The current NHL lockout could be coming to an end. The Daily Shift’s Joel Slattery reports…
Last Tuesday saw a potential turning point in the National Hockey League’s current lockout. The league itself put forward a proposal for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to the player’s union (NHLPA) in Toronto.
The NHL have proposed a 50/50 split in revenue between player wages and the owners share. This would be a reduction from 57%. It is hoped that this offer will be sufficient to get the players back playing hockey.
This past summer saw the expiration of the old CBA and the terms for a new agreement has been a sticky issue between the league, its players and owners. For starters, the owners want a reduction in the salary cap. Many franchises are struggling financially and feel a cutback in wages will help the problem. The top NHL stars earn up to $800,000 a year, which is relatively low compared to the top NBA or NFL stars.
This is not a short-term solution however. The league hopes that, if agreed upon, this deal will last for up to six years. More importantly in the short term however, it is hoped that if the NHLPA agree to this deal that they will get a full schedule of 82 games each plus a full Stanley Cup Playoff series.
Interestingly enough however many players haven’t stuck around to see today’s development. Many top stars have decided to supplement their income by signing short term contracts to foreign leagues.
Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, for example, is paying bills with a spell in Russia’s KHL with Dynamo Moscow. There, he may face off against Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins who’s gone to Metallurg Magnitogorsk. There are even players gone to the German second division in a bid to stay fit. There are even players, including Drew Miller of the Detroit Red Wings, who have gone to Britain’s Eilte League where the average wage is £500 per game.
Setanta Sports hold the rights to broadcast the NHL in the UK and Ireland. I contacted the station to see how the lockout affected them. Ironically enough they planned to show more games this year so will be hoping the 82 game season goes ahead. However, the station described potential losses in advertising as “not significant”.
The main concern for the station was NHL fans naturally not watching the station as much and the large gap in programming left by the absence of the NHL.
If the deal is agreed, the 2012/2013 season is currently pencilled in the start on November 2, giving the teams time to have short training camps. The Los Angeles Kings are the defending Stanley Cup champions beating the New Jersey Devils in the championship series last season.