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*Official* CBA Negotiations and Lockout Thread

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What pisses me off the most if how both sides have been draggin their feet so much on this. It took them weeks after the season ended to finally start negotiating, saying they had lots of time. Now when it becomes little more urgent, they're still only holding meetings every couple weeks. Even if they didn't see it taking this long at first(which they should have prepared for anyways), why not start picking it up now, knowing that time is running out?

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A very reasonable proposal??? You realy think Aquillini sees this as reasonable. It is very simple what the players have said: we know there are many teams in trouble but instead of us taking a pay cut to correct things, we think the owners of the teams that make money should do that. It is well-known that the 'rich' teams are dead set against more revenue sharing. The Fehr proposal is a direct attack on Bettman and now we have a war. As Bettman says it: 2 different views of the world. There will not be NHL hockey for a very long time. And this is NOT about Bettman. Fehr is as, if not more, responsible as his counteroffer is as offensive as the NHL original offer was. Of course Crosby says he likes it, the players gave up peanuts and told the owners how to run their business. Wow, what a declaration of war by Fehr.

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How would you respond to being asked by your employer - after building his business to 3X what it was on your last contract - to take a second 24% pay cut?!!

The owners decided to expand into stupid markets. The owners decided to throw stupid money a Free Agent players and now that some teams are struggling, they want the players to take a pay cut so that all tehowners can be profitable.

I'm no trade-unionist but it seems to me that the owners have mis-managed the business model and want the players (employees) to pay for their mistakes. You only have to look at the money they have put into Phoenix to see how badly they have run their business.

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ok i am watching a video on tsn so whats this about him saying they don't have all the proposals from players to make a counter

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I'm no Bettman fan but there are clear problems in the NHL that need to be addressed which are being relatively ignored by the NHLPA. The owners cannot simply sit there and watch as more and more teams turn in annual losses in the tens or hundreds of millions.

Bettman's references to the "world outside of hockey" is a clear indication that many teams are suffering due to the economic downturn, yet they're still forced to pay ridiculously high salaries. The whole United States is suffering, many have lost jobs/homes/livelihoods, yet the players think they are immune to this? You don't see average joe in the states walk into his boss's office and demand a raise or more revenue sharing. Average joe is just happy he HAS a job. NHL players are greedy and live in their own little hockey universe and have no idea what the rest of the country is going through.

And to be fair to Bettman, he's more-so a puppet/scapegoat for the owners. His job is to increase revenue and work on behalf of the OWNERS. It's them that are pushing a lockout.

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if they want the players salaries back to a normal level whatever they consider that maybe they should get rid of the cap floor then teams wouldn't be throwing 5 million dollars around to players who should only be making 2-3 million dollars and get rid of the 100m contracts just so teams can sell tickets and grab the big free agent

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If the players are so smart, then put your money where your mouth is and start your own league since they know everything.

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If there's one thing Donald Fehr seems to be good at, it is making the players seem very fair and reasonable. He has them unified, and sounding professional.

It's going to be a lot harder for Bettman and the owners to have fan support for a lockout this time.

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While the situation certainly isn't 100% positive, this article definitely paints a much darker picture than the impression I got from just watching the interviews. Fehr, in particular, remains fairly optimistic. Bettman's a douche, and will always be a douche as far as I'm concerned. So anything from him that is short of completely outrageous, is progress in my books.

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Millionaires arguing with Billionaires good problems to have!

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Gary Bettman says 'wide gap' remains in NHL labour talks with union:

TORONTO - With one month to go before the NHL's collective bargaining agreement expires, the league and players seem no closer to a deal than when talks began in June.

In fact, it appears as though the divide may have grown even wider.

After waiting several weeks to receive a proposal from the NHL Players' Association, it took commissioner Gary Bettman less than 24 hours to conclude that the union's initial offering held little appeal for the owners.

"There's still a wide gap between us with not much time to go," Bettman said Wednesday.

"I do think it's fair to say that the sides are still apart — far apart — and have different views of the world and the issues," he added.

The comments weren't encouraging for those hoping to see the league avoid its second lockout in as many negotiations, and the third on Bettman's watch. The current CBA expires Sept. 15 and Bettman has already made it clear that the league will enact a work stoppage if a new deal isn't in place by then.

On Tuesday, the union put forth a proposal that included a smaller percentage of revenues for players over the next three seasons in exchange for an expanded revenue sharing program to help struggling teams. The NHLPA estimated that players would be giving up US$465 million in salaries if the league continued on its pace of seven per cent growth each season.

However, that math didn't add up for the league.

"I think it's fair to say that we value the proposal and what it means in terms of its economics differently than the players' association does," said Bettman. "I think there still are a number of issues where we're looking at the world differently. I'm not sure that there has yet been a recognition of the economics in our world — and I mean the greater world and the sports industry, taking into account what recently happened with the NFL and the NBA."

Both of those leagues went through lockouts before ultimately seeing the players' share in revenue reduced. The NHL's initial proposal called for a significant reduction from 57 per cent to 43 per cent, when factoring in changes to the way revenue is calculated.

Under the NHLPA's offer, the difference would be much less significant.

