I don't feel like this article hits the mark. I think the players are comfortable with a 50/50 split but have the following issues:
* owners made promises (contracts) and should keep them
* a 50/50 HRR split in theory has nothing to do with contract limits (lengths and escalators). The problem is some of these contracts in reality 'create money' by circumventing the cap (especially assuming the player retires before the contract ends). The players are not responsible for the owner's actions.
* owners willingly purchased franchises. If the blues really didn't turn a profit since inception, purchasers should very well know it.
* on a whole, the NHL has returned profits to owners at a rate close to the dow (stock market). Some nfl teams and many nba teams "lose" money. While each team should have the ability to profit, expectations should be realistic on what that profit percentage should be. Anyone expecting the average team to make 10%+ on profit each year is being unreasonable
* overall nhl franchise values have risen very well (beating the dow since 2005). Given that OWNERSHIP is more about asset appreciation (as opposed to employment will annual salary), nhl teams, on averave, fair quite well.
* players didn't pick the location of franchises. It was bettman's experiment to expand to arizona, back to atlanta and into columbus.
Does the system need to be tweaked to help all (or at least most given the current locations) profit? Definitely! Are NHL teams drowning so much it warrants "hill we die on" talk-- I don't see it. The owners also had their chance in the prior lockout and I think it is understandable why players don't want to hear, "when we steam rolled you guys last time...we didn't do it hard enough".
There is something to be said for having your shot and then missing it. If the owner's felt like they should have gotten more last time then boo-hoo if they messed up. If it is a case where they are redefining now what is acceptable (based on changes in nfl and nba labor agreements since then), well- it is then very easy to understand why the PA doesn't want to give in (as it could continue to happen) and why they hired fehr...the mirror image to bettman.
Just agree on 50/50 as an end goal and agree on a realistic transition to this. That and owners, who now cry about their businesses failing, need to run their teams like a business.