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ogreslayer

2012 Lockout Watch

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Odd news...the NHLPA might get the Habs, Oilers, and Flames exempt from the lockout through legal protections in Quebec and Alberta. Not only does this put pressure on the league, but could we have some kind of exhibition games or tournament (invite some KHL all-stars team, SEL all-stars, etc)? The league would cave in a matter of no time.

http://m.espn.go.com/nhl/story?storyId=8363322

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“A distraction from the bigger picture,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email. “But they will be dealt with appropriately. Unfortunate that there appears to be no interest in negotiating a deal in a timely way.”

Put another one up for the Player's in the column "Public Relations in Media".

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Words from "The Pope":

"The league's doing all the talking about the collective bargaining agreement," Burke told reporters. "Obviously, I've been in on a bunch of the meetings, but not the last week or so. And I'll let the league comment on it. I wish I could say more. I mean, you guys know me: 'no comment' is not something that comes out of these lips easily."

Interesting.

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Good article by McKenzie about the current pathetic state of affairs.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=404989

I especially think these three passages tell the tale right now.

----

Make no mistake, as offensive as the players find the NHL proposed player share cut to under 50 per cent, the NHL owners find the NHLPA proposal equally offensive, especially in light of what has happened in the NBA and NFL. NHL owners cannot fathom that just days before the CBA is set to expire, the only offer on the table from the players sees actual salary expenditure increases in each of the next three years.

They're not happy that negotiations didn't begin until June 29, that the NHLPA exercised its right to employ the 5 per cent inflator to the summertime cap and that the PA rejected a league proposal to freeze the cap at the end of last season, so teams wouldn't spend their way into potential difficulties this summer since there's a practical expectation or sense that the cap number, in a new CBA, is more likely to be less than more.

Earlier, I characterized the NHL's position as extreme. And it is. I don't like that the league is going for a home run (grand slam?) on its first at bat. But don't kid yourself into thinking that the NHLPA position isn't hard line, too. To be honest, I'm shocked we're less than a week from a lockout and the players' proposal doesn't include a tangible reduction in their share, not even to 56 per cent, if only to acknowledge practical considerations that the number is realistically going to end up somewhere south of 57 and the number of real dollars spent on salaries will likely be less this coming season than last season.

----

Its hard for me to fathom why both sides can't just sit in a room and figure out how to cut a $3.3 billion dollar pie. In the end, this paragraph has it right.

----

As for being pro-player or pro-owner, I suppose on an emotional level I can empathize with the players more this time than last time for reasons outlined throughout, but on a practical level, in the face of the reality that's about to strike, I'm also finding it hard to believe the players can't do better with their offer than they have. But at the end of the day, does it really matter what I think or who wins in the court of public opinion, who sides with whom? We're all pretty much just spectators here.

----

We as spectators have got to put pressure on both sides to make a deal happen. Hell, getting them to the table would be a good step at this stage.

No, that Forbes list shows 18 of 30 teams have negative earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation. It's one piece of a much larger and more complex financial situation. That's not the same as 18 teams losing money.

I also wonder if they're just basing that on Hockey Related Revenue by the league's definition or if they're using revenue that should reasonably be included from ownership of the team, which is a larger amount.

The accounting gets fuzzy very quickly depending on what they're including as revenue and expenses. It's not a simple as "18 of 30 teams are losing money" though that's what Bettman and the league want everyone to think. Part of the problem with the negotiations is just getting the financial information together, sorting through it all, and figuring out what the actual financial picture is.

You also have to wonder how forthcoming the league is to give out that information. The answer is....probably not very much so. The players waiting until June to negotiate didn't help matters any either. Both sides need a kick in the ass. I know negotiations have been tenuous in the past, but jeez.....

Its just disgusting.

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Not really. Edmonton's situation is mostly the result of bonuses. Any bonus money that can potentially be earned counts against the cap, but if they are never earned they are never paid. Back-loading contracts can also lower the actual dollars spent, and then the player could be traded before the salary rises above the cap hit.

