CURRENT DEAL: signed after the 2004-05 NHL lockout season.
TERM : The CBA was originally six years in duration (through the 2010-11 season), with a one-year extension option the NHLPA exercised. The CBA is now set to expire on Sept. 15, 2012.
SALARY CAP: The cap is based on the players’ share of league revenues. The players’ share is 54 per cent if league revenues in any year are below $2.2 billion, 55 per cent when league revenues are between $2.2 billion and $2.4 billion, 56 per cent when league revenues are between $2.4 billion and $2.7 billion and 57 per cent when NHL revenues in any year exceed $2.7 billion.
This year, the cap was set at $64.3 million.
CBA ISSUES: It’s expected the league will attempt to move the players’ share of league revenues closer to 50 per cent, as as the NFL and NBA recently did in their CBAs. The league also wants to work on its entry-level and arbitration systems that help it control salary management. The NHLPA has not expressed its position, with new executive director Donald Fehr stating he is still trying to collect information.
THE PECKING ORDER
There’s a hierarchy among NHL GMs, and here’s a look at some key players in the club:
THE OLD GUARD:
Experienced and respected, they carry big sway in the league and are political animals adept at getting change they want.
Brian Burke, Toronto
Glen Sather, New York Rangers
Jim Rutherford, Carolina
Paul Holmgren, Philadelphia
Lou Lamoriello, New Jersey
Bryan Murray, Ottawa
Doug Wilson, San Jose
David Poile, Nashville
GMs with less tenure but heavy on smarts and key in shaping the future of the game.
Peter Chiarelli, Boston
Ken Holland, Detroit
Ray Shero, Pittsburgh
Mike Gillis, Vancouver
George McPhee, Washington
Young GMs, mostly ex-players who carry big respect due to successful careers and are automatically accepted as authority figures.
Steve Yzerman, Tampa
Joe Nieuwendyk, Dallas
NHL general managers could discuss the following the rule changes at their meetings this week:
RETURN OF THE RED-LINE
Player safety is a major issue in the NHL today, and the removal of the red-line has allowed players to pick up speed in the neutral zone and attack the offensive zone at high velocity. Defenders retrieving the puck are getting hit by speeding forecheckers and this is believed to be a reason for increased injuries, including concussions. Some GMs favour the move while others bemoan the possibility of slowing down a game that has become so exciting in the post-lockout era.
TOSS THE TRAPEZOID
The trapezoid prevents goalies from playing the puck in the corners, and that eliminates one way to help defencemen avoid getting pasted by forecheckers. Scrapping the trapezoid will help to improve safety while not slowing down the game.
The USHL and some college leagues use a hybrid icing system where the race is to the faceoff dots and not the end boards. If the players arrive at the faceoff dots in a tight race, touch icing is required. If the retrieving defender gets to the dots first, icing is immediately called. This change keeps the exciting race for the puck in the game while also increasing player safety.