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Media reports: NHL makes offer to union as labour negotiations begin

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman talks on the phone at the NHL's 2011 Research and Development Camp in Toronto Wednesday, August 17, 2011.

Darren Calabrese/The Globe and Mail

The NHL has made the first move in labour negotiations with its union.

Two media outlets reported Friday night that the league has made an initial offer to the NHL Players' Association with several major changes to the current collective bargaining agreement.

RDS.ca posted details of the proposal, including a reduction of players' hockey-related revenues from 57 per cent to 46 per cent.

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Renaud Lavoie, a journalist with RDS, also reports that players would need to wait 10 seasons before becoming unrestricted free agents and that contracts would be limited to a maximum of five years.

The RDS story also says that the NHL's proposal would bring an end to salary arbitration and that entry-level contracts would be five years instead of three as they are under the current CBA.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post also tweeted that the NHL's proposal would eliminate signing bonuses on future contracts and mandate that all future deals have an equal value for every year of the contract.

"NHL proposal amounts to Declaration of War against NHLPA," added Brooks in a separate tweet.

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