NHL Lockout 2012: Latest Updates on CBA Talks as Positive Discussions Continue

Nicholas GossCorrespondent INovember 8, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Don Fehr, executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association meets with the media at the Marriott Marquis Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City. Joining him from left to right is Ruslan Fedotenko, Henrik Lundqvist, Zdeno Chara and Sidney Crosby.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL and NHLPA will continue CBA negotiations Thursday as we enter day 54 of the lockout, according to Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press :

The NHL and NHLPA confirm they will meet again tomorrow. They went a total of about 13 hours yesterday and today.

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 8, 2012

What's on the agenda for this meeting? Pierre LeBrun of TSN shares the details:

More discussion on Make Whole as well as once again on Revenue Sharing expected Thursday....

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) November 8, 2012

Darren Dreger of TSN has some interesting information stressing the importance of Thursday's meeting:

One source says - way too early to think\say a deal is close to being done, however, others hint if today goes well agreement won't be far.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 8, 2012

Every day is important at this point in the process, but since revenue sharing and the "make whole" provision are two main topics of discussion, the outcome of Thursday's talks tell us a lot about the state of the negotiations.

Wednesday's meeting included some discussions on player contracts and the "make whole" provision, and both Larry Brooks of the New York Post and LeBrun have the details:

Told by several sources NHL is not committed to contract term limit but is committed to ending dramatically front-loaded deals.

— Larry Brooks(@NYP_Brooksie) November 7, 2012

Also told that amnesty buyouts are on table.

— Larry Brooks(@NYP_Brooksie) November 7, 2012

Told that Make Whole as a concept was finally discussed at least to some degree tonight

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) November 8, 2012

Two sources report NHL would assume entire make-whole with at least a portion deferred but unclear whether that applies only to first 2 yrs

— Larry Brooks(@NYP_Brooksie) November 7, 2012

It's not surprising that the NHL wants to end the front-loaded deals that help teams lower the salary cap hits on rich, long-term contracts.

This shouldn't be a major issue for the players, especially if Brooks' report on term limits is correct.

Even if the league allows teams to go over the salary cap in year one of the next CBA to have more time to get under the new cap ceiling, some teams are going to have real difficulties moving huge contracts that have little value on the trade market.

This is where amnesty buyouts come in.

Allowing general managers to amnesty players with cap-burdening contracts is the most effective way for teams to get some cap relief.

It would be surprising if this clause wasn't included in the new agreement, because a few teams could have a lot of trouble getting under the new cap figure without it.

We still don't have a ton of information on how the league plans to work out its "make whole" provision, but we could certainly learn more since it will be discussed further in the next meeting.

Three straight days of talks is good news for hockey fans, but until we hear that major progress or an agreement has been made on the "make whole" provision and revenue sharing, there's no reason to anticipate a new CBA in the near future.


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