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NHL releases details of latest CBA offer

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NHL releases details of latest CBA offer

In a highly unusual collective bargaining move, the NHL publicly released the details on Tuesdays latest offer to the NHLPA. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly indicated that the league was going to these lengths to clarify some of the "widespread reports attempting to describe and characterize the terms of the offer that understandably are incomplete."

Below is the complete offer made by the NHL, which was described by one NHLPA source as a handful of double-spaced pages in length. Not exactly what one would expect to be a binding document for the next 6-7 years of hockey, but perhaps a nice starting point for something more concrete down the road.

Its pretty clear that the actions of the NHL over the last two days are meant to save the 82-game regular season, but the 5050 offer and the transparency one day later will also gain overwhelming public support from a fan base that simply wants hockey.

NHL PROPOSAL TO SAVE 82-GAME SEASON

1. Term:

Six-year Agreement with mutual option for a seventh year.

2. HRR Accounting:

Current HRR Accounting subject to mutual clarification of
existing interpretations and settlements.

3. Applicable Players Share:

For each of the six (6) years of the CBA (and any additional
one-year option) the Players Share shall be Fifty (50)
percent of Actual HRR.

4. Payroll Range:

Payroll Range will be computed using existing methodology. For
the 201213 season, the Payroll Range will be computed
assuming HRR will remain flat year-over-year (201112 to
201213) at 3.303 Billion (assuming Preliminary Benefits of
95 Million).

201213 Payroll Range
Lower Limit = 43.9 Million

Midpoint = 51.9 Million

Upper Limit = 59.9 Million

Appropriate Transition Rules to allow Clubs to exceed Upper
Limit for the 201213 season only (but in no event will Clubs
Averaged Club Salary be permitted to exceed the pre-CBA Upper
Limit of 70.2 Million).

5. Cap Accounting:

Payroll Lower Limit must be satisfied without performance
bonuses.

All years of existing SPCs with terms in excess of five (5)
years will be accounted for and charged against a teams Cap
(at full AAV) regardless of whether or where the Player is
playing. In the event any such contract is traded during its
term, the related Cap charge will travel with the Player, but
only for the year(s) in which the Player remains active and is
being paid under his NHL SPC. If, at some subsequent point in
time the Player retires or ceases to play andor receive pay
under his NHL SPC, the Cap charge will automatically revert
(at full AAV) to the Club that initially entered into the
contract for the balance of its term.

Money paid to Players on NHL SPCs (one-ways and two-ways) in
another professional league will not be counted against the
Players Share, but all dollars paid in excess of 105,000
will be counted against the NHL Clubs Averaged Club Salary
for the period during which such Player is being paid under
his SPC while playing in another professional league.

In the context of Player Trades, participating Clubs will be
permitted to allocate Cap charges and related salary payment
obligations between them, subject to specified parameters.
Specifically, Clubs may agree to retain, for each of the
remaining years of the Players SPC, no more than the lesser
of: (i) 3 million of a particular SPCs Cap charge or (ii) 50
percent of the SPCs AAV (Retained Salary Transaction). In
any Retained Salary Transaction, salary obligations as between
Clubs would be allocated on the same percentage basis as Cap
charges are being allocated. So, for instance, if an assigning
Club agrees to retain 30 of an SPCs Cap charge over the
balance of its term, it will also retain an obligation to
reimburse the acquiring Club 30 of the Players contractual
compensation in each of the remaining years of the contract. A
Club may not have more than two (2) contracts as to which Cap
charges have been allocated between Clubs in a Player Trade,
and no more than 5 million in allocated Cap charges in the
aggregate in any one season.

6. System Changes:

Entry Level System commitment will be limited to two (2) years
(covering two full seasons) for all Players who sign their
first SPC between the ages of 18 and 24 (i.e., where the first
year of the SPC only covers a partial season, SPC must be for
three (3) years).

Maintenance of existing Salary Arbitration System subject to:
(i) total mutuality of rights with regard to election as
between Player and Club, and (ii) eligibility for election
moved to five years of professional experience (from the
current four years).

