The NHL Players Association revealed their “alternative view” to the National Hockey League during negotiations on Tuesday.
Twenty-three players, including Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, presented the NHLPA’s proposal to the league at their meeting in Toronto. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr described the meeting as “frank”, “to the point” and “certainly professional” but stated that the NHLPA and the league “don’t see the world the same way.”
Specifics of the NHLPA’s offer include:
- A three-year CBA with an option for a fourth year that reverts to the current agreement. Fehr ackknowledged that the owners “would need time to understand” that point.
- The players would take a reduction in their hockey-related revenue (HRR) share over the three years.
- No change to rules regarding player salaries, length of contracts, and free agency.
- A hard salary cap “with a few exceptions” such as a possible luxury tax. The cap itself wouldn’t be moved very much, but some teams could go above it while others could go below.
Fehr summed up the NHLPA’s offer and spirit in one sentence: “We want to make a deal.”
League commissioner Gary Bettman himself didn’t reveal details of the meeting, but he did give his initial reaction to the offer. “It’s clear to me that they didn’t put it together in an hour or two,” Bettman told reporters after the meeting. He said that the league would need to review the proposal “to make sure we (the league) fully understand it.”
Negotiations will continue in Toronto on Wednesday and in Chicago on Thursday and Friday. The league is expected to give the NHLPA their assessment of the proposal soon.