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uk_redwing

[Retired] Official Lockout Thread

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Buppy,

First, lets set something straight. For people such as yourself who want to debate the facts, I haven't levied a single insult. Sure, you want to go back and point out some jabs I have thrown at people, and they are in reply to jabs they throw at me first. Such as insinuating that I believe that if the "ownership has 100 apples and the players have 10, then it is fair", to which I think that is totally false. So do two wrongs make a right here? Absolutely not. I will take responsibility for my part, but just the fact that you are only willing to point out the jabs that I throw while ignoring the jabs others throw really does point out your devotion towards only one side. I believe that this thread could do without a lot of the jabs that are being thrown around. After all, we are fans of hockey after all.

The problem is that both sides are clearly being greedy and not willing to budge much on their initial proposals. Then you have the rhetoric that is being thrown around which isn't helping matters. IMHO, what we need are fans to put pressure on both sides to sit at the table and get a deal done. There are concessions that both sides can make to get a deal done. So why not get into a room and hash it out?

The problem I have with fans on one particular side or the other is when I mention this, they have a lot of anger towards people who point this out. So the jabs start coming shortly after that. Now, as you said, you believe the PA is right. I can respect that. What I don't respect are people who like to put some insulting jabs against me for believing the way I do. Are you tracking with me so far?

As for your point that the number could reach 52% for the ownership, you are correct. Thats if revenues keep climbing though, and I don't know how much growth the NHL has left in a down economy. I believe what the ownership is looking for is cost certainty and they want guaranteed numbers. While I don't know if I agree with that, its still a point that both sides need to get into a room and hammer out.

Then you have other factors to consider. You have contract lengths, free agency, entry level contracts, arbitration, and so on. It goes just far beyond the split.

So, in short, I agree with you. Lets keep the debate civil, but it would be helpful if both sides and people in the middle would keep it like that.

I generally support the players because when I go to a hockey game I pay money to see the players. I do not care who the owner is and what his/her financial situation is.

For me as a fan league profits mean that I am paying too much for the tickets. If NHL would have decided to cut ticket prices 24% across the board. Now that would have been a deal I can support.

While I do somewhat agree, I think that the ownership has a right to at least make a profit.

Edited by Nightfall

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Uncle Gary loves to "crow" about how revenues have leaped into a new stratosphere, even after his second lockout of the players.

Consider this question: Imagine what levels revenues could be , if not for his ego-based decisions, especially on franchise placement.

Keep this in mind: one third of the current franchises are either relocations or new teams happening during his time on the job.

The "rule of thumb" i heard the other day is still in place: ten teams make money, ten break even and ten lose money.

Also, take the hockey element out of this. Any fairly negotiated collective agreement should be the best possible deal for the employees. Why should they have to settle for less?

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While I do somewhat agree, I think that the ownership has a right to at least make a profit.

To me "right to make a profit" means that owners are entitled to it. This I do not agree with. Owners have a right to try to make a profit. But there should be no guarantees.

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There are a handful of folks, including members of this board, who believe that both sides are being selfish and need to apply the actual definition of compromise to their "compromises".

On the second point I do agree with you. The owners vs players debate has a lot of political philosophy behind it, and those who identify as strictly republican or democrat may be influenced by their political beliefs when determining what side to support. In that sense it will be a tough sell to get someone to "see the other side".

There is no question who is at fault regardless of who your political affiliations may be.

Bettman and the owners want to renege out of contracts they signed and offered in the first place and are locking the players (and us) out to do so. It's really as simple as that.

Bettman uses the lockout as a negotiating tactic

Edited by Johnz96
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To me "right to make a profit" means that owners are entitled to it. This I do not agree with. Owners have a right to try to make a profit. But there should be no guarantees.

Very true. Only those that run their businesses intelligently should make a profit.

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I guess I have to have my head so far up the NHLPA's ass to see what you see in those greedy screwballs. Its all or nothing in your mind. The NHLPA has zero fault while the NHL has 100% fault. I can't just put all the fault on one party, when it most clearly is the fault of both why we are in a lockout right now. As I said before, 60% at fault with the ownership group, but the players carry 40% of the burden easily.

And here we are again. You unable to understand anything other than all or nothing so you misrepresent my position, in spite of my repeated posts about it.

