NHL, union make progress in marathon talks
Fehr believed a plan for a players-funded pension was established before talks blew up in early December. That apparently wasn’t the case, or the NHL changed its offer regarding the pension in exchange for agreeing to other things the union wanted.
The salary-cap number for the second year of the deal — the 2013-14 season — hasn’t been agreed to, and is another major point of contention. The league is pushing for a $60 million cap, while the union wants it to be $65 million with a floor of $44 million.
In return for the higher cap, players would be willing to forgo a cap on escrow.
Other issues still needing resolution include the maximum length of player contracts, the yearly variance in salary of those individual deals, and how long the CBA should be in effect.
Both sides seem content on it lasting for 10 years, but they had different opinions on whether an opt-out should be allowed to be exercised after seven years or eight.
Last season, the NHL posted record revenues of $3.3 billion. The sides seem likely to agree on a 50-50 split of the pot in any new deal.
The NHL is the only North American professional sports league to cancel a season because of a labor dispute, losing the 2004-05 campaign to a lockout. A 48-game season was played in 1995 after a lockout stretched into January.