Brooks: Owners want to cut salary despite having more revenue

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If there’s anyone who is dialed in on the NHLPA’s side of things during labor negotiations it’s Larry Brooks of the New York Post. Brooks obtained a memo from executive director Donald Fehr outlining what it is the owners are looking at doing.

Fehr outlined the owners’ proposal by putting it into terms if it were in effect last season. It paints a pretty clear picture of what sorts of cutbacks the NHL is looking to get back from its players.

“(1) Player compensation would have been reduced by $450 million, or 24 percent … Using the definitions in effect under the current CBA, the ‘46%’ player share in the proposal is really only ‘43% and change.’

“(2) The salary cap would have fall to an Upper limit of $50.8M, a Midpoint of $46.8M, and a floor of only $38.8M.”

“(3) This would mean Player compensation would fall to below 2003/04 levels, notwithstanding the large revenue increases in the last few years.”

The way this reads is that the owners are essentially looking for a do-over when it comes to the financial system they locked the players out for over a year to get in place. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners, I’m sure, would look at things a bit differently.

As it stands, the NHLPA has not fired back a counter-proposal, something we’ll need to have to really have an idea how ugly things might get.