With NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s 11:00 AM deadline to save the season fast approaching, “final” offers were made as the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association try to work out a deal.
Late Tuesday night, Bettman emailed NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow with the offer of a deal with a $42.5 million salary cap. The offer was up from the league’s previous demand for a salary cap at $40 million.
Goodenow replied with an offer for a “soft” cap at $49 million, down from the $52 million cap they had offered earlier in the week. The soft cap could be exceeded twice in six years by up to 10%.
Bettman quickly refused the offer, stating “[i]f every team spent to the $49 million level you have proposed, total player compensation would exceed what we spent last season…”
Responding to Bettman’s allegation that the players’ proposal would cost the league more than they had been spending, Goodenow pointed out that not every team would be at the cap.
“Your claim that the Clubs ‘cannot afford’ our proposal is based on your hypothetical fear of what would happen if every team spent to the $49 million level the Players have proposed. The notion that ‘every Club’ will spend at the $49 million level is contradicted by years of actual payroll experience under the old CBA system and by Exhibit 12 of your December 14 document (attached for your recollection), in which you projected 24 teams well below the $49 million level after the rollback. Further, this experience is based on an environment without revenue sharing, taxes on team payrolls and the numerous new system restrictions.”
Goodenow closed his email with “You will receive nothing further from us.”
No further communication between the two sides has been published.