* The players selling themselves to ownership in the sense of a partnership which benefits both parties. It has to happen over a long period of time. I wouldn't limit the approach to just the players but might include management and referees as well.
Again, I do understand what you're saying. I'm just not sure how they would go about doing that or why they should have to. It was the owners who named them "partners" last time, but mere "employees" this time. How do you prove your worth to someone who only sees it in terms of what they can get from you while taking for granted what they already have been getting?
Sadly, I don't see this lockout doing anything to help either side's warm and fuzzy feelings towards the other or fostering any sense of a real partnership. Bad corporate culture is bad for business, and business owners above all others should know that. So, why don't they care? We've seen how loyal fans can help a business prosper even when times are tough. We've seen how players will take "home town discounts" for teams they care about and feel care about them. So, why aren't owners more concerned about creating feelings of animosity with fans and players? Do they maybe just think that's management's job?
* Absolutely agree that ownership's negative reaction to these negociations could get far worse. The PA forecast revenue growth at 7% and the NHL at 5%. What happens if that number flatlines or even decreases. Let alone from the brand damage you identified above as a cause but also the very real potential of a serious economic recession. Again I go back to my concern about how the PA can change their perceived value to ownership. The more times there are disputes like this the more chance they will be used again.
Oh, I agree. I think about this point they can both throw out their numbers. They'll be lucky to climb back to last seasons' numbers any time soon. And frankly it's what they deserve. You shoot a horse that's lame, you don't wound your prize racehorse when it's winning.
* What more can the players do? On the whole I think the players do a great job promoting the game from a personal appearance perspective. IMO there has to be a $ figure put on that type of effort. It makes no dif to me if this type of work is done as part of their contract or not. A $ figure quatifies the effort as a group. Especially valuable in aggregate and if revenue growth can be directly attributed to it. Perhaps the PA is already doing this but I have never seen anything but individuals.
It's an interesting idea. I don't know how it would be received, though. Especially if done individually (say by agents), owners might think players are just trying to make a play for more money, as opposed to showing the value they already provide owners for their salaries. Also, even as a theoretical exercise (as opposed to players actually getting that money) it might increase the difficulty of already convoluted accounting. Still, as you suggested, it might be a good exercise for the PA to do at least once every few years to remind owners that players aren't just employees. They are revenue generators. (Hey, that's good! Maybe the PA needs to hire a Republican spin doctor of their own to sell them to the owners. *lol*)
Another idea was the whole issue you were questioning on whether the owners knew their own businesses that well. Other than Lemieux and Gretzky I cannot think of any other players who joined actual ownership. (One of the former TB owners was NHL) Ownership doesn't hesitate hiring retired NHLers for management positions to actually run teams. If I was the PA I would be trying to integrate the management experience into the player/ex-player offer. Needless to say it would take a hugh level of trust which does not exist today. There are two very distinct sides to operating a franchise. Actual hockey management which ex-NHLers are well established in. We don't hear much about the otherside of the business which deals with the finance side. When you look at how many NHLers are coming from the college and university ranks I have to assume that opportunity must exist within the various franchises for post NHL career moves. How many employers have the opportunity to source employees from within and who have established public images and are known entitites. Hugh number of NHLers with MBAs.
True, most owners aren't hockey people. Like you said, that's why they're smart to hire hockey people, especially those with ice cred to actually manage their teams. I know some people think owners' lack of hockey knowledge is a major problem and to some degree they're right. Pro sports aren't really like any other kind of business given the fishbowl kind of market they operate in and the rabid fan loyalty that is so easy to take for granted. However, business practices are essentially the same across all sectors. Business sense still applies even to a hockey team. So, I wasn't so much questioning how much owners know about hockey, but why they don't apply what I assume is their vast business knowledge to the business of hockey. They don't need to know even the basics of hockey to look at the books and see where their revenue comes from. They don't need to be able to tell a goalie from a forward to figure out what their product is, what their customers want from them, or what it takes to build and expand their brand loyalty.
* Collegial(Partnership) approach: I look at this approach as something that had/has a better long term chance of benefiting the players than a confrontational approach. If the players can decertify and get what they think they deserve through the courts then obviously their approach was right all along. The downside, which is probably more likely, being a relative win by ownership. Sorry but if the season is cancelled the union solidarity will crumble and the PA will be done. A third 'loss' by the PA is even more devestating than 2004. I put the ownership win as 'relative' because no owner should be happy with what has happened. I dwell on what the players could have done with a collegial approach but in all reality after 2004 the owners should have been very open to the same approach. A owner win under current circumstances is relative since the chance of it being repeated in 2020 is very high. Perhaps my wording of collegial is incorrect but I picked that up from some hockey article discussing Paul Kelly's approach.
We definitely don't know what will/would happen if the union did cease to exist, but I'm definitely of the mind that it wouldn't be good for either side, especially in the long-term. Rather, I think it would become a tale of warning for the other sports leagues trotted out every time they even approached a CBA negotiation. You're right. It would be measured in "relative win" terms. And in this case, the relative is the twin brother "loser."