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ogreslayer

2012 Lockout Watch

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I finally get it. frankgrimes is Jim Balsille. One of the 3 people left on earth who use a blackberry, and has a total hate hard on for Bettman and the owners to the exclusion of everything else. Still mad they wouldn't let you buy the Pens or Predators, or circumvent everything for the Coyotes?

Seriously, we get it. The owners should be forced to give 99% of the revenue to the players, pay for all other costs out of their own pockets, and let the players pick what nights they play and who their teammates are. Hell, lets dismantle the front offices, and let the players have a multibillion dollar beer league. Screw the owners who pay for the buildings, staff, insurance costs, medical, etc.

Has anyone in this thread put together a reasonable argument for the owner's side without resorting to a straw man or some other fallacy?

Everyone is just accepting that players need to reduce their share of revenue (including myself), but why exactly? The most common argument I hear involves comparing it to the NFL or NBA, which has little relevance to hockey.

Yes yes, the Forbes report where it lists 18 teams as having negative income. Forbes lists the Coyotes as dead last with -24.4 mill operating income. Their payroll was a very reasonable $55 million last season. They made it to the conference finals. I'm pretty sure the Forbes report was before the playoffs but assuming they didn't have a positive income (using the Forbes standard) if a team can't turn a profit with that payroll and a conference finals finish, the problem is not players salaries.

Obviously that's just one example, but my point is it's not as easy as saying they need this reduction because the league is in trouble. This isn't 2004. The NHL overall is profitable.

With a combination of contract limits, revenue sharing AND a reasonable reduction in player salary, the league could help the smaller markets succeed. Or at least give them the opportunity to succeed if they have any idea what they're doing. Instead they are asking for massive reduction in player's salary, with little compelling evidence as to why exactly other than they're willing to hold hockey hostage until the players cave. And at the same time they want to re-define what even constitutes the Hockey Related Revenue before they even give players less of it.

As Fehr pointed out, what's in it for the players in any of these offers from the NHL? The concessions the union is mainly asking for is a less insane reduction from the league. They're not asking to get rid of the cap. The league is so fixated on ratcheting down players salary that it seems like they haven't even discussed things like contract length. And that's where I think the union can do some giving. Length of CBA. Length of player contracts.

Instead, Bettman uses the nuclear option again and we as fans lose more hockey.

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As Fehr pointed out, what's in it for the players in any of these offers from the NHL? The concessions the union is mainly asking for is a less insane reduction from the league. They're not asking to get rid of the cap. The league is so fixated on ratcheting down players salary that it seems like they haven't even discussed things like contract length. And that's where I think the union can do some giving. Length of CBA. Length of player contracts.

Here are couple other things players can offer to the league.

- Make the cap number to equal actual salary (kill the front-loaded contracts)

- Remove players option for the 5% cap inflator

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Here are couple other things players can offer to the league.

- Make the cap number to equal actual salary (kill the front-loaded contracts)

- Remove players option for the 5% cap inflator

That first one I think is a great way to make things more equitable between the big and smaller franchises besides reducing player salary (which doesn't actually achieve that). Right now the rich franchises can extend massive contracts that nearly cripple the small ones (a la Shea Weber) and essentially circumvent the cap with long term.

I didn't realize the players even had an option for inflating the cap. It's definitely something else they could negotiate off of. Even if not eliminating, they could reduce it.

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I realize that this will never happen, but wouldn't it be a lovely thing if there were a dozen or so billionaires who happened to love hockey and started some teams just for this one season?

Imagine that any interested player could submit his name, and the billionaires could just have a fantasy draft, play a 20 or 30 game schedule, put the videos up online for our enjoyment, and at the end have the guys play for something silly like a jockstrap and a jelly doughnut.

The billionaires could pay them whatever they agree on, and charge admission to cover travel costs. It would be just for fun and kind of a sticking out of the tongue at the league.

