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uk_redwing

[Retired] Official Lockout Thread

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As I expected, this deal wasn't going to get done with this proposal. I guess the nhlpa is going to bargain tomorrow. Wish there was more of a sense of urgency out of them.

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As I expected, this deal wasn't going to get done with this proposal. I guess the nhlpa is going to bargain tomorrow. Wish there was more of a sense of urgency out of them.

Of course it wasn't going to get done with this proposal. This proposal should have been made last season so both sides could have started negotiating with realistic starting positions and been able to go through the back and forth process. It will take weeks of back and forth, especially with such complicated legal proposals. Just to type up a proposal probly takes all day.

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The more I think about it, this isn't just a PR move by the league, it's a GREAT PR move by the NHL. It had been all over the media for weeks that the assumption was the two sides would eventually meet at "50/50". In one fell swoop, the NHL has offered what fans perceive to be the ending point, PLUS a full 82-game season. For the players to flat reject that now would make it appear that they're the ones who wrecked our chance at a full season.

There's just a few problems with that proposal, though:

  • It ISN'T 50/50. The definition of "Hockey Related Revenues" (HRR) is significant, as it apparently deducts costs from gross revenues before dividing it up to the players. This is not analogous to a 50% share in other sports, and is probably more like 45%.
  • Given Donald Fehr's stance from the beginning, which is that the league was booming and the owners got virtually everything they wanted in '05, what does this offer GIVE the players? If it lowers contracts to 5 years and drops the salary cap over $10 million, what are they getting in return?

Still, having the pressure on the NHLPA is a good thing if you're a fan that only cares about the players getting back to work. The NFL referee lockout was a good idea of how a dramatic shift in public opinion can create "sudden movement" in a negotiation that otherwise appears to be a stalemate.

Edited by StormJH1

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I'm trying to read through portions of it now, it's a lot to digest. There are some really interesting provisions regarding what happens if these mega-deals are moved around. You can trade a Parise or Suter, for example, but if they retire, the cap hit still applies to the original team (Wild) that signed the deal.

Players’ Share “Make Whole” Provision: The League proposes to make Players “whole” for the absolute reduction in Players’ Share dollars (when compared to 2011-12) that is attributable to the economic terms of the new CBA (the “Share Reduction”). Using an assumed year-over-year growth rate of five percent for League-wide revenues, the new CBA could result in shortfalls from the current level of Players’ Share dollars ($1.883 Billion in 2011-12) of up to $149 million in Year 1 and up to $62 million in Year 2, for which Players will be “made whole.” (By Year 3 of the new CBA, Players’ Share dollars should exceed the current level ($1.883 Billion for 2011-12) and no “make whole” will be required.) Any such “shortfalls” in Years 1 and 2 of the new CBA will be computed as a percentage reduction off of the Player’s stated contractual compensation, and will be repaid to the Player as a Deferred Compensation benefit spread over the remaining future years of the Player’s SPC (or if he has no remaining years, in the year following the expiration of his SPC). Player reimbursement for the Share Reduction will be accrued and paid for by the League, and will be chargeable against Players’ Share amounts in future years as Preliminary Benefits. The objective would be to honor all existing SPCs by restoring their “value” on the basis of the now existing level of Players’ Share dollars.

I'm struggling to decipher exactly what this means. Essentially, it says that there will be "shortfalls" in the overall players' share for the first two years of the CBA. They do a calculation to determine how much was lost and then it is paid back to the player as "deferred compensation" by the league over the remaining years of the contract. But the final sentence seems to suggest that there will be a new "value" of that player's contract based on the new level of money available to the players, which could mean a net reduction.

Anyone else?

Edited by StormJH1

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LOL

Just looking at the comments the past couple pages, I can see that Frank Luntz and his firm are certainly earning those hundreds of thousands of dollars the league just gave them...

I tried to remind folks yesterday that the NHL just spent tons of money hiring a high priced spin doctor, and that the latest offer likely still included massive salary rollbacks, unlike their spin claimed, and to take what they heard with a grain of salt knowing this.

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For anyone who has read the latest proposal: Can someone explain this "make Whole" policy?

The NHL's way of suggesting their will be no rollback on existing contracts, which is BS really, but from the general public point of view, they might not see that, which = PR win for the NHL.

