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ogreslayer

2012 Lockout Watch

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Gary B has to go. He's committed to taking two steps back everytime this league takes one step forward. The league deserves better. It needs someone who can think forward, be proactive, and stay ahead of the curve. The NHL is a potential goldmine and he keeps spinning his wheels in quicksand.

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I'm starting to think the NHLPA is being too accomodating. Sometimes you've got to be a hardass when negotiating. Playing nice only encourages the other guys to press harder.

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I'm starting to think the NHLPA is being too accomodating. Sometimes you've got to be a hardass when negotiating. Playing nice only encourages the other guys to press harder.

i think they're trying to go out of their way to be the good guys in the court of public opinion, hoping that the fans and media put pressure on the owners

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i think they're trying to go out of their way to be the good guys in the court of public opinion, hoping that the fans and media put pressure on the owners

Being good guys in the court of public opinion is fine and dandy, but if there is a lockout, the people who say who won't come back are going to hurt the players as much as the owners. This isn't a popularity contest. They should be working to get a deal done.

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I want to be clear that I hate Bettman as much as any good hockey fan...

That being said, I don't like when everyone lets the blame fall solely on him. I think it must be a hard job to speak for a room of greedy men who want the players to pay for mishandled teams. Let the broke teams fail and this wouldn't happen so often.

The failing teams are like a gangrenous leg that you don't amputate. You know it's going to keep causing problems but you just had such high hopes for the leg that you can't let it go.

That analogy was terrible...sorry about that.

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The big hangup from what I can tell are the Coyotes the Panthers and the other small market teams. They are getting murdered with the salary cap floor. While Det, Pitt, Van, Chi, Phi, NY ect are making massive profits, the small teams arent keeping up. Since it is easy to say that they should move the team to a bigger market, that has a much bigger affect and isnt all that easy.

I think the cap should be the same. I also think minimum salary should go up. Last I think the cap floor should drop. This will keep small teams from over paying players just to get above the cap floor. This will also contract the inflation in salaries because of the floor. More or less, if a player sees that some no name team is paying a top 40 defenseman top 20 pay because of the cap, the top 20 players are going to want pay that is exponetially higher. This has a circular affect that keeps feeding on its self and over time making the problem worse.

I also would like to see the teams being able to release players the same way as the NFL. If you get hurt, thats life, youre a millionaire that has a bad knee. No need to keep the player under contract if they cant play. Eaves is a perfect example for this, a great guy and good player but is dragging the finacials because he cant play but also cant be released. This is a bigger issue for teams with WAY less cash the DET.

Bettman needs to work it out, if he oversees another lockout I pray my wishes are fulfilled and he is sent packing. We dont need such an anti player commisioner.

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This thread is so full of fail it's ridiculous. How many times does it have to be pointed out that Gary Bettman is a mouthpiece for the owners/BOG and is not working on his own. The owners tell him what they want and what to say, and he goes out and says it. Getting rid of the "dwarf" will not make anything better. You'll just get another mouthpiece for the owners, and the message will stay the same. The owners are going to push for what they want. It doesn't matter who delivers the message.

Maybe because the league is making more money than it ever has, and because revenues are increasing every year? Pay for performance, right?

Bettman is much more than just a mouthpiece for the owners and has more control and influence than any individual owner

I completely understand that, but like I said, until it happens there's really no need to be so reactionary about it.

It's happened twice already

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I still can't believe that people here have had positive things to say about Bettman, he is the worst thing to ever happen to the game of hockey.

If it wasn't against the law... very slowly

Edited by Johnz96

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I want to be clear that I hate Bettman as much as any good hockey fan...

That being said, I don't like when everyone lets the blame fall solely on him. I think it must be a hard job to speak for a room of greedy men who want the players to pay for mishandled teams. Let the broke teams fail and this wouldn't happen so often.

The failing teams are like a gangrenous leg that you don't amputate. You know it's going to keep causing problems but you just had such high hopes for the leg that you can't let it go.

That analogy was terrible...sorry about that.

Your right, it is a hard job. The problem with him is he just keeps making it harder and harder. The league needs someone who can handle it... Someone that is proactive enough to have seen this coming before it even got to this point. Think forward!

