Fans Locked Out

By , September 15, 2012 7:51 pm
Fans protest outside NHL store in NYC

Fans protest outside NHL store in NYC

So with the owners asking the players to take a big pay cut, and the players asking the owners to put more emphasis on revenue sharing to keep the dead teams afloat, and both teams refusing to budge… who is losing out here? Well, I believe both sides are, but more so it is the fans.

What a slap in the face this is that for the 3rd time under Gary Bettman’s rule, we are again in another lockout (well, it is expected we will be, with no negotiations happening on the deadline day). The owners/managers are asking for the players to protect them (the owners/managers) from themselves. The owners dished out lavish contracts knowing full well the implications of doing so. It seems that under 7 years of the previous CBA (formed in 2005), the GMs just have not learned, so here we are again today.

But wait.. there has to be more to this. Teams like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, New York, and even Edmonton are paying players the big money because they CAN do so, right? Well… quite simply, yes. These teams have been loving the new CBA more than any team out there (although for the most part this has little to do with the CBA, in my opinion). 6 teams have consistently been reaping the spoils of the NHL quite consistently since 2005 (when the new CBA came in to effect) – the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings and the Edmonton Oilers.

It’s pretty clear why Toronto has been at the top of the heap year after year… last year they had an average ticket price of nearly $125!!! That’s right, fans there are shelling out ridiculous amounts of money to watch their team finish 26th overall last year. The fans in Winnipeg got to welcome their team back at an average of just under $100 per ticket. Oilers tickets have gone from an average of $43 in the first year of the 2005 CBA to $70, for an increase of 63%. Fans are getting raked over the coals in the big markets, and overly inflating these big revenue numbers that we’re seeing.

Unfortunately Forbes hasn’t done their lovely team valuations yet for the 2011/12 season, so I only have from 2005/06 to 2010/11 to work with, but in that period, while those 6 teams have posted sizable profits, Phoenix, Florida, New York, Columbus, and Carolina continue to waste away at the bottom. The former Thrasher organization will see a boost from relocation to Winnipeg, but half the teams in the league have been averaging in the red, while some 6-8 teams seem to keep this league afloat. Granted, most of the teams that are in the red aren’t too far off from being in the black. However, last year there was over $100 Million difference in operating income between the top team (Toronto Maple Leafs) and the worst (Phoenix Coyotes) despite the fact that the Leafs were characteristically abysmal and the Phoenix Coyotes were looking like a solid playoff contender.

I firmly believe that the poor American dollar definitely has something to do with this all, for sure.. but I think there is also something wrong with this business. The players, again, push for revenue sharing. Why do I as a fan of a team that has played piss poor hockey (in Toronto and Edmonton, for example) want to pay money to support the playoff run of a team in Phoenix where fans won’t show up? At least we’ve had some entertaining players to watch here.. I downright pity the folks in Toronto that have been shelling out big money year after year to watch some awful hockey year after year. The system is obviously flawed. What have we learned from this?

We’ve learned that fan loyalty equates to fans being screwed. It really is as simple as that. Why do the Toronto Maple Leafs fans pay an average of $125 per ticket to watch “exciting last place hockey”? Because the Leafs can charge that much. Because the Leafs know that us loyal fans in the big hockey markets won’t go anywhere. It’s time for these rich owners and rich players to sit down and figure something that benefits everyone. The players want their share of the pie… the owners want theirs. Who is speaking up for the blue collar, hard working fan that shells out 1/10th or more of their salary to pay salaries of players that make 10-100x more than them?

I’ll speak my voice here, but sadly it will fall on deaf ears. I don’t expect anything to come of it. But next time the players complain that they are being asked to take a 20+% pay cut, or the Owners mention that their profits are decreasing, you can perhaps think back to this post. No one is being bent over any more than Joe Fan, and the NHL is the best example of “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer” you’ll ever see.