Going from 57% to 50% would amount to a 12.3% reduction in the cap and the league would normally say that all existing contracts would be rolled back by 12.3% to accomplish that. The PA is dead set against a rollback and would prefer to phase in a reduction in %. The NHL's answer to that is this make whole provision, but from what I can tell (haven't read the actual proposal yet, but will do that) all it means is that the players will keep their full contract for this year, but where that goes over the 50%, they'll make up for it by taking less in later years (i.e. the players paying the players vs. the owners playing the players). Regardless of how you look at it, there would be a 50/50 split starting now, which = 12.3% paycut.....but it might work out to something like 57% this year followed by 45%, 45%, 45%, etc.

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Of course it wasn't going to get done with this proposal. This proposal should have been made last season so both sides could have started negotiating with realistic starting positions and been able to go through the back and forth process. It will take weeks of back and forth, especially with such complicated legal proposals. Just to type up a proposal probly takes all day.

Agreed.

The union has to go through all the details of this proposal, explain it to their hundreds of constituents, let them mull it over, then gauge their reaction before even starting to craft a response. There's no way that could happen overnight. Bettman just has to talk to 30 owners who are businessmen and have plenty of lawyers and administrative staff to help them. Fehr has to talk to hundreds of hockey players. Not quite the same.

Though they don't have weeks. The league structured it so they have 9 days to salvage the season. Smart on their part because it's essentially an ultimatum without calling it such.

In the light of day the league's offer doesn't sound as rosy as it first did so I'm a little less optimistic. It sounds like they're screwing with HRR again and the form of arbitration they put back isn't really helpful.

Fehr is right in pointing out that everything in this deal is worse for the players. And unlike 2004 the NHL hasn't provided compelling evidence why the players should take another big paycut.

But the reality for the players is they're going to end up worse off no matter what the deal is. That's just the way it is. Public sentiment won't support them holding out and quibbling over complicated matters like HRR and what percentage split makes financial sense for franchises. The owners hold the cards and this is the players best window for playing hockey this season.

As I think McKenzie said on his twitter, Fehr needs to grind out the best deal possible in this window.

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The NHL's way of suggesting their will be no rollback on existing contracts, which is BS really, but from the general public point of view, they might not see that, which = PR win for the NHL.

Going from 57% to 50% would amount to a 12.3% reduction in the cap and the league would normally say that all existing contracts would be rolled back by 12.3% to accomplish that. The PA is dead set against a rollback and would prefer to phase in a reduction in %. The NHL's answer to that is this make whole provision, but from what I can tell (haven't read the actual proposal yet, but will do that) all it means is that the players will keep their full contract for this year, but where that goes over the 50%, they'll make up for it by taking less in later years (i.e. the players paying the players vs. the owners playing the players). Regardless of how you look at it, there would be a 50/50 split starting now, which = 12.3% paycut.....but it might work out to something like 57% this year followed by 45%, 45%, 45%, etc.

That's consistent with what I read from reporters on Twitter. Basically they get the same deal the first two years, but then the overall deal is reduced from years 3 and beyond.

Wouldn't that just be a "deferred rollback" as opposed to an "immediate rollback"?

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The more I think about it, this isn't just a PR move by the league, it's a GREAT PR move by the NHL. It had been all over the media for weeks that the assumption was the two sides would eventually meet at "50/50". In one fell swoop, the NHL has offered what fans perceive to be the ending point, PLUS a full 82-game season. For the players to flat reject that now would make it appear that they're the ones who wrecked our chance at a full season.

There's just a few problems with that proposal, though:

  • It ISN'T 50/50. The definition of "Hockey Related Revenues" (HRR) is significant, as it apparently deducts costs from gross revenues before dividing it up to the players. This is not analogous to a 50% share in other sports, and is probably more like 45%.
  • Given Donald Fehr's stance from the beginning, which is that the league was booming and the owners got virtually everything they wanted in '05, what does this offer GIVE the players? If it lowers contracts to 5 years and drops the salary cap over $10 million, what are they getting in return?

Still, having the pressure on the NHLPA is a good thing if you're a fan that only cares about the players getting back to work. The NFL referee lockout was a good idea of how a dramatic shift in public opinion can create "sudden movement" in a negotiation that otherwise appears to be a stalemate.

