NHLPA To Make "Counter Offer" Today

MONTREAL, CANADA - MARCH 15: A fan holds a sign during a protest denouncing "headshots" and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (not pictured) prior to the NHL game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre on March 15, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Technically, we might not consider this a counter offer so much as it is taking CBA negotiations in a completely new direction, but I'm still curious to see what Donald Fehr & Co. have in store for Gary Bettman and the NHL owners:

Faced with an initial proposal in collective bargaining that held absolutely no appeal, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr is proceeding as though it never happened. Rather than quibbling over the fine points of the NHL's offer, the union has chosen to reimagine the league's economic system in a proposal it will deliver on Tuesday.

My guess (and probably the guess of a lot of other folks as well) is that this means that the PA is going to propose switching to a luxury tax system instead of the hard salary cap deal they have right now. It's probably a long shot to succeed, but then, I also felt that the owners' initial proposal was unreasonable - even as an initial offer.

At this point, my sense of things is that the PA is in no hurry to get a deal done, as they feel the heat is more on the owners. As I've previously pointed out, I think the disparity in wealth between teams may become a factor that works in the PA's favour. Owners will surely want a deal in place by January, when the Winter Classic is scheduled, and NBC's TV deal is slated to start in the States.

Looking forward to seeing what the League's reaction will be.

Leafs Links:

The Leafs and neutral-zone play
Again, from Cam Charron at The Leafs Nation.

Dion Phaneuf: Miracle worker?
Eh, not quite, says Cam Charron.

Watch Morgan Rielly's Game Three assist with Russian commentary
Nice pass, no doubt. Video link from Cam Charron at The Leafs Nation.

Mark Fraser still has something to prove to Leafs’ management
Marlies' rearguard is still optimistic about landing in the NHL someday. From Kyle Cicerella.

Leafs' Prospects: Matt Finn
Curt S at Blue Chip Prospects is eager to see more of this Guelph Storm defender.

A Pre-Season Look at the Leafs' Playoff Chances
Jon Reid with his take at Rant Sports.

Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri an Example of How Tough Trading is in the NHL
I've never heard of Burke shopping Kadri, so Lukas Hardonk has chosen a funny way to make his point.

Other Hockey Links:

Max Pacioretty inks 6-year, $27 million extension with Canadiens
At $4.5M per year, it's definitely a good deal, even if his point totals taper off a little. From Sean Leahy at PD.

Avs sign Jean-Sebastien Giguere to extension
Good for Giggy. I hope he does well again this season. From the AP via the Globe.

Flyers defenceman Lilja has hip surgery
Philly's 'D' takes another hit, as Lilja isn't expected to be back until November. From the AP via the Globe.

Russia edges Canada Game 3 of junior hockey exhibition series
Andrei Sigarev scores winner in 6-5 victory to give Russia 2-1 series lead. From the CP via the Globe.

Nail Yakupov 1-on-1
TSN has an interview with Yakupov where he says that nobody was willing to dry the team's equipment or leave out food for them. Canadian hockey hospitality.

History Lessons: Leagues of the Northern Wilds
Ellen Etchingham is always worth a read.

On the reactionary nature of neutral zone entries
A player's perspective on Eric T's work. From Justin Bourne.

Confessions of a hockey blogger: my father-in-law posed in Penthouse
Justin Bourne ain't kidding, folks.

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