My point, which you once again missed, is not that it's 100% anyone's fault (god I'm sick of typing that). I can understand the opinion of people who think the owners should be able to get what they want from their proposal because it's their franchises and the players are employees, so they should pretty much just agree to the deal. I don't agree with it, but I can see the position.

What baffles me is you consistently misrepresenting what they players union has offered and saying both sides have essentially conceded nothing. It's patently false.

I think a fair and equitable agreement could be made at 52% for the players and 48% for the owners on the core economics side of things.

I would like to know why you think that I expect the players to keep giving and giving until the owners agree? I have said numerous times that there is room for both sides to give something in these negotiations. The ownership can easily give back to the players just as much as the players can give back to the owners. Its not that hard to see that concessions can be made and they don't have to all come from one side.

What you don't acknowledge much is that the players have already conceded a ton. Hence my analogy. Their starting point was a heck of a lot closer to the middle than anything the league proposed. So if both sides keep moving forward equally from where they are now, in the end it means they end up with a deal heavily swayed towards the owners.

If they were to both concede equally from here to arrive in the middle, then the union's starting point for negotiations should have been to get rid of the cap.

This is what I don't understand and maybe someone here can educate me.

I believe a fair and equitable agreement can be made between both sides. As has been pointed out numerous times, any two sides who were cooperative and were bargaining honestly could hammer out an agreement in a couple hours. I don't see many people on the sides of the owners here, and on the flip side I see many on the sides of the players. This makes sense due to the offers that were shelled out and Fehr's comments to the press. What I don't understand is why someone has to be either for or against one side. There is no looking at the big picture and seeing faults with both. There is no looking at the offers that were put forward and comparing/contrasting them.

I guess its a lot like religion or political preference. "If you aren't a (insert affiliate name here), then you are wrong" mentality. I guess that its time for fans to get mad, not take sides.

This has little to do with my political preference, it has to do with looking at the facts. The league overall is profitable. Revenues are up over a billion dollars since the last deal. That's up 50%, which is amazing. The Winter Classic is a big hit. The NHL is now on several NBC networks.

What should have been a relatively simple CBA negotiations went off the rails with the owners first offer. It was completely insane and hostile. As I've said before, the only way the owners could have expected the players to get anywhere near that first proposal is to break their will, which requires locking them out.

The owners and Bettman's strategy was built upon a lockout.

Yes there's things both sides could do better, but in terms of who's the biggest (not 100%, but biggest) reason we won't be watching hockey? It's Bettman and the owners by a country mile.

The profit margins for these teams are really razor thin. The people who are for the NHLPA like to think that owners are fine just losing millions per year for their stake in the team. Is that the right mentality? At the same time, is it right for the owners to have to lose money? Shouldn't there be a fair and equitable deal in place in order for both sides to profit equally?

Do you have access to the teams books? How do you know they're razor thin?

As has been said countless times, the accounting is not that simple. It varies by what's included in HRR, expenses, if it's really a "loss" when you include the arena's other uses, etc. But you keep repeating this same conjecture as if it's fact.

Everyone keeps repeating that 18 of the 30 franchises are losing money but that's based on a report in Forbes from a couple years ago. When Bettman started the CBA negotiations in 2004, he had a lengthy audit to show definitively that the league had grave financial problems. This time, it simply does not.

It also ignores the overall increase in values of the franchise, even the ones listed as losing money. Even if it is losing money, it is in asset that is appreciating in value. It ignores the owners role in handing out bad contracts that hurt their franchise. It ignores that franchises in non-hockey markets are going to have a harder time financially, which is in no way the fault of the players. It was a choice Bettman and the owners made.

These billionaire owners aren't stupid. If so many of these franchises were truly financial black holes that were damaging the owner's overall wealth and strategy, they'd sell it in a heartbeat.

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Ok, so you think 52% would be fair. One would assume then that if the players were to propose that figure (and also agree to all the non-financial aspects proposed by the owners), and the owners refuse, you would change your stance and consider the owners to be wholly at fault for the continuing lockout.

Would that mean you would then have your head up the PAs ass, or you're some mindless sycophant blindly toeing the party line? You know, the same petty insults you want to hurl at everyone with a different opinion than yours.