Edmonton's situation is way off the norm. I'm assuming most of the bonuses were paid anyway. When you get into bonuses, it's really only on entry level contracts anyway. You can't not have potential bonsuses count because what if they hit the targets and get paid and then you are over? Point is, it is a pretty tough argument to suggest the floor isn't a problem because teams can simply get there by having bonsues count against the cap, which aren't actually paid.

You are correct, contracts can be backloaded such that a team pays way less then the cap hit in the early years and then trades the player (i.e. never having to pay the higher amounts). However, in reality, very, very, very few contracts are backloaded, it's quite the opposite.

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Odd news...the NHLPA might get the Habs, Oilers, and Flames exempt from the lockout through legal protections in Quebec and Alberta. Not only does this put pressure on the league, but could we have some kind of exhibition games or tournament (invite some KHL all-stars team, SEL all-stars, etc)? The league would cave in a matter of no time.

http://m.espn.go.com...storyId=8363322

If the NHLPA is successful in blocking a lockout of the Montreal, Edmonton and Calgary players, that doesn't mean these teams would then be playing games. All it means is that those players would have to be paid and granted normal use of the teams' facilities to practice, etc.

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I especially think these three passages tell the tale right now.

----

Make no mistake, as offensive as the players find the NHL proposed player share cut to under 50 per cent, the NHL owners find the NHLPA proposal equally offensive, especially in light of what has happened in the NBA and NFL. NHL owners cannot fathom that just days before the CBA is set to expire, the only offer on the table from the players sees actual salary expenditure increases in each of the next three years.

They're not happy that negotiations didn't begin until June 29, that the NHLPA exercised its right to employ the 5 per cent inflator to the summertime cap and that the PA rejected a league proposal to freeze the cap at the end of last season, so teams wouldn't spend their way into potential difficulties this summer since there's a practical expectation or sense that the cap number, in a new CBA, is more likely to be less than more.

Earlier, I characterized the NHL's position as extreme. And it is. I don't like that the league is going for a home run (grand slam?) on its first at bat. But don't kid yourself into thinking that the NHLPA position isn't hard line, too. To be honest, I'm shocked we're less than a week from a lockout and the players' proposal doesn't include a tangible reduction in their share, not even to 56 per cent, if only to acknowledge practical considerations that the number is realistically going to end up somewhere south of 57 and the number of real dollars spent on salaries will likely be less this coming season than last season.

----

Its hard for me to fathom why both sides can't just sit in a room and figure out how to cut a $3.3 billion dollar pie. In the end, this paragraph has it right.

----

As for being pro-player or pro-owner, I suppose on an emotional level I can empathize with the players more this time than last time for reasons outlined throughout, but on a practical level, in the face of the reality that's about to strike, I'm also finding it hard to believe the players can't do better with their offer than they have. But at the end of the day, does it really matter what I think or who wins in the court of public opinion, who sides with whom? We're all pretty much just spectators here.

----

We as spectators have got to put pressure on both sides to make a deal happen. Hell, getting them to the table would be a good step at this stage.

You also have to wonder how forthcoming the league is to give out that information. The answer is....probably not very much so. The players waiting until June to negotiate didn't help matters any either. Both sides need a kick in the ass. I know negotiations have been tenuous in the past, but jeez.....

Its just disgusting.

It's telling but not surprising that you picked a first passage that mostly focus on the negative aspects of the NHLPA, while skipping over the entire first half of the article that spells out how ridiculous the NHL's position is.

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Best article I've been reading on the whole story kudos to Bob and well worth the long read.

For me it is still easy to side with the players, they are the guys giving their all each day/night, sacrifising their health for our entertainment. Nobody is forcing the lesser franchises to give out such huge contracts if they do and are getting into trouble for it, it is their own problem. The NHL failed not one but two times to fix the Phoenix situation because the dwarf is a stubborn idiot.

