NHL offers concession on “make whole” provision

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The 2013 Winter Classic has been canceled, but there’s still some hope for the 2012-13 season.

The owners are now willing to absorb a share of the “make whole” provision that was offered to the players in their previous CBA proposal, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

As we’ve previously discussed, the provision would reimburse players currently under contract for whatever they lose in absolute dollars in Year 1 and Year 2 of the proposed agreement. The plan was to do that by deferring compensation over the remaining years of the their deals.

In the old NHL offer, that deferred compensation would come out of the players’ side of hockey-related revenues.

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr argued that meant the provision was simply “players paying players, not owners paying players. That is, players are ‘made whole’ for reduced salaries in one year by reducing their salaries in later years.”

With the NHL’s latest concession, that might not be the case. Sportsnet’s John Shannon noted that the NHL has some “qualifiers.”

If you’re wondering why the NHL waited until after the Winter Classic was canceled to make this offer the answer is simple: it didn’t. Although the public is finding out about it now, Darren Dreger said the NHL made this offer on Tuesday. However, the NHLPA is waiting for more details.

Still, this is a sign of progress at a time when hope seems to be in short supply.