Posts Tagged NHL Free Agency

Free Agency moving from July 1st … Other common ground found, closer on some issues

  • Kevin McGran via twitter: It’s looking like NHL free agency will be changing dates. The Star has learned that Free Agent Frenzy day is moving from July 1st to mid to late June.

    Gary Bettman has acknowledged that the NHL have agreed to 13 of 17 player issues, with moving the free agent as one of them.

    “Right now, nothing is agreed on because we won’t agree to anything until we get a deal on core economics,” said one insider familiar with the NHL’s positions. “But this is stuff where we said, ‘Okay, we’ll go there.’ ”

    Both sides have found some common ground on some issues, and the NHL has backed off some of their hardline positions.

    They have more or less found common ground on:

      Change the free agent calendar, meaning the market would open on June 15 or 48 hours after the awarding of the Stanley Cup — the players want whichever is later — instead of July 1. Arbitration dates may change as well.

     Allow cap space to be included in transactions, to encourage trades and get teams out from under heavy contracts.

     A joint health committee.

     Eliminate re-entry waivers.

     A neutral, third-party arbitrator to deal with appeals for on- and off-ice discipline.

     Minimum roster requirements to avoid situations where teams dress fewer than 18 players to save salary cap room.

    They are getting closer on:

     • Entry-level contracts. The league still wants two-year limits. A club option on a third year is a sticking point.

     AHL salaries. The league is offering to count only those that exceed the NHL minimum ($525,000) against a team’s cap. The NHL had wanted the number closer to $95,000. The victory for the PA here is that AHL players won’t have their salaries count against the players’ share of hockey-related revenue. Accounting would be limited to players in the NHL.

     Unrestricted free agency. The league is offering freedom after eight years of service or age 28, after asking for 10 years. This year, players could become free agents after seven years of service, or age 27.

     Maintaining salary arbitration, but with eligibility pushed back to a player’s fifth season. The players are asking for arbitration after four years. The NHL initially wanted it abolished.

    The sticky points that remain are: 50/50, revenue sharing, contract restraints and lockout damage.

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