|Report: Donald Fehr unimpressed with owners’ latest offer||10.17.12 at 3:55 pm ET|
According to a report from Bob McKenzie of TSN, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr sent a less-than-enthusiastic letter to every player and agent following the league’s latest proposal on Tuesday. The letter, sent Tuesday night, credits the owners for improving on previous offers but notes it still costs the players money..
“Simply put, the owners’ new proposal, while not quite as Draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights,” he wrote. “As you will see, at the 5 per cent industry growth rate the owners predict, the salary reduction over six years exceeds $1.6 billion. What do the owners offer in return?”
Added Fehr: “The proposal does represent movement from their last negotiating position, but still represents very large, immediate and continuing concessions by players to owners, in salary and benefits (the Players’ Share) and in individual player contracting rules.”
Though the league’s latest proposal was initially viewed from the outside as a start to serious negotiations, Fehr wrote that he isn’t sure that’s the case.
“We do not yet know whether this proposal is a serious attempt to negotiate an agreement, or just another step down the road,” he wrote. “The next several days will be, in large part, an effort to discover the answer to that question.”
|NHLPA makes counteroffer to league||08.14.12 at 4:15 pm ET|
Exactly a month after the league made it’s first proposal in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, the NHL Players’ Association finally submitted its counteroffer.
While commissioner Gary Bettman did not disclose the details of the NHLPA’s proposal, he did say that it was apparent that the players and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr had used the last month well.
“It’s clear to me (the NHLPA) didn’t put (the proposal) together in an hour or two,” Bettman told reporters.
According to reports, the counterproposal does include a willingness on the players’ part to get a smaller piece of the pie when it comes to hockey-related revenues. The league’s first proposal called for the players to give back 11 percent, which was perceived nationally as being unrealistic.
Thus far that’s the biggest detail to emerge regarding the counterproposal, and it seems that Fehr and the players are trying to come off as the more reasonable ones early on. The league’s first proposal also asked for a five-year limit on contracts and the end of salary arbitration, among other things.
The league’s current CBA will expire on Sept. 15. If a new CBA isn’t reached by then, there will almost surely be another lockout.
|Ugly CBA negotiations? The NHL? Get out of town||08.10.12 at 4:40 pm ET|
Negotiations for new collective bargaining agreements tend to get messy, and NHL CBA negotiations (at least recently), tend to result in lockouts. Unfortunately, the news is that there haven’t been any surprises thus far.
Earlier this week, NHL Players’ Association head Donald Fehr said that a counterproposal to the league’s first offer was forthcoming, with it later being determined that folks can expect it to be delivered next Tuesday. The counterproposal is highly anticipated, as the league’s first offer was shocking — it called for an 11-percent giveback of hockey-related revenue on the players’ part, the end of arbitration, and a five-year limit on contracts, among other stipulations. When the NHLPA asked for more financial particulars before countering, the league buried them with some 76,000 pages of documents from the various teams.
Games technically could have been played if a new agreement wasn’t reached by Sept. 15, the expiration of the current CBA, but on Thursday commissioner Gary Bettman crushed the dreams of any fans hoping for that.
“We reiterated to the union that the owners will not play another year under the current agreement,” Bettman told reporters Thursday. “I re-confirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last nine to 12 months. Namely, that the time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon. And we believe there’s ample time for the parties to get together and make a deal and that’s what we’re going to be working towards.”
The players didn’t exactly dig any of that chatter. Here’s Henrik Lundqvist‘s reaction, via twitter:
“The @NHL says they won't play past Sept 15th under current deal. Apparently they don't like the deal they designed. #CBA #nhlpa2012″
And Brandon Prust‘s:
“Disappointed the League is talking about a lockout before we even give our @NHLPA counterproposal”
The bottom line is that nothing — neither Bettman’s comments or players’ reactions — should be surprising. No CBA by Sept. 15 equals a lockout . The only thing learned thus far is that this will get messy. Unfortunately with the NHL, everyone should have already known that.
|NHLPA reportedly close to making counterproposal||08.07.12 at 2:41 pm ET|