The Last Waltz

Holy crap.  The Twitter lit up like a dry Christmas tree this morning at about 10AM with news of a refreshed CBA proposal from the owners.  Apparently the previous one was not “the best one that the players would see” after all as Commissioner Bettman so firmly had stated.  The dance continues.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly’s statement at about noon Friday reads as:

“In light of media reports this morning, I can confirm that we delivered to the Union a new, comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA late yesterday (Thursday) afternoon. We are not prepared to discuss the details of our proposal at this time. We are hopeful that once the Union’s staff and negotiating committee have had an opportunity to thoroughly review and consider our new proposal, they will share it with the players. We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible.”

Interesting that it took as long as it did for us to hear about the deal if it was in fact  given to the NHLPA yesterday.  Amazing.  I realize more and more that Twitter really is such a powerful media tool and  is truly the home of instant notification/gratification.

So the question is, how will the players respond to the new offer?  Is it close enough for them to give it a vote?  Rumor has it that the owners are ‘feeling’ the loss of the season a little more these days, and you have to imagine that the players are too.  I can imagine we are looking forward to at least one more ‘back and forth’ between the two sides.

Interesting to note is that the new proposal from the owners includes a component that all non-playoff teams would be eligible for that #1 slot in the draft.  Good idea.

Other tidbits from the proposal that summarize the finer points . . .

– Teams can have one compliance buyout before the 2013-14 season. Not sure if this is similar to an amnesty buyout or not but it would count against the players’ share rather than the salary cap.  This had been a sticky subject for owners in the past.

– The owners budged on term limit for contracts from five years to six years, with seven-year limits for players being re-signed by their own team.

– The owners shifted from 5 percent to 10 percent on year-to-year salary variance.

– The “make whole” provision — money to offset the loss of hockey-related revenue as players go from 57 percent to 50 percent — stays at the previously agreed upon $300 million.

At this point many fans, including me, have done, and continue to do, much soul searching.  I’m not even sure I want a season at this point but as BD Gallof pointed out on Twitter earlier today, the Islanders would really benefit from some developmental time on the big stage.  A short season would be huge towards that end.  Certainly I don’t think the playoffs are a possibility if a season commences but it would be nice to build on something in what could be considered a low-pressure and low-expectation 48 game season.

This is certainly ‘it’ though in terms time.  The proposal calls for games to begin on January 19th.  There is very little time for too much back and forth and long awkward pauses in the conversation.  My feeling is that something will get done in about one week’s time.   But really, who knows?

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