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Sure the job is hard but guess what? The dwarfs salary has been rising since the last lockout this guy has made more than 90 % of the players! Bettman will be responsible for 3 lockouts in a row there is no excuse for that. He is the guy who wanted the sunbelt expansion and promised some franchises, who just don't cut it to get them on track. One would think, guys like Mr. I, Sneider, MLSE (now Bell & Rogers) and some other owners aren't too happy with paying for his failed decisions.

If the owners can't control themselves screw them. The way he has responded to a fair offer for me indicates, he doesn't give a ... about the players so I really hope the players will return the favor and give him and his greedy owners a ridiculous new offer. Fehr did and excellent job by creating a war inside the owners :-)

You can be the mouthpiece of the owners sure thats the job of a commissioner but being an absolute **** is not required for the job, so this guy is the wrong person and he needs to canned.

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Sure the job is hard but guess what? The dwarfs salary has been rising since the last lockout this guy has made more than 90 % of the players! Bettman will be responsible for 3 lockouts in a row there is no excuse for that. He is the guy who wanted the sunbelt expansion and promised some franchises, who just don't cut it to get them on track. One would think, guys like Mr. I, Sneider, MLSE (now Bell & Rogers) and some other owners aren't too happy with paying for his failed decisions.

If the owners can't control themselves screw them. The way he has responded to a fair offer for me indicates, he doesn't give a ... about the players so I really hope the players will return the favor and give him and his greedy owners a ridiculous new offer. Fehr did and excellent job by creating a war inside the owners :-)

You can be the mouthpiece of the owners sure thats the job of a commissioner but being an absolute **** is not required for the job, so this guy is the wrong person and he needs to canned.

Bettman alone isn't responsible for 3 lockouts. Both sides are responsible. It takes two sides to come up with a deal. What we have here are two sides that are hard headed. They are also made up of complete morons. On the owners side, you have Bettman and his band of morons who's only solution is to slash salaries, contracts, and lowball the union. On the other side, you have a union which really proposed a reduction in salaries, but the figure climbs right back up to where it is now. Also, the union wants to see the salaries of non-player personnel reduced. Which of these solutions work? The answer is neither of them.

Add onto the fact that both the players and the owners just started getting together about a month ago. Hockey was over in June. Hell, why weren't both sides meeting in March? Lack of urgency on both sides as well. The owners tabled the last proposal last week on Wednesday, and they won't meet again until this wednesday? A full week with the leaders of the two sides not sitting down? These guys are total toolbags.

While I like Fehr a lot more then Bettman, I think that both sides have handled this horribly. No sense of urgency, no compromise, and most importantly, no meaningful discussion on the real issues. Even if there were meaningful discussions, nothing came out of them. Both sides have the "its my way or the highway" attitude.

I know that most people are saying that its all the owners fault if there is a lockout, but I am convinced that its both sides fault if there is a lockout. Both sides are equally at fault. No doubt about it if you look at the actions of both sides in the last six months.

Its very difficult for me to hold in my anger on this topic and not spew out a tirade that would get me banned for excessive swearing. :)

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Bettman alone isn't responsible for 3 lockouts. Both sides are responsible. It takes two sides to come up with a deal.

Actually, if there is a lockout, Bettman and the owners would be 100% responsible. The same would be said about the players if there was a strike, they'd be 100% responsbile. Funny thing is, a lot of people don't necessarily see the difference between the two. I know that's not where you are coming from, you are seeing it as two sides needing to come to an agreement or there will be no hockey come October. Therefore, if there is no hockey...both sides to blame.

There is some truth to that, but to be perfectly accurate, the players are willing to start the season as usual and continue to negotiate and reach a deal. There is no reason they can't continue to operate under the existing deal until a new one is reached. The thing is, the owners have said, they have no interest in starting the season under the existing deal, therefore, they will lockout the players if there is no agreement by September 15th. It's really a negotiation tool, if they don't lockout the players, they don't hold a lot of power to get a good deal done for them.

If the owners don't lockout the players (which Bettman already said they would), the players could choose to strike, but that wouldnt' happen.

