Full disclosure

The NHL has gone ahead and released the details of their offer to the Players’ Association, which was first presented to the union yesterday. It’s another surprising move in what’s now become the CBA news hitting back-to-back-to-back jacks in having the NHL’s focus group experiment come to light, followed by the proposal a day later, and now this.

Details of the offer can be found here, at NHL.com.

A few highlights:

  • Six-year Agreement with mutual option for a seventh year.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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 NHL is not proposing that current SPCs be reduced, re-written or rolled back. Instead, the NHL’s 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.
  • 2012/13 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 2012/13 season only (but in no event will Club’s Averaged Club Salary be permitted to exceed the pre-CBA Upper Limit of $70.2 Million).

I’m sure we’ll have more on this as we collectively pick this thing apart, and as more news emerges regarding negotiations. Many of these details began to come about last night when insiders like Dreger and McKenzie tweeted them, but for the league to publicly issue them and say "we believe that full public disclosure at this stage is both necessary and appropriate" is really something else.

No doubt this is a surprising and well-thought out move by Bettman and the league. They’ve buried the players in the PR battle over the last 24 hours. Hopefully the next 24 are just as interesting.