NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, center, arrives with deputy commissioner Bill Daly, right, as the NHL and its locked-out player resume negotiations in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
The stalled collective bargaining talks between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association took a major shift today, with the league proposing a 50-50 revenue split with the players. The offer is contingent on a full 82-game season that would start Nov. 2.
"We very much want to preserve a full 82-game season, and in that light we made a proposal, an offer really," Commissioner Gary Bettman said in Toronto. "It is our best shot at preserving an 82-game regular season and [Stanley Cup] Playoffs.
"We're focused on getting the season started on Nov. 2. That's what this offer was about."
(The full transcript of Bettman's news conference is available here.)
Union leader Donald Fehr told reporters in Toronto he will take the offer to his membership via a 5 p.m. conference call today.
"They would like to get a full 82-game season in," Fehr said. "We, of course, share that view and would like to get a full 82-game season in. And, so, what our hope is that after we review this that there will be a feeling on the players' side that this is a proposal from which we can negotiate and try to reach a conclusion."
The initial proposal by the NHL called for players to get 43 percent of all hockey-related revenue. The league's proposal prior to today offered the players up to 47 percent of revenue, which totaled $3.3 billion last season.
The NHLPA's most recent proposal would have given the players between 52 percent and 54 percent of revenues, based on 7 percent yearly growth.
"We haven't been able to run any numbers yet much less formulate a response," Fehr told reporters this afternoon.
(Video of Fehr's news conference is available here.)
One of the biggest stipulations set forth by the union during talks is its desire to avoid any type of salary rollback. In other words, players should be paid their previously negotiated salary. Reports say the NHL would provide "salary protection" in the first year of the deal, with players getting any money they lose repaid over time.
The new CBA would be at least six years in length, according to reports.
Defenseman Jordan Leopold, who has been representing the Sabres during talks, said in a text to The News, "Hopefully, I will have some info for you tomorrow."