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*Official* CBA Negotiations and Lockout Thread


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#2041 Wh!stler R!der

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:40 PM

With all this hurricane Sandy talk we can only hope that little dwarf got blown away in New York. Too cruel? Life's a (rhymes with witch) You'll get yours Gary!
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This city deserves a championship. This is the best era in Canucks history, keep bleeding blue n green always!
Win it for Ripper, Luc and Demo.

#2042 elvis15

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:45 PM

Kypper with a new article out today, curious how much of it is based on actual off the record conversations he may have had with some owners and how much of it is guesswork or feeling.

KYPREOS ON NHL: THE SILENT MAJORITY

It's still my belief we will be playing NHL hockey this season. While my colleague Doug MacLean and I differ on how we achieve CBA harmony, we both agree the 50/50 split is now too close to not get a deal done.

I get there is still work to be done with making contracts "whole" and other systemic issues in the agreement, but to complete a deal soon (this is where Doug and I might differ), I really believe we need more team owners involved. I find it so ironic that eight years after the last lockout, the course of events that eventually sunk former NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow might very well affect Gary Bettman in the same way.

Back in 2004, Goodenow's small executive board shared only the negotiation information they deemed appropriate to their 750 constituents, not all the vital information. Case in point: the top secret meeting in Niagara Falls between Ted Saskin and Bill Daly where the PA handed the owners a salary cap for the first time. Imagine the looks on the faces of the Bryan McCabes and Scott Walkers who were fighting the good fight mere days before on national TV with "we will never give in to a cap" routine.
...
Now here we are in 2012 and many whispers we heard about Goodenow in 2004 are now being directed toward Bettman. "Old, tired and paranoid" are just some of the descriptions of Bettman these days. Does the commissioner still have a clear head to get the best deal possible for all 30 owners, or is he too bitter and jaded after close to 20 years on the job to think clearly?

Worse is the perception that only three people control all the power and information when it comes to the future of the NHL, that a new deal hinges solely on Bettman, Bob Batterman (lead counsel for the NHL) and Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins owner and chairman of the NHL board). Everyone else is on the outside looking in when it comes to power in the league.

Ask many NHL owners outside of this small circle and if they answer truthfully they'll tell you they know as much of what's going on as you or me. Some teams will also tell you a two- to three-year slope toward 50/50 split works just fine, and to potentially burn the whole village down in an effort to keep fighting for teams like Phoenix and Florida is just plain wrong. Like McCabe and Walker in 2004, many owners' frustration lies in not having their voice heard when it matters most.
...

If the last paragraph quoted is an accurate representation of a number of the owners, as has been suggested similarly before, then an internal conflict might even be too strong. It might just be they aren't in the loop and are letting the minority decide the direction of the majority.
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#2043 goalie13

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:56 PM

This basically falls under the advertising budget for the Sens, but it goes to show some teams have some innovative ways to spend money. At a time when the owners are pointing to rising expenses as a significant reason to take a larger HRR share and reduce player salaries, it looks a little strange to be spending money in non-traditional ways.


The Canucks have a similar arrangement with Adam Hadwin.
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#2044 poetica

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:03 PM

This could still suggest the NHL can expect closer to the 5-7% revenue growth the players are predicting rather than the 3+% the owners are trying to counter with. That would impact how quickly a slide to 50/50 of HRR would occur rather than an immediate drop.


There's a great article about the growth rate and how it effects the proposals from both sides at NHL Numbers.com (http://nhlnumbers.co...012-2013-season) In it the author makes a great argument for why it is not in the owners' financial interest to lose an entire season, even if they end up getting everything they ask for again.

The author also talks about how the NHLPA based their proposals on a cited average growth rate of 7.1% during the last CBA but the compound annual growth rate may have actually been 6.35%. So, there may be a good basis for the NHL's complaining about the union's calculations and definitely room for both sides to wiggle a little in the interest of getting a deal done. However, as you pointed out, the NHL's proposal was "premised upon a 5% anticipated growth of HRR both this year and in future years." That 5% is significantly lower than the actual 6.35% average of the last CBA and could mean a difference in tens of millions yearly. As you hinted at, that's not simply a conservative business perspective but an attempt by owners to force players to take less more quickly based on artificially lowered projections. Of course, if they continue with the lockout they may actually be making those predictions come true...

