The NHL and players association are expected to resume their talks on Monday.
According to USA Today, the two parties completed a two-hour information session on Sunday morning. This meeting clarified some points on the owners’ recent 288-page-long proposal.
In their last offer, owners softened some of their positions. They changed their demand for a five-year individual contract cap length to a six-year cap. They also made a provision that teams can sign one of their own players to seven years.
The owners also would accept a ten percent variance year-to-year on contracts, up from five percent.
Owners are also willing to allow one compliance buyout per team with no cap hit. However, that money would count against players’ share of revenue.
The owners’ most recent offer is their attempt at ending the lockout as quickly as possible. Time is running out on the opportunity to have a 48-game NHL season and the owners don’t want that to happen.
Included with the recent offer was a plan to launch a season on January 12 or January 19.
The January 12 date is approaching quickly and they only have about 10 or 11 days to make a deal in order to save the January 19 date.
Meanwhile, players have already voted overwhelmingly to give the NHLPA executive board the right, through Jan. 2, to issue a “disclaimer of interest” to dissolve the union. Essentially, it would mean that the NHLPA is no longer representing the players, and they would be free to sue the league through antitrust laws.
Also, we previously reported that the NHL sent out a memo mentioning that the NHL and NHLPA are working toward a resolution and that arena personnel needed to be “ready to go.” The memo read:
“Another factor for optimism: déjà vu. During the last shortened season, off-ice officials received a similar notice and the NHL was ‘playing games in less than two weeks. This type of chatter has picked up lately. Teams have been sending messages to their managers and staffers ‘all hands on deck’ messages for the last few weeks: Be prepared to head back at a moment’s notice. In some cases, they’ve been false starts, as the NHL and NHLPA talks have teased a resolution. But that’s what’s been communicated.”
So good news for all you hockey fans out there, the lockout may be ending soon.