It is unclear just how much dialogue might take place between the NHL and NHLPA prior to September 15th, now that both sides have planted their flags with their initial proposals. I'm sure both Fehr and Bettman would like to use their plan as the basis for further negotiation; we'll see how that goes. Maybe we'll see some sort of hybrid if a deal gets done by October? Something along the lines of no rollback, no change to HRR definition, 54% of revenue to the players in year one with that cap number fixed afterwards until such time as 51% of HRR would result in a higher cap number?
I'm not really expecting to see a deal prior to September 15th, but I have been wondering if there might be a way to play out the 2012/13 season while negotiations continue. The two sides are really only arguing about the money sandwiched between the owners proposal of ~43% (with current HRR definition) and the 57% the players are willing to play for. So, why not lock that 14% of revenue into an escrow account, to be distributed once a deal is made? Keep negotiating throughout the season and actually play the games. In this theoretical agreement**, the teams would continue to pay all the salary currently due to their players, but only ~75% of it would actually go the players - the remainder going into the newly created escrow account, to be dealt with upon the creation of a new CBA.