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*Official* CBA Negotiations and Lockout Thread


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#5911 -Vintage Canuck-

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

‏@ElliottPap
D.Sedin on maybe going home to play if season axed: "We're going to talk to Markus (Naslund) in the next few days. You have to be prepared."
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#5912 poetica

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:58 PM

The problem is the player salaries are driven by the have teams. Yes the players gave in the last CBA but where are the salaries now? Higher than before the last CBA. So half the teams are losing money again. The bulk of the league revenue increase has come from the richest four teams. As a result the cap has hit what only a handful of teams could afford the last time around and not many more can afford it now.


Player salaries are driven by the market the NHL owners themselves created. They wrote the last CBA. They created the salary cap system. They put such severe limits on the team revenue sharing that it became all but useless to most of the teams losing money. They leveraged lucrative TV deals using the attractive ad markets of the money losing teams but turned around and pocketed their share of the profits from that instead of sharing it even though that alone would have likely put almost every team in the black.

The fact that the NHL has traditionally been a gate driven industry is not new, nor is it news to the owners. They've known that all along. But the truth is, in the last few years they've made huge strides in other types of revenue that is shared among the teams. (Just look what the NHL said about the 2010/11 season.) And the following season they saw their revenue increase even more significantly, totally $3.3B (beating the projection of $3.2B). As such, even teams struggling to fill their seats should have gotten more revenue than every before. And given all of that additional revenue, especially the increases in shared revenues (i.e. TV and sponsorship deals), teams should be doing better than ever before even when you account for the increase in non-player costs.

While we don't know what their non-player costs are exactly because they don't release that information (though we do know players have had questions about the rising costs and how owners were accounting for them), we can make a reasonable guess using the numbers from the Levitt report which found that "the NHL lost $273M on $1.996B in revenues during the 2002-03 season. He also concluded that the players salaries worked out to 75% of total revenues during the 2002-03 season, or $1.494B. .... If total revenues were $1.996B and player salaries were $1.494B and total losses were $273M that would mean that non-player salary expenses totaled $775M." (Source)

Using a US inflation calculation, $775M in non-player costs in 2002 would cost $992M today. Last season the NHL made $3.3B, 43% of which is $1.419B. Even if you round up the inflated non-player costs to an even $1B (and completely ignore the fact some costs are deducted before the players' share is determined, so owners actually got more than 43%) owners should have had profits of $419M. Or, put another way, $13.97M in profit per team. With a respectable team revenue sharing program all teams could have made a modest profit last season even while still allowing the high earning teams to take home a handsome profit. If only....

I've maintained all along the have teams are the leagues worst enemy. They started the mega deals ending with cap reducers at the end to circumvent the cap. In turn driving salaries up.


While I agree some of the deals have gotten ridiculous, they're the exception, not the rule and are not what is making salaries go up. (Incidentally, the highest salaries have yet to return to the level they were years ago if you can believe that.) The fact that the NHL's revenue kept going up so dramatically is what made players' salaries go up. As long as HRR goes up, players' salaries will always go up too because teams have to spend a certain amount to meet the players' share.

The thing with using a salary cap to enforce spending parity is only one of two things can happen: Either the poorest teams have to spend to the richest teams' level (thus making them lose even more money), or the richest teams are capped at spending to the poorest teams' level (thus making them even more profitable while poor teams barely break even). The idea that an adequately enforced salary cap is all that's needed to ensure success for all teams is flawed.

From a financial point of view, a wider cap (like the PA suggested) allows richer teams to pay more of the players' share. From a competitive parity point of view that can create an issue. However, as so many here have pointed out not all players who get higher salaries are actually worth them. So, rich teams can take more of the burden of fulfilling the players' share without necessarily damaging competitive parity. Chicago beat Philly in 2010 while spending almost $5M less.

You say these other teams need to draft better. To what end? Once those players are established stars the have teams just back up their front loaded money truck with a "till death do us part" deal and steal the player away as a UFA.


