Day 45 of the NHL Lockout and there is still no end in sight. Both sides are at an impasse with how the sliding scale should work over the term of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Both sides are still talking in somewhat amicable terms, but are firm in their stance for the time being. With both sides so firm in their stance, the month of November has the potential for being very quiet in terms of labor negotiations.
One side is going to have to give in a bit and in my view, it’s time for the owners to do so. The fact that the owners want an immediate rollback for all of the high price contracts they signed off on during the previous CBA, on the surface it seems preposterous. The owners are the ones who issued these deals, so why can’t they honor them? It seems the owners want to have a built-in eraser on the new CBA, in order to erase all the misgivings that have occurred over the past few season.
In my view, the NHL and the NHLPA should keep contracts the same for this year (i.e. no rollbacks) and then start reducing the salary cap on a sliding scale to get it to that manageable 50/50 number. It may make life tough on the accounting work for the NHL and its clubs, meaning some high profile players may have to be moved along for the sake of the salary cap, but it’s a way that has it make sense for both sides without having to give up big time concessions. On the surface, it seems like the easiest way to get it done with both sides getting what they want.
I rarely agree with Barack Obama on many things, but I agree with him here; “Figure it out and get it done.”