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I finally get it. frankgrimes is Jim Balsille. One of the 3 people left on earth who use a blackberry, and has a total hate hard on for Bettman and the owners to the exclusion of everything else. Still mad they wouldn't let you buy the Pens or Predators, or circumvent everything for the Coyotes?

Seriously, we get it. The owners should be forced to give 99% of the revenue to the players, pay for all other costs out of their own pockets, and let the players pick what nights they play and who their teammates are. Hell, lets dismantle the front offices, and let the players have a multibillion dollar beer league. Screw the owners who pay for the buildings, staff, insurance costs, medical, etc.

So trying to start a flame-war resulting in maybe warning-points is all you "pro-owner" people can do? Sorry I won't bite ;-)

Well I'd rather use a great quality product instead of the limited, cheap produced, spy-crap and under bad working-conditions built I crap version X - so thanks but your advise isn't needed here I know a good phone, when I see it some people aren't just marketing-victims too bad ey?

Provide me a reasonable point why I should side with a bunch of billionaires who can't control themselves and a dwarf refusing to call his expansions-teams what they are, a big failure!

- record revenues for the last 7 years

- owners giving out these massive-contracts players are just signing them

- if teams are losing money (show the real numbers first) on top of revenue sharing - recocate them problem solved

- if teams are giving out contracts they can't afford - tough luck think about it twice next time

Ah yeah poor old Nashville getting bullied by a team offering Shea what he is worth on an open market instead of lowballing him?! Poile had around 2,5 years to get a fair deal for both sides done he didn't, Holmer said "screw this we are forcing your hand now and Weber accepted.

Yes, I do have a a hard hatred for Bettman so what? The guy is soon responsible for 3 lockouts, created team in absolute undeserving markets, takes fans for granted and would love a little dwarf world where all teams are having a salary like his BFF club and of course no NHLPA or any player rights at all. So forgive me for hating that stupid midget making 8.000.000 a year, NOT.

Like Fehr said what is there for the players in the NHL offer?

24 % Salary Reduction, 10 years till UFA, no arbitration rights, 5 years ELC - thats even worse than last time

Something the pro-owner side should at some point get into their heads:

IF the NHLPA would have proposed the same stubborn crap, we would have:

70/30 split, 5 years till UFA, 2 years ELC, removing of the minimum age for NMC NTC clauses and on top of it no cap world...but they didn't they were willing to move the process forward the owners not so much just like Sid and Fehr pointed out.

So unless you are coming back to me with some reasonable non insulting arguements don't even bother responding, because I won't take part in a flame-war with a heavily pro-owners guy.

Edited by frankgrimes

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I think this player is as fed up with the BS dwarfish commissioner as everyone else and maybe just maybe he has to pay some bills, family and you know like to be able to pay them? Guys like us are playing hockey for fun, enjoyment these guys are professional athletes hockey is their job.

Thinking the fact that some players are going hardball is a good sign, last timel they gave too much they won't do so again and even the dumbest owner should know a league without all the stars will never be the same.

And they can't support their family with let's say a paycheck worth of the league minimum ($500K a year)?

Hell even I can support my family with 10% of that!

I can understand it is a principle matter, but the players should never play the victim card.

They should be lucky they're getting paid multiple millions a year just to play some game where even when they play horrible all season they still get paid fath checks.

There are doctors/surgeons out there who save people's lifes every day (sometimes they have to be in surgery 18 hours straight!)where they can not make a mistake without costing someone's life and they do not get paid like $6M a year!

Not saying that I am siding with the owners...a lockout is at fault of all parties involved!

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7fc7ec7941678f7c6dfaca727b9a.jpg

From Toronto Star:

It’s an image that would salve the emotional wounds of any NHL fan craving their favourite sport this fall: Sidney Crosby pulling on a Team Canada jersey and leading a lineup of NHL stars against Alex Ovechkin and his Russian teammates.

The NHL Players’ Association over the past few weeks has been pitching the idea of a multi-game exhibition tournament featuring Canadian and Russian NHL stars, the Star has learned.

...

