The NHL and NHLPA recently started talks on a new collective bargaining agreement, and according to a report from Renaud Lavoie of RDS the league made its initial offer to the players on Friday.
And it's not pretty from a players perspective.
According to the report, the league's initial offer would reduce the players hockey related revenue from 57 percent all the way down to 46 percent, which would amount to a pretty massive paycut (11 percent) for the players.
Among the other key parts of the offer, per Lavoie on Twitter: players would need to play 10 years in the NHL before being eligible for free agency, contracts would be limited to five years, no more salary arbitration, and entry level contracts would be five years instead of the current three years.
There is, of course, no chance (less than a zero percent chance, if that were possible) the players will accept such an absurd offer. They will likely counter with an equally absurd offer that would favor them in the opposite direction.
It seems as if there hasn't been as much pessimism surrounding the CBA situation as opposed to the fight back in 2004 when it was pretty much assumed a lenghty lockout was coming, and this initial offer probably isn't all that encouraging. But it's still just that -- an initial offer. And initial offers are always crazy.
It's important to keep in mind that when negotiations like these take place the initial offers are almost always to one extreme or the other and have little chance (or no chance) of being accepted by the other side. If you're hoping for a timely start to the 2012-13 season, you better hope that's the case with this first offer from the league (and it's a good bet that it is).
Either way, it would probably best to get yourself settled in for a rather heated summer of negotiations just like this between the two sides.