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*Official* CBA Negotiations and Lockout Thread


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#4591 theminister

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:51 PM

Maybe everyone has been approaching this from the totally wrong angle. As different as the current offers have been from the previous CBA maybe the new suggestions haven't been different enough.

Blow it all up.


Teams get 100% of:
- Regular season gate receipts
- Special events
- Concessions
- Parking and associated revenue

Players get 100% of:
- Merchandising
- TV rights
- Stanley Cup Playoffs rights


You negotiate your % of the player's share with the NHLPA and come to an agreement with an ownership group to play for. There is no financial bargaining between player and NHL team. No revenue sharing. Keep a salary cap.

In this fashion the players and the owners become a true partnership with the necessity and desire to work together to grow each other's market.


Radical, huh?!? :lol:


/ I know, I know.

Edited by theminister, 07 December 2012 - 05:52 PM.

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#4592 Shift-4

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:57 PM

Blow it all up.




I know you were being facetious but it is a valid argument. It has been discussed already in the form of decertification.

Other options exist to 'blow it up' though. The first would be for PA to suggest bye-bye to salary cap. Thus far the NHL has been negotiated (imo) from a point where the start IS NOT the old CBA. Maybe the PA should try that for a change. Come at a totally different angle.






I really don't expect this though. They are probably too close to a deal to try something like this. But I would rather see this before trying the decertification card.
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#4593 Dogbyte

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:20 PM



For those who haven't seen it.
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#4594 Ossi Vaananen

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:25 PM

Maybe everyone has been approaching this from the totally wrong angle. As different as the current offers have been from the previous CBA maybe the new suggestions haven't been different enough.

Blow it all up.


Teams get 100% of:
- Regular season gate receipts
- Special events
- Concessions
- Parking and associated revenue

Players get 100% of:
- Merchandising
- TV rights
- Stanley Cup Playoffs rights


You negotiate your % of the player's share with the NHLPA and come to an agreement with an ownership group to play for. There is no financial bargaining between player and NHL team. No revenue sharing. Keep a salary cap.

In this fashion the players and the owners become a true partnership with the necessity and desire to work together to grow each other's market.


Radical, huh?!? :lol:


/ I know, I know.


Lol, I'd kind of like to know if either is close to 50% revenue. If I were to bet, I'd probably take the owners' cut.
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#4595 Dogbyte

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:30 PM

Lol, I'd kind of like to know if either is close to 50% revenue. If I were to bet, I'd probably take the owners' cut.


Gate receipts is where they get most of the money isn't it?

One of those things you hear and turn it into gospel.
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#4596 theminister

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:34 PM

Lol, I'd kind of like to know if either is close to 50% revenue. If I were to bet, I'd probably take the owners' cut.


Maybe but there is some small method to my madness.

The owner's share would directly reflect their take at their arena whereas the player's share is more global. The owners get league initiatives like the All-star game and WC but the player's keep the Cup which actually belongs to player's technically anyway. Also it enable the players to drive revenue back towards the league by putting on the best show and PR they can at all times of year. It also encourages the owners to make sure that gate is HUGELY important for the viability of the team.

Additionally, the NHL and PA would be working together to sign TV deals and franchise locations as both would benefit and there would be no need for the League or PA to ever take an adversarial role, ever.

I'm secretly a genius. Very secretly.

Edited by theminister, 07 December 2012 - 06:36 PM.

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#4597 Dogbyte

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:07 PM

Maybe but there is some small method to my madness.

The owner's share would directly reflect their take at their arena whereas the player's share is more global. The owners get league initiatives like the All-star game and WC but the player's keep the Cup which actually belongs to player's technically anyway. Also it enable the players to drive revenue back towards the league by putting on the best show and PR they can at all times of year. It also encourages the owners to make sure that gate is HUGELY important for the viability of the team.

Additionally, the NHL and PA would be working together to sign TV deals and franchise locations as both would benefit and there would be no need for the League or PA to ever take an adversarial role, ever.

I'm secretly a genius. Very secretly.



shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
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#4598 The Bookie

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:13 PM

Beyond the smoke and noise, real disputes slowly getting solved

Negotiating, done well, is a messy, noisy exercise, its grubbier component parts include subtle and not-so-subtle pressure, bellicose name-calling and overwrought acting.
By that standard, the NHL’s bargaining is a master class.
But is the process actually working? Will there be a 2012-13 hockey season under the Christmas tree?
Recall, if you will, when the mad-as-hell NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, stepped up to the podium, raged against the cupidity of the NHL Players’ Association leadership and darkly announced the league’s latest, best, and most generous offer was officially off the table.