For me, one of the more telling quotes from the NHL Numbers article is, "Annual NHL revenue growth, which varied from over 12% in the 2007-2008 season to 2.6% in 2008-2009, was pretty similar to that of the other leagues over the same period." So, if other leagues are able to make most of their franchises profitable thanks to team revenue sharing there is no reason the NHL can not do the same, especially when it's coupled with a tiered reduction in player's share to 50/50.

This basically falls under the advertising budget for the Sens, but it goes to show some teams have some innovative ways to spend money. At a time when the owners are pointing to rising expenses as a significant reason to take a larger HRR share and reduce player salaries, it looks a little strange to be spending money in non-traditional ways.


Very true. And it's that kind of advertising that teams are allowed to deduct portions from HRR to pay for. So, owners complaining they can't afford to pay hockey players can pay people to play other sports instead and deduct it from the players' share. That makes sense, right?
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#2045 elvis15

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:17 PM

The Canucks have a similar arrangement with Adam Hadwin.

...
Very true. And it's that kind of advertising that teams are allowed to deduct portions from HRR to pay for. So, owners complaining they can't afford to pay hockey players can pay people to play other sports instead and deduct it from the players' share. That makes sense, right?

Certainly they aren't spending millions on a sponsorship like this, but it'd likely be hundreds of thousands. Add that in with the other things they have as expenditures (a number of which can also be deducted from HRR as mentioned) and the owners aren't making a good case for why they couldn't do better than their last offer.
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#2046 lorentjd

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:03 PM

If the NHL simply fires them and another league in North America pops up and all the best players are playing for it which league do you think most people will watch?


The chances of the players starting a new league are approximately.........zero.

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#2047 EmployeeoftheMonth

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:04 PM

The chances of the players starting a new league are approximately.........zero.


Yeah that was kind of the point.
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#2048 fwybwed

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:31 PM

Yeah that was kind of the point.


What point? This makes no sense from your previous posts in regards to new players drafted and Current NHLers starting a new league and the NHL dead in the water....?
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#2049 -Vintage Canuck-

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:58 PM

Canucks' Cory Schneider upset with pace of negotiations:

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - The next casualty in the NHL lockout could be the Winter Classic outdoor game and Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider is upset that the NHL is trying to blame the cancellation of the January 1st game on the players, and that it is up to both sides to back to the table and start talking.


"I feel as though we're willing to talk about anything and everything and they're willing to talk about one thing and one thing only, and I'm not sure if they understand that there's many aspects of their proposals we don't like," says Schneider who admits that he is still considering playing in Europe.


Schneider, who is believed to have an offer to play in Switzerland, is warming up to the idea of playing in Europe, saying it would only make sense to get some game action in. Schneider, a native of Boston also has Swiss citizenship.


It was expected to be a breakout season for the 26-year-old Schneider who was expected to take over the Canucks' starting goaltending job with the anticipated trade of Roberto Luongo. Schneider doesn't wee why there couldn't be a start to the NHL season in November, despite last Friday's cancellation of games through November 30th.


The only Canuck currently playing in Europe during the lockout is winger Dale Weise, who signed recently with the Tilburg Trappers in the Dutch Elite League.


http://www.news1130...._medium=twitter
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#2050 EmployeeoftheMonth

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:19 PM

What point? This makes no sense from your previous posts in regards to new players drafted and Current NHLers starting a new league and the NHL dead in the water....?

You need to read what I was responding to and the the posts that followed. There's as much a chance of the league successfully getting rid of all the players and starting again as there is the players starting a new league and taking over.

The point is that it's a two way street. We're not just talking about employees we're talking about a product.

It makes sense; you're just looking at it from the perspective that I was actually saying it was a viable option. I was not saying that at all. I understand though how you might think I was saying it was a viable option but again I assure you I was putting that scenario out there to show how silly the scenario is that the league could simply get rid of it's current product and start new by drafting players and taking players who weren't good enough to be in the NHL.

I also don't think I said anything about new players being drafted. That was DB's angle that the league could ditch all players in the NHLPA and start over by drafting players.
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#2051 -Vintage Canuck-

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:30 PM

@RenLavoieRDS
NHL and NHLPA are still talking via phone/email. No formal CBA talks schedule.
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#2052 The Bookie

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:14 PM

Star Tribune sits down with NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr

Tonight at an Edina hotel, I sat down with Donald Fehr, the chief of the NHL Players’ Association, as more than 30 of the Minnesota-based NHL players, including many on the Wild, filed by us for dinner and a meeting.

