NHL makes new offer to players as lockout enters a critical stage
The NHL has made a new offer for a collective bargaining agreement to the players’ association after two weeks of silence between the two parties, deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed Friday, the 104th day of the lockout.
The union executive board met Friday to consider the offer and plans to discuss it with the general membership in a conference call Friday afternoon.
“In light of media reports this morning, I can confirm that we delivered to the union a new, comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA late yesterday afternoon,” Daly said in a statement distributed by the NHL He did not reveal details of the proposal, but added that the league was hopeful that the union would consider it and share it with the players.
“We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible,” Daly said.
According to news reports, the owners moved in a few key areas in their latest proposal.
The owners’ previous demand that individual player contracts be limited to five years — termed “the hill we will die on” by Daly earlier this month — was altered to a six-year limit. For players re-signing with their current teams, the owners left unchanged their proposed limit of seven years.
The year-to-year salary variance in individual contracts, previously proposed at a maximum of 5 percent, changed to 10 percent.
The salary cap would be fixed at $60 million per team, the same as in the owners’ previous offer but well below the $70 million projected for the league under the expired collective bargaining agreement.
The “make whole” fund by which players with existing contracts would be protected against salary reductions remains unchanged at $300 million.
The NHL’s new offer could reflect an effort to settle the lockout within the next two weeks. Bettman announced a settlement of the 1994-95 lockout on Jan. 11, with play resuming on Jan. 20.
Daly indicated this month that this season’s lockout would have to be settled by mid-January to stage a 48-game schedule.
Should the lockout extend beyond mid-January, the season could be canceled. But in the 200405 lockout the season was not canceled until midFebruary.