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NHL, NHLPA continue discussions

Sunday, 12.30.2012 / 3:33 PM / News
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NHL, NHLPA continue discussions
Representatives from the NHL and Players\' Association began face-to-face meetings Sunday morning for discussions about establishing a new CBA.

NEW YORK -- Representatives from the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association met face-to-face for approximately two-and-a-half hours Sunday morning to exchange information about the league's most recent proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement.

There is still no determination when the sides will get back together for a formal negotiating session.

Union representatives arrived at approximately 9:30 a.m. EST to continue the information-exchanging sessions the two sides began Saturday in a conference-call setting. Those sessions were in response to the NHL tabling a new comprehensive proposal for a 10-year CBA on Thursday.

The NHL's proposal, the first new offer exchanged by either side since Dec. 6, is reportedly contingent on a 2013 regular-season at least 48 games in length starting no later than Jan. 19. The original 2012-13 schedule has been cancelled through Jan. 14 due to the lack of an existing CBA between the NHL and NHLPA.

The league reportedly moved in the NHLPA's direction on three key issues in its new comprehensive proposal, which has a mutual option to reopen after eight years: Contract length, compliance buyouts, and annual-salary variance.

The NHL is reportedly offering to have contract lengths be capped at a maximum of six years after previously proposing a five-year maximum term.

The NHL's proposal also would give teams the ability to sign their own free agents to a maximum seven-year term provided that player has been under contract with the team for the equivalent of one full season.

According to reports, for the first time the NHL is also proposing a provision that would allow teams to have the ability for a one-time compliance buyout prior to the start of the 2013-14 season. This option was not included in any of the NHL's previous proposals.

The buyout reportedly would not count against the salary cap of the team initiating the buyout, but a portion of the buyout would be factored into the formula that determines the players' share of hockey-related revenue (HRR).

The reports also say the NHL increased the percentage that a players' annual salary in a multi-year contract can vary year-to-year to 10 percent, up from the five percent in earlier proposals.

The league is also proposing to preserve the terms of salary arbitration, free agency, HRR accounting and definitions, as well as the entry-level system from the previous CBA, according to the reports.

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