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No Deal for November 2 But Alternative Options Discussed
Per report from a NHL source, Bettman and Fehr had a secret meeting today in hopes of meeting the NHL imposed deadline for saving the 82 game season. Unfortunately, there is no deal according to my source. Bettman and Fehr can’t see eye to eye on the way to get the 50/50 revenue sharing done; the league is expected to make an official announcement tomorrow about the 82 game season option being aborted.
However, not all is lost. Some interesting things to report:
- The reason why the meeting was kept secret from media and public is because the players themselves and most of the owners are NOT aware this meeting occurred. Bettman wants the owners to believe he is continuing his “stare contest” strategy and only a chosen bunch of the owners were made aware of the meeting. My source couldn’t reveal who these specific owners are. According to my source, Daly was not present at this meeting (unknown reason).
- On the NHLPA side, Fehr did not inform the players of this meeting either. According to my source, Fehr is the one that approached Bettman about the meeting, by making a commitment to discuss based upon the 50/50 proposal made by the league, and on the “make whole” provision. An interesting new option was brought up by Fehr which I will discuss in greater details below
- Fehr has proposed to introduce a concept similar to a “luxury tax” in some aspects. In order for owners to honor current contracts, the richest 8 teams would pay the portion of the salaries that would otherwise constitute the “make whole” provision. That way, the teams losing $$ would not suffer and the rich owners, who are against the lockout anyway, would pay a little more. In exchange, their teams would be allowed to slightly go over the salary cap; proportionately to the portion of the “make whole” they would pay off. This would be a temporary measure which would be removed once the 50/50 revenue share would be reached, under option 1 or 2 of the initial NHLPA proposal, through year 3 of the new CBA, due to revenue growh. Afterwards, the hard cap would be reinstated.
- According to my source, this is something Bettman and the NHL could consider. The official response was “No Deal”…for now. According to my source, Bettman’s REAL DEADLINE is December 1st. He has made the people within his entourage aware the new CBA has to be signed before December 1st. Until then, he will continue making the Union sweat in hopes of getting the owners the best deal possible.
No official bargaining session planned, and the November 2 possible starting day is no longer an option. But could Fehr have found the solution to the lockout with this “luxury tax” type of idea? Would love to hear what you think, either here or via Twitter @HocekyyInsiderr