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The economics of the current deal favor the players. Of course it would be in their best interest to not strike. It is also in their best interest to tell the press and fans that they would prefer to play the season and continue negotiations. The current party that is happy is not going to strike, and that is a no brainer. I am not saying that the owners haven't been their own worst enemy here. They have self-inflicted the wounds upon themselves by continuing to sign players to 10-12 year deals at $103 million to get around the "cap space" issue. That being said, the system does need to be fixed in some way. I don't know what that way is, but the players by saying that they will continue the season under the current deal isn't a solution to the problem. Maybe shooting each owner would be a better option. :D

There are going to be a lot of people kissing the ass of the NHLPA over the course of the next month. The fans will be on the bandwagon of the NHLPA. The press is already on their side. Just keep in mind that it is in their best interest to keep the current deal. It is in the owners best interest to get some things fixed. I don't think it is in the best interest of the owners to strike, but something has got to get the NHLPA to the table. Right now, Fehr is touring the US with three weeks to go until camps open. Does that sound like someone who wants to get a deal done to you? When both sides wait until July to start talking, does that sound like a league and a players association that is concerned with starting the season on time?

While I have a lot of respect for Fehr, I do not understand why he is lollygagging around. I don't care if he is winning in the public opinion. I don't care that he made a great proposal. The fact of the matter is that both sides need to come up with an agreement. Just because the owners lock them out doesn't make the owners 100% at fault. Thats just false thinking. In professional sports, a deal has to work for both sides, not just one. The side that locks out the other isn't 100% at fault just because the current deal doesn't favor them.

A deal can be made that favors both sides. I like this guy's take on it.

http://www.sbnation....pa-lockout-2012

This compromise really does favor both sides.

Edited by Nightfall
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The NHL and NHLPA should have started meeitngs throughout the year governed by Bettman to hash out a new agreement prior to 1 Jul 12. This in turn would have the CBA renew, not expire and then teams could go into July 1st without being blindfolded by "what could be" with a new CBA. Procrastination is the main cause of this pending lockout. The initial proposal should have been mandated by the NHL side to be presented 1 Oct 11 with at least quarterly meetings during the season until the new CBA is signed. With only 2 guys on the NHLPA still in the playoffs come SCF, there is no reason that the rest of the NHLPA cannot be involved in meetings, and the meetings can even be held in the city that the game is being played in.

Not getting what is so hard about starting negotiations more than a couple months prior to expiry...

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The economics of the current deal favor the players. Of course it would be in their best interest to not strike. It is also in their best interest to tell the press and fans that they would prefer to play the season and continue negotiations. The current party that is happy is not going to strike, and that is a no brainer. I am not saying that the owners haven't been their own worst enemy here. They have self-inflicted the wounds upon themselves by continuing to sign players to 10-12 year deals at $103 million to get around the "cap space" issue. That being said, the system does need to be fixed in some way. I don't know what that way is, but the players by saying that they will continue the season under the current deal isn't a solution to the problem. Maybe shooting each owner would be a better option. :D

There are going to be a lot of people kissing the ass of the NHLPA over the course of the next month. The fans will be on the bandwagon of the NHLPA. The press is already on their side. Just keep in mind that it is in their best interest to keep the current deal. It is in the owners best interest to get some things fixed. I don't think it is in the best interest of the owners to strike, but something has got to get the NHLPA to the table. Right now, Fehr is touring the US with three weeks to go until camps open. Does that sound like someone who wants to get a deal done to you? When both sides wait until July to start talking, does that sound like a league and a players association that is concerned with starting the season on time?

While I have a lot of respect for Fehr, I do not understand why he is lollygagging around. I don't care if he is winning in the public opinion. I don't care that he made a great proposal. The fact of the matter is that both sides need to come up with an agreement. Just because the owners lock them out doesn't make the owners 100% at fault. Thats just false thinking. In professional sports, a deal has to work for both sides, not just one. The side that locks out the other isn't 100% at fault just because the current deal doesn't favor them.

A deal can be made that favors both sides. I like this guy's take on it.

http://www.sbnation....pa-lockout-2012

This compromise really does favor both sides.

How do the economics of the current deal favor the players? compared to what, the insane offer the NHL made?

