NHL CBA Offer Open Thread

Bruce Bennett

Insert witty opening sentence here about the new offer handed down by the NHL today.

Insert detailed and effective analysis of said offer here, ending with another witty remark.

And here are the basic details per ESPN:

Ten-Year Agreement (through 2021/22 season); Parties have mutual opt-out right

after 8 years.

• 50-50 Revenue Split between Clubs and Players with current HRR Accounting.

• $300 million in “Make-Whole” payments (outside the system) to compensate Players

for the reduced value of Player contracts in the early years of the new CBA.

• No contractual “roll backs” of Player Salaries.

• Clubs can operate with an effective Upper Limit of $70.2 million in 2012/13; must

come into compliance with $60 million Upper Limit for the start of the 2013/14

season.

• Each Club will be entitled to execute up to one “Compliance Buy-Out” prior to the

2013/14 season pursuant to which payments made to the Player will not be charged

against the team’s Cap, but will be charged against the Players’ Share.

• Establishment of a Defined Benefit Pension Plan that will provide maximum

permissible benefits to Players upon retirement. The Plan will be funded with

contributions out of Players’ Share and $50 million of the “Make-Whole” payment

amount of $300 million will be allocated and set aside to fund potential underfunding

liabilities of the Plan at end of CBA.

• Rules for Entry Level System, Salary Arbitration and Group 3 Unrestricted Free

Agency will remain unchanged.

• Maximum contract length of 6 years subject to a Club’s ability to re-sign its own

Player for a term of up to 7 years (provided the Player played his last full season

with the re-signing Club). In addition, year-to-year Salary variability will be limited

(up or down) to no more than 10% of the value of the first year of a multi-year SPC.

• Money paid (above a defined threshold) to Players on NHL SPCs in another

professional league (e.g., the AHL or a European league) will be charged against the

NHL team’s Cap, but not against the Players’ Share.

• “Cap Advantage Recapture” formula applicable to existing long-term contracts (in

excess of 6 years) for years in which Player is retired or fails/refuses to perform

under his NHL SPC.

• Ability for Clubs to retain/allocate Salary and Cap Charges in the context of Player

Trades within specified parameters.

• More robust League-wide Revenue Sharing Program (increased pool from

approximately $150 million to $200 million) with creation of Industry Growth Fund to

improve the long-term revenue generating potential of the League and low-grossing

Clubs. Formation of active Revenue Sharing Oversight Committee on which NHLPA

will participate.

• New Player Discipline procedures and protocol incorporating Player appeal rights to

a neutral third-party arbitrator for both on-ice and off-ice discipline.

• Flexibility-related adjustments to Payroll Range System, including (in addition to

Salary/Cap Charge allocation in Player trades):

1. Lower Limit obligation without performance bonuses;

2. Elimination of Re-Entry Waivers;

3. Creation of Salary Cap exceptions for emergency roster situations/goaltender

injuries;

4. Waiver exemptions for mid-season signings of Club’s own European Players;

5. Availability of Performance Bonus Cushion in every year of the CBA;

6. Creation of “interview period” for Unrestricted Free Agents.

• Various Player contract enhancements and protections, including:

1. Early activation of “No Move/No Trade” clauses in contract extensions;

2. Additional restrictions on Club “buy-out” rights of Player contracts;

3. Modified Waiver obligations for Clubs / enhanced Waiver opportunities for

Players;

4. Standardization of reimbursements and benefits related to Player

assignments (trades, loans, recalls, etc.);

5. Continued increases in League Minimum Salary and Per Diem;

6. Playoff Pool increased from $6.5 million to $13 million in Year 1; additional

regular increases over the balance of the CBA term;

7. All minor league salary paid in USD;

8. Liberalized “Cap treatment” standards for Club initiatives benefitting Players,

such as “parent-son” road trips; milestone awards/gifts; parental travel and

lodging for attendance at EL Player games, Club provision of various types of

“professional development”-type services for Players, etc.

