|The NHL released the full details of its latest offer to the players. (Getty Images)|
In a move that was most likely designed to do nothing but pressure the NHLPA and tell the hockey world, look at how great our offer is, the NHL on Wednesday morning released all the details (word-for-word) to its latest offer. Just one day after commissioner Gary Bettman said in his press conference that he wasn't going to get into the specifics of the offer.
The offer is for a six-year deal and would have a mutual option for a seventh, includes the previously mentioned 50-50 split on hockey-related revenue for each of the years and also mentions that current contracts wouldn't be rolled back.
On the subject of HRR, a topic that has been up for debate during the negotiating process, the league writes "current HRR Accounting subject to mutual clarification of existing interpretations and settlements."
More from the offer (full text here)...
The salary cap levels for the 2012-13 season would include a floor of $43.9 million, a midpoint of $51.9 million and an upper limit of $59.9 million. Sixteen teams are currently over that ceiling. The catch is the league is allowing a one-year transition for teams to exceed the upper limit and go as high as the pre-CBA ceiling of $70.2 million, a figure that all 30 teams are currently below.
On the subject of salary cap accounting:
All years of existing SPCs with terms in excess of five (5) years will be accounted for and charged against a team's Cap (at full AAV) regardless of whether or where the Player is playing. In the event any such contract is traded during its term, the related Cap charge will travel with the Player, but only for the year(s) in which the Player remains active and is being paid under his NHL SPC. If, at some subsequent point in time the Player retires or ceases to play and/or receive pay under his NHL SPC, the Cap charge will automatically revert (at full AAV) to the Club that initially entered into the contract for the balance of its term.
In other words, if Mike Richards or Jeff Carter retires before his contract expires, the financial commitment would go back to the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that originally handed out the contracts and wouldn't fall on the Kings, the team they most recently played for.
Teams will also be able to trade salary cap space, which could make deadline day a little more interesting than it has been in recent years.
|More NHL coverage|
As for contractual changes, entry-level deals would be reduced from three years to two, contracts would have a maximum length of five years and unrestricted free agency would be age 28 or eight years of NHL service, whichever comes first. Under the previous deal, UFA status was reached at age 26. But because of the eight-year rule, it's still possible for a player under the new offer to reach UFA status at age 26 if he enters the NHL at age 18.
NHL teams that draft Europeans would have four years of exclusive negotiating time with them. If no agreement is reached, said player would be able to enter the league as a free agent and not go through the draft process again.
The NHL offer also attempts to put an end to the long-term, front-loaded contracts that are designed to reduce the salary cap hit (for example: contracts signed by Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk, Roberto Luongo, etc.). They not only attempted to do this with the five-year term limit but also by making it so a contract's year-to-year value can't increase or decrease by more than 5 percent.
On the subject of player disicpline, there would be an "introduction of additional procedural safeguards, including ultimate appeal right to a "neutral" third-party arbitrator with a "clearly erroneous" standard of review.
And finally, on the subject of the NHL's "make whole" provision:
The League proposes to make Players "whole" for the absolute reduction in Players' Share dollars (when compared to 2011/12) that is attributable to the economic terms of the new CBA (the "Share Reduction"). Using an assumed year-over-year growth rate of 5% for League-wide revenues, the new CBA could result in shortfalls from the current level of Players' Share dollars ($1.883 Billion in 2011/12) of up to $149 million in Year 1 and up to $62 million in Year 2, for which Players will be "made whole." (By Year 3 of the new CBA, Players' Share dollars should exceed the current level ($1.883 Billion for 2011/12) and no "make whole" will be required.) Any such "shortfalls" in Years 1 and 2 of the new CBA will be computed as a percentage reduction off of the Player's stated contractual compensation, and will be repaid to the Player as a Deferred Compensation benefit spread over the remaining future years of the Player's SPC (or if he has no remaining years, in the year following the expiration of his SPC). Player reimbursement for the Share Reduction will be accrued and paid for by the League, and will be chargeable against Players' Share amounts in future years as Preliminary Benefits. The objective would be to honor all existing SPCs by restoring their "value" on the basis of the now existing level of Players' Share dollars.
So there it is. The NHLPA hasn't exactly welcomed it with open arms at this point, but maybe it's a start.