After meeting for the day in Toronto, Donald Fehr of the NHLPA came and sounded an optimistic tune regarding the negotiations on a new labor contract. According to Fehr, the following were discussed and agreement reached:
- 50-50 split of revenues between owners and players
- deferred salary plan that players would receive all the money in their existing contracts. A 7% drop in their share of total Hockey Related Revenue (HHR) is 231 million dollars.
- unrestricted free agency at age 28 or after eight years of service
- entry-level contracts at three years of length
- a full 82-game regular season Nov. 2.
The progress was made after the league provided their own proposal to the NHL Players’ Association instead of waiting for the NHLPA to tender an offer. Donald Fehr, the NHLPA’s executive director, reviewed the NHL’s proposal, met with numerous players and then said this, “I would like to believe that it will be an excellent starting point and we can go forward and see if there is a deal to be made.”
“If we didn’t do it now, if we didn’t put an offer on the table that we thought was fair and could get us playing hockey … then it probably wasn’t going to happen for a while,” said Bettman. “It’s done in the spirit of getting a full season in.”