CBA talks continue in New York with key issues still to be worked out
With what is presumed a Jan. 11 deadline in which to get a deal done so games can begin by Jan. 19, talks between the NHL and its locked-out players on a new collective bargaining agreement were set to resume Thursday in New York after Wednesday night's intense session went past midnight.
Here are some of the key issues:
* Salary cap: The league wants a $60 million cap in 2013-14 (down from $70.2 million this season). Players have proposed $65 million.
* Player pension: Are the players or league responsible to make up any shortfalls in funding?
* Compliance buyouts: The league would allow two player buyouts prior to the 2013-14 season (up from one), Canada's TSN reported, but the buyouts, while not counting against the salary cap, would count against the players' share of revenue. The players want the money outside the system.
* Contract lengths: The league has increased its proposal to six years from five, though teams could resign their own free agents for up to seven years. Players have proposed an eight-year limit, though would prefer no limits at all.
*Salary variance: The Toronto Star reported the league could go as high as 20 percent on year-to-year salary variance within contracts. The league originally proposed five percent to help stop back-diving contracts. Players have proposed a 25 percent high-low range within a contract.
One positive is the Players' Association, according to what commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters in New York, did not file a disclaimer of interest that would have effectively dissolved the union by Wednesday's 11:59 p.m. deadline. Players could still use that weapon, which would allow them to sue the league under anti-trust laws, but players would first have to hold another authorization vote. Had the disclaimer been filed, certainly negotiations would have taken serious steps backward.