And here we are again. You unable to understand anything other than all or nothing so you misrepresent my position, in spite of my repeated posts about it.
My point, which you once again missed, is not that it's 100% anyone's fault (god I'm sick of typing that). I can understand the opinion of people who think the owners should be able to get what they want from their proposal because it's their franchises and the players are employees, so they should pretty much just agree to the deal. I don't agree with it, but I can see the position.
What baffles me is you consistently misrepresenting what they players union has offered and saying both sides have essentially conceded nothing. It's patently false.
I do agree that the players have conceded something, but you and others on the side of the NHLPA sound like they conceded everything and the owners still want more. This is simply not the case. The players have in essence thrown a bone to the owners, but do you agree it was enough? Just based on the fact that the rich franchises and players have done very well for themselves, even after the "huge concessions" they gave up from last year, do you believe that the NHLPA has given enough? I really don't think so. Yes, if revenues keep increasing, then the split looks very good. The problem is that we don't know what is going to happen when it comes to revenues. Sure, you can predict but you just don't know.
IMHO, your tone through this entire lockout thread has been against the ownership, with little to no constructive comments about he NHLPA. If you aren't 100% against the owners, then what are you? BTW, there is nothing bad about being behind the NHLPA 100%, but I don't expect anyone who follows any side 100% to see my stance on these matters like I do. Which is why when you make dumb comments like "the players have 10 apples and the owners have 100, then you think it is even" comments, I just shake my head. Of course, when I fire back a jab of my own, you complain. I will admit, as I said before, two wrongs don't make a right. I will attempt to hold my jabs back.
What you don't acknowledge much is that the players have already conceded a ton. Hence my analogy. Their starting point was a heck of a lot closer to the middle than anything the league proposed. So if both sides keep moving forward equally from where they are now, in the end it means they end up with a deal heavily swayed towards the owners.
I wouldn't say they conceded a "ton" but thats just my point of view. I believe that both sides can easily move forward and come up with a deal that is 52-48 in favor of the players.
If they were to both concede equally from here to arrive in the middle, then the union's starting point for negotiations should have been to get rid of the cap.
If the players are going to not negotiate at all, this is what I hope they go for. Eliminate the cap and put in a luxury tax system like baseball. It will take a lost season to get it, but at this point, I see the benefits.
This has little to do with my political preference, it has to do with looking at the facts. The league overall is profitable. Revenues are up over a billion dollars since the last deal. That's up 50%, which is amazing. The Winter Classic is a big hit. The NHL is now on several NBC networks.
What should have been a relatively simple CBA negotiations went off the rails with the owners first offer. It was completely insane and hostile. As I've said before, the only way the owners could have expected the players to get anywhere near that first proposal is to break their will, which requires locking them out.
The owners and Bettman's strategy was built upon a lockout.
I don't believe it was built upon a lockout, but it was built to get everything they wanted. I eagerly anticipated both sides were going to get a deal done by working their way from their proposals to the middle. The simple fact of the matter is that neither side gave very much. I think the ownership gave a couple percentage points, and the players gave a couple in return, but it wasn't enough to get a deal done. As you and I agree upon, the initial offer from the ownership was a slap in the face. I applaud Fehr for not following suit and coming up with an alternate proposal. I think the thing to stress was that the proposal that Fehr and the players gave was a good starting point only.
Sure, if revenues keep increasing, then the deal is good, but I don't know what is going to happen for sure. There is risk involved that the owners didn't want to deal with. I don't blame them for their decision. Yet, fans of the NHLPA look at this deal and compare it to the second coming of Christ, to which it is not.
Yes there's things both sides could do better, but in terms of who's the biggest (not 100%, but biggest) reason we won't be watching hockey? It's Bettman and the owners by a country mile.
I believe the fault is 60-40 with the owners. I cannot let the players off the hook for waiting until June to start the CBA talks when the league was open to discussing it in January. Yes, you will say there is no indication that more time would have helped, but we don't know for sure. Yes, you and others love the NHLPA deal because of the potential of growing revenues. Yet, when it comes to having more time to bargain for a new CBA, you and others siding with the NHLPA don't want to think that more time would have helped. I suppose when it comes to looking into the crystal ball, the future is clear when it comes to revenues, but go back to January and negotiating a new CBA and that future is cloudy. Must be nice to see so clearly in one sense and not so much in another.
Then you have the lack of cooperation between the two sides, which Fehr and Bettman are responsible. I could go on and on. Point is that there is plenty of blame to go around. To say that its Bettman and the owners by a country mile is an exaggeration IMHO. I would remove the "country" and say 1/4 mile just based on what I have seen so far.
Do you have access to the teams books? How do you know they're razor thin?
As has been said countless times, the accounting is not that simple. It varies by what's included in HRR, expenses, if it's really a "loss" when you include the arena's other uses, etc. But you keep repeating this same conjecture as if it's fact.
Everyone keeps repeating that 18 of the 30 franchises are losing money but that's based on a report in Forbes from a couple years ago. When Bettman started the CBA negotiations in 2004, he had a lengthy audit to show definitively that the league had grave financial problems. This time, it simply does not.
So, the report in Forbes is inaccurate? Even a recent report shows that the top teams in the NHL are actually keeping the rest of the teams afloat. Just this should be enough to show that the profits of teams are indeed small, especially in the smaller markets. You are correct though in that I don't have any books proof to backup my statement that the profits are razor thin. At the same time though, you see a Forbes report on the business of hockey and dismiss that as well. So what good would it be to bring forward proof if you are going to dismiss it anyway? Is the NHL in as dire straits as it was back in the last lockout? No. At the same time, they are still in trouble for various reasons.
It also ignores the overall increase in values of the franchise, even the ones listed as losing money. Even if it is losing money, it is in asset that is appreciating in value. It ignores the owners role in handing out bad contracts that hurt their franchise. It ignores that franchises in non-hockey markets are going to have a harder time financially, which is in no way the fault of the players. It was a choice Bettman and the owners made.
These billionaire owners aren't stupid. If so many of these franchises were truly financial black holes that were damaging the owner's overall wealth and strategy, they'd sell it in a heartbeat.
Yea, they would sell, but selling is not easy these days. Why do you think it is taking so long to sell the Blues? Look at the Stars for instance as well that took years to get a deal done. I think we all know why the Coyotes aren't selling quickly, but look at teams that are up for sale that aren't being sold right away. You make it sound like selling is easy. When you aren't one of the top 3-5 teams in the league, or you aren't making a profit, then selling is not as easy as you say. Yes, their asset is appreciating in value, and the contracts are a problem. League contraction would be a good option right now, but the players are against that because it would remove players from the payroll in the NHLPA. They would much rather have the teams move around.
Edited by Nightfall, 26 September 2012 - 10:29 AM.