I think it’s time to take some of the teams (such as Phoenix) off of life support and either look for new locations for these teams, or contract the size of the league. This isn’t exactly revolutionary thinking here, but I think this owes as much to the problem the NHL faces as anything. Reducing player salaries by a percentage will only result in the big teams getting richer, because as we saw in the last CBA, the promise of reduced ticket prices from the salary cut did NOT happen. Greedy owners will keep being greedy; they will continue to squeeze every possible penny they can out of fans.

On the flip side, we have the players proposal to increase revenue sharing. I’m more inclined to lean this way.. but again, I pose the question… why should the Leafs fans pay $125 per ticket (average) to keep a dead franchise like Phoenix on life support? There is no parity in this league no matter what position you take – a fan, an owner, or a player. The NHL has to bring the high-end team incomes, player salaries and ticket prices down to a more level playing field. Until then, I don’t think anything will ever change. They’ll strike a short agreement, and be back to another lockout or strike at the end of this CBA… both ends will fight for their piece of the pie that us fans made for them.

It wouldn’t happen, but if us fans had a voice in this matter, we would reduce ticket prices in the high markets, implement a heavier revenue sharing, AND decrease player salaries. You two can have your 50/50 split of revenue… there just will be less money coming in for you greedy bastards.

Here is an interesting fun fact… since the 2005 CBA was implemented, the Toronto Maple Leafs have averaged an operating income equal to ALL other 29 teams combined. Thank you, silly Leaf fan that is willing to shell out $125 (for ONE seat) to watch last place hockey.


In this lockout, who do you side with?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

37 Responses to “Fans Locked Out”

  1. Racki says:

    BTW, excuse my extremely long absence in making any posts. Things have been pretty busy. I’ve been working on the “FHL Keeper” website (this is the Putting On The Foil Keeper League), amongst other things, and trying to avoid my computer as much as possible to try and recupe a bad back.

  2. chucker says:

    Want to fix hockey?
    Get rid of Bettman.
    Contract Phoenix, Florida, Nashville, Tampa, Anaheim and Carolina.
    Expand to Seattle Houston, Quebec City and TO.
    Hard cap with no linkage of 40 million without guaranteed contracts or waivers.
    Franchise player exemptions.
    No player makes more than 7 million.
    Draconian, but w/e.
    If a team cannot meet payroll via ticket sales, it is not viable.

  3. Racki says:

    It’s too bad something like that would never happen. Unfortunately I think that while we’re experiencing “record revenues”, it’s still a league in need of serious repair (since a half dozen teams are keeping things afloat). I love the game, so I have no problems with the game itself, but I would love to see some of what you’re talking about… a couple (or more) less teams, some teams moved around (we’ll see Seattle sometime soon, you can count on that)… and a much lower cap, and much lower ticket prices. Unfortunately those latter wishes aren’t going to happen, because neither the NHL or the PA would go for it.

  4. Racki says:

    BTW, when I say player salaries should come down, I mean that the top salaries should come back down into the real world. Our top pro-athletes are paid like they are performing critical brain surgeries, or developing cures for diseases (this goes for every sport, even though hockey doesn’t compare to the other major leagues). The league really shouldn’t be this far already from the original 2005 salary cap, should it? The success of the league to me is really misleading. It’s great that there are a handful of teams kicking ass since 2005, but what about the 15 that have been hanging on?

    Half of the NHL is leaking money. If you take a look at other leagues… the NFL, 3 teams are in the red (one of which, the Steelers, is barely in the red); the MLB, there are only 3 teams doing poorly (one brutally bad.. the New York Mets) – the Mets, the Phillies and the Angels; the NBA is in a similar situation as the NHL, with half the teams losing money (in fact several of them are losing at an even worse rate than the Phoenix Coyotes).

    I don’t know if the NHL can learn anything from the MLB and NFL here or not. Those leagues have ridonkulous contracts as well too, and ticket prices in the NFL are probably no better than the NHL. Of course both leagues have a big advantage of having much bigger stadiums to generate revenue off of. I don’t think we’ll ever see a 50,000 seat arena any time soon, but you kind of have to wonder how much money is being wasted by some of the seating limitations in markets like Toronto, Edmonton, and Montreal. But I digress… that’s a whole other topic.

