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Drop the puck, the NHL is back in session

Roar Rookie
7th January, 2013
3

Finally! After 16 straight hours of negotiations, proposals, counter proposals and the like, the National Hockey League the National Hockey League Players’ Association have agreed to a tentative 10-year CBA deal.

The details of such a deal are below:

– The players’ share of hockey-related revenue will drop from 57 percent to a 50-50 split for all 10 years.

My thoughts: It’s about time that a 50-50 deal came into the place. After all, the players put on the show for the fans, so it’s only right they get a fair share of the deal.

– The league coming off their demand for a $60 million cap in Year 2, meeting the NHLPA’s request to have it at $64.3 million – which was the upper limit from last year’s cap. The salary floor in Year 2 will be $44 million.

– The upper limit on the salary cap in the first year is $60 million, but teams can spend up to $70.2 million (all pro-rated). The cap floor will be $44 million.

My thoughts: From the actual team standpoint, this is the biggest change to happen in quite a while.

To drop the salary cap from just over $70 million to $64.3 million means that teams such as Pittsburgh and Minnesota will be absolutely cacking their pants in fear. The $11 and 12 million dollar contracts might be a thing of the past, and you never know, with all the salary cap changes, even Toronto might make the playoffs (HA);.

– The 10-year deal also has an opt-out clause that kicks in after eight years.

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– Each team will be allowed two amnesty buyouts that can be used to terminate contracts after this season and next season. The buyouts will count against the players’ overall share in revenues, but not the team’s salary cap.

My thoughts: At least they found a way to get rid of Scott Gomez’s horrible contract now. Really, Montreal, you really got him for that price? (Watch him score 40 points this year and 70 next year).

– The salary variance on contracts from year to year cannot vary more than 35 percent and the final year cannot vary more than 50 percent of the highest year.

My thoughts: Finally, no more back-loaded NBA-style poison pill contracts. Hooray for Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman! No? Okay then.

– A player contract term limit for free agents will be seven years and eight years for a team signing its own player.

– The draft lottery selection process will change with all 14 teams fully eligible for the first overall pick. The weighting system for each team may remain, but four-spot move restriction will be eliminated.

My thoughts: As long as Edmonton doesn’t get the #1 draft pick again…

– Supplemental discipline for players in on-ice incidents will go through NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan first, followed by an appeal process that would go through Bettman. For suspensions of six or more games, a neutral third party will decide if necessary.

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– Revenue sharing among teams will spread to $200 million. Additionally, an NHLPA-initiated growth fund of $60 million is included.

– Teams can only walk away from a player in salary arbitration if the award is at least $3.5 million.

– The NHL had hoped to change opening of free agency to July 5, but the players stood firm and it remains July 1 in the new agreement. But with a later ending to this season, free agency for this summer will start at a later date.

– The NHL is suggesting the trade deadline for this season be April 5. The NHLPA has not yet agreed to it. Last year’s deadline was February 27.

My overall thoughts: First of all, how great is it that hockey is finally back after so long. All those long nights watching as game after game after game were canceled.

But with the start date of either January 15 or 19 (depending on a 50 game or 48 game schedule), realistically, hockey is only a matter of days away.

There are only three things certain in life: death, taxes, the the Leafs missing the playoffs. But for now, game on, and go Boston.