It's a brilliant PR move by the league.

They made the deal look like they're conceding more than they actually are, tied it to salvaging the entire season, and put the ball in Fehr's court. They got their money's worth from that consultant.

Like I said in my last post, Fehr is right that everything about this deal is worse for the players. And there's not really irrefutable evidence like there was in 2004. The reality is though people don't care. We just want hockey. 50/50 sounds simple and easy, even if that's not the actual percentage because of adjusting HRR.

I'm trying to read through portions of it now, it's a lot to digest. There are some really interesting provisions regarding what happens if these mega-deals are moved around. You can trade a Parise or Suter, for example, but if they retire, the cap hit still applies to the original team (Wild) that signed the deal.

Players’ Share “Make Whole” Provision: The League proposes to make Players “whole” for the absolute reduction in Players’ Share dollars (when compared to 2011-12) that is attributable to the economic terms of the new CBA (the “Share Reduction”). Using an assumed year-over-year growth rate of five percent for League-wide revenues, the new CBA could result in shortfalls from the current level of Players’ Share dollars ($1.883 Billion in 2011-12) of up to $149 million in Year 1 and up to $62 million in Year 2, for which Players will be “made whole.” (By Year 3 of the new CBA, Players’ Share dollars should exceed the current level ($1.883 Billion for 2011-12) and no “make whole” will be required.) Any such “shortfalls” in Years 1 and 2 of the new CBA will be computed as a percentage reduction off of the Player’s stated contractual compensation, and will be repaid to the Player as a Deferred Compensation benefit spread over the remaining future years of the Player’s SPC (or if he has no remaining years, in the year following the expiration of his SPC). Player reimbursement for the Share Reduction will be accrued and paid for by the League, and will be chargeable against Players’ Share amounts in future years as Preliminary Benefits. The objective would be to honor all existing SPCs by restoring their “value” on the basis of the now existing level of Players’ Share dollars.

I'm struggling to decipher exactly what this means. Essentially, it says that there will be "shortfalls" in the overall players' share for the first two years of the CBA. They do a calculation to determine how much was lost and then it is paid back to the player as "deferred compensation" by the league over the remaining years of the contract. But the final sentence seems to suggest that there will be a new "value" of that player's contract based on the new level of money available to the players, which could mean a net reduction.

Anyone else?

I've read that over, read Fehr's explanation to players, and I still don't really understand how it works.

It sounds like even though they're not calling it a rollback, the players ultimately will end up with less money than the value of their signed contract.

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Agreed.

The union has to go through all the details of this proposal, explain it to their hundreds of constituents, let them mull it over, then gauge their reaction before even starting to craft a response. There's no way that could happen overnight. Bettman just has to talk to 30 owners who are businessmen and have plenty of lawyers and administrative staff to help them. Fehr has to talk to hundreds of hockey players. Not quite the same.

Though they don't have weeks. The league structured it so they have 9 days to salvage the season. Smart on their part because it's essentially an ultimatum without calling it such.

In the light of day the league's offer doesn't sound as rosy as it first did so I'm a little less optimistic. It sounds like they're screwing with HRR again and the form of arbitration they put back isn't really helpful.

Fehr is right in pointing out that everything in this deal is worse for the players. And unlike 2004 the NHL hasn't provided compelling evidence why the players should take another big paycut.

But the reality for the players is they're going to end up worse off no matter what the deal is. That's just the way it is. Public sentiment won't support them holding out and quibbling over complicated matters like HRR and what percentage split makes financial sense for franchises. The owners hold the cards and this is the players best window for playing hockey this season.

As I think McKenzie said on his twitter, Fehr needs to grind out the best deal possible in this window.

This. Very well stated.

Even if you hate Bettman, you have to admire his sheer evil genius. The NHL owners LOCKED out the players and had public sentiment against them, and now have completely flipped the table to the point where the NHLPA has a deadline of less than two weeks to reach a deal with them, or will be perceived as "overreaching" in negotiations.

I think the problem the Players' Association has is that the average fan didn't know that they had a 57% share to begin with, or doesn't really understand how that is calculated. (And by the way, neither do I). So when you hear that they had a percentage higher than 50%, and the owners are now offering 50% (even if it isn't really half of the money), that sounds reasonable.

