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CBA Negotiations: We are getting close to the edge of darkness, yet we are not scared


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#1851 MiracleOfO2704


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:51 PM

I think the thing that has to come back on the table to even allow any hope of a negotiation is the Make Whole. Without that, there'll be a de facto rollback on existing contracts, and to put it mildly, the PA has shown that current contracts are a hill they're very willing to die on.

#1852 cshea


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:29 PM

They will die on that hill. And the NHL will put it back on the table. After every single session, Gary has proclaimed this is the best offer they have, and that it'll only get worse from there. Then they get back together, and the NHL's offer will improve. Around and around they go. The PA will have to give in on something to get back to the table, but once they're there the make whole will be back in the table.

My guess is when it is all said and done, the PA will agree to the NHL's demand for the 10/8 CBA length, as well as the compliance rules. Then they meet in the middle on contract term limits, and we drop the puck.

#1853 Nomar813


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:43 PM

Bob Beers was on the radio this weekend and said that the owners conceded to the players around "pension issues", I don't know what the specifics are but that's something!

The pension was to come out of the players' share anyway, so it's still pretty much a cool nothing offered from the owners' side.

#1854 cshea


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:59 PM

Sounds like they're planning the next merry-go-round of negotiations. Gary is booting out the owners, but apparently will allow the PA to bring players along. No Jacobs though, so we've got that going for us.

I think this may be the end game, but we will see.

Edit: The meeting planning is humorous. After each failed session, they retreat in their corners and take a day off. Then another 2-3 days trying to figure out the parameters of the next meeting. Where, when, who's allowed in, etc. if they spent the same amount of time negotiating as they did planning meetings, we'd probably be playing hockey now.

Edited by cshea, 10 December 2012 - 04:04 PM.


#1855 MoGator71


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:57 PM

Sounds like they're planning the next merry-go-round of negotiations. Gary is booting out the owners, but apparently will allow the PA to bring players along. No Jacobs though, so we've got that going for us.

I think this may be the end game, but we will see.

Edit: The meeting planning is humorous. After each failed session, they retreat in their corners and take a day off. Then another 2-3 days trying to figure out the parameters of the next meeting. Where, when, who's allowed in, etc. if they spent the same amount of time negotiating as they did planning meetings, we'd probably be playing hockey now.


If I didn't love hockey so much that I'm irrationally pissed at everyone I'd have to laugh at both sides.

#1856 steveluck7

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:15 PM

If I didn't love hockey so much that I'm irrationally pissed at everyone I'd have to laugh at both sides.

That's basically where I am. I still get really excited and subsequently frustrated during this process. Contrast that the the NBA negotiations last year. I was incredibly apathetic and haven't watched a game since they returned.

#1857 cshea


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:47 PM

They are trying to meet on Wednesday. The mediators may be brought back in, as the PA wanted last week. Bettman scoffed at the idea, but it seems like they may indeed be involved.

Edited by cshea, 10 December 2012 - 06:47 PM.


#1858 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:28 PM

I guess Fehr and Bettman working out a deal is what the Myans were referring to by 12/21 being the end of the world... Seriously feeling like this will never get done. I'm shocked no one has put a hit out on Bettman yet. Every freaking time...the NHL strikes. Pretty soon they'll be back on the USA network like the early 80's. If the season gets locked out can NBC Sports get out of their contract with the NHL?

#1859 OldSaintJohn


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:35 PM

If they miss the entire season, NBC Network gets a free season at the end of the current contract.

Putting out a hit on Bettman is a bit extreme, no?

#1860 FFCI

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:12 PM

even though it looks gloomy, for some reason I'm allowing myself to keep spending time on the hopes of a 2013 season, but I keep coming back to my biggest problem with this process which is:

The owners are asking the players to give up:
-value of existing contracts
-pretty significant amount of cap levels for a long time
-all kinds of concessions on contracts

and the owners are offering in return:
-nothing?

Am I missing something here?


First, the value of the existing contracts = $0 in a lockout situation. The owners aren't asking the players to give up all kinds of concessions on current contracts. The NHLPA is asking the players to give up getting paid under their current contracts!

With the proposed CBA ,there's no rollback or reduction in existing contract terms. (Other than the loss of income because there will not be a full season - so the full terms of the contract will not be paid. i.e. a $4 million contract for an 82-game season will pay $2 million over a 41 game season). With the 50-50 split, current contracts total more than the 50% of revenue (which will only get lower the longer things go before a deal - and that is where the negotiations have gone as far as the make-whole provisions - so that existing contracts get fully honored - but on a proportionate ratio. So if they play 50% of the season - they will get 100% of the 50% of the contract). Regardless, the longer the players wait for a "better" deal - that deal is impossible to achieve).

There is some truth to Bettman's statement that the offers won't get any better. The original offer to save the 82-game season - would have saved 100% of the contracts. Now, if a "60-game" season is saved - the players will get 75% of their contracts (even without "rollbacks" or restrictions on revenue sharing, etc.). This is why many are amazed at the players in these negotiations.

50-50 revenue split does not mean that each party is making the same money. The players' 50% is almost all pure profit. The owner's 50% is used to cover operating costs, players equipment, players travel, etc.) - the only ones getting rich on the deal are the players.

Whether the deal is for 5 or 10 years is probably the rest of their playing careers. And the longer the deal, the better for players since they won't have to have another work stoppage in their careers. Look how much money it cost players like Guerin, Roenick, etc. that went through labor stoppages multiple times. Besides, when's the last time any leagues players "won" at the negotiating tables? The longer the term of the deal the better for everyone - players, owners and most especially the fans.

As far as what the owners are offering the players - well, that's easy - money, a lot of money (more than players have ever earned previously) in return. More money than 99% of the NHLPA members will ever earn in their lifetimes away from hockey. So there's that as far as an incentive for the players to come to an agreement...

Playing conditions in European leagues are worse than the conditions proposed in the NHL right now - and that isn't stopping players from going over there and playing during the lockout.

There is no issue that is so critical to the good of future players that these present players should forgo one of the few playing (and earning) years of their careers.

