For the first time in 15 days, the NHL’s players and owners are talking again in an effort to strike a new CBA and save the season.
USA Today reports that the owners are asking for a maximum contract length of six years, and a 10 percent variance limit on multi-year contracts, up from five percent in their previous offer. Another change is that each team will be allowed to buyout one player each year. The $300 million of “make whole” money is still on the table.
“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,” said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. “We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible.”
Commissioner Gary Bettman has publicly stated that anything less than a 48-game season would not be feasible. 48 games was exactly the amount that the NHL played during the lockout-shortened 1994-1995 season.
That season started on January 20, which is less than a month from today.
Translation: if the owners and players don’t come to terms in the next few weeks, the NHL season is all but lost.