By the way, if revenues were to grow at around 7.5%, the players proposal would work out to about 52%. And in any proposal, looked at from the perspective of where they were in the last CBA, ALL concessions are being made by the players. (Or at most, players might get a higher minimum salary, or rookie max. Their likely to give up money or rights on every other issue.) It's not really a concession just because the owners will settle for taking away less than they originally wanted to.

What I don't understand is why you think is has to be both sides at fault. Or why you think someone on one side or the other is suggesting that is "has" to be either/or. Speaking for myself, I don't think one side "has" to be right, I just think that in this situation, the PA "is" right. As I stated above, there seems to be a number at which you think the PA would be right, so...what makes your opinion on what that number is any more valid than mine? Who the f*** do you think you are that you want to throw insults at me because my idea of "fair" is a few percentage points higher than yours?

There is no objective "right" answer to a fair split. Personally, I believe the players are responsible for generating more of the revenue than the teams themselves. I think 4-5% is a fair profit margin for the owners, considering the team value is likely to appreciate at a similar rate (possibly higher if the team is profitable). I've looked at the numbers for recent years, and those numbers say that other expenses are around 40% or less of revenue. So I think 55-56% is a "fair" split. Under the PA proposal, it takes around 4.5% growth to realize a 5% margin (3.6 - 4.1% for 4%), which seems to be a realistic (maybe even conservative) growth estimate. (Though the longer the lockout lasts, the less realistic it is likely to be.)

I believe owners should be responsible for sticking to a budget their team can afford, or if they don't, they should accept the losses. I think it is the responsibility of the owners as a group to determine revenue sharing, and then to set the upper and lower limits accordingly to accommodate the revenue disparity between teams. If $8M below the midpoint (player's share) is too high a floor for too many teams, the owners have to lower the floor and raise the cap. Let the rich teams spend more to allow the poor teams to spend less. You shouldn't just ask the players to give up even more.

All that is why I am on the side of the players in this situation. If you want to disagree with my opinions, fine. But please stop insinuating that I (or others of similar opinion) are just mindless PA lickspittles. If you can't debate without resorting to childish insults, don't debate at all.

I could've saved myself a lot of typing by just posting "What Buppy said."

Great post.

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And here we are again. You unable to understand anything other than all or nothing so you misrepresent my position, in spite of my repeated posts about it.

My point, which you once again missed, is not that it's 100% anyone's fault (god I'm sick of typing that). I can understand the opinion of people who think the owners should be able to get what they want from their proposal because it's their franchises and the players are employees, so they should pretty much just agree to the deal. I don't agree with it, but I can see the position.

What baffles me is you consistently misrepresenting what they players union has offered and saying both sides have essentially conceded nothing. It's patently false.

I do agree that the players have conceded something, but you and others on the side of the NHLPA sound like they conceded everything and the owners still want more. This is simply not the case. The players have in essence thrown a bone to the owners, but do you agree it was enough? Just based on the fact that the rich franchises and players have done very well for themselves, even after the "huge concessions" they gave up from last year, do you believe that the NHLPA has given enough? I really don't think so. Yes, if revenues keep increasing, then the split looks very good. The problem is that we don't know what is going to happen when it comes to revenues. Sure, you can predict but you just don't know.

IMHO, your tone through this entire lockout thread has been against the ownership, with little to no constructive comments about he NHLPA. If you aren't 100% against the owners, then what are you? BTW, there is nothing bad about being behind the NHLPA 100%, but I don't expect anyone who follows any side 100% to see my stance on these matters like I do. Which is why when you make dumb comments like "the players have 10 apples and the owners have 100, then you think it is even" comments, I just shake my head. Of course, when I fire back a jab of my own, you complain. I will admit, as I said before, two wrongs don't make a right. I will attempt to hold my jabs back.

What you don't acknowledge much is that the players have already conceded a ton. Hence my analogy. Their starting point was a heck of a lot closer to the middle than anything the league proposed. So if both sides keep moving forward equally from where they are now, in the end it means they end up with a deal heavily swayed towards the owners.

I wouldn't say they conceded a "ton" but thats just my point of view. I believe that both sides can easily move forward and come up with a deal that is 52-48 in favor of the players.

