I think the league is sitting back because after their "3 up, 3 rejected" response within the course of an hour to the NHLPA's counteroffers in October, they'll look like absolute clowns if they reject this thing immediately again. Still, as this portion of Pierre LeBrun's article hints, I find it hard to believe this approach will gain a significant foothold for the NHLPA:
Not that the PA's offer was the be-all-end-all, but from the reporting it sounds like the League is sitting back waiting for the PA to come up with some kind of offer that will fix all the League's problems for them.
BASED ON PERCENTAGE OF HRR
For the first time, the NHLPA offered a framework based on the league’s preferred system of a percentage linked to hockey-related revenue, instead of a system based on guaranteed dollars. In this case, the NHLPA agrees to go to 50 percent of HRR right from Year 1. However, a key line in the proposal bears underlying: "There are no guarantees or fixed targets, other than a requirement that, beginning with the second year of the Agreement, players’ share, expressed in dollars, may not fall below its value for the prior season."
Essentially, it means the players are guaranteed to make no less in total dollars than the year before. The league won’t like that.
The NHL have to be nuts to guarantee the players that their share of revenue will not go down in subsequent years. What if the fans revolt and attendance is down? What if the world economy takes a massive dump and people just stop spending money on the NHL?
Let's say HRR is $3 billion next year (randomly selected #). In Year 1, you have a 50/50 split, so $1.5 billion each for owners and players. Let's say in Year 2, HRR drops to $2.2 billion for some reason. Under the NHLPA proposal, the players now have over 68 PERCENT of HRR b/c the CBA says that they can't make less than $1.5 billion.
Also, the language makes no sense to me. If Year 2 has to be as high as Year 1, then does Year 3 have to be as high as Year 2? In other words, it could never drop below whatever number it was in Year 1. However, it could go up. The NHLPA is basically proposing a unilaterally fixed MINIMUM for the players. No way in hell the league agrees to that, and I don't blame them in this instance.
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