NHL Makes Offer To Players As Lockout End Date Looms
NHL Makes Offer To Players As Lockout End Date Looms

NHL Makes Offer To Players As Lockout End Date Looms

The NHL has made a new offer to the NHL Players’ Association in what could be one of the final attempts to avert the NHL lockout and save the 2012-13 season.

The newest offer from the NHL moves a bit toward the players’ requests, making compromises on term limits for player contracts, salary variance, and buyouts, one player told ESPN.

Until now, the NHL had insisted on five-year limits for player contracts while players showed a willingness to limit deals to eight years. With its latest offer, the NHL has budged on what had been a sticking point, offering six years instead of the five it had been giving players. For players re-signing with the same team, contracts can be seven years.

Other details, via ESPN:

• Year-to-year salary variance moves from 5 percent (NHL’s previous offers) to 10 percent.

• Each team will be allowed one compliance buyout before the 2013-14 season that will not count against the salary cap but will count against the players’ share.

• The Make Whole provision stays at $300 million.

The NHL has already canceled games until January 14, and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has insisted that anything less than a 48-game season would not be acceptable. Even a schedule that short would push the season into late June, so, in order fit a season in, the NHL lockout would need to be over by mid-January at the latest.

Though the offer may not fly with the NHL Players’ Association, which voted to authorize disbanding in a move meant to show its seriousness to the NHL owners, the important thing is that the process is moving forward again, NJ.com writer Charles Curtis noted.