NHL, NHLPA Swap CBA Proposals: 2012-13 Lockout Seems Inevitable
The NHL and the NHLPA swapped CBA proposals again on Wednesday in the shadow of Saturday’s league-imposed NHL lockout deadline. At this point, a 2012-13 NHL lockout seems inevitable.
Revenue percentages and “league economics” continue to be the key to CBA proposals from the players and owners. NHL owners believe they are paying players too much and, in the wake of their most financially successful season in history, are trying to cut player salaries. Players are fighting desperately for their rights, hoping to keep a majority of NHL revenue in their hands. Players currently hold a 57% share of revenues, but NHL owners are aiming to drive that figure well below 50%. With every push and shove, proposal and counter-proposal, Saturday’s NHL lockout deadline creeps closer. Unless the players give in to the unprecedented demands of NHL owners, another NHL lockout, at least for a portion of the season, seems inevitable in 2012-13.
According to NHL insider Darren Dreger, as of Wednesday’s negotiations, NHL players still aren’t interested in taking less than the 1.87 billion dollars they made last season. Unfortunately, NHL Owners have made proposals that aim to cut 10% or more of the players’ revenue share. As offers creep towards a 50/50 revenue split, owners claim to have made their final proposal that will be revoked after Saturday’s deadline passes. Players are desperate, but not without options. Meanwhile, the NHL is applying more pressure as the NHL lockout deadline approaches in just a few days, threatening to revoke their latest concessions if players don’t agree by Saturday.
The NHL reportedly proposed a CBA that will cut at least 7% of the players’ shared revenue, while NHL projections suggest a 10% decline in player salaries. The twisted irony in these painstaking negotiations is that owners are essentially looking for a reprieve after foolish spending over recent years affected profits. Owners are offering players salaries that approach or eclipse 100 million dollars only to complain about “salary expenses” crippling franchise profits. The CBA should not protect owners from themselves. In a free market, NHL teams need to be allowed to fail if they cannot support the immense salaries they offer players under the current salary cap restrictions. In this way, the players represent all that is good in American economics and are justified in their lengthy holdout.
On the other hand, in the interest of parity and the good of the league, small-market teams need to be given the opportunity to defend themselves against the sieges that larger markets place on their players. A CBA should protect the balance of the league, but it should not serve solely to protect owners from making poor financial decisions. The new CBA should cultivate balance and fairness, not serve as a leverage tool.
Players have a right to maintain the salaries they have been offered. As such, they will continue to hold out until they deem an offer reasonable. The owners stand to lose far more money in the event of a lockout than players do, and at the expense of the 2012-13 season, players have the advantage if negotiations drag out long enough. However, power currently lies with the NHL owners as players hope to avoid a lost season.
The league’s elite and players from other countries can return to other leagues. In recent years, the KHL offers comparable salaries to the NHL. Unfortunately, the NHL lockout hurts American hockey the most. As the NHL finally gained popularity among the four major American sports and restored financial success after the lost season suffered during the last lockout, a lockout could undo years of success. Fans will not be quick to return to a league that twice failed in negotiations in under a decade. Gary Bettman’s assertion that the uniqueness of the NHL will maintain its unprecedented success is as misguided as the rest of his NHL lockout deductions and reasoning.
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 Amanda Bynes’s Behavior Revealed to Be Elaborate PSA
- 2 Obama Horrified by the Grammar in Our Emails
- 3 Monster Fart Prompting Management to Rethink “Open Office”
- 4 NSA Demanded Access To Un-Filtered Instagram Photos
- 5 Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Ambushed By Alan ‘The Paper’ Rubinstein
- 6 ‘Licensed to Kim Jong Il’ Records 27th Straight Year Atop N. Korean Charts
- 7 ‘A/S/L’ Most Asked Question At Kaplan Online University Reunion
- 8 Vice Magazine Now Only Hiring Writers Who Fail Drug Test
- 9 Stanley Cup Final One Blowout Away From “Boston Massacre” Headline Outrage
- 10 Henry Cavill to be Replaced by Stack of Pancakes in “Man of Steel” Sequel