With the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire on Sept. 15 this summer, the National Hockey League submitted its first proposal for a new CBA to the Players Association.
As expected it is loaded in the owners favor.
If it wasn’t already apparent that a lockout was looming, it is now.
The Globe and Mail newspaper based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada published a few things about the proposal and what it means to the owners.
No. 1 Reduce the players’ share of hockey related revenue (HRR) from 57 percent to 46 percent.
Money is always the first point debated in any negotiation and both sides want more than they deserve.
The Globe and Mail pointed out that every one percent equates to roughly $33 million.
Last season, the players received $62.7 million per team in salaries and benefits with the 57 percent. With 46 percent, the players lose about $365 million.
The other thing to consider is that the owners want to redefine what is considered HRR (what they want it redefined to is not provided). That would equate to another 11 percent decrease in what the players would get.
Between the two increases in ownership money, the teams receive an additional $ 12 million per team, on average, according to the Globe and Mail. The additional revenue would help all but the weakest franchises to at least break even.
As the player salaries drop, the salary cap would as well. According to the Globe and Mail, the cap would drop from the current $70.2 million to the $54 million range.
How does this affect the Wild? If the cap drops to $54 million, the Wild will be over $15 million above that limit. The Wild have $69,423,867 in salaries against the cap this season. But, looking beyond this year, the Wild already have $51.7 million tied up against the cap in 2013-14.
No. 2 Increase the length of time a player has to wait to become an unrestricted free agent from seven seasons to 10.
Before the lockout that cost the NHL the 2004-05 season, players did not reach unrestricted free agency until they were 31-years-old. The current CBA allows players to reach free agency between 25 and 27-years-old. Players are becoming the highest paid players in the league on their second contract.
How does this affect the Wild? The long list of highly touted prospects playing their first full professional season this year (including Jonas Brodin, Brett Bulmer, Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Zack Phillips and Jason Zucker), would not become unrestricted free agents until 2021 or 2022. At which point they would be 29 or 30-years-old. Players are usually in the prime of their career between 25 and 28-years-old.
No. 3 Limit all contracts to no more than five years
This may be the quickest point to be settled. I think everyone, fans and players included, can agree this is a good thing.
This point would mostly save the owners from themselves. The NHL has a big problem with owners circumventing the cap with front-loaded contracts spanning more than 10 years in length.
How does this affect the Wild? The Wild currently have players with more than five years remaining on their current contracts. Mikko Koivu has six years remaining and Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have 13 years each. The extent to how this affects the Wild is unknown until the previously listed prospects have made their mark on the NHL and the salary cap can be better projected.