Eric at Sports Law Blog has obtained the memo that Donald Fehr sent to the players today.
The NHLPA’s Negotiating Committee today provided the NHL Owners with a comprehensive 6 page proposal on the key issues (see below). As you will read in the proposal, the players have made substantial moves in order to address all of the owners’ concerns, end the owners’ lockout and get the game back on the ice. Our proposal works off the league’s proposed language/structures and moves off our position that there be a guaranteed players’ share. These are major moves in the owners’ direction. Regarding player contractual issues, we have also addressed the owners concerns regarding back-diving contacts and NHL contacts being “buried” in the minors.
Now that we have made this proposal, there is no longer any doubt as to how far apart the parties are in dollars. As you will recall, we had previously said we thought the gap was less than $200M, while the owners had said that the gap was much larger and close to $1B. Under our proposal, it is now undisputed that the gap is only $182 M over 5 years. Now it is up to the owners to finally make a move towards the players.
At the same time, we have protected player rights by refusing to accept their proposals restricting free agency and salary arbitration.