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Reports: NHL moves on 'make whole,' free agency; NHLPA wants Fehr back in room

More NHL negotiation details emerged overnight from New York, where players and owners met until 1 a.m. Among them, according to multiple reporters in Manhattan:

*The NHL has increased its contribution on the "make whole" provision to $300 million, up from $211 million. The NHLPA's previous request was $383 million, putting the sides approximately in the middle. But the Canadian Press reports the dollar amount is tied to other pieces of the NHL's proposal, which could continue to make financial negotiations tricky despite the apparent closeness of the sides.

*The league wants a 10-year CBA, with TSN's Bob McKenzie reporting there would be an out clause after eight years.

(As I mentioned during negotiations, I find it interesting NHL wants 10-year CBA. The league is the one who opted to end last CBA after seven years. It must feel it's closed all loopholes.)

*The NHL has offered to retain the previous thresholds for free agency, keeping them at age 27 or seven years of service, down from their request of 28 and eight.

*The league, however, is steadfast in its desire to limit contracts to five years and permit only a yearly 5 percent variance on players' salaries. The NHL has offered to permit teams to give their own free agents a seven-year contract. The union is against term limits.

*According to ESPN.com, the NHL Players' Association wants a change in the negotiating format. For the past two days, six owners and up to 19 players have done the negotiating, with NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and union special counsel Steve Fehr also present. The players, according to ESPN sources, want to eliminate restrictions and allow Executive Director Donald Fehr (and by extension, Commissioner Gary Bettman) back to the table.

The sides will reconvene this afternoon.

*According to the Toronto Star and Sportsnet.ca, Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller "angrily vented" and "lost his temper briefly" as the negotiations grew more and more intense. The Star also reported that Bruins owner and Buffalo native Jeremy Jacobs almost led a walkout by the owners.

(It's an emotional negotiation impacting the livelihood and pocketbooks of competitive individuals, so of course there will be drama.)

"We had good, candid dialogue," Daly told reporters in New York at 1:30 a.m. "There continue to be critical open issues between the two parties."

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | [email protected]

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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