaimer, although there is no official deadline.
So for right now, we go back to waiting for a response once again. That response however can and will play a major role in the next steps of these on-going negotiations.