I know what you're saying, but I'd hardly call it generous to agree to honor a portion of the contract you've decided not to pay in full, some of which were signed only months ago.
All sports are different, but the NBA is a relatively close business to the NHL. And in comparison, the NHL players are getting hammered in this negotiation, in great part due to the sins of the owners.
And of the things that benefit players listed in the article:
1) artificially inflate the salary cap in Year 1 so teams don’t have to trade or release players;
2) trade player salary and cap charges in trades (this is something both teams and players have wanted);
3) eliminate re-entry waivers;
4) Increase revenue sharing with further increases as revenues grow, and the top grossing teams making the biggest contributions (revenue sharing is something Don Fehr is passionate about; wants it so the teams that really need assistance are assisted);
5) Introduction of appeal rights to a neutral third-party arbitrator in cases involving on- and- off-ice discipline (player-proposed wish).
Brilliant. I think the bulk of the hockey-following public really has lost touch with this debate. They hear little bits and pieces of another "concession" by the owners, and when a deal doesn't happen the next day, it must be because Fehr's an *******.
There is no "negotiation" here. This is more like a hostage situation where Bettman has kidnapped little bits and pieces of what the players already had, and letting them out piece by piece. At the end of the day, if he's only taking and not giving back, he's still the aggressor in all of this.
Player salaries did not become inflated (AGAIN) because the players are "greedy" or "overpaid". The salaries went up because the 2005 CBA and its salary cap that the OWNERS unilaterally wanted and forced upon the NHLPA is fundamentally broken. To put the salary cap and floor so close together and to raise the cap so aggressively so that it nearly doubled in the course of 7 years is absurd. The struggling market teams literally HAD to start overpaying mid-level guys to even meet the salary floor. It's not like Crosby and Ovechkin are readily available on the free agent market. You fill out your team and keep your budget up by paying way too much for Jeff Finger, Mike Cammeileri, or Ville Leino.
And worst of all, the same owners who now say they're all losing money were going out of their way to pay more ACTUAL money than the salary cap apparently allows. How do you expect the NHLPA to "give in", given that total lack of credibility on the other side?