While it’s clear the NHLPA has made moves towards the NHL, expect the following part of the union’s latest CBA proposal (as per the memo sent to the players) to grab the league’s attention:
“There are no guarantees or fixed targets, other than a requirement that, beginning with the second year of the Agreement, players’ share, expressed in dollars, may not fall below its value for the prior season. This proposal allows us to determine players’ share regardless of the effects of the lockout and its aftermath.”
So basically the union is saying there are no guarantees…unless you count the guarantee that the players’ share will never decrease year to year.
For the NHL, this of course means that hockey-related revenues can’t decrease year to year, otherwise the players will receive more than the agreed upon 50 percent of HRR.
Will the owners take that risk? Because there’s no telling how this lockout will be greeted by fans and sponsors. And the economy is anything but guaranteed to improve. There’s even concern in Canada that the dollar could fall considerably if there’s a slowdown in China.
Business is unpredictable. If it wasn’t, we’d all know if we should buy RIM stock.
Yahoo! Sports’ Nick Cotsonika makes another point:
Maybe the league will be willing to roll the dice that revenue will continue to grow each year as it did under the last CBA, but if we’ve learned anything about NHL owners it’s that they love their “cost certainty.”
Possibly related update (4:44 p.m. ET):