Group 3 UFA eligibility for Players who are 28 or who have
eight (8) Accrued Seasons (continues to allow for early UFA
eligibility -- age 26).

Maximum contract length of five (5) years.

Limit on year-to-year salary variability on multi-year SPCs --
i.e., maximum increase or decrease in total compensation
(salary and bonuses) year-over-year limited to 5 of the value
of the first year of the contract. (For example, if a Player
earns 10 million in total compensation in Year 1 of his SPC,
his compensation (salary and bonuses) cannot increase or
decrease by more than 500,000 in any subsequent year of his
SPC.)

Re-Entry waivers will be eliminated, consistent with the Cap
Accounting proposal relating to the treatment of Players on
NHL SPCs playing in another professional league.

NHL Clubs who draft European Players obtain four (4) years of
exclusive negotiating rights following selection in the Draft.
If the four-year period expires, Player will be eligible to
enter the League as a Free Agent and will not be subject to
re-entering the Draft.

7. Revenue Sharing:

NHL commits to Revenue Sharing Pool of 200 million for
201213 season (based on assumption of 3.303 Billion in
actual HRR). Amount will be adjusted upward or downward in
proportion to Actual HRR results for 201213. Revenue Sharing
Pools in future years will be calculated proportionately.

At least one-half of the total Revenue Sharing Pool (50) will
be raised from the Top 10 Revenue Grossing Clubs in a manner
to be determined by the NHL.

The distribution of the Revenue Sharing Pool will be
determined on an annual basis by a Revenue Sharing Committee
on which the NHLPA will have representation and input.

For each of the first two years of the CBA, no Club will
receive less in total Revenue Sharing than it received in
201112.

Current Disqualification criteria in CBA (for Clubs in Top
Half of League revenues and Clubs in large media markets) will
be removed.

Existing performance and reduction standards and provisions
relating to non-performers (i.e., CBA 49.3(d)(i) and 49.3
(d)(ii)) will be eliminated and will be adjusted as per the
NHLs 731 Proposal.

8. Supplemental and Commissioner Discipline:

Introduction of additional procedural safeguards, including
ultimate appeal right to a neutral third-party arbitrator
with a clearly erroneous standard of review.

9. No Rollback:

The NHL is not proposing that current SPCs be reduced,
re-written or rolled back. Instead, the NHLs proposal retains
all current Players SPCs at their current face value for the
duration of their terms, subject to the operation of the
escrow mechanism in the same manner as it worked under the
expired CBA.

10. Players Share Make Whole Provision:

The League proposes to make Players whole for the absolute
reduction in Players Share dollars (when compared to 201112)
that is attributable to the economic terms of the new CBA (the
Share Reduction). Using an assumed year-over-year growth
rate of 5 for League-wide revenues, the new CBA could result
in shortfalls from the current level of Players Share dollars
(1.883 Billion in 201112) of up to 149 million in Year 1
and up to 62 million in Year 2, for which Players will be
made whole. (By Year 3 of the new CBA, Players Share
dollars should exceed the current level (1.883 Billion for
201112) and no make whole will be required.) Any such
shortfalls in Years 1 and 2 of the new CBA will be computed
as a percentage reduction off of the Players stated
contractual compensation, and will be repaid to the Player as
a Deferred Compensation benefit spread over the remaining
future years of the Players SPC (or if he has no remaining
years, in the year following the expiration of his SPC).
Player reimbursement for the Share Reduction will be accrued
and paid for by the League, and will be chargeable against
Players Share amounts in future years as Preliminary
Benefits. The objective would be to honor all existing SPCs by
restoring their value on the basis of the now existing level
of Players Share dollars.

Heinen beginning to look like a keeper for Bruins

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Heinen beginning to look like a keeper for Bruins

BRIGHTON, Mass – While it’s still early in the careers of all the young Bruins rookies making their way this season, it sure looks like 22-year-old Danton Heinen is among the B’s youngsters that are here to stay. The former University of Denver standout didn’t make the cut at the end of training camp this season and he failed early last year when it was clear he wasn’t ready during an eight-game audition with the big club.