  5. Racki says:

    Average income of a hockey fan.. ~$50,000… average income of an NHL player – $2,400,000. Average operating income of an NHL team – $4,200,000. That means two players making league average profit as much as one average hockey team. Anyone else think that’s a little crazy?

  6. zackman35 says:

    Well it’s been a while since I posted on the main site. I like that you took the time Racki to make another quality post and it’s really too bad having the FHL pool site just sitting there in limbo with all the hard work that you, Steve-O and everyone has put into it. As for the lockout, like you have clearly stated and everyone fan knows, we are the real losers from this outcome. This is a real twisted scenario. On one hand I believe that the money you earn is the money you should get. The players are paid an atrocious amount of money but would you ask Katz to take a pay cut because he’s too successful? I know it’s a much larger picture than that but in a nutshell that’s how I view it. I’m not trying to morally justify the salaries of these athletes, I’m just saying it’s a “successful” business.

    As for a lockout…

    chucker:
    Want to fix hockey?
    Get rid of Bettman.
    Contract Phoenix, Florida, Nashville, Tampa, Anaheim and Carolina.
    Expand to Seattle Houston, Quebec City and TO.
    Hard cap with no linkage of 40 million without guaranteed contracts or waivers.
    Franchise player exemptions.
    No player makes more than 7 million.
    Draconian, but w/e.
    If a team cannot meet payroll via ticket sales, it is not viable.

    I think those are some good ideas Chucker but one thing I’m a little leery about is the franchise player exemption. What happens if you are in the rebuild or if you are a team like the Coyotes, where you don’t really have any “franchise” caliber players in the cards. You may have a face of the franchise in Doan, Yandle or even Smith but are you going to give them an outrageous/special contract just for the sake of having a Franchise player status? I think the idea has potential but there is still a lot to be worked out.

    I do agree, to an extent, about contracting certain teams although I have another twist on it. What if the NHL makes it so that only X% amount of total profits is reserved for teams that are in the red? And then the owners are responsible for covering the rest? I can’t see it ever happening but I know that would definitely change the entire dynamic of the business.

    I think another idea to reinforce the X% of profits to loss idea would that tickets could be sold based on how the league is doing league wide. So we could average out the ‘standard’ ticket price… if a ticket for the Leafs is $125 and a ticket for the Coyotes is $20 then the tickets for both teams should be $72.50. Probably not the best idea but I think when owning a team, and selecting a team for relocation this is what should be happening in the business minds. Would someone in Phoenix pay a league average ticket price to see a hockey team play?

    Racki:
    Average income of a hockey fan.. ~$50,000… average income of an NHL player – $2,400,000. Average operating income of an NHL team – $4,200,000. That means two players making league average profit as much as one average hockey team. Anyone else think that’s a little crazy?

    I knew things were skewed but not to this extent. I think that is bat shit crazy. There something pretty wrong about that statement on many levels. Again, who is really getting screwed over are the fans. I just keep picturing this comic… The average joe fan (wearing a nhl style jersey maybe a little dirty from working hard) bending over on the one side asking “how far?”, with the plump owners in nice business suits and brief cases full of money on the other side along with the players (I really don’t know how to picture them – maybe in a nice sports car with a hockey stick in a back that has a flag that says lockout? or an NHL logo that looks like a lock) and then Betman’s face looming in over top of the whole situation looking mischievous with that smirk on his face.

  7. Racki says:

    LOL @ Chelios’ Goodfellas message to Bettman… the players were just a mite bit upset at him back then, hey?

  8. hemmerlady says:

    Nice article Racki, well said.