It's not about Bettman or Jacobs or any other party that's unreasonable - it's a reality that the NHL has some issues and that this new CBA will allow the league to have the rules in place to strengthen and grow the NHL which benefits everyone.

It's great for the players to try to negotiate the best deal that they can - but the time for negotiations has passed - it's time to come to an agreement - and they've achieved the best possible deal under the circumstances.

#1861 behindthepen


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:56 AM

So what about next season? I'm willing to bet it will take >50% of revenues to field a team under the existing contracts. The players should give that up for nothing in return?

The make whole provision was not a concession by the owners. Anything that takes from the existing contracts is a concession by the players.

I forgot to add that the owners expected the players to negotiate a deal with them without their legal representation present. That's another concession and a pretty scummy one at that.

#1862 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:06 AM

First, the value of the existing contracts = $0 in a lockout situation. The owners aren't asking the players to give up all kinds of concessions on current contracts. The NHLPA is asking the players to give up getting paid under their current contracts!

With the proposed CBA ,there's no rollback or reduction in existing contract terms. (Other than the loss of income because there will not be a full season - so the full terms of the contract will not be paid. i.e. a $4 million contract for an 82-game season will pay $2 million over a 41 game season). With the 50-50 split, current contracts total more than the 50% of revenue (which will only get lower the longer things go before a deal - and that is where the negotiations have gone as far as the make-whole provisions - so that existing contracts get fully honored - but on a proportionate ratio. So if they play 50% of the season - they will get 100% of the 50% of the contract). Regardless, the longer the players wait for a "better" deal - that deal is impossible to achieve).

There is some truth to Bettman's statement that the offers won't get any better. The original offer to save the 82-game season - would have saved 100% of the contracts. Now, if a "60-game" season is saved - the players will get 75% of their contracts (even without "rollbacks" or restrictions on revenue sharing, etc.). This is why many are amazed at the players in these negotiations.

50-50 revenue split does not mean that each party is making the same money. The players' 50% is almost all pure profit. The owner's 50% is used to cover operating costs, players equipment, players travel, etc.) - the only ones getting rich on the deal are the players.

Whether the deal is for 5 or 10 years is probably the rest of their playing careers. And the longer the deal, the better for players since they won't have to have another work stoppage in their careers. Look how much money it cost players like Guerin, Roenick, etc. that went through labor stoppages multiple times. Besides, when's the last time any leagues players "won" at the negotiating tables? The longer the term of the deal the better for everyone - players, owners and most especially the fans.

As far as what the owners are offering the players - well, that's easy - money, a lot of money (more than players have ever earned previously) in return. More money than 99% of the NHLPA members will ever earn in their lifetimes away from hockey. So there's that as far as an incentive for the players to come to an agreement...

Playing conditions in European leagues are worse than the conditions proposed in the NHL right now - and that isn't stopping players from going over there and playing during the lockout.

There is no issue that is so critical to the good of future players that these present players should forgo one of the few playing (and earning) years of their careers.

It's not about Bettman or Jacobs or any other party that's unreasonable - it's a reality that the NHL has some issues and that this new CBA will allow the league to have the rules in place to strengthen and grow the NHL which benefits everyone.

It's great for the players to try to negotiate the best deal that they can - but the time for negotiations has passed - it's time to come to an agreement - and they've achieved the best possible deal under the circumstances.


No they haven't, there's still things they are unhappy with and every time they've played the waiting game the NHL has sweetened the pot a bit.

The players are the product. That they are refusing to break down the door to be let back in so as to create a better future (in their eyes) for membership in years to come is pretty admirable. Mathieu Darche is probably not going to play in the NHL again due to his role in the negotiations, yet he's still there. It's also admirable how the stars have generally supported the membership rather than throwing the middle-class overboard like the stars in the NBA did. Fehr has done a very good job keeping the players informed and everyone together; the lies and BS that the owners have put out about Fehr being in it for himself has died within hours.

The only guy who said differently was an 18 year vet who skipped off to Europe within days of the lockout. The rest of the union had every right to get pissed at Hamrlik; there was a guy who was clearly willing to throw the future overboard to get his last big paycheck before retirement.

#1863 MiracleOfO2704


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:10 AM

And even Hamrlik has softened his tone in relation to the NHLPA and Fehr.

#1864 RIFan

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:17 AM

With the proposed CBA ,there's no rollback or reduction in existing contract terms. (Other than the loss of income because there will not be a full season - so the full terms of the contract will not be paid. i.e. a $4 million contract for an 82-game season will pay $2 million over a 41 game season).

It isn't possible for many teams to get to the new salary cap unless there are rollbacks. At the very least, the players would understand that anyone on a contract that expires in the next year or so, will be fighting for a minimum level contract because very few teams will be able to bid for their services. Plus, if your statement was true there would be no reason for the "make whole" discussion to be happening.

50-50 revenue split does not mean that each party is making the same money. The players' 50% is almost all pure profit. The owner's 50% is used to cover operating costs, players equipment, players travel, etc.) - the only ones getting rich on the deal are the players.

Just an asinine statement. Is your salary all profit? The 50/50 applies to HRR. The definition of HRR has been up for negotiation, with the owners attempting to limit it. In regards to costs, the largest expense is player salaries, which they are carving out. The other operating expenses are not in any way close to 50% of the $3.3billion. For some markets it may be true, but the larger markets are killing it. Beyond that, owning a professional franchise is inherently an investment. The NHL very well may be the first league where owners create negative equity. Most of the owners will double or triple their investments in less than 10 years. Hell, the Jacobs family has probably seen a 100X investment on what they paid.

Whether the deal is for 5 or 10 years is probably the rest of their playing careers. And the longer the deal, the better for players since they won't have to have another work stoppage in their careers. Look how much money it cost players like Guerin, Roenick, etc. that went through labor stoppages multiple times. Besides, when's the last time any leagues players "won" at the negotiating tables? The longer the term of the deal the better for everyone - players, owners and most especially the fans.

True, without a long term agreement it will be tough to win back the sponsors, which will limit the available money to split.

.

There is no issue that is so critical to the good of future players that these present players should forgo one of the few playing (and earning) years of their careers.

