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ogreslayer

2012 Lockout Watch

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Here is the sticking point:

However, if the offer is examined closely it is far worse than simply a lowball opening position. In addition to cutting the rate of the players’ share of revenue to 46 per cent, the owners also want to redefine the hockey-related revenue (HRR) so there is much less in the pot, which reduces the real percentage of the players’ share to 43. In dollars, that’s a $450-million (all currency U.S.) haircut from the $1.88-billion the players received from the NHL’s preliminary estimate of its $3.3-billion in HRR from the 2011-12 season. The owners also want to increase the eligibility for free agency to 10 years, putting it beyond the reach of the average NHL player, to eliminate salary arbitration and impose five-year limits on player contracts.

1. Free agency eligibility increase to 10 years? are you freaking serious??!

2. Eliminate salary arbitration??!! Are you freaking serious??!!

3. 5 year limit on player contracts??!! are you freaking serious??!!

I'd tell the owners and Bettman to screw off and forego the season. I hope the players stick to their guns on this.

If the owners are going to be this freaking stupid then just lower the salary cap.

Great post.

Not many people are talking about how they want to redefine what constitutes hockey related revenue. So like you said, the owners are changing the definition so more money goes in their pockets while at the same time asking for a much bigger percentage of what's left.

And the other demands are so idiotic it's hard to believe they wanted to do anything other than piss off the NHLPA. Yes it's a negotiation, but when your bid is that outlandish you may just offend the other side and sour the deal.

This is a massive money grab by the owners as they apparently are intent on breaking the union again.

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The poison dwarf is living up to his name. I guess he wants ticket prices to mirror gas prices. A third lockout is beyond grossly unacceptable. The forced socialism of the cap isn't working, other than to punish the franchises that can make money. If you are depending on revenue sharing to maintain your franchise, you have absolutely no frakking business offering mega deals to free agents then crying poverty in CBA negotiations. If you can't legitimately afford it, don't expect others to bail you out.

Heck, I'd LOVE to drive a Lamborghini, but since I'm a teacher, not a doctor or lawyer, or professional athlete, it's not happening unless I get lucky with a powerball ticket or, like some of these owners, over extend myself or outright lie on the credit app. And when I can't make the payments, there isn't a bailout or revenue sharing. If that means certain well-run franchises have a better shot at the cup, so be it. Spending more is by no means a guarantee for a championship.

Maybe a luxury tax/soft cap system would be better, but the owners like Mr. Ilitch who can actually run a franchise should speak up. Sadly, there are some owners who apparently need to be saved from themselves.

The Wings sucked and sucked hard for a long time before the Ilitches bought the franchise. Good management paved the way for the rise to prominence and excellence.

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Great post.

Not many people are talking about how they want to redefine what constitutes hockey related revenue. So like you said, the owners are changing the definition so more money goes in their pockets while at the same time asking for a much bigger percentage of what's left.

And the other demands are so idiotic it's hard to believe they wanted to do anything other than piss off the NHLPA. Yes it's a negotiation, but when your bid is that outlandish you may just offend the other side and sour the deal.

This is a massive money grab by the owners as they apparently are intent on breaking the union again.

Just wait until the players come back with their lowball offer. So far, we haven't seen the players offer yet, and I know they are going to try to lowball the league. The best case would be for Fehr to look at the situation and come forward with a plan that benefits everyone. Such as a 50/50 split on revenues, a luxury cap system, and so on. Instead, I already know that Fehr isn't going to do that because one lowball offer deserves another. Everyone already hates Bettman and the league. Fehr doesn't need brownie points.

This is a two way street here. Both sides have to get a deal done for it to work. If a deal doesn't get done, both sides are a fault PERIOD.

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This is a two way street here. Both sides have to get a deal done for it to work. If a deal doesn't get done, both sides are a fault PERIOD.

