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uk_redwing

[Retired] Official Lockout Thread

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I saw the headline and assumed it's an old article. It's not. When the two sides meet later this week, they once again won't be discussing the central issue that is holding up the season.

Fehr insists it's good the two sides are still talking even if it's not about the main issue. I guess it is better than nothing, but still seems kind of absurd.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=407017

I figured that since both sides urged each other to produce new proposals at last weeks meetings that they would have begin talking about economics this week but I guess not. Ridiculous.

So I assume that neither side is willing to move even a little bit so that they can even being to talk about economic issues. And this is where both sides are at fault. No urgency to get this deal done

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Guest RedWingsDad

Without a league, there would be no lockout. What's your point?

The salary cap was instituted to protect the owners from themselves, because they demonstrated they cannot control their spending. Do you believe the PA proposed the salary cap last time which led to a lockout? The cap is not the reason for this lockout, and the salary cap isn't even the core of the negotiations. They're negotiating the definition of HRR and how that revenue will be split between the owners and players. If in any way shape or form the salary cap relates to overspending, it's the cap floor, and some franchises trying to reach the floor will spend more than a player is worth in the process, thus inflating salaries.

I'm beginning to think you're not familiar with the core issues about the league, PA, or CBA at all. You just seem to be bashing the PA without any apparent base.

I believe I am familiar as the next guy about the issue at hand. I seem to have hit a nerve with you, but I do thank you for your explanation for why a salary cap is needed, though you seem to have missed the point I was driving at, which is - what is the necessity of the players union? Unless it violates some labor law, there is no reason why the owners couldn't have agreed amongst themselves to institute a salary cap. Your position seems to be that the owners need the union to protect them from themselves, which is entirely fallacious. Am I misrepresenting your position in some way?

There is no actual "pro sports anti-trust exemption". MLB was exempt until 1998, but now it's a limited exemption. The NFL has a limited exemption as well. The Clayton Act contained a labor exemption, which basically made unions exempt from anti-trust liability.

That exemption was used to derive the Non-Statutory Labor Exemption. That basically says that a CBA takes precedence over anti-trust laws. i.e. A CBA can contain terms that would otherwise violate labor laws.

Since that exemption requires a CBA, and a CBA requires a union...the union is in fact entirely necessary. Without the union agreeing to the hard cap, half or more of the league's teams would likely have gone bankrupt by now.

Thanks for the details - though I am still unconvinced of the necessity of a labor union. Do you know what specific terms a CBA makes possible that would otherwise be illegal due to anti-trust laws? Perhaps that will clear things up. To confirm. you are asserting that without a CBA, a hard cap would have been impossible due to it's illegality?

Edit: I read all the other comments in response to my post, but unfortunately do not have time to address them all as I’m posting from work :shutup:.

Edited by RedWingsDad

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....

Thanks for the details - though I am still unconvinced of the necessity of a labor union. Do you know what specific terms a CBA makes possible that would otherwise be illegal due to anti-trust laws? Perhaps that will clear things up. To confirm. you are asserting that without a CBA, a hard cap would have been impossible due to it's illegality?

...

Yes, a hard cap would be illegal. It's wage fixing. For that matter, any agreement between two or more teams to place any limits at all on player compensation of any type (salary, term, benefits, etc.) would be illegal collusion. Any team on its own could decide on whatever limits they want, but they couldn't make any agreements with other teams. NHL owners have pretty well proven that in a true open market they will spend themselves into the poorhouse.

MLB owners got busted for collusion in the mid-80s.

During the recent NBA lockout, the players union more or less dissolved itself in order to open the door for an anti-trust suit against the owners. A couple cases were actually filed, but a new CBA was reached before they went anywhere.

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Guest RedWingsDad

Yes, a hard cap would be illegal. It's wage fixing. For that matter, any agreement between two or more teams to place any limits at all on player compensation of any type (salary, term, benefits, etc.) would be illegal collusion. Any team on its own could decide on whatever limits they want, but they couldn't make any agreements with other teams. NHL owners have pretty well proven that in a true open market they will spend themselves into the poorhouse.

