NHL lockout: Your daily hockey fix for Day 109

This is Jan. 2, Day 109 of the NHL lockout, 2012-13 edition. Every day, we’ll serve up some CBA talk and help you get your hockey fix. Let’s begin, shall we?

CBA roundup

• In total, the NHL has wiped 626 games off the schedule, including the Winter Classic, which should have been played Tuesday, and All-Star weekend in Columbus.

• Wednesday represents another deadline in the labor talks, aand the players control this deadline. Remember how they voted in favor of allowing the executive board to file a disclaimer of interest?

That is the deadline for the NHLPA to file its Disclaimer of Interest in court. And, if the union sees an end to this gong show, the chances decrease, significantly, that the filing gets made. If things devolve into a Fugitive-style train wreck, well, the lawyers get even busier.

If the players don’t use the tactic they could always do it again and even if they do file a disclaimer of interest that doesn’t mean negotiations couldn’t continue through regular avenues, but it would complicate the process. Gary Bettman said on Tuesday night that the NHL wasn’t concerned about it. (CBC)

• Since it seems to change all the time, what exactly are they fighting over at the moment? David Shoalts breaks it down.

The key issues for the players are the drop in the salary cap in 2013-14, the first full season since the lockout began, and what they will lose in salary through escrow. In their latest offer, the owners called for a pro-rated $70-million (all currency U.S.) cap for whatever length this season is, with the cap dropping to $60-million in 2013-14. Both sides have already agreed to a 50-50 share of league revenue and the $60-million cap is based on the $3.3-billion in revenue the NHL earned in 2011-12, albeit split 50-50 with the players.

The year-to-year salary variance is also still an issue. Shoalts reports that if the owners would agree to a cap at $67 million instead of $60 million then they would agree to go 10 years on the length of the CBA, another lingering issue. (Globe and Mail)

• Former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent knows Donald Fehr from their time in baseball. While he wasn’t the commissioner in 1994 during baseball’s strike, Bud Selig was, he is still very familiar with Fehr. He had some interesting comments to David Pollak.

“He is a man of the left politically and temperamentally,” Vincent said of Fehr. “He’s very much convinced there is moral right on the side of the working player and that there are moral defects, if you will, on the side of the owners, the capitalists in baseball or hockey.”

At the same time, he said owners make a mistake when they dig in their heels in negotiating with players — in baseball or hockey.

“The insight that everybody comes to ultimately is that without the players there is no game,” Vincent said. “And you can fight with them only so long because you can’t get along without them. If you ever want to have a game and you’re an owner, you have to give them their way.”

Vincent also suggested the owners make the best deal they can now as the damage is serious. (San Jose Mercury News)

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