That was Thursday. But the same thing happened Oct. 18.
And the offer back then – centred on a 50-50 revenue split and the drearily named make-whole provision – was withdrawn for all of about a week.
Back-channel discussions swiftly resumed, six weeks later no one’s arguing about 50-50 anymore, and they’re barely squabbling over make-whole.
Now the battleground has shifted to contracting rights, and oh what a skirmish it was in Manhattan this week.
There were purple faces, fingers jabbed into chests, zany plot twists aplenty – the podium even got its own Twitter account.
But let’s face it, there’s more heat than light being generated here, and past practice suggests it’s worthwhile to look beyond the tactics and verbal thunder.
The same way the mid-October eruption was progress disguised as a setback, the fact the parties are now arguing modalities rather than philosophy – ie., they’re talking not about whether to limit contracts, but how long a limit to stick on them – can plausibly be analyzed as a step forward.
So where does the puck bounce from here?
The air war will surely ramp up; you may soon hear ownership sources saying the players should be allowed to vote on their proposal, that the union leadership – chiefly, executive director Donald Fehr and his brother Steve – is irresponsibly leading the members astray.
Likewise, sources from the players’ side may emerge in the next few days to say a vote should and will take place on decertifying the union and plunging a $3.3-billion enterprise into legal terra incognita.
Some dissenting voices may pipe up, much speculation will ensue on what that says about solidarity.
No new talks are scheduled, and deputy NHL commissioner Bill Daly famously declared a proposed contract limit of five years is “the hill we will die on.”
Okay, then.
Seeing as the last hill – the revenue split – now has an owners’ flag flapping atop it, the league needs a new strategic objective, and limiting player income by restricting contract lengths has a certain logic to it.
But as a union source said “are we really going to drive over the cliff for this?”
The league isn’t inclined to make any new concessions, but the general sense from the ownership side is they would rather not speed off the cliff.
The gap, after all, is narrowing: the NHL is demanding a maximum five-year term with no more than a five per cent variance between years, the players have countered with eight and their own, less punitive, proposal to attenuate so-called ‘back-diving’ contracts.
Management originally wanted a five- or six-year labour pact. The union countered with a proposal for four, and later signalled it would accept five.
Now the league insists on 10 years, and the union countered with eight (both proposals contain opt-out provisions for the final two years, similar to the last contract).
These should not be insurmountable differences.
It’s farcical for Bettman to claim Don Fehr was being deliberately misleading when he suggested on Thursday a deal is at hand.
Of course it is, it’s just that the NHLPA isn’t willing to swallow the owners’ proposal whole.
Which brings us to why.
Boundaries on contracting – even if they’re more modest than the full-bore demands of two months ago regarding free agency, arbitration rights and entry-level deals – are toxic to the union for a simple reason: cap-defeating long-term deals are the high tide that floats all vessels in a hard-cap system.
As one NHLPA insider put it: “The NHL would turn into the NBA, where a few guys make the maximum and everyone else is making peanuts. We’re not going to have much of a union if there’s no middle class.”
And yet, they’re accepting it – to a point.
The players, who have already yielded on revenues, just don’t see why they should also have to accept stricter contract rules – with comparatively little in return.
There’s a sense on the NHLPA side the plan all along for the owners was to recoup the cash they were seeking via prorated salaries – Bettman’s assertion the NHL needs to play at least 48 games this year, suggesting a January start, will merely feed it.
The other theory is the owners are trying to shove Fehr out of the picture – if you want to handicap their chances, pick a player at random and check him out in the social-media environment of your choice (spoiler alert: they still love Fehr).
The owners, for their part, clearly consider they’ve gone above and beyond all reasonable efforts – even going so far as to temporarily remove Bettman from the equation last week.
It makes sense, from their standpoint, to crank up the pressure on the union, winning on points is less satisfying than a knockout.
So will the union decertify? Maybe. Is this the final impasse? Doubtful.
At some point someone is going to have to take yes for an answer.


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#4599 Cromeslab

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:25 PM

"NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Friday that he is out of ideas on how to get negotiations back on track to save the hockey season".


