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League offers comprehensive CBA proposal to Union

by Dan Rosen

The National Hockey League submitted a new comprehensive proposal for a Collective Bargaining Agreement to the National Hockey League Players' Association on Thursday and is awaiting a response from the Union.

Representatives from the League and the Union discussed the proposal during a series of conference calls Saturday. The sides are expected to meet face-to-face Sunday.

"In light of media reports this morning, I can confirm that we delivered to the Union a new, comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA late [Thursday] afternoon," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement Friday afternoon. "We are not prepared to discuss the details of our proposal at this time. We are hopeful that once the Union's staff and negotiating committee have had an opportunity to thoroughly review and consider our new proposal, they will share it with the players. We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible."

The League's new offer is reportedly contingent on a 2013 regular season at least 48 games in length starting no later than Jan. 19.

The NHL and NHLPA have been without a CBA since Sept. 16 and the original 2012-13 schedule has been cancelled through Jan. 14.

While the League appears to have stuck to some of the terms from the offer it submitted to the NHLPA earlier this month -- including the proposal for a 10-year CBA with a mutual option to reopen negotiations after eight years -- there are numerous reports that the NHL moved on three key issues: contract length, compliance buyouts, and annual-salary variance.

According to those reports, the NHL is now offering to have contract lengths be capped at a maximum of six years (seven for teams who sign their own free agent provided that player has been on the team for the equivalent of one full season). The League previously proposed a five-year maximum term.

The new offer also reportedly includes a provision that would allow teams to have the ability for a one-time compliance buyout prior to the start of 2013-14 season. This option was not included in any of the NHL's previous proposals. Reports say the buyout would not count against the salary cap of the team initiating the buyout, but a portion of the buyout would be factored into the formula that determines the players' share of hockey-related revenue (HRR).

According to the reports, the NHL also increased the percentage that a players' annual salary can vary year-to-year to 10 percent, up from the 5 percent in earlier proposals.

The League is also proposing to preserve the terms of salary arbitration, free agency, HRR accounting and definitions, as well as the entry-level system from the previous CBA, according to the reports.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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