    What I really love is Bettman’s quote re: the last lockout: “We recovered last time because we have the world’s greatest fans.” This is supposed to be a compliment. What this really means is: the fans have a blind spot for hockey and he knows it. It’s like being in a shitty relationship when you know it isn’t good for you, but you stay because the sex is good. And it’s soooo good. I love hockey so much but I hate how the fans are being used as hostages in a negotiation process that should have a lot more to do with us.

  9. Alan-NottsUK says:

    Shift from 57%(players) HRR to 50% HRR.

    And have the 7% revenue sharing and I think using forbes numbers, the only team in the red would be the Coyotes.

    that 7% equates to roughly 7.7M saving in salary per team, using the top earning where that would be extra profit and putting into sharing means the teams bleeding money at the bottom could be pushed to breaking even.

    except Phoenix who need to be moved to Quebec or Seattle.

    edit: adding list of teams profits/losses from 2010-11 and the effect what I proposed above would have on it.

    2010-11 incomes

    Toronto – 81.8m
    Montreal – 47.7m
    NYR – 41.4m
    —————- Teams above this line throw 7.7m savings into revenue sharing.
    Vancouver – 23.5m
    Edmonton – 17.3m
    Detroit – 16.3m
    Chicago – 8.7m
    Colorado – 6.1m
    Philadelphia 3.2m
    Ottawa – 2.8m
    Boston – 2.7m
    Calgary – 1.1m

    Losses
    Pittsburgh – 0.2m
    Dallas – 1.1m
    LA – 2m
    Carolina – 4.4m
    Winnipeg(Atlanta) – 5.2m
    Buffalo – 5.6m
    Minnisota – 5.9m
    New Jersey – 6.1m
    Florida – 7m
    Nashville – 7.5m
    Washington – 7.5m
    ——————— All teams above this line would be making profit from the 7.7m savings on player costs a 50% split of HRR would create.

    San Jose – 7.8m
    NYI – 8.1m
    Anahiem – 8.4m
    Tampa Bay – 8.5m
    ————— All teams above this line could break even with the 7.7m savings the top 3 teams would make and could put into revenue sharing. Cost of 2m, leaving 21.1m.

    Columbus -13.7 m
    Phoenix – 24.4m
    —————–

    Breaking even for Columbus would take 6m from that pot, leaving 15.1m to fix Phoenix who would still be making a loss of 1.6m if they took the rest of it.

  10. chucker says:

    Alan-NottsUK:
    Shift from 57%(players) HRR to 50% HRR.

    And have the 7% revenue sharing and I think using forbes numbers, the only team in the red would be the Coyotes.

    that 7% equates to roughly 7.7M saving in salary per team, using the top earning where that would be extra profit and putting into sharing means the teams bleeding money at the bottom could be pushed to breaking even.

    except Phoenix who need to be moved to Quebec or Seattle.

    edit: adding list of teams profits/losses from 2010-11 and the effect what I proposed above would have on it.

    2010-11 incomes

    Toronto – 81.8m
    Montreal – 47.7m
    NYR – 41.4m
    —————- Teams above this line throw 7.7m savings into revenue sharing.
    Vancouver – 23.5m
    Edmonton – 17.3m
    Detroit – 16.3m
    Chicago – 8.7m
    Colorado – 6.1m
    Philadelphia 3.2m
    Ottawa – 2.8m
    Boston – 2.7m
    Calgary – 1.1m

    Losses
    Pittsburgh – 0.2m
    Dallas – 1.1m
    LA – 2m
    Carolina – 4.4m
    Winnipeg(Atlanta) – 5.2m
    Buffalo – 5.6m
    Minnisota – 5.9m
    New Jersey – 6.1m
    Florida – 7m
    Nashville – 7.5m
    Washington – 7.5m
    ——————— All teams above this line would be making profit from the 7.7m savings on player costs a 50% split of HRR would create.

    San Jose – 7.8m
    NYI – 8.1m
    Anahiem – 8.4m
    Tampa Bay – 8.5m
    ————— All teams above this line could break even with the 7.7m savings the top 3 teams would make and could put into revenue sharing. Cost of 2m, leaving 21.1m.