• Player “Working Condition” improvements, including:

1. Ice-time restrictions and mandatory “days off” requirements during Training

Camp;

2. Club practice schedule and “days off” requirements during the Regular

Season;

3. Extended “Christmas Break” (i.e., December 24-26 “days off” for all

purposes);

4. Mandatory facility standards for Visiting Teams relating to training/medical

supplies, workout equipment and dressing room standards/supplies;

5. Implementation of “best practices” and continued League initiatives to ensure

optimal ice conditions;

6. Tighter restrictions/regulation of Club off-season conditioning requirements

and Club Conditioning Camp;

7. Establishment of annual Orientation and Development Program for

Rookies/First Year Players.

• New CBA Article devoted exclusively to Player Health and Safety measures and

covering such matters as:

1. The establishment of a Joint NHL/NHLPA Health and Safety Committee with

equal representation from the NHL and the NHLPA;

2. The establishment of “Standard of Care” and “Professional Duty” obligations

owing from team health care professionals to Players;

3. The establishment of minimum requirements for “health management” staffing

and resources;

4. The establishment of standards for the creation, updating and maintenance of

Electronic Medical Records for Players;

5. Improvements to Second Medical Opinion procedures and protocol and

Fitness to Play determinations;

6. Implementation of additional steps and safeguards to monitor the use (and

possible misuse) of prescription medication by Players.

7. Increased flexibility for Players for rehabilitation of injuries during the offseason.

• Elimination of NHLPA “Guarantee” of Escrow shortfall and increased NHLPA

discretion to determine in-season Escrow Rates.

• Completion of expert third-party review of SABH Program and commitment to make

recommended modifications and improvements, as appropriate.

• Improvements to existing Performance Enhancing Substances Program, including:

1. Expansion of Prohibited Substances List to include illegal stimulants;

2. The establishment of testing protocol for HGH;

3. Varied forms and times of testing throughout the year;

4. The establishment of protocol for “reasonable cause testing”;

5. Incorporation of agreed-upon appeal procedures from “positive” test results;

6. Commitment to work with the AHL and the PHPA to expand Program to cover

AHL Players.

• Joint (NHL/NHLPA) Committees:

1. Formation of new “Owner-Player Relations Committee,” with broad-based

participation from Owners and Players intended to foster and establish better

understanding and stronger working relationships.

2. Formation of new “Revenue Sharing Oversight Committee” to oversee the

operation of the Revenue Sharing System.

3. Formation of new “Joint Health and Safety Committee” to make

recommendations to the NHL and the NHLPA on Player Health and Safety

matters.

4. Formation of new “NHL/NHLPA Equipment Working Group” to study,

promulgate and enforce minimum standards for protective equipment utilized

by NHL Players.

5. Refined and enhanced role for “Player/Club Competition Committee” (CBA

Article 22) with greater consultation and interaction with the NHL General

Managers’ Committee.

6. The “NHL/NHLPA Joint Owner-Player Broadcasting/Marketing Committee”

(CBA Article 32) will be reconstituted to consult and establish policy on

League broadcasting and marketing matters, as well as other League

business functions and initiatives.

7. The NHL/NHLPA International Committee (CBA Article 24) will be charged

with jointly identifying, creating, exploiting and managing new international

business opportunities involving NHL Players, in which the NHL and NHLPA

will participate as 50-50 partners. The NHL/NHLPA International Committee

shall also have an advisory role in planning and executing NHL events

conducted outside of North America.

• Players provided access to NHL.com platform for their individual Player websites

and social media.

• Implementation of a weighted Draft Lottery in which all non-Playoff teams compete

for opportunity to choose first overall in the annual Draft.

• Exclusive negotiating rights window for European Draftees extended to one period

covering four years, instead of two periods covering two years each.

• Modification to “Four-Recall Rule” to remove limitation on “number of transactions”

following the Trade Deadline; replace with limitations on the total number of Recalls

on roster at any one time after the Trade Deadline.

• Updated and improved Grievance Arbitration process and procedure.

• Enhanced access to Game Tickets for Visiting Team Players and NHLPA.

• NHLPA representatives to be provided reasonable access to Club facilities and

Players at reasonable times.

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