MLB owners got busted for collusion in the mid-80s.

During the recent NBA lockout, the players union more or less dissolved itself in order to open the door for an anti-trust suit against the owners. A couple cases were actually filed, but a new CBA was reached before they went anywhere.

I see - I will take your word for it then. So I guess the real problem is with labor laws that force union acceptance on private enterprise by controlling the means available to address inhospitable business environments (ei - no hard cap without a union). In the context of the NHL, that is assuming of course that a hard cap was necessary for the NHL to avoid going belly up... which I am not at all convinced was the only solution to address the problem. But that's another discussion altogether...

At any rate, thanks for dropping some knowledge on me.

Edited by RedWingsDad

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Do you notice a "common thread" between all the quotes? There's your answer. Don't kill the messenger.

Yeah, but why? I quote news posts and don't have the highlighted text. When you c/p the text into the post, does the WYSIWYG editor show the highlighted text? Can you not correct it before hitting submit? It was just a request. I have relatively 'young' eyes, I can't imagine what it does to all you old fart's eyes.

I believe I am familiar as the next guy about the issue at hand. I seem to have hit a nerve with you, but I do thank you for your explanation for why a salary cap is needed, though you seem to have missed the point I was driving at, which is - what is the necessity of the players union? Unless it violates some labor law, there is no reason why the owners couldn't have agreed amongst themselves to institute a salary cap. Your position seems to be that the owners need the union to protect them from themselves, which is entirely fallacious. Am I misrepresenting your position in some way?

No nerve hit, I just don't think you made a whole lot of logical sense with your position relative to the current state of the NHL. The owners lockout the players and you suggest the PA be absolved because they are not necessary. With or without a PA, the league should let those franchises fail, but they won't. The union is there to protect the rights of the players, just like pretty much every other industry out there; automotive, railroad, teachers, etc. The owners don't need the union to protect themselves, they need a CBA with a hard salary cap, which they have. There can legally be no CBA without a union, so this is why you have them.

We can talk for hours about why there is a union, etc; I suggest you read the history of NHL players unionizing in the 50s. If you recall, this is why Lindsay was traded away from the Wings.

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Guest RedWingsDad

Yeah, but why? I quote news posts and don't have the highlighted text. When you c/p the text into the post, does the WYSIWYG editor show the highlighted text? Can you not correct it before hitting submit? It was just a request. I have relatively 'young' eyes, I can't imagine what it does to all you old fart's eyes.

No nerve hit, I just don't think you made a whole lot of logical sense with your position relative to the current state of the NHL. The owners lockout the players and you suggest the PA be absolved because they are not necessary. With or without a PA, the league should let those franchises fail, but they won't. The union is there to protect the rights of the players, just like pretty much every other industry out there; automotive, railroad, teachers, etc. The owners don't need the union to protect themselves, they need a CBA with a hard salary cap, which they have. There can legally be no CBA without a union, so this is why you have them.

We can talk for hours about why there is a union, etc; I suggest you read the history of NHL players unionizing in the 50s. If you recall, this is why Lindsay was traded away from the Wings.

You seem to keep assuming that I am ignorant of the supposed benefits of labor unions. I don't believe this is a matter of education, but rather a difference of opinion on the supposed benefits of labor unions in general, and if those benefits can be obtained through other means that are not restricting to running a successful business. Here is what I said in full:

We should all support dissolving the players union. When that is done, we will never have to worry about another lockout. If players don't like the terms the NHL owners offer, they can play elsewhere. If the best players are choosing to play outside of the NHL, the owners can choose to offer better contracts to entice them to play in the NHL. Free market economics... it works amazingly well.

In the long run, it is market competition that ensures fair wages and treatment... not unions.