Maybe on an individual basis for those in the last 3-5 years of their careers, but isn't it possible that the players might be concerned about those that follow or are early in their careers?

EDIT: Typo

Edited by RIFan, 11 December 2012 - 09:18 AM.


#1865 FFCI

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:17 PM

Just an asinine statement. Is your salary all profit? The 50/50 applies to HRR. The definition of HRR has been up for negotiation, with the owners attempting to limit it. In regards to costs, the largest expense is player salaries, which they are carving out. The other operating expenses are not in any way close to 50% of the $3.3billion. For some markets it may be true, but the larger markets are killing it. Beyond that, owning a professional franchise is inherently an investment. The NHL very well may be the first league where owners create negative equity. Most of the owners will double or triple their investments in less than 10 years. Hell, the Jacobs family has probably seen a 100X investment on what they paid.

EDIT: Typo


Asinine statement - I think not. Maybe I should provide more context so the point can be understood better.

Teachers need to purchase supplies for their classrooms. Most workers need to pay for their own meals at lunch time. Uniforms, clothes, equipment is typically needed to be purchased by lawyers, accountants, police officers, etc.

Marketing costs, parking, tolls, etc. often fall onto the worker and are not provided by their employers - so most people's salaries' are not "pure profit".

If looking at the players as a business - you can see that their income is almost all profit. What is their "cost of their goods sold?"

They don't need to purchase skates, sticks, pay for travel, meals, etc. They don't pay for the chartered planes, the medical and training staff, the physical therapy, hotel accommodations, etc. It seems like a pretty good business.

My point is, that the players have done pretty well for themselves and stand to do pretty well under whatever terms the current agreement provides for.

If the players have "lost" in signing CBA's that favored ownership over the past few years - they certainly aren't losing in their income. Take any player from 10 years ago - and I think they'd rather play (and get paid) under the terms of the latest CBAs.

The players today have it cushier than their past counterparts. The travel, the schedule, etc. is as favorable as it has ever been. Working conditions are as good as they've ever been and aren't being "cut back". It's not like their flying in the chartered planes of the KHL.

Oh wait, I guess the superstars are slumming it over there to get a few bucks.

Anybody know what the terms of the KHLPA labor agreement are and how they compare to the NHL CBA? Are the owners of the KHL teams running their businesses as a non-profit charity?

The unselfish players like Darche and Hainsey, those brave men that are forgoing their final paychecks of their career for the future players - are wasting their time and effort, and I'm guessing someday will look back with regret on their stances today. Maybe, this will help them get a cush job with the union, or help launch their next career as an agent or whatever - but in the end, the eventual CBA will look a lot like what was offered initially by the NHL to save the entire season. The same deal that Donald Fehr and the NHLPA probably could have negotiated over the summer.

I've made similar posts before, so I won't rehash the same arguments - but in looking at the split - between players and ownership - I don't care if the deal is 50-50; 60-40 or 40-60; I don't know and even if the details about HRR were available, I don't think I'd care to spend the time to go through the details with a fine tooth comb to find areas where the NHLPA is being "exploited." The bottom line, is the NHLPA has negotiated and whatever deal they can get - God bless 'em - just make the deal and be done with this nonsense. Holding out longer for a "better deal" makes no sense, at least to me.

Bottom line is the opportunity cost of the lost games, and possible lost season(s) - will never be regained by the members of the NHLPA. If there is $3.3 billion of revenue that is lost - it will never be recovered.

Final thoughts - to respond to a point made in passing- The GAME is the product - not the players. The players are for the most part - fungible.

I know using that word is extreme and I don't intend to minimize the skill and talent that collectively, the players bring to the table. However, every individual player is replaceable. Always have been, always will be. Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, and Wayne Gretzky were all replaced. (In the sense that they were the greatest of all time, yet despite them leaving the game as players - the game continued to grow and evolve).

Last year, Sidney Crosby missed most of the season - the Penguins attendance, following and popularity didn't fall off a cliff.

As far as the owners making a return on their investments, isn't that the point of investing? Isn't that the point of capitalism? If owners doubled or tripled their investments over 10 years - that's about a 7.2% rate of return, if they are fortunate to triple their investment in 10 years, that's about a 14.5% rate of return. Other owners haven't been so fortunate. There is obviously a lot of risk with the investment (such as the risk of work stoppages) - so I don't think the returns that have been "required" by owners to take the risk are out of line or anything.

#1866 Blacken


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:19 PM

Would you like a towel, or is a napkin sufficient?

#1867 HomeBrew1901


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:36 PM

Would you like a towel, or is a napkin sufficient?

For the love of fuck would you please contribute something, anything to this thread that resembles a fucking thought and isn't a snarky one liner. You disagree with anyone that doesn't think the owners are 100% at fault, fine, at least FFCI is attempting to make a contribution.

Edited by HomeBrew1901, 11 December 2012 - 12:40 PM.


#1868 yeahlunchbox

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

If the players are fungible what does that make the owners? What do the owners do for the game of hockey? A person buys into a 30 entity monopoly, one where they have essentially no market competition and they can pick and choose who gets to even become an owner. An owner can make sure no team is put close enough to effect his attendence or his TV ratings. Then he can charge whatever the market will support in a monopoly situation for tickets and concessions. Don't like the building you're playing in? Threaten the city you're located in that you'll move the team unless you get what you want and watch a new arena built for you by the taxpayers you overcharge already. Then when it's time to sell you make a giant profit on the sale. It's a riskless business model. How many people are fans of a sport or specific team because of a team owner? Owners bring nothing to the table and are leaches on the sport of hockey.

#1869 kenneycb


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:12 PM

Teachers need to purchase supplies for their classrooms. Most workers need to pay for their own meals at lunch time. Uniforms, clothes, equipment is typically needed to be purchased by lawyers, accountants, police officers, etc.

Marketing costs, parking, tolls, etc. often fall onto the worker and are not provided by their employers - so most people's salaries' are not "pure profit".

If looking at the players as a business - you can see that their income is almost all profit. What is their "cost of their goods sold?"

