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*Official* CBA Negotiations and Lockout Thread

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Welcome back. Where is Sharpshooter?

Your post makes little sense. The players are continually replaced. The NHL can and will draft new players . If you think fans are going to POUT and go get a subscription to the KHL then you are mistaken.

They will watch with distain at first , but will get used to it and the players will be replaced by the draft . The NHLPA has no leverage here.

Lets face it. The NHL owns the league and the stanley cup. The players own nothing.

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Malhotra: Players would be “on vacation somewhere stuffing our faces” if they didn’t want to play:

Manny Malhotra is like most other players affected by the lockout. He’s upset with the owners and he just wants to get out there and play hockey.

As he tells Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun, he’d have other plans if he wasn’t serious about getting back on the ice and getting a new CBA worked out with the owners.

“If we had no desire to get back to the games, we’d be on vacation somewhere stuffing our faces rather than skating and working out every day,” he stated. “To say that guys don’t want to negotiate and get things done would be a wrong statement.”

The players’ resolve hasn’t been questioned at all through this process. If you’re on Twitter and following any of the players, you know they’re involved in the process even to the point of annoyance.

Add to that the number of players who headed overseas to play as well as CBC’s Elliotte Friedman report saying the players want Donald and Steve Fehr to negotiate with the owners more.

Putting that much more effort into the process might be one of the few things to help get a deal done sooner than possible.

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/11/04/malhotra-players-would-be-on-vacation-somewhere-stuffing-our-faces-if-they-didnt-want-to-play/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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@RenLavoieRDS

Next NHL CBA talks will be in NY this week. Probably not before Tuesday. Positive ? We'll see, but better than the last 2 weeks ? Yes

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After compiling the numbers and doing some more thinking, my respect level for Charles Wang has gone up a fair amount. He's a backwards thinking cap-ologist to the rest of the league. "How can I ice a team and spend the minimum real dollar value possible, to break even".

That trade for Visnovsky was about meeting the cap floor for NYI, and reducing player salary level for ANA. Any player whose cap hit is higher than payout is valuable to Mr Wang, such as Visnovsky. In fact, the new retirement rule is dangerous for that club. For instance, Wang could sign a long term deal mid-loaded, trade the player away and hope that that player retires. It's like our Luongo situation, but for the cap floor teams, this rule actually helps. It quickly gets axed with short contract length and % variance though. However, I think putting the 5% variance in there actually might hurt some teams trying to get by on the real dollar budget (as opposed to cap).

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@RenLavoieRDS

Next NHL CBA talks will be in NY this week. Probably not before Tuesday. Positive ? We'll see, but better than the last 2 weeks ? Yes

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Why can't they have an upper cap tied to revenue, but the floor be fixed at some finite amount? That way, teams aren't forced to spend past their means.

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It's like our Luongo situation, but for the cap floor teams, this rule actually helps. It quickly gets axed with short contract length and % variance though. However, I think putting the 5% variance in there actually might hurt some teams trying to get by on the real dollar budget (as opposed to cap).

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Why can't they have an upper cap tied to revenue, but the floor be fixed at some finite amount? That way, teams aren't forced to spend past their means.

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@RenLavoieRDS

Next NHL CBA talks will be in NY this week. Probably not before Tuesday. Positive ? We'll see, but better than the last 2 weeks ? Yes

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Because then you don't have the parity that Bettman and co have tried to implement.

There's no way the struggling teams can compete with the wealthy teams if you allow them to spend that much more money.

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Even some owners don’t like what’s under the cap in NHL labour dispute

The NHL owners and players may be back at the bargaining table, with the major issue of a 50-50 revenue split complete with fully paying existing contracts in sight, but trouble looms from a couple of surprising groups on each side of the labour divide.

At issue are two changes from the former collective agreement in what goes into the salary cap, in particular the payroll floor. In his last offer, before the previous round of talks broke off on Oct. 18, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said teams would no longer be allowed to count player bonus money on their payroll in order to get to the floor. He also proposed all player salaries above $105,000 (all currency U.S.), even those on a team’s minor-league roster, would now be included under the salary cap.

