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My NHL CBA Solution

You may have read some or all of my articles over the past few weeks looking at the big issues that will be discussed over the next month (and hopefully not too much longer).  This is my attempt to put them all together and show the framework for a deal that although both sides will not think is perfect, will be a happy medium and allow both sides to grow and prosper.

I will forego as much of the boring legalese as possible and simply address the main issues that will include major changes to the current CBA.



In order to provide a greater balance of revenues between the highest earning club and the lowest, Hockey Related Revenues (as determined by the CBA) made by each club will be handled in the following manner:

A) 40% of each team’s revenue will sent to the league to be placed in a central account.

B) The account containing the shared revenue will be divided equally among all 30 franchises.

C) The post revenue sharing amount each team will have access to will consist of the 60% they keep of their own plus 1/30th of the shared pool.



A) The Hockey Related Revenue (HRR) split between the players and the member clubs shall be determined by the following annual percentages:

2012-13 – 57% HRR to player compensation

2013-14 – 55% HRR to player compensation

2014-15 – 53%  HRR to player compensation

2015-16 – 51.5% HRR to player compensation

2016-17 and beyond – 50% HRR to player compensation


B) The midpoint of revenues for salary cap purposes is the total percentage for the given season multiplied by the HRR for the previous season (which gives the target players compensation league-wide) divided by 30 to get the target for each team.

C) Recognizing the number of teams that are consistently at or near the cap, the allowable salary range will be $6M above the midpoint and the floor $12M below the midpoint as calculated above.

D) A player’s cap hit will be determined by their actual compensation, not by the average amount on the contract.

E) Bonuses earned by entry level or over 35 players will be attached to a team’s Salary Cap for the following season.



A) Player contracts can not be longer than 5 years in duration, with the following exceptions:

  1. Each club can have on their roster two “franchise player” contracts that can be up to 10 seasons in length.  Contracts already in force will be grandfathered in, with the number of years remaining on the contract becoming the standard when determining the length of the deal. For example, a 7 year contract signed 3 seasons ago would in effect be a 4 year deal for the purposes of this rule.
  2. The “franchise player” contracts cannot extend past the season during which the player turns 38 years of age.
  3. A contract in excess of five seasons cannot contain a no-trade or no- movement clause.

B) A  contract signed for 5 years or less in duration may contain a no-trade or no-movement clause, using whatever terms the player and club negotiate.

C) A team requesting that a player waive his no-trade or no-movement clause must do so in writing. The player can waive the clause at his discretion to retain control as to where he is moved.

D) A player requesting a trade from a team must do so in writing, and once that is done, any no-trade or no-movement clause in that player’s contract is then nullified and the player can no longer veto a trade that the club can complete at its discretion.



Unrestricted Free Agency

A) In order to qualify for Unrestricted Free Agency status, a player must satisfy at least one of the following conditions:

  1. Reached the age of 29 or;
  2. Occupied a spot on the major league roster or injured list at the major league level for a minimum of 600 regular season games.


This is by no means a complete document, but I think it addresses most of the major issues.  Other things like restricted free agency and compensation, arbitration, pensions,  Olympic participation, discipline and the competition committee will also be discussed before an agreement can be reached.  Many of these issues will be used as bargaining chips to get what they want on the bigger issues.

The biggest stumbling block might just be the league revenue sharing, with the higher earning teams not wanting to share with the lower earning teams.  What those higher earning teams need to realize that while the system they fought so hard for the last time around allowed them to establish record profits, they did so on the backs of the smaller “partners” in the league.  There is more than enough money to go around, and the league as a whole is profitable.  It’s just that only 5 or 6 teams are able to line their pockets in the current system.

There will be more CBA talk to come, (unfortunately) because it is increasingly difficult to talk about what will go on on the ice when we can’t predict when that will happen.

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