Donald Fehr, the union's executive director, bristled at the parallels Bettman drew to other pro leagues — "every sport has its own economics," he said — and indicated that the gap in talks was actually created by the NHL's initial proposal in July.

"There's a pretty substantial monetary gulf which is there and when you start with the proposal the owners made how could it be otherwise?" said Fehr. "I mean consider what the proposal was: It is 'Let's move salaries back to where they were before the (2004-05) lockout started, back to the last time.' That's basically what it was.

"'We had a 24 per cent reduction last time, let's have another one.' That was the proposal. That's what creates the gulf."

The sides broke off from talks with two completely different offers on the table and no meaningful negotiation sessions planned for a week. A sub-committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, but Bettman and Fehr won't sit down together again until Aug. 22.

It's impossible to ignore the looming threat of a lockout.

Fehr felt the owners should have been more receptive to a proposal that kept the hard salary cap in place and called for a drag on salaries. He also wondered aloud whether the NHL might be using the possibility of a work stoppage as a negotiation tactic rather than a last resort.

"It looks pretty much like there's a playbook out there that people are following," said Fehr. "Hopefully, that's not the case, but so far there aren't very many differences. Players understand that and if those eventualities arise the players will know what to do."

For his part, there was little Bettman could offer when asked about what he might say to fans concerned about the possibility of a disruption to the season.

"I don't have an appetite either to not have hockey, so we're all in agreement on that," said Bettman. "I know what the game means and I know how important it is for our franchises and our game to be healthy from an economic standpoint and we're working very, very hard.

"It takes two sides to make a deal, it takes two sides to negotiate and it takes two sides if it all goes bad. We're working very hard hopefully to keep it from going bad."

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/nhl-and-nhlpa-discuss-unions-proposal-as-talks-resume-in-toronto-166282886.html

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Lets look at the obvious, Phoenix lost money despite loosing a boatload of money. The market did not support a winning team.

And teams like Philly, who incidentally survived a few bad years and re-built their team, do create the draw which creates the "TV and MEDIA" revenue more than those in places like Phoenix. Paying a one time buyout and retracting would be preferable to continually giving revenue to teams that do not generate it. Yes overall revenues would shrink short term, but logically would improve as the product would be less diluted.

The solution is to retract teams like Phoenix.

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If you are on the receiving end; the quality of the offer is more important than the quality of the character.

While the situation certainly isn't 100% positive, this article definitely paints a much darker picture than the impression I got from just watching the interviews. Fehr, in particular, remains fairly optimistic. Bettman's a douche, and will always be a douche as far as I'm concerned. So anything from him that is short of completely outrageous, is progress in my books.

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I have a problem when teams like the Canucks, who are profitable, subsidize teams that have no business being in the league. In order to meet the cap floor, these teams then spend money they do not have, because they get that cheque from the league, and artificially inflate the price of UFA contracts just to meet the floor. Change the way the dead weight is dealt with in this league and you will have financial health.

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As a student of labour relations, I find this process very interesting. Reading this article, I think the outcomes are not certain because the league and NHLPA are not even in the same ballpark. My concern is that the league is willing to sacrifice the gains they have made in the last six years, like its new contract with NBC Sports, just to stick it to the players. Revenues have grown significantly, almost tripled, while player's salaries have grown too.

To me, all of this really speaks of desperation on the owner's part. You have some owners who could care less about how much they spend, and for how long they spend it, while others are pinching pennies. The only tactic for the players is to create a divide within the owners. Get rid of that greedy little rat Bettman, who act as the puppet for the owners of the Northeast and Atlantic divisions, and then things in this league might change. The problem is getting enough of a vote in the Board of Governors to enact corporate change is almost next to impossible; because you are never going to get a majority.

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I have a problem when teams like the Canucks, who are profitable, subsidize teams that have no business being in the league. In order to meet the cap floor, these teams then spend money they do not have, because they get that cheque from the league, and artificially inflate the price of UFA contracts just to meet the floor. Change the way the dead weight is dealt with in this league and you will have financial health.

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A lot of the economic and revenue-sharing issues could be eliminated if they would stop putting hockey in places that don't give a crap about hockey.

Although I understand Bettman is just a puppet, he has got to be one of the most unlikable people I've ever seen.

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Do you not think both sides wanted it that way? Obviously both sides think they can outlast the other after the lock out starts. Last time the owners won. Who is bluffing this time?

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As a student of labour relations, I find this process very interesting. Reading this article, I think the outcomes are not certain because the league and NHLPA are not even in the same ballpark. My concern is that the league is willing to sacrifice the gains they have made in the last six years, like its new contract with NBC Sports, just to stick it to the players. Revenues have grown significantly, almost tripled, while player's salaries have grown too.

To me, all of this really speaks of desperation on the owner's part. You have some owners who could care less about how much they spend, and for how long they spend it, while others are pinching pennies. The only tactic for the players is to create a divide within the owners. Get rid of that greedy little rat Bettman, who act as the puppet for the owners of the Northeast and Atlantic divisions, and then things in this league might change. The problem is getting enough of a vote in the Board of Governors to enact corporate change is almost next to impossible; because you are never going to get a majority.

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Most CBA agreements are hammered out at the eleventh hour, because pressure is the only motivator to get a deal done.

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