And exactly how is Fehr lollygagging? He is traveling meeting with his constituents. What exactly is Gary doing? Fehr made it clear he would be speaking to Bettman by phone before their next meeting. Odd how you only mention Fehr.

Players made the massive concession of agreeing to a cap and linking their salaries to something they have absolutely no say or control over, league revenues.

Some comments from Fehr state it pretty clearly.

"Let me caution you when you start talking about 50/50 splits," Fehr said. "If you start talking about all revenue as opposed to hockey-related revenue, the way we calculate it the players are already at just about 50/50. Hockey-related revenue begins by subtracting some amounts of revenue. They don't count. What I'm saying is that if you add those things back in and then take what the players get, we calculate that to be about 51 percent."

Fehr said that the players are compromising directly off the start based on the fact that the league has a salary cap.

"Suppose the players came in -- as we have not done -- and we said, 'This is what we want. We'll have no salary cap, have a minimum salary and benefits, which will be a small fraction of the salary bill, and all the owners can pay whatever it is they want to pay. They can adjust their salaries up and down based on what they think is best for them. Whatever the free market produces, in a real free market, the players will take.'"

He continued.

"The reason we have a salary cap is because the owners believe -- and they are correct -- that the salary cap we have now pays the players less than what the free market would pay them. That's the starting point from the players' analysis, but the players are willing to live with that if we can work out an agreement."

The argument from the owners' side of things when it comes to a 50/50 split of revenues is that the two sides are partners in building and growing the NHL as a business. But Fehr rejects that idea whole-heartedly.

"If we are partners, do we have joint control?" Fehr asked. "Do we get to have an equal say on how the marketing is done, how the promotion is done, where the money is invested, where the franchises are located? Do we have an equal say on when teams are sold, where the money goes? Do we get part of that? Do we have an equal say on how the television arrangements are done?

"Do we have an equal say on anything? That's what a partnership normally implies."

http://www.sbnation....pa-lockout-2012

The section I bolded states it most succinctly. The NHL keeps throwing around the phrase partnership, but it's ignoring that they only mean financial partnership, not any equal share in decisionmaking or control.

You can keep trying to say its both sides and throw mud at the union, but to me it's pretty obvious the owners are the ones most responsible for this impasse and impending lockout.

And to be clear I'm not saying a deal can't be done. That's what's infuriating. This should be the easiest CBA negotiation of all. But the owners ridiculous proposal and crap about partnering with players is the biggest problem. They're not even looking at the issue correctly. They want to fix the disparity among franchises by taking more from players.

EDIT: forgot to include link.

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How do the economics of the current deal favor the players? compared to what, the insane offer the NHL made?

And exactly how is Fehr lollygagging? He is traveling meeting with his constituents. What exactly is Gary doing? Fehr made it clear he would be speaking to Bettman by phone before their next meeting. Odd how you only mention Fehr.

Players made the massive concession of agreeing to a cap and linking their salaries to something they have absolutely no say or control over, league revenues.

Some comments from Fehr state it pretty clearly.

http://www.sbnation....pa-lockout-2012

The section I bolded states it most succinctly. The NHL keeps throwing around the phrase partnership, but it's ignoring that they only mean financial partnership, not any equal share in decisionmaking or control.

You can keep trying to say its both sides and throw mud at the union, but to me it's pretty obvious the owners are the ones most responsible for this impasse and impending lockout.

And to be clear I'm not saying a deal can't be done. That's what's infuriating. This should be the easiest CBA negotiation of all. But the owners ridiculous proposal and crap about partnering with players is the biggest problem. They're not even looking at the issue correctly. They want to fix the disparity among franchises by taking more from players.

EDIT: forgot to include link.

How can you ask me how the economic deal that is currently implemented doesn't favor the players? Look at the salaries and terms players are getting. Look at the salary cap floor/ceiling. The owners deserve some of the blame for sure, as some of these signings are just bad. At the same time, players are getting inflated salaries that just don't make sense. Still, if one side has it good while the other side struggles, its a problem.