Edited by cusimano_brothers

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Has anyone in this thread put together a reasonable argument for the owner's side without resorting to a straw man or some other fallacy?

It is tough to argue for the owners due to the horrible proposal they put forward. That being said, while the players proposal was a good start, the simple fact of the matter is that neither side is willing to budge off its original stance. In the world of negotiating, two wrongs don't make a right. Sure, its easy for you and many others here to point at the ownership and say they did wrong, because they did and are continuing to do so. At the same time though, the players have got to be willing to come off their original demands as well. Now, you and others here who are pro NHLPA can say that the players have done that, but all I have seen is their original proposal which was to lower their share to 53% in year 1, 55% in year 2, and then back up to 57% in year 3 with a player option at the same amount the next year.

Lack of flexibility, concession, and greed is what caused the strike. The owners feel like they are entitled to more. The players feel that they are entitled to more. The deal that is currently going on right now favors the players and lucrative franchises, but what I don't get is that every owner voted to strike? Are things really that bad in Hockeytown or Toronto? I know those are extreme examples, but I had to add that in there.

The sooner the fans realize that there is some fault on both sides, the more willing they will be to accept the lockout for what it was.....a cash grab and lack of flexibility on both sides.

Yes, I do have a a hard hatred for Bettman so what? The guy is soon responsible for 3 lockouts, created team in absolute undeserving markets, takes fans for granted and would love a little dwarf world where all teams are having a salary like his BFF club and of course no NHLPA or any player rights at all. So forgive me for hating that stupid midget making 8.000.000 a year, NOT.

Just for reference, Bettman isn't responsible for 3 lockouts. The ownership as a whole is responsible. The owners could have voted differently. The owners could be asking for less. The owners could be more flexible. Instead, they are not. Bettman just represents these owners. He doesn't lock the league out on his own accord.

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Someone on the coverage of Uncle Gary's "face time" yesterday said this: as long as the League continues to throw money at money-losing franchises, instead of moving those teams to markets where they can make money, they will continue to be an inefficient economic model of a properly run league. How quick into it yesterday's passion play did he play the "parity card"? Very quickly.

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Lack of flexibility, concession, and greed is what caused the strike. The owners feel like they are entitled to more. The players feel that they are entitled to more.

If you want to appear balanced you should not call coming NHL work stoppage "strike". Strike is an action by players. What NHL is moving to is a lockout.

And to be precise, players are not asking for more. They are asking that absolute amount of money spent on players compensation is not reduced and then allowing NHL to take greater share of the future revenue growth.

I think that projected NHL revenue growth in NHLPA proposal is too high (something like 7%). They should be able to drop it to be inline with overall inflation numbers (under 3%). It would remove another thing for owners to complain about and probably would not cost players whole lot.

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"Listen, nobody wants to make a deal and play hockey more than I do, this is what I do, this is what my life is about in terms of how I spend most of my waking hours, this is really hard, and you only get involved in this situation if you know what the issues are and know you're doing the right thing for our league and our sport. This is very hard and I feel terrible about it." -Gary Bettman. Sept 13

It is tough to argue for the owners due to the horrible proposal they put forward. That being said, while the players proposal was a good start, the simple fact of the matter is that neither side is willing to budge off its original stance. In the world of negotiating, two wrongs don't make a right. Sure, its easy for you and many others here to point at the ownership and say they did wrong, because they did and are continuing to do so. At the same time though, the players have got to be willing to come off their original demands as well. Now, you and others here who are pro NHLPA can say that the players have done that, but all I have seen is their original proposal which was to lower their share to 53% in year 1, 55% in year 2, and then back up to 57% in year 3 with a player option at the same amount the next year.

Lack of flexibility, concession, and greed is what caused the strike. The owners feel like they are entitled to more. The players feel that they are entitled to more. The deal that is currently going on right now favors the players and lucrative franchises, but what I don't get is that every owner voted to strike? Are things really that bad in Hockeytown or Toronto? I know those are extreme examples, but I had to add that in there.