The only thing I didn't like in his article was how he mentioned the NBA/NFL - two total different leagues - but only one time the MLB which is in fact way more comparable to the NHL than the other two leagues. At this point I am more than sure we'll have another lockout thanks to the NHL and their stupid expansion into questionable markets and insulting starting-offer.

Some owners are just a bunch of greedy liars crying poor on one side but giving out contracts which they fully know are too much for them. And then they are going to the dwarf calling for more revenue sharing and salary rollbacks. The truth is they want to cry poor, spend as less as possible but still be competitive on a nightly basis which just is paradox.

I'd rather have a 5, 10 or 15 teams league instead of an overblown NHL in questionable markets.

Edited by frankgrimes

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It's telling but not surprising that you picked a first passage that mostly focus on the negative aspects of the NHLPA, while skipping over the entire first half of the article that spells out how ridiculous the NHL's position is.

I think its equally telling just how much NHLPA ass you are willing to kiss by only focusing on the faults of the owners while ignoring the faults of the NHLPA. I don't think I need to keep repeating over and over again how much the owners proposal sucked a big one. Just like I don't need you to keep reiterating over and over again about how much the league could bend a bit more. I mean, we had this discussion back about 15 pages ago. You had some constructive comments to give to the NHLPA, and I have been saying all along that the owners proposal sucked a big one. I don't think we need to drag each side through the mud anymore than they already have.

Do we really need to hear each other say the negative things about each side in order to agree that both sides really have not budged very much?

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Edmonton's situation is way off the norm. I'm assuming most of the bonuses were paid anyway. When you get into bonuses, it's really only on entry level contracts anyway. You can't not have potential bonsuses count because what if they hit the targets and get paid and then you are over? Point is, it is a pretty tough argument to suggest the floor isn't a problem because teams can simply get there by having bonsues count against the cap, which aren't actually paid.

You are correct, contracts can be backloaded such that a team pays way less then the cap hit in the early years and then trades the player (i.e. never having to pay the higher amounts). However, in reality, very, very, very few contracts are backloaded, it's quite the opposite.

Apparently you missed my post after the one you quoted, which detailed why I do not believe the floor is a problem. It has nothing to do with the ability to spend under the floor in real dollars. I just mention that it is possible to do so because, well, it is. It would be stupid to ignore that fact.

Right now, 18 teams have salary commitments lower than their total cap amount. 15 of them would still be lower even if they pay all their potential bonuses. But again, the numbers we have suggest that most teams should be able to afford the floor regardless.

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Some owners are just a bunch of greedy liars crying poor on one side but giving out contracts which they fully know are too much for them. And then they are going to the dwarf calling for more revenue sharing and salary rollbacks. The truth is they want to cry poor, spend as less as possible but still be competitive on a nightly basis which just is paradox.

I'd rather have a 5, 10 or 15 teams league instead of an overblown NHL in questionable markets.

I am in total agreement with you. The owners really want to bring a championship to their city and team though. There are 20 such owners that want to do that right now. So many of them write checks their franchises can't cash, and they cry foul when they have to cash in on revenue sharing. Actually, the rich franchises are the ones crying foul as well because these owners are spending foolishly. If I was a owner in a struggling market, such as Florida, I would find it hard to spend foolishly. My fans would be disappointed because we aren't a top tier team, but we wouldn't be spending money we don't have.

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This would never happen, but what do you think would happen if the players agreed to the nhl's latest offer but included that Gary Bettman would have to be replaced as commissioner? Would the owners bite, and what would Bettman do, if anything to save his job?

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I think its equally telling just how much NHLPA ass you are willing to kiss by only focusing on the faults of the owners while ignoring the faults of the NHLPA. I don't think I need to keep repeating over and over again how much the owners proposal sucked a big one. Just like I don't need you to keep reiterating over and over again about how much the league could bend a bit more. I mean, we had this discussion back about 15 pages ago. You had some constructive comments to give to the NHLPA, and I have been saying all along that the owners proposal sucked a big one. I don't think we need to drag each side through the mud anymore than they already have.

