NHL, players’ association, to continue talks Sunday
Published Saturday, December 29, 2012 11:29AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 29, 2012 10:13PM EST
Talks between the NHL and NHL Players’ Association will continue Sunday as both sides attempt to salvage the hockey season.
The league and players’ union held a series of conference calls in New York on Saturday to review the league’s latest proposal, which comes almost one month after negotiations between the two sides broke down.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly called Saturday’s sessions “purely informational,” and didn’t confirm whether any bargaining would take place on Sunday.
“Today’s call has been mostly to clarify the 288-page document that the NHL and the owners presented to the players,” TSN reporter Farhan Lalji told CTV News Channel on Saturday. “But if things go well enough there could be some sort of dialogue to work off of those pages and potentially begin the negotiation process.”
The NHL’s lengthy proposal was emailed to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr on Thursday night and included a slight movement from past proposals.
Highlights of the NHL's latest proposal include :
- A 50-50 split between clubs and players of hockey-related revenue (HRR)
- Contract lengths to be capped at a maximum of six years (up from the previous offer of five years)
- No contractual “roll backs” of player’s salaries
- US$300 million in deferred transition payments to the players, something the league had taken off the table when talks broke down on Dec. 6.
The offer also calls for a six-year term limit on free-agent deals -- up from five -- and will allow teams to re-sign their own players for up to seven years. It also includes a provision that salary can vary by 10 per cent from year to year during the course of a deal, while the league’s previous offer proposed a five per cent difference.
“The best thing that has come out of what the NHL presented to the players was it wasn’t presented as a final offer,” Lalji said . “The owners did say ' we are open to some tweaks and some trades' so they are open to some negotiations.”
As part of the NHL's proposal this week, Commissioner Gary Bettman told the union that an agreement would have to be in place by Jan. 11, according to sources. That would allow training camps to open Jan. 12 followed by a season opener on Jan. 19, resulting in a short 48-game season.
The 105-day lockout has forced the cancellation of 625 games and is now the second - longest in league history. All games through Jan. 14, plus the Winter Classic and the All-Star game, have been called off.
With files from The Canadian Press