The NHLPA isn't thrilled with the NHL's latest CBA proposal, according to a letter executive director Don Fehr sent to his union membership on Tuesday. Excerpts of the letter were published by TSN. Fehr noted that while the league's "proposal does represent movement from their last negotiating position," it's still asking far too much of the players.
"Simply put, the owners' new proposal, while not quite as Draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights," Fehr wrote. "The proposal does represent movement from their last negotiating position, but still represents very large, immediate and continuing concessions by players to owners, in salary and benefits (the Players' Share) and in individual player contracting rules."
Fehr went on to note the union's view that the NHL wants to "clarify" the definition of hockey-related revenue, stoking fear that this would effectively lower salaries. The NHL, meanwhile, said in a statement that they "do not believe any of our proposed clarifications should have any impact either on the amount of the Players' Share of the amount that any individual Player is entitled to receive."
Fehr also raised concern with the NHL's so-called "Make Whole" provision, which has been put in place to compensate players for money lost in the next two seasons as their share of revenue drops from 57 percent to 50 percent.
"It is players paying players, not owners paying players," Fehr wrote. "That is, players are 'made whole' for reduced salaries in one year by reducing their salaries in later years."
Union leadership doubled down on the idea that players shouldn't have to give up money based on their concessions in the 2005 CBA and the record revenues the league has seen over the last seven years. Fehr wrote that the focus should be on revenue sharing, and that the NHLPA is "willing to take a reduced share going forward so that the NHL can grow out of whatever problems some franchises face."