Do we really need to hear each other say the negative things about each side in order to agree that both sides really have not budged very much?

I haven't done either of those, but keep trying. The difference is one side has not budged much from its insane proposal, while the other has not budged much from its pretty rational starting point for negotiating.

The reason this is more the fault of the owners and Bettman is very simple. Revenue is up 50% in the 7 years under the CBA. The league has over a billion dollars more in revenue than it did at the start of the CBA. A BILLION DOLLARS. The problem is that rich have gotten richer while other franchises struggle. The biggest problem facing the league is clearly the financial disparity among franchises, not player salaries.

The owners solution to that problem is to take more money from the players. That is no long term solution. It is an uncompromising money grabbing strategy that relies on the players union crumbling once again and conceding virtually everything. For that strategy to be effective requires a lockout to break the players will.

In other words, the league's strategy from day one was built on implementing a lockout.

So while they players haven't come far off their stance, there's still the underlying issue of ownership not even acknowledging that their assessment and proposed solution for the league is a fantasy. That's where Bettman should come in as the voice of reason, diplomat, and steward of the league. He isn't. I don't know if it's his strategy or if he's just parroting what ownership wants, but he seems more intent on breaking the union than on preserving hockey and the long term health of the league.

We all can pretty much agree on what the general solution is, plus or minus a few details. The players salary does need to come down a few percentage points, the league needs to increase revenue sharing to struggling franchises, and add some limits to contract lengths and how they're calculated against the cap. Those will all help the smaller franchises compete with the ones flush with cash.

The NHLPA's proposal was a starting point in that world. The NHL and Bettman in particular, however, have not joined the rest of us in the real world.

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I haven't done either of those, but keep trying. The difference is one side has not budged much from its insane proposal, while the other has not budged much from its pretty rational starting point for negotiating.

The reason this is more the fault of the owners and Bettman is very simple. Revenue is up 50% in the 7 years under the CBA. The league has over a billion dollars more in revenue than it did at the start of the CBA. A BILLION DOLLARS. The problem is that rich have gotten richer while other franchises struggle. The biggest problem facing the league is clearly the financial disparity among franchises, not player salaries.

The owners solution to that problem is to take more money from the players. That is no long term solution. It is an uncompromising money grabbing strategy that relies on the players union crumbling once again and conceding virtually everything. For that strategy to be effective requires a lockout to break the players will.

In other words, the league's strategy from day one was built on implementing a lockout.

So while they players haven't come far off their stance, there's still the underlying issue of ownership not even acknowledging that their assessment and proposed solution for the league is a fantasy. That's where Bettman should come in as the voice of reason, diplomat, and steward of the league. He isn't. I don't know if it's his strategy or if he's just parroting what ownership wants, but he seems more intent on breaking the union than on preserving hockey and the long term health of the league.

We all can pretty much agree on what the general solution is, plus or minus a few details. The players salary does need to come down a few percentage points, the league needs to increase revenue sharing to struggling franchises, and add some limits to contract lengths and how they're calculated against the cap. Those will all help the smaller franchises compete with the ones flush with cash.

The NHLPA's proposal was a starting point in that world. The NHL and Bettman in particular, however, have not joined the rest of us in the real world.

Pretty much my thoughts exactly. And put to words better than I could have done.

Per Ansar Khan...

Wings' union rep Niklas Kronwall said 13 players from team, so far, will go to NY for NHLPA meetings Wed. and Thurs.

Only an NHLPA meeting though. No word on Red Wings' player participation in any upcoming League/PA meetings.