The sooner the fans realize that there is some fault on both sides, the more willing they will be to accept the lockout for what it was.....a cash grab and lack of flexibility on both sides.

Just for reference, Bettman isn't responsible for 3 lockouts. The ownership as a whole is responsible. The owners could have voted differently. The owners could be asking for less. The owners could be more flexible. Instead, they are not. Bettman just represents these owners. He doesn't lock the league out on his own accord.

Sure Bettman represents the Board of Governors but Bettman is more influential than any one of the owners/. He came into the league by selling them on his scheme for growth and for it to work he insisted on total autonomy. 2 decades later it's obviously still not working, so hopefully they are getting tired of him. I know it's reported that they voted unanimously but that too is Bettman making them look unified against the NHLPA, The owners have a severely punishable gag order place on them by Bettman so he can spin it any way he likes. He is the mastermind behind these lockouts and just about eveything else that is wrong with the league

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If you want to appear balanced you should not call coming NHL work stoppage "strike". Strike is an action by players. What NHL is moving to is a lockout.

And to be precise, players are not asking for more. They are asking that absolute amount of money spent on players compensation is not reduced and then allowing NHL to take greater share of the future revenue growth.

I think that projected NHL revenue growth in NHLPA proposal is too high (something like 7%). They should be able to drop it to be inline with overall inflation numbers (under 3%). It would remove another thing for owners to complain about and probably would not cost players whole lot.

Used the wrong word there. It should be lockout, but I digress.

The players lack of willing to negotiate their share of 57% is a problem. You would think two parties could easily step in and say, meet in the middle? Why not 52%-48% in favor of the players? Then, the owners can give the players earlier unrestricted free agency. As you pointed out, the project growth of the NHL is pretty high. Why don't the players drop to 3%?

I am about as balanced as it gets. For as crappy of a deal that the owners offered, its crappy for the players to just sit idly by and not concede anything. The players took the high ground when the owners put forward that crazy proposal, and I commend them for that. At the same time, what every fan of the NHLPA isn't willing to acknowledge is that their side hasn't really conceded anything. In fact, neither side has given ground to the other. Does that seem right to you?

I cannot side with a party that has been unwilling to give ground. If the players are going to not give ground, I hope it is because Fehr is going to to institute a no-cap request and be willing to sit the entire season out and then some. Sitting out another season may be worth it if we move to a luxury tax system like in baseball. Let teams spend what they want to spend. No floor, no ceiling, with a tax system at the high end like baseball.

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The bottom line for me is this... The two sides are arguing over %'s of billions. To some degree, I understood the last lockout because there was more at stake in structuring the entire system from top to bottom. That isn't the case now. If I lose hockey because millionares and billionaires cannot compromise on what percent of the pie they wanna eat, then I'm done. If the league thinks its having a hard time keeping small markets afloat, then just wait till fans of these teams , like myself, start jumping ship. I have a passion for hockey but I don't have patience for ignorance.

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"Listen, nobody wants to make a deal and play hockey more than I do, this is what I do, this is what my life is about in terms of how I spend most of my waking hours, this is really hard, and you only get involved in this situation if you know what the issues are and know you're doing the right thing for our league and our sport. This is very hard and I feel terrible about it." -Gary Bettman. Sept 13

Sure Bettman represents the Board of Governors but Bettman is more influential than any one of the owners/. He came into the league by selling them on his scheme for growth and for it to work he insisted on total autonomy. 2 decades later it's obviously still not working, so hopefully they are getting tired of him. I know it's reported that they voted unanimously but that too is Bettman making them look unified against the NHLPA, The owners have a severely punishable gag order place on them by Bettman so he can spin it any way he likes. He is the mastermind behind these lockouts and just about eveything else that is wrong with the league

I don't believe for a second that Bettman has that much power. The owners as a whole voted to lock the players out. I suppose you think that Bettman went up to the owners and raised their hands for them? Or are you saying that the owners didn't vote unanimously and Bettman is lying? I would assume that the players and Fehr have the same relationship. Fehr and the players say they are united, but I think its much less likely that every player voted to not give into the league and voted to stand their ground. The owners have told Bettman what they want, and Bettman is getting that for them. Same with Fehr.

