As is the typical course of labor negotiations, after one side made an offer, the there has been a counter offer, in this case from the NHL Players Association. In this case, the proposal was savvy for a few reasons.
First, the highlights of the deal are twofold. They are willing to give back some revenue to the league which could range from 500-800 million dollars. Additionally, they proposed up to 250million in revenue sharing. So why would I say this deal proposal is savvy?
1) The players have come out immediately with a concession on one of the most contentious sticking points. After the League proposed an almost ludicrous deal, unwavering, the Players look much better by comparison almost immediately. From this point forward, the casual observer will also recognize that this is about the League and not the Players, who just want to play.
2) While overall revenue would stay with the league, the redistribution of profits to teams in a weaker economic situation, the market for veteran players remains strong, because more teams will be able to bid for their services. Even if the League wins out on term limits for contracts, veterans will still be able to take advantage of a strident market for their services.
3) The Players took their time to make a considerate offer. They didn’t come in with a proposal as sharply opposed to the League’s as possible. They are willing to make concessions and negotiate. They want to play hockey. If that’s not the best reason to appreciate the proposal, I don’t know what is.