If they were to both concede equally from here to arrive in the middle, then the union's starting point for negotiations should have been to get rid of the cap.

If the players are going to not negotiate at all, this is what I hope they go for. Eliminate the cap and put in a luxury tax system like baseball. It will take a lost season to get it, but at this point, I see the benefits.

This has little to do with my political preference, it has to do with looking at the facts. The league overall is profitable. Revenues are up over a billion dollars since the last deal. That's up 50%, which is amazing. The Winter Classic is a big hit. The NHL is now on several NBC networks.

What should have been a relatively simple CBA negotiations went off the rails with the owners first offer. It was completely insane and hostile. As I've said before, the only way the owners could have expected the players to get anywhere near that first proposal is to break their will, which requires locking them out.

The owners and Bettman's strategy was built upon a lockout.

I don't believe it was built upon a lockout, but it was built to get everything they wanted. I eagerly anticipated both sides were going to get a deal done by working their way from their proposals to the middle. The simple fact of the matter is that neither side gave very much. I think the ownership gave a couple percentage points, and the players gave a couple in return, but it wasn't enough to get a deal done. As you and I agree upon, the initial offer from the ownership was a slap in the face. I applaud Fehr for not following suit and coming up with an alternate proposal. I think the thing to stress was that the proposal that Fehr and the players gave was a good starting point only. Sure, if revenues keep increasing, then the deal is good, but I don't know what is going to happen for sure. There is risk involved that the owners didn't want to deal with. I don't blame them for their decision. Yet, fans of the NHLPA look at this deal and compare it to the second coming of Christ, to which it is not.

Yes there's things both sides could do better, but in terms of who's the biggest (not 100%, but biggest) reason we won't be watching hockey? It's Bettman and the owners by a country mile.

I believe the fault is 60-40 with the owners. I cannot let the players off the hook for waiting until June to start the CBA talks when the league was open to discussing it in January. Yes, you will say there is no indication that more time would have helped, but we don't know for sure. Yes, you and others love the NHLPA deal because of the potential of growing revenues. Yet, when it comes to having more time to bargain for a new CBA, you and others siding with the NHLPA don't want to think that more time would have helped. I suppose when it comes to looking into the crystal ball, the future is clear when it comes to revenues, but go back to January and negotiating a new CBA and that future is cloudy. Must be nice to see so clearly in one sense and not so much in another.

Then you have the lack of cooperation between the two sides, which Fehr and Bettman are responsible. I could go on and on. Point is that there is plenty of blame to go around. To say that its Bettman and the owners by a country mile is an exaggeration IMHO. I would remove the "country" and say 1/4 mile just based on what I have seen so far.

Do you have access to the teams books? How do you know they're razor thin?

As has been said countless times, the accounting is not that simple. It varies by what's included in HRR, expenses, if it's really a "loss" when you include the arena's other uses, etc. But you keep repeating this same conjecture as if it's fact.

Everyone keeps repeating that 18 of the 30 franchises are losing money but that's based on a report in Forbes from a couple years ago. When Bettman started the CBA negotiations in 2004, he had a lengthy audit to show definitively that the league had grave financial problems. This time, it simply does not.

http://www.forbes.co...esnt-have-them/

So, the report in Forbes is inaccurate? Even a recent report shows that the top teams in the NHL are actually keeping the rest of the teams afloat. Just this should be enough to show that the profits of teams are indeed small, especially in the smaller markets. You are correct though in that I don't have any books proof to backup my statement that the profits are razor thin. At the same time though, you see a Forbes report on the business of hockey and dismiss that as well. So what good would it be to bring forward proof if you are going to dismiss it anyway? Is the NHL in as dire straits as it was back in the last lockout? No. At the same time, they are still in trouble for various reasons.

It also ignores the overall increase in values of the franchise, even the ones listed as losing money. Even if it is losing money, it is in asset that is appreciating in value. It ignores the owners role in handing out bad contracts that hurt their franchise. It ignores that franchises in non-hockey markets are going to have a harder time financially, which is in no way the fault of the players. It was a choice Bettman and the owners made.

These billionaire owners aren't stupid. If so many of these franchises were truly financial black holes that were damaging the owner's overall wealth and strategy, they'd sell it in a heartbeat.