The bottom line for me is this... The two sides are arguing over %'s of billions. To some degree, I understood the last lockout because there was more at stake in structuring the entire system from top to bottom. That isn't the case now. If I lose hockey because millionares and billionaires cannot compromise on what percent of the pie they wanna eat, then I'm done. If the league thinks its having a hard time keeping small markets afloat, then just wait till fans of these teams , like myself, start jumping ship. I have a passion for hockey but I don't have patience for ignorance.

I agree with this.

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The players lack of willing to negotiate their share of 57% is a problem. You would think two parties could easily step in and say, meet in the middle? Why not 52%-48% in favor of the players? Then, the owners can give the players earlier unrestricted free agency. As you pointed out, the project growth of the NHL is pretty high. Why don't the players drop to 3%?

The way I understand it players are not willing to take an immediate pay cut. I think league can get a 50-50 deal if they move slowly toward that goal (no more that 1-2% a year) so that players get paid the amount what they have signed contract for.

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The way I understand it players are not willing to take an immediate pay cut. I think league can get a 50-50 deal if they move slowly toward that goal (no more that 1-2% a year) so that players get paid the amount what they have signed contract for.

I believe the players don't need to take an immediate pay cut either. At the same time, both sides can give a little and they haven't. Why have two representatives in the same room when they don't want to negotiate in good faith? I can already imagine how the negotiations have gone so far.

Bettman: You should take a rollback in salaries, no arbitration, and limit on contracts.

Fehr: That isn't fair. We think the current system works. How about our share drops to 53% the first year, 55% the second year, and then back up to regular levels for the last 2 years of the deal?

Bettman: That isn't fair. Why don't you take our proposal?

Fehr: That isn't fair. Why don't you take our proposal?

Two weeks go by and its the same banter back and forth. Two reasonable people would have started looking at the big picture and drew up what they wanted and started giving a little in order to get things in other areas. Players give a little in their share, while owners give in unrestricted free agency is one example.

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And they can't support their family with let's say a paycheck worth of the league minimum ($500K a year)?

Hell even I can support my family with 10% of that!

I can understand it is a principle matter, but the players should never play the victim card.

They should be lucky they're getting paid multiple millions a year just to play some game where even when they play horrible all season they still get paid fath checks.

There are doctors/surgeons out there who save people's lifes every day (sometimes they have to be in surgery 18 hours straight!)where they can not make a mistake without costing someone's life and they do not get paid like $6M a year!

Not saying that I am siding with the owners...a lockout is at fault of all parties involved!

I haven't heard any of the players play "the victim card."

Sidney Crosby of all people spoke pretty well regarding the matter, acknowledging the amount of money involved is kind of mind boggling but that there's principles involved.

I think it's important to remember is this that hockey is entertainment. Players are a very elite talent, most who have short careers, and are the stars that people pay money to see. It's about getting what they feel is their fair share of the billions of dollars in revenue generated by them playing the game.

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I haven't heard any of the players play "the victim card."

Sidney Crosby of all people spoke pretty well regarding the matter, acknowledging the amount of money involved is kind of mind boggling but that there's principles involved.

I think it's important to remember is this that hockey is entertainment. Players are a very elite talent, most who have short careers, and are the stars that people pay money to see. It's about getting what they feel is their fair share of the billions of dollars in revenue generated by them playing the game.

this is one of the biggest things i don't understand from the owners point of view. congratulations, you invested and want to make money on your investment, you deserve and rate that. The players are the ones that are providing that entertainment, they are your employees, they are the ones having the endure the physical labor of a 82+ game season that is physically and mentally draining. they're the ones that have to spend time away from their families and live according to your franchise. you're not the one out there throwing the body around, you're not the one that some kid is idolizing, the fans that generate your paycheck came to see your employees not you.

