NHL Lockout 2012: Is a 50/50 Split Enough to Get a Deal Done?

The latest proposal by the NHL suggests a 50/50 split between the NHLPA and the NHL.  Is this split enough to end the 2012 NHL lockout?  The deal proposed by the NHL earlier today outlines a 50-50 split of revenues between owners and players and includes a deferred salary plan designed to ensure that players would receive all the money they’ve been promised in existing contracts.  In addition in a goof PR move by the league, the deal highlights starting a full 82-game regular season Nov. 2.

The NHLPA will need some time to digest what has been proposed, but PA boss Donald Fehr suggests that this is an excellent start… let the negotiations begin.  For the record I have a hard time wrapping my head around just how the players sense of entitlement to the 57% of the pie that they have received this past season.  As Mark Spector pointed out over at Sportsnet,

Like, how is it that the average NHL salary of $2.4 million sits between Major League Baseball’s ($3.4 million) and the National Football League ($1.9 million), when hockey’s revenues are nowhere close to those other leagues?

And we’re still seeking an answer to why one side of this hockey debate gets 57 per cent of the revenues and doesn’t pay any of the bills, while the other side gets the 43 per cent, all of the expenses, and carries the financial risk.

Those are great questions and while I have never, and am not currently a fan of Gary Bettman, as a hockey fan I have to side with the owners on this one.  Should the players drag this out and reject this later proposal from the league expect hockey fans to sour their view on the players a little.  As is there have been some interesting comments being made by folks on hockey sites such as these from TSN:

The fair offer everyone’s been waiting for. If the NHLPA doesn’t accept this deal then there isn’t one to be made. My support leaned towards the players throughout the lockout, but if they cant accept a 50/50 split, they wont have any support from me..

I hate to say it but I don’t think the players will take it, they are to greedy and fehr is leading them on! They will try and push for too much and the owners will pull there offer and the season is done!

the nhl is dead for me and you can thank the players for that. I love the sport of hockey, and there is more to hockey than nhl. These players dont fight for a place in the league, they fight for more money. They have no love for a team… but love for the money. (this goes to any sport btw). The players have to remember that without the fans, the owners dont make the money, and the owners cant pay the players. Star players dont make a team, fans do. In Canada the arenas are full despite if the team is full of stars or not, so the players cannot say that they are the ones making the owners the revenue.

I hope everyone realizes that the bad guys are now the players. 18 teams lost money last year. yet the owners are willing to let revenue go to keep the plyers happy. I really hope people aren’t so blind as to blame this on the owners alone. Not only have ALOT of our top talents go and make money elsewhere during this, but they asked ALOT more than smaller market teams can give. Blame who you want, but our beloved sport is not within the top of ‘top sports’ anymore! This league acts way too far for its britches and the players need to realize that they get paid VERY well for being in a league that doesn’t even break even for most clubs involved. With the new offer laid on the floor, it falls upon the the players that we as fans love to accept the fact that anything more will cause us fans to pay more to come see the game we love! thank you all for reading my rant! G’night!

Two things with this, just goes to show how arrogant Donald Fehr is with his ‘excellent starting point’ comment, if he genuinely believes the players deserve more his head is in the clouds and as for the players, im sorry its too late, by appointing Fehr as your head of the PA his stench rubs off on you and i have lost all respect for the players.

john little
PR stunt or not, I stand firmly behind the owners if the players don’t accept this deal and get the season started on the second. Half each way is more than fair for the players who in my mind deserve nothing from HRRs in my opinion. If they can’t sign this deal and play 82 starting on the second, player greed is all that stopped this season.

the players want to be partners so they have to pay their share.In what business or relationship does one side pay for everything,the players have everything given to them on silver platters,if 50% is not enough then start your own league,pay for it out of your own money and see how you like that!There are alot of players being paid enormous amounts of money that they can’t spend in a life time.SO STOP BEING SO GREEDY AND SIGN THE DEAL,BEFORE YOU RUIN THE GAME FOREVER!

This CBA saves both sides millions of dollars because it is getting done NOW and the players aren’t going to hope to get a better system in place soon. Schneider and the gang is NEVER going to win on contraction. The NHL will lose a full season before it drops its amount of teams (for what would only be a temporary amount of time). The PA has to understand that 18 teams lost money last year, not 3, so they had to give some back. This is where we thought they would end up. Take the deal and both sides win with a full 82 game season of revenues coming in and no real harm done to the game. Lose more games, and lose all your paychecks for a full two months, surrendering what would be around 243 to 300 million dollars of salary to try to make a deal that will only get you that much. If the PA has a head on its shoulders and Fehr says no, then overtake Fehr and say yes. This is your deal.

VERY crafty move by the owners; this puts the onus of this moving forward squarely on the players. Huh, I’m not surprised they are negotiating so astutely given they recently hired Frank Luntz. That said, this is a fair offer. We all know to blame the greedy players if this doesn’t move forward.

50% of something is better than 90% of nothing but these arrogant fools can’t even figure that out. However, it’s not like these highly paid athletes are educated or anything so I guess some remedial arithmatic lessons are needed before we get to see any more hockey anytime soon.

