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NHL Lockout Watch 2012: Negotiations as of November 7

The NHL and NHLPA go into hiding with their latest bargaining session.

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Media reports confirm the NHL and NHL Players' Association met for about six hours on Tuesday, November 6, and another six hours or so the following day.

The bargaining took place at an undisclosed location, and neither side revealed details of what was discussed.

All this is taken to be an encouraging sign.

In previous negotiations, the two sides essentially agreed that overall NHL revenues should be split 50/50 between players and management.

But while the owners wanted the split to take effect immediately, the players proposed a gradual reduction that would bring them to 50 per cent in 3-to-5 years.

There were also disagreements about the math and exactly how the 50/50 numbers would be arrived at: The value of your 50 percent depends on how you define and calculate NHL revenues.

Media reports suggest the latest area of compromise is with regards to the so-called "make whole" issue.

Reducing the players' revenue share to 50 per cent (from the 57 per cent they got in 2011-12) means a lower salary cap, and many teams already carry contracts that won't fit under that cap.

To solve the problem, the NHL had proposed to cut salaries for two seasons, with those salaries "made whole" via deferred payments in future years.

The players objected to the league's "make whole" formula, arguing that the deferred payments would ultimately come from the players' share of revenue, stealing it from future players and future contracts.

Latest report say the league has compromised, and is now willing to cover such payments, or a significant portion, from the owners' side of the ledger.

There are a whole raft of other significant issues to be resolved, as outlined previously.

The league wants term limits and other new restrictions on on contracts, new rules governing unrestricted free agents, and other changes that directly impact the salary cap system. The players want the league to do more revenue sharing, possibly with a say in how it's done. The NHLPA has also proposed a revised pension plan for players.

No word yet on any of those matters. Stay tuned.

Details gathered from assorted media sources.

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