The devil, as always, is in the details. And when it comes to a labor negotiation, there are details upon details to consider. Still, there’s no denying this: the new offer the NHL submitted Tuesday to the NHL Players’ Association is the biggest step yet toward getting the NHL back on the ice.
In a long, fraught negotiation that has offered very few signs of progress, this was just short of a puff of white smoke. The NHL on Tuesday abandoned many of the more extreme proposals from its Declaration of Labor War offer earlier this summer and ended up where most people think the NHL and NHLPA will end up eventually, at a 50-50 split of revenue between players and owners.
If this works, the NHL intends to play a compressed, 82-game season beginning Nov. 1, preserving for both sides the revenue that goes with it.
Sounds good, but we’re not done yet. The players have acknowledged their share is going to decrease going forward. The issue has always been getting there.