    Columbus -13.7 m
    Phoenix – 24.4m
    —————–

    Breaking even for Columbus would take 6m from that pot, leaving 15.1m to fix Phoenix who would still be making a loss of 1.6m if they took the rest of it.

    If I am an owner, I look at this and get pissed that the “strong teams” like Edmonton are only making a profit that is basically one line of players. That’s bullshit right there. Salaries are out of control. What happens if the dollar drops again?

  11. Alan-NottsUK says:

    then revenues drop massively and so does the cap. The salaried money already signed for by players goes into Escrow and the teams get it back at the end of the year.

    Moving Phoenix and using revenue sharing of the 7% difference a 50% split would give, would go a long way to sorting out the leagues financial troubles.

    Note because this is from the previous season Winnipeg are down as losing money, I doubt that happened, numbers somewhere around Calgary and Ottawa would be more realistic.

  12. Racki says:

    Agreed on Winnipeg most likely being somewhere comfortably in the black.. they filled the building nightly with an average ticket price of $82. And well, I’m sure Winnipegers average 4 beer a game. hahah. Also agree on dropping Phoenix in a hurry… no brainer.

  13. chucker says:

    Don’t be so sure Winnipeg is strongly in the black. I have heard that things are not as rosy there as we would like to believe. Our head office is in Winnipeg. Some of the VPs know the owners. They are very concerned about how they did, especially being sold out. They too need the cap to go down.

  14. Racki says:

    I’d be surprised if that is really the case, but who knows. When I say “in the black” though, I don’t include the cost of them buying the team and the relocation fee, which would put them undoubtedly in the red for that reason. But as far as the cost of the season outside of that vs. income, I’d be surprised if they didn’t make ground. Maybe their concerns are over recovering the cost of joining the league?

  15. chucker says:

    Racki:
    I’d be surprised if that is really the case, but who knows. When I say “in the black” though, I don’t include the cost of them buying the team and the relocation fee, which would put them undoubtedly in the red for that reason. But as far as the cost of the season outside of that vs. income, I’d be surprised if they didn’t make ground. Maybe their concerns are over recovering the cost of joining the league?

    Yeah, that was the primary thing from what I gather. They are looking at it as a “how long until I break even” kind of thing. Based on what they are seeing, that would be decades obviously. The year to year costs are not the huge concern so much as making he team debt or what they paid go away.

    The great thing is that they are sold out for about four years, but there really is not much room for them to raise prices so cost certainty needs to be bang on for them. I don’t think they are at all comfortable with a rising cap from what is was when they first started exploring getting them back to what it became once they did. They don’t have a huge TV deal to help out as much as other markets do. Their merchandising is off he charts, but that will settle out soon.

    Think of them as Edmonton but without the economic boom. Small market with no oil gazillions flowing through town. They will do fine, but they absolutely need a drop in the cap and certainty that it will not run up as fast as it did in the last CBA.

  16. hemmerlady says:

    chucker:
    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/2012/09/24/20225621.html

    Anyone interested in a darts pool?

    It’s substitute sport time everybody… :'(

  17. Mr.Majestyk says:

    Its fair to say that i’m in favour of the owners in this lockout and as things have progressed i’ve become a bit bitter about it. I obviously don’t contribute the same amount to HHR as some people but you can consider whatever dollars i would have spent, spent somewhere else.

    I think Jim Devallano was right on with his comments, its too bad he got fined but i guess players shouldn’t be referred to as cattle(although he did put himself in that same group). Player’s get paid handsomely for their service.

  18. Racki says:

    Just some interesting but potentially useless info:

    Oil and Gas (I choose that, because it’s a good example of guys making good money, in the “Real world” and a company making big money)…the average percentage of *gross* revenue allocated to payroll was 22%.


    “Most businesses should shoot for salaries in the 30 percent to 38 percent range, according to Second Wind Consultants. If yours are around 50 percent, that is generally too high.”