Yea, they would sell, but selling is not easy these days. Why do you think it is taking so long to sell the Blues? Look at the Stars for instance as well that took years to get a deal done. I think we all know why the Coyotes aren't selling quickly, but look at teams that are up for sale that aren't being sold right away. You make it sound like selling is easy. When you aren't one of the top 3-5 teams in the league, or you aren't making a profit, then selling is not as easy as you say. Yes, their asset is appreciating in value, and the contracts are a problem. League contraction would be a good option right now, but the players are against that because it would remove players from the payroll in the NHLPA. They would much rather have the teams move around.

Edited by Nightfall

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I do agree that the players have conceded something, but you and others on the side of the NHLPA sound like they conceded everything and the owners still want more. This is simply not the case. The players have in essence thrown a bone to the owners, but do you agree it was enough? Just based on the fact that the rich franchises and players have done very well for themselves, even after the "huge concessions" they gave up from last year, do you believe that the NHLPA has given enough? I really don't think so. Yes, if revenues keep increasing, then the split looks very good. The problem is that we don't know what is going to happen when it comes to revenues. Sure, you can predict but you just don't know.

IMHO, your tone through this entire lockout thread has been against the ownership, with little to no constructive comments about he NHLPA. If you aren't 100% against the owners, then what are you? BTW, there is nothing bad about being behind the NHLPA 100%, but I don't expect anyone who follows any side 100% to see my stance on these matters like I do. Which is why when you make dumb comments like "the players have 10 apples and the owners have 100, then you think it is even" comments, I just shake my head. Of course, when I fire back a jab of my own, you complain. I will admit, as I said before, two wrongs don't make a right. I will attempt to hold my jabs back.

I wouldn't say they conceded a "ton" but thats just my point of view. I believe that both sides can easily move forward and come up with a deal that is 52-48 in favor of the players.

If the players are going to not negotiate at all, this is what I hope they go for. Eliminate the cap and put in a luxury tax system like baseball. It will take a lost season to get it, but at this point, I see the benefits.

I don't believe it was built upon a lockout, but it was built to get everything they wanted. I eagerly anticipated both sides were going to get a deal done by working their way from their proposals to the middle. The simple fact of the matter is that neither side gave very much. I think the ownership gave a couple percentage points, and the players gave a couple in return, but it wasn't enough to get a deal done. As you and I agree upon, the initial offer from the ownership was a slap in the face. I applaud Fehr for not following suit and coming up with an alternate proposal. I think the thing to stress was that the proposal that Fehr and the players gave was a good starting point only. Sure, if revenues keep increasing, then the deal is good, but I don't know what is going to happen for sure. There is risk involved that the owners didn't want to deal with. I don't blame them for their decision. Yet, fans of the NHLPA look at this deal and compare it to the second coming of Christ, to which it is not.

I believe the fault is 60-40 with the owners. I cannot let the players off the hook for waiting until June to start the CBA talks when the league was open to discussing it in January. Yes, you will say there is no indication that more time would have helped, but we don't know for sure. Yes, you and others love the NHLPA deal because of the potential of growing revenues. Yet, when it comes to having more time to bargain for a new CBA, you and others siding with the NHLPA don't want to think that more time would have helped. I suppose when it comes to looking into the crystal ball, the future is clear when it comes to revenues, but go back to January and negotiating a new CBA and that future is cloudy. Must be nice to see so clearly in one sense and not so much in another.

Then you have the lack of cooperation between the two sides, which Fehr and Bettman are responsible. I could go on and on. Point is that there is plenty of blame to go around. To say that its Bettman and the owners by a country mile is an exaggeration IMHO. I would remove the "country" and say 1/4 mile just based on what I have seen so far.

http://www.forbes.co...esnt-have-them/

So, the report in Forbes is inaccurate? Even a recent report shows that the top teams in the NHL are actually keeping the rest of the teams afloat. Just this should be enough to show that the profits of teams are indeed small, especially in the smaller markets. You are correct though in that I don't have any books proof to backup my statement that the profits are razor thin. At the same time though, you see a Forbes report on the business of hockey and dismiss that as well. So what good would it be to bring forward proof if you are going to dismiss it anyway? Is the NHL in as dire straits as it was back in the last lockout? No. At the same time, they are still in trouble for various reasons.

