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[Retired] Official Lockout Thread

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I hope more players speak out against Bettman. The owners should too.

So I hear the Leafs and Red Wings are against the Lockout and want to play. How many Leagues, when their two best teams wanting to play, aren't being listened to by the man they employ? If the Yankees and Red Sox don't agree with a Lockout, Selig would listen. If the Lakers and Knicks don't agree with a Lockout, David Stern would listen. If the Patriots and Packers don't agree with a Lockout, Roger Goodell would listen. Only in the NHL would a little twerp go against what his two richest teams are saying. It's one of the reasons why ESPN told the NHL "nuts to you", and NBC Sports and all the major American TV Networks will do the same thing.

The NHL is going to rot. The only way I think the Owners can save the League is if they fire Bettman. I don't see how he can continue as commish after all this, and how he could present another Stanley Cup without starting a riot in the building when fans try and get him. He'll either start a riot, or he'll hear crickets chirping because the arena will be empty.

nobody knows for sure who is for or against this lockout. everything else has simply been speculation and assumptions.

i just find it laughable how so many people think that bettman is the sole reason for these lockouts. the owners have to love the fact that he takes all the beating and they get off without a shred of criticism.

Edited by chances14

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If with you man. I've decided I'll only comeback if Bettman's gone. I'm not interested in following this League anymore with him in charge. He makes me so angry that it's not worth it. Baseball and Football can be my 2 main sports now, Hockey can suck it.

I've actually been seriously thinking of taking down all my Red Wings stuff I have up in my house and redecorating. It pains me to have to do that, because this team has meant so much to me the past 20 years, but I've just had enough. I'd rather just move on and not see anything Hockey related anymore.

I have seen the vile hatred for Bettman, but lets be honest here.....

Bettman is not the cause of this lockout. You can point the blame to the owners who voted to lock the players out moreso than Bettman. Even if Bettman was canned, then his successor could be even worse. After all, the ownership is going to hire a pitbull, not a poodle. They are also going to hire someone to represent them. Bettman is taking a lot of flack for what the ownership wants. Yes, I believe even Mike Illitch is supporting Bettman because he is tired of seeing his profits getting thrown to teams that can't survive in these crappy markets. He is tired of seeing a $3.5 million dollar profit margin. Hell, Hudler makes more than that.

Otherwise, I won't take down my Red Wings stuff. I have been a fan of the Wings since I discovered hockey back in 1994. I just won't fund the players or the ownership by going to games or buying merchandice. The only money they will see is what I pay for in my cable bill to watch them. Hell, I will even go out of my way to watch games on streaming services because I won't buy the center ice package.

Edited by Nightfall

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I have seen the vile hatred for Bettman, but lets be honest here.....

Bettman is not the cause of this lockout. You can point the blame to the owners who voted to lock the players out moreso than Bettman. Even if Bettman was canned, then his successor could be even worse. After all, the ownership is going to hire a pitbull, not a poodle. They are also going to hire someone to represent them. Bettman is taking a lot of flack for what the ownership wants. Yes, I believe even Mike Illitch is supporting Bettman because he is tired of seeing his profits getting thrown to teams that can't survive in these crappy markets. He is tired of seeing a $3.5 million dollar profit margin. Hell, Hudler makes more than that.

Otherwise, I won't take down my Red Wings stuff. I have been a fan of the Wings since I discovered hockey back in 1994. I just won't fund the players or the ownership by going to games or buying merchandice. The only money they will see is what I pay for in my cable bill to watch them. Hell, I will even go out of my way to watch games on streaming services because I won't buy the center ice package.

I know the Owners have a lot of the blame... but Bettman was the one who adopted the rule to only need an 8 team vote instead of a majority vote. It is also in his job title to preserve the sanctity of the league and he hasn't been doing a great job at that currently because right now the NHL is the laughing stock of sports and its becoming a pissing war between both sides and every body taking pot shots at each other like 10 year olds.

