League, union set to meet again Wednesday

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Wednesday in New York, the NHL and NHLPA will sit down to resume CBA negotiations.

In the wake of Friday’s first reported offer by the league, it should be interesting to see if the union provides a counter-offer.  (Or, if its message to the owners is, “Wait, you were serious about that?”)

From the Associated Press:

There were multiple reports coming out of the last round of talks that the owners’ offer included players’ hockey-related revenues get slashed from 57 percent to 46 percent. It also was reported that players would be forced to wait 10 years before becoming unrestricted free agents and that contracts would be limited to five years.

If the NHLPA makes its own proposal, expect revenue-sharing to be part of it.

Which is to say the union will ask highly profitable teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs to share a higher percentage of their revenues with the NHL’s less financially successful franchises. With more revenue sharing, everyone will be making money and the players won’t have to take a haircut, the PA will argue.

If the union’s ever going to divide and conquer the owners, it will be on the topic of revenue sharing.

Just don’t expect teams like the Leafs to get on board with subsidizing their poorer brethren.

Why would they?

With all due respect to the NHL’s small-market teams, there’s a reason the Leafs are worth more than half a billion dollars and the Nashville Predators would be lucky to fetch a third of that on the open market. You get what you pay for, and what you get when you buy the Leafs is a money-making machine.

In response, the union will likely claim more revenue-sharing will have a “rising tide lifts all boats” effect, but the league would prefer any increase in small-market revenue come out of the players’ share, thanks anyway.