Without injecting politics into this, Bettman negotiated like a Republican - they established an extreme position as a starting point, so much so that their "concession" of 50% would still be a big win for the owners. I'm hearing little stuff that might be beneficial to the players (3rd party arbitrator reviews of discipline), but by and large, all of the money and contract related issues swing dramatically in favor of the owners, so why would the NHLPA cave?

Edited by StormJH1

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I'm trying to read through portions of it now, it's a lot to digest. There are some really interesting provisions regarding what happens if these mega-deals are moved around. You can trade a Parise or Suter, for example, but if they retire, the cap hit still applies to the original team (Wild) that signed the deal.

Players’ Share “Make Whole” Provision: The League proposes to make Players “whole” for the absolute reduction in Players’ Share dollars (when compared to 2011-12) that is attributable to the economic terms of the new CBA (the “Share Reduction”). Using an assumed year-over-year growth rate of five percent for League-wide revenues, the new CBA could result in shortfalls from the current level of Players’ Share dollars ($1.883 Billion in 2011-12) of up to $149 million in Year 1 and up to $62 million in Year 2, for which Players will be “made whole.” (By Year 3 of the new CBA, Players’ Share dollars should exceed the current level ($1.883 Billion for 2011-12) and no “make whole” will be required.) Any such “shortfalls” in Years 1 and 2 of the new CBA will be computed as a percentage reduction off of the Player’s stated contractual compensation, and will be repaid to the Player as a Deferred Compensation benefit spread over the remaining future years of the Player’s SPC (or if he has no remaining years, in the year following the expiration of his SPC). Player reimbursement for the Share Reduction will be accrued and paid for by the League, and will be chargeable against Players’ Share amounts in future years as Preliminary Benefits. The objective would be to honor all existing SPCs by restoring their “value” on the basis of the now existing level of Players’ Share dollars.

I'm struggling to decipher exactly what this means. Essentially, it says that there will be "shortfalls" in the overall players' share for the first two years of the CBA. They do a calculation to determine how much was lost and then it is paid back to the player as "deferred compensation" by the league over the remaining years of the contract. But the final sentence seems to suggest that there will be a new "value" of that player's contract based on the new level of money available to the players, which could mean a net reduction.

Anyone else?

Here is what it means:

Existing contracts at up to $1.8 billion per year. Af 50% share, if revenues are $3.5 billion this year, there will be a $50 million shortfall ($3.5 billion *50%, less the $1.8 billion contracted to players). So, the players will still get their $1.8 billion, no rollback, but it will be taken off future earnings as follows. If revenues go up to $4 billion in year 2, the players would be entitled to $2 billion (50%), but they'd only get $1.95 billion becauase you'd take off the $50 million used in year one for the shortfall.

The big problem is that the players want their contracts honored as issued, but those contracts won't be paid in full unless revenues increase in future years. So, if revenues stay the same, the players will be taking a 12.3% rollback in salaries. The NHL can spin the PR on this issue anyway they want, but the current mechanism amounts to a rollback and isn't a partnership where players would share in growth.

I think there is something there to negotiate off of though. Maybe keep it similar but change the percentages a bit, phase into 50%. I don't think they'll get to existing contracts being fully honored, but I think there is room to negotiate getting something closer. I'd be most of the players would be willint to give up a little bit of future growth earnings if they are able to preserve current contracts. I'd be the NHLPA will negotiate off this as much as they can in the next week and then take it to a vote of all the players and see where everyone stands.

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It's a brilliant PR move by the league.

They made the deal look like they're conceding more than they actually are, tied it to salvaging the entire season, and put the ball in Fehr's court. They got their money's worth from that consultant.

Like I said in my last post, Fehr is right that everything about this deal is worse for the players. And there's not really irrefutable evidence like there was in 2004. The reality is though people don't care. We just want hockey. 50/50 sounds simple and easy, even if that's not the actual percentage because of adjusting HRR.

fehr let this play right into the owners hand by refusing to come up with another proprosal. now fehr and pa have to work with the owner's offer and face public backlash

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This. Very well stated.