Fehr arrived late in the afternoon, cabbed to the hotel and walked straight back to the ballroom for the meeting. He’s hoping to get on an early-morning flight back to Toronto because he already knows he won’t be able to get back to New York, where he lives north of Manhattan, because of Hurricane Sandy.

But Fehr felt it was incumbent upon him to travel to Minnesota on Monday because the players here asked for a meeting a week or so ago so they can be updated on the work stoppage and ask questions. Also in the meeting was Joe Reekie, the former NHL defenseman who is the divisional rep assigned to the Wild and eight other teams.

I talked with Fehr about the process, the core issues between the players and the owners, whether or not Fehr plans to go after the salary cap, how the union can justify fighting for 12.3 percent of salaries when players have already lost 27 percent this year and could potentially lose 100 percent, I asked him to respond to former union chief Paul Kelly’s ideas (expansion) for resolving the lockout in a Hockey News column today by Ken Campbell (link to Ken's piece down in the Q&A) and where we go from here.

Here’s a portion of my Q&A. The interview lasted about a half-hour, and like I said, this is just a portion because things went between formal and informal and because some of the things I talked to Fehr about will be in future articles I write in the upcoming days and weeks.

You can read the article that will be on www.startribune.com/wild soon, too, but a synopsis of where we're at in this excruciating lockout: We’re 45 days into the lockout, games have been canceled through Nov. 30, the Winter Classic will be canceled in a few days and in communication with Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly today, he told me there has already been $720 million in damage to revenue to a league that brought in $3.3 billion in revenue last year.

For quotes from Daly, see the bottom of the blog.

I will be on KFAN (100.3-FM) on Tuesday morning at 9:35 CT.

Here is Fehr:

Q: Where are we going from here?
A: I don’t know the answer, and believe me, I wouldn’t keep it to myself if I did.

Q: How frustrated are you with the process right now?
A: You’re always frustrated with a process that doesn’t produce an agreement. The longer it goes on, the more frustrating it becomes. From that sense, it’s not all that pleasant to deal with. On the other hand, this is the system we have in this country. Whether it’s wise or not, that’s an interesting subject. But we have this system. It doesn’t work all that well in sports for all kinds of reasons. It particularly doesn’t work well in the salary-cap sports because it almost guarantees a lockout in every negotiation. But you’ve got to plow through it until you get it done.

Q: Why does the system guarantee a lockout in “salary-cap sports?”
A: Doesn’t in baseball. The clubs come in and they say, ‘we have a percentage. Let’s lock them out and see if they’ll agree to lower the percentage and we’ll take back some of the money we agreed to pay them in the individual contracts and what the heck? We’re bigger and stronger and more powerful than they are.’ And you know that because whether it’s basketball or hockey or the NFL, where there’s no pretense for financial issues, it doesn’t matter. The bargaining strategy is precisely the same in all of them. It tells you it’s not about economics.

Q: What is the core issue here?
A: Well, first of all, why are we not playing? It wasn’t a decision the players made. We indicated from our first proposal they (the players) were willing to see their percentage fall over time. The owners first proposal went enormously backwards, so the movement they’ve made since then is from a proposal that nobody – not even them – took seriously to begin with. So you go into buy a car and let’s say it has a $35,000 sticker on it and you offer 15. The dealer laughs at you and says, ‘maybe 33.’ And you say, ‘No, I’ll improve my offer to 20. I improved it 33 percent.’ Well it still doesn’t mean it has any reasonable chance of success at any point. It’s an improvement off a number that had zero chance of success. And so you have to view their position from that standpoint. When we came in (August 14), we came in with a real offer from the beginning, what I had hoped for is a real negotiation. So far we haven’t had it.

Q: So, where do we go from here? Your entire career you fought against the salary cap. You’re not willing to go directly to 50-50 in a $3.3 billion business. Now revenues are declining, so I can’t imagine you’re going to take 50-50 in a $2.5 billion business or worse. Are you going after the salary cap?
A: The more things change, the harder it becomes. But I’m not going to talk about future contingencies in the event we can’t reach an agreement.

Q: You succeeded in baseball fighting the cap. You could have quite the legacy if you reversed the cap in hockey.
A: Look, I’m not going to discuss what we might do in other proposals down the road. We would still like to make an agreement and to negotiate from the proposals that we’ve made. We think they provide an excellent framework from which to do it. We gave them three different approaches to have the player share fall over time. It’s an eminently reasonable position, and their position seems to be to cut the share immediately, which has the effect of cutting the individual contracts, including one’s they just signed a few weeks ago. And you’ve got to wonder how somebody can look at themselves in the mirror when they do that.