Yea, they would sell, but selling is not easy these days. Why do you think it is taking so long to sell the Blues? Look at the Stars for instance as well that took years to get a deal done. I think we all know why the Coyotes aren't selling quickly, but look at teams that are up for sale that aren't being sold right away. You make it sound like selling is easy. When you aren't one of the top 3-5 teams in the league, or you aren't making a profit, then selling is not as easy as you say. Yes, their asset is appreciating in value, and the contracts are a problem. League contraction would be a good option right now, but the players are against that because it would remove players from the payroll in the NHLPA. They would much rather have the teams move around.

Coyotes had a buyer years ago

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Coyotes had a buyer years ago

The city of Glendale and the league just should have sold the club to Jim Baisaille who could have taken the team to Winnepeg or some other Canadian province. Why the NHL decided to expand into these small markets is beyond me. Contraction or moving them is the best option.

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Coyotes had a buyer years ago

A potential owner that pissed all over the exclusive club he was trying to join, and then was shocked when they didn't approve him buying the team. Getting BOG approval is part of the process, and he didn't get past that part. He didn't when he tried to buy the Pens and the Preds either.

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That's the thing, Bettman's position is ridiculous. He is simultaneously pushing the franchises in non-hockey markets and bragging about the success and profitability of the nhl, while also claiming the league's current financial structure doesn't work and it's mostly the fault of player contracts.

The owners and Bettman want people to believe that the biggest problem is once again player salaries and not the financial disparity between franchises, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. The sad part is, it's starting to work.

Bettman stays on message, relying on the players caving and fans coming back even though he's costing us hockey and not addressing the actual problem. See you in 6 years when there's another lockout.

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A potential owner that pissed all over the exclusive club he was trying to join, and then was shocked when they didn't approve him buying the team. Getting BOG approval is part of the process, and he didn't get past that part. He didn't when he tried to buy the Pens and the Preds either.

So this exclusive club, members of which are crying poor now, was not willing to sell and cut their losses because the buyer did not meet their high standards.

I am sorry but I do not feel much sympathy for owners due to their troubles being self-inflicted.

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That's the thing, Bettman's position is ridiculous. He is simultaneously pushing the franchises in non-hockey markets and bragging about the success and profitability of the nhl, while also claiming the league's current financial structure doesn't work and it's mostly the fault of player contracts.

The owners and Bettman want people to believe that the biggest problem is once again player salaries and not the financial disparity between franchises, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. The sad part is, it's starting to work.

Bettman stays on message, relying on the players caving and fans coming back even though he's costing us hockey and not addressing the actual problem. See you in 6 years when there's another lockout.

Not if we don't show up when they unlock the doors this time.

They give us empty arenas, let's give them empty arenas

If we stopped spending our money on the NHL last time, there wouldn't be a lockout now and Bettman would probably have been fired

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From Edmonton Journal:

A wrench has been thrown into Nail Yakupov's plans for the NHL lockout.

The 18-year-old forward was suspended from the Russian-based KHL on Tuesday after a dispute over his transfer to Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik.

According to the International Ice Hockey Federation, Yakupov played illegally when he appeared in two games for his hometown team earlier this month because he failed to secure a transfer card.

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So this exclusive club, members of which are crying poor now, was not willing to sell and cut their losses because the buyer did not meet their high standards.

I am sorry but I do not feel much sympathy for owners due to their troubles being self-inflicted.

So, put something up for sale on craigslist. I'll respond to the ad, and make all kinds of hateful remarks in our correspondence, and then will show up to look at the item, right after taking a dump in your yard in front of you. I'll be loud and obnoxious, and make lots of obscene jokes. Then when you tell me you don't want me to buy your couch, I'll come back later when you're not home, and bribe someone else that lives there to sell me the couch without telling you. You'll come home and catch me in the act. Now will you sell me the couch?

And guess what? If you sell me the couch, I'll be over at your house at least once a year, sometimes lots more, until I die or sell your couch to someone else, and you have no choice in the matter since you sold it to me.

So, come on. Let's do some business. I have money, you have a couch. Let's get this thing done. Can't wait for our joint vacation over the summer, so we can talk about our couches. Hello?

