The NHL’s proposal on Tuesday for a new collective bargaining agreement was designed to get everyone thinking about winter. It did that, only the thoughts were more about those freak storms that start with a few flurries late at night, and leave you with a foot and a half of snow on the doorstep by the next afternoon.
Before the clouds came rolling in, the NHL was sitting pretty, having surprised the NHLPA by presenting a proposal after insisting throughout the month-long lockout that it was up to the union to put the next offer on the table. By proposing a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue, there was the appearance of grade-school fairness, even if an immediate, rather than a gradual drop from 57 percent was sure to rankle some players. At least there was room to negotiate.
Then the blotches started popping up on the radar, beginning with TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeting at 11:26 p.m. that under the owners’ proposal, the salary cap for the 2012-13 season would be $59.9 million—nearly $10 million less than it would have been under the previous CBA. McKenzie went on to tweet other nasties, starting with this: “Any existing deal in excess of 5 yrs would carry cap hit in every year of contract, even if player were to retire with year(s) left."