Q: I always wonder and I think fans do, how do you justify fighting for 12.3 percent of a salary when you’re potentially risking the loss of 100 percent if we lose a season?
A: If this was a one-year agreement, that would make a lot of sense. But it’s not. It’s a five-or-six-or-seven-year agreement. Also, look at what’s on the table [from the owners], there’s a lot more that’s on the table in addition to just player share. They’re saying the things players got in the last agreement in return for the 24 percent rollback [and salary cap], they have to take it back. They (the players) lose ground in salary arbitration, they lose ground in free agency, lose ground in the entry-level system, contracts are limited in all kinds of ways that make them much less secure.

Q: Same kind of question. You’re fighting for $1.6 billion over six years. You could potentially lose that in player salary this year alone.
A: In theory, sure. Then, so do they.

Q: Why did you come here today with a hurricane heading for New York?
A: It’s their contract, it’s their futures, it’s their agreement and it’s their union, and I work for them. So I go wherever they want me to be. And when the guys say they wanted to have a meeting, I said sure. Absolutely.

Q: Are you worried about fractures in the union or players worried about lost wages? Are some players frightened?
A: Yeah. … But that doesn’t mean you make a bad agreement because of it.

(Russo note: I'll have more on the above subject in the coming days because some players are very worried).

Q: What will you talk to them about today?
A: What’s said it that room is said in confidence, but generally, I go through the proposals, go through why they were made, go through what you think will likely happen next or not, you try to take a pulse of the players, you remind them that a negotiation is a process of constant reevaluation and then you ask them what they want to do next and what other players saying. You invite them to negotiating meetings, executive board conference calls. It’s as inclusive as it gets.”

Q: Are you as confident as the league seems to be that fans will just come back?
A: I never take the fans for granted. It seems to me that anybody that does is foolish.

Q: Ken Campbell from the Hockey News wrote a column today where he quotes former union head Paul Kelly saying the key to resolving this is expansion to Quebec City and southern Ontario, splitting the expansion fees, growing revenues and making up the difference right there (see Ken’s column here). Have you talked to the league about expansion?
A: We asked them if they have any plans for expansion, if it’s even on the calendar or anything like that, and they’ve said no.

Q: Do you believe the owners are as resolute as the players?
A: That’s something that will become obvious. I assume they mean what they say.

Q: Have you talked to the players about potentially losing a season?
A: You prepare them for all eventualities. You always have a concern. But I still would like to believe that the owners would like to operate the business. We’ll see.

Q: How upset are you that the owners have declined returning to the table at your request with no preconditions?
A: It’s frustrating. I can’t make ‘em. Haven’t got a tank. What we have to do is get back to the table and figure out a way to bridge it … if they’re willing.

Q: How do you stay so even-keeled when most of us are freaking out?
A: Can’t do this and ride an emotional rollercoaster.

As I mentioned, I communicated with Bill Daly, the league’s No. 2 to Gary Bettman, today:

“Seems like we are back at Square One. We offered 50-50 and they responded at dramatically higher numbers.

“They asked us to amend our player contracting proposals, even without a counter proposal to our original bargaining proposal. We gave it to them -- cutting system-related adjustments to a bare minimum. Apparently, none of our revised proposals are acceptable to the PA.

“We gave on HRR (hockey-related revenue) definitions, we moved again in their direction on revenue sharing, we gave them appeal rights to a neutral third party for certain on-ice and off-ice discipline, we confirmed no roll-back in salaries, and we offered a ‘make-whole’ that we indicated a willingness to negotiate over.

“Not sure what we do now. It’s clear to us that if the PA always wanted a long lockout, they certainly have been successful in creating an environment to successfully achieve one.”

(Russo note: Sorry if there are typos in here. I'll fix at home. But I'm getting booted from the Galleria's Starbucks, partially because they're closing, but also because I made them run out of coffee).
http://apps.startrib...ry_id=176360081



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#2053 Provost

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:28 PM

The chances of the players starting a new league are approximately.........zero.


But the chance of the NHLPA setting up tournaments and games every couple of weeks on most major markets is very possible.

Bieksa did it on his own, same thing has happened in several other cities. I would be more than happy to sit in the Pacific Colosseum watching a bunch of NHLers play a game of shinny where half the proceeds went to charity and half to the players.

