NHL lockout 2012: League only willing to negotiate off last offer

Bruce Bennett

The NHL owners are reportedly looking to end the lockout imminently, but want to negotiate off their last proposal to the union.

According to a report by TSN's Darren Dreger, the NHL is willing to further negotiate with the NHLPA to end the lockout, but only if the two sides work off the league's proposal from Oct. 16. Dreger also says that the league wants a potential next meeting with the players to be an endpoint for the current lockout.

That last point signals that the league views its last offer as very serious, and it did include aspects that slid towards the players' wishes. Most notably, the league has offered a 50/50 revenue split, which is down from the 57 percent that the players currently command, but up from previous league offers, which were in the 40 percent range. That revenue proposal did not come attached with a rollback in the face value of player contracts.

The league's offer, though, also lowers the salary cap and asks that player contracts be capped at a maximum of five years, two things which likely won't sit well with the players. The NHLPA, in response to that offer, sent a counterproposal back to the league, one which includes a revenue split that would tilt in favor of the players while gradually decreasing to 50/50 over time.

The league recently cancelled all games through Nov. 1, though it is believed that the owners are still looking to squeeze in an 82-game season.

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