... now, I did not realize that labor laws force acceptance of a union in order to institute something like a salary cap. Whether a salary cap was the only option to address the problem in question is a debatable matter. That aside, it is a very true statement that we would not have a lockout currently if the union didn't exist. Ergo, if your only goal is to watch hockey and you couldn't give a crap about the politicking... you should support dissolving the labor union.

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You seem to keep assuming that I am ignorant of the supposed benefits of labor unions. I don't believe this is a matter of education, but rather a difference of opinion on the supposed benefits of labor unions in general, and if those benefits can be obtained through other means that are not restricting to running a successful business.

... now, I did not realize that labor laws force acceptance of a union in order to institute something like a salary cap. Whether a salary cap was the only option to address the problem in question is a debatable matter. That aside, it is a very true statement that we would not have a lockout currently if the union didn't exist. Ergo, if your only goal is to watch hockey and you couldn't give a crap about the politicking... you should support dissolving the labor union.

You're correct, we wouldn't have a lockout without a union, because no players would be willing to play in the NHL and if they were even willing to the teams would have bankrupt themselves by now. I'm very much a believer that this is a matter of education or you wouldn't make such ludicrous claims. I'm assuming you are ignorant to the benefits of a union because you keep claiming it is unnecessary to exist and support dissolving it. You obviously don't recognize the benefits at all. The union is not restricting the owners from running a successful business, their poor business decisions along with a poor location is.

Edited by rrasco

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Guest RedWingsDad

You're correct, we wouldn't have a lockout without a union, because no players would be willing to play in the NHL and if they were even willing to the teams would have bankrupt themselves by now. I'm very much a believer that this is a matter of education or you wouldn't make such ludicrous claims. I'm assuming you are ignorant to the benefits of a union because you keep claiming it is unnecessary to exist and support dissolving it. You obviously don't recognize the benefits at all. The union is not restricting the owners from running a successful business, their poor business decisions along with a poor location is.

As you are cherry picking certain points I made, while disregarding others... I see no need to continue this discussion. Anyone else want to chime in?

Edited by RedWingsDad

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You seem to keep assuming that I am ignorant of the supposed benefits of labor unions. I don't believe this is a matter of education, but rather a difference of opinion on the supposed benefits of labor unions in general, and if those benefits can be obtained through other means that are not restricting to running a successful business. Here is what I said in full:

... now, I did not realize that labor laws force acceptance of a union in order to institute something like a salary cap. Whether a salary cap was the only option to address the problem in question is a debatable matter. That aside, it is a very true statement that we would not have a lockout currently if the union didn't exist. Ergo, if your only goal is to watch hockey and you couldn't give a crap about the politicking... you should support dissolving the labor union.

I think that you are being deliberately obtuse, to avoid admitting that your idea of dissolving the NHLPA is totally clueless.

There's NOTHING about an NHL team that is even close to "free market". If you offered the NHL owners an option to get rid of all non "free-market" elements in their business, they would run you out of town on a rail.

Here's how a typical NHL team operates.

1. Their arena is built with all or majority government financing, with few exceptions (most of them in Canada). "Free market" would force the owners to shell out their own money.

2. When they don't own the arena, they are usually paying subsidized rent etc. Local law enforcement usually helps to provide security in and around the arena, while the team never pays full cost of that.

3. Their local taxes are way lower then for any other business, when they pay any.

4. Their employees can not choose their place of employment and have to play for the team that drafted them until they are more than halfway into their careers. In a "free-market" there can not be a draft or restricted free agency.

5. They can collude with other owners to set limits on employee compensation and labor conditions. Again, in a "free-market" that would not be possible.

6. They can prevent any other team from coming into "their" geographically (very broadly) defined market. Try that in a "free-market".

7. In a "free-market", the owners couldn't renege on the already signed contracts short of declaring bankruptcy, which is what they are trying to do now.