:clap:

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If the season is locked out, Bettman should lose his job. Plain and simple. That would be the 3rd work stoppage during his tenure, which would effectively kill the sport dead in the United States. It's already swimming against the tide in relation to baseball, basketball, and football, and if the season is shortened by any significant duration (half or more), there's no point in anyone aside from the die hards to continue watching. The die hards are already by my guesstimate, 3/4ths of the audience anyway. That 1/4 that are "casual observers" will be gone, and it won't matter.

So Bettman better hope there isn't a lockout, or else he can kiss his job goodbye. In the event he does get a Shanaban levied on him, is there anyone who can act as interim commish until another one is appointed/elected/promoted?

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The thing is, in spite of the league making record revenues the owners want a huge reduction in salary by the players. Their biggest requests have little to do with remedying these massive contract lengths and cap hits. Most of their demands are just a money grab. They don't address any of the loopholes.

If there's a third lockout, Bettman should absolutely 100% lose his job. Yes it takes two to tango, but all three stoppages have been lockouts by management, not strikes. And this should be the easiest one to settle of all of them. Bettman has zero diplomacy skills and sets a hostile tone from the get go.

Ah, so you have read the league proposal? One of those is on a max contract length. That would solve the problem that you point out in the first part of your post.

I don't deny what you are saying about Bettman losing his job though. There should not be a strike everytime the league CBA is up. At the same time, he is making the owners a lot of money. The chances of them firing Bettman is slim to none. At the same time, the NHLPA has to bargain in good faith, and if anyone here believes that the NHLPA is doing that while the league are a bunch of devils, they are delusional. A deal is made by two sides working towards a common goal. If a deal doesn't get done, its not the fault of one side alone, its the fault of both.

Thats just my .02 cents.

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If the season is locked out, Bettman should lose his job. Plain and simple. That would be the 3rd work stoppage during his tenure, which would effectively kill the sport dead in the United States. It's already swimming against the tide in relation to baseball, basketball, and football, and if the season is shortened by any significant duration (half or more), there's no point in anyone aside from the die hards to continue watching. The die hards are already by my guesstimate, 3/4ths of the audience anyway. That 1/4 that are "casual observers" will be gone, and it won't matter.

So Bettman better hope there isn't a lockout, or else he can kiss his job goodbye. In the event he does get a Shanaban levied on him, is there anyone who can act as interim commish until another one is appointed/elected/promoted?

Can't disagree with that. But I've never really felt that hockey was a true national, network television competitor with those other sports anyway. In my opinion, that was a myth propagated by Bettman and fueled by a perfect storm of short-term East Coast hype (Rangers in '94, and Devils in '95), the heyday of SportsCenter coverage, and Bettman's ill-advised westward expansion.

Hockey doesn't look, play, or feel anything like the other sports. The only sports season that it really "competes" with from start to finish is the NBA, which is as about as opposite of hockey as you can get. In the late 90's, when hockey was getting play on FOX (glow puck, etc.), the majority of America who don't know this sport turn on the channel, see the white ice in the background, and quickly turn it off. It might as well be figure skating or equestrian to those people. There's really no point in pandering to that type of audience, pretending that your sport could ever be as big as football or basketball here. It can't.

At the same time, the league has done a lot of good things since the lockout to evolve into the type of sport that it needs to be going forward. Bettman deserves some credit for that, yes, but I'd have no problem seeing him gone as soon as possible - you could lose sleep thinking about how much better the league could have been with the direction of someone actually passionate about the product and its fans.

Think about it as a television analogy - I hear a lot of NHL fans still stuck in the 1990's, and Bettman is guilty of this too. They want the game to be "Friends" or "Seinfeld" - a central experience accessible to everyone that gets tens of millions of viewers on television. Well, guess what? The world has changed. Does anyone here like "Mad Men", "Breaking Bad", or "Game of Thrones"? Those shows get a fraction of the viewers that crap like the "CSI Miami" gets, yet they're considered some of the best shows on television, are extremely profitable for their networks, and are appreciated by a loyal collection of obsessed fans. Why does the NHL need to be "CSI Miami" or "Friends"? Why can't we keep costs within reason, and create a CBA without loopholes that result in star players making NFL or MLB-type money?

