NHL and Players Union Set Salary Cap at $70.2M
New York, NY
Before starting negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, the National Hockey League and the players union announced an increase in salary cap to $70.2 million.
The figure is $5.9 million higher than the 2011 cap of $64.3 million and a large increase the $39 million salary limit in 2005, when the salary cap was first implemented after a season-long lockout.
The cap provides for a lower limit of $54.2 million, an adjusted midpoint of $62.2 million and an upper limit of $70.2 million.
"Since 2004, if revenues were flat, we're likely having different discussions today," National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) executive director Donald Fehr, who also led the baseball union for decades.
From a pre-lockout amount of $2 billion, NHL revenues have grown to more than $3.1 billion. The league signed a 10-year extension with NBC last season.
The two sides will start talks Friday in New York for a new agreement as the old deal is set to expire on Sept. 15.
The NHL is trying to avoid the labor debacle suffered by the NBA this season and the NFL last year.
The NBA played an abbreviated season after a five-month dispute resulted to a lockout until late December. The NFL also endured a lockout that shortened training camp last year.
A potential roadblock in the negotiations could be the division of revenue as NHL team owners may seek to reduce the players share from 57 percent to around 50 percent, the same as the NBA and NFL.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is hoping that a new collective bargaining deal could be reached as soon as possible.
"My hope is that we get together, and that collective bargaining be painless and quick. That would serve everybody's best interest," Bettman said.
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