NHL players make contract offer

Aug. 14, 2012 at 6:25 PM
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TORONTO, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- NHL players Tuesday offered a contract counter-proposal their leader says could net the NHL hundreds of millions of dollars and stabilize its weaker teams.

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said in Toronto the players' compensation concession could be worth $465 million to $800 million over three years. Revenue-sharing under a new collective bargaining agreement would be about $250 million, he said.

"We do believe that the proposal the players made today, once implemented, can produce a stable industry," Fehr said. "One that, going forward, can give us a chance to move beyond the current labor strife that has plagued the NHL for the last two decades.

"Players want a new CBA, and they want it soon, but obviously it has to be one which is fair and equitable to the players as well as to the owners.

"In essence, when you boil it all down, what we're suggesting is that the players partner with the less financially stronger owners to help stabilize the owners and assist the less financially strong ownership groups."

The counter-proposal includes an optional fourth year that would return the formula for hockey-related revenue to its current status.

Fehr said the proposal keeps the league's hard cap in place, with "a couple of small exceptions" he said would be "very limited and very defined and wouldn't affect the overall players' share."

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week the owners are prepared to lock out the players if a new deal is not agreed upon by Sept. 15.

Labor unrest wiped out the NHL's 2004-05 season and much of the 1994-95 season.

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