Bettman is totally ripable, but I think should be noted that public support in the 04-05 lockout was largely on the side of the OWNERS, despite the fact that the players are the actual face of the league and the source of the "product".

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Ah, so you have read the league proposal? One of those is on a max contract length. That would solve the problem that you point out in the first part of your post.

I don't deny what you are saying about Bettman losing his job though. There should not be a strike everytime the league CBA is up. At the same time, he is making the owners a lot of money. The chances of them firing Bettman is slim to none. At the same time, the NHLPA has to bargain in good faith, and if anyone here believes that the NHLPA is doing that while the league are a bunch of devils, they are delusional. A deal is made by two sides working towards a common goal. If a deal doesn't get done, its not the fault of one side alone, its the fault of both.

Thats just my .02 cents.

If one side flat out refuses to bargain in good faith I have no problem calling them out on it. However, I also think neither side in this dispute is angelic. In some ways the initial league proposal is forcing the NHLPA to respond with an equally ridiculous offer to set the stage to eventually reach an equitable middle ground.

Maybe Fehr's reputation from his MLB days pushed the league to offer such an outlying proposal, but I'm inclined to think Bettman is just that much of a f**ktard.

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Ah, so you have read the league proposal? One of those is on a max contract length. That would solve the problem that you point out in the first part of your post.

The NBA has both max contract lengths and amounts (...well, kind of). The NHL has the $14 million compensation rule, but the cap calculations and bonus structure are messed up to the point where Weber, Parise, and Suter are basically making $25 million next year to play hockey.

I think it's time to put real limits on what the upper end players can make in a single deal. I think the long-term deals are counter-productive, and I think the doubling of the salary cap over 7 seasons is a mirage.

If one side flat out refuses to bargain in good faith I have no problem calling them out on it. However, I also think neither side in this dispute is angelic. In some ways the initial league proposal is forcing the NHLPA to respond with an equally ridiculous offer to set the stage to eventually reach an equitable middle ground.

Maybe Fehr's reputation from his MLB days pushed the league to offer such an outlying proposal, but I'm inclined to think Bettman is just that much of a f**ktard.

Agreed. And what's sad is that while all of the CBA issues matter significantly to the financial health of the game (and, more noticeably, to competitive balance), this potential lockout kind of snuck up on people and swallowed the whole realignment effort, which I thought was a legitimate improvement that would help FANS see their teams play at reasonable hours, and foster realistic rivalries.

I got the sense that everyone just assumed there was NO WAY the two sides would get close to a lockout again after losing a year, and then the realignment thing got quashed and I thought "uh oh".

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what else does the league want? The got their "parity" throughout the league, revenue is up, they got the Cap in place, they got their "KID" the Cup (maybe one wasn't enough and they need changes to make sure he gets every two out of three?) I don't know what else the league would want from the players. If the NHL suffer another lockout or lose of an entire season, it is over. It cannot survive another whole, half or any part of the season being cancelled... I cannot see why Bettman still has his job, half a season lost in 1994-95, entire 2005 season lost AND now this possibility!?!? Why does this fool still have a job? He has done hardly anything GOOD for the NHL and tons bad!

"This fool" keeps his job because he's a tool of management and the owners. They don't care if fans boo him off the ice, as long as their profits are up.

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At the same time, the NHLPA has to bargain in good faith, and if anyone here believes that the NHLPA is doing that while the league are a bunch of devils, they are delusional. A deal is made by two sides working towards a common goal. If a deal doesn't get done, its not the fault of one side alone, its the fault of both.

Thats just my .02 cents.

