“Insider” on CBA talks: “This is a battle between the owners”

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Considering the looming specter of the lockout and the telltale murmurs of greed, this summer might feel reminiscent of the last, disastrous CBA negotiations.

There are plenty of differences, though, and Bruce Garrioch spoke with one unnamed “insider” who believes that the real battle isn’t between the owners and the players.

Instead, he believes the biggest debate revolves around how the big-market teams and smaller ones share their revenue.

“We know what they didn’t do, they didn’t share it between the big- and small-market teams,” said a league insider Saturday. “A big percentage went into the pockets of the big-market teams who are now refusing increased revenue sharing as a means to address the disparity.

“This is not a players’ issue anymore. This is a battle between the owners and it’s time for them to settle it once and for all between themselves.”

That insider then turns to the argument that the owners hope to keep taking from the players to make up the difference.

“Many people think a 50/50 split in revenue between the owners and players is a fair resolution,” added the insider. “That means players should accept a 7% reduction in their share annually. Over six years, that’s over $1 billion. Why? The players accepted a salary cap and 24% rollback last time.

“Since then, NHL revenues are booming. Why should players give back again? What’s the justification for this?”

Some might argue that logical concepts (such as being “justified”) aren’t especially welcome in high stakes negotiations. Either way, word is that the players’ counter-proposal should come on Tuesday.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

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