I don't think there would be anything that would put more pressure on the owners than seeing hockey continuing on in another stadium full of cheering fans. Odds are someone would pay to broadcast those games as well, at least in Canada.

Bieksa's buddies could play one date a week and sell out... no problem.
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#2054 samurai

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:38 AM

People say these two guys are incredibly smart - I am not sure I agree with that at all. The money being lost here and the damage inflicted doesn't warrant being called smart.

Once you start destroying things or allow it to happen to win a point then you are clearly going in the wrong direction.

Even kids work this out pretty quick. The first time they fight over a cookie they end up with crumbs. The second time they know better and just split it most of the time fairly.
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#2055 fwybwed

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:41 AM

But the chance of the NHLPA setting up tournaments and games every couple of weeks on most major markets is very possible.

Bieksa did it on his own, same thing has happened in several other cities.  I would be more than happy to sit in the Pacific Colosseum watching a bunch of NHLers play a game of shinny where half the proceeds went to charity and half to the players.

I don't think there would be anything that would put more pressure on the owners than seeing hockey continuing on in another stadium full of cheering fans.  Odds are someone would pay to broadcast those games as well, at least in Canada.

Bieksa's buddies could play one date a week and sell out... no problem.


Lol no.....Bieksa's Buddies was a Canuck charity eventPCC lease? Workers for tix, consession, security, parking, clean up, player salaries...more.one day a week??? Canucks play maybe 4 a week....Wont happen....
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#2056 goalie13

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:49 AM

Bieksa's buddies could play one date a week and sell out... no problem.


I think that would get old, fast.

Most fans want to see competitive hockey and see their team climbing the standings, contending for the Cup. An endless parade of exhibition games won't cut it.

Thank goodness we have the WHL!
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#2057 Boudrias

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:01 AM

Kypper with a new article out today, curious how much of it is based on actual off the record conversations he may have had with some owners and how much of it is guesswork or feeling.

KYPREOS ON NHL: THE SILENT MAJORITY

If the last paragraph quoted is an accurate representation of a number of the owners, as has been suggested similarly before, then an internal conflict might even be too strong. It might just be they aren't in the loop and are letting the minority decide the direction of the majority.

Kypreos and MacLean are a bit of a joke. What do you do when the sport that brung you up don't want you anymore. It blows me away when people actually believe that owners are not on top of what is going on. Believing that NHL owners would put the final say in the hands of a group that cannot be challenged or removed might give comfort to those who think this is how this dispute will be resolved is a stretch.

For the sake of argument players should consider the fallout if the owners did split. If the fundamental argument is over revenue and how it is divided not just with the players but also between teams then a divided ownership group could blow the NHL apart. Abandoning the existing NHL business plan of selling the game to USA media could be at risk. Financially weak franchises would be at risk as their financing becomes questionable or their ownership cannot get the 'equalization' payments frpm richer clubs.

The players could be faced with a gate driven revenue model which cannot generate the revenue they enjoy now. They could be faced with fewer teams and thusly fewer jobs.

I suspect NHL owners are very united. Failure to conclude an agreement that gives the NHL longterm certainty would be devestating to their businesses. They are losing money just like the players but their loses are more like an investment in the long term success of their operations. They probably realize that failure this time around means radical changes to the NHL.
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#2058 Wh!stler R!der

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:04 AM

I think that would get old, fast.

Most fans want to see competitive hockey and see their team climbing the standings, contending for the Cup. An endless parade of exhibition games won't cut it.

Thank goodness we have the WHL!



Sadly there is no climbing in the standings if you are a Vancouver Giants fan. Cellar dwellers we are!
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This city deserves a championship. This is the best era in Canucks history, keep bleeding blue n green always!
Win it for Ripper, Luc and Demo.

#2059 goalie13

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:08 AM

Sadly there is no climbing in the standings if you are a Vancouver Giants fan. Cellar dwellers we are!


Luckily I am on the Island. Go Royals!
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#2060 Wh!stler R!der

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:21 AM

Luckily I am on the Island. Go Royals!


Indeed 2nd year on the island and looking good!
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This city deserves a championship. This is the best era in Canucks history, keep bleeding blue n green always!
Win it for Ripper, Luc and Demo.

#2061 canuck_trevor16

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:44 AM

I think the NHL and NHLPA need some kind of mediator between the two of them. It the fastest way to solve this no?
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#2062 goalie13

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:48 AM

I think the NHL and NHLPA need some kind of mediator between the two of them. It the fastest way to solve this no?