8. In a non "free-market", the players can get together to defend their interests, just like the owners are now free to collectively conspire to limit the players compensation, In a "free-market", neither could occur.

You can not pick and choose what elements of a "free-market" you want to have and which you want to get rid of. It's an all or nothing deal. So in real life, given the existing laws, if there is no union, then the salary cap, the draft, the RFA, waivers draft all have to go.

In a "free-market", there wouldn't be a players' union, but the league would have gone bankrupt years ago, because the owners repeatedly demonstrated their inability to stick to their budgets when signing players. Again, before 2004, when there was no salary cap and no guaranteed players share of the revenue, the salaries rose very fast and the players share of the revenue went up to 70%+ just before the last lockout. That was not the union doing. That was the owners signing ridiculous contracts.

Edited by sibiriak

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As you are cherry picking certain points I made, while disregarding others... I see no need to continue this discussion. Anyone else want to chime in?

What exactly did I cherry pick? You said the union is not necessary and should be dissolved and that without a union the lockout wouldn't exist. Those are the topics I am discussing.

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Guest RedWingsDad

I think that you are being deliberately obtuse, to avoid admitting that your idea of dissolving the NHLPA is totally clueless.

There's NOTHING about an NHL team that is even close to "free market". If you offered the NHL owners an option to get rid of all non "free-market" elements in their business, they would run you out of town on a rail.

Here's how a typical NHL team operates.

1. Their arena is built with all or majority government financing, with few exceptions (most of them in Canada). "Free market" would force the owners to shell out their own money.

2. When they don't own the arena, they are usually paying subsidized rent etc. Local law enforcement usually helps to provide security in and around the arena, while the team never pays full cost of that.

3. Their local taxes are way lower then for any other business, when they pay any.

4. Their employees can not choose their place of employment and have to play for the team that drafted them until they are more than halfway into their careers. In a "free-market" there can not be a draft or restricted free agency.

5. They can collude with other owners to set limits on employee compensation and labor conditions. Again, in a "free-market" that would not be possible.

6. They can prevent any other team from coming into "their" geographically (very broadly) defined market. Try that in a "free-market".

7. In a "free-market", the owners couldn't renege on the already signed contracts short of declaring bankruptcy, which is what they are trying to do now.

8. In a non "free-market", the players can get together to defend their interests, just like the owners are now free to collectively conspire to limit the players compensation, In a "free-market", neither could occur.

You can not pick and choose what elements of a "free-market" you want to have and which you want to get rid of. It's an all or nothing deal. So in real life, given the existing laws, if there is no union, then the salary cap, the draft, the RFA, waivers draft all have to go.

In a "free-market", there wouldn't be a players' union, but the league would have gone bankrupt years ago, because the owners repeatedly demonstrated their inability to stick to their budgets when signing players. Again, before 2004, when there was no salary cap and no guaranteed players share of the revenue, the salaries rose very fast and the players share of the revenue went up to 70%+ just before the last lockout. That was not the union doing. That was the owners signing ridiculous contracts.

Half of your points are ignoring the context of my "free market" comments... the context strictly being the labor union. You are committing a straw man fallacy when you cite all the ways the NHL interacts with local government as evidence to shoot down my arguments regarding the players union. We can discuss all of those other things if you like, but in their own context.

Further, your argument seems to be that if there were no players union... and thereby no salary cap, draft, RFA, waivers draft... the NHL would not exist currently. Is that correct? Also, is your argument that the players union was the only way to address the concerns in the league prior to 2004? If so, why? Because of the previously cited anti-trust laws (valid)... or some other reason?

The only point anyone has made so far to demonstrate the possible necessity of a players union is the individual who pointed out the labor laws that make a salary cap illegal, unless negotiated in a CBA. Besides the things the the law dictates must be done through a players union (CBA)... what other uses do they have that isn't accomplished more efficiently from a business perspective through economic competition in the free market? None.