Edited by drwscc

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So, put something up for sale on craigslist. I'll respond to the ad, and make all kinds of hateful remarks in our correspondence, and then will show up to look at the item, right after taking a dump in your yard in front of you. I'll be loud and obnoxious, and make lots of obscene jokes. Then when you tell me you don't want me to buy your couch, I'll come back later when you're not home, and bribe someone else that lives there to sell me the couch without telling you. You'll come home and catch me in the act. Now will you sell me the couch?

And guess what? If you sell me the couch, I'll be over at your house at least once a year, sometimes lots more, until I die or sell your couch to someone else, and you have no choice in the matter since you sold it to me.

So, come on. Let's do some business. I have money, you have a couch. Let's get this thing done. Can't wait for our joint vacation over the summer, so we can talk about our couches. Hello?

This makes just about as much sense as Bettman and the owners did regarding the situation

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This makes just about as much sense as Bettman and the owners did regarding the situation

Good comeback. Boy, I feel the sting on that one. Your arguments are so persuasive.

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So, put something up for sale on craigslist. I'll respond to the ad, and make all kinds of hateful remarks in our correspondence, and then will show up to look at the item, right after taking a dump in your yard in front of you. I'll be loud and obnoxious, and make lots of obscene jokes. Then when you tell me you don't want me to buy your couch, I'll come back later when you're not home, and bribe someone else that lives there to sell me the couch without telling you. You'll come home and catch me in the act. Now will you sell me the couch?

And guess what? If you sell me the couch, I'll be over at your house at least once a year, sometimes lots more, until I die or sell your couch to someone else, and you have no choice in the matter since you sold it to me.

So, come on. Let's do some business. I have money, you have a couch. Let's get this thing done. Can't wait for our joint vacation over the summer, so we can talk about our couches. Hello?

I am not sure that your couch the analogy describes the Balsillie case correctly. Some of the stuff happening with that couch is plain illegal.

My point was that if NHL can afford to be selective when choosing a buyer and force conditions like keeping team in Phoenix than maybe owners are not really in as desperate position as they are trying to portray themselves.

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That's the thing, Bettman's position is ridiculous. He is simultaneously pushing the franchises in non-hockey markets and bragging about the success and profitability of the nhl, while also claiming the league's current financial structure doesn't work and it's mostly the fault of player contracts.

The owners and Bettman want people to believe that the biggest problem is once again player salaries and not the financial disparity between franchises, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. The sad part is, it's starting to work.

Bettman stays on message, relying on the players caving and fans coming back even though he's costing us hockey and not addressing the actual problem. See you in 6 years when there's another lockout.

Speaking of stating something that isn't accurate.

No one knows how the negotiations are going. No one has seen the proposals aside from the initial ones that each group put out. There really has been nothing revealed about the negotiations. Does Bettman want to break the league or does Fehr have no intentions of talking salary cap at this stage and now wants a luxury tax system? The point is that we really don't know what either side wants to do. Sure, if you go off of their initial proposals, you may make that assumption, but we really don't know the level of bargaining and concessions that each side is willing to be flexible with.

In short, I don't believe for a second that the ownership group wants to break the league just based off an initial proposal that was offered back in June. Just like I believe the players are putting their best foot forward and negotiating in good faith since they came to the table in June, even though they stalled and didn't come to the table early in January like the ownership wanted. The owners want NHL hockey going as well.

Not if we don't show up when they unlock the doors this time.

They give us empty arenas, let's give them empty arenas

If we stopped spending our money on the NHL last time, there wouldn't be a lockout now and Bettman would probably have been fired

This not only sends a message to greedy owners, but it would also send a message to the NHLPA. This is why when they unlock the doors, I won't be paying for tickets to NHL games for a long time.

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My point is, you can't equate buying a team with buying anything else. It's not simply a money for product transaction. Whoever the team gets sold to, the rest of the owners HAVE to deal with that person forever, until they either sell the team or die. If you sell the team to a douchebag, he's going to vinegar up everything to do with the league, from CBA negotiations to giving out insane contracts, to rules changes, etc. That's why you have to be approved by the other owners. It's not simply a product. You have to be selective, or things can get ruined really fast for the other 29 ownership groups.

