Breaking down the NHL’s new tentative CBA

Chris Johnston, who did a great job covering the NHL lockout from beginning to end for The Canadian Press, put together a list of some of the main highlights of the tentative deal reached early Sunday morning in New York, based on information from sources, noting that the deal still needs to be ratified by the players and the league.

Below is Johnston’s list and you can follow him on Twitter (@reporterchris) by clicking here:

The CBA will run for 10 years through Sept. 15, 2022, with a mutual option to terminate the deal after eight years.

Players receive defined benefit pension plan.

Owners and players split revenue 50-50 each season, with the players receiving US$300 million in deferred “make-whole payments” to ease the transition from previous system.

A pro-rated salary cap of $70.2 million for the shortened 2012-13 season followed by a salary cap of $64.3 million — the cap is guaranteed not to drop below that number moving forward — in 2013-14. The salary floor will be set at $44 million for both years.

Seven-year limit on free-agent contracts (eight-year limit when a team signs its own player to an extension).

A maximum salary variance of 35 per cent from year to year, with no more than a 50 per cent total difference between any two seasons in the contract.

The minimum salary starts at $525,000 this season and reaches $750,000 for the 10th and final year of the agreement.

Teams can only walk away from a player in salary arbitration who is awarded at least $3.5 million.

Each team will be given the option of two “amnesty buyouts” that can be used to terminate contracts prior to the 2013-14 season or 2014-15 season. The buyouts will cost two-thirds of the remaining amount on a deal — paid evenly over twice its remaining length — and will count against the players’ overall share in revenues, but not the individual team’s salary cap.

Revenue sharing between teams increased to $200 million annually.

Any player on a one-way contract who plays in the American Hockey League with a salary in excess of the NHL’s minimum salary plus $375,000 will have the excess amount charged against his team’s salary cap.

Unrestricted free agency continues to open on July 1.

The participation of NHLers in future Olympics has yet to be determined. The decision will be made outside of the CBA.

The season will run either 48 games or 50 games and will be kept entirely within the conference. Under the 48-game scenario, teams play everyone outside their division three times and an unbalanced schedule internally, with five games against two rivals and four games against two others. The 50-game scenario is more straightforward with five games versus divisional opponents and three more against everyone else in the conference.

For the shortened 2012-13 NHL season, an April 5 trade deadline and July 5 start to free agency have been proposed. The sides have yet to formally sign off on that yet.


  1. JoaquindaPark says:

    Will someone please tell Josh Gorges that he can stop slamming the NHL anytime now. He’s already talking about how Bettman for sure will lock the players out in 8 years. He sounds like a whiner, and this behavior is not becoming of assistant captains of the CH.

    • nunacanadien says:

      Cole too, honestly, like as if the habs ever sign anyone who doesn’t have some problem associated with them. Geoff Molson, the used hockey salesman of the NHL, Montreal still the home of washed up veterans and rookies who are too small or can’t pass the puck too good team….and Bergevin the clown to orchestrate the wishes of Coors USA who owns Molson…..

      Maybe it is time Geoff Molson put his money where his mouth has been, sign real NHL players, get rid of Gomez, Bourque and a few others.

      • GoGioGo says:

        So Cole is a washed up veteran ? Tell me again, how many goals did he score last year ?

        Thank you once more for never having ANYTHING positive to mention. Really, why do you even bother posting?

        • nunacanadien says:

          What is the use of having a poison mouthed morale buster in the room, versus what, a morale boosting overpaid donkey like Gomez. Either one is poison. Time Montreal hunkered down and actually signed proven NHL players who want to play not create trouble. Why do you think Cole was an easy sign here, come to think of it, when was the last time Montreal Canadiens ever worked up a sweat to actually land a real name hockey player in Montreal?

    • DorvalTony says:

      Often the no-talents like him and Darche are the biggest union stools. I mean stooges. :poop:

      //Union fat cat$ like Eric Cole just don’t get it.//

  2. Timo says:

    So what’s the status of Markov and his knee?

    • arcosenate says:

      That’s one of a series of questions which needs to be asked, for example:

      How many packs of smokes is Price up to per day?

      What brand?

      How much does Tomas Kaberle weigh?

      Over or under 300 lbs?

      Has Markov found a Soviet era geneticist to grow him a new knee, hip and vocabulary?

      What was AK’s bar tab for the past 6 months?

      Over or under $45k?

      Has Travis Moen taken skating lessons?

      Will Scott Gomez return to Alaska and his adoptive wolf pack family help him at least double his goal output from last season?

      So many questions, this is going to be one hell of a season, even if shortened….

    • GoGioGo says:

      EDIT : This was supposed to be a reply to Nuna’s usual rant, but it showed up in the wrong place. WTF

  3. Mondou6 says:

    On the one hand, it’s good that Molson is not associated with the likes of Jeremy Jacobs, and the other goonish owners who try to ruin hockey every 5 years.