It is not completely Bettmans fault, but he does have a big part in it. The reason he adopted the 8 team vote was for reasons like this, so the owners couldn't veto him again.

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I know the Owners have a lot of the blame... but Bettman was the one who adopted the rule to only need an 8 team vote instead of a majority vote. It is also in his job title to preserve the sanctity of the league and he hasn't been doing a great job at that currently because right now the NHL is the laughing stock of sports and its becoming a pissing war between both sides and every body taking pot shots at each other like 10 year olds.

It is not completely Bettmans fault, but he does have a big part in it. The reason he adopted the 8 team vote was for reasons like this, so the owners couldn't veto him again.

how did bettman go about adopting the 8 team vote?

i find it hard to believe that the owners would give any commisioner the sole power to rewrite the nhl constitution without at least half of the owners consent.

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I know the Owners have a lot of the blame... but Bettman was the one who adopted the rule to only need an 8 team vote instead of a majority vote. It is also in his job title to preserve the sanctity of the league and he hasn't been doing a great job at that currently because right now the NHL is the laughing stock of sports and its becoming a pissing war between both sides and every body taking pot shots at each other like 10 year olds.

It is not completely Bettmans fault, but he does have a big part in it. The reason he adopted the 8 team vote was for reasons like this, so the owners couldn't veto him again.

Did Bettman come up with the rule all on his own? No he didn't. He may have had the idea for the rule, but the owners all voted on it and ratified it. He can't just impose his rule without the owners all agreeing to it.

IMHO, the owners have about 60% of the blame in this. Bettman isn't even a "big part". Its like blaming Fehr for the stance the players are taking. Fehr can only go so far.

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This issue so complicated because of the polarizing figure that is Gary Bettman. A New York lawyer running the most popular sport in Canada. 3 significant work stoppages in 18 years.

@Nightfall is partially right when he says that Bettman was not the "cause" of the lockout. Admittedly, that would be an oversimplification. I heard a TSN podcast today where one guy wondered if this isn't just the "new normal" given the fact that salaries were so constant for so many years and then shot up exponentially in the past 20 years. He wondered if the underlying problem isn't just that nobody knows "what anything is worth" in the NHL.

But I refuse to give Bettman a pass on "causing the lockout" for this reason: He DID create and stubbornly support the environment that caused this lockout to happen in the last 2 CBA's. When you a situation where you can make $3.3 billion in profits AND it can also be true that (allegedly) 18 franchises are operating in the red, you have fundamental problems. If I honestly believed that setting HRR at 50/50 and just telling the players to give a little more back would solve those problems, I would turn on the NHLPA and Fehr in a heartbeat.

But here's the thing: I have zero confidence that Phoenix, Dallas, Nashville, Florida, etc are suddenly going to become profitable simply because you cap player contracts at 5 years, lower the salary cap, and take money out of the players' share. I have zero confidence because we were told that everything in '05 CBA was necessary to save those bottom-feeder teams, and it didn't work.

The problem is the structure of the league, and the freedom of the owners to continue spending even with a hard cap in place. The deeper problem is that the league is badly overexpanded into places it doesn't belong. Phoenix is not going to start drawing 15,000 a game just because you made it so the Parises and Suters of the world only sign $40 million deals instead of $98 million ones. And when ownership in Phoenix or any other city in Bettman's "Grand Sun Belt Experiment" tried to sell to owners/cities with actual money and an interest in hockey, Bettman blocked it.

Unless you are willing to dramatically revise how revenue sharing works and commit yourself to having the Tornto-type markets carrying the struggling teams (which is obviously problematic), this will continue to happen. And Bettman (who whoever represents the owners) will continue to ask for additional money every CBA simply because they can.

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It appears a Federal mediator is now involved in the CBA negotiations, per LeBrun...

Federal mediator now involved in NHL/NHLPA labor talks. More to come.

...and McKenzie...

NHL and NHLPA have agreed to allow U.S. federal mediators to get involved in the labor dispute.

