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


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#1901 finnVT

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:21 PM

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.

I think this is an interesting question, but that the answer (is it age or games played that better explains/correlates with decline?) is probably somewhere in between.

There is certainly a lot of research into physiological changes (metabolic, lung function, etc) that occur sometime after age 30. On the other hand, hockey (and probably football) players are fairly unique in their experience of "wear and tear" and its accumulation. So while the latter might essentially be "paused" during a work stoppage, the former most certainly isn't.

That said, what % of players actually make it past, say, 33 in the NHL? Presumably that's the group that suffers here, since they lose a year of play that can't be added on at the end of their career (or not with the same performance level), whereas a player who will eventually stop playing due to injuries (either directly, or because or diminished ability from accumulated wear and tear) probably just push that eventuality back a year.

#1902 lexrageorge

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:43 PM

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.


I don't understand the thinking of the NHLPA on this point either. However, if an agreement is reached in the near term, around similar terms to what we've heard, the players may actually have come out OK, as opposed to having "lost ground on every single possible point". Consider:

Basically, the players must have known that their share of revenue was 100% certain to decline. NBA and NFL cut back their players' shares, and both the NBA and MLB implemented some pretty onerous restrictions on teams that go over certain thresholds in an attempt to rein in salary growth. That writing was on the wall. Getting to 50/50 was probably the best the players could have hoped for realistically. And it appears that they are there, and with minimal impact to existing contracts, thanks to the $300M coming out of the owners' pockets in the make whole provision. The players emerged from the last lockout with a salary cap and 24% salary rollback, so this wouldn't be the worst outcome.

As to why they would want to reopen, the only reasoning I could see is if Fehr believes that the economics of the league are favorable to the point that they would have a chance to get a larger share of revenue in the next go around, or get some other goodie such as shorter time to UFA status. I don't see that; seems to me that there's just a big of chance that the players give more than they get, regardless of the league economics, and a shorter CBA term could negatively impact overall league revenues. But, then again, I'm neither a betting man, nor Donald Fehr.

#1903 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:09 PM

The only thing that makes sense to me is Don Fehr realizes he really enjoys this and wants to stick around for another fight. He said he was one and done before.

#1904 MiracleOfO2704


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:33 PM

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'm cherrypicking this point because there have been a few quotes from league sources that kinda fit in here. Now, there are a few people saying that once the new CBA is wrapped up, the NHL is going to announce expansion to both Quebec City and Markham, a suburb/neighborhood of Toronto. The thought process is the league can keep the original 30 in place while reaping the profits of two expansion fees, each around $200 million. If the league were truly healthy enough to say the original 30 teams would all be safe, I'd say this is a no-brainer and you get the money for two markets that seem like they'd be strong entries to the league.

However, we have Phoenix, which still sits on the precipice. Specifically, Greg Jamison, soon-to-be ex-board member for the San Jose Sharks, has until the end of January to sign an agreement to purchase the Coyotes and claim his share of $320 million in municipal funds disguised as an arena management fee. If he can't complete the sale, the lease/arena management contract, which was voted on by a lame-duck legislature that is decidedly pro-Coyotes, is voided and a new lease/arena management contract would have to be passed by the new Glendale City Council, which is a little more in line with the Goldwater Institute's way of thinking. And Jamison has said throughout the process that he needs that high an arena management fee in order to run the Coyotes without being almost instantly insolvent. Add on to that the fact that the City of Glendale has a bond rating trending toward junk territory, and the one thing that could save the Coyotes is Jamison coming up with the $170 million to buy the Coyotes...except he won't reveal his backers. And he's been trying to buy the team for about a year. Needless to say, the Coyotes are not on anything resembling stable ground.

Point is, you have at least one team in desperate need of a more stable home. And while the two Florida teams aren't in great shape, they both have survivable financials to keep them where they are. I think if another team could be relocated, it'd be Columbus: rarely contenders for as much as a playoff spot, stuck competing in their own town with Ohio State for non-hockey events (and not doing well, from what I've heard), and losing out on the All-Star Game (fans hate it, sponsors love it, and that means more money into Columbus and the Blue Jackets that weekend), they could be moved without too much of an eyelash to be batted. The key there is to charge not only the relocation fees (True North Sports and Entertainment apparently had to pay $60 million to move the Thrashers to Winnipeg) but also indemnity fees for encroaching on existing teams' territory (Quebec: Montreal :: Markham : Toronto and Buffalo), and you at least come close to matching the money you'd want from those cities while keeping the NHL at 30 teams and profiting from it.

