Following are the highlights of the latest proposal by the NHL Players' Association to the NHL presented at a meeting in Toronto yesterday:
- A 24% rollback on all existing contracts that would save the league $500 million (all terms US) over the next three years. For example, Islanders centre Alexei Yashin would receive $48.75 million from the $65 million left on his contract.
- A rookie salary cap that would fall from $1.2 million to $850,000, plus a limit on bonuses at $850,000. The union estimates that with changes to qualifying offers and arbitration, the league could save in excess of $400 million.
- A payroll tax that begins at $45 million with rates between 20% and 60%. The taxes would be higher for repeat offenders. It should be noted that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said yesterday that a luxury tax won't work.
- A revenue-sharing program.
- A committee to improve the game, plus a recommendation that the league commit to participating in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, and the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
- Days of lockout: 85 through yesterday.
- Days of season lost: 58.
- Total games lost: 382.
- Negotiation status: The NHL and the Players Association met yesterday for the first time since their last session in Toronto on Sept. 9 -- one week before the lockout was imposed.
with files from CP