Edited by RedWingsDad

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The only point anyone has made so far to demonstrate the possible necessity of a players union is the individual who pointed out the labor laws that make a salary cap illegal, unless negotiated in a CBA. Besides the things the the law dictates must be done through a players union (CBA)... what other uses do they have that isn't accomplished more efficiently from a business perspective through economic competition in the free market? None.

If there are no other uses besides the previously cited labor law, why do you think they exist then?

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Guest RedWingsDad

So as not to appear blindly anti-union, I thought I would try to share in a nutshell the problem with the NHLPA (and unions in general):

The reason I am against the players union and the CBA in a nutshell is because it restricts the flexibility of the owners to make reactive and responsible business decisions... because they are limited by the CBA. In the long run, this will produce lock-outs and financial distress for many teams in the league... and is currently doing just that!

To use colourful language... the medicine is ultimately worse than the disease.

Concerning whatever business failings particular owners in the NHL had prior to the 2004 season, and even those currently... that’s part of free market economics and those teams should have failed, or been bought out by a responsible businessman who could run a proper buisiness. I simply reject the argument that the only solution to that problem was the players union and a CBA.

Edit: This is getting intense - I’m taking a break! :sleepy:

Edited by RedWingsDad

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The only point anyone has made so far to demonstrate the possible necessity of a players union is the individual who pointed out the labor laws that make a salary cap illegal, unless negotiated in a CBA. Besides the things the the law dictates must be done through a players union (CBA)... what other uses do they have that isn't accomplished more efficiently from a business perspective through economic competition in the free market? None.

The necessity of the players union is decided by the players and only by the players. Not by the fans. If the players think that having a union is more beneficial for their own business (which is not the same as NHL business) than having "economic competition in the free market" I do not think there is anything to stop them.

They are "professional" hockey players. They play the game for money. Fans tends to forget this part.

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http://www.pensionpl...attle-who-cares

As a result, these negotiations are entirely about how to split over $3 billion in revenues between 30 teams and 700 players. They are not about addressing systemic issues or finding solutions to the challenges that have plagued the league for decades. There is little doubt that these systemic issues and the labour stoppage are inextricably linked, yet neither side appears willing or able to address them.

----

Here is another article on the NHLPA stalling the negotiations. I thought the NHLPA put forward 3 proposals, but apparently, it was 1.5.

http://www.blueshirt...he-negotiations

Remember, the owners started with the NHLPA's share at 43%, while the players started at 57%. That was way back in the beginning of the summer. Today? The owners stand with the NHLPA getting 49%, while the players are sitting at 54.5%. Even if the owner's first offer was an insult, the owners are a hell of a lot closer to the 50-50 split than the players are.
Edited by Nightfall

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From Toronto Star:

Donald Fehr expressed some hope that collective bargaining talks this week will help lead to some resolution.

But he also made it clear in an hour-long meeting with the Toronto Star’s Editorial Board that the longer the

NHL lockout lasts, the less happy the players will be playing under a salary cap.

“If this goes on for an extended period of time, I don’t know what they (the players) are going to do. But I think it’s safe to say, they would be exploring all options,” said Fehr.

He added the players can live with salary cap if an agreement can be reached quickly.

“Where the players are, they want to make a deal,” Fehr said. “Even though the owners’ proposal went as far away from the players as they could, the players did not respond in kind. They made a proposal which moved in the owners’ direction. If there can be an agreement in a relatively short term, which puts the pieces back together and gets the season going, I think the players can live with that.”

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Half of your points are ignoring the context of my "free market" comments... the context strictly being the labor union. You are committing a straw man fallacy when you cite all the ways the NHL interacts with local government as evidence to shoot down my arguments regarding the players union. We can discuss all of those other things if you like, but in their own context.The only point anyone has made so far to demonstrate the possible necessity of a players union is the individual who pointed out the labor laws that make a salary cap illegal, unless negotiated in a CBA. Besides the things the the law dictates must be done through a players union (CBA)... what other uses do they have that isn't accomplished more efficiently from a business perspective through economic competition in the free market? None.The only point anyone has made so far to demonstrate the possible necessity of a players union is the individual who pointed out the labor laws that make a salary cap illegal, unless negotiated in a CBA. Besides the things the the law dictates must be done through a players union (CBA)... what other uses do they have that isn't accomplished more efficiently from a business perspective through economic competition in the free market? None.

