Daniel Alfredsson, a well-respected, 16-year veteran of the NHL, said of the current NHL bargaining: “Like everybody else, I’m disappointed that the owners chose to have this tactic from the very beginning. They chose to give a lowball offer from the get-go. It was kind of clear what they wanted and I don’t see anything changing anytime soon.”
Someone must have taken note of his comments because earlier this morning the NHL submitted a new offer for the bargaining table. The proposal is a 6-year contract that includes a 50/50 split in revenue sharing between the owners and players and an 82 game schedule that would start in the first week of November. This is considered a gigantic step in the right direction.
Up until this point, it had appeared as though the owners were never going to budge from whatever numbers they were seeking to obtain in terms of revenue sharing. The NHLPA, led by Donald Fehr, made multiple large concessions without seeing any reciprocation from the owner’s association.
This change of heart may have been due to the 2013 Winter Classic being held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The biggest and most profitable idea that the NHL has ever come up, the outdoor Winter Classic games are huge revenue generators and the thought of missing one of these may be too much for the NHL to handle. They would certainly do well this year because the competing teams, the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, hail from two hockey-crazed cities.
While nothing is set in stone, this proposal – and the NHL’s newfound ability to compromise and play nice – certainly makes seeing our favorite NHL stars return to the ice sooner rather than later more possible.