Deputy Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh, Director of Mediation Services John Sweeney, and Commissioner Guy Serota to serve as the mediators.

Mediators work under umbrella of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Let's see if some "outside" perspective makes a difference.

To me, this can be nothing but a good thing. A neutral third party who can sit both sides down, and help them see how close they really are...

Though, McKenzie is quick to inject a little bit of reality about the situation...

Mediation is not binding. It's just an objective third party trying to help process get on track. Mediators were, IIRC, used in 2004-05.

And finally, if anyone were curious, here is the official press release from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service...

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But I refuse to give Bettman a pass on "causing the lockout" for this reason: He DID create and stubbornly support the environment that caused this lockout to happen in the last 2 CBA's. When you a situation where you can make $3.3 billion in profits AND it can also be true that (allegedly) 18 franchises are operating in the red, you have fundamental problems. If I honestly believed that setting HRR at 50/50 and just telling the players to give a little more back would solve those problems, I would turn on the NHLPA and Fehr in a heartbeat.

Just for clarification, Bettman didn't create the environment. The owners did. He did support it only because the ownership supported it. I understand why Bettman is taking the flack for this, but at the same time there are barely anyone that is able to look deeper into this situation. Yes, Mike Illitch is supporting this lockout. Why are there no fans upset at him? I guess being the mouthpiece means that they are going to take all the flack, but thats ok I suppose.

As for firing Bettman, nothing would please me more. Well, firing both Fehr and Bettman would please me the most. What I fear is Bettman's replacement. Sometimes the Devil you know is better than the Devil you don't know. That could be true in this situation as well, especiially if the owners hire in someone who is more draconian than Bettman. Same goes for Fehr, but I believe in this case both sides leaders should be fired.

It appears a Federal mediator is now involved in the CBA negotiations, per LeBrun...

Mediation is non-binding, which means that what the mediator says is just a recommendation. Non-binding mediation isn't something that has teeth in my opinion. Just like back in the last lockout, the mediator put forward some great ideas but one side or the other shot them down. It really is the same as having an informed expert that has no side that is willing to put their opinion and thoughts on the subject.

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Mediation is non-binding, which means that what the mediator says is just a recommendation. Non-binding mediation isn't something that has teeth in my opinion. Just like back in the last lockout, the mediator put forward some great ideas but one side or the other shot them down. It really is the same as having an informed expert that has no side that is willing to put their opinion and thoughts on the subject.

Which is exactly what the next-to-last line of my previous post points out.

That said, getting both sides together with a third party will only help the process. It might not help enough to get a deal done, but if absolutely nothing else, it will make things abundantly clear as to which side is refusing to negotiate or willing to budge on certain issues.

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Question for the legal eagles out there: If all of this goes to court, how will it be handled since there are two countries represented in the NHL? Would the decision be enforced and upheld in both countries or would two separate decisions be needed?

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This issue so complicated because of the polarizing figure that is Gary Bettman. A New York lawyer running the most popular sport in Canada. 3 significant work stoppages in 18 years.

@Nightfall is partially right when he says that Bettman was not the "cause" of the lockout. Admittedly, that would be an oversimplification. I heard a TSN podcast today where one guy wondered if this isn't just the "new normal" given the fact that salaries were so constant for so many years and then shot up exponentially in the past 20 years. He wondered if the underlying problem isn't just that nobody knows "what anything is worth" in the NHL.

But I refuse to give Bettman a pass on "causing the lockout" for this reason: He DID create and stubbornly support the environment that caused this lockout to happen in the last 2 CBA's. When you a situation where you can make $3.3 billion in profits AND it can also be true that (allegedly) 18 franchises are operating in the red, you have fundamental problems. If I honestly believed that setting HRR at 50/50 and just telling the players to give a little more back would solve those problems, I would turn on the NHLPA and Fehr in a heartbeat.

i don't think anyone is completely giving bettman a pass on this lockout. I just think some people have gone overboard with all the bettman hate. i read and hear people saying that they will only watch the nhl again if bettman is fired. that just shows to me a lack of understanding about how this entire process works.

