It is clear that the owners and commissioner Gary Bettman took a big step forward by proposing a 50-50 revenue split with the players, as the initial proposal contained a 57-43 split in favor of the owners. However, the rest of the NHL’s newest offer does not seem to be as neutral. Here is a list of other components within the proposal (via ESPN.com)-
• A listed salary cap of $59.9 million for the 2012-13 season, with a provision each team could spend up to $70.2 million during a transition season.
• Changing eligibility for unrestricted free agency from age 27 or seven years of service to age 28 or eight years of service, down from 10 years of service in the league’s earlier proposal.
• Increasing eligibility for salary arbitration from four years to five years.
• Including all years of existing contracts beyond five years against a team’s cap, regardless of where a player is playing. If a player is traded and retires or stops playing, the applicable cap charge would be applied against the team that originally signed the contact.
• The reduction of entry-level contracts to two years.
• A term limit on any contract beyond that set at five years and a stipulation that the average annual value can only vary up to five percent. This is a mechanism designed to eliminate long-term, back-loaded contracts. The NHL wants to prohibit lengthy deals, such as the $98 million, 13-year contracts Minnesota agreed to in July with forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter.
• The elimination of re-entry waivers.
• Increasing the annual revenue sharing pool by 33 percent to $200 million, assuming annual league revenue of $3.033 billion, with a provision that half the pool be funded by the 10 teams with the highest gross revenue. A cutout against clubs in large media markets, such as Anaheim, New Jersey and the New York Islanders, and clawbacks against not selling enough tickets would be eliminated. A new revenue sharing committee, which would include NHLPA representation, would have input to determine distribution.