But Heinen continued to look ready while scoring a pair of goals and three points in the three games on a pivotal road trip through California last week, and is now tied for fifth on the Bruins in points despite missing four games in the AHL. In all, Heinen has four goals and 10 points along with a plus-4 rating in 15 games this season, and is on pace for a really strong 21 goals and 52 points in his first full year.

This has been a really nice step forward for Heinen after being a point-per-game player for Providence during their playoff run last spring.

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“Last year’s playoff did a lot for him. When I saw him playing there, he was a different player than when he’d left [Boston],” said Bruce Cassidy. “There was a willingness to stay in the battle and his growth when it comes to winning pucks…you’ve seen it here. A lot of the things he’s down well are his second and third efforts on the puck where last year I thought he was pushed off the puck pretty easily [at the NHL level].”

There could be a period when his offense slows down or some other part of his game drags his minutes down, but right now he looks like he’s well on his way to establishing himself in a key role with the Black and Gold. The difference has been Heinen increasing his speed and also adding a little more tenacity to the skill and offense package that he was always bringing to the table.  

“I don’t want to say that because when we get our guys healthy then we’ll see where we’re at,” said Bruce Cassidy, when asked if Heinen was a keeper at the NHL level at this point. “But I think he’s certainly shown he’s a much more consistent player than he was last year. He’s probably a bit ahead of the other younger guys because he has gone through a bit of it [at the pro level]. The fact that he’s been able to play in a lot of different situations, play left or right wing, and moved up in the lineup while being very effective with [Sean] Kuraly and [Tim] Schaller down in the lineup, as a coach it’s to have a guy like that who can move around and fit in a lot of different places.

“So he’s certainly helped himself [to stay in the NHL]. I think it’s too early to say if he’s here for good, but I don’t envision him leaving [Boston] anytime soon with the way that he’s played.”

Only time and consistently good play will allow the playmaking Heinen to truly lock up his spot on the NHL roster, but it’s increasingly difficult to envision any scenario where the fifth-round pick isn’t playing an increasingly important role for the Bruins. 

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Bruins' Backes returns to ice after surgery for diverticulitis

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Bruins' Backes returns to ice after surgery for diverticulitis

BRIGHTON -- In a development that was certainly much sooner than originally anticipated, David Backes has returned to the ice just a matter of weeks after having 10 inches of colon removed during surgery for diverticulitis. It remains to be seen how gradual a process it will be for the 33-year-old to actually return to game action given his original timetable for recovery was eight weeks following the early November procedure, but it seems like it might end up being ahead of the two months Backes was initially expected to be sidelined. 

For his part, Backes was happy to be back skating with his teammates and pushing his recovering body after feeling pretty sluggish for the first few days following surgery. He confirmed he’d been skating for a couple of days while the team was on the West Coast, but Monday was his first team doing anything post-surgery with the rest of the team. 

“It’s good to be back with the guys and to be around the room, and to have seen the kind of resiliency that these guys showed on the road trip. The back half of the road trip was impressive,” said Backes, who has an assist in five games with the Bruins before succumbing to the surgery. “To be on the ice and moving around after sitting around doing nothing for too long where you don’t think you’re going to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it feels good. 

“The doc’s advice is that if it doesn’t hurt then I can keep moving forward and add more of a workload on, so that’s the update for today. It’s still non-contact, but we’ll keep moving along and hopefully I’ll be back doing what I love to do on a regular basis. I haven’t been notified that the timeline has changed at all, so I’m just going to keep putting in the work. The more I seem to do the work the better it is, and I seem to be able to do a little more each day. So those are all positive signs.”

For the Bruins it’s clearly a morale booster to see the big power forward back doing regular hockey activities, and serving notice that he’ll be bringing his size, strength, leadership and physicality back to a B’s team that definitely needs him. Clearly the return of another high-end forward would also immensely help a Bruins team that’s still very undermanned up front, but it would appear there will be some other B’s forwards getting back prior to Backes. 

Brad Marchand and Ryan Spooner appear poised to return to full practice on Tuesday with a possible return to the lineup not too far beyond that after all three injured forwards took part in Monday’s optional skate at Warrior Ice Arena. 

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