What the hell is this idiot getting paid to do exactly?I,m getting real sick of all this s$&t.All the media bs and such. IMHO Bettman and Fehr should be taken out of the negotiation equation entirely,these two a$&clowns would lie in a court of law if they had a chance.They're giving this negotiation no credibility whatsoever.Its all just how can I spin this and make the other party look like the villain..........f$&king pathetic

Edited by Cromeslab, 07 December 2012 - 10:55 PM.

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#4600 Provost

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:59 PM

Beyond the smoke and noise, real disputes slowly getting solved


That comment about negotiation being loud and messy when done well is absolutely not true and clearly written by someone who has no idea how it is done.

I do have a very good idea about it, having been at the table during several CBA negotiations (on the management side) for unions numbering in the tens of thousands of members.

This style of position based bargaining where one side makes outrageous demands and then plays all bombastic and annoyed hasn't been used in real professional bargaining in decades... only when you really don't want a deal.

What is now much more common is interest based bargaining. You find out what the base interests of either side are without stating your position or any numbers. You get to a base "interest" by asking "why" several times to get to the root rather than the position.

eg.

"We want to pay the players less money"
"Why"
"The league isn't making enough money"
"Why"
"There are franchises in financial trouble who are unable to cover their operating costs"
"Why"
"They aren't getting attendance or local TV deals"

etc....

You have suddenly uncovered the real issues at the heart of things which allows for a more creative solution.

eg:
- relocate a couple of crappy franchises
- figure out a way to improve their revenue (like having the players being required to do more community outreach; league funding a grassroots kids hockey program like Nashville did with smashing success; sharing all TV revenue equally amongst all teams including local deals; etc)
- Revenue sharing
- contraction

From listening to the language, the league is using old school position based bargaining and Fehr who is an actual professional negotiator is using interest based bargaining. He keeps saying "we are trying to figure out what the real issues are"...

Edited by Provost, 08 December 2012 - 11:24 PM.

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#4601 elvis15

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:13 PM

For the owners to actually want a 10 year CBA that leads me to believe they think they are winning this big time and want to lock it in. As well, if they are actually sharing HRR 50/50 I don't see what the big deal is, even if economic conditions change.

If my math is right, there's a little thing called the 100th anniversary of the NHL coming up in 2017 that's six years (including this year) from now. The NHL doesn't want anything to get in the way of that season. If the players feel they haven't gotten a fair shake, they can opt out at 6 and hold the NHL over the proverbial barrel to get a better deal.

Remember, the NHL could have opted to extend the CBA through this season but came back early and said they wouldn't do so. That was well before the decision to lockout and while I don't think playing without a CBA would have worked, extending the CBA and continuing to negotiate would have.

The players don't have a lot of power in most other situations, and the NHL is the last to want to give them any leverage more than they have already. Optically, it's not good for the players to want the shorter option considering fans would rather have the next CBA up for negotiations later rather than sooner, but they'd like to feel they won't just get shafted again if the owners still want to say they didn't get enough this time around.
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#4602 BoKnows53

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:21 AM

The NHL has a date for sure set for when they go all in. They dont feel the pressure yet. Much like studying for an exam. The closer it gets, the more pressure builds which leads to higher focus.

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#4603 BoKnows53

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:22 AM

Dp.

Edited by THE_LAW 10, 08 December 2012 - 02:23 AM.

