A Quick Thought On The Next CBA Term

The NHL proposed a 10-year deal for the next CBA, with an opt out after 8.

The NHLPA responded with an 8-year deal, with an opt out after 6.

Then everything broke down again. Concessions that had been offered were off the table and the two parties will now be taking a break from negotiating for a couple of days (at least). Hope, excitement and optimism were traded for depression, loathing, pessimism and a third round pick. It’s like being back at square one, maybe even square -1 as there seems to be a level of animosity in the air right now which cannot help things moving forward.

There’s an awful lot of issues in play here; but the length of the new CBA is one area I am struggling to side with the NHLPA on. I’ve pretty much been a #ThePlayers guys from the start; but when it comes to the term of a new agreement, I am with the owners. Longer is better.

And I cannot really understand why anyone would be against that?

This is the second work stoppage in 7 years. It’s damaged bank balances and shaken faith in the NHL among fans, media partners and sponsors. So why on Earth wouldn’t you want to restore some faith by going for a 10 year deal that carries the ‘this won’t happen again for at least a decade’ stamp? The PR boost itself that that carries may be worth it for the NHLPA – after all, if sponsors have renewed faith in the league, they are happy to pay more which in turn helps the NHL grow and the knock on is (drum roll please) money in the NHLPA members pockets!

Why wouldn’t you want a clear long term set up for the way the league will be run? And a clearer idea of the kind of money on the table for each team to a) operate with and b) spend on contracts?

Much of that will depend on other elements falling in to line – pensions, contract lengths, maximum and minimum values, free agency. But surely this is one area the NHLPA could say “Ok guys, we’ll go with a 10-year deal, but this is what we want…”?

It just seems crazy to me that anyone would want to go for something shorter given the acrimony and pain we’ve felt twice already this millennium. Do we really want to see this happen all over again in 2020?

Part of me fears this is the NHLPA negotiating for negotiations sake, another ‘stall and frustrate’ tactic in a bid to make the owners crack. Whatever its logic, all it’s doing is crippling the process of finding the middle ground and hurting the league further.

“Won’t somebody please think of the children!”

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About Rob

Software engineer by day, Elite League Media man by night, Rob also blogs about cricket for One Stump Short, hockey for In Goal Magazine and video games for Outpost Delta as well as hosting the One Stump Short Podcast.

Posted on December 7, 2012, in Hockey, NHL and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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