NEW YORK – NHL players began examining the league’s proposed expansion of revenue sharing in the latest round of labor talks on Tuesday.
NHL Players’ Association executive director Don Fehr said he can’t make a counterproposal on the league’s full package, which included a decrease in hockey-related revenue, term limits on contracts and a 22 percent salary rollback, until his group receives and examines requested team financial reports. The first batch – 76,000 pages – arrived late Monday night.
The meetings will continue today at the NHL offices in New York as the sides work to try to avoid another lockout that would threaten the upcoming season. More talks are scheduled next week when Fehr returns from a meeting with NHL players in Russia.
While both sides acknowledged negotiations are amicable and constructive, Fehr said players clearly are “not enamored” with proposed limitations on contract lengths and a clause that would force them to wait longer before becoming unrestricted free agents.
Fehr wouldn’t even say if he is encouraged by the revenue-sharing proposal.
“We haven’t evaluated the changes from current revenue sharing to determine whether we think it’s the appropriate thing to do or if it misses the mark in some respect,” Fehr said.
Players currently receive 57 percent of hockey-related revenues, and reports indicate the initial league proposal on July 13 asked that it be reduced to 46 percent.
The owners want to extend rookie contracts to five years from the current three, and they want to cap all contract lengths at five years.
Training camps are scheduled to start on Sept. 16, one day after the current CBA ends. The regular season is slated to begin on Oct. 11.