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NHL owners try to salvage full season with 50-50 proposal

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NHL owners try to salvage full season with 50-50 proposal

Can a full NHL season be salvaged?

That’s what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was thinking Tuesday morning when he pulled a surprise proposal from his pocket and offered it to the players.

NHL owners have offered players a 50-50 split in hockey-related revenue and no rollbacks on current salaries in exchange for the agreement to play a full 82-game season beginning Nov. 2.

“We hope we’ve given our best shot,” Bettman told reporters Tuesday afternoon. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr called the offer an “excellent start” and said he would present the proposal to the union membership in a 5 p.m. conference call.

Bettman’s plan would call for a full 82-game season, with each team adding one game to its schedule every five weeks. Under the old CBA, NHL players received 57 percent of hockey-related revenue.

The players’ most recent proposal allowed for that percentage to fall to 52 percent, but it was based on a 7.1 percent annual growth in league revenue. Bettman’s offer does not account for that same growth and the 50-50 split would be across the board.

While the move by the NHL owners is a significant one, it likely will not result in an immediate agreement and an end to the month-long lockout. Most players have acknowledged privately that they expected to come to a 50-50- split with the owners, but that they want it to be over the course of a six-year agreement, falling to 50 percent in smaller increments.

Fehr is likely to spend the next few hours digesting the owners’ proposal and could craft the outlines of a counter-proposal to present to the union’s 700-plus members.

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Grading the Caps' offseason moves: Letting Chimera and Latta go

Grading the Caps' offseason moves: Letting Chimera and Latta go

The quest for the Stanley Cup doesn't begin on the ice, but during the offseason as general managers build their teams for the upcoming campaign. The Caps have made a number of moves this summer to try to make their team better and get over the playoff hump.

Let's break down and grade each move the team made this offseason to help figure out whether it was the right move for the team.

Today's move: Letting go of Jason Chimera and Michael Latta

It's always sad to see players go, especially one that has been with the team as long as Jason Chimera, but knowing when to walk away is part of the business.

After some struggles in his first season with Barry Trotz, Chimera thrived in the second year, tying a career high in goals with 20. His 40 points in 2015-16 were the second-highest of his career. But at 37 years old, how much could the Caps reasonably expect to get from him next season?

Selling high seems to be a lost art in professional sports. Contracts are supposed to be based on what you believe a player will do, not what he did. Chances are Chimera, a player who's biggest asset is his speed, is not going to hit 40 points again.

RELATED: REPORT: VEGAS SEEKS PERMISSION TO SPEAK WITH CAPS' ASSISTANT GM

Let's also consider what his role would next season. After trading for Lars Eller, the Caps are set at center on all four lines. That means someone either Marcus Johansson or Andre Burakovsky is moving to the third line and bumping Chimera down to the fourth where Daniel Winnik is already set to play. Is Chimera a better fit than Winnik? You could argue that, but Winnik is already under contract and Chimera is not.

Chimera's career year would also mean paying him at least $2 million, money the team no longer had thanks to the Eller deal.

"With the trade for Eller and our RFA guys, Johansson and Orlov, we weren't going to be able get to that two range or above two range," general manager Brian MacLellan said to the media. "You get attached to Chimera, he's been a good player for us, a fun guy to have around, good personality so it's disappointing to see him go, but sometimes you've just got to move on."

The decision to walk away from Michael Latta came early in the offseason when the Caps chose not to offer him a qualifying offer thus making him a free agent.

Latta is a fourth-line player who can play center or wing. With Jay Beagle and Mike Richards playing center, Latta became primarily a wing in the 2015-16 season. He was ultimately bumped out of the lineup as Tom Wilson moved down to right wing on the fourth line and did not appear in a single playoff game in 2016.

Richards is gone, but the trade for Eller will push Beagle to fourth line center. That leaves right wing on the fourth line as the only spot for Latta. Wilson will likely move up to the third line this season, but with the signing of Brett Connolly, the Caps still don't have room for Latta in the lineup. The team could have kept him as a 13th forward to cycle in and out of the lineup, but that appears to be the role Stanislav Galiev will fill again this season.

Grade: A-

With a roster as talented as the Caps, you could tell there was going to be a cap squeeze heading into the offseason. The writing was on the wall for Latta when he did not make an appearance in the playoffs. The only thing the Caps are thinking about now is winning in the postseason and if they don't feel Latta helps them there, it makes perfect sense to move on. If Connolly can remain healthy, his upside is much higher than Latta's.

Chimera ultimately played his way out of Washington with his fantastic season. The Caps could not afford to re-sign him at a price anywhere close to what he would have gotten on the market, as his new two-year, $4.5 million deal shows.

The only thing that bumps this down from an A to an A- is losing Chimera's speed. Speed is becoming more and more valuable in the NHL, as the Pittsburgh Penguins showed, and the Caps just lost their fastest player. This was the only option, however, after the team traded for Winnik at the trade deadline. There's just not room for both. If you think Winnik's cap hit is too high for a fourth line player ($2.25 million) they would have had the exact same problem if they re-signed Chimera.

It's sad to see Chimera, a true locker room personality, and brobean Latta leave, but MacLellan didn't really have any choice.

MORE CAPITALS: WILL JOHANSSON BE TAKEN IN THE EXPANSION DRAFT?

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That time Tim Kaine hung out with MC Hammer at a Capitals game

That time Tim Kaine hung out with MC Hammer at a Capitals game

On Friday, Hillary Clinton announced that she had chosen Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia to be her running mate in the upcoming presidential election. That's a pretty big notch in Kaine's belt. But it's quite possible he achieved something of far more importance back in 2013.

Three some years ago, Kaine attended a Capitals-Jets game in April at the Verizon Center, where he appeared on the Jumbotron alongside MC Hammer. The two looked like they had a pretty good time with each other, too, judging by the fact that Hammer's throwing up the ol' double-deuces in this photo of the pair that he featured in a congratulatory tweet after hearing of Kaine's selection:

The Internet never forgets anything, ever.

RELATED: DOES MOJO'S NEW DEAL MAKE IT MORE LIKELY HE'LL END UP IN VEGAS?

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Report: Vegas seeks permission to speak with Caps' assistant GM

Report: Vegas seeks permission to speak with Caps' assistant GM

Let the plundering begin!

George McPhee was the general manager of the Washington Capitals for 17 years. While Brian MacLellan has done well in putting his own stamp on the team since taking over in 2014, there still remains a lot of people in Washington with ties to their former boss.

So when McPhee was hired to be the general manger of the expansion team in Las Vegas, it was thought that some people in the front office could soon follow him west. According to one report, McPhee may already have his sights set on the Capitals' assistant general manager.

Ross Mahoney was hired by McPhee to be the director of amateur scouting for the Caps which he did for 16 seasons before becoming assistant general manager. If you thought the team drafted well during McPhee's tenure, Mahoney is a major reason why.

The Caps are in a tricky position here. Denying employees the chance to seek other opportunities looks bad, but then again the Capitals don't want to see their entire office raided by Vegas.

It's very likely Vegas' office will end up having a familiar look to Caps' fans.

RELATED: WILL JOHANSSON BE TAKEN IN THE EXPANSION DRAFT?