NHL Makes Proposal, Signaling A Potential Full Season

By Matthew Speck

The NHL made a big step in both public relations and getting a deal done with the NHLPA, sending another offer to the players’ association. This offer would allow for a rescheduled 82-game regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs, something many thought was impossible until the offer from the league came today.

“We very much want to preserve a full 82-game season and in that light we made a proposal, an offer really,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “It is our best shot at preserving an 82-game regular season and [Stanley Cup] Playoffs.”

The regular season would start on Nov. 2 if a deal is agreed upon and the NHL and NHLPA would receive a 50-50 share of HRR (Hockey Related Revenue). The offer was sparked in a meeting at the union offices this morning that included discussions between Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr and NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr.

“Gary indicated to me and I assume he indicated to you that they would like to get a full 82-game season in,” Don Fehr said. “We, of course, share that view and would like to get a full 82-game season in. And, so, what our hope is that after we review this that there will be a feeling on the players’ side that this is a proposal from which we can negotiate and try to reach a conclusion. But, we are not in a position to make any comments about it beyond that at this point.”

The league’s latest proposal would allow teams a one-week training camp to prepare for the 2012-2013 regular season and an extra game would be added to the schedule for each team every five weeks to play a full 82.

Bettman also added that there are no salary rollbacks including in the new NHL offer.

According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, there would be a five year contract limit and players would reach free agency at either age 28 or eight years of service. In addition to these provisions, NHL players sent to the AHL would have their salaries count against the salary cap.

The NHLPA will take time to review the offer and could respond tonight or Wednesday, hopefully with an incentive to have an 82-game season.

You can follow Matthew on twitter @m_speck and email him at mspeck21@yahoo.com with any questions or comments.

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