An anonymous NHL governor has provided ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside with a CBA framework that the governor believes would be “palatable” to each side of the NHL’s labor dispute.
Now, whether this governor has any say in negotiations isn’t clear, but here’s the framework:
Assuming the elements that were discussed last week in New York were still in place — like $300 million in “make-whole” monies, agreements on free agency and arbitration rights — the governor believes the following elements would represent the middle ground in the outstanding contracting, CBA term and transition issues.
-A nine-year CBA with a 7-year out for either side.
-A six-year contract limit with front-load/back-diving protection and 8-year limits for players who have been with a team for five years.
-Some simple buyout option as long as the buyouts were within the salary cap.
In other words, each side would have to ever-so-slightly soften its current demands, aka compromise.
Burnside spoke to one “high-profile veteran player” who believed the framework could at least garner a vote by the union. Other players and agents agreed it had potential.
Again, this may not mean a thing if the governor doesn’t know how far the league’s lead negotiators (i.e. Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and Bob Batterman) are willing to bend. Remember that the owners have given the commissioner’s office extensive power to bargain on their behalf.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t sound like anything got done today.
The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.
You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:
If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.
The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.
The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.
“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.
“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”
While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.
“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”
Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?