January 10, 2013

NHL achieves ‘Flying V’ with new agreement

Filed under: National Hockey League — Giorgio Varlaro @ 11:20 pm

Supplied via Google Images

The business of sport, forgotten within the scope of an athletic event, has seen its mighty reign end with the approval of a new NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement. The 10-year deal, which ended a 113-day lockout, completed negotiations between players and owners when it relates to player salaries, revenue sharing and retirement incentives.

Presuming players ratify the deal by Saturday, January 12, 2013, training camp would open up the following day (Sunday) and the season would begin January 19th.

Both sides came to an initial agreement of a 50-50 split between hockey-related revenue, down from 57 percent in the last deal. Added to this, players will receive new contract rights, giving them the ability to sign an eight-year contract if they choose to stay with the team they currently play for. A new pension plan was also comprised in the new deal.

Undecided in the new agreement were league realignment and participation in the 2014 Olympics (in Sochi, Russia).

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who was also a part of the last lockout in 2004, did apologize for the amount of time which occurred for an agreement to be made, but reiterated that the stability that the NHLPA has shown under Donald Fehr will allow owners and the NHLPA to have an easier time working together moving forward.

Stability, a term which has not been associated with the NHL in some time, would benefit the league as a whole. Lockouts, on the other hand, are something fans aren’t going to have to deal with for at least another decade. Including the NFL, NBA and NHL, 411 days of labor negotiations incurred from 2011-2013 while owners and players were vying for a new collective bargaining agreement.



May 17, 2012

Negotiations ‘Cold as Ice’ during NHL playoffs

Filed under: National Hockey League — Giorgio Varlaro @ 1:54 am

Supplied via Google Images

Months removed from the National Football League (NFL) and National Basketball Association (NBA) labor negotiations, the National Hockey League (NHL) has now immerged as the new front runner of the four major sports leagues to declare a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). As of today, the NHL provided written notice to the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) that it intends to change and/or end the current CBA.

120 days removed from the September 15th deadline, both the players and owners might have to hash out negotiations of revenue sharing, rule changes, retirement benefits and player safety. The NHL is unlike the three other major U.S. pro leagues (NFL, NBA and MLB) since it is not known if the league or the players will seek major economic or other changes to the current system, which could in turn lead to a work stoppage. The NFL and NBA made it clear years in advance of the expiration of their CBA that major economic changes were needed. That advance didn’t prevent a strike.

With a little over four months before the end of the deadline, only speculation can be made at this time. The only information we can go on currently came during a speech before the Sports Lawyers Association on Saturday (May 12th). NHLPA’s Steve Fehr said he did not know if the NHL would be seeking major concessions from the players or not, but if the owners were seeking such concessions, the players are not inclined to make them.

With this known, the MLB is the only league of the four to reach a new labor deal without a lockout or strike. Is it possible with the current economy for the NHL to prevent a lockout? Once the playoffs are finished, the owners and players will have three months to negotiate. Is that enough time? Has the NHL learned from  2004?

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