New offer from NHL sparks hope

Published On December 28, 2012 | By Jill Saftel

We’ve heard it before, but this time it’s different. According to ESPN, the NHL has offered a new proposal. The information came via a player, who obviously requested anonymity.

According to the player, the proposal was made on Thursday and it moved on the term limit for player contracts, salary variance and buyouts. Previously, a five-year limit had been a sticking point for the league and a big issue for players.

Other details of the offer include the term limit on contracts moving from five to six years and year-to-year salary variance moving from 5 percent in previous offers to 10 percent here. Additionally, each team would be allowed one compliance buyout before next season that wouldn’t count against the salary cap.

With the NHLPA needing time to review the offer, there is no scheduled meeting between the two sides. However, time is of the essence with games cancelled through Jan. 14. That’s over half of the season gone.

The sides haven’t met since Dec. 13, when they found that even mediators couldn’t pick up the pieces for them. And with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on the record saying anything less than a 48-game season wouldn’t do, a deal needs to be struck by mid January if we’re going to see an NHL this year.

Meanwhile, there’s the looming issue of dissolving the union. The NHLPA’s executive board has until Jan. 2 to decide on filing a notice of disclaimer of interest following the players’ vote to allow them to do so. If there’s no movement made between now and Jan. 2, they’ll have no choice but to file.

And if all of this is just making your head hurt, there are a handful of college hockey games going on in New England or being broadcast on NESN this weekend to get you a hockey fix without the lockout drama.


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About The Author

Jill studies journalism at Northeastern University, covers Hockey East for College Hockey News and is the sports editor for The Huntington News. You can follow her on Twitter at @jillsaftel, just don't ask her to choose between hockey and baseball, it's impossible.