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NHL lockout: Blackhawks' Steve Montador optimistic about new proposal

The NHL offered a new proposal to the NHLPA on Tuesday, and Chicago Blackhawks defender Steve Montador said that the offer is a start in a new direction. The proposal reportedly includes a 50-50 revenue split between the owners and the players, and some additional small concessions by the owners. The other points in the proposal are:

  • Free agency begins at 28, or after eight years of service
  • Entry-level contracts start at three years in length
  • The league retains the process of salary arbitration

According to commissioner Gary Bettman, the league's proposal is geared so that games may be able to start soon enough to squeeze in an 82-game schedule in 2012-2013. Montador, though, said that the two sides are "still a ways away from getting [a deal] done, unfortunately."

As far as the revenue split goes, the last collective bargaining agreement gave the players 57 percent, but the owners' first proposal for this agreement sought to reduce the players' share to 43 percent.