This alarmed two groups. One is a lot of NHL owners, many of whom were considered moderates, who are not happy that under this proposal they could no longer include on their payroll bonus money that would likely never be paid in order to get to the salary floor, which was $48.3-million in the 2011-12 season. This means they will have to pay real cash to get to the floor, a daunting prospect for clubs operating on razor-thin margins.

The other unhappy group is all of the players in the AHL, who would effectively see their salaries capped at $105,000 under Bettman’s offer. This is alarming because a veteran can make as much as $300,000 on an AHL contract, which is currently not included in the NHL team’s cap payroll.

The unhappy owners may or may not prove to be a breaking point because of an NHL bylaw Bettman smartly instituted before the 2004-05 lockout. While it takes only eight supporting votes from the 30 NHL owners to allow Bettman to reject an offer from the NHLPA, it takes 23 owners to overrule any offer Bettman makes to the players.

Formal bargaining is expected to resume “early this week” in the words of NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who met into the early hours of Sunday morning with NHL Players’ Association special counsel Steve Fehr at an undisclosed location. The major issues of a 50-50 revenue split and how existing player contracts could be paid in full under it were discussed and both sides felt the talks were promising enough for bargaining to resume.

“We had a series of meetings yesterday and exchanged views on the most important issues separating us,” Daly said in a statement. “We plan to meet again sometime early this week.”

Fehr said in a separate statement: “I agree with what Bill said. Hopefully we can continue the dialogue, expand the group, and make steady progress.”

The ugly public-relations fallout after the NHL cancelled the Winter Classic on Friday appears to have spurred the latest talks. As the criticism built on Friday, the NHL made it known it told the players’ union it was willing to discuss ways the owners would pay more of the costs of the “make-whole” provision in its last offer. This became the biggest issue after the players agreed to reach a 50-50 revenue split at some point but wanted all existing contracts, which were signed when players received 57 per cent of the revenue, eventually to be paid in full. The owners had offered to do this by reducing the players’ share in the later years of an agreement, which was rejected by the union.

However, despite the optimism spurred by Saturday’s meeting, there are a lot of minefields in other issues, headed by the two that have a lot of owners and the minor-league players in a flap.

Sources say this owners group includes many who were previously thought to be eager to get a deal but were angered when they saw Bettman’s offer to exclude bonus payments from the cap. The clubs in this group include the usual small-revenue teams such as the Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and New York Islanders but others, such as the Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Colorado Avalanche, are unhappy as well. While clubs such as the Stars and Blues have reaped big revenue in the past and have new owners, their gate receipts took big hits in recent years.

Under the old agreement, a club such as the Islanders routinely made sure there were several entry-level players on its roster whose cap hit was much larger than their actual salary thanks to several bonuses. For example, in the 2011-12 season, rookie Nino Niederreiter’s entry-level contract paid him $900,000 in actual salary but nearly $2-million in bonuses brought his cap hit to just under $2.8-million. The 20-year-old was on the NHL roster for 55 games and scored exactly one goal, which meant almost all of that bonus money was never paid, a huge saving for the cash-strapped Islanders.

But under Bettman’s proposal, that would no longer be allowed. Instead of declaring $2-million they wouldn’t spend, the Islanders and other teams would have to cough up that cash in player salaries.

The owners want Bettman to find a way to make the salary floor lower in a new deal. While this will happen to some degree once the league goes to a 50-50 split, the cap is skewed by the fact the league has some clubs raising the overall revenue, on which the cap is based, with huge profits while a larger number of clubs make much less or lose money.

In the case of the minor-league players, the NHL could find itself in court. Following the 2004-05 lockout, the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, which represents minor-league players, sued the NHL because the labour agreement decreed any team that had a player with a salary of $75,000 or more claimed by another team on NHL re-entry waivers would have to pay half of the salary, which would count against their own payroll. This effectively capped salaries for AHL veterans at $75,000 and the PHPA managed to have the limit scrubbed.

Now that Bettman proposed to include all salaries above $105,000 in a team’s cap count, the PHPA could move again. At present, NHL teams often like to pay some veterans as much as $300,000 to serve on their AHL teams as mentors for the young players but this means teams would not be willing to pay more than $105,000. It would also mean the AHL would quickly lose those players, who are often fan favourites, to Russia’s Continental Hockey League or the European leagues.

