Players still facing pay cuts

Players still facing pay cuts
October 16, 2012, 9:30 pm
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Will players like Alex Ovechkin and other stars take pay cuts under a new CBA?

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

While Don Fehr and the NHL players digest Tuesday’s proposal by Gary Bettman and the league’s owners, a few details have emerged from the league’s proposal, which calls for an immediate 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue, down from its previous 57-43 split in favor of the players.

+ The proposal is reported to be for six years, with the option for a seventh.

+ The proposal would lower the salary cap from its current $70.2 million to roughly $66 million, although teams already over the cap would be allowed to carry a maximum cap of $70 million in Year 1. [The Capitals’ payroll is currently at $63.6 million.]

+ The proposal would require players to place about 11 percent of their salaries in escrow accounts. A percentage of that would be returned to the players, depending on the rate of growth in league revenue, which was at 7 percent in recent years.

+ Entry-level contracts would be shortened from three years to two.

+ Unrestricted free agency would begin after eight years of service or at age 28, up from seven years or 27.

+ Players would be eligible for salary arbitration after their fifth season instead of fourth.

+ In an attempt to discourage front-loaded contracts, future contracts would be capped at a five-year maximum and would not vary by more than 5 percent from one year to the next. In other words, a player making $10 million one season could not make less than $9.5 million the next.

+ The NHL would consider third-party arbitration on supplementary discipline, meaning a player could appeal to a third-party arbitrator to have a suspension reduced.

+ If there is an agreement within the next nine days and the season begins on Nov. 2, the existing NHL schedule would pick up at that point. In the case of the Capitals, the season would begin on Nov. 2 at home against the Bruins and the 10 games that were canceled in October would be added over the course of the next six months.