This past weekend the NHL held a focus group to gauge the fan’s reaction to the lockout and other matters that affected them. Days later the NHL unexpectedly made a new proposal to the NHLPA in which it would split all Hockey-Related Revenue (HRR) 50-50. The move was a shock to some and caused a lot of hype around the hockey world and in the media that a deal could soon get done to save a full 82 game season.
The players then took two days to come up with three counter proposals of their own, one of which would see the HRR split 50-50 between players and owners. The stipulation however is that owners would honor the contracts already given to players prior to the old CBA expiring with no escrow. Any future contract signed after the new CBA is in place would see a higher escrow percentage in place to make up for the lost money.
Leonsis has one of the best players in the league playing for his Capitals in Alex Ovechkin and would love to see his salary rolled back while continuing to market his name. Jacobs, coming off a recent Stanley Cup win and having one of the best young teams in the league threw money at a majority of his teams core just days before the CBA expired September 15th. Edwards has some of the worst contracts (arguably) on his teams roster and one of the highest salaries in the league and could use some relief.
Then we get to Leipold who recently signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to nearly $200m combined this past July and is now hoping to have the money paid out reduced in a new CBA deal.
Within 10 minutes of meeting with the NHLPA the owners and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman turned down all three of the NHLPA’s newest offers; the question is now, was that their plan all along? With the recent focus group many expected it was a PR attempt by the NHL to sway the fans support away from the players. Is it possible to review not just one, but three of the NHLPA’s proposals within 10 minutes and shoot them down? Or was it just an attempt to make the NHLPA seem unreasonable?
Shortly after it was announced and statements began to be made to the media and fans took to twitter. Some still siding with the players, while others swayed and began to bash the players for not accepting the owners offer so that they could get “their” hockey back. In the end, nobody is forcing anyone else to spend money, it’s a choice and nothing anyone says other than the owners and players will change anything.