I believe that financially, things change so a new CBA should be negotiated every 5 years or so. Lets get that out of the way first.
I believe the players should have to give up a little for various reasons. The cost to operate a club has went up, rent, fuel charges, team personnel, and so on. I don't know what it takes to run an NHL team in terms of cash, but these costs alone are worth a little bit at least. As clearly pointed out in Forbes, many teams are not making a profit right now, which means the most profitable ones are carrying the entire league. Lastly, I look at other leagues and the split in each league. For example, the NFL and NBA the split is close to 50-50 with the league. I believe an even split is quite equitable.
Now, through all this do I believe the players should take the 43% that the owners were asking for in the original proposal? No. The players should not be held at fault for the foolish ownership decisions that have been made. The players are entitled to every dollar of every contract that signed. The players should not be held responsible for the NHL adding franchises into areas that cannot sustain them.
There is a fair and equitable deal to be made here. I keep going back to 52-48 in favor of the players.
I can see your point though in that the players should not have to relinquish any share of the revenues for the mistakes of the NHL or management of the teams. At the same time, there are other factors which can easily make the CBA sway 2-3% back from the players to the owners.
Are you seriously referencing increased fuel costs and rent as reasons why the players should take less? I'm pretty sure revenues have increased at a much greater rate and pure dollar amount than any costs the owner's need to pay (which would include player salaries). I'm sure the league as a whole made way more this year than they did back in 2005-06. The key issue here is that the revenue growth is being driven by some teams and not others. While costs of every team have gone up, somewhat consistently, the same can't be said for revenues. That issue, is a simple one, and one that points to the teams having to share more revenues, not take money from the players to prop up poorer franchises while making the super rich teams richer....it makes no sense.
All that being said, I have no idea what a reasonable sharing percentage is. No one can say 50/50 makes perfect sense unless they are in there and have all the facts, etc. Gary Bettman strongly argued against looking at the NBA and NFL, etc. back in 2005 because those leagues were very different, revenue sources are different, etc. Now, when it helps their argument, they point to the NBA and NFL deals.....very annoying.
The most annoying thing of all is the request of roll-backs. The players never should have agreed to it back in 2005, but because they did, the league is pushing for it again and they'll do the same next time around if they agree to it again. I think the most "FAIR" deal is to determine what the fair split is and get to a split the makes sense without immediate roll-backs.
The thing that really annoys me is that there were owners out there probably contemplating big signings this summer and the league was whispering in their ear that they will be able to negotiate 10-15% reductions in salaries. So owners go out and spend $100 million on a guy thinking that in the long run it will really only cost $85 million.