I believe that under the nhl constituation and by laws,bettman is allowed to make recommendations for expansion and relocation. however, the owners must vote on it for it to become final. so the owners deserve as much blame for the failed franchises as bettman (though we never hear criticism about the owners.

Just for clarification, Bettman didn't create the environment. The owners did. He did support it only because the ownership supported it. I understand why Bettman is taking the flack for this, but at the same time there are barely anyone that is able to look deeper into this situation. Yes, Mike Illitch is supporting this lockout. Why are there no fans upset at him? I guess being the mouthpiece means that they are going to take all the flack, but thats ok I suppose

this is just speculation on my part but now that the winter classic has been cancelled, it wouldn't surprise me if illitch was very much against giving into the players. it is a fact that illitch was very much against revenue sharing during the last lockout.

also, for those saying that the maple leafs are against the lockout. keep in mind that the leafs owners are also part of the bell/rogers broadcasting companies. they are pushing hard to get cbc's hockey rights when their tv contract is up so they might be trying to be good soldiers to the league right now.

Mediation is non-binding, which means that what the mediator says is just a recommendation. Non-binding mediation isn't something that has teeth in my opinion. Just like back in the last lockout, the mediator put forward some great ideas but one side or the other shot them down. It really is the same as having an informed expert that has no side that is willing to put their opinion and thoughts on the subject.

agreed. i don't see much coming from this but i guess mediation wouldn't hurt. it might tell us more about who truly doesn't want to negotiate or not, though that doesn't really do much in getting a deal done

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Question for the legal eagles out there: If all of this goes to court, how will it be handled since there are two countries represented in the NHL? Would the decision be enforced and upheld in both countries or would two separate decisions be needed?

Very interesting question.

The NHL is headquartered in New York. The non-binding mediators are from the US Government. I have no idea which, if any, court could render a decision that effects the entire NHL.

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Just for clarification, Bettman didn't create the environment. The owners did.

On today's instalment of TSN's OTR (OTR: The Reporters - Part 2) Michael Farber reminds people, or makes people aware for the first time (depending on your level of naivety), of what Uncle Gary's "mindset" has been since he took his present job.

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On today's instalment of TSN's OTR (OTR: The Reporters - Part 2) Michael Farber reminds people, or makes people aware for the first time (depending on your level of naivety), of what Uncle Gary's "mindset" has been since he took his present job.

yes and the owners allowed him to carry on with that mindset.

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On today's instalment of TSN's OTR (OTR: The Reporters - Part 2) Michael Farber reminds people, or makes people aware for the first time (depending on your level of naivety), of what Uncle Gary's "mindset" has been since he took his present job.

Yup, and the owners have continued to allow him to carry on with this mindset as someone else has pointed out. So with that in mind, who should take the blame? The mouthpiece of the NHL owners or the owners themselves? I understand the Bettman hate, but every owners should take just as much flak for this. Just think of it this way.

Lets say that half of the owners voted for the lockout, who should take the blame for the lockout? Gary, the guy who speaks on behalf of the owners or the owners themselves?

The question is an easy one to answer.

Which is exactly what the next-to-last line of my previous post points out.

That said, getting both sides together with a third party will only help the process. It might not help enough to get a deal done, but if absolutely nothing else, it will make things abundantly clear as to which side is refusing to negotiate or willing to budge on certain issues.

Yup, sorry to cut you off. You are 100% correct. Mediators were brought in last time and it was not successful. I just hope that both sides are interested in mediation and are willing to go with what the mediators suggest. I don't know if the mediators discussions or recommendations will be made public, but I really think that they should avoid a PR battle. Both sides are working to score points with the public moreso than negotiating in some cases. They really should just roll up their sleeves and get down to work with these mediators like they did during the last bargaining sessions. Keep the public away and get to work.

