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*Official* CBA Negotiations and Lockout Thread

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Too many lockout/CBA threads popping up. Since this one is generating the most discussion and contains all the important info, please keep all smaller announcements and updates in here. At such time that something significant is announced we can open a new thread. Thanks. hv88

@KatieStrangESPN

#CBA NHL commissioner Gary Bettman just spoke. Made it very clear the league intends to lock out if no deal is reached by Sept 15

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I suppose this really shouldn't come as a surprise.

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I'm going to 'Boo' him next time he talks here even HARDER NOW!!

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Hopefully it is grandstanding. Bettman has been an awful commissioner. Watered down the league to what it is now. Teams that have to be supported by the successful teams. And now facing his 2nd lockout since he came on board. Should have stayed with the NBA. Both sides are very greedy. What a mess. Shame on you Gary.

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Hopefully it is grandstanding. Bettman has been an awful commissioner. Watered down the league to what it is now. Teams that have to be supported by the successful teams. And now facing his 2nd lockout since he came on board. Should have stayed with the NBA. Both sides are very greedy. What a mess. Shame on you Gary.

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Interesting article on CBA Myths

The first casualty of war, they say, is the truth. Well, through a strike and two lockouts, we learned long ago that the first casualty of labour strife is objectivity.

Everyone has a horse in this National Hockey League labour race. The agents are firmly on the players' side, spewing fact and fiction to support their clients' right to earn. The owners trot out labour deals from the NBA and NFL that prop up their belief that the hockey pie is unfairly split, like what happens on a basketball court or football field has anything to do with this fight.

And the fans? They listen to both sides talk about how important the fans are, while fully realizing that neither side will ever bring up the fact ticket prices have far outreached the average Canadian family, let alone do something about it.

So, as the clouds of self-interest form on the CBA horizon, we bring you some of the myths we've seen before, and are seeing again in the summer of 2012:

Myth No. 1: That Gary Bettman promised ticket prices would fall when the owners got the deal they wanted back in 2005.

We may have hoped ticket prices would fall once the owners got their cap. It may be sound thinking to believe that the owners should have passed some of their savings along to the paying customer, when they squeezed the players for millions of dollars in the last lockout.

But we recall specifically asking Gary Bettman if that would be the case, and as is his wont, his wordy answer did not at any time address the question asked.

We're not saying he's right, or that tickets aren't outrageously priced in Canadian markets. We're just saying that if anybody out there ever heard Bettman promise ticket price rollbacks, we'd like to see the quote.

Myth No. 2: Don't pick a fight with the players. They're used to having each others' backs.

Players are players. Sure, they're up for a fight. And after accepting a cap last time, they won't roll over this time around.

But the singular fact each and every player gleaned from the last lockout is this: All of that lost salary is salary you'll never earn back. Some player down the road will perhaps earn more because you stood strong in the fall of 2012. But personally, you're out thousands -- perhaps millions -- of dollars, and that guy you're standing up for will be at training camp, trying to take your job.

Across the table, a percentage of NHL owners ARE actually losing money. So it is easier for them to hold out and miss some games -- particularly the early season ones that are a tough sell in many American markets.

Myth No. 3: The NHL truly needs more of the financial pie.

Bettman doesn't need it. He's got just as many Torontos and New Yorks -- teams that make massive profits -- as he does teams like Florida and Phoenix, the teams that need financial help.

There are plenty of revenue-sharing schemes that could healthy up teams like Anaheim and the Islanders. Bettman and the owners, like seemingly every rich guy I've ever met, would simply prefer to use someone else's money to fund their shortfalls, rather than their own.

Myth No. 4: Both sides are doing everything they can to avoid a lockout.

The NHL delivered 76,000 pages of financials to the NHLPA in late July. Like, that couldn't have happened three months ago? Two months ago?

The NHL waited too long to table its first proposal, an "offer" so preposterous it could have been delivered in January and not been any more poorly received. The NHLPA then asked for financials they knew they were going to require six months ago. Why wait so long?

We're OK with the fact that these things are deadline driven; that it is the very pressure of lost games and pay checks that will help to forge consensus.

Just own up to that fact.

Myth No. 5: There's no reason for the owners to lock out the players. Let's just start the season under the terms of the old CBA.

So union head Don Fehr says there is no reason to delay the start of the season. That is within accepted labour practices for the NHL to start the season under the terms of the current CBA, and continue to negotiate.

That is a fine strategy by Fehr, but unless nine-tenths of a new CBA is agreed upon by Sept. 15, it is completely unrealistic.

The fact that the owners cut the checks is the NHL's biggest hammer. If they start signing checks, what impetus is there for the players to accept the owners' terms?

How about this: The games go on as scheduled, but the players play for free until a deal is reached? Can you see that happening?

The players' hammer is their collective services. Nobody goes to a game to watch an owner. They'd never allow their services to be used without payment, nor should they.

With respect to Fehr, a man who we still believe can get the game going on time this fall, neither side is going to give up their bread and butter in good faith that a deal will get done down the road.

Mark Spector is the senior columnist on sportsnet.ca

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Do players still get paid while a lock-out is on?

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i say, we need a betterman....instead of this bs, they should just say, hockey is cancelled till further notice...

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Do players still get paid while a lock-out is on?

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No! Which is why the league is so heavy-handed. Teams that are losing money actually do better with the league shut down so they are willing to hold-out as long as possible to starve the players.

Eventually the relationship will sour to where it may not be salvageable.

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He's actually been a GREAT commissioner.... for the owners. They're the ones who hired him and pay his salary.

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