They don't need to purchase skates, sticks, pay for travel, meals, etc. They don't pay for the chartered planes, the medical and training staff, the physical therapy, hotel accommodations, etc. It seems like a pretty good business.

My point is, that the players have done pretty well for themselves and stand to do pretty well under whatever terms the current agreement provides for.

Basically all the points you bring up here are applicable to people who travel a lot for work and have their company reimburse them for the expenses incurred. So, sure, it's nice, but I wouldn't say the players have made out like gangbusters because they don't have to pay for a hotel or they get a stipend for lunch on the road. Twigs and jerseys = computer. Travel and meals, well, they have to live like teachers and lawyers and accountants and police officers when they aren't on the road. Training staff and physical therapy = various levels of support staff at the company, such as IT.

This also doesn't get to the point that comparing athletes to normal jobs is stupid beyond belief but I don't really feel like going down that road would be entirely productive and I'm lazy.

Edit: The points about the KHL and what players used to do in the past are wholly irrelevant to the point at hand and are basically used to distract from the actual points on hand.

Edit 2: Christ, the whole argument basically boils down to the players should take whatever the owners want because fuck 'em, we'll just bring up an AHL team and people will watch it. It's is just beyond stupid.

Edited by kenneycb, 11 December 2012 - 01:22 PM.


#1870 BoSoxFink


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:18 PM

For the love of fuck would you please contribute something, anything to this thread that resembles a fucking thought and isn't a snarky one liner. You disagree with anyone that doesn't think the owners are 100% at fault, fine, at least FFCI is attempting to make a contribution.

He's a ginger, give him a break

#1871 FFCI

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

I completely agree that comparing athletes to normal jobs is stupid beyond belief.

I also think that the players continued "fight" at this point is stupid beyond belief.

I'm glad that everyone doesn't agree with my opinion and there's no winning over 100% of the opinions out there. I know there are a lot of people that have similar feelings and some that don't share most of my opinion.

Unfortunately, the NHL lockout is here and it was here 5 years ago and 10- years ago - and it's ridiculous.

How did the players manage to avoid a work stoppage for 100 years - during times when conditions were pretty worse than they are today?


(Edit: Changed a phrase)

Edited by FFCI, 11 December 2012 - 01:25 PM.


#1872 TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:29 PM

They didn't have the right to collectively bargain.

#1873 HomeBrew1901


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:31 PM

If the players are fungible what does that make the owners? What do the owners do for the game of hockey? A person buys into a 30 entity monopoly, one where they have essentially no market competition and they can pick and choose who gets to even become an owner. An owner can make sure no team is put close enough to effect his attendence or his TV ratings. Then he can charge whatever the market will support in a monopoly situation for tickets and concessions. Don't like the building you're playing in? Threaten the city you're located in that you'll move the team unless you get what you want and watch a new arena built for you by the taxpayers you overcharge already. Then when it's time to sell you make a giant profit on the sale. It's a riskless business model. How many people are fans of a sport or specific team because of a team owner? Owners bring nothing to the table and are leaches on the sport of hockey.

I really have no idea where you are trying to go here because if this is your line of thinking the same can be said of the NFL, MLB, and NBA.

#1874 Blacken


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:31 PM

For the love of fuck would you please contribute something, anything to this thread that resembles a fucking thought and isn't a snarky one liner.


Well, since you asked so nicely. Let's recap:

-Ownership decided Phoenix and Tampa Bay were brotacular places to put teams. To no one's surprise, ever, they became money pits into which giant sacks with green dollar signs stamped on the side were thrown at an alarming pace.

-Ownership has been handing out thirteen-year contracts for approximately three hojillion dollars. Also to no one's surprise, this leads to an arms race of escalating contracts.

-Ownership has been crowing about record numbers, in print, precisely up until the negotiations started.

-Ownership now cries poor and demanded that the players--the people who actually play the the fucking sport of hockey--hand back twenty percent or so of the fuckup.


The entire situation is caused by the NHL; the players made the terrible decision of agreeing to what they could get last time around after being trashed by the introduction of the salary cap (which I personally like from a competitive standpoint but quite understand its labor unpopularity). The current lockout doesn't exist if the NHL and at least a sizable minority of owners aren't shitting in the soup. If anyone has a reason to die on any of the hills thus threatened to die upon, it's the NHLPA. Not that they will, or should--but the rat bastards running the league haven't got a leg to stand on. Doubly so after the league decided that they just can't stand that Fehr asshole so we're not even going to negotiate with him. I mean, real Owners get to pick the patsy from the other side, too.

This negotiation is very close to, if not exactly, an existential threat for the continued viability of the NHLPA. It is in no way an existential threat to the NHL (though it might be to the Glendale Stray Dogs). The NHLPA has very good reasons to continue fighting, if only to minimize how badly they're going to be wounded in the long term. And yet, "it's stupid to keep fighting, they should just cave" sounds like something you'd hear out of the troll under the NHL's bridge. I mean, for the love of fuck, they're bitching that the NHLPA offered an eight-year max on contract length? Really? That alone is a massive concession because it caps the arms race on star contracts. Anybody in the NHL office would take that and run if they weren't looking for a total victory. Which they are, and that's why I called it an existential threat for the NHLPA: because if they end up losing That Badly, they'll lose even worse next time.


(Now, I'll give the league one thing: the 10-year CBA is a good thing. And not a good thing for them. It's a good thing for the PA, because it provides more breathing room before the NHL can come back to fuck them again. The PA trying to negotiate down on that is a bad move. But it's a stupid tactical move, whereas the NHL is strategically vile. Apples and oranges.)



How did the players manage to avoid a work stoppage for 100 years - during times when conditions were pretty worse than they are today?

When you have no power, you take the best you can get. They are no longer so hampered and while the inequity of power remains, it is no longer to the point where the choices are "take the shitty offer" and "starve" both due to the increase in player income and due to the ability to collectively bargain.

Edited by Blacken, 11 December 2012 - 01:38 PM.


#1875 TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:39 PM

The players have the right, just like any employee, to negotiate the terms of their employment. To put it another way, they are negotiating their share of the company's revenue, just as we all do when we or our unions negotiate salary or raises with our employers.