    Source: http://www.ehow.com/info_7751111_percent-business-should-used-salaries.html

    I find that kind of interesting. But this whole HRR share thing is complicated because it isn’t a GROSS revenue number (like is being used above)… some costs are deducted from that. I don’t know what all the details of what is deducted though, so it makes it kind of hard/impossible to compare the numbers at all unless you know more details.

  19. chucker says:

    Yeah, and oil and gas are vastly overpaid. Any other province and they make 40-50 a year if they are lucky. So oil and gas is not the real world. /rant

    Agreed though. Most of my business clients pay about 15-20 in payroll and only 20 when they have to finish jobs on a timeline like fall in construction. Even mom and pop shops, on average, take about 15-25 home and it is rare that they take 25 (retailers).

  20. Racki says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl-lockout/2012/10/05/spector_nhl_players_tunnel_vision/

    Good article by Spector on the Owner’s side of things.. although really I only thought one point really stood out:

    It just doesn’t make sense (to us, at least) that one side makes 57 per cent and pays none of the bills, while the other side gets 43 per cent, has all the financial risk, and pays all of the costs of running the shop.

    Sorry. We’ve asked. No one can come up with an answer for how that works.

  21. Metal&Oil says:

    Good article Racki, Classic Vid Chucker.

    The problem IMO is that the profitable teams do not want any part in giving away mass amounts of their revenues so that the have not teams can survive a little longer.

    If I was a player the only way i would take a lesser chunk of the pie (say down to 50% ) would be if the NHL agreed to abandon markets that are dragging the leagues finances down. If more teams are making money then 50% of a freshly baked pie would be greater then 57% of pie that has been sitting on the counter for days.

    That’s my take on things and really the only way I see this lockout ending with games being played this year.

  22. Racki says:

    Missed the video link.. nice find chucker.. hilarious :P

  23. chucker says:

    Metal&Oil:
    Good article Racki, Classic Vid Chucker.

    The problem IMO is that the profitable teams do not want any part in giving away mass amounts of their revenues so that the have not teams can survive a little longer.

    If I was a player the only way i would take a lesser chunk of the pie (say down to 50% ) would be if the NHL agreed to abandon markets that are dragging the leagues finances down. If more teams are making money then 50% of a freshly baked pie would be greater then 57% of pie that has been sitting on the counter for days.

    That’s my take on things and really the only way I see this lockout ending with games being played this year.

    I was beginning to think I was the only one who still has the site on my daily morning visit list. :D

    Great article and exactly why I consider this a strike and not a lockout. Why should four teams support another 20? If players think that will be the solution to a sustainable model, they are delusional. A proper model would see 90% of teams profiting and huge money losers moved or contracted.

    As for the Bryzgalov comments….who cares? Stay in Russia.

  24. Racki says:

    I’m a die hard hockey fan as you all know, but this current labor dispute has really soured me on NHL hockey as of late (and thus why there is a lack of blog posts lately – for which I apologize). Luckily I also enjoy the Oil Kings, so that’s given me a little bit to care about, in the hockey world.

    But really, these guys are all completely out to lunch… millionaires arguing with millionaires while us normal people sit here and foot the bill for these assholes. I do get some of the argument between the both, but this league is a little fucked up. It’s hasn’t got the popularity of football, and therefore lacks that big money support from TV and ticket sales. Like chucker said, why should 4 teams be supporting around 15-20 teams that are either barely making ends meet or struggling?? It’s a stupid system.

    Both sides should be accepting cutbacks this year…. the players should be making less money, and the owners should be charging less money in the big markets that are getting raped big time. It’s a broken record now, but the NHL should also drop a number of teams too (2-4 I’d say) that just aren’t cutting it. It’ll help get rid of the waste that doesn’t belong in the league, and help reduce some of the teams pulling the entire league down financially. The NHL could consider relocation for 1 or 2 teams, but I still think they really should consider retraction. Bettman is very opposed to this, and that’s too bad.. it’ll likely never happen under his watch.