Actually, I didn't just say draft better. There are good players out there, they just aren't always the big names. Scouting potential for the draft is the basic level of competency teams should have. They should also be scouting undrafted players and underrated players in the league. Sometimes teams just need to see the potential in a "fixer up" player who just needs a little more development and time to reach his potential. And, being that the players have already agreed to rules that will address front loaded contracts, keeping them should no longer be an issue, especially if owners put a little time into trying to develop a good working relationship with their players instead of trying to find ways to control them. All businesses have to take the risk of developing their employees on the hope that they will get the benefit from the training and/or education they paid for. That's just the cost of doing business and the owners of NHL teams have to stop expecting special treatment.

What is an issue, though, is this attitude that the players are supposed to pay for the mistakes of the owners. Owners screw each other, so players should get less? Owners snake players other owners developed and the players should pay for that? That is the problem. Until owners are made to be responsible for their own actions instead of just telling them to make the players pay for their mistakes, they will just keep doing it. Addressing the problem, not the effects of it, is the only real long-term solution.

The bottom line is this:

The have owners need to share more revenue.
The players need to take less of the pie.
The term of player contract has to have limits to end cap circumvent once and for all.


I couldn't agree more with you on revenue sharing!

The players have already agreed to take less, even though the owners are already getting more than they've ever had (ever after factoring in increasing costs).

The players have agreed to some rules addressing cap circumventing but until the owners are made responsible for their actions, made to recognize that they need to behave in the interest of their league, not just their team, this is only a temporary fix until the owners find a new way to break the new rules they made. Again, addressing the effect is not the same as addressing the problem, and only ensures it will flare up again in the future.
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Thanks for the memories, Luo! :'(

#5913 poetica

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

@aaronward_nhl: Mediators have now been in meeting with the NHLPA for over 2.5 hours. #CBA #TSN



And on a completely unrelated note.....D*mn my addiction to the TSN tweetbox! I haven't watched the Russia/Sweden game yet and now I know who wins.
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Go, Canucks, Go!
Every single one of them.

Thanks for the memories, Luo! :'(

#5914 WiDeN

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

aaronward_nhl: Mediator has left NHLPA hotel. #TSN


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#5915 Ossi Vaananen

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:11 PM

Watching that TSN vid, players are unhappy with NHL's 'sneaky move', they want to disclaim.
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#5916 Smashian Kassian

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:12 PM

Hmmm I guess we will see what happens.

Edited by Smashian Kassian, 04 January 2013 - 03:12 PM.

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#5917 -Vintage Canuck-

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:12 PM

@Real_ESPNLeBrun
Mediator about to meet with NHL now
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#5918 -Vintage Canuck-

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

@RenLavoieRDS
NHLPA conditions for the next CBA to be 10 year. 1-option out after 7 years. 2-minimum salary at $800 000 at year 9. Still no deal on that.
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#5919 theminister

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:41 PM

Damn it, Provost.....
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#5920 WiDeN

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:49 PM

The 11th is so far away still!! Gah!!
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#5921 Provost

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:07 PM

Damn it, Provost.....


I hope I am wrong... maybe over the weekend we start seeing the signs that I talked about, but if it hits Monday and nothing, we are just running out of time. Once you get an agreement in principle, it is like 2 weeks of hard work to turn that into full contract language because each side needs to spend time considering each sentence to figure out how it will work in real life. You have to cross reference different clauses that refer to other clauses which are now different.

Normally when there is a level of trust you go back to work while guys like me are hammering all that out. I have only been in one negotiation so acrimonious that we had to finalize everything before a single step towards starting up happened again. It was hugely painful because you had the non-professional negotiators (like the owners and players) still involved.

In no way will Fehr bring his players back until this is done. If not going forward with the disclaimer of interest made the league suddenly play hardball... what do you think would happen if players returned from Europe, and were in camp doing medicals already. It is really hard to reverse momentum and the league would take advantage of that.

If the players vote overwhelming about disclaimer of interest, there is every possibility that the rich owners give each other a call and try to put an end to the final gouging that Bettman is doing. Unfortunately, you only need 7 or 8 teams supporting Bettman to give him all the power.
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#5922 Ossi Vaananen

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

upgrading minimum salary hardly seems worth the fight.
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#5923 Provost

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

Oh, I should share one glimmer of hope.

The league's labour lawyers must be having a fit with a couple things Bettman has said in the past two days.

