Remember that one from Deputy Commish, Bill Daly?
And how "insulted" he was by the players response back on December 6?
And how Commish Gary Bettman was "livid" after NHLPA Executive Donald Fehr went to the podium basically saying that the sides were pretty close?
Remember Daly and Bettman at the podium "disappointed beyond belief?" And how they couldn't understand where Fehr got this idea that they were "close" to a deal when "[Fehr] knew there was a major gulf between them [and the owners]?"
Do your remember all that crap? (if not, you can refresh your memory by clicking here and here. Or get a more opinionated view of the events by clicking here.)
Daly's "hill to die on" wasn't really a hill. Nor did they die on it. Maybe it was more like a sand dune and they wanted to play "king of the mountain."
Friday's offer to the players has the NHL moving from five to six years on maximum contract length and from 5% to 10% on contract variance, amongst other things.
Plus, remember that Daly pulled the $300M "make whole" agreement off the table in text to NHLPA Counsel Steve Fehr on that same night? You know, when the owners were so outraged at what Donald Fehr had done?
It's back. In it's entirety.
And, let's go way back to the early counter offer by Fehr and the players.
The original B.S. proposal by Bettman and the NHL had the players share dropping from 57% to 46%. (Tweet from Adam Proteau: "The moment the proposal was presented, every player in the room knew Gary had just written off 1st 3 months of the season." - an NHL agent.)
Fehr's counter was that the owners should fix the problems they themselves created by enhancing league-wide revenue sharing that could possibly reach as much as $250M. The latest offer has the owners increasing revenue sharing from $150M to $200M, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.
There were a lot of lunkheads and their lemming followers/owner lovers who said on numerous occasions that the players should take the offer and be happy.
There were many instances where the NHL said--or implied--that this is as far as they would go.
And there were many instances where Fehr knew they were bluffing.
Bettman said that there is a drop dead date for the season--it needs to start Jan. 19 for a 48-game season and it would seem as if they've finally gotten it through their heads that 50/50 was huge and that the players aren't willing to give much more. Take that revenue split along with a cap on contract length and variance and the owners clearly won.
But, not to the point where it was Dresden with the union totally destroyed.
In fact Fehr has done his job remarkably well, as the Hockey News', Ken Campbell writes, and has salvaged more for the players than anyone, including hardline owners, could have imagined.