I point out Fehr running around and talking with his constituents. I point out Fehr right now because this is a critical junction, and he isn't at the bargaining table. In order for a deal to get done, both the leaders have to be there and working towards a deal in person. Not one person deciding to take off for meetings while the other side is ready to negotiate. Can they do it over the phone? Sure, but it isn't the same. FYI, a part that you omitted is that I mentioned both sides in my last post and choosing not to meet until July, a full month after the season was already over. I don't give either side a pass for waiting until 2 months before the CBA expires. I am not giving Fehr a pass for taking off for a week, and neither should you.

As for the part you bolded, we are in total agreement. What you are forgetting is that the owners and players union needs to make some concessions to make a new deal work. The current system is broken. The owners got what they wanted last time, very true. Except that the system they got needs to be refined. The players have an opportunity to get things that they want in return. It really is, as the article states, an agreement that both sides can live with, but not be happy about everything.

I don't blame the league for going after cost certainty. I blame the way they are looking at the current system and trying to come to an agreement by lowballing the union. That initial offer was terrible.

I don't blame the players for wanting to keep the current deal and coming forward with a solid proposal. The problem is their counter proposal, while it cut revenues initially, they rose back to the regular levels a couple years later. The NHLPA also wants to put a limit on what teams can spend on non-player revenue. The NHLPA also wants to give extra draft picks to teams in financial trouble, at both the league and NHLPA discretion.

As you said, the league is not looking at the issue correctly. Even if they were, it is going to take both sides to hammer out a deal. The owners don't have all the keys here. So far though, the NHLPA has made a solid proposal and its a good start, but that isn't the solution either.

I really do think that many people here are kissing the ass of the NHLPA and saying that its all the owners fault if they lock out. To me, its more difficult than that. The NHLPA wants to continue the current agreement for a reason, and that reason is they have an advantage. The league has only 11 of the 30 teams in the league making a profit. Only 1 in 3! Could you operate under an agreement that has that? Would you operate under an agreement like that? I would operate under it just to get another CBA hammered out, but I certainly understand why the owners are threatening lockout.

http://www.forbes.co...could-kill-nhl/

As you said, both sides are not looking at the issue correctly. In order to address the issue correctly, then both sides have to first acknowledge the issues, come up with options, and then implement, with both sides willing to give up and get some things. So far, that isn't happening.

EDIT: Removed some borderline offensive content.

Edited by Nightfall

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How can you ask me how the economic deal that is currently implemented doesn't favor the players? Look at the salaries and terms players are getting. Look at the salary cap floor/ceiling. Are you saying that the current deal favors the owners more than the players? If so, I would love to know what crack pipe you are smoking because I would love to take a hit off it.

Context is everything. The pre-cap world was definitely favorable to players. They got actual market value contracts. Now the players salaries are tied to league revenue, so compared to that, it's a lot less favorable. The cap has gone up by leaps and bounds because revenue has gone up by leaps and bounds. Compared to the pre-cap era, the current CBA is highly favorable to owners. They've successfully linked their biggest cost to how much revenue they generate. You act as if that somehow only makes players rich and not owners.

I stopped reading after that part. If you expect me to read your lengthy response and give fair consideration to your points, maybe don't lead with saying I'm smoking crack because of what I think.

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Context is everything. The pre-cap world was definitely favorable to players. They got actual market value contracts. Now the players salaries are tied to league revenue, so compared to that, it's a lot less favorable. The cap has gone up by leaps and bounds because revenue has gone up by leaps and bounds. Compared to the pre-cap era, the current CBA is highly favorable to owners. They've successfully linked their biggest cost to how much revenue they generate. You act as if that somehow only makes players rich and not owners.

I stopped reading after that part. If you expect me to read your lengthy response and give fair consideration to your points, maybe don't lead with saying I'm smoking crack because of what I think.

The part you did read you didn't even answer the question.

Do you believe the current deal favors the owners more than the players?

While you believe I am acting that somehow makes that makes the players rich and not the owners, you are sadly mistaken. You probably feel this way because I am levying criticism against both sides whereas you can only see fault with the owners.

I will go back and edit out the "crack pipe" sentence since that prevented you from reading the points that I addressed. You are right, and I apologize for that. I wanted you to give full consideration for my points just as I have for yours. That was the wrong approach. What I will say is this.....