50/50 is where this needed to end up. If the players don’t accept this I fully expect fans to turn their support towards the owners in this dispute. We obviously need more details on the specifics of the offer but if the players can’t agree to 50/50 they are crazy.

If the players reject a 50/50 split, pull the plug on the season now, tell them no more negotiating until next summer and the best they will get is 45%, and if they refuse that pull the plug again and offer them 40% the next year. Reduce the league down to 20-22 teams where it should be, then how happy would the player’s be? Over half the players in the league now would never see NHL action again!!!

nwn dm
Well done NHL… if the PA turns this down they’re clearly the bad guys in public opinion. (Note: 122 readers gave this the thumbs up.)

NHLPA if you don’t take this deal or atleast tweak it, you will have no support from the fans, the NHL was the bigger person in this battle.

People seem to forget that the players are not doing anything extra than they’ve always done in the NHL to earn more money, yet the league growth Bettman has sparked has boosted their average salary from 271 k to 2.4 mil in 20 years… almost 900% increase for not doing anything extra. The owners have to staff, market and operate at a higher cost to maintain this growth. Somehow players and a lot of fans think this means the players should see the lion’s share of the growth that costs them nothing and costs the owners a LOT of money and other various resources? It’s absurd and selfish for players who are getting better job security and increased marketability of their individual brand as well as a steady average salary growth that annihilates standard inflation rates. I think too many fans feel entitled to an opinion without fully educating themselves on the crucial points behind it all.

100% behind the owners now.. NHLPA .. It’s all on you. Don’t be foolish and greedy.

Well if the players don’t accept this there will officially be 0 fans on the players side. In fact the majority of the players won’t be on the union side.

The way Donald Fehr is sounding by saying it is a good start sounds like a no thank you to me. Why hold a press conference, I think most knowledgeable hockey fans already know the answer to the NHL’s latest offer. Good Luck NHLPA I won’t see you some time in the future. If offer is accepted I will apologize.

FEHR: ‘it’ll be an excellent starting point’. This appears to be the real issue here, Fehr fails to realize that negotiations STARTED three months ago (and should’ve started 8 months ago).

If the NHLPA turns this deal down, it will be the end of the NHL. Hockey in North America will be done and I don’t know what I’ll do. There has to be a voice of reason amongst players. The onus is on the players (not Donald Fehr) to push their union to accept the deal before there’s nothing left. I’m honestly surprised that Bettman would offer this and I’m convinced that there will not be a better deal for the players, ever. I guess our most priced past-time hangs in the balance and it all depends on the players. Let’s hope that Bryzgalov is the minority and the majority gets it done and starts playing.

Personally I was hoping that split was more in favor of the owners. The NHLPA should take the offer and skate with it, it will not get better than this, it is more than fair.

The NHL caved in from their original demands in a big way with this one. 50/50 revenue split (when they initially wanted 57/43), 3 year entry level contracts (when they initially wanted 5), UFA at 28 years old or after 8 years of service (when they initially wanted 10 years service with no age exemption). It looks like the only thing they kept in there – that we know about – is the maximum 5 year term on contracts. Hopefully the PA takes this offer seriously and makes a serious counter offer with something very close. Almost there!

The NHL made a favourable deal because they know the NHLPA wants to hold out for more. Hopefully the players realize that this is the best deal they will get.

Of course there are fans who still like to keep it real…

The one thing Betteman is certainly good at, is manipulating the fans. Just look at all the comments praising Betteman here!! This offer was designed simply to sway public opinion to the owners. Its still a 7% pay cut, and the league wants concessions on everything else as well. Fehr will reject it, just like Betteman expects him too, and you’ll all get mad at Fehr and the PA…just like Betteman designed. Fix the core problems Gary, relocate teams, Hamilton and Quebec top of the list!

As you can see hockey fans are passionate like no other sports fan.  The proposal by the NHL was a smart move albeit part PR.  Remember this is a complicated agreement.  Money that the players give back now will never return.  Salaries that the owners offer (and pay) will continue to fluctuate.  The players, as are many entertainers, are often overpaid for what they deliver.  There are a select few athletes and entertainers who are worth their earnings.  Expansion to 30 teams in the NHL watered down the players in league no question.  While there are more great hockey athletes, the consistency of their play and entertainment can be questioned.  How many players of the 700+ in the league give it their all game in and game out?  While players such as Edmonton’s Ryan Smyth are such examples, your average NHL player tends to take their fair share of nights off in my opinion.  It is the players job to entertain us the hockey fan and provide us with value for the money that we shell out for hockey tickets, out favorite jersey or a $5 pack of hockey cards.

This proposal is a great starting point, but the issues are complicated.  It is great to see that both sides will be meeting again in Toronto two days from now to further discuss what is on the table.  There is still some negotiating to do and it will remain to be seen in the proposed 50/50 split by the NHL will suffice for the Players Association.  The time for bravado has passed.  Hockey fans have already endured enough ego to last a lifetime.  I still have my season tickets to my local WHL team (Kelowna Rockets).  Last week I bumped into former Rocket Tyler Myers at a game.  He didn’t seemed overly concerned that he was not in Buffalo getting ready to start the NHL season… then again judging by the swarm of kids around him asking for an autograph, perhaps he didn’t have time to worry about it.