Fastest would be for both sides to agree to binding arbitration. But there's about as much chance as that as there is of Gordie Howe coming back as a replacement player.
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#2063 elvis15

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:18 AM

Kypreos and MacLean are a bit of a joke. What do you do when the sport that brung you up don't want you anymore. It blows me away when people actually believe that owners are not on top of what is going on. Believing that NHL owners would put the final say in the hands of a group that cannot be challenged or removed might give comfort to those who think this is how this dispute will be resolved is a stretch.

For the sake of argument players should consider the fallout if the owners did split. If the fundamental argument is over revenue and how it is divided not just with the players but also between teams then a divided ownership group could blow the NHL apart. Abandoning the existing NHL business plan of selling the game to USA media could be at risk. Financially weak franchises would be at risk as their financing becomes questionable or their ownership cannot get the 'equalization' payments frpm richer clubs.

The players could be faced with a gate driven revenue model which cannot generate the revenue they enjoy now. They could be faced with fewer teams and thusly fewer jobs.

I suspect NHL owners are very united. Failure to conclude an agreement that gives the NHL longterm certainty would be devestating to their businesses. They are losing money just like the players but their loses are more like an investment in the long term success of their operations. They probably realize that failure this time around means radical changes to the NHL.

The NHL owners might appear united, but that doesn't guarantee they are. If they do speak out they get fined, as Dellevano found out after his cattle/ranch comments back in September. If you think the Red Wings, Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets are happy about possibly losing the extra revenues they'd earn off the Winter Classic and All Star games, you're not paying attention to a negotiation centered around whether teams are profitable or not. Whether that's enough to make them want to band together and vote against the smaller group driving the negotiations - or whether they even have the numbers to do so - is another story, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't voice a different opinion from those with the power.

Other owners have been involved in the negotiations than the three mentioned by Kypper, but certainly not all the owners are controlling the direction of the NHL. Those with the most power are trying to impose their wants on the others, and since a majority vote isn't needed by the NHL in CBA decisions they can do that. No one's saying the NHL would be abandoning their business plan, or that a new deal would result in less revenue sharing to teams that need it (certainly not as a petty payback for internal dissonance). No one's saying the players would accept a CBA that did try and change HRR to include less than it already does. The NHL needs the NHLPA's agreement in order to have a CBA, and the players have spoken to helping teams that need it more out of the shares they're giving back, so they are thinking of the financial health of the league as well.

If the NHL truly wanted to improve finances and not have lost revenue as a result of a lockout, they'd be meeting to negotiate a deal and at least considering the NHLPA's proposals. The NHL would look at failing markets and consider where they could be more profitable instead of complaining about how much they have to pay in revenue sharing so they can say expansion in non-traditional hockey markets wasn't a failure. The owners also wouldn't have been offering 10-year, $100+M contracts in the summer leading up to negotiating a new CBA.

Some owners realize that, and understand a deal could be close if they want it. The difference for both sides isn't that far apart financially if the reports are correct. The other pieces could be worked on quite easily once that's in place, but the NHL (at least those controlling the negotiations) doesn't even want to talk right now unless it's about what they want.

The article just asks how long will those who aren't speaking stay silent in those internal meetings for the NHL, since the owners have more to lose than to gain by a full season lost this time around.
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#2064 poetica

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:44 AM

No one's saying the NHL would be abandoning their business plan, or that a new deal would result in less revenue sharing to teams that need it (certainly not as a petty payback for internal dissonance).


I don't think anyone's outright said it, but I can see how people might get that impression because the last NHL offer said, "In addition, we have proposed the formation of a functioning and active Revenue Sharing Committee, on which the NHLPA will have representation and will have an opportunity to provide input, to determine the best and most effective distribution of revenue sharing funds." Some people (and I freely admit the thought has crossed my mind) might take that to mean that lower end team owners who don't tow the party line now, even if it's not what's best for their business, might have trouble getting the team revenue sharing money when they go before a committee of mostly (I assume) other owners to ask for it later.
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#2065 Boudrias

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:38 PM

I don't think anyone's outright said it, but I can see how people might get that impression because the last NHL offer said, "In addition, we have proposed the formation of a functioning and active Revenue Sharing Committee, on which the NHLPA will have representation and will have an opportunity to provide input, to determine the best and most effective distribution of revenue sharing funds." Some people (and I freely admit the thought has crossed my mind) might take that to mean that lower end team owners who don't tow the party line now, even if it's not what's best for their business, might have trouble getting the team revenue sharing money when they go before a committee of mostly (I assume) other owners to ask for it later.

