Friday, September 4, 2015

A way to help NHL labor talks; more games scrapped

The NHL and the players’ union get more childish by the day.

A way to help NHL labor talks; more games scrapped

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The NHL still hopes to have a settlement by Thursday and start an 82-game season on November 2. (File photos)
The NHL still hopes to have a settlement by Thursday and start an 82-game season on November 2. (File photos)

The NHL and the players’ union get more childish by the day.

They lashed out in a war of words after the league quickly dismissed the NHLPA’s counter-proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement Thursday in Toronto.

The league says it has offered a 50/50 split of hockey-related revenue. The players say they are agreeable to 50/50 if they are guaranteed their full salaries without escrow being involved. The owners say the players’ counteroffer was “misrepresented” and will actually give them 56 to 57 percent of the $3.3 billion pie.

Yada. Yada. Yada.

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On the positive side, at least they are talking about real numbers.

On the flip side, each side is skewing the numbers to fit to their respective argument.

The owners say the players will not take a rollback in salaries, but that some of the money will be deferred.

The NHLPA says the players are taking a 12 percent pay cut.

I don’t pretend to be a lawyer or an accountant, but I do know how to simplify things. The players averaged $2.5 million last season. With a 12 percent cut - and, again, the NHL says that won’t happen - they would average $2.2 million.

In a collapsing economy.

The players’ union should consider accepting that cut and then bargaining to gain ground in other areas - uch as length of contracts (the league wants five-year maximum deals, the players could argue for, say, eight years) and getting to free-agency earlier.

Both sides need to be meeting if they are going to salvage an 82-game season. Instead, they walked out in a huff on Thursday and did not schedule any future talks.

Childish.

Games canceled. The NHL on Friday canceled games from Oct. 25 through Nov. 1. The league had previously canceled the season's first two weeks.

The Flyers have had nine games canceled, including six at home.

Friday's announcement was a mere formality because the NHL wasn't going to try to play the Oct. 25-to-Nov. 1 games, anyway. The league has said it hopes to have a settlement by Thursday and start an 82-game season on Nov. 2.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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