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NLL: Introducing your new CBA

With the season slated to start in December, a new CBA was signed last week

The NLL CBA was signed October 22nd, 2013.   It is a 7 year deal that will take effect in the 2014 season and last until 2020.

On the NLL side, the CBA was negotiated by commissioner George Daniel, VP of lacrosse operations, Brian Lemon, Steve Govett (Chairman of the NLL board of governors and president of the Colorado Mammoth) as well as the player relations committee made up of Dave Zygaj (Buffalo Bandits Governor), John Arlotta (Minnesota Swarm Co-owner), Brad Brewster (Philadelphia Wings part owner), Mike Board (Calgary Roughnecks GM), and Doug Locker (Vancouver Stealth president) plus lawyers.

Representing the players were PLPA president Peter Schmitz, executive director, Dave Succamore, PLPA treasurer, Gee Nash, and PLPA secretary John Rosa.  Player reps involved were Chris Corbell (Edmonton Rush), Mike Poulin (Calgary Roughnecks), Gavin Prout (Colorado Mammoth), Mac Allen (Colorado Mammoth), Dan Dawson (Rochester Knighthawks), Garrett Billings (Toronto Rock), Kevin Ross (Philadelphia Wings), Curtis Hodgson (Vancouver Stealth), Derek Suddons (Buffalo Bandits), Luke Wiles (Buffalo Bandits), and Andrew Suitor (Minnesota Swarm), plus lawyers.

Highlights from the new CBA are as follows:

Minnesota will be moving to the Eastern Division starting in the 2014 season.

Player rosters are being reduced from 23 players down to 20, and only 18 players will dress per game.

The practice roster will go from three players up to four players.

The free agency age will be decreased from 32 down to 30.

A veteran player who is 34 or older will be able to reject Franchise Player designation and enter free agency.   When a team designates a Franchise Player, they retain the rights to an unrestricted free 3agent for that season.  There is presently a maximum of 2 Franchise player designees, but it will be decreasing to 1 in 2015.

The salary cap will be 400,000$ with luxury tax payments.   The tax begins at 25% above the 400,000$ and goes to 100% when it exceeds 475,000$.  Money from the luxury tax will be redistributed to teams that are below the threshold.

Salaries are remaining at their current levels for the first two years.   Rookie salary remains 9,207$.   Veteran maximum stays at 27,177$, and franchise player salary remains at 33,971$.   In 2015, 2nd year players will have salaries between 11,000$-15,000$ and will no longer be considered veterans.   There will be a cost of living increase of 3.5% in 2016.

For the playoffs, 3 teams instead of 4 from each division will make the playoffs.

The playoffs will be expanded so that the conference finals and Champions Cup are all a 2 game series with a 10 minute mini game if the two games are split to determine the winner.

Each team will get a home game in the playoffs.   Lower seeded team hosts game 1, and the higher seeded team hosts game 2 and the 10 minute mini game, if needed.

And finally, in what has been the most controversial (and something I will be writing about later), the season has been extended from 16 games to 18 games, running through the end of December through the end of April for the regular season, and then playoffs in May.

Some dates to keep in mind:

Today (October 30) marks the beginning of Free Agency signing.

November 8-December 22 2013 is training camp period

December 8, 2012 Swarm @ Knighthawks preseason game in Rochester, NY

December 28 2012 NLL season starts

January 19, 2013 Swarm home opener