Even if you hate Bettman, you have to admire his sheer evil genius. The NHL owners LOCKED out the players and had public sentiment against them, and now have completely flipped the table to the point where the NHLPA has a deadline of less than two weeks to reach a deal with them, or will be perceived as "overreaching" in negotiations.

I think the problem the Players' Association has is that the average fan didn't know that they had a 57% share to begin with, or doesn't really understand how that is calculated. (And by the way, neither do I). So when you hear that they had a percentage higher than 50%, and the owners are now offering 50% (even if it isn't really half of the money), that sounds reasonable.

Without injecting politics into this, Bettman negotiated like a Republican - they established an extreme position as a starting point, so much so that their "concession" of 50% would still be a big win for the owners. I'm hearing little stuff that might be beneficial to the players (3rd party arbitrator reviews of discipline), but by and large, all of the money and contract related issues swing dramatically in favor of the owners, so why would the NHLPA cave?

In the end though, is the PR factor that important?

I mean, we lost a whole season last time. Yet the fans came back. I think everyone is putting too much importance on the PR side of things. PR isn't going to get either side the best deal. Both sides are just manipulating PR by stating to the press what they want and adding a PR spin to the statement. Look at Bettman's PR spin on this proposal. Look at Fehr's PR spin when the first two weeks of the regular season were canceled and he states that they would have negotiated under the current CBA and played the season out. If you believe that either of these things were done for the betterment of the fans, then I have some great oceanfront property to sell you in Iowa.

What this does do is forces the NHLPA off of their collective ass and to the bargaining table. The NHL put forward the last proposal, which the NHLPA did a great job of looking at and then not negotiating. What better way to get the players off of their asses than put a proposal out there that is 50-50, releasing all the information to the press, and letting the players react.

fehr let this play right into the owners hand by refusing to come up with another proprosal. now fehr and pa have to work with the owner's offer and face public backlash

Sometimes, when one side drags their feet or doesn't want to play ball, the PR card is really the best card to play. Lets see what the NHLPA decides to do. I will be eagerly anticipating their response tomorrow. If its a "drop dead" statement, then the season is lost. If they want to work through certain aspects of the deal, then there may be a chance we see NHL hockey.

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In the end though, is the PR factor that important?

I mean, we lost a whole season last time. Yet the fans came back. I think everyone is putting too much importance on the PR side of things. PR isn't going to get either side the best deal. Both sides are just manipulating PR by stating to the press what they want and adding a PR spin to the statement. Look at Bettman's PR spin on this proposal. Look at Fehr's PR spin when the first two weeks of the regular season were canceled and he states that they would have negotiated under the current CBA and played the season out. If you believe that either of these things were done for the betterment of the fans, then I have some great oceanfront property to sell you in Iowa.

What this does do is forces the NHLPA off of their collective ass and to the bargaining table. The NHL put forward the last proposal, which the NHLPA did a great job of looking at and then not negotiating. What better way to get the players off of their asses than put a proposal out there that is 50-50, releasing all the information to the press, and letting the players react.

Sometimes, when one side drags their feet or doesn't want to play ball, the PR card is really the best card to play. Lets see what the NHLPA decides to do. I will be eagerly anticipating their response tomorrow. If its a "drop dead" statement, then the season is lost. If they want to work through certain aspects of the deal, then there may be a chance we see NHL hockey.

I agree that PR should mean nothing and most everyone else would agree. But I can guarantee you that both the NHL and the NHLPA see it as very important (can't quite figure out why totally, but have ideas on that). The NHL saw it as so important to hire an external consultant to help them with their PR spin.

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In the end though, is the PR factor that important?

I mean, we lost a whole season last time. Yet the fans came back. I think everyone is putting too much importance on the PR side of things. PR isn't going to get either side the best deal. Both sides are just manipulating PR by stating to the press what they want and adding a PR spin to the statement. Look at Bettman's PR spin on this proposal. Look at Fehr's PR spin when the first two weeks of the regular season were canceled and he states that they would have negotiated under the current CBA and played the season out. If you believe that either of these things were done for the betterment of the fans, then I have some great oceanfront property to sell you in Iowa.

Part of me wants to still believe that PR matters because we're supposed to be the "customers" here, but you're probably right.

