Both parties have the right to with hold their participation in a new CBA unless the terms meet their needs. Lockout or strike. Obviously the owners feel their concerns are enough to warrant a lock out. If ownership can be 'lead' by Bettman then perhaps they deserve a unkindly fate. I suggest they are experienced businessmen and can crunch their own numbers.
I agree that they are risking their businesses in this process but to suggest that weight is only on their shoulders is ignoring the reality that players face. If life was so good in the KHL then the exodus back to the NHL would not have been as great as it was. The NHL players face an equal risk as ownership. If the NHL deteriorates then not only will their compensation ultimately shrink but the possible number of jobs might be reduced significantly.
One might wish that both sides would take a pragmatic approach and an agreement be reached. I suspect there are some who view this dispute as a question of 'gonads' but the bigger group are simply fighting over money. Ownership has the responsibility of delivering certainty to the many constituencies they are accountable to. The ultimate deal here will require that if the NHL business plan has any hope of succeeding.
The owners only concern is making more and thinking they can stick it to the players. Yes there are some teams that are losing money but revenue sharing or moving the franchises are the only real ways to address that. Lowering the cap won't make the Coyotes profitable only more league revenue sharing could do that. The Canucks would never disclose what they made last year but it is probably in excess of $50 million after everything is considered. If the cap is lowered the Canucks would make more money and not even consider passing any of that savings onto the fans. The owners don't really want to negotiate they just want the players to cave because they expect them to think in terms of the shortterm money lost. I agree both parties will fair poorly from the lockout in the shortterm but are the players just suppose to cave everytime a CBA ends? When the owners initially suggested a drop from 57% to 43%, I was shocked. That was a brutal way to start the negotiating.
Yes the last CBA has worked out pretty good for the players because of the rising revenues and because of the GM's longterm contracts but the revenues won't keep rising at that pace. I think one of the main reasons thst revenues have gone up so much is because of the Canadian dollar and all the regional Canadian TV contracts. In 2004 the dollar was under 80 cents and now it is over par. But both of these factors are probably maxed out now so the growth rate can't continue
The problem from the players standpoint isn't just signing this collective agreement the problem for them is they have to really stand up to the owners one time or the owners arrogance will never go away.
Think about, imagine you worked for a company that one day signed you to a contract and the next day said give us back 20% and if you don't like it quit. And then said you don't have any good alternatives so take it or leave it. Now even though they may be right in terms of pay do you really want to work for a company that treats you with that much disrespect? Bettman is out of control and the players have to stand up to him at some point. A long work stoppage now may be the best thing in the longterm. Look at baseball, after Fehr beat the owners in 1994 and stood up to them they haven't come close to a work stoppage since and revenues continue to grow and almost everyteam is making money. All sides are happy because now there is a true partnership between players and owners. Hockey is too fractioned. This has to be settled once and for all.
I was a teen during that 1994 baseball lockout and remember hating Donald Fehr with a passion at that the time. I'm sure by the end of the contract he will be hated by most hockey fans too but I think he is the right hire for the players because he is the only guy capable of standing up to Bettman and I think that needs to be done.
Bettman really really needs to go for the good of hockey. The revenues of all the sports have grown substantially since 1994 and hockey's has probably grown the least so I am not sure why he gets so much credit for that.
Edited by gradin123, 09 October 2012 - 03:12 PM.