While the negotiations between the players and the NHL have gone silent since the lockout was enacted, NHLPA boss Donald Fehr took it upon himself to let his constituents know what's happening.
On Wednesday, Fehr sent a memo to his players updating them on the situation as many of them look for jobs overseas. It was obatained by Eric Macramalla, a sports legal analyst and past contributor to Eye on Hockey.
From Macramalla, here are the main points of the memo, which outlines the current negotiationg stances.
Fehr: NHL's bargaining approach is "you must reduce your salaries by a large amount and a lockout will be in place until you agree to do so"— Eric Macramalla (@EricOnSportsLaw) September 20, 2012
Fehr: NHLPA chose not to be aggressive in its own proposal so as not to "provoke a dispute" #lockout— Eric Macramalla (@EricOnSportsLaw) September 20, 2012
#Fehr: NHL proposed lowering salaries to 49%, 48% in year 2 and 47% for last 4 seasons; reduction equals 14% (yr1), 16% (yr2) and 17.5%— Eric Macramalla (@EricOnSportsLaw) September 20, 2012
Fehr: #NHL said this proposal was "meaningful"; NHLPA disagrees - if rev growth is at 7.1% rate, salaries would be drop by $1B in first 3 yrs— Eric Macramalla (@EricOnSportsLaw) September 20, 2012
Fehr: Ultimate question - "What do the players get out of the agreement...other than much lower salaries and far fewer rights?" #lockout— Eric Macramalla (@EricOnSportsLaw) September 20, 2012
That's essentially a wrap-up of what has come down so far. Keep in mind this is a memo coming from Fehr going to the NHLPA, so it's skewed from the union's point of view with their math. Regardless, it's an enlightening bit of information that summarizes where the impasse stands.
Really, there's not much new information here other than perhaps a few more details on the specific numbers. For example, the breakdown of the revenue sharing ideas is much more extensive and interesting to look at.
I can't help but be struck by the last point in the memo, asking the ultimate question. It really is a matter of that question being asked; they aren't gaining much of anything under the NHL's offers. That makes it so much easier for the players to stay resolved and not give in to the owners' offer.