They have the right to decide whether the offer on the table is a large enough share of the organization's revenues for them to resume playing.

The owners have the right to do the same.

What players (or owners) used to get 30 years ago is immaterial. What benefits they get/got is immaterial. The only thing that is material is what the current and future revenue streams look like and what an acceptable agreement for splitting those revenues is to each of the parties involved.

#1876 HomeBrew1901


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:40 PM

Well, since you asked so nicely. Let's recap:

-Ownership decided Phoenix and Tampa Bay were brotacular places to put teams. To no one's surprise, ever, they became money pits into which giant sacks with green dollar signs stamped on the side were thrown at an alarming pace.

-Ownership has been handing out thirteen-year contracts for approximately three hojillion dollars. Also to no one's surprise, this leads to an arms race of escalating contracts.

-Ownership has been crowing about record numbers, in print, precisely up until the negotiations started.

-Ownership now cries poor and demanded that the players--the people who actually play the the fucking sport of hockey--hand back twenty percent or so of the fuckup.


The entire situation is caused by the NHL; the players made the terrible decision of agreeing to what they could get last time around after being eviscerated by the introduction of the salary cap. The current lockout doesn't exist if the NHL and at least a sizable minority of owners aren't shitting in the soup. If anyone has a reason to die on any of the hills thus threatened to die upon, it's the NHLPA. Not that they will, or should--but the rat bastards running the league haven't got a leg to stand on. Doubly so after the league decided that they just can't stand that Fehr asshole so we're not even going to negotiate with him. I mean, real Owners get to pick the patsy from the other side, too.

This negotiation is very close to, if not exactly, an existential threat for the continued viability of the NHLPA. It is in no way an existential threat to the NHL (though it might be to the Glendale Stray Dogs). The NHLPA has very good reasons to continue fighting, if only to minimize how badly they're going to be wounded in the long term. And yet, "it's stupid to keep fighting, they should just cave" sounds like something you'd hear out of the troll under the NHL's bridge.


(Now, I'll give the league one thing: the 10-year CBA is a good thing. And not a good thing for them. It's a good thing for the PA, because it provides more breathing room before the NHL can come back to fuck them again. The PA trying to negotiate down on that is a bad move. But it's a stupid tactical move, whereas the NHL is strategically vile. Apples and oranges.)

Thank You, and strangely enough I agree with just about all of your points. I think it's ludicrous for owners to ask players to give back any money from their share when it was the owners that signed them to those contracts in the first place. At the same time I don't think it is unfair to have a hard cap on the number of years that are allowed to be offered.

As for Tampa Bay and Phoenix, would you be amenable to the league folding them and then taking away jobs from players that wouldn't be in the league currently? I would but a lot of the owners and players would fight tooth and nail to keep that from happening.

My only issue with the NHL and NHLPA right now is that all the large victories have been won by both sides and now they just seem to be arguing over minor shit and trying to squeeze an extra few dollars out of the other side.

Edit: I also think it is absolute horseshit that the Owners are asking to meet with the Players without Donald Fehr. My feelings on Fehr are well known by now, but that's like the DA asking a guy suspected of murdering his wife to work out a deal without his lawyer.

Edited by HomeBrew1901, 11 December 2012 - 01:47 PM.


#1877 Blacken


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:42 PM

Pierce pretty much goes down the line in this Grantland piece. He doesn't hit a home run in every article, but this one does a fantastic job of summing up the current insanity and where it originates.

#1878 Blacken


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:45 PM

Thank You, and strangely enough I agree with just about all of your points. I think it's ludicrous for owners to ask players to give back any money from their share when it was the owners that signed them to those contracts in the first place. At the same time I don't think it is unfair to have a hard cap on the number of years that are allowed to be offered.

I don't think it's unfair for the NHL to attempt to get that. I think it's staggeringly stupid of the NHLPA to agree to it and I think it's downright disgusting to hold not agreeing to it against the NHLPA. Eight year contract caps is already insane for the NHLPA to agree to it because it places a hard cap on player earnings. It's already a massive concession by the players--not as big as a salary cap, of course, but it's a huge concession--despite, as the talking heads like to say, it only affecting a small group of players; when dealing with an organization like the NHL I think you have to assume that any demands will be expanded upon in the next negotiation, and giving the NHL a strong position on this issue fucks the NHLPA next time around.

As for Tampa Bay and Phoenix, would you be amenable to the league folding them and then taking away jobs from players that wouldn't be in the league currently? I would but a lot of the owners and players would fight tooth and nail to keep that from happening.

I would, but I'm more interested in competitive balance. If the owners wanted to shutter PHX, TB, FLA, and CBJ and the players didn't, I'd be 100% on their side as a fan (but still understand why the NHLPA couldn't allow that). But nobody wants to do that.

Edited by Blacken, 11 December 2012 - 01:48 PM.


#1879 yeahlunchbox

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:46 PM

I really have no idea where you are trying to go here because if this is your line of thinking the same can be said of the NFL, MLB, and NBA.


Says the guy policing the thread for one liners and snark? A poster said the players should take whatever they're offered because in his view they're mostly fungible. I pointed out how owners are the very definition of fungible. Owners bring nothing to the table to make hockey fans enjoy the product more, in many cases make the product less enjoyable, and can be replaced with any person that has enough money to buy into their club. Also owners have been claiming they take all the risk in a situation like this and I showed ways that they take on no risk while players have the risk of great bodily harm. Finally, why would I bring up NFL, MLB, and NBA owners in a thread about the NHL lockout?

#1880 njexpress9

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:52 PM

I have been a Bruins fan for close to 40 years and cannot understand why all the venom for Jacobs.

He is a billionaire business man who owns the team. You do not get to that point in life by being a passive participant. It is his team and his money. If he want to strong arm other owners - good for him.

For the most part, the Bruins put a competative product on the ice year in and year out. Our best players do not run for the hills when their contracts are up.

Right now the Bruins are a well managed, financially sound team that has a very promising future. Lots of young talent that is locked up with very reasonable contracts. The guy might be the biggest asshole ever but the Boston product is fine. It seems like the NHL needs more owners like Jacobs.