Further, your argument seems to be that if there were no players union... and thereby no salary cap, draft, RFA, waivers draft... the NHL would not exist currently. Is that correct? Also, is your argument that the players union was the only way to address the concerns in the league prior to 2004? If so, why? Because of the previously cited anti-trust laws (valid)... or some other reason?

It seems that your definition of a "free market" is "when there's no union". That is called a "right to work" state or industry. A free market is a market that is as free as possible from any government involvement and where there's no monopoly or collusion between producers, as well as no labor unions. As I pointed out, you can't cherry pick what elements of a free market you allow in your hypothetical union-free NHL.

If you mean to say that if the NHL would exist just as it is except there would be no union. then the following would have to happen.

1. Since there's no union, then it is illegal for the owners to collectively set labor conditions and salaries in any way, shape or form. Therefore, the draft is illegal. The salary cap is illegal. The RFA status is illegal, after the contract is over, all players are UFA. No waivers rules. All contracts are legally binding, and the only way to cut a player salary is by mutual consent, or through courts. No escrow, that's illegal. No minimum salary, no maximum salary for any type of player.

The end result of all of this, would be as follows:

The top talent would make way more money than they do now. The 3-4th liners might make less. The owners would bid the salaries up much faster than now, with overall players' share of the revenue climbing to 65-70% as it did before the last lockout, when there was no salary cap. Top rookies will make 10 times what they make now with rookie minimum.

If you believe what the owners claim about their financial troubles, most of the teams would have to go bankrupt under those conditions. Therefore no NHL would be in existence now to even have a lockout.

2. If you take your fantasy a step further and remove anti-trust laws from the equation, then the NHL would be able to set salary cap and do draft etc, but that situation already existed (in most part) before the 2004 lockout. The owners still managed to spend themselves into financial trouble. The only relevant differences the existence of the union and the CBA made then, were the minimum salary, and the fact that the players didn't have to stay indentured servants for their teams forever, but got to become free agents eventually. Is that what you would like to see gone? Remember, that even in that hypothetical situation, the top players would still have the option of playing overseas, so the owners couldn't really lowball them too much.

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The reason I am against the players union and the CBA in a nutshell is because it restricts the flexibility of the owners to make reactive and responsible business decisions... because they are limited by the CBA. In the long run, this will produce lock-outs and financial distress for many teams in the league... and is currently doing just that!

Owners know exactly how much they would have to pay for players services. This is the "cost certainty" Bettman and owners were fighting for last time around. Not many businesses can claim to have that. Yes still some of the owners are unable to make "responsible business decisions". NHL is not the kind of business where costs can be cut by firing some percentage of the workforce (outsourcing to lower wage countries probably would not work well either).

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Hrm, didn't I say that Fehr may put forward a proposal that eliminates the salary cap and institutes a luxury tax? Call me surprised......

The owners are at 49% for players share

The players are at 54% for players share

Just make it 51.5% for the players and call it good!

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Are people absolutely, positively certain that if there had been no lockout the players would have gone on strike? I'm not.

I haven't seen this possibility proposed anywhere. I think players are happy with the status quo. I do not think they were planning to strike to increase their 57% share.

Edited by Pskov Wings Fan

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Are people absolutely, positively certain that if there had been no lockout the players would have gone on strike? I'm not.

Neither am I. The players wouldn't have went on strike. Hell, the deal benefits them the most. Why would they strike? The players would have played under the current CBA for years if they had the opportunity because of the 57% share they have under the CBA.

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