Source: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The NHL announced the cancelation of games through January 14, is there any hope for a season?
Maybe insiders believed January 15 to be the cut off date for any hope of a season and that seems to hold water now. The NHL and the NHLPA at this point seem to have agreed on a 50/50 split of league revenue. The only problem is that seems to be about the only thing they agree on.
The NHL wants contract length to be limited to five-years. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that this was a hill they were willing to die on. You can understand the position with how contracts got crazy during the last CBA, but the league needs to have some give on this issue.
The players want an eight-year CBA deal with a mutual option after six, while the league wants a ten and eight deal. Honestly, this a simple fix and not a big hurdle at all. I’m sure both could easily live with nine and seven deal.
Finally, we come to buy-outs. The league suggested no buys-outs allowing teams to be over the salary cap for the first year of the CBA, as they feel it would alleviate the pressure on teams scurrying to get under the cap. Executive Director of the NHLPA Donald Fehr wanted to allow teams to buy-out a contract and it not count against the cap as a solution to fix the cap issue.
I can’t blame the players for dragging this out as it seems last time they did all the giving and don’t want to be in that position again. Also, they have to know time is running out and they have to negotiate fast and get things done quickly if they hope to have a season.
Do I think we will have an NHL season? The optimist in me says yes, but my head keeps telling me that we will see the second season in eight-years canceled.
John Machurek is the NHL Editor-in-Chief for The Inscriber
Reach him on Twitter @JohnnyMacNHL