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#4604 The Bookie

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:35 AM

Uncomfortably NUMB

There was a point Thursday night -- not long after Don Fehr and his lieutenants ambled up on stage in New York for a second time and Gary Bettman's face took on various shades of red and purple -- when the 2012-13 NHL season appeared to be deader than dead.
Oh, certainly things could still get uglier, especially if Bettman officially pulls the pin on the hand grenade the league and the NHL Players' Association are tossing back and forth.
But through a lockout that is now into its 84th day, Thursday night's bizarre and very public sequence of events -- when Fehr hinted an agreement was close, reversed his stance after a phone message from the league and Bettman went ballistic in yanking the deal -- might have been the low point in this silly mess.
Fascinating theatre? Maybe for awhile. And then the realization that this thing is in a serious nosedive after a couple of days of optimism and progress.
"I didn't plan on it, but I turned to it and I was watching it for about an hour and-a-half," said Bryan Little Friday, not long after skating at the MTS Iceplex with a handful of Winnipeg Jets teammates. "I was pretty much glued to it and was interested to see what both sides had to say.
"It was strange to watch that, to be honest. It didn't really seem like it was organized. Don was up there talking and within minutes he got that phone call and came on and it was pretty much downhill and all negative from there.
"It dragged on and I turned the channel after awhile because Gary was talking for awhile. After it started to get negative I didn't care what he said, I just wanted to turn off the TV and go to bed."
That "wake-me-when-this-is-over" sentiment is held by many now, especially after Thursday's dramatics and histrionics. This was old back in September when the lockout started.
But as much as Thursday seemed apocalyptic, the sun did indeed rise Friday morning. And now that some raw emotions have been vented, the question now remains as to how to get the negotiations back on the rails.
Yes, believe it or not, some optimism remains -- at least from the players camp.
"Hopefully today brings some new things and we can move on from there," said Jet centre Jim Slater Friday. "Going from (Thursday) night, it didn't look good. But the guys here, we're still positive we're going to get something done at some point... maybe not here in the next little while but hopefully down the road.
"It's just a weird situation. Just listening to media talk, this could be one of the most awkward negotiations going around in any league. But you can't plan on how negotiations are going to go. It's tough. This is the first one I've been a part of and it definitely seems like it's a real tough one. You've just got to put your boots on and keep going."
Slater and Little were the two Jets who braved the media gauntlet at the Iceplex on Friday to offer up their take. They still have faith in their union leadership, still are convinced the foundation of an agreement is in place and that a season will be played.
But there was also this: A real sense that the posturing and efforts to win over public sentiment has become an absolute, complete waste of time.
"Enough of the PR battle. We've got to get something going here," said Slater. "It's not about who looks better in the fans' eyes or the media's eyes. Who knows what happened there (Thursday)? Obviously something did.
"It's both sides. There's not winners here. Obviously, the players want to play and fans want to see the players play. Any time you're not doing that and you're missing games you're letting fans down, both the owners and players.
"You can't take back what happened, you've got to get better and get something done. That's the main focus here. What's happened to this point is over, we can't change it. Hopefully both sides can get back to the table and be talking and get negotiating again."


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#4605 Bodee

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:38 AM

If my math is right, there's a little thing called the 100th anniversary of the NHL coming up in 2017 that's six years (including this year) from now. The NHL doesn't want anything to get in the way of that season. If the players feel they haven't gotten a fair shake, they can opt out at 6 and hold the NHL over the proverbial barrel to get a better deal.

Remember, the NHL could have opted to extend the CBA through this season but came back early and said they wouldn't do so. That was well before the decision to lockout and while I don't think playing without a CBA would have worked, extending the CBA and continuing to negotiate would have.

The players don't have a lot of power in most other situations, and the NHL is the last to want to give them any leverage more than they have already. Optically, it's not good for the players to want the shorter option considering fans would rather have the next CBA up for negotiations later rather than sooner, but they'd like to feel they won't just get shafted again if the owners still want to say they didn't get enough this time around.


This point of view seems as bad as the two sides"trying" to negotiate.......................it says "the fans don't count!"
How will they have reached 100 yrs...........through the loyalty of the fans............so stuff all this talk of player/owner bargaining power and lets use the 6 years to set up some fan bargaining power.

In Scotland fans used the internet and Supporters Clubs to threaten the Scottish Premier League that if the they allowed the disgraced Glasgow Rangers to "automatically" be admitted to the SPL (the top League) they would refuse to buy season tickets and boycott their own Clubs.
Who knows if it was a bluff but the Premier League Clubs backed down and Glasgow Rangers, arguably one of the top 6 soccer Clubs in Britain were sent down 4 divisions.

That was fan power and it was a wake up call to all the British Football Clubs. The NHL fans should use these 6 years to form Supporters Clubs. Then you form a federation of these Supporters Clubs and then you have a voice AND muscle.

I hate to say it but you hockey fans come over in all this like wimps. Like battered wives you never learn your lesson and take this beating every time. Grow a pair.

You should have amalgamated after you had it shoved up you the last lock out. Negotiations should NOT affect the fixtures being played. These people when they stop playing are USING THE FANS to apply pressure. I mean just look at them, no one else seems pressured to settle. It's a farce and you guys put up with it.