#1905 TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:59 PM

I think this is an interesting question, but that the answer (is it age or games played that better explains/correlates with decline?) is probably somewhere in between.

There is certainly a lot of research into physiological changes (metabolic, lung function, etc) that occur sometime after age 30. On the other hand, hockey (and probably football) players are fairly unique in their experience of "wear and tear" and its accumulation. So while the latter might essentially be "paused" during a work stoppage, the former most certainly isn't.

That said, what % of players actually make it past, say, 33 in the NHL? Presumably that's the group that suffers here, since they lose a year of play that can't be added on at the end of their career (or not with the same performance level), whereas a player who will eventually stop playing due to injuries (either directly, or because or diminished ability from accumulated wear and tear) probably just push that eventuality back a year.


For fun, I took a look at your question in the last paragraph. From the seasons ending in 2008 to 2012, the percentage of players 33+ playing in the league has held pretty steady from 12-15% (it declined through 2011 to 12% but ticked up last season to 13%). However, the percentage of players 30+ has declined pretty sharply from 30 to 24% while the number of players 18-29 has increased from 70 to 76% of the league. So 30 appears to be the age when NHLers start hanging it up or taking forced retirement due to injuries/ineffectiveness. Only about 5% of the league on average was 35+ since 2008.

During this time the total number of players getting to play has increased by about 5%, but the number of 30 or 33+ers has declined 14% and 12% respectively. Meanwhile, the number of 18-29 year olds playing has increased by 13%. This has been driven by a 25% increase in the number of 25-29 year olds.

I haven't tried to track cohorts to see attrition rate which would really be the best way to do this, but perhaps I shall do that next.

#1906 cshea


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:35 AM

They're going back into the war room today. No media allowed and they're at a "secret" location. So, no stories of podiums being constructed and stopwatches timing the length of the meetigs. All we know is no owners will be involved, and mediators are being brought back in. Lebrun claims there was a lot of back channel dealings between the moderates over the weekend (Burkle and Dolan in the ownership side), so there appears to be some heat on both Bettman and Fehr to get something done.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I truly think the end is near. The money is agreed too, they just need some final hand wringing over the various term limits and compliance issues.

Edited by cshea, 12 December 2012 - 09:44 AM.


#1907 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:20 AM

They're going back into the war room today. No media allowed and they're at a "secret" location. So, no stories of podiums being constructed and stopwatches timing the length of the meetigs. All we know is no owners will be involved, and mediators are being brought back in. Lebrun claims there was a lot of bam channel dealings between the moderates over the weekend (Burkle and Dolan in the ownership side), so there appears to be some heat on both Bettman and Fehr to get something done.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I truly think the end is near. The money is agreed too, they just need some final hand wringing over the various term limits and compliance issues.


Boxing Day, New Year's Eve (probably terrible for TV ratings but cool for buzz) or New Year's Day hockey would go a long way towards repairing some of the damage of this lockout. As negative as this whole shitshow has been, people will be willing to forgive a lot as long as there's some semblance of a season. I would have a think about devising a schedule that plays up on rivalries too; get some real division dogfights in there so people get the adrenaline of Bruins-Habs or Wings-Hawks in the short burst of a season that is to come.

#1908 HomeBrew1901


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:31 AM

Boxing Day, New Year's Eve (probably terrible for TV ratings but cool for buzz) or New Year's Day hockey would go a long way towards repairing some of the damage of this lockout. As negative as this whole shitshow has been, people will be willing to forgive a lot as long as there's some semblance of a season. I would have a think about devising a schedule that plays up on rivalries too; get some real division dogfights in there so people get the adrenaline of Bruins-Habs or Wings-Hawks in the short burst of a season that is to come.

I agree with this completely. I think most hockey fans, both casual and die hard, were prepared for an extended period without hockey they just weren't prepared for "will they/won't they" crap that has gone on the last few weeks. Get the games started on New Year's Day and all (or at least most) will be forgiven.

#1909 FL4WL3SS


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:37 AM

I agree with this completely. I think most hockey fans, both casual and die hard, were prepared for an extended period without hockey they just weren't prepared for "will they/won't they" crap that has gone on the last few weeks. Get the games started on New Year's Day and all (or at least most) will be forgiven.