    On the other hand, big revenue owners like Montreal, Rangers, etc, need to grow a pair and get Bettman and Jacobs into line. The Habs and Rangers in particular are losing the most from the lockout, and gaining the least.

    This entire lockout seemed to be staged for the amusement of Bettman and Jacobs, with absolutely no financial benefit for anyone, especially the successful clubs like us and the Rangers.

  4. tippytoes says:

    Ok PK the lockout is over get off the freaking Sportsnet…What a attention seeker this guy is. Its always been about feeding his ego…I really hope MB trades his ass out of town…send him to LA where he can live the glamour live everyday

  5. BJ says:

    I hope Gomez does a redemption year for us. He can then be traded at the trade deadline for something of value. But also I just wish him well as he plays for us.

    • Timo says:

      You say redemption but I feel like he doesn’t need to redeem himself at all. After all he’s been nothing but great in the interviews, very good in the dressing room and overall is a very nice guy. AND, he is in the best shape of his career.

  6. Sean Bonjovi says:

    The owners caved in about ten months earlier than I expected, and now my Sea Dogs can’t trade Jonathan Huberdeau which sucks, but at least I’ll get to see my boy Mike Blunden play on TV on a more regular basis, so whatever, I guess it evens out. : )

    • twilighthours says:

      Sean, what did the owners give up, again?

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        The foregone opportunity for greater concessions from the PA. Can you imagine a world where this negotiation could ever have possibly ending with a CBA MORE favourable to the players that the one the two parties just agreed to?

        The league could have signed this deal last summer IMO, but they decided to impose a lock out with hopes of dividing the union and scoring some extra free money. I believe that at the very least the owners wanted to re-coup from the players the financial losses suffered by the owners during this lockout. What surprised me is that the NHL abandoned its hard line position before canceling the rest of this season and delaying the start of next season.

  7. Say Ash says:

    OT: Can you guys name a rushing QB that’s won a Super Bowl? Nobody comes to mind.

  8. J.J. of Turku says:

    If the season begins in the middle of january. Is the trade deadline still same as allways?

    I guess it is… (don’t click, the camera is not in use)

  9. habs001 says:

    How is the Habs payroll higher than the Flyers,Rangers,kings etc…some terrible contract decisions and talent evaluations done by the organization the last few years…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The way I see it, we have 4 questionable/bad contracts on our roster.
      Gomez – situation will rectify itself after this season, either bought out or traded.
      Kaberle – I believe he will show himself to either be tradeable or perhaps help this roster if given the correct role on team and providing our Defence Core is improved.
      Bourque – Either he shows he can earn this contract on the team this season or he too is bought out.
      Markov – If he stays injury free, I believe this contract becomes palpable, if indeed he is re-injured, then LTIR is probably the solution.
      Most of these contracts are gone after the next season, so i think long term the team will be okay, but Mr. Molson may have to write some cheques which he won’t enjoy signing.

  10. habs001 says:

    Gallagher is not a great finisher but his effort gives him so many chances that he does score goals…

    • commandant says:

      WHo is a great finisher? Most NHL forwards have a shooting percentage that career wise will always revert to the mean of between 8% and 12%.

      Guys who score lots of goals like Stamkos or Ovechkin or whoever do so because they take a high volume of shots.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  11. habs001 says:

    May be a small sample but the games i saw Diaz in the Spengler cup he was poor in his zone…

  12. Bozo McBozo says:

    I just can’t wait to watch a new season of “Gomez Lost in the O Zone.” This thing has been running almost as long as M*A*S*H!

  13. 69HABS says:

    Now I have to look @ Therrien’s ugly mug …

  14. Ian Cobb says:

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  15. frontenac1 says:

    Dump the Swiss guys and Gomez.Let the youngsters prove themselves. If they can’t or aren’t ready let Marc find someone who can get it done. Diaz and Weber? Give me a frikin break. This is the NHL amigos.

    • twilighthours says:

      Weber can shoot the puck and, although undersized, is willing to go into the corners. He probably doesnt have a place in this bad Habs team, but he belongs in the NHL somewhere.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I think both Diaz and Weber will be on the roster with the loser getting a majority of the healthy scratches.


        • twilighthours says:

          Seriously? I don’t see how the team can afford to keep / have a need for both again this year.

          But I’m mostly wrong about most things, so I guess we will see. I’d like weber to get a legitimate shot somewhere. I feel bad for that kid.

          • HabFab says:

            I think we are stuck with the players on our present roster for the time being.

          • twilighthours says:

            Agree, I guess. Which is why we will suck again.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            Its funny isn’t it because they’re almost the same player. I remember Weber’s play in the playoffs against the Pens and thought then we had ourselves a good one. He’s regressed a bit but who knows with a new coach.


