NHL awaits players' answer to offer

  The NHL on Tuesday offered the players’ union a 50/50 split on hockey-related revenue, provided an 82-game season starts on Nov. 2.

   The season was originally slated to begin Oct. 11, but it has been shut down because of a labor dispute.

   “We very much want to preserve an 82-game season,” said Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner.

    Translation: We don’t want to lose any more money. The league has said it lost $100 million from canceled exhibition games.

     Don Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA, said he and union members needed time to “wade through” the proposal before commenting on it. He has scheduled a conference call with the executive board and the negotiating committee for 5 p.m. Tuesday.

   "Hopefully, this gets the ball rolling in the right direction," said Flyers player representative Braydon Coburn, a defenseman who has been working out with other NHL players in Calgary.

    Bettman said there were “no rollbacks” in players’ salaries. It’ll be interesting to see if Fehr and the players agree.

    The proposal includes a provision that says salaries for NHLers playing in the AHL would be part of the team’s salary cap. The NHLPA is not expected to agree to that because, in effect, it would lower salaries.

   Bettman said there would be a one-week training camp before the season would start.

   "So we have about nine or 10 days to get this all put to bed, signed, sealed and delivered, in order for this offer to be effective and for us to move forward," the commissioner said.

   In the last collective-bargaining agreement, the players received 57 percent of the hockey-related revenue (HRR). They were asking for 53 to 54 percent this time.

   Last month, the NHL had offered the players 49 percent the first year, 48 percent the second year, and 47 percent for the last four years of the CBA.

    Tuesday’s proposal in Toronto reportedly caps new contracts to five years and pushes unrestricted free agency to age 28 or eight years of service. It is currently is 27 years and seven years of service., but the NHL had originally wanted it increased to 10 years.

    If the season starts on Nov. 2, the original schedule would probably remain in place _ and games missed figure to be added at the end of the season.

    The bottom line: The NHL, to its credit, got things going on Tuesday.

   But what took so long?

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   If the season started Nov. 2 around the NHL, the Flyers first game would be Nov. 3 against visiting Anaheim and Cherry Hill's Bobby Ryan. Again, this assumes the schedule is not changed.

   The Flyers would play seven of their first 10 games at home. During that span, their only road contests would be against the Rangers, Carolina and Buffalo.

  Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.