You are assuming a lot on what ownership is thinking or even talking about. Since none of us are privy to those talks this is all guess work. I have agreed all along that signed contracts are written in stone unless the club goes bankrupt. I can even agree with revenue sharing as the NHL is not a conventional business. ie No one is served if the TO Laffers drive all their compeitors into bankruptcy. If the owners do not create a structure which can clearly identify the revenues and costs of running the NHL then no long term solution will be reached. If they force the players into another CBA they won't be creating a partnership but continuing adversarial situation. If 2004 taught them anything it should be that. Neither party have done well in that regard. I have already suggested that the NHLPA has done a worse job as they hired the Fehr brothers who have a rep in the sports industry already.

I have always thought that personalities in a dispute could not win the day as eventually the numbers have to add up. I am hoping this is still the case and that Bettman and Fehr will work something out. Bottom line is whether the NHL business plan is viable and how much they are prepared to sacrifice to stick to the plan. Do they feel it is necessary to sacrifice the goodwil of their players or even replace them? How much latitude does their business plan give them to make peace with the NHLPA. My gut tells me this season is toast. If that is the case then ownership must have solid reasons beyond personalites to sacrifice another season. If their lockout is simply to crush the players then this lockout is a poison I doubt the NHL recovers from. I cannot see that being the case it is irrational. The NHL numbers have to be telling owners a different story than what the NHLPA has to say. Again if it was simply personalities I suspect NHL ownership would lose solidarity very quickly. To much money to lose.
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#2066 sting

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:41 PM

Kypreos and MacLean are a bit of a joke. What do you do when the sport that brung you up don't want you anymore. It blows me away when people actually believe that owners are not on top of what is going on. Believing that NHL owners would put the final say in the hands of a group that cannot be challenged or removed might give comfort to those who think this is how this dispute will be resolved is a stretch.

For the sake of argument players should consider the fallout if the owners did split. If the fundamental argument is over revenue and how it is divided not just with the players but also between teams then a divided ownership group could blow the NHL apart. Abandoning the existing NHL business plan of selling the game to USA media could be at risk. Financially weak franchises would be at risk as their financing becomes questionable or their ownership cannot get the 'equalization' payments frpm richer clubs.

The players could be faced with a gate driven revenue model which cannot generate the revenue they enjoy now. They could be faced with fewer teams and thusly fewer jobs.

I suspect NHL owners are very united. Failure to conclude an agreement that gives the NHL longterm certainty would be devestating to their businesses. They are losing money just like the players but their loses are more like an investment in the long term success of their operations. They probably realize that failure this time around means radical changes to the NHL.


Great Post. (except i like Mclean and Kypreos. Could you imagine hockey reporter now has to be a legal consultant.

The CBA is starting to remind me of Divorce. Fight it out as long as they can for as much as they can. In many cases financially ruining both sides. These negotiations are big business (for negotiators) and in many cases justify their existence, and I believe even Donald Fehr has admitted that the process is such. Very frustrating and saddening for organization employees and players that may miss there opportunities to play there final seasons and rookies who never get the chance.

IMO the strategy of the PA has all along been to take the NHL to the brink of losing the Winter Classic so they can squeeze the best deal. The problem is both sides know this and it's a who blinks first scenerio. The scary thing is with Bettman and Fehr leading thge negotiations there is a strong possibility of losing the entire season. Hopefully the best interests of both parties succeeds and we get hockey sooner than later.

It is laughable that the players will form some other league in North America.

It is also laughable if the players think they can break the owners. The owners will still be there when Sidney Crosby retires. The players will want to cash in on their limited careers and will have to give in to the NHL demands. Short term the players are screwed!!
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#2067 elvis15

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:40 PM

You are assuming a lot on what ownership is thinking or even talking about. Since none of us are privy to those talks this is all guess work. I have agreed all along that signed contracts are written in stone unless the club goes bankrupt. I can even agree with revenue sharing as the NHL is not a conventional business. ie No one is served if the TO Laffers drive all their compeitors into bankruptcy. If the owners do not create a structure which can clearly identify the revenues and costs of running the NHL then no long term solution will be reached. If they force the players into another CBA they won't be creating a partnership but continuing adversarial situation. If 2004 taught them anything it should be that. Neither party have done well in that regard. I have already suggested that the NHLPA has done a worse job as they hired the Fehr brothers who have a rep in the sports industry already.