    • Ian Cobb says:

      This year, everyone that is in Hamilton will finish the season in Hamilton.
      Most are at least two years away from being ready for the NHL.

      Next year there will be a competitive team in town and the year after that we will be in the top few.!

  16. B says:

    A defined benefit pension plan, wow.

    I wonder how much a guy like Gomez will get from this to help him make ends meet after his NHL career is over? Seriously though, do guys who had multiple millions in NHL salary actually get a pension when they leave the NHL?

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • 69HABS says:

      Exactly …

      Mutimillionares needing a pension. Bullshit!

    • VJ says:

      I seem to remember reading somewhere, that players who are on the roster for over 400 games get something like 10-12 thousand / year with a payout of 250,000 at 50 or 55 (I forget). This was under the old CBA, probably won’t change all that much (then again I’m assuming). The pension is a great thing for them, especially the older players who didn’t get a chance to make the millions and millions players get nowdays

  17. matt jordan says:

    I’m so excited to talk Habs hockey again.

    But no way I spend any money on these jack@sses. Not a single dollar. The thought of my hard earned dollars contributing to someone like Bettman/Gomez/Fehr over the top salaries…. nah i’d rather go on vacation.

  18. Habfan10912 says:

    Some of my former favorites have fallen from my graces. Cole with his stupid, classless, immature “puck Bettman” hat, Dave Bolland retweeting a death wish from a fan for Bettman, and Ovie with his “I’ll stay in Russia” threat. He will be the first one on a plane to return to his North American mansion. I also hope that Darche is Gomez’s replacement for the Alaska Aces. Good riddance .
    On the plus side, I hope Hamrlik has a great season and he nails Cole into the boards at some point this season. And of course Geoff Molson for showing some class during this whole mess. I hope he begins to get more influence with the league as his tenure as Canadiens owner continues.
    Needed to get that off my chest. Forgive? Sure. Forget? Nope.


    • Mattyleg says:

      I think it’s a bit silly to single out individual players for silliness when there has been such large-scale idiocy on all levels.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • twilighthours says:

        Furthermore, we elevate these guys to god status because they can shoot the puck and do charity work. Then when they speak their mind (which they are fully entitled to), we end up hating them.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Not true. I have no such beef with many players such as Gorges. He and many others advocated for his side without acting like jerks. You really can’t see the difference in the examples I cited? Seems pretty clear to me.


          • twilighthours says:

            To me, they are just men about whom I know very little. I enjoy watching them play a sport. I don’t care about their politics, opinions, or the way they carry themselves. Or, more accurately, I care about them as much as any other person I don’t know – I hope they are well, successful, and happy. That’s it.

            So I guess I have a hard time relating to your position. That’s it.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            @twilight hours. Fair enough. Yours is certainly a safer and more healthy then my grudge filled crabby attitude. Unfortunately I can’t help it.


        • HabinBurlington says:

          If making a hat that says Puck Bettman is speaking his mind, then Mr. Cole isn’t as smart as I thought he was. I would like to think he overreacted, I do like Cole but understand Habfan 10912’s point.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            Yup, when in doubt ask yourself, WWBD.

            Ka is a wheel.

            Fans Theme: “You’re Breaking my heart, You’re tearin’ it apart” – Harry Nilsson

            You’re breaking my heart

          • twilighthours says:

            This is it, burly. How well do we know any of these guys? I guess that’s my point. Why assume cole was smart to begin with? Or that he’s dumb now because he made a hat?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Just as he is allowed to speak his mind, I am also entitled to have an opinion of how I view his actions/words during the lockout. I personally think he shouldn’t have done what he did. He committed no crimes (so it isn’t end of the world), in fact another part of me wonders if he carries that same passion on the ice no wonder he has been successful.

            I just thought it lacked professionalism and didn’t help the negotiations.

          • twilighthours says:

            Never once did I say you couldn’t speak your mind. We all do that here.

            But I seriously doubt his actions hurt negotiations. This deal wasn’t getting done any sooner.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I shouldn’t have written that first line, it didn’t come out right. End of day, I didn’t think he handled himself well, just that simple.

          • twilighthours says:

            Cheers, burly

    • Cal says:

      I am hoping for a North America-wide grudge. I am hoping revenue drops to below a billion for this season and moves to 1.5 billion for 13/14. This is the only lesson these a-holes will understand.

    • SmartDog says:

      I don’t share your thoughts but I understand them.

      But for me, Geoff Molson is no hero, not in the least. Sure, he kept his composure. While the hard-liners took the wheel and made things worse for everyone. Molson sat back and did nothing. And that’s what he deserves. Or worse.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I hear you Doggie but I think Molson has no or very little clout in the Jacobs run NHL. I think it’d be a better place if Molson had more Influence but not being an insider I could be completely off base. Happened before. 🙂


      • HabinBurlington says:

        So you are aware then of what Molson did or didn’t say at Board of Governors meetings? Wow you have great connections, I have underestimated you.