    I’m honestly kind of tired of this crap.. 3rd lockout in less than 20 years. That’s pretty pathetic. I don’t support either the players or the owners in this. I will say though that the owners made their own beds.

    These guys need a mediator to fix the league, because neither of the asshats in charge are going to do it. :lol:

  25. chucker says:

    PREACH IT BROTHA RACKI!

    You had me as assholes.

  26. chucker says:

    I wonder how stupid players are. They are obviously not very good at math. Losing a whole season on what will become a far less accommodating contract will never get them that lost year back. For the owners, they get it back in four to six years depending on the percentages.

    I have not spoken to one single person that thinks the players are right in this.

    So pissed off at both sides. I think this could bight the NHL worse than it thinks in terms of fans coming back. I don’t think there will be a soft landing this time.

  27. chucker says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=407263

    Good article by big head Bob.

  28. NorwegianOiler says:

    Ok, time to forget the misery and greed that is the NHL and remember the bottom line. The sport of hockey.

    AHL begins in…20 minutes.

    Go BARONS!

  29. hemmerlady says:

    chucker:
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=407263

    Good article by big head Bob.

    A good article indeed. Both sides are being quite unreasonable. Currently tempering my hockey withdrawal with 1 part vodka, 2 parts cranberry juice. Other coping techniques welcome.

  30. chucker says:

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/2012/10/14/20282031.html
    This is why the players are dumb. Math is not on their side and it will only get worse.

    Did you know a full on third of the players going into the lockout last time never played another NHL game? I understand principles, but this is dumb.

  31. Racki says:

    Basically this is a big step forward.. but I think the NHLPA will predictably try and throw out a couple of items such as delaying UFA and ELC statuses… and probably 5 year contract limit. But the NHL negotiates by taking stuff away, and budging on a few in negotiations while standing pat hard on their key items.

    Edit:
    Beavis impersonation: “uhhh…. uh heh heh… you said… hard on”

  32. chucker says:

    Agreed. There will be some discussion on true cap hit, contact length, free agency and ELC. really these should not be massive issues, but we will see. I see this deal gives the PA lots to counter by design. Back on the roller coaster.

  33. Racki says:

    According to Mathieu Dandenault, the NHLPA has provided 4 options for the NHL (3 according to Bob McKenzie.. not sure who is correct.. would figure the player would be), each of them 50-50 revenue splits. Major progress here, by the sounds of it.

  34. oilinblood says:

    the problem here is that a contract only exists within the frame work of the current CBA – as to when you do the work and are paid NOT when it is signed. If you choose to sign a contract that goes beyond the known mechanisms and known terms and into a time frame that has no such agreement yet, then that is your risk and nothing is guaranteed.

    The players can not, in any way shape or form say that they dont know that –because they all choose representation.

    This is not a ROLLBACK, because what players have been signing for the last 7 years were not real dollar contracts. Ever since the CBA of 2005, players and owners knew that their contracts were essentially now statements OF SHARES the player is entitled to in regards to REVENUES. These were not free world contracts like they were prior to 2004. These, current contracts, were all agreements knowingly bound to a system that is tied completely to a capped revenue based system which the share split beyond 2012 was not determined and that expired at a known point of time (with the PA extending it -and the owners not bitching). The knowledge is there and always was, that a new system could and likely WOULD change the end value of their share. It was their risk to sign beyond a known expiration of Labour Agreement.

    The Players can play stupid but thats what agents and the PA are there for.