I have always thought that personalities in a dispute could not win the day as eventually the numbers have to add up. I am hoping this is still the case and that Bettman and Fehr will work something out. Bottom line is whether the NHL business plan is viable and how much they are prepared to sacrifice to stick to the plan. Do they feel it is necessary to sacrifice the goodwil of their players or even replace them? How much latitude does their business plan give them to make peace with the NHLPA. My gut tells me this season is toast. If that is the case then ownership must have solid reasons beyond personalites to sacrifice another season. If their lockout is simply to crush the players then this lockout is a poison I doubt the NHL recovers from. I cannot see that being the case it is irrational. The NHL numbers have to be telling owners a different story than what the NHLPA has to say. Again if it was simply personalities I suspect NHL ownership would lose solidarity very quickly. To much money to lose.

So here's where I'm confused by our stance then: do you think the owners don't have a structure currently where revenues and expenses are clearly identified? There is in case you weren't sure, since it'd be pretty hard to figure out what revenues are at or if they made a profit each year.

If you can agree to that, then I'm sure you can also agree the players only get a portion of that defined revenue (just the HRR) and the owners are allowed to keep a number of revenue streams out of the players share as a result. Also, and the owners have revenue from the hockey business that doesn't count against the team's profit margin so their actual

Their business plan is a whole other issue. When it includes propping up teams like Phoenix then the NHL can't be too serious about profit margins - especially when the teams aren't the owners primary businesses. Having the NHL own Phoenix and refuse prospective buyers because they wanted to move them to a more profitable location is further evidence of them not thinking rationally when it comes to the business end of things.
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#2068 poetica

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:44 PM

You are assuming a lot on what ownership is thinking or even talking about. Since none of us are privy to those talks this is all guess work.


Absolutely it's pure conjecture. I never claimed that it was what was going on, only that I could see how people might have reason to suspect at least that lower end team owners might feel, or even have it pointed out to them, that if a new committee is created to decide who gets revenue sharing money they would do best to stay in line and be silent.

Of course, you're obviously not above mere conjecture yourself...

My gut tells me this season is toast. If that is the case then ownership must have solid reasons beyond personalites to sacrifice another season. If their lockout is simply to crush the players then this lockout is a poison I doubt the NHL recovers from. I cannot see that being the case it is irrational. The NHL numbers have to be telling owners a different story than what the NHLPA has to say.


Good for you for the glass half full attitude, but that doesn't make your proposed scenario any more plausible than a league controlled by a few owners with their teams' best interest in mind but not necessarily the best interest of the league as a whole. Like you, I sincerely hope for the best because you're right, if it's not most or all of the owners working together for the best interest of the league they will likely destroy the NHL.

But given the facts I don't see a convincing argument for "the owner just know something we don't know." The reality is the league has had record profits and continued growth on par with other sports leagues. Almost every team has seen an increase in revenue and value. And whereas Atlanta had been losing money, Winnipeg is now earning more than was even expected to the point that they don't need revenue sharing and may be soon contributing to it. That means the overall bottom line is much better league wide, which is probably why teams were so willing to overspend by spending to the cap rather than the floor. And despite their constant reference to the number of teams losing money each year, the NHL is only now suggesting they expand their minimal revenue sharing program which will still only represent 6% of revenue, less than the average yearly revenue growth rate. They could have chosen to expand their revenue sharing program at any time (the players would have certainly agreed!), but they didn't. If the NHL is actually working for the best interest of the league and not just certain teams, why didn't they increase their revenue sharing before? Why did they impose silly restrictions on who was even eligible? I can't imagine the teams that lost out were on board for those restrictions. I can't imagine the teams that need the revenue sharing were opposed to increasing it. So, who made those decisions and what was their purpose, the health of their individual bottom line or the long term health of the league?

If owners know something we don't, why aren't they sharing it? They have last season's numbers but they aren't sharing them. Why? If they support their claims of need they'd be buying billboards for them. I'm guessing they're not releasing them during the CBA negotiations because they'll show that the league's revenues continued to grow and fewer teams were in the red. And it would likely only further highlight the fact that increased revenue sharing would have helped most teams at the very least stop bleeding money.
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#2069 Apricot

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:50 PM

I NEED HOCKEY NOW! Seriously, these greedy bricks need to get something done now.
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#2070 fwybwed

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:57 PM

I NEED HOCKEY NOW! Seriously, these greedy bricks need to get something done now.


I agree the greedy player need to get to the table and hook up my owner with more cash
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