If the NHL is on the verge of its second work stoppage in eight years its Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at 11:59 Saturday night its only fair to outline the reasons.
TSNs Bob McKenzie breaks down the major issues between the owners and players as the two sides brace for a lockout that has the potential for wiping out the exhibition season and, at the very least, delaying the start of the regular season.
Here, in a nutshell, are some key components that may help shape your opinions on the impending lockout:
League Revenues vs. Player Salaries
Since the last NHL work stoppage in 2004-05, NHL revenues have grown from 2.2 billion to 3.3 billion. During that same time, the average player salary has risen from 1.45 million to 2.45 million.
Salary Cap vs. Salary Floor
In the first year of the current CBA, the NHL salary cap was 39 million. It is now at 70.2 million. The salary floor, set at 21.5 million in 2005, is now 54.2 million.
In their most recent proposal the players would like to see the salary cap rise 2 percent in the first year, 4 percent in Year 2 and 6 percent in Year 3. The players are also proposing a formula that allows teams under the salary floor to trade cap space to teams over the salary limit.
Since surrendering 24 percent of their salaries in a one-year rollback in 2005-06, the players have given back roughly 13 percent of their salaries.
Dividing the Pie
Over the seven years of the expiring CBA, the players share of hockey-related revenue HRR has grown from 54 percent to 57 percent. The NHLs most recent proposal has that number decreasing to 46 percent. The NHLPA has agreed to take a lower percentage of HRR in the first three years of their proposal, with a snap back to 57 percent in Year 4.
For the sake of comparison, NBA revenues are divided almost evenly between the owners and players, while NFL owners have a 53-47 percent edge over the players.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the NHL would like to get to a 50-50 split in league revenue and the two sides could reach that point by the third or fourth year of its new CBA by agreeing to a formula in which the players percentage of league revenues are decreased to 54 percent this season, 52 percent in Year 2 and 50 percent in Year 3.
Until then, the posturing is likely to continue. Your thoughts? Join the conversation below.