For those who haven’t been following, the NHL may lock out its players if a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t reached by September 15. At this point, all both sides seem to agree upon is that there is still “sufficient time” to reach an agreement.
“I don’t think time’s running out yet,” NHL Players’ Association executive director Don Fehr told the Washington Post on Monday.
“I still think if the parties are dedicated to it, there’s sufficient time to reach an agreement.”
Similarly, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Associated Press: “While time is getting shorter, we continue to feel there is sufficient time to reach a deal before Sept. 15.”
Unfortunately, that seems to be all both sides can agree upon. Negotiations will resume in New York today. Here’s how the Post describes what’s at stake:
The NHL is proposing to cut players’ share of revenues from 57 percent to 46. That translates into as much as a $450 million change in revenue.
The league is also seeking to restrict free agency on several fronts. That includes limiting length of contracts to five years (there are currently no limits in place); lengthening the time a player must wait to be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent from seven years to 10; and eliminating players’ rights to salary arbitration.
While the players and owners may be far apart, fans around the country are in agreement on one thing: this better not be a repeat of 2004-05.