Edited by Bodee, 08 December 2012 - 03:44 AM.

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#4606 Boudrias

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:40 AM

"NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Friday that he is out of ideas on how to get negotiations back on track to save the hockey season".


What the hell is this idiot getting paid to do exactly?I,m getting real sick of all this s$&t.All the media bs and such. IMHO Bettman and Fehr should be taken out of the negotiation equation entirely,these two a$&clowns would lie in a court of law if they had a chance.They're giving this negotiation no credibility whatsoever.Its all just how can I spin this and make the other party look like the villain..........f$&king pathetic

No settlement is not about whether Bettman or Fehr cannot get along or cannot put forward a position. The bottom line is that neither party is willing to accept the others position.
Next week: Bettman cancels games to the end of December.
Before X-Mass: Bettman gives a 'drop dead' date for the season.

The only counter to this is if the PA brings a new deal forward from which the NHL can deal from. There is no doubt that the PA does know what the NHL's bottom line is.

The ugly reality is that the PA has always had to come to some version of the NHL's offer. The pro labour fans might not like that but professional sports is hardly a traditional labour vs management scenario. IMO the PA's approach to this dispute has been wrong from the beginning. The proof of that will be the ultimate deal they sign.
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#4607 Bertuzzi Babe

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:32 AM

All the signs are there that this lockout is on the verge of being over and a resolution in place.
Expect the talks to get more frequent and positive and an agreement to be signed in under 2 weeks.
There's absolutely no chance in hell that this lockout ends this NHL season.
I'd wager every last dollar of my retirement savings on that.

Hockey begins Dec.1 or even earlier. Quote me on that!


Can I quote you on that? According to the calendar it's now December 8th. Nope, no hockey in sight.

Signed in 2 weeks from date of post? Incorrect.

All signs indicating lockout is almost over. Incorrect.

Hockey begins Dec. 1st. Incorrect.

Better invest in a new crystal ball and start saving again? Correct.

Edited by Bertuzzi Babe, 08 December 2012 - 10:34 AM.

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#4608 stexx

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:15 AM

can anyone explain why fehr would be addressing the CAW on the state of the lockout? Is this a strategy brainstorming session for the PA with another powerful union? i am confused.

"
Donald Fehr has plans to speak today about the current state of the NHL lockout.
The executive director of the NHL Players' Association is scheduled to address a meeting of Canadian Auto Workers union delegates today in Toronto at approximately 2:30pm et."

as per tsn story, http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=411235
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#4609 Cromeslab

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:27 AM

can anyone explain why fehr would be addressing the CAW on the state of the lockout? Is this a strategy brainstorming session for the PA with another powerful union? i am confused.

"
Donald Fehr has plans to speak today about the current state of the NHL lockout.
The executive director of the NHL Players' Association is scheduled to address a meeting of Canadian Auto Workers union delegates today in Toronto at approximately 2:30pm et."

as per tsn story, http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=411235


I am confused by this as well , hope it backfires on him
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#4610 poetica

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:43 PM

....
This style of position based bargaining where one side makes outrageous demands and then plays all bombastic and annoyed hasn't been used in real professional bargaining in decades... only when you really don't want a deal.
...
From listening to the language, the league is using old school position based bargaining and Fehr who is an actual professional negotiator is using position based bargaining. He keeps saying "we are trying to figure out what the real issues are"...


I didn't quote the whole thing due to length, but I just wanted to say what an excellent post!



In the interest of forcing them to negotiated with one another, I was thinking this morning that maybe the NHL should employ something similar to the fiscal cliff the US Congress dumbly put into place. In their case it was because they couldn't do their jobs and come up with a deal then, so they tried to force themselves to do it later. For the NHL it could be a clause put into every CBA to ensure that something so terrible would happen if they didn't get a new CBA in place when the old one expires without losing a single game that both sides would be forced to get a deal done.