Nuh UH! It's all Bettman's fault and not the players at all. They should totally make like 90% of the league revenue, and the owners can all live off of the 10% the players decide to leave. I mean, the players play the game, so they should make all the money. The owners are just rich old men that write checks and sit in their owners boxes. What do they contribute to the game? Once the players get 90% of revenues, then the minimum salary can go up to like 3 mil per year, which is only fair, since the players sacrifice so much to get where they are.

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I don't blame Bettman. All he is is the mouthpiece for the owners. And they want a bigger share of the pie.

If I were the players I wouldn't back down on this. A salary cap was out in place to save the owners from themselves and now its not good enough. Screw that! Players are worth what owners are willing to pay them. Period. If a franchise can't afford to sign big contracts the salary cap means they can still be competitive and can still be elite with good management.

Hockey is my favorite sport and the Wings my favorite team but should we lose the season I would have to seriously think about spending a single dollar with the NHL.

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"I reconfirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last nine to 12 months, namely that time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this Collective Bargaining Agreement for another season, so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon," Commissioner Bettman said in remarks after Thursday's negotiating session at the League office. "We believe there is ample time for the parties to get together and make a deal, and that is what we're going to be working toward."

This is in response to Fehr's suggestion that the union membership was prepared to go past the "drop dead date" and begin the new season under the old Collective Agreement, showing that they wanted to get a new agreement done, no matter how long it takes.

Uncle Gary, the supposed "mouthpiece of the owners", has not shown that he wants to do that.

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Anybody think it's really irresponsible for Bettman to make a "nuclear option" statement like this before both proposals are even on the table? This is like starting peace negotiations by saying, "We are prepared to detonate tactical nuclear weapons above your country if you don't sign". I mean, he's the commissioner of the sport.

Edited by grimace1970
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This is in response to Fehr's suggestion that the union membership was prepared to go past the "drop dead date" and begin the new season under the old Collective Agreement, showing that they wanted to get a new agreement done, no matter how long it takes.

Uncle Gary, the supposed "mouthpiece of the owners", has not shown that he wants to do that.

The lockout might be a good thing. If we see contraction of weak markets due to no play in the 12-13 season, then there will be less of this BS. The only reason that the owners are being so unreasonable is due to the large number of non-hockey market owners on the board of governors, pushing for this nhl-style socialism/parity. I say let the lockout happen, and the "real" teams can have more of a voice, as they used to.

That is the whole point of this, and I am surprised that I haven't seen much commentary about it in the media.

The Wings sucked and sucked hard for a long time before the Ilitches bought the franchise. Good management paved the way for the rise to prominence and excellence.

:thumbup:

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The lockout might be a good thing. If we see contraction of weak markets due to no play in the 12-13 season, then there will be less of this BS. The only reason that the owners are being so unreasonable is due to the large number of non-hockey market owners on the board of governors, pushing for this nhl-style socialism/parity. I say let the lockout happen, and the "real" teams can have more of a voice, as they used to.

That is the whole point of this, and I am surprised that I haven't seen much commentary about it in the media.

While I see the point you're trying to make, I think it's a little off.

There has to be a majority board support in order for the small market teams to even be considered let into the league. So by your reasoning, the same board members who voted these teams in are the same ones who want them out now?!

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While I see the point you're trying to make, I think it's a little off.

There has to be a majority board support in order for the small market teams to even be considered let into the league. So by your reasoning, the same board members who voted these teams in are the same ones who want them out now?!

Of course. You don't think they've changed their minds since Bettman sold them the dream of thriving southern hockey teams?

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I've seen several people say that if the league does lockout, it's not Bettman's fault, it's the owners' fault. To a degree, I agree with that. However, three work stoppages in less than 20 years? SOMEONE has to lose their job for that. If what some of you have said is true, and he's just a mouthpiece for the owners, he's not a very good commissioner, now is he? He may not be directly at fault for what's going on, but his inept leadership, re: his relationship with the owners', needs to be dealt with and if that means bye bye Bettman, then so be it.