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I don't believe for a second that Bettman has that much power. The owners as a whole voted to lock the players out. I suppose you think that Bettman went up to the owners and raised their hands for them? Or are you saying that the owners didn't vote unanimously and Bettman is lying? I would assume that the players and Fehr have the same relationship. Fehr and the players say they are united, but I think its much less likely that every player voted to not give into the league and voted to stand their ground. The owners have told Bettman what they want, and Bettman is getting that for them. Same with Fehr.

I agree with this.

Bettman has told the owners what they want. I can't believe for 1 second that Illitch voted for it

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this is one of the biggest things i don't understand from the owners point of view. congratulations, you invested and want to make money on your investment, you deserve and rate that. The players are the ones that are providing that entertainment, they are your employees, they are the ones having the endure the physical labor of a 82+ game season that is physically and mentally draining. they're the ones that have to spend time away from their families and live according to your franchise. you're not the one out there throwing the body around, you're not the one that some kid is idolizing, the fans that generate your paycheck came to see your employees not you.

I think the owners are grossly overestimating their position and are misplaying this badly.

As has been said, the NHL has seen a 50% increase in revenue under this last CBA. It made over a billion more dollars in 7 years! Because of the NBC deal, there were more games on tv than I can ever remember. A team in a huge but traditionally non-hockey market just won the Stanley Cup for the first time in its history.

In spite of that they make their outrageous proposal and have only taken baby steps off of it, pretty much guaranteeing a lockout, killing all the momentum the NHL has right now. It's like 1994 all over again.

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Bettman has told the owners what they want. I can't believe for 1 second that Illitch voted for it

I guess that is a difference of opinion. Illitch is an outspoken guy. I believe he voted with every other owner to lockout the players. If he didn't like the situation, he would say something.

Illitch has plenty of reasons to vote lockout too. Make no mistake about it.

Edited by Nightfall

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I guess that is a difference of opinion. Illitch is an outspoken guy. I believe he voted with every other owner to lockout the players. If he didn't like the situation, he would say something.

Illitch has plenty of reasons to vote lockout too. Make no mistake about it.

The owners are not allowed to publicly speak on the matter, but I'm with you on Illitch's vote. The owners of all 30 teams are looking at gaining millions of dollars in revenue by saying "lockout" instead of "start the season". As much as we like to think some of these guys are altruistic city and fan lovers (and maybe some of them are), but they're businessmen first and foremost and the bottom line is always the most important thing in business.

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this is one of the biggest things i don't understand from the owners point of view. congratulations, you invested and want to make money on your investment, you deserve and rate that. The players are the ones that are providing that entertainment, they are your employees, they are the ones having the endure the physical labor of a 82+ game season that is physically and mentally draining. they're the ones that have to spend time away from their families and live according to your franchise. you're not the one out there throwing the body around, you're not the one that some kid is idolizing, the fans that generate your paycheck came to see your employees not you.

True, but the owners take all the financial risk. If things go bad, the players still get their money. The players wouldn't be stars to idolize if there were no owners investing money to provide a league. They both are taking risks, one is physical one is financial. I can see both sides.

esteef

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The owners are not allowed to publicly speak on the matter, but I'm with you on Illitch's vote. The owners of all 30 teams are looking at gaining millions of dollars in revenue by saying "lockout" instead of "start the season". As much as we like to think some of these guys are altruistic city and fan lovers (and maybe some of them are), but they're businessmen first and foremost and the bottom line is always the most important thing in business.

I already know why Illitch voted yes.

Foolish owners signing players to long term deals they can't afford

Illitch has to pay out millions in revenue sharing to these owners who can't run their clubs in a financially sound manner

Players are getting paid too much

Contract length is too long

Illitch believes that the owners deserve more than 43% of the revenues of a $3.3 billion dollar industry

He may not be able to control the other owners, but he can control how much the owners get in their share of the pie. Illitch is a sound businessman, and if the other owners weren't idiots that didn't write checks their franchises couldn't cash, then he would probably be more forgiving.

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