THE MORNING SKATE — Okposo Sounds Off, Revenue Sharing and More

Negotiations between the League and the Players took two steps forward and three steps back on Thursday afternoon. The owners offered their own proposal on Tuesday with the famed ’50/50 split’ of revenues, which the Union responded to yesterday. The Union offered up three different proposals of their own and showed a willingness to go for the 50/50 split but only if all of the current contracts were honored (coming to top of mind are Ryan Suter and Zach Parise’s mega-deals from earlier this year). And that’s where we hit another snag.

The day ended with quotes such as “today is not a good day,” from Union leader Don Fehr and “I don’t know what the next step is,” from commissioner Gary Bettman. And we’re back to the drawing board.

After this, many players sounded off on Twitter, including the Islanders own Kyle Okposo:

We ask for 50/50 split and to honor existing contracts and Gary says we aren’t in the same ball park yet they claim in their proposal a…

50/50 split and no rollback…….

Sounds like a similar ballpark to me. Everyone who says we are selfish might want to take a hard look at the owners last proposal.

Saying everything I have, I love our fans and apologize for the situation we are in. Tomorrow is a new day! #smile!

ISLANDERS ELIGIBLE FOR REVENUE SHARING?

This is a few days old but I’ve yet to touch on it so I wanted to make sure it gets a mention. The owner’s latest proposal from earlier in the week had a good bit of news for the Islanders:

All Clubs in the NHL except the top 10 Revenue Grossing Clubs will now be eligible for Revenue Sharing, including Clubs in large media markets who were previously ineligible (such as Anaheim, New Jersey and the New York Islanders, among others).

As the system currently is, teams that are hurting financially like the Islanders and Devils are ineligible for any revenue sharing due to their close proximity to New York City. To see this finally, possibly, get fixed is excellent news for the Islanders franchise.

Now this is just from a proposal of course, so it may not make it to the final version, but the fact that this is on the table is great news. I’d be willing to bet that revenue sharing — and specifically sharing with a few teams that don’t currently recieve it — isn’t something the Union would be staunchly against. I get the feeling that this is something that would likely be in a final agreement. The serious question is, of course, to what extent?

There were a few other items in the League’s proposal that, if in the final agreement, would have a serious effect on the Isles.

  • A proposed cap range of $59.9- $43.9 million
  • Players can no longer be buried in the AHL (good for small markets like the Isles, bad for the Rangers with players like Wade Redden).
  • Cap requirements can no longer be satisfied with performance bonuses. Say goodbye to keeping players around simply for their performance bonuses.

SOUND TIGERS LOOK TO GO 3-0

The Sound Tigers are in action tomorrow in Pennsylvania against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. There’s not a whole lot of news coming from Bridgeport at the moment, as things have really been pretty quiet. Casey Cizikas missed a day due to illness but appears ready to go and Jason Clark had a lateness issue, both per Fornabaio.

KINGS MEN PODCAST

Yesterday I was on the Kings Men Podcast, an LA Kings podcast with long-time blogger buddy The Royal Half. They’re going around the league and chatting with a fan/blogger/other from every team (that’s one way to keep busy during the lockout). It was a quick little thing with some, uh, tough questions and some generic ones but it was a fun time. It’s an easy listen – only 8 minutes long – and you can check it out here.