| UPDATE: I just knew that there was a policy angle of interest to the RMG brood. Austrian economics can explain the NHL Lockout. Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!
Hockey fans of the world unite. The lockout is over.
The NHL reached a 10-year collective bargaining agreement with its players over the weekend.
Karl Marx is very happy. He loves hockey. Life without hockey is empty --- devoid of the barbaric impulse and ensuring bloody gratification that makes us all human.
If we are to believe that worker solidarity for all income groups should always be maintained then the NHL agreement can be a bellwether. There is no contradiction in blindly taking the union line on behalf of millionaires and billionaires. (I suspect Sen. Warren will take note appropriately).
Here is the outcome. Look for the public employees to rejoice in this bounce-back for organized labor. "Players gained a defined benefit pension plan for the first time."
In other forward moving planks, the parties agreed to the following:
• Players will receive $300 million in transition payments over three years to account for existing contracts, pushing their revenue share over 50 percent at the start of the deal.
Question of the day: What does Tim Thomas think of the CBA hammered out by the owners and players?
• Players gained a defined benefit pension plan for the first time.
• The salary cap for this season will be $70.2 million before prorating to adjust for the shortened season, and the cap will drop to $64.3 million in 2013-14 - the same amount as 2011-12. There will be a salary floor of $44 million in those years.
• Free agents will be limited to contracts of seven years (eight for those who re-sign with a team).
• Salaries within a contract may not vary by more than 35 percent year to year, and the lowest year must be at least 50 percent of the highest year.
• There were no changes to eligibility for free agency and salary arbitration.
• The threshold for teams to release players in salary arbitration will increase from $1.75 million to $3 million.
• Each team may use two buyouts to terminate contracts before the 2013-14 or 2014-15 seasons for two-thirds of the remaining guaranteed income. The buyout will be included in the players' revenue share, but not the salary cap.
• The minimum salary will remain at $525,000 this season and will rise to $750,000 by 2021-22.
• Revenue sharing will increase to $200 million annually and rise with revenue.
• An industry growth fund of $60 million will be funded by the sides over three years and be replenished as needed.