#1881 HomeBrew1901


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:54 PM

Says the guy policing the thread for one liners and snark? A poster said the players should take whatever they're offered because in his view they're mostly fungible. I pointed out how owners are the very definition of fungible. Owners bring nothing to the table to make hockey fans enjoy the product more, in many cases make the product less enjoyable, and can be replaced with any person that has enough money to buy into their club. Also owners have been claiming they take all the risk in a situation like this and I showed ways that they take on no risk while players have the risk of great bodily harm. Finally, why would I bring up NFL, MLB, and NBA owners in a thread about the NHL lockout?

Sorry man I still have no idea where you are coming from with this, just take one look at Atlanta having to move to Winnipeg and you might see how far off base you are. The owners do assume all the business risk and are still responsible for running the organization from top to bottom in order to make a profit and there are only so many teams like the Bruins where you can replace one billionairre with another and still have things continue to churn out money. So while people may not be Bruins fans or Detroit fans because of Jacobs or Illyitch, many of the new fans are coming on board because of what they have been able to do with the organization.

I bring up the other leagues in an NHL Lockout thread because if your belief is that owners are completely fungible then it is the same for every other sport.

#1882 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:04 PM

Owners aren't fungible, they provide too much capital. But they not more essential than the players. If KHL billionaires came in and started the North American Hockey League, signing all of the NHL's top talent away, they would win the war. Period. The brand is important but the Montreal Canadiens brand is nothing without the equity built up using the world's best hockey players.

Anybody who doesn't believe me and remembers 1995 or the legions of empty seats when the NFL used scabs in 1987 is full of it. People were not only not interested in paying to watch scabs, they were actively repulsed by it.

#1883 CSteinhardt


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:06 PM

Teachers need to purchase supplies for their classrooms. Most workers need to pay for their own meals at lunch time. Uniforms, clothes, equipment is typically needed to be purchased by lawyers, accountants, police officers, etc.


Marketing costs, parking, tolls, etc. often fall onto the worker and are not provided by their employers - so most people's salaries' are not "pure profit".


This of course depends upon their contract, but either way, is part of the value of the contract. A teacher paid $50,000/year but required to purchase $2,000/year of supplies out of pocket is, in practice, being paid $48,000/year and will value their contract accordingly. Anybody with common sense values their contract in terms of the actual take-home pay, which is the "pure profit".

If looking at the players as a business - you can see that their income is almost all profit. What is their "cost of their goods sold?"

They don't need to purchase skates, sticks, pay for travel, meals, etc. They don't pay for the chartered planes, the medical and training staff, the physical therapy, hotel accommodations, etc. It seems like a pretty good business.


Like the owners, the players have put in a large up-front, speculative investment in the form of time (learning to play the game), money (rink time ain't cheap, and the NHL wasn't paying for their rink time when they were kids), and opportunity cost (a typical 40-year old has considerable experience and a relatively senior position in their chosen field; a 40-year old NHL player doesn't).

My point is, that the players have done pretty well for themselves and stand to do pretty well under whatever terms the current agreement provides for.

If the players have "lost" in signing CBA's that favored ownership over the past few years - they certainly aren't losing in their income. Take any player from 10 years ago - and I think they'd rather play (and get paid) under the terms of the latest CBAs.

The players today have it cushier than their past counterparts. The travel, the schedule, etc. is as favorable as it has ever been. Working conditions are as good as they've ever been and aren't being "cut back". It's not like their flying in the chartered planes of the KHL.


For the ones who succeed, at present, yes. But many fail, so a key part of the question has to be whether attempting to become a professional hockey player is a good decision, or whether the few who make it to the top aren't making enough to justify a talented player choosing that as a career path given the odds against their making it.

Bottom line is the opportunity cost of the lost games, and possible lost season(s) - will never be regained by the members of the NHLPA. If there is $3.3 billion of revenue that is lost - it will never be recovered.


This is actually less obvious to me than perhaps it should be. I suspect, given my own experience as a latecomer to serious sports and watching a variety of career arcs, that a hockey player's career arc is measured more strongly in games played than it is in years, and that sitting out a missed season and using it wisely is probably not subtracting a year from their careers.

I know using that word is extreme and I don't intend to minimize the skill and talent that collectively, the players bring to the table. However, every individual player is replaceable. Always have been, always will be. Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, and Wayne Gretzky were all replaced. (In the sense that they were the greatest of all time, yet despite them leaving the game as players - the game continued to grow and evolve).

Last year, Sidney Crosby missed most of the season - the Penguins attendance, following and popularity didn't fall off a cliff.

As far as the owners making a return on their investments, isn't that the point of investing? Isn't that the point of capitalism? If owners doubled or tripled their investments over 10 years - that's about a 7.2% rate of return, if they are fortunate to triple their investment in 10 years, that's about a 14.5% rate of return. Other owners haven't been so fortunate. There is obviously a lot of risk with the investment (such as the risk of work stoppages) - so I don't think the returns that have been "required" by owners to take the risk are out of line or anything.


Players are fungible, as long as you can credibly make the case that fans are seeing the best ones. Owners are even more fungible - do you really think that without Jacobs, Boston would be less likely to support a hockey team?

This doesn't mean that I unequivocally take the players' side here. But, a mentality that the players are fungible and therefore should take whatever the owners are willing to hand them, because it's a nice job no matter what, is unreasonable. Surely you wouldn't approve of your management cutting your salary and pointing out that the quality of living is so much higher than it is in Russia that you should be happy to be living under these conditions, right? :)

For what it's worth, my opinion on the lockout is that the owners were initially at fault, and both sides have done a very poor job of negotiating. The best strategy in negotiation should be to find the things that are worth different amounts to both sides, and to get the ones that are worth more to you in return for the ones that are worth more to them, so that you each feel you've made a good deal. If you can do a good enough job of figuring out how everybody evaluates different items, you can do even better, which means there's a strong tendency to bluff about what's important. But, as best I can tell, both sides have managed to bluff so convincingly and play enough hardball that they've eventually convinced each other to do it backward: the owners, for example, have been convinced to give up things that are more important to them than to the players, and in return the players are giving up things that are more important to them than the owners, and so each side feels they're making a bad deal. This is one of the things mediation is supposed to help with, but they've gone pretty far down this path and have become too entrenched for it to work easily.