It's not so much "Hey, he will give us x dollars, so let's sell" as it is "Hey, this guy is doing all kinds of wacky stuff that may or may not be illegal trying to get his hands on a team, and he has repeatedly told and showed us he doesn't give a crap about the rules or anything. Maybe if he gets a team he is going to screw up the good thing we have going."

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My point is, you can't equate buying a team with buying anything else. It's not simply a money for product transaction. Whoever the team gets sold to, the rest of the owners HAVE to deal with that person forever, until they either sell the team or die. If you sell the team to a douchebag, he's going to vinegar up everything to do with the league, from CBA negotiations to giving out insane contracts, to rules changes, etc. That's why you have to be approved by the other owners. It's not simply a product. You have to be selective, or things can get ruined really fast for the other 29 ownership groups.

It's not so much "Hey, he will give us x dollars, so let's sell" as it is "Hey, this guy is doing all kinds of wacky stuff that may or may not be illegal trying to get his hands on a team, and he has repeatedly told and showed us he doesn't give a crap about the rules or anything. Maybe if he gets a team he is going to screw up the good thing we have going."

If it such a good thing, why do they need to lock us out every time the CBA expires

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Move the goalposts again there, cheif.

Jim Balsille has nothing to do with the lockout. He's not an owner.

Aren't you one of the ones saying the NHL is awesome right now with revenues and such? Sounds like a good thing to me.

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Speaking of stating something that isn't accurate.

No one knows how the negotiations are going. No one has seen the proposals aside from the initial ones that each group put out. There really has been nothing revealed about the negotiations. Does Bettman want to break the league or does Fehr have no intentions of talking salary cap at this stage and now wants a luxury tax system? The point is that we really don't know what either side wants to do. Sure, if you go off of their initial proposals, you may make that assumption, but we really don't know the level of bargaining and concessions that each side is willing to be flexible with.

In short, I don't believe for a second that the ownership group wants to break the league just based off an initial proposal that was offered back in June. Just like I believe the players are putting their best foot forward and negotiating in good faith since they came to the table in June, even though they stalled and didn't come to the table early in January like the ownership wanted. The owners want NHL hockey going as well.

No, see the difference is I'm stating my opinion on matters. You have been misrepresenting cold hard facts about what the union has offered so far. The bolded section is a perfect case in point.

You mention Fehr and a luxury tax system. No proposal put forward by the players union has had such a detail. That we do know for sure. Every NHLPA proposal has been based on the current capped system. Are you suggesting that in spite of every NHLPA proposal being based on the current salary cap, that in the room Fehr is somehow bargaining for a luxury tax system? That's absurd, and shows how far you'll stretch the truth to try and implicate the union in the lockout.

Details of every proposal and counter proposal have been released. I'm not pretending to know what either side is saying in the room, but Bettman has made many statements to the media as the negotiations have gone on, where he takes his cheapshots at the union and beats the drum about franchises not being profitable.

And then there's the fairly reasonable proposals from the union compared to the insane one from the owners. When the league moves a few baby steps away from an insane proposal, that doesn't suddenly doesn't make it a good one. That is information we do have.

It's pretty obvious to journalist and fans alike that the biggest issue with the league is the financial disparity between franchises. Yet Bettman and the owners proposals almost completely ignore that issue.

I never said the owners wanted to break the league. I've said multiple times that because their initial proposal was so insanely aggressive, the only way they could expect to players to agree to it would require breaking the will of the union.

My point is, you can't equate buying a team with buying anything else. It's not simply a money for product transaction. Whoever the team gets sold to, the rest of the owners HAVE to deal with that person forever, until they either sell the team or die. If you sell the team to a douchebag, he's going to vinegar up everything to do with the league, from CBA negotiations to giving out insane contracts, to rules changes, etc. That's why you have to be approved by the other owners. It's not simply a product. You have to be selective, or things can get ruined really fast for the other 29 ownership groups.

It's not so much "Hey, he will give us x dollars, so let's sell" as it is "Hey, this guy is doing all kinds of wacky stuff that may or may not be illegal trying to get his hands on a team, and he has repeatedly told and showed us he doesn't give a crap about the rules or anything. Maybe if he gets a team he is going to screw up the good thing we have going."

So when it comes to players cattle is a fine analogy, but when it comes to buying a franchise suddenly the NHL is a totally unique business?

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