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I am in total agreement with you. The owners really want to bring a championship to their city and team though. There are 20 such owners that want to do that right now. So many of them write checks their franchises can't cash, and they cry foul when they have to cash in on revenue sharing. Actually, the rich franchises are the ones crying foul as well because these owners are spending foolishly. If I was a owner in a struggling market, such as Florida, I would find it hard to spend foolishly. My fans would be disappointed because we aren't a top tier team, but we wouldn't be spending money we don't have.

Good point. I mean you don't have to look further than Nashville, they aare a small market team but are doing quiete well in fact they are doing so well they can pay 27 million for one season to mr. Weber. So the system can't be as broken as the dwarf is thinking. Florida on the other hand has been spending crazy money to average at best players just to reach the cap floor, so again they can't cry foul.

My biggest beef with this whole t hing is how the NHL is trying to portray the PA as the bad guys here, when in fact the owners are the ones who can't control themselves.

This would never happen, but what do you think would happen if the players agreed to the nhl's latest offer but included that Gary Bettman would have to be replaced as commissioner? Would the owners bite, and what would Bettman do, if anything to save his job?

It really is an idea I have been thinking since the whole process started and the NHL proposed their insulting offer. Definately something the PA should be shooting for like

Ok you want us to give back again? Fine, we are going from 57 to 55 (just a number), increase UFA by 1 year but you need to replace the commissioner we are not going to fourth lockout with this guy. Deal?`ok lets sign :-)

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Where are the fans being mentioned in these negotiations? Nowhere? Oh, ok.

At least the last lockout we could entertain the idea that with the new agreement would come lower ticket prices. At least throwing out empty promises showed that the fans were on their minds for half a second.

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Where are the fans being mentioned in these negotiations? Nowhere? Oh, ok.

At least the last lockout we could entertain the idea that with the new agreement would come lower ticket prices. At least throwing out empty promises showed that the fans were on their minds for half a second.

That's not true. In spite of having to put up with yet another lockout, Bettman said we'd come crawling back again because we're the worlds greatest fans, remember?

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From TSN:

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says the owners and players are both to blame for their failure to reach a new collective bargaining agreement before the Saturday deadline for a work stoppage.

Daly wrote in an email to The Associated Press that he hoped both sides would meet before Saturday.

"But to this point, we have received no indication that the union has anything new to say to us. And right now, we have nothing new to say to them," he wrote Tuesday. "It's unfortunate, but it's the reality of the situation."

Ahhhhh, what?

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The NHLPA's proposal was a starting point in that world. The NHL and Bettman in particular, however, have not joined the rest of us in the real world.

Once again, you and I are in agreement. The key points are that neither side as budged from their proposals. I have given the NHLPA props for having a proposal set more in reality than the NHL proposal. Not budging from your stance is not the way to negotiate a CBA though. There needs to be less rigidity and more flexibility. It is that simple.

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I want to kidnap them all, lock them in a room together with no food, water, or bathrooms, and place armed guards outside the door with instructions to not let anyone in or out until a signed CBA is in place. Every four hours a rabid skunk will be let into the room. Every 6 hours Celine Dion will serenade them with "My Heart Will Go On. " Every 8 hours they will have to watch "The Miracle of Birth. " Every 10 hours they will have to eat haggis.

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I want to kidnap them all, lock them in a room together with no food, water, or bathrooms, and place armed guards outside the door with instructions to not let anyone in or out until a signed CBA is in place. Every four hours a rabid skunk will be let into the room. Every 6 hours Celine Dion will serenade them with "My Heart Will Go On. " Every 8 hours they will have to watch "The Miracle of Birth. " Every 10 hours they will have to eat haggis.

bettman would convert into some disgusting beast and eat everyone.

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That's not true. In spite of having to put up with yet another lockout, Bettman said we'd come crawling back again because we're the worlds greatest fans, remember?

Whoops, forgot about that.

Here's another idea guys...we kidnap Sid and hold him hostage until Bettman agrees to stop the lockout nonsense/retire. Who's in?

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