Cut it right down the middle; half-and-half; split the pot. It seems simple enough. For whatever reason, it took the NHL a long time to figure that out. Missing the entire preseason and now the early part of the regular season, the league offered what is probably the best deal for both them and the NHLPA.
According to reports, the NHL offered to split hockey related revenue in half with its players. The 7 percent drop would be significant for the players, but it’s better than all the other offers that had been made during negotiations. Money, as usual, has been the biggest issue during this lockout. As far as I’m concerned, this is the best offer the players will get. It’s easy for me to say as an outsider looking in — and someone who wants the work stoppage to end as soon as possible.
If the players agree to the revenue being divvied up with an even split, it should open the doors on the 2012-13 season fairly soon. The reports also say that a full 82-game regular season is still a possibility. Those kinds of details will work themselves out. Fans just want to see the puck drop as soon as possible; losing a few games would be a bummer, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
The players’ association will reportedly meet in the early evening to discuss the proposal made by the league. There has been no indication the players will be ready with an answer, but the offer came as a surprise, so a quick answer could do the same. In regards to getting all 82 games played, NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, was quoted as saying, “So we have about nine or 10 days to get this all put to bed, signed, sealed and delivered, in order for this offer to be effective and for us to move forward.”
One thing to keep in mind is that if player revenue is dropped, then so too is the salary cap. According to capgeek.com, the Chicago Blackhawks’ payroll sits just under $64.5 million. If the cap dropped to below $60 million, they would have some decisions to make and in a relative hurry. Missing out on big players such as Zach Parise and Ryan Suter may turn out to be a blessing considering it would be harder to get below a new cap. All that being said, players who thought they might be on the block before had better keep their phones charged.
There will most likely be a good amount of wheeling and dealing if a new cap is put into place. The waiver wire will be as hot as ever. Again, all that stuff will work itself out. For now, let’s just keep our fingers crossed that this will bring the game we love back.
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