Breaking Sports

Sunday, May 29, 2005

nhl- Getting Close

from Larry Brooks and the NY Post, Our long national nightmare appears to be ending. Yes, it's true: the TV reality show, "The Contender" will no longer be on the air. And in other news, the NHL lockout is drawing to a conclusion.
According to reliable sources on both sides of the table, only an unforeseen intervention by extremist elements of either party can now prevent an agreement between the league and the PA by the end of June. Slap Shots has learned full-scale negotiating will resume Thursday following a small-group financial review on Wednesday.
It is as yet undetermined whether an agreement will be based on the league-preferred flat percentage-of-the-gross or on the floating-cap-range structure proposed by the union on April 4, nor on how great a gap will be permitted in payrolls between the highest- and lowest-spending clubs. It appears as though that the PA will attempt to calculate which system is likely to include the most upside, once the parties reach an agreement on a uniform definition and reporting of league revenues, and then negotiate on that basis.
In either case, it is extremely unlikely that the upper limit will be as high as the strings-attached $42.5M offered by the league just prior to cancellation of 2004-05, though that offer neither allowed for annual hikes based on revenue increases nor mandated a club payroll floor. Expect an initial upper limit of between $36-38M, with a floor of approximately $24-28M per team under either scenario.
There has, as yet, been no accord on definition of revenues, specifically on the critical and ambiguous definition of suite and concessions revenue, but progress toward reaching a common standard has been made over the last two weeks of small-group sessions.
Slap Shots has been told that the new CBA will in fact include the 24 percent salary rollback first offered by the union on Dec. 9. According to a source on one side of the table, agreement on the issue is both "expressed and implied." A source on the other side confirmed the assertion. The rollback will apply to the 288 contracts currently in force as well as to the 259 contracts due qualifying offers this summer.
Both sides have confirmed that qualifying offers and salary arbitration will be based on the union's Dec. 9 proposal rather than on any of the subsequent more restrictive league offers. QO's therefore will be 100 percent for players earning over $1M, and either 105 percent of 110 precent for those below that standard, as opposed to league offers that had featured qualifiers at either 75 percent or 85 percent for those earning more than $1M....more...