NHL Lockout: Are Salary Rollbacks on the Horizon for NHL Players in 2013?
The NHL season is scheduled to begin on October 11, but before that can happen the NHL and NHL Players Association have to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement. Currently the two sides are moving at a slow pace, not really showing any sense of urgency as the September 15 expiration of the current CBA quickly approaches.
The big issue here is how to split the hockey revenue. The current CBA has the players getting 57 percent of that revenue, a number that the NHL says is not even close to what it should be.
The NHL’s latest offer was to reduce that number to 46 percent, a number that is still probably not even close to what the NHLPA will accept. Why you ask? Easy. In the last NBA negotiations, the NBA players started at the same number, 57 percent, eventually accepting something in the range of 49-51 percent. To think that the NHLPA will not use that as a baseline is foolish.
The two sides negotiated on Wednesday and one interesting tidbit emerged on how the NHL would propose getting down to a number that they would find acceptable, and that would be by reducing the salary cap. According to TSN.ca’s Darren Dreger:
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
These numbers are a far cry from what the NHL announced in June, when they informed teams they would have a salary cap of $70.2 million to work with for the 2012-13 season.
Should players accept a rollback?
If Dreger’s numbers are correct, there are currently 16 teams over that limit with the Boston Bruins leading the way at $68.8 million.
One has to wonder how the NHL plans on getting to those numbers, and the reality is that it can’t without some severe changes. One way to get there will be the tool the NHL used in the last negotiations: the salary rollback.
The players agreed to a 24 percent rollback during the 2005 negotiations. If I were to guess, the list of things the NHLPA would be willing to consider to get this new CBA in place would not include another rollback in their salaries. They went down that road, it didn’t fix anything, and they have no reason to travel down that road again.
Things are starting to get interesting and a lockout is looming. If the NHL’s plan is to force their will upon the players, we will surely be looking at another lost season.
The NHL can’t expect the players to roll over every new contract. The system is broken, there’s no doubt about that, but maybe it’s time for the owners to look in the mirror and ask themselves who broke that system.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?