#1884 TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:12 PM

Neither owners nor players are fully fungible.

Players have a unique skillset - they can play hockey at an NHL level which is the highest level in the world. Yes, other players can play hockey well, but if you were to bring in replacement players, the fanbase would know that there are better players who simply aren't playing, refuse to buy the product or buy it in lesser amounts and lower the revenues perhaps enough to make the league no longer viable.

Owners have a unique skillset - they have enough money to own the team as well as a desire to do so. There aren't a whole lot of people with enough money to buy an NHL team (even a shitty one) and even fewer who would want to do so. They are not fully fungible.

#1885 cshea


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:20 PM

Not to get sidetracked here, but they've confirmed negotiations will resume tomorrow. Mediators will be involved. In Guy Serota we trust.

I think they're nearing the end, but the mediation thing is bizarre. I don't really understand the point of bringing them back in.

#1886 TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

This is actually less obvious to me than perhaps it should be. I suspect, given my own experience as a latecomer to serious sports and watching a variety of career arcs, that a hockey player's career arc is measured more strongly in games played than it is in years, and that sitting out a missed season and using it wisely is probably not subtracting a year from their careers.


Good post. I have to say, I don't think this is true. All players skills decline as they age and they need to operate under that view. Not only do their skills decline but it's harder and harder to recover from the slings and arrows of NHL fortune as you get older. And make no mistake, the NHL is a rough league and the NHL season is a long slog. Basically, players need to see missing a year through the prism of ,"it happened to Gretzky, it will happen to you." If they miss a year, then they will likely lose most or all of that income, especially the older, fringe players who will have to compete with the 1 or 2 classes of kids who will age into the league.

#1887 Nomar813


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:25 PM

Owners aren't fungible, they provide too much capital. But they not more essential than the players. If KHL billionaires came in and started the North American Hockey League, signing all of the NHL's top talent away, they would win the war. Period. The brand is important but the Montreal Canadiens brand is nothing without the equity built up using the world's best hockey players.

Anybody who doesn't believe me and remembers 1995 or the legions of empty seats when the NFL used scabs in 1987 is full of it. People were not only not interested in paying to watch scabs, they were actively repulsed by it.

Posted Image

#1888 timlinin8th

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:43 PM

Teachers need to purchase supplies for their classrooms. Most workers need to pay for their own meals at lunch time. Uniforms, clothes, equipment is typically needed to be purchased by lawyers, accountants, police officers, etc.

Marketing costs, parking, tolls, etc. often fall onto the worker and are not provided by their employers - so most people's salaries' are not "pure profit".

If looking at the players as a business - you can see that their income is almost all profit. What is their "cost of their goods sold?"

They don't need to purchase skates, sticks, pay for travel, meals, etc. They don't pay for the chartered planes, the medical and training staff, the physical therapy, hotel accommodations, etc. It seems like a pretty good business.


Just off the top of my head, an agent's percentage, legal and financial advisors, high premium insurance due to being employed in a high contact sport and more insurance than the standard person would ever need, union dues... These are just four things off the top of my head that a player has come out of their pocket as a standardized expense that all but a few have to pay. Sure, teachers pay union dues too, but I would think an individual player's contribution to the NHLPA is just a touch higher than the average teacher's.

#1889 Joshv02

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:52 PM

With the proposed CBA ,there's no rollback or reduction in existing contract terms. (Other than the loss of income because there will not be a full season - so the full terms of the contract will not be paid. i.e. a $4 million contract for an 82-game season will pay $2 million over a 41 game season). With the 50-50 split, current contracts total more than the 50% of revenue (which will only get lower the longer things go before a deal - and that is where the negotiations have gone as far as the make-whole provisions - so that existing contracts get fully honored - but on a proportionate ratio. So if they play 50% of the season - they will get 100% of the 50% of the contract). Regardless, the longer the players wait for a "better" deal - that deal is impossible to achieve).

Why do you think this?

Start with the basics, that I think everyone here knows better than me: An NHL player signs a one year $4mm contract. A portion of that contract is paid out to the player, and a portion goes into escrow. When the total revenue pot for the NHL season is determined, the players are apportioned a chunk (57%, 50%, whatever) of the total league revenue. Then all the player contracts are totaled up. If they are greater than 57%/50% (whatever the revenue portion is), then each player contract is proportionally adjusted downward in proportion of the overage. Then, the players are paid whatever the adjusted amount (minus what they've already been paid) out of the escrow. So, when the players agreed to a 50% split in year 1 of the new CBA, they already renegotiated their prior contracts -- unless the league's make-whole provision was sufficient to cover this difference.

My understanding is (1) the make-whole pot has decreased in size during negotiations (which indicates that even if it was enough to cover prior contracts, it is less likely to be so now), (2) that pension funds are going to come out of the make-whole pot (?!), and (3) I haven't seen anything other than a few anonymous league sources say that the make-whole pot is sufficient to actually honor prior contracts. Am I missing the boat? I'm obviously less of a fan than others here, so I am may just be completely off.

#1890 Blacken


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:55 PM

You're about right as far as I am aware.

#1891 cshea


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:12 PM

Make whole has gone up, unless I'm misinterpreting your question. They started with a straight up roll back. Then the league offered make whole, but with the money coming out of the players share. Next was the owners willing to fund $211mm out of their share. The final deal appears to be $300mm of make whole out of the owners pocket. The PA estimated that ~$390mm was needed to truly make the players whole, but $300 million was the offer last week and it was agreed upon, according to Fehr.

I don't know the full details regarding pensions, but my understanding is that it was agreed to that the pensions would come out of the players share, not make whole.

Edited by cshea, 11 December 2012 - 04:14 PM.