1. "We have never heard of decertifcation from the PA" - OK, then kiss your pre-emptive suit in New York to make the decertification invalid goodbye. You can't sue someone for something they may want to do in the future like that. It means that New York tosses it out, and the PA gets to start filing lawsuits in different jurisdictions that may be more labour friendly.

2. "Some owners are unhappy with deals they signed and would be happy to dismantle their teams" - This was reported as being said a couple days ago by Bettman. If it was done in front of the federal mediator and other parties and was close to that quote, Bettman just paved the way for successful lawsuits by the players against their owners. You can't use collective bargaining to get out of existing contracts you signed in good faith with another party. That is really sounding like the league is bargaining in bad faith and also strengthens the players case for decertifying their union. If bargaining collectively is only a method to undermine individual contracts it seems reasonable to not bargain collectively.

So the ray of light is that several of Bettman's legal team are probably advising him to settle and avoid going into court. Add that to the desire from the owners NOT to have their books opened up to a third party and expose the shenanigans they have been done to cook their books and reduce HRR.

Edited by Provost, 04 January 2013 - 04:19 PM.

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#5924 thad

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

upgrading minimum salary hardly seems worth the fight.


C'mon, they can't have mark jankowski living in a cardboard box his entire career
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#5925 Ossi Vaananen

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:58 PM

C'mon, they can't have mark jankowski living in a cardboard box his entire career


Jankowski being a first could negotiate max rookie bonuses up to 3.7m. As a base pay for his salary players drafted that high generally get 800,000+ in their entry level deal.
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#5926 thad

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

Jankowski being a first could negotiate max rookie bonuses up to 3.7m. As a base pay for his salary players drafted that high generally get 800,000+ in their entry level deal.


He deserves that 3.7 for the embarrassment of having to go on stage on live tv and put a flames jersey on.
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#5927 The Bookie

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 05:06 PM

2. "Some owners are unhappy with deals they signed and would be happy to dismantle their teams" - This was reported as being said a couple days ago by Bettman. If it was done in front of the federal mediator and other parties and was close to that quote, Bettman just paved the way for successful lawsuits by the players against their owners. You can't use collective bargaining to get out of existing contracts you signed in good faith with another party. That is really sounding like the league is bargaining in bad faith and also strengthens the players case for decertifying their union. If bargaining collectively is only a method to undermine individual contracts it seems reasonable to not bargain collectively.


I think he said General Managers, not Owners.
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#5928 Heretic

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 05:32 PM


"Basically, they changed the definition, where there would be no accountability in terms of HRR accounting," Senators team representativeChris Phillips told The Ottawa Sun on Friday. "So they could basically give us whatever number they wanted to.

"It's great that we're at 50-50 now, but 50-50 of what? That's just ridiculous. We're trying to get a deal done, and negotiate in good faith and they pull garbage like that. That's not going to get anything done."


So why didn't you guys sign the original offer doh!

I :picard: all the players that think like Chris.

You had your chance and now when the definition has changed - you don't like it. :sadno:
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#5929 playboi19

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:05 PM

"Basically, they changed the definition, where there would be no accountability in terms of HRR accounting," Senators team representativeChris Phillips told The Ottawa Sun on Friday. "So they could basically give us whatever number they wanted to.
"It's great that we're at 50-50 now, but 50-50 of what? That's just ridiculous. We're trying to get a deal done, and negotiate in good faith and they pull garbage like that. That's not going to get anything done."

So why didn't you guys sign the original offer doh!

I :picard: all the players that think like Chris.

You had your chance and now when the definition has changed - you don't like it. :sadno:

It's because they're still negotiating on other pieces of the CBA. HRR was resolved, everybody was happy with it. But then the NHL tried to change the language again and pull a quick one.

Good news is that it was talked about yesterday and the NHL agreed to go back to the old language.
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#5930 stexx

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:13 PM

"Basically, they changed the definition, where there would be no accountability in terms of HRR accounting," Senators team representativeChris Phillips told The Ottawa Sun on Friday. "So they could basically give us whatever number they wanted to.
"It's great that we're at 50-50 now, but 50-50 of what? That's just ridiculous. We're trying to get a deal done, and negotiate in good faith and they pull garbage like that. That's not going to get anything done."