Otherwise, both sides hunger for sound bytes and scoring PR points. That will take over for actual real negotiating work.

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Those poor players, getting paid millions to bang super hot chicks (as many as they want), skate around playing hockey for 15 years and retiring at 40. That must really suck.

It's a good thing someone pays them to do this sort of thing. Otherwise, working at Arby's , getting zero ***** and getting sodomized in a bar by a burly Canadian fellow in a restroom at the local watering hole seems like the only alternative.

Seriously guys these players are nuts. The only thing they can do is play hockey. They get paid well with lots of perks, I'm pretty sure most of them want to play the game. This union nonsense has to stop. The union rep,doesn't care about that it's about $.

It's about time we got this season started.

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Those poor players, getting paid millions to bang super hot chicks (as many as they want), skate around playing hockey for 15 years and retiring at 40. That must really suck.

It's a good thing someone pays them to do this sort of thing. Otherwise, working at Arby's , getting zero ***** and getting sodomized in a bar by a burly Canadian fellow in a restroom at the local watering hole seems like the only alternative.

Seriously guys these players are nuts. The only thing they can do is play hockey. They get paid well with lots of perks, I'm pretty sure most of them want to play the game. This union nonsense has to stop. The union rep,doesn't care about that it's about $.

It's about time we got this season started.

They are the 1 % best hockeyplayers worldwide so for sure they are going to want a rfair deal and not an insulting one presented by a guy, who has absolutely no atlethic or negotiating skills and is the exact opposite of everything, hockey should be.

If the NHL wants the players to give up money, they have to at least honor their contract rights simple as that.

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Those poor players, getting paid millions to bang super hot chicks (as many as they want), skate around playing hockey for 15 years and retiring at 40. That must really suck.

It's a good thing someone pays them to do this sort of thing. Otherwise, working at Arby's , getting zero ***** and getting sodomized in a bar by a burly Canadian fellow in a restroom at the local watering hole seems like the only alternative.

Seriously guys these players are nuts. The only thing they can do is play hockey. They get paid well with lots of perks, I'm pretty sure most of them want to play the game. This union nonsense has to stop. The union rep,doesn't care about that it's about $.

It's about time we got this season started.

The money NHL takes in has to go somewhere. The choices appear to be either the players or the owners. I would love fans to be on the list in form of lower ticket prices but recent history shows that this is not likely to happen. Between the players and the owners I would choose the players because I watch them on the ice playing the game. It does not really matter how much the players are paid in absolute terms. The argument is about which portion of the money NHL gets because of fans watching the hockey players on the ice should go to the owners.

Here is a exaggerated example to demonstrate my point. Lets assume that a person engages in some activity which earns $1B. She gets paid $10M, which is a lot of money and would provide a comfortable living for quite a while. But is it fair that the person who generated the income got only 1% of it?

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Guest Kronstantinov   
Guest Kronstantinov

i don't think anyone is completely giving bettman a pass on this lockout. I just think some people have gone overboard with all the bettman hate. i read and hear people saying that they will only watch the nhl again if bettman is fired. that just shows to me a lack of understanding about how this entire process works.

I believe that under the nhl constituation and by laws,bettman is allowed to make recommendations for expansion and relocation. however, the owners must vote on it for it to become final. so the owners deserve as much blame for the failed franchises as bettman (though we never hear criticism about the owners.

this is just speculation on my part but now that the winter classic has been cancelled, it wouldn't surprise me if illitch was very much against giving into the players. it is a fact that illitch was very much against revenue sharing during the last lockout.

also, for those saying that the maple leafs are against the lockout. keep in mind that the leafs owners are also part of the bell/rogers broadcasting companies. they are pushing hard to get cbc's hockey rights when their tv contract is up so they might be trying to be good soldiers to the league right now.

agreed. i don't see much coming from this but i guess mediation wouldn't hurt. it might tell us more about who truly doesn't want to negotiate or not, though that doesn't really do much in getting a deal done

I would imagine that there will be a gag order put on the mediation

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