The "Icy Cliff" Clause

In the event that a CBA expires and a new one is not in place by the date the regular season is set to start, they are forced to start the season and play all games as scheduled, BUT
  • Players receive only 1/3 of their contract salary until the new CBA is signed and in place. (Those funds are lost for good.)
  • Owners must DOUBLE the remaining portion of players' salaries and pay it into a supplemental pension fund for retired players. Once the CBA is signed and in place, these funds are distributed entirely among retired players (to ensure the penalized players never see any of that money).
  • The payments will be pro rated to the number of years a player has been out of the league. The oldest retired players get the most. The youngest get the least. (The exact math could be determined later. I was too lazy to come up with a workable play for my fantasy solution. *lol*)
  • Any retired player who played in the NHL during the previous season (when a deal should have been made) is not eligible to receive any of these funds.
  • All other aspects of the old CBA remain in place until the new one is signed.
  • Until a new CBA is signed, no new contracts may be signed and no trades can be made. Any players without a contract are just without a job.
  • Teams are only able to call up players from the minors already under contract. If they can't ice a full team with those players, they're pucked.
I don't know if it would really make them get a deal done quickly, but at least it would force them to keep playing, thus minimizing the damage to the league with sponsors and fans, while making both sides suffer financially enough to encourage them to get a deal done.
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Go, Canucks, Go!
Every single one of them.

Thanks for the memories, Luo! :'(

#4611 poetica

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:48 PM

can anyone explain why fehr would be addressing the CAW on the state of the lockout? Is this a strategy brainstorming session for the PA with another powerful union? i am confused.


I know, I thought that was odd too. All I was able to find was this other news story that seems to indicate it's kind of a think-tank or brainstorming session for unions.

TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr will speak to more than 800 delegates attending CAW Council Saturday, December 8 at approximately 2:30 p.m.


CAW Council is being held at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto, 123 Queen Street West, lower level, Grand Ballroom.

Fehr will discuss the ongoing NHL lock-out which is now in day 83.

CAW Council brings together delegates from across Canada who are elected by their local unions to discuss, debate and vote on key labour, economic and political issues.

Media are welcome to attend. Media tables are set at the front of the hall.

Source: http://www.newswire....ncil-in-toronto
(Note: Emphasis is mine.)
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Go, Canucks, Go!
Every single one of them.

Thanks for the memories, Luo! :'(

#4612 Boudrias

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:00 PM

can anyone explain why fehr would be addressing the CAW on the state of the lockout? Is this a strategy brainstorming session for the PA with another powerful union? i am confused.

"
Donald Fehr has plans to speak today about the current state of the NHL lockout.
The executive director of the NHL Players' Association is scheduled to address a meeting of Canadian Auto Workers union delegates today in Toronto at approximately 2:30pm et."

as per tsn story, http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=411235

They're probably trying to figure out how they can blame PM Harper for the whole dispute! Maybe they want a GM type bailout for the NHL. We all get shares and have input on how much icetime Zach Kassian gets! Talk about involvement from the grass roots. Beauty!
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#4613 poetica

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

@jonasTSN1050: Standing ovation for Don Fehr following CAW speech.


@jonasTSN1050: Fehr on meeting with the league next week: "If they're willing. It's up to them. They're the ones who called a halt to the process."


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Go, Canucks, Go!
Every single one of them.

Thanks for the memories, Luo! :'(

#4614 poetica

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:53 PM

NHL fears players will win again

The emerging truth — the NHL is the clubhouse leader in emphasizing new truths and obscuring the old — is unavoidably this:

Gary Bettman did not beat Bob Goodenow in the last labour dispute.

In fact, in the long view, he probably lost.

There can be no other explanation for the hard line that the commissioner, and his obedient NHL owners have unnecessarily drawn in the sand during the current work stoppage. (And let's abandon that term, right now. “Work stoppage” suggests that it was the idea of those actually doing the work to have it stop.)

Remember, always, that NHL hockey players are not on strike. They are locked out.

And they have, in proposal and counterproposal, offered many more concessions the past two months than have the owners. We're talking real concessions here, meaning retreats from ground you already won and held; not fake concessions, meaning retreats from ground you would like to have won and held.

Bettman and Bill Daly are the absolute masters of the latter, and it's wearing thin. To the point of transparency.


After all, but giggling out loud that they had a knockout victory in the lockout of 2005 — the media, public and even players themselves referred to it as a players' loss — only a few years later, the league has been acting as if that agreement was some kind of all-purpose devil from the beginning, favouring the players far too much for anyone's own good, including the players'.

So, if continuing under that 2005 agreement jeopardized the owners' financial health and inordinately promoted the players' financial health, as Bettman claims, then what was the ugly 15-month process that produced it?

A loss for the owners — it says not only here, but also in the speech bubbles over Bettman's and Daly's heads.