    • Blondie says:

      Love the new avatar – lots of them cropping up on here today – now I won’t think of the Toronto Argonauts when I read your posts. 🙂

      As for Cole, I don’t worry too much about off-ice personalities in my favourite hockey players. It’s what they do on the ice that counts. The man plays with passion, drives the net, scores, and generally makes life difficult for the opposition. That’s ok by me.

      Although I reserve the right to change my mind if he goes on a killing spree or some such nonsense.

    • Timo says:

      Well… in all fairness very few of these players spent any considerable time at school. Even fewer have actually learned much. Their lives revolved around practice, tournaments, more practice, league games, etc. Their brains had little or no workout during any time of their lives. They are still much better off then other not so bright people but to expect that to say anything intelligent is probably a tad much.

  19. NightRyder says:

    Thank God they settled this thing in time to give us one more year of Scott Gomez in a Montreal uniform.

  20. Haborama says:

    without any further ado, my predictions for our starting roster:

    Pacioretty – Dasharnais – Cole
    Bourque/Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gionta
    Moen – Eller – Armstrong
    Prust – Dumont – White

    Subban – Georges
    Markov- Emelin
    Diaz – Boullion


    so, how accurate do you guys think this will be???

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Gomez will start. The team will have the opportunity to buy him out this summer. This will be his last kick at can in Montreal uniform to show otherwise, or more likely to try and raise trade value. Also think Kaberle gets the nod ahead of Diaz, otherwise agree. So just minor tweaking. 🙂

      • Haborama says:

        Diaz actually has the potential to be a half-decent powerplay specialist in the NHL. Kaberle is washed up and likely playing his last NHL season, he has done nothing to earn that spot.

    • Cal says:

      I don’t think MT will keep DD, Pac and Cole together. He will want to spread the scoring between the first and second lines. Kaberle will start ahead of Diaz, especially if he’s in shape.

      • Haborama says:

        Nice new avatar cal!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I mentioned before, but my buddy and I ran into Kaberle at Lionhead golf course here in GTA in early September. He looked to be in excellent shape at that time. My buddy is a huge leaf fan, and even he commented how Kaberle appeared in good shape. Of course that was a few months ago….

      • tyshow89 says:

        I think Its all on who comes to play, and from what I have heard Diaz was playing well in the Swiss league. I agree its Kaberle’s to lose, I bet Diaz takes it right from him, or someone else early on. I would also like Galchenyuk to play in Jr another year, he did basically miss all of last year, and it would be good for his confidence.

  21. Haborama says:

    Two things………

    1. Re White on the other thread: I think Ryan White has gotten a raw deal in the past two seasons with injury and the lockout, he has what it takes to be a fixture on our fourth line for many years, I have faith in the guy, let’s hope he makes the team and uses this season to prove the doubters wrong.

    2. Eller was quite impressive in the Finnish league (notorious for it’s low scoring) and has apparently bulked up to around 210, could this be the breakout year that we have been waiting for from him????

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    I wonder how happy the fans of various KHL teams are today, now that many of these teams will lose their superstars like Malkin, Ovechkin, etc… Have to believe there will be a feeling of having been used.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      In a way I think the KHL along with other European leagues played a part in extending the amount of time it took to reach an agreement. In hindsight we all should have recognized that they (the players) knew the lockout was going to be a long one when players headed overseas. I guess that’s a long winded way to say that I think they used us NHL fans as well so too bad. I know that’s not nice


    • Blondie says:

      I wonder what kind of an effect it will have on their standings. I’m sure the NHLers weren’t spread evenly throughout the league.

  23. savethepuck says:

    I just read the BOG may not meet until Wednesday to vote on the tentative CBA. I am sure it’s just a formality, but you’d think they’d be in a bit more of a hurry.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  24. habstrinifan says:

    Repost with apologies to everyone!
    Two Questions!

    OK Pick 1: Only 1:

    I will keep a list of all your picks. It will be cool to see the what happens.

    Who cracks the Habs line-up right out of ‘camp’. If no camp.. who is starts and stays longest would be the criterion. Let’s not do too muchdifferent scenarios…… just pick someone and go with it.

    St. Denis
    Your pick ——————–(if not in above group).

    Question 2:
    Who among ‘regulars’ loses spot right out of camp? Dropping from to 3rd/4th line is ‘losing spot’ for a forward or 6th 7th D for a defense. So is being traded.

    Your pick_____________.

  25. J.J. of Turku says:

    “The season will run either 48 games or 50 games and will be kept entirely within the conference…”

    I don’t get this. Why there was at Habs’s scedule with games vs. EDM and DET? All the other teams were from eastern conference. (don’t click, the camera is not in use)

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