NHL Lockout: League Makes Significant CBA Offer to NHLPA to Save 2012-13 Season

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NHL Lockout: League Makes Significant CBA Offer to NHLPA to Save 2012-13 Season
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The NHL took the next step toward making a new collective bargaining agreement on Tuesday by making a new proposal that calls for a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN.

League commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear that this process needs to be sorted out quickly for teams to start the season on November 2 (via Ren Lavoie of RDS):

One of the most interesting parts of the league's new proposal is that the owners aren't asking the players to rollback salaries (via Dan Rosen of NHL.com), which was something that the NHLPA has been adamant throughout this process that they won't accept.

John Shannon of Sportsnet (via Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports) has shared some of the key parts of the NHL's latest proposal.

UPDATE: Tuesday, October 16 at 5:30 p.m. ET

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Tuesday, October 16 at 6:37 p.m. ET

---End of Update---

The only issue I see here is a limit of five years on long-term deals, which was part of the league's original proposal made in July and something the players certainly won't be happy with.

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This is one part of the new CBA that both sides should compromise on. I think a term limit of seven or eight years would be something that the owners and players would be comfortable with. It's hard to imagine a five-year term limit being part of the next agreement.

Even though the details outlined above aren't what the players would like in an ideal world, keeping salary arbitration, having entry-level deals stay the same and only increasing the unrestricted free agent age and years of service length by one year are changes that the NHLPA would be foolish to turn down.

This isn't a bad deal for the players, and if they don't accept this proposal or make subtle changes to it that lead to a new deal in time to save a full season, the players will almost certainly end up with a worse deal than what's being offered now.

Here are some other important details from the NHL's offer made on Tuesday:

As Dave Shoalts of the Globe and Mail points out, there is still at least one stumbling block that could prevent a deal from getting done.

Shannon also reported another part of the CBA that is a change from the previous agreement.

This means that players such as Wade Redden of the New York Rangers, who have enormous salary cap hits that have been buried in the AHL, will now count against the cap.

The NHLPA will take some time to carefully read the proposal before responding, and there is a meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening when the league's offer will be discussed among the players (via Michael Grange of Sportsnet).

Most people thought a 50-50 split would be offered at some point, and it's frustrating that it's taken months to get to this stage, but now the NHLPA has a real offer to bargain from.

Since NHLPA leader Donald Fehr did not point out the faults in the NHL's new proposal when he spoke to the media on Tuesday, there is reason to believe that a full season can still be played.

This latest offer was a step in the right direction, but it also makes the owners look like the good guys in the ongoing PR battle.

They have made an effort to not only save the 2012-13 season, they have made a good offer that is beneficial to both sides.

The pressure is now on Fehr and the players to work with this offer and get a new CBA completed in time to start the season on Nov. 2 and ensure that all 82 games are played.

It's important to not get too optimistic about this process after hearing about today's proposal, but now the two sides have officially started to negotiate and that's a good sign.

The NHLPA's response to this offer will tell us a lot about the chances of the 2012-13 starting in early November.

 

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.

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