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I realise this is a little cluttered, but its worth a view. Player salary graph from 1999-2012 for all teams, as in real dollars (not cap) paid from the numbers I put together earlier today. It is based on post trade deadline, so it doesn't include injury or trades etc. The trend is clear, but it doesn't include anything from the revenue side.

Edit, attachments suck. Another link

http://tinypic.com/r/o9ee4p/6

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I realise this is a little cluttered, but its worth a view. Player salary graph from 1999-2012 for all teams, as in real dollars (not cap) paid from the numbers I put together earlier today. It is based on post trade deadline, so it doesn't include injury or trades etc. The trend is clear, but it doesn't include anything from the revenue side.

Edit, attachments suck. Another link

http://tinypic.com/r/o9ee4p/6

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Nice to see Vancouver climb from being one of the middle of the pack salary teams, to being consistently one of the top paying salary teams.

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I had to check, but statistically, we paid out more the last 4 years. (and I mean real dollars, not cap). When did Aquilini take over again?

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Under the old agreement, a club such as the Islanders routinely made sure there were several entry-level players on its roster whose cap hit was much larger than their actual salary thanks to several bonuses. For example, in the 2011-12 season, rookie Nino Niederreiter’s entry-level contract paid him $900,000 in actual salary but nearly $2-million in bonuses brought his cap hit to just under $2.8-million. The 20-year-old was on the NHL roster for 55 games and scored exactly one goal, which meant almost all of that bonus money was never paid, a huge saving for the cash-strapped Islanders.

But under Bettman’s proposal, that would no longer be allowed. Instead of declaring $2-million they wouldn’t spend, the Islanders and other teams would have to cough up that cash in player salaries.

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You missed the point of his post, he was refering to a new North American league.

Lets say the NHL did hired replacement players and cut ties with those locked out, the then former NHLer's formed a new (NA) league, and got a TV contract (I know this is completely hypothetically but stay with me). Would you honestly watch the old league? I might keep tabs on the Canucks, but doubtful.

And you say "they can draft new players" The NHL isn't the only league that has a draft, the KHL drafts NHL prospects all the time, they just choose not to go there, so the new league could have a draft aswell, then it would be prospect descision on where they would want to go. Some would prob go to the NHL but I could see other's going to the other league aswell.

The players are the one's that are marketed, and the players are what sells tickets and makes money, if all the NHL's stars jumped ship to a new NA league that league would gain a ton attention.

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Very true. Those long contracts were actually a rather clever way for teams to get what they wanted out of the last CBA, either to get to overpay if you could afford to do so or to underpay if you needed to. Reducing the length and allowed growth percentage will definitely hurt both the top teams and the bottom teams by removing that option. It seems it really only helps the middle spending teams. Lowering the cap floor significantly, as proposed, will obviously help the lower end teams but will not help the higher end teams with any problems the NHL's proposed CBA would create for them getting under cap without having to trade away players.

I think that's why some people have suggested a luxury tax where teams pay to get a higher cap with the proceeds going to the lower teams. It's certainly a viable option, although a different option may be just to create a bigger spread between the floor and ceiling from the get go. That of course won't have a direct benefit on team revenue sharing, but since the top revenue teams contribute 50% of the team revenue share money already I don't think they'll want to be taxed for more. (That being said, if the "purchase cap" system were created as an alternate method of contributing to revenue sharing it might work, but only with a backup system in place to guarantee a set amount of team revenue sharing in the event that teams don't volunteer to "donate.") Personally, I like the wider cap spread idea because it would allow teams to better decide for themselves what they can/should spend and force them to take responsibility for their own bottom line. Of course, the major problem with that idea is ensuring owners spend around the players' share in each year without going too much over or under and my only thought for a way to address that (a 3-tiered cap system) sort of ballooned on me and became way too complicated. *lol*

EDIT: Actually, I just thought of another possible solution: What if we allowed teams to make $10M of their cap space transferable? Then, the higher end teams could trade to get more cap space and the lower end teams could trade away cap space they can't afford. That would allow teams losing money to lower their salary floor while allowing teams that want to spend more to raise their cap ceiling, all the while ensuring players' share remains consistent.

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