There are too many people blindly taking everything the NHLPA has said on faith without looking deeper into the details. Both sides proposals, as you even said, don't even fix the overall problem. Fixing that problem should be simple, as you said and I agree with, but both sides don't see the problem yet. Those two points do not bode well for hockey starting on time. So, if these two cases are correct, and you and I agree on them, then how can it be all on one side if there is a strike?

Edited by Nightfall

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The part you did read you didn't even answer the question.

Do you believe the current deal favors the owners more than the players?

While you believe I am acting that somehow makes that makes the players rich and not the owners, you are sadly mistaken. You probably feel this way because I am levying criticism against both sides whereas you can only see fault with the owners.

I will go back and edit out the "crack pipe" sentence since that prevented you from reading the points that I addressed. You are right, and I apologize for that. I wanted you to give full consideration for my points just as I have for yours. That was the wrong approach. What I will say is this.....

There are too many people blindly taking everything the NHLPA has said on faith without looking deeper into the details. Both sides proposals, as you even said, don't even fix the overall problem. Fixing that problem should be simple, as you said and I agree with, but both sides don't see the problem yet. Those two points do not bode well for hockey starting on time. So, if these two cases are correct, and you and I agree on them, then how can it be all on one side if there is a strike?

First, there won't be a strike, there will be a lockout. The players have made pretty clear they're willing to play while negotiating.

Second, when did I say it's all on one side if there's a lockout? I've said repeatedly that there's blame on both sides but I hold the owners more responsible, yet you repeatedly try to make it sound as if I'm saying it's all on the owners.

There's obviously blame on both sides. (How many times have I said that now??) Right now I blame the owners more than the players. I would also argue that the NHLPA does see the problem, but they need to negotiate their position to one more favorable for the owners. However, that can't happen when the owners aren't even acknowledging the actual problem and instead just want to further restrict player salaries and are standing by their idiotic proposal.

As for who the current cba favors more, I don't think it's that simple. If I had to pick I'd say the it favors players and rich franchises more than it does small franchises.

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Just to be clear I am not kissing anyones ass, but personally favoring the NHLPA:

Their first proposal showed good will, the NHL though was extremely aggressive and insulting. Sure it does take two sides for a lockout or getting it done. So I ask why did the dwarf react in such an unpro way? Really both sides could have used this as a starting point and go from there...we all know that didn't happen, though the players were willing to play under current terms (yes it may benefit them but this CBA has been crafted by the owners).

To me this means, one side does provide solutions to go from while the dwarf behaves like a complete moron fullfilling every possible stereotype.

By no means I am indicating, the NHLPA should get everything. Reduced costs of non hockeyplayers is just stupid it would lead to less coaching, development quality. Hardly touching the ridiculous UFA and ELC lenght the owners want.

The solution to some proplems is really simple known as relocation or fold. By no means do I have anything against certain fanbases but if they don't cut it with revenue sharing, whtas the point?

Lower the cap floor and go with a luxury tax which could be used as additiona" RS.

Sent from my BlackBerry

Edited by frankgrimes

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screw em both, luckily I have Colorado College and Air Force hockey to enjoy regardless of what these dillweeds do.

Good point...The great game of hockey will continue to flourish with, or without the NHL.

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All I can say is thank god I can come here and have you kind, knowledgeable folks break this s*&% down for me...

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I really do think that many people here are kissing the ass of the NHLPA and saying that its all the owners fault if they lock out. To me, its more difficult than that. The NHLPA wants to continue the current agreement for a reason, and that reason is they have an advantage. The league has only 11 of the 30 teams in the league making a profit. Only 1 in 3! Could you operate under an agreement that has that? Would you operate under an agreement like that?

You can look at it from a different point of view. Are the league as a whole profitable or not? If that is the case than what would be the justification for players to reduce their share? It would make already profitable teams more profitable while trying to make others at least break even. It kinda looks like using struggling teams to squeeze more money out of players.

On the other hand under the current CBA given league revenues at $3.3B the cap should be around $62.7M ($3.3B / 30 * 0.57) not $70M. Cap increases in recent years appear to outrun the revenue growth. This may be the part of CBA which needs fixing. I think players have some sort of "inflator" they can apply to the cap. It may have to go and it might be an easy concession for players to make.

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