False.

Nobody was prepared for an extended period without hockey. I know more than a few people that are still in denial that this lockout is even happening (myself included) who though "there's no way either side can be this stupid again". We thought they all learned their lesson from 2004.

I honestly don't know one person, as September was approaching, who honestly thought that we would miss any games.

#1910 SidelineCameras

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:58 AM

False.

Nobody was prepared for an extended period without hockey. I know more than a few people that are still in denial that this lockout is even happening (myself included) who though "there's no way either side can be this stupid again". We thought they all learned their lesson from 2004.

I honestly don't know one person, as September was approaching, who honestly thought that we would miss any games.


This is where I am. Call it denial, but I thought they wouldn't possibly be stupid enough to cancel any games, let alone three month's worth and a marquee event like this Winter Classic. Lessons learned from 2004 + the current TV contract seemed to me to be two go reasons to keep playing.

The NHL made three billion dollars last season. I don't know of any other business where the idea of not putting out a product a year after making three billion dollars is preferable to, you know, offering a product.

#1911 The Napkin


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:55 AM

(hangs head)

We were just talking last night that I looked up and Christmas was in like 2 weeks and how the hell did that happen and the better half said "it's because there hasn't been any hockey, it doesn't seem like it's fall/winter yet."

Sigh.

#1912 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:03 PM

(hangs head)

We were just talking last night that I looked up and Christmas was in like 2 weeks and how the hell did that happen and the better half said "it's because there hasn't been any hockey, it doesn't seem like it's fall/winter yet."

Sigh.


Tell me about it, once the temps dropped in London I started violently missing hockey.

#1913 FL4WL3SS


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

This is where I am. Call it denial, but I thought they wouldn't possibly be stupid enough to cancel any games, let alone three month's worth and a marquee event like this Winter Classic. Lessons learned from 2004 + the current TV contract seemed to me to be two go reasons to keep playing.

The NHL made three billion dollars last season. I don't know of any other business where the idea of not putting out a product a year after making three billion dollars is preferable to, you know, offering a product.

I guess when you miss an enitre season, get the players to give up a lot of concessions and then come back and make $3 Billion dollars, it's validation for what you're doing.

#1914 cshea


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

I've been OK so far, trying to use the NFL to pass the time. But I'm terrified of the NFL season ending and there being no hockey between the SB and MLB Opening Day.

However, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas song the Bruins have used as a Holiday time intro the past few years came on the radio a few days ago and that sent me over the edge. I wanted to rip the radio out of the car.

#1915 BoSoxFink


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:48 PM

However, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas song the Bruins have used as a Holiday time intro the past few years came on the radio a few days ago and that sent me over the edge. I wanted to rip the radio out of the car.


Haha I am right there with you man, I heard that song on the radio the other day and all i could picture was a Bruins montage up on the jumbo screen and it brought me right back to missing hockey again

#1916 maufman


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:33 PM

Besides MLB in 1994-95 and the NHL in 2004-05, has a North American pro sports league ever paid a significant price for a work stoppage?

Ticket sales will be down modestly this season, mainly because some fans will have spent their ticket money on other things by the time the NHL drops the puck, but the league will pay no lasting price for this lockout.

False.

Nobody was prepared for an extended period without hockey. I know more than a few people that are still in denial that this lockout is even happening (myself included) who though "there's no way either side can be this stupid again". We thought they all learned their lesson from 2004.

I honestly don't know one person, as September was approaching, who honestly thought that we would miss any games.


Never underestimate the power of denial.

Seriously, you're a thoughtful guy. I'm stunned that you didn't see this coming. I can only imagine how many less intelligent fans were blindsided.

#1917 HomeBrew1901


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:45 PM

False.

Nobody was prepared for an extended period without hockey. I know more than a few people that are still in denial that this lockout is even happening (myself included) who though "there's no way either side can be this stupid again". We thought they all learned their lesson from 2004.

I honestly don't know one person, as September was approaching, who honestly thought that we would miss any games.

Wow really? As soon as I found out Don Fehr was representing the NHLPA and read some of the initial "reports" put out by each side I agreed with Felger (shocker I know) and figured they wouldn't be playing until January 1st with the hope that they would be playing sooner.

The only time I even thought that the entire season would be saved was in October when then first reports that they were close to a deal started coming out and then shit fell apart again.