    ————

    Some points. I said this before; i never thought the contract changes of; ELC to 5 Years, UFA to 30, RFA rights removed or removal of arbitration; was ever a buffet situation where the NHL wanted ALL the options. What the league wanted was to artificially (the entire market is always artificial) get back the second contract. Before KLOWE even sent his offer sheet to VAnek, and before the ink was dry on the new CBA, i had already pointed out on the OMB that at least 1, if not 2 contract terms were now removed from the system, by dropping the UFA requirements. The focus I believe was correct -youth over 27 approaching their prime getting the prime dollars instead of over 30- however the contractual issues eventually became compressed to the point that teams now have to pay outrageous value- AND PLAYER SHARE- on players who havent even lasted more than 3 years in the league.
    The Owners change to this, on tuesday, was a 4th option combining the original 3. It proposed to have a 2year ELC (as long as it was signed before a season began–or else the partial year would not count as one of the two if signed in-sseason), 28/8yrs for UFA, no re-entry waivers, and a more narrowed change on RFA rights and arbitration. Esssentially the league – since the PA was not negotiating – created what it thought was a good 4th option. (the league basically negotiated with itself).

    look at the simple math and see that the NHL will not budge off of the 4th idea combo. 2years entry- 5 year max contract-28 years old or 8 years of service to UFA. In most cases teams will be able to make a decision on a UFA year contract after seeing 2 contracts played through.

    Do not be surprised if player share on the bargaining table gets decreased as the lockout wears on. The expenses will not get less for owners. in fact combined with less revenues from cold markets – less attractive appeal to corporate sponsor and the continuing rise of services and resources (like jet fuel), that the league is hostage to, the profitability of the business will substantially decrease. canadian clubs can not save this from happening should the league lose significant time. it is also questionable whether there has already been enough time passed to lose customer interest in at least 6 -1/5th of the business- franchise territories.

    I dont think Bettmman is lying when he says -he does not need approval to move forward with something, the BOG can take a vote against Bettmans wishes and if motion passes Bettman gives his resignation- that ALOT of teams felt he gave up too much but are behind him and letting him determine what is best for them (the way it should be, either fire the guy or let him represent you and stay out of it).

    ———————
    this is likely way off but in light of the known NHL focus group research here is something i have thought of;
    I am assuming that G Bettman has a huge end game if this lockout drags on. He already has the history of knowing his options and had begun the legal work to crush the union, removing them from the bargaining table, and while that process was to be carried out he had the paper work aand legalities dotted and crossed for replacement players. This is when Goodenow was effectively removed by the players and Saskin made a deal…with Goodenow being fired and bought out.
    At the time when he was filing the papers for replacement players in all the jurisdictions of the nhl, an offer was made for 300M. The offer was from a group of investors that wanted to buy the NHL -not the franchises- and reorganize the company into a centrally controlled business. This is something Bettman previously had threatened would be the best option for the NHL to do. By centrally controlling all contracts and labor funds, you wouldnt need a cap and there would be control. There are other leagues so there is no “monopoly”. Bettman brought the offer, as is his job, to the BOG who listened to the bidders but followed Bettmans lead that it wasnt a good option. Bettman is already blamed for everything, when the canucks lose it because bettman pulled strings etc.

    BUT what if Bettman sees this as the only possible solution. Upon expiration of a labor agreement, all SPCs are basically void until a continuing CBA says they exist and the conditions they exist now in(cap changes etc). The previous CBA specically states that the SPC only exists for the term of the agreement; once its expiired its either agreed to continue or ceases to exist.

    It hardly seems worth while to have a focus group that looks at the lock out or peoples perceptions of the league on it. However it is invaluable to know what perception might be in regards to a very large change of business tactics. Would fans look at the league as “fake” if the NHL centrally controlled the contracts? Its a legitimate question. If you take away the freedom of teams to determine their own contract terms or values… does it devalue the product on the ice to the fans? does it undermine any integrity of the game in the eyes of the fans?
    End game could be to completely walk away from the union, file motion to re-organize, and come back centrally controlled and thus voiding all previous contracts.

    It has been on my mind since hearing the NHL focus group issue. As Bob Mac admitted, no one knows what the focus group was privy to but that the idea it was privy to just questions of “does the nhl look bad locking out the players” is kind of a needless question to ask.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Panorama Theme by Themocracy

%d bloggers like this: