While the NHL and its players argue over the finer points of the league’s most recent and likely final offer, it’s worth noting some of the changes that are being proposed under the new CBA:
Playoff payoffs: The Stanley Cup playoff pool would be doubled, jumping from $6.5 million to $13 million this spring. Those bonuses would increase throughout the term of the CBA.
Third-party discipline: Players who don’t agree with rulings by Brendan Shanahan would have the right to appeal supplementary discipline to a third part for both on-ice and off-ice transgressions.
Weighted draft lottery: Whether they finish 9th in the conference or 15th, non-playoff teams would have the chance to pick first overall in the NHL draft with a weighted lottery.
Emergency recalls: The NHL would allow salary cap exceptions when a team is ravaged by injuries or loses a goaltender to injury.
Kicking the tires: General managers would be permitted an “interview period” before signing a free agent, allowing GMs to avoid blind bidding against one another while allowing players time to weigh contract offers from multiple teams.
More perks: More liberal cap treatment standards would allow teams to pay for “parent-son” road trips, milestone awards and gifts, parental travel and lodging for entry-level players in their first three NHL seasons.
More days off: Yep, the owners have agreed to give players mandatory days off during training camps [beginning next season, of course] and during the regular season. Can’t wait to see how coaches handle that one.
Christmas vacations: Owners have also granted players mandatory days off for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Dec. 26.
School for rookies: An annual orientation and development program will be installed for all NHL rookies.
Health and safety: Players would be granted broader rights to second medical opinions and a Health and Safety committee will be formed with equal representation from players and team management. The two sides would also enforce minimum standard for protective equipment. Could that finally include mandatory eye shields, a measure long overdue? And there would be more frequent unannounced testing for performance enhancing drugs.
Social media: Want to find a player’s website or Twitter information? The players would be granted access to the NHL.com platform for their individual social media.