#1918 ForceAtHome

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:53 PM

I honestly don't know one person, as September was approaching, who honestly thought that we would miss any games.


I was nearly positive games would be missed, and have thought since day 1 that missing an entire season was a very real possibility. In fact, from early in the thread:

I've been thinking for a while, the NHL seems like it may start on Black Friday, New Years/Winter Classic, or not at all. I peg it at like 40%-25%-35%. If we approach Thanksgiving with no deal in place, that's going to be a monster red flag.



#1919 cshea


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:56 PM

I'm with FL4WL3SS...I never thought they'd miss a game. I convinced myself that they couldn't possibly be dumb enough to go through this whole ordeal again. Even as September approached and things looked shitty, I thought cooler heads would prevail and we would have a NFL type solution that saved the entire season. I was wrong. Part of that is ignorance and denial, but I believed it at the time.

The shot across the bow that should've signaled this was going to happen was Fehr killing the owners desired realignment plan a year ago. We should've known then that this was coming.

#1920 The Four Peters


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:57 PM

I'm with FL4WL3SS...I never thought they'd miss a game. I convinced myself that they couldn't possibly be dumb enough to go through this whole ordeal again. Even as September approached and things looked shitty, I thought cooler heads would prevail and we would have a NFL type solution that saved the entire season. I was wrong. Part of that is ignorance and denial, but I believed it at the time.

The shot across the bow that should've signaled this was going to happen was Fehr killing the owners desired realignment plan a year ago. We should've known then that this was coming.

This exactly sums up how I felt. Way too optimistic and naive for my own good, which isn't really surprising.

#1921 FL4WL3SS


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

The shot across the bow that should've signaled this was going to happen was Fehr killing the owners desired realignment plan a year ago. We should've known then that this was coming.

That's a great point.

I almost feel like I'm too immersed to be able to see the bigger picture, which may be part of the problem. maufman is right, the power of denial is pretty strong, especially when you're this close to the action.

#1922 CSteinhardt


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

I kind of expected the NHL to miss games based upon the past history, but as a casual fan, I also haven't been as caught up in it. I'm a big fan of playoff hockey, but not such a big fan of regular season hockey, so as long as there's enough of a season for the best teams to make the playoffs followed by playoffs, I'll end up being okay with it. I realize I'm in the minority in this forum, though.

#1923 Hildy

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:40 PM

I feel like the zombies need to be out in the thread title again. Preferably dining on the shriveled brains and entrails of Messrs. Fehr and Bettman.

#1924 BoSoxFink


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:03 PM

@JKTHN: Hearing owners reverted to $211M make whole offer as today's starting point (plus $50M for pension). Curious.


If that is true, that is just moronic. The 300 million should still be on the table and then they compromise on giving the players 8 year max deals and the players accept the 10 year CBA. It should be that god damn easy!!

#1925 cshea


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:13 PM

Or, they take some money away from make whole, and give the players the 8 year limit they want. This is a negotiation. Finally.

They money difference is pretty much moot anyway. We're looking at $30mm over 8-10 years. ~162K per team on the low end of 8-years. Negligible difference at this point.

Edited by cshea, 12 December 2012 - 05:15 PM.


#1926 soxhop411


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:15 PM


Nick Kypreos@RealKyper

#CBA meeting over. No progress. #NHL remains firm on "take it or leave it" last offer to #NHLPA.


...


#1927 j44thor

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:15 PM

Actually it makes a lot of sense for the NHL to give the NHLPA a worse offer at this point. This is only going to end when the NHLPA is convinced they are getting the best offer they possibly can. If the NHL were to start negotiations with the same proposal as last time that would encourage the NHLPA to continue to bleed this out.

Now if they make the offer drastically worse this goes no where but lopping off some of the make whole should be just enough pain to make the NHLPA realize they are serious. It is also quite possible that the difference can largely be attributed to less sponsorship revenue since they clearly can't make the 62 game schedule needed to obtain the 75% revenue threshold.

What the NHL needs to do is soften their stance on something non-monetary and stop with the take it or leave it proposals. That is not how you negotiate a complex deal such as this.

#1928 BoSoxFink


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:15 PM

@RealKyper: #CBA meeting over. No progress. #NHL remains firm on "take it or leave it" last offer to #NHLPA.


No progress and no plans to meet it sounds like

#1929 cshea


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:24 PM

Meh, no biggie. They're playing poker at this point. Fehr has to determine if Bettman is bluffing.

My opinion is that Gary is serious this time.

#1930 j44thor

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:24 PM

What was the point of the meeting if they are staying firm with take it or leave it?

#1931 SoxScout


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:27 PM

When is the drop dead date, a month from now?

#1932 BoSoxFink


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:29 PM

Meh, no biggie. They're playing poker at this point. Fehr has to determine if Bettman is bluffing.

My opinion is that Gary is serious this time.

Agreed, I don't think the offer will get any better. The question to me becomes when/if Fehr accepts this or if the players will have to override him and put it to a vote once they decide it won't get any better.

#1933 BoSoxFink


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:39 PM

My question is though if the league didnt change their stance/offer at all, what the hell have they been talking about for 5 or so hours?

#1934 TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:43 PM

Seriously, you're a thoughtful guy.


See here's where your thought process went off the rails, Mauf.

#1935 Ferm Sheller

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:47 PM

My question is though if the league didnt change their stance/offer at all, what the hell have they been talking about for 5 or so hours?

.

The NHL likely intentionally put the NHLPA through the motions for five hours, possibly leading them to believe that a compromise was possible, only to stonewall them at the end. Negotiation tactic aimed at frustrating, and hopefully breaking the will of, the other side.

EDIT: Clearly the NHL knows it can wait out the NHLPA, so that's what it's doing.

Edited by Ferm Sheller, 12 December 2012 - 05:49 PM.


#1936 cshea


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:03 PM

Daly said they met for 6.5 hours, but they were never in the same room. The mediator is basically a courier. The PA is currently working internally and wil report to the mediator, who will pass whatever the PA has on to the league.

Edited by cshea, 12 December 2012 - 06:04 PM.


#1937 scottyno

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:10 PM

Daly said they met for 6.5 hours, but they were never in the same room. The mediator is basically a courier. The PA is currently working internally and wil report to the mediator, who will pass whatever the PA has on to the league.


what was the point of even meeting then, if they want to call it that, they could do the exact same thing over the phone

#1938 MiracleOfO2704


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:13 PM


Elliotte Friedman@FriedgeHNIC

Brendan Morrison: players asked if they wanted to accept last week's proposal. You can guess the answer



#1939 PedroSpecialK


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:15 PM

Why can I only read "Brendan Morrison" in Jim Hughson's voice?

Leaning towards cshea and co - this gets done by New Year's.

#1940 MiracleOfO2704


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:31 PM

I'm in the opposite camp. I have no faith in these two sides agreeing on the toppings of a pizza without wanting to make it all their own, let alone the revenues and structure of a multi-billion dollar business. Everything screams two groups led by men that think playing chicken with a sport is a wonderful pastime. At some stage in the next few days, someone will say something about someone's mother, and, unlike here, where we accept that all our mothers are whores, they'll get their panties in a twist and we'll lose another season. Dryden got it right last week: right now, it's not about a healthy game or strong teams for the two sides; it's all about pride.

#1941 The Napkin


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:38 PM

Don't tease me, bro...

Jimmy Murphy@MurphysLaw74
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#1942 HomeBrew1901


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:41 PM

Don't tease me, bro...

Probably for,the ice capades or something.

#1943 Myt1


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:42 PM

Game 7 Bruins/Canucks is on.

#1944 The Napkin


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:45 PM

Nevvvver mind...

Joe Haggerty@HackswithHaggs
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#1945 steveluck7

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:48 PM

Nevvvver mind...

They need to lay down the whole sheet of ice for 17 people?

#1946 Moosbrugger

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:54 PM

Road trip!

#1947 Titoschew

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:58 PM

Jimmy Murphy had a "source" that misled him and/or he wasn't thorough enough to check the details before posting. I'm stunned.

#1948 BigMike


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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:59 PM

They need to lay down the whole sheet of ice for 17 people?


Imagine the liability of 17 retirees skating around out there.

#1949 Ferm Sheller

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:11 PM

Game 7 Bruins/Canucks is on.


I still shake with fear until Marchand pots the empty netter.

#1950 MoGator71

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:13 AM

I still shake with fear until Marchand pots the empty netter.


There were a lot of empty netters in that series. The Canucks would have been better off pumping up a tire and sticking it in goal.




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