And that was with heavy principles involved — such as salary cap and revenue — against Bob Goodenow who was in the midst of dwindling players' support. Not against a guy who once sent major league baseball limping out of a $280 million dollar collusion-case settlement as Donald Fehr did.

So if the owners caved in to end the 1994 lockout, despite Bettman's urging to the contrary; and we're now figuring out that they tied, or even lost, the 2005 lockout because of the unintended consequences of that CBA, it casts a different light on the uncharacteristically overt emotions that the NHL commissioner and owners displayed earlier this week.

That wasn't exasperation at talks breaking down that made those voices crack and nearly break.

It was fear. (without the ‘h').

Fear of losing yet again. Fear of having their self-satisfaction revealed as truly baseless, a modern-day emperor's new clothes. Fear of becoming the only big sport to strike off a championship season twice. Fear of no one outside of Canada caring, which is one of the NHL's major paranoias.

Fear of someone deep on the inside pointing out that the only real constant in the three NHL lockouts (there are all new players, a new union head and about two dozen new NHL owners since the 1994 lockout) was the one man who should have been most motivated to prevent them.

And a fear of memory. The NHL prefers us not to remember anything before today, because it always comes back to haunt them.

Like voting unanimously, and with great public flourish, that Jim Balsillie didn't have the character to be an NHL owner, then expressing shock and anger that newspapers like The Spec would recall how many NHL owners have had the character to be accepted into the owners' lodge, but not to stay out of jail.

Like their constant insincere references, until the final year of the CBA, to the players as “partners,” a word that has not been uttered in public since.

Like their smug, regularly-repeated, mantra during the Phoenix fiasco (which is still a fiasco, incidentally): “We don't start fights …. but we end them.”

Oh really? Who started this one? Did the players themselves take off their skates in September, walk to the hardware and purchase the padlocks for which they have no key?

And who's ending this one? The owners and NHL with their if-you-don't-come-exactly-to-where-we're-standing-you're-not-moving-at-all outlook?

Larry Tannenbaum, a man who has negotiated in the hard-ass world of multi-million-dollar construction, but who, on cue, professed to be taken aback by what went on behind closed NHL-NHLPA doors? Other owners, who suggested the players come back to bargaining again without their leader and major legal counsel?

We will also point out that the NHL keeps wanting to limit their description of players to “labour.” That, again is true, but not the whole truth. This isn't the mill or a shoe factory.

It's the entertainment industry, where the actors (in this case players) aren't just the workers, they are the very product themselves. It is the players, and only the players, we watch and pay in one form or another to see.

Take whatever side you want on this, especially if you just want NHL hockey back, or rest your head on the essentially useless pillow that both sides are to blame. They may be both to blame — (Who isn't when every man involved, including and perhaps especially the owners, makes more than anyone morally deserves to?) — but the blame is not equal.

(Note: Emphasis is mine.)
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Go, Canucks, Go!
Every single one of them.

Thanks for the memories, Luo! :'(

#4615 poetica

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

Interesting quote from the article "Lost season looms as NHL talks break down" from Ryan Miller talking about why the players are holding out against a 5-year contract term limit:

“By limiting years of a contract and variance in the level of salary year to year, the player hurt is any player temporarily caught in between what will become a two-tier salary structure,” Miller wrote. “It is true a vast majority of players will never use the right to sign for up to five years. That is not even close to a point in this argument. It is about what money is available to the biggest group in the sport and maintaining NHL hockey as a long-term career option.

“A lot has been said about the stars being greedy. But this is an issue that directly affects my brother [Detroit third-line forward Drew Miller], and I am absolutely thinking about players like him and the good of the game. ... It makes average player careers shorter, so why as a group of players would we accept to accelerate that or create a lever to accelerate that in an agreement that would last 10 years? We don’t want to do it.”


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Go, Canucks, Go!
Every single one of them.

Thanks for the memories, Luo! :'(

#4616 Hobble

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:19 PM

Why would a 5-year cap on contract length shorten players careers?!?
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#4617 Shift-4

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:22 PM

Why would a 5-year cap on contract length shorten players careers?!?


I don't buy that either. What shortens careers is lack of ability.
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#4618 DeNiro

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:27 PM

Why would a 5-year cap on contract length shorten players careers?!?


