Will Bettman be smiling on September 15?
Bettman: NHL made counter proposal with 'meaningful movement' ...a significant step' that he hopes gains traction to advance process— Steve Zipay (@stevezipay) August 28, 2012
UPDATE: Tuesday, August 28 at 11:42 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss
Many of the details from the league's proposal given to the players on Tuesday have leaked, including salary cap information and the player's share of the revenue pie in the owners' six-year deal, per Darren Dreger of TSN.
NHL proposed a 6 year term today. Players Share: 2012/13 - 51.6% 2013/14 - 50.5% 2014/15 - 49.6% 2015/16 - 50% 2016/17 - 50% 2017/18 - 50%— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) August 29, 2012
If the new CBA included these percentages of HRR (hockey-related revenue) for the players, they would not be getting close to the 57 percent they enjoy now. Expect the players to try and raise their percentage of HRR because this proposal is likely below what they're willing to accept.
The league's proposal of a six-year deal is two years longer than the players' proposal from August 14. Here are the salary cap figures in the league's proposal.
Proposed Salary Caps: all projected and fixed: 2012/13 - $58M 2013/14 -$60M. 2014/15-$62M. 2015/16-$64.2M. 2016/17 - $67.6M 2017/18 - $71.1M— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) August 29, 2012
The NHL salary cap for next season is currently at 70.2 million, which was agreed to in June. However, the new CBA was going to change this figure, whether the ceiling went up or down. The owners clearly want the cap to go down after looking at Dreger's numbers.
If the league did have a salary cap of $58 million for next season, more than half of the league would be immediately over the cap, according to Capgeek. The Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild would have the most salary to shed at about $10 million.
The strange part of the proposal is that salary rollbacks are not included, so it will be interesting to see how teams over the cap will get under.
As per @georgemalik, no salary rollback "per se", but rather one via escrow and reducing the cap. That could mean more amnesty buyouts.— Spector's Hockey (@SpectorsHockey) August 29, 2012
The amnesty buyouts seem like the most logical way for teams to get under the cap if player salaries aren't going to be rolled back, especially when there's so many teams over the league's proposed 2012-13 cap of $58 million.
There is certainly is a lot of information for the NHLPA to break down for when the two sides meet tomorrow. Wednesday promises to be a hugely important day in this entire process.
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Fehr says, 'it's a proposal we intend to respond to' #TSN— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) August 28, 2012
Donald Fehr says there will be "considerable" more players in New York tomorrow. Talks expected to continue then.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 28, 2012
For people who fear that a lockout is inevitable, the words "meaningful movement" and "significant step" do sound promising, especially coming from Bettman. How far apart the sides really are and the chances a deal actually gets done could become more clear if the two sides meet again on Wednesday.
It's encouraging to see that the league's proposal on Tuesday was in response to the players' proposal from two weeks ago and not a new one ignoring the player's proposal.
Aside from commissioner Gary Bettman's description of the two sides' progress on revenue sharing, no details on the league's proposal have been leaked.
Gary Bettman: "we are not far apart on the revenue sharing."— Renaud P Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) August 28, 2012
However, the fact that more players will arrive in New York and that the players will review and respond to the proposal have to be signs that the two sides are at least willing to negotiate.
September 15 is the deadline for the two sides to reach an agreement because that is when the current CBA will expire.
Bettman has said multiple times that without a new deal on September 15, the players will be locked out by the owners.
Hopefully Tuesday's events are a sign that the league and players want to get a deal done and start the season on time. The clock is ticking, and the two sides need to realize that another lockout could do significant damage to the sport.
Nicholas Goss is an NHL Lead Writer at Bleacher Report. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Follow him on Twitter.