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Major Points of the New CBA


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Major Points of the New CBA

by Alan Bass

Below is a summary of major (and interesting) changes to the rules of the league.


• The share of Hockey Related Revenue (whose definition remains the same) is 50-50

• Each club will get two buyouts that will not be charged against the salary cap, applicable only during the regular “buyout” period in the offseason. The amount paid for the buyout will continue to count against the players’ share of revenue.

o Players that are bought out by a team cannot be reacquired by that team until after the 2014-15 season.

• Payroll range for 2012-13 will be $44 million floor, $60 million salary cap.

o Upper Limit is $70.2 million including bonuses, tagging, and retained salary transactions.

• Payroll range for 2013-14 is $44 million floor, $64.3 million salary cap.

• Salary floor/lower limit will now be calculated as 15% less than the adjusted midpoint (previously was $15 million less than the upper limit).

• Teams may now retain a percentage of a player’s SPC (standard player contract) in a trade, up to 50% of the average annual value. A club may only have three such SPCs on its cap for any given year, as long as the accumulated total is not more than 15% of the upper limit (e.g. $10.53 million in Year 1).

o A player’s SPC may only be subject to a retained salary transaction two times.

• A club may not walk away from a salary arbitration award if it is less than $3.5 million.

• Unrestricted free agents will be allowed to meet with potential new clubs from the day after the Entry Draft until June 30

• Re-entry waivers are eliminated.

• The NHLPA does not have to guarantee any overage for Escrow, in the event that the money in the Escrow account is insufficient to repay the NHL. In these cases, the Escrow amount will be deducted from the following year’s players’ share.

• Minimum salary is $525,000 in 2012-13; $550,000 in 2013-14 and 2014-15; $575,000 in 2015-16 and 2016-17; $650,000 in 2017-18 and 2018-19; $700,000 in 2019-20 and 2020-21; and $750,000 in 2021-22.


• Maximum contract length is seven years; eight years if a team re-signs its own player

• The year-to-year variability in AAV cannot be more than 35%. For example, if a players earns $10 million in Year one, the salary can never increase or decrease more than $3.5 million over the course of the deal.

• The SPC’s lowest compensated year cannot be less than 50% of the highest year’s compensation. For example, if a players earns $12 million in any year of the contract, he can never earn less than $6 million over the course of the deal.


• NHL will use 6.055 percent of HRR for revenue sharing pool.

• 50% of the revenue sharing pool will be raised from the Top 10 revenue grossing clubs.

o The remaining 50% will be raised from centrally generated League revenues and a 35% flat tax on every club’s playoff gate receipts.

• A Revenue Sharing Oversight Committee (made up of NHLPA and NHL members) will approve distributions to any club within 15% of their entitlement (according to the revenue sharing formula).

• Any club that does not generate regular season gate revenues totaling at least 75% of the league-wide average is subject to league oversight, and possible financial assistance.


• Separate on-ice and off-ice discipline processes.

• First appeal of discipline (possible for all decisions) goes to Commissioner; second appeal (only possible for suspensions of six games or more) goes to neutral third party.


• Increased health and safety protocols and regulations for players

• Extension of intermission from 17 to 18 minutes, and decrease of intermission on-ice activities from five minutes to four minutes.

• All non-playoff clubs will participate in the draft lottery with the ability to gain the #1 spot.

The last statement is interesting......all non playoff clubs will have a chance to gain the #1 spot. I'll assume there is a greater chance for the teams who finish next to the bottom to win the lottery.

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I kind of like that everyone out of the playoffs has a shot at #1, it'll stop the Ottawas, Pittsburghs and Edmontons from stockpiling first overalls. But I'd hate to see a perennial playoff team miss by one point and get a generational talent.

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