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50-50 offer

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Highlights of the four-page document that was the NHL's proposal to the NHLPA on Tuesday. The deal is on the table only with the assumption it will lead to a regular season of 82 games to start Nov. 2:

 

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TERM

Six years proposed, mutual option for a seventh.

 

PLAYERS' SHARE

Same for all years of agreement -- players to receive 50 per cent of HRR.

 

PAYROLL RANGE

Using rules that were in place, for 2012-13 and assuming flat revenue, a midpoint of $51.9 million. That means a maximum of $59.9 million, a floor of $43.9 million.

A one-year exception that will allow clubs to go to the summer maximum of $70.2 million. This will mitigate immediate issues with teams who have gone near the summer 2012 maximum. Currently, six teams are north of $65 million.

 

CAP ACCOUNTING

"Punishment" clause that any existing deal beyond five years is on the books, no matter if the player is playing or where. Those contracts may be traded but if the player retires or ceases to play during the life of his deal, the cap charge reverts to the team that originally cut the deal.

All salary of players in other leagues (e.g. AHL) won't go against the players' 50 per cent, but anything in excess of $105,000 goes against a team's averaged club salary (the cap system).

Teams will be permitted to trade cap space in some circumstances, in each case up to the lesser of $3-million cap charge per player or half of his cap charge. No more than two contracts and $5 million "allocated" to another team in any one season.

 

SYSTEM ISSUES

Entry level system becomes two years, instead of three, for those signing between ages 18 and 24.

Salary arbitration maintained, but eligibility extended to after five years instead of four.

Unrestricted free agency attained after 28/8 (age or years of service).

Contract terms limited to five years.

Restrict annual increases or decreases to five per cent of first-year salary on multi-year deal.

Re-entry waivers eliminated.

Teams will retain rights to European draft choices for four years.

 

REVENUE SHARING

NHL will increase the pool to $200 million and adjust the number with HRR going forward.

At least half of the pool will come from the top 10 revenue teams, method up to the league.

Distribution determined annually by a new committee; NHLPA will have representation and input.

Disqualification criteria of clubs in top 15 of revenue (e.g. the Jets in 2011-12) and large media markets scrapped.

 

DISCIPLINE

NHL offers to add right to appeal to neutral third party if a "clearly erroneous" decision has been made.

 

PLAYER CONTRACTS

No reduction or rollback in face value of current contracts.

Any dollar reduction in what players receive on existing contracts (because of 50 per share of HRR) will become "deferred" compensation. League will make the value whole but the amounts will be charged to the players share in the future. Projecting business growth, the NHL doesn't believe that will go on for more than two years under such a new system.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 18, 2012 C3

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