So why didn't you guys sign the original offer doh!

I :picard: all the players that think like Chris.

You had your chance and now when the definition has changed - you don't like it. :sadno:


of course they didnt like it, it was a finished issue they had agreed on it and then the NHL out of the blue tried to change it to allow teams to misreport HRR with little to no repercussions.
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#5931 elvis15

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:33 PM

I think he said General Managers, not Owners.

He did say GMs based on the article by Brooks, but you'd have to think since the owners are the ones negotiating the $60M cap next year, they're sympathetic to that way of thinking as well. Otherwise, they'd be more worried about icing less competitive teams and potentially buying out useful players just to fit under the cap.
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#5932 -Vintage Canuck-

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:48 PM

@TSNRyanRishaug
A huge amount of food was just seen delivered into NHL offices. Looks like another long night ahead.
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#5933 SamJamIam

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

"Basically, they changed the definition, where there would be no accountability in terms of HRR accounting," Senators team representativeChris Phillips told The Ottawa Sun on Friday. "So they could basically give us whatever number they wanted to.
"It's great that we're at 50-50 now, but 50-50 of what? That's just ridiculous. We're trying to get a deal done, and negotiate in good faith and they pull garbage like that. That's not going to get anything done."

So why didn't you guys sign the original offer doh!

I :picard: all the players that think like Chris.

You had your chance and now when the definition has changed - you don't like it. :sadno:


You need to go away now. Your ignorance contributes nothing here and you clearly have no desire to rectify that.
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#5934 -Vintage Canuck-

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

‏@TedStarkey
Worth noting that despite the rhetoric, this is the most consecutive days the NHL and NHLPA have talked in a row since the lockout began.

Just looking at the bright side. ::D
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#5935 cs2016

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:09 PM

LP

Does anyone remember or have a link to the thread that showed how to get the last page while on mobile?
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#5936 Everybody Hates Raymond

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:58 PM

Sam Carchidi@BroadStBull
Mediator apparently pulling an all-nighter to try to get #NHL negotiations back on track..
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#5937 stexx

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

Sam Carchidi@BroadStBull
Mediator apparently pulling an all-nighter to try to get #NHL negotiations back on track..


at least the babysitter is earning his pay. unfortunately for him he is dealing with a bunch of children that dont want to eat their vegetables at dinner.
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#5938 sedated

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:19 PM

There is one MASSIVE flaw with the players trying to say the NHL was trying to pull a fast one.

If the NHLPA released the documents, and pointed this out, they could crap all over the NHL in the press and everything. They'd have the NHL's balls in a vice. But the fact that Fehr won't comment, and the fact that they're not releasing anything or showing anything, just makes it seem like an attempt to smear and an excuse to start up another DOI/decertification vote.

As for this stuff going to court.. do you know why the NHL launched all those pre-emptive lawsuits and strikes? It's because they're ready. Think about it like this. A huge, huge corportation in the league, with all of it's lawyers, run by a lawyer.. several WEALTHY, not rich owners with their own labels and potential groups of lawyers, against some 'rich' players.

Couple this in against twitter, which has players calling for the owner's head, flashing massive amounts of cash around, and spreading around unfounded crap on top of a bunch of players playing in other leagues, and you've just given wealthy lawyers and their lawyers all the ammuntion they really need. If it really went to court, there's a huge possibility of the NHLPA and the players as a whole getting bent over.

Back to my original report though. I think it's a BS smear thing that Fehr came up with to kickstart another vote. I don't know how it can be 'fair' negotiating when they keep bringing up votes in the middle of negotiations and mediations. On top of trying to smear the NHL with 'changing things' and playing dirty, then not even talking about it and having overly loud and somewhat foolish sounding players parrot it and sound angry and bent out of shape about something that was already agreed upon and fixed anyway.
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#5939 cs2016

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

Sam Carchidi@BroadStBull
Mediator apparently pulling an all-nighter to try to get #NHL negotiations back on track..

Props to Beckenbaugh.
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#5940 Smashian Kassian

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:30 PM

at least the babysitter is earning his pay. unfortunately for him he is dealing with a bunch of children that dont want to eat their vegetables at dinner.


Thats actually a great analogy.
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