The NHL lockout is close to eclipsing the two month mark; both sides have yet to agree on a new CBA.
The NHL and NHLPA still have to hammer out specifics on revenue sharing and honoring current player contracts.
However long this lockout may take is still undetermined, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said that the two sides still have a lot of work to do after recent negotiations.
Regardless, this lockout will end and in the wake of that some changes will be made both with the NHL and NHLPA.
These are the five NHL moves that will happen after the lockout ends.
It's expected that the next CBA both sides agree on will have a lower salary cap. The cap was to go up to $70 million for the 2012-2013, a number that will stay if this season is salvaged.
Teams will have leeway to get rid of large contracts that may not fit under their salary cap come the 2013-2014 season. The cap could go down to $59 million under a new CBA, which will put a majority of teams right against it.
Gone will be the days of players signing $8 million a year contracts, many owners realize that they have to build a hockey team to succeed. Signing a few players to large contracts will not lead a team any closer to a Stanley Cup, not enough depth.
Teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins may need to re-evaluate some of their player contracts. Two players each making over $8 million a year constitutes roughly one-fourth of cap space.
Part of the bickering during the CBA negotiations is about honoring current player contracts as owners can't pay for them or fit them under a new NHL salary cap.
It is a major area of concern for the players and the owner's union doesn't seem to be budging on the issue—not yet anyway.
One expected move to come out of a new CBA is the end of all back-loaded contracts.
Back-loaded contracts allow players to sign for a large sum of money while their salary cap hit remains low. Players receive most of their money towards the end of the contract, or when they are basically done playing in the NHL and off the books.
It's a way to circumnavigate the salary cap and sign big superstar players while still having enough cap room to build a team with depth.
This will alter the way most teams sign big stars via free agency or offer them a new contract after exceptional play for past years.
More teams will go towards a "whole" team approach instead of just focusing on a few superstars to lead the pack to a Stanley Cup.
After the lockout ends, players will come back from Europe ready to play for their NHL team. European clubs will see a talent drain that is expected once a new CBA is agreed upon.
But will all the players come back to play for the NHL?
Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin was among a few players that said he would prefer to stay in the KHL (via Sporting News):
If contracts get slashed, most players won't return.
The threat could be taken either way, Ovechkin will surely make more money playing in the NHL even if contracts were slashed. Fellow countryman Ilya Kovalchuk is also among those players in the KHL that is threatening to stay if the NHLPA makes significant concessions.
Both players have a legitimate case against the NHL, their sick of the concessions made as each CBA passes.
There is a slight possibility that some NHL players will stay overseas and refuse to work for the NHL.
This could cause the NHL to ban NHL players from playing overseas or for any new contracts that are signed to include a clause that states players may not play outside of NHL or AHL during a lockout.
This most likely will not happen. but it's still something the NHL might look at in the future once the lockout ends.
Negotiations of a new CBA have led the NHL to propose that entry-level contracts be decreased from three years to two years.
This allows players to make more money quicker, if they have the talent when they come into the league.
It also allows teams to dump a player faster if he isn't up to par with what they expect. Players are only guaranteed those first two years of salary up to $925,000, after that it's up to the organization.
But again, while this has been a big point in recent CBA negotiations both sides disagree on where to take the proposal.
It will be a big change especially considering that many players go through a sophomore slump, where there second year lacks compared to their first.
Demanding a better salary after a sophomore slump will be hard, but a price to pay for compromise on a CBA.
It will be a big NHL move, but players will learn to become accustomed to it as well as the teams that draft them.
The biggest move will come down to one word: compromise.
Both sides will have to sacrifice more in order to end a lockout that is costing the NHL and the players millions of dollars every day.
Concessions for the NHL range from honoring current contracts to sharing a little more revenue with the players. A 50/50 revenue sharing agreement sounds good in theory but it is still a seven percent decrease.
Players could concede salary arbitration and accept a contract limit of up to five years. Both of which will be very beneficial to teams in the salary-cap era.
As of right now, with all the bickering and name calling on Twitter, it may be a while before both sides find a good balance between ideas and revenue.
Both the NHL and NHLPA will gain and lose when they do agree upon a new CBA. The most important change though, will be the return of NHL hockey.
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