How bad are things getting? Glenn Healy is the most sensible guy in the room.
On Wednesday's edition of Hockey Night in Canada Radio
, Healy made the kind of suggestion that could crack the massive foundation between the NHL and NHLPA. The 14-year goalie, who later worked for the union, floated the idea of the league creating some kind of annuity for the players out of any money lost from contracts already signed.
At the beginning of this now-insane process, the NHLPA's major issue was revenue sharing. Now, it's preserving previously awarded deals. The NHL's Prime Directive is to get the percentage split down to 50/50, which, on its surface, is completely incompatible with the players' goals.
If both sides are actually interested in negotiating, there needs to be some creative thinking.
Let's say, for argument's sake, the players accept a deal that means they lose 20 per cent on escrow. Glenn's idea was to reimburse them with an annuity they are eligible to collect at age 65.
Now, there are lots of ways to tinker with this idea. Maybe they can get it at 50. Maybe they can get it when they retire. Maybe at their son's Bar Mitzvah, whatever. And, if the NHL says, "Well, their escrow rate was eight per cent last season with record revenues, so we shouldn't necessarily have to cover all of it," both sides could create a system where owners could be protected below a certain percentage.
Just an idea, because this process is lacking ideas right now.
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