Was just arguing with a friend (huge Wild fan) over this. He thinks the NHLPA caves and takes this offer (or one very similar to it) in the next few days. If he's right and I'm wrong, we play hockey. But I'd just don't see it. Fehr wasn't hired to cave into the first offer, he was hired specifically because the players felt they got played in 2005.

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I agree that PR should mean nothing and most everyone else would agree. But I can guarantee you that both the NHL and the NHLPA see it as very important (can't quite figure out why totally, but have ideas on that). The NHL saw it as so important to hire an external consultant to help them with their PR spin.

IMHO, a waste of money. If people come out as hating the league or the players, either way, they are going to hate something about hockey. I don't know if the fans hating one side or against one side is necessarily good for hockey.

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http://blogs.thescor...ld-get-creamed/

Under the NHL proposal, if you sign a player to a huge multi-year deal and they retire, you keep the cap hit (but don't pay their salary) for the duration of the contract. This is even the case if the contract is traded to another team - the original signing team has the cap hit after the player retires.

I don't understand why the NHL put this clause into the proposal THEY came up with. It clearly harms teams that have already signed long-year deals, extending into the age 35+ years of their career. But if there's a 5-year cap on new deals anyway, what does this really do beyond retroactively punishing deals already signed? It isn't a carrot for the players in any way I can see, and (some) owner are going to absolutely hate it. So why is it there?

Edited by StormJH1

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fehr let this play right into the owners hand by refusing to come up with another proprosal. now fehr and pa have to work with the owner's offer and face public backlash

Agreed. I don't know if it's because he felt like there was no point since the sides were so far apart and not talking economic issues or if he still feels like the players shouldn't have to concede anything yet or what. But while the NHL and union were not discussing economic issues, the league was crafting this proposal.

I'd have to guess this proposal was a surprise to Fehr. The league put themselves in the position of looking like they're saving the hockey season when they're the ones who took it away. That's a very savvy move.

The reality is that the players are going to lose in any new CBA. I'm not saying it's right, because I haven't seen a ton of evidence that makes me think these are the right moves for a healthy NHL, but it's the inevitable outcome. If Fehr and the union accept that and work to limit their losses, we could have hockey soon.

http://blogs.thescor...ld-get-creamed/

Under the NHL proposal, if you sign a player to a huge multi-year deal and they retire, you keep the cap hit (but don't pay their salary) for the duration of the contract. This is even the case if the contract is traded to another team - the original signing team has the cap hit after the player retires.

I don't understand why the NHL put this clause into the proposal THEY came up with. It clearly harms teams that have already signed long-year deals, extending into the age 35+ years of their career. But if there's a 5-year cap on new deals anyway, what does this really do beyond retroactively punishing deals already signed? It isn't a carrot for the players in any way I can see, and (some) owner are going to absolutely hate it. So why is it there?

There's likely a lot of negotiations between the various owners before they even negotiate with the NHLPA. The interests of someone like Ilitch are not the same as the owner of the Preds or the nutjob that runs the Bruins. So they have to make various agreements and concessions to get unified before approaching the union.

If the goal was actually to make it more equitable between small and large franchises (which I don't think is the ultimate goal for the owners), this should help. I think it's harder for smaller franchises to fund these huge money long term deals.

EDIT: said league when i meant union.

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IMHO, a waste of money.

Was it? Think about it from a business perspective. In less than 48 hours due to the hiring, the league has gone from the bad guy to the good guys who offered up a great compromise that the players must now agree to or else the players become the bad guys. Even though, you know, the proposal was not much different at all from the previous ones, they just reworded it, flipped a round some numbers, continued to try to "tweek" the definition of HRR, and got a great PR firm to spin the whole thing to make them look like heroes! Perception means a lot in business.

I agree with the others that said this whole thing is actually pretty genius.

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Was it? Think about it from a business perspective. In less than 48 hours due to the hiring, the league has gone from the bad guy to the good guys who offered up a great compromise that the players must now agree to or else the players become the bad guys. Even though, you know, the proposal was not much different at all from the previous ones, they just reworded it, flipped a round some numbers, continued to try to "tweek" the definition of HRR, and got a great PR firm to spin the whole thing to make them look like heroes! Perception means a lot in business.

I agree with the others that said this whole thing is actually pretty genius.

they had been working on this proposal for quite a while. before that focus group stuff came out.

