NHL CBA Report Update
By Stephen London
In five days, both the NHL Players Association and the NHL board of governors will reach the deadline to negotiate the collective bargaining agreement without affecting the schedule and preventing a lockout. Just last week, the NHL proposed its second offer to the NHLPA, which decided to cancel all talks after receiving the counterproposal.
Even though the scheduled meetings were canceled, informal meetings between the two sides started this weekend. The quasi-secretive meetings are thought to be because of the approaching deadline. The NHLPA wants to change the revenue-sharing system, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the team owners seem reluctant to do so.
Based on the recent labor deals, the NHL board of governors has some basis to think the players are getting too big of a percentage of the league's hockey-related revenue, with 57 percent. The NFL and NBA players took a cut in the percentage to right around 50 percent when they renegotiated their CBAs last year.
But one thing the NFL and NBA have that the NHL does not is a generous revenue-sharing system. For example, in the NFL, each team shares 80 percent of its football-related revenue with the rest of the league.
To compare the NFL's revenue-sharing system to the NHL's revenue sharing system would be like comparing a small Little Caesar's pizza to a Ruth's Chris steak. The NHL has franchises that are struggling, including the Phoenix Coyotes and Florida Panthers.
One way to help these franchises, as the NHLPA identified in its counterproposal, is installing a revenue-sharing model to replace the sub-15 percent system that is currently in place.
There are meetings scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this week in New York City. Considering these meetings are the two days before the deadline, do not expect a surprise CBA by Friday. A new CBA agreement is not impossible, but it's highly unlikely.
More than 200 players are expected to be in attendance during this week's meetings.
Despite the large player presence in New York City, the players have said they do not perceive Sept. 15 as the actual CBA deadline, but rather Oct. 11, which is the beginning of the regular season.
Posted Sept. 10, 2012