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Of course. You don't think they've changed their minds since Bettman sold them the dream of thriving southern hockey teams?

So then why would they give a contract extension to the man who proposed the salary cap and brought in these small market teams? And if any of the NHL's teams fold during this off-season, I shudder to even try and imagine the legal fallout that would encompass the entire league.

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I've seen several people say that if the league does lockout, it's not Bettman's fault, it's the owners' fault. To a degree, I agree with that. However, three work stoppages in less than 20 years? SOMEONE has to lose their job for that. If what some of you have said is true, and he's just a mouthpiece for the owners, he's not a very good commissioner, now is he? He may not be directly at fault for what's going on, but his inept leadership, re: his relationship with the owners', needs to be dealt with and if that means bye bye Bettman, then so be it.

But he's the same guy who grew their revenues & got them their cost certainty with the salary cap. If anything, a 3rd lockout & a 3rd "win" for the owners, if fans come back like they did last time, will probably turn into a lifetime contract for the little midget. (No offense to actual little persons here on the boards) Overall, he's done a good job in lining the owners' pockets, players & fans be damned. Sadly, I don't see him going anywhere unless there's a absolute & utter abandoning of the sport if we see another lockout.

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Ah, so you have read the league proposal? One of those is on a max contract length. That would solve the problem that you point out in the first part of your post.

I don't deny what you are saying about Bettman losing his job though. There should not be a strike everytime the league CBA is up. At the same time, he is making the owners a lot of money. The chances of them firing Bettman is slim to none. At the same time, the NHLPA has to bargain in good faith, and if anyone here believes that the NHLPA is doing that while the league are a bunch of devils, they are delusional. A deal is made by two sides working towards a common goal. If a deal doesn't get done, its not the fault of one side alone, its the fault of both.

Thats just my .02 cents.

Right. One aspect of the deal asks for limits on contracts, which is why I said MOST of their proposal doesn't address the loopholes. Most of it is a money grab. The restrictions on rookie contracts, getting rid of arbitration, extending the length before a player can become a UFA. Even with contract length, you've got GM's signing 13 year deals as they're negotiating to knock it to 5 years in the CBA. That's somehow the players fault?

The NHLPA has offered to start the season and continue negotiations. That's not bargaining in good faith? What evidence has the NHLPA shown that they're not? Now take a look at what Bettman has said in the media combined with the NHL's idiotic initial proposal. That's not good faith. Their offer is the equivalent of leaving a few pennies for a waiter so he knows it's an "F you!" and not that you just forgot to tip.

Like I said, obviously there's two sides to the negotiation. But with what we've heard so far, the owners and Bettman are BY FAR the ones pushing this to a lockout. How much hockey will we have to lose to try once again to keep these owners from screwing up their own franchises? Ilitch must be so frustrated having to be lumped in with these fools. He took a franchise at its lowest point and resurrected it, and now unfortunately is in an era of hockey were they keep punishing his franchise more and more in order to help support the poorly run ones.

The problem will be solved by owners figuring out how to run a successful business, not by constantly going back to take more money from the players.

And to be clear, I wasn't predicting Bettman would be fired. I was saying he should be. I understand that he reports to the owners so of course many will approve of him lining their pockets, even when it hurts the game. The only hope for him getting fired is if he screws this sport so badly that enough owners that actually care about hockey outvote those willing to run it into the ground to make more money in the short term.

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Greedy bastards all around! Lock it out. Do it. Fold all these small market teams too. Let the large market teams with owners who love hockey re-organize into a capless, win first league. Fans will go nuts. All this collectivist BS should have died with the Soviet Union.

bettman needs to go, I hope he dies a slow and agonizing death for what he has inflicted on the hockey world.

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Getting ahead of ourselves aren't we fellas? Just because Bettman says they will lock out doesn't mean there will be one. That crazy bastard in Iran keeps saying he's going to wipe Israel off the map but we haven't see any of that either. So far, it's all theater and should be treated as such.

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