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http://blogs.thescor...ld-get-creamed/

Under the NHL proposal, if you sign a player to a huge multi-year deal and they retire, you keep the cap hit (but don't pay their salary) for the duration of the contract. This is even the case if the contract is traded to another team - the original signing team has the cap hit after the player retires.

I don't understand why the NHL put this clause into the proposal THEY came up with. It clearly harms teams that have already signed long-year deals, extending into the age 35+ years of their career. But if there's a 5-year cap on new deals anyway, what does this really do beyond retroactively punishing deals already signed? It isn't a carrot for the players in any way I can see, and (some) owner are going to absolutely hate it. So why is it there?

It hurts the players. It is cap space used up whether the player is playing or not. If an $8 million dollar player retires and has 4 years left on his deal, that's $32 million that could have gone to other players, but in this case, it wouldn't.

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Wow, there's just so much to consider here. Forget the whole aspect of much money the players are getting, I don't think I'm cool with rushing into any deal just to meet a rigid deadline, at the expense of thinking about the consequences.

I mean, in 2005, nobody was talking about long-term, front-loaded deals that would circumvent the cap. Everyone was fixated on the miniscule $39 million cap, and the assumption was that long-term deals of any kind would be too risky. But Chicago basically won Cup by exploiting the hell out of that one strategy. Philadelphia built a Cup contender out of it. Teams were able to retain star players like Luongo, Parise, Suter, and Zetterberg that otherwise could have tested the market for considerably more money.

Now we have stuff like THIS just thrown into the new proposal?

http://www.broadstre...s-paul-holmgren

What if players retire early due to injury? Do the Pens have 5-10 years with a Crosby-sized $8.7 million barricade in their salary cap if he gets one too many concussions? Also, I don't like the whole idea of players on other teams sending unexpected GIGANTIC cap hits to the team that originally signed them, simply by deciding to retire on a whim. What a mess.

It hurts the players. It is cap space used up whether the player is playing or not. If an $8 million dollar player retires and has 4 years left on his deal, that's $32 million that could have gone to other players, but in this case, it wouldn't.

It hurts certain owners too. It could have unpredictably devastating effects on the franchises that were viable enough to sign these deals in first place. And it retroactively punishes franchise who played within the rules (though arguably outside the "spirit" of those rules) with no forseeability that this type of consequence could ever come down on them. The Wings are one of the offenders for this type of thing, but not even close to biggest offender.

And since when did those owners care about lowering the cap? I can only read the owner's motivations by their actions - stashing Cristobal Huet and Wade Redden in the minors while paying out overall salary budgets far in excess of the actual cap hardly suggests to me that owners want to spend less. Neither do front-loaded deals or the (relatively new) trick of using signing bonuses to pay out $25 million/year deals when the CBA says that a player can only take home around $14 million a year.

Why can't the "Cap Hit" simply be calculated more accurately, say, a reflection of what that player is actually earning. Eliminate gigantic bonuses, or make them count against the cap. If Parise makes $14 million in year one of his deal, then he should have a cap hit reflecting the gigantic payday he gets THIS year.

And if you're worried about this sort of thing: (alternating deals up and down to keep the totals even)

Parise $14M $2M $14M $2M

Suter $2M $14M $2M $14M

...then do something like the NBA where you have a max deal, and there are limitations on how that deal can be structured. The NHL's CBA & Cap Structure is like the "Wild West"...it's a salary cap in name and appearance, but when you break down the rules, it basically does nothing to stop top level spending by clubs who have the resources to buy better players.

Edited by StormJH1

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Was it? Think about it from a business perspective. In less than 48 hours due to the hiring, the league has gone from the bad guy to the good guys who offered up a great compromise that the players must now agree to or else the players become the bad guys. Even though, you know, the proposal was not much different at all from the previous ones, they just reworded it, flipped a round some numbers, continued to try to "tweek" the definition of HRR, and got a great PR firm to spin the whole thing to make them look like heroes! Perception means a lot in business.

I agree with the others that said this whole thing is actually pretty genius.

In the end, if the fans come out hating the players or the owners for the lockout, how does that benefit hockey? I agree that the NHL got what they wanted, but I don't agree that it was good for the game as a whole.

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