By ANTHONY SMITH
It was reported Tuesday that the National Hockey League made a new offer, the first offer in over a month, to the NHL Players Association, offering to split the hockey related revenue in half, 50/50. When the NHL made their last offer, they said the NHLPA wouldn’t receiver a better offer if they declined that one. Yet they declined it.
Now, a month later, the NHL has made a more fair offer, an offer that allows the NHL to still have a full 82 game, season starting Nov. 2.
READ: Full Text of NHL Offer
This is huge for both sides, as the offer is fair to both sides. But now, two days after the proposal, fans are more anxious than ever to get the puck dropped, while the NHLPA is still mulling over the proposal, but it is unsure of what the NHLPA thinks of it. It seems the Players Association still has many questions.
In September, I wrote an article for the Ramapo News prior to the lockout beginning, and fans were pessimistic then about how a lockout. Ramapo senior Brian Garrett thought the owners needed to give more in order for this to work.
“I think the owners need to be more generous to their players because the fans should be able to watch hockey,” Garrett said. “I believe the hockey fan base took a devastating blow when the last lockout happened. I’m sure it will happen again.”
A 50/50 split of the hockey related revenue is by far the fairest offer the NHLPA will receive from the league. Fans agree with that, and if the players association opts to decline this offer, it would be a crushing blow to fans hopes of seeing any hockey at all this season. In September, Garrett added that “professional hockey is doomed” if there isn’t an immediate solution to the lockout.
Because fans have been waiting around for any progress to be made, this offer is viewed as a huge deal. The NHLPA has not made one offer during the duration of the lockout, and it seems as if both sides have been waiting for the other to cave in. As of right now, it looks like the NHL was the first to cave. Should the NHLPA decide to decline the offer, there is no other word to describe that action other than pure greed. At this point, a 50/50 split of the more than $3.3 billion revenue is the best option for both sides, and for the NHLPA to say no to that would be ludicrous.
In that September article, Ramapo junior Brian Ooms also told me that “both sides are just greedy … they’re making millions of dollars and still aren’t satisfied.”
If we see the greed continue, there is almost no way around a repeat of the 2004-05 lockout, which canceled the entire 82 game season. I don’t see any way that the season will be played at all if this offer is not flat out declined. If the NHLPA reviews the offer and has a counter-proposal, at least the two sides have a basis to negotiate now. But if the NHLPA simply says “No,” I really think we will not see any hockey this season.