The NHL has reportedly sent the NHLPA a new offer that includes the 50/50 split that everyone was looking for. There is also no rollback in salaries and includes an 82 game schedule that would being on November 2nd. Hockey fans are going absolutely ballistic on Twitter right now, demanding that the NHLPA accept the deal because this deal is what everyone wanted...
Except not really.
My issue is that Gary Bettman hasn't gone into details about anything else in the proposal. What happens with Free Agency? Last we heard, the NHL wanted to limit the number of years on a free agent contract and extend the amount of years before a player can be an unrestricted free agent. This is a HUGE bargaining chip.
It looks like my answer has arrived:
Part of NHL offer that fans would like to know RT @jsportsnet: Free Agency would be at 28 and 8 years of service.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 16, 2012
So a player needs to be 28 AND have 8 years of service before they can be a free agent. Why would the NHLPA ever accept this? It appears that more is rolling out with this new proposal:
Contract Lengths would be 5 years.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) October 16, 2012
Entry Level Contracts would be 4 years in Length— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) October 16, 2012
I really cant envision a world where the PA will take a 7% cut in pay and then allow their employees to limit the money they can make. Honestly, I think the PA says no alone on the first tweet with the free agency details. That's an absurd proposal.
it probably doesn't help the NHL that they help a secret focus group and have hired Frank Lutz, who is the Republican Party's chief strategists, to handle PR. Read the Deadspin article. Lutz starts talking about a 50/50 split like other leagues and immediately the NHL throws out this proposal?
Things seem a little fishy. Why would the NHL hire a guy of Lutz's standing if they aren't trying to spin this into something different?
Don't get your hopes up friends.
UPDATE: This little nugget was tweeted out by John Shannon
Another interesting tidbit from NHL offer... Players' Salaries for those NHLers playing in the AHL would be part of the cap.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) October 16, 2012
Yeah now it's a definite no.