Because players that sign ridiculous contracts right now are guaranteed to have like 8-10 year careers if they stay healthy. Even though alot of those players are not very valuable to their teams by the end of them.

If somebody like Scott Gomez had signed a 5 year deal, he might not even be playing in the NHL anymore.

Teams won't be giving long contracts to players that takes them past the age of 35, because there would be no more incentive to lower their cap hit. Therefore careers will end much earlier for alot of players.

Edited by DeNiro, 08 December 2012 - 03:36 PM.

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#4619 DeNiro

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:46 PM

I think the fair deal for both sides would be to have a 6-7 year max with the ability to have an option year at the end.

That way if a player isn't performing at the end of their contracts, the team can dump them in the final year. But if they are performing you can add on a bonus year at the end. Essentially making it a 7-8 year max, with the final year being up to management whether they want to keep them or not.
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#4620 poetica

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:05 PM

Why would a 5-year cap on contract length shorten players careers?!?


As I understand it, the argument is that a salary cap coupled with a short contract term limit (especially with the NHL's 5% variance rule) would leave teams less money to spend on the majority of their team.

Stars get paid what they get paid not only their skill but also their revenue generation power. As such, teams will still want to attract stars to play for their team, but doing so on a shorter contract, especially with a strict variance limit, will mean their cap hit is significantly higher than it is now.

For example, look at the 12-year contract extension Crosby just signed back in June. It breaks down by year like this:
  • 2013-14 — $12 million
  • 2014-15 — $12 million
  • 2015-16 — $12 million
  • 2016-17 — $10.9 million
  • 2017-18 — $10.9 million
  • 2018-19 — $10 million
  • 2019-20 — $9 million
  • 2020-21 — $9.6 million
  • 2021-22 — $9 million
  • 2022-23 — $3 million
  • 2023-24 — $3 million
  • 2024-25 — $3 million
  • Cap Hit: $8.7M
(Source: http://www.cbc.ca/sp...t-penguins.html)

As you can see hockey's poster boy is getting PAID. Even with a new CBA, players like him will continue to be catnip to owners and owners will continue to do whatever they need to to get them, meaning similar deals (subject, of course, to the same 20% of upper cap limit assuming that rule remains in the new CBA).

So, since his value compared to now would not have dropped just because of the new CBA, it's fair to assume he could be paid as similarly to now as the rules allow. Given that, if Crosby's deal (remember, it's not even 6-months old and has yet to even come into effect!) were forced to be 5-years with a 5% variance it might have looked something like this:
  • 2013-14 — $11 million
  • 2014-15 — $11 million
  • 2015-16 — $11 million
  • 2016-17 — $10.45 million
  • 2017-18 — $10.45 million
  • Cap Hit: $10.78M
Even with his salary being reduced by a million in the first 3 years and the amount allowed by the 5% variance rule for the remaining 2, his cap hit would still be $2M above what it is now, meaning $2M less for Pittsburgh to spend on the rest of their players. And remember, Crosby isn't the only star on their team so that ripple effect would be increased with each high paid star and would be applied against a lowered cap under the new 50/50 split.

EDIT TO ADD: For some unknown reason the NHL wants a 5-year term limit only when a player is signing with a new team. When re-signing with the same team for some reason they're fine with a 7-year term limit. Given that the example I used was a player who was re-signing with the same team, it's more fair to look at a 7-year contract. So, assuming the same $1M drop in the first 3 years, a 7-year deal for him might look something like this:
  • 2013-14 — $11 million
  • 2014-15 — $11 million
  • 2015-16 — $11 million
  • 2016-17 — $10.45 million
  • 2017-18 — $10.45 million
  • 2018-19 — $9.5 million
  • 2019-20 — $9 million
  • Cap Hit: $10.34M
As you can see, even with the extra 2 years, thanks to the 5% variance limit his cap hit is only lowered by $0.44M compared to the 5-year deal and is still $1.64M higher than would be as the contract was signed.

To make room in the cap to pay the stars, teams would need to fill out their rosters with cheap players. There would no longer be what is being referred to as the "middle class" of players. You would either be paid like a superstar or a 4th line plug and any players who didn't fit neatly into those slots would be forced out, or forced to play for far less than they are worth. Given the option to play in other leagues for better pay, or even leave behind the risks of hockey to pursue other careers, many will simply be forced out of the league.

Edited by poetica, 08 December 2012 - 04:50 PM.

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