There have been no labor negotiations since October 18th. The last time the NHL and the NHLPA tried to get together on a compromise it blew up in their faces. The ownership offered a 50-50 of hockey related revenue, but a lot of screws were put in the fine print. The players came back with three proposals. One of those three agreed to most of the owners’ demands as long as they were willing to honor the current contracts. Well, the owners didn’t want to be held accountable for their “wild” spending spree, so they shot that one down. They also shot the other two down(in ten minutes). Then Bettman, like a petulant child being scolded for being out too late, took his ball and went home.
While some of the players may have some issues with the last CBA, they’re about to receive a perk from it . One of the terms of the expired collective bargaining agreement had the players have a portion of their salaries deducted throughout the season and placed into an escrow account. Once all the math was done on the business side, factoring in hockey related revenue and the like, players were refunded accordingly. The escrow account will be giving players back about eight cents of every dollar that they earned last year, plus interest.
The escrow checks are coming out the same day as what would have been the NHL’s second pay-day. The players had missed a payment on October 15th, but that check would have only been pro-rated for the first four days of the regular season. This escrow check is making up for what would have included the first full half-month pay period of the season.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr met with a group of players in Minnesota on Monday night and acknowledged in an interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that some of his constituents are concerned about lost wages that are mounting. No doubt the owners are licking their chops hoping that they can coerce the player’s union back to the table. While the NHLPA understands the pressure the players are facing, they are wary about using this as the primary factor to get back to the table.
“That doesn’t mean you make a bad agreement because of it,” Fehr told the newspaper.