LOS ANGELES (AP) - The NHL and its players' association reached a tentative deal on a new collective bargaining agreement that, if finalized, would end a lengthy lockout, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
The Canadian Press has been reporting that a deal was imminent slowed becasue the actual process of drafting the long and complicated document is slow and laborious.
The Times, citing anonymous sources close to the negotiations, said the agreement will feature a hard salary cap linked to 54 per cent of league revenue, a 24 per cent rollback of existing contracts and qualifying offers.
It will also include a provision that will limit the salary of any player to 20 per cent of the team cap figure in any season.
The salary cap will be $37 million and won't include medical and dental benefits and pension payments, the Times reported.
Details will be presented to the NHL executive committee in New York on Monday, the newspaper said, and players will meet to decide whether to approve the deal.
Under the new agreement, the league's All-Star game will be dropped next season and players will be allowed to represent their home countries at the Turin Olympics next February, the Times said. Each team will also have an equal chance in the lottery for the No. 1 pick in this year's entry draft.
The new deal includes a provision under which 15 per cent of each player's paycheck will go into an escrow account until revenue is calculated after each season, the paper said. If league spending on salaries exceeds 54 per cent of revenue, the difference between the salaries paid and the negotiated percentage will be paid to teams from the escrow account. If teams spend less than 54 per cent, the escrow money will revert to players.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman cancelled the hockey season Feb. 16 because of the lockout, which started Sept. 16. The NHL became the first major pro sports league in North America to lose an entire season to a labour dispute.
-referenced from www.sportsnet.ca