#1892 Joshv02

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:33 PM

Ah, thanks. I thought it was 300 minus the 50mm for current pension obligations (plus future out of future share), and the 393 figure was what I had in mind (but you are right; that was the PA proposal, not the NHL proposal). So its more of an assumption of greater risk by the players even for past contracts, rather than a complete renegotiation of them downward by 15% (but likely a slight downward adjustment).

#1893 OldSaintJohn


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:54 PM

I like that tomorrow's meeting is at an undisclosed location with a media ban. I still can't trust anyone involved, though, and I'd rather not have any players there at all but for one or two

#1894 soxhop411


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:11 PM

Nick Cotsonika ‏@cotsonika
Just filed. Key line: Sides now so close, if deal isn't done, not because of principle, economics. Because "leadership (bleeped) it up."

Nick Cotsonika ‏@cotsonika
Players aren't fighting cap, aren't asking for guaranteed share, are at 50-50, will accept contract max, etc. This is about details now.
https://twitter.com/cotsonika

#1895 Myt1


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:15 PM

Asinine statement - I think not. Maybe I should provide more context so the point can be understood better.

Teachers need to purchase supplies for their classrooms. Most workers need to pay for their own meals at lunch time. Uniforms, clothes, equipment is typically needed to be purchased by lawyers, accountants, police officers, etc.

Marketing costs, parking, tolls, etc. often fall onto the worker and are not provided by their employers - so most people's salaries' are not "pure profit".

If looking at the players as a business - you can see that their income is almost all profit. What is their "cost of their goods sold?"


Their labor. In many cases, their long term physical health. In some cases, their psychological health.

They don't need to purchase skates, sticks, pay for travel, meals, etc. They don't pay for the chartered planes, the medical and training staff, the physical therapy, hotel accommodations, etc. It seems like a pretty good business.


This is almost unbelievably stupid.

My point is, that the players have done pretty well for themselves and stand to do pretty well under whatever terms the current agreement provides for.

If the players have "lost" in signing CBA's that favored ownership over the past few years - they certainly aren't losing in their income. Take any player from 10 years ago - and I think they'd rather play (and get paid) under the terms of the latest CBAs.

The players today have it cushier than their past counterparts. The travel, the schedule, etc. is as favorable as it has ever been. Working conditions are as good as they've ever been and aren't being "cut back". It's not like their flying in the chartered planes of the KHL.


Who the fuck cares?

Oh wait, I guess the superstars are slumming it over there to get a few bucks.

Anybody know what the terms of the KHLPA labor agreement are and how they compare to the NHL CBA? Are the owners of the KHL teams running their businesses as a non-profit charity?

The unselfish players like Darche and Hainsey, those brave men that are forgoing their final paychecks of their career for the future players - are wasting their time and effort, and I'm guessing someday will look back with regret on their stances today. Maybe, this will help them get a cush job with the union, or help launch their next career as an agent or whatever - but in the end, the eventual CBA will look a lot like what was offered initially by the NHL to save the entire season. The same deal that Donald Fehr and the NHLPA probably could have negotiated over the summer.
I've made similar posts before, so I won't rehash the same arguments - but in looking at the split - between players and ownership - I don't care if the deal is 50-50; 60-40 or 40-60; I don't know and even if the details about HRR were available, I don't think I'd care to spend the time to go through the details with a fine tooth comb to find areas where the NHLPA is being "exploited." The bottom line, is the NHLPA has negotiated and whatever deal they can get - God bless 'em - just make the deal and be done with this nonsense. Holding out longer for a "better deal" makes no sense, at least to me.

Bottom line is the opportunity cost of the lost games, and possible lost season(s) - will never be regained by the members of the NHLPA. If there is $3.3 billion of revenue that is lost - it will never be recovered.

Final thoughts - to respond to a point made in passing- The GAME is the product - not the players. The players are for the most part - fungible.


Yeah. Because people will totally keep buying the product if the equivalent of the 1987 NFL replacement players pack the league.

I know using that word is extreme and I don't intend to minimize the skill and talent that collectively, the players bring to the table. However, every individual player is replaceable. Always have been, always will be. Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, and Wayne Gretzky were all replaced. (In the sense that they were the greatest of all time, yet despite them leaving the game as players - the game continued to grow and evolve).

Last year, Sidney Crosby missed most of the season - the Penguins attendance, following and popularity didn't fall off a cliff.


This is fucking mindboggling.

#1896 Haunted


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:21 PM

Didn't FFCI vociferously defend the NHL's decision to ignore reason and common sense and not penalize Matt Cooke?


That was him, right?

#1897 RIFan

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:45 PM

Not typically a fan of Pierce's viewpoint, but I found myself nodding along with this.
http://www.grantland...ehr-nhl-lockout

(I also think addresses nicely some of FFCI's ramblings)

#1898 bbc23

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:51 PM

Hearing that the "two sides are so close they could spit on each other" doesn't fill me with great hope, knowing that they will probably end up...spitting on each other

#1899 j44thor

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:54 PM

Nick Cotsonika ‏@cotsonika
Just filed. Key line: Sides now so close, if deal isn't done, not because of principle, economics. Because "leadership (bleeped) it up."

Nick Cotsonika ‏@cotsonika
Players aren't fighting cap, aren't asking for guaranteed share, are at 50-50, will accept contract max, etc. This is about details now.
https://twitter.com/cotsonika


All I gather from reading these tweets is that this guy was pimping his column which is entirely an OP piece with zero confirmed news from either side. This guy seems to be a twitter whore.

#1900 MoGator71


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:03 PM

All I gather from reading these tweets is that this guy was pimping his column which is entirely an OP piece with zero confirmed news from either side. This guy seems to be a twitter whore.


Sounds about right, though in this case I kind of think he is right. I think they're down to dick-measuring now...which means there's still an excellent chance they'll fuck it all up.

I'm still curious how the players can be looking for a shorter CBA. They're going to come out of this negotiation having lost ground on every single possible point of contention, and that's with Don Fehr steering the ship. These NHL stoppages are too much like negotiating with terrorists; when one side insists on either complete victory or else they blow up the plane, well you really can't win negotiating with them. They should know this by now, and postpone the next round of bullshit as long as possible.