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[Retired] Official Lockout Thread


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#821 chances14

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:14 PM

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.

#822 toby91_ca

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:25 PM

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.

#823 StormJH1

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:32 PM

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, 17 October 2012 - 12:40 PM.


#824 Nightfall

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:07 PM

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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#825 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:07 PM

Ah, so two wrongs make a right? Got it.


The NHLPA is negotiating a deal that benefits their wants and needs. I understand and appreciate this.; it's too bad others refuse to.

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#826 toby91_ca

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:16 PM

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.

Well, two different things: 1) getting best deal for your side vs. 2) best of the game. Both sides probably lose sight of #2 in CBA negotiations.

Honestly, I'm not sure if pad PR on the owners hurts the game that much, but bad PR on the players would. The owners now have PR on their side and if a deal doesn't get done soon, it will all be the players fault. The owners are the good guys, but when the players eventually come back to play, would the fans want to come and support those bad guy players?

The hope is tough that bad press is avoided by the league now pressuring the PA. To avoid the bad press, they would have to move closer to the league offer. It's actually a pretty crafty negotiation tactic and I'm sure the PA is pissed that they weren't the first to come with the next offer (their fault though).

Edited by toby91_ca, 17 October 2012 - 02:14 PM.


#827 Nightfall

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:20 PM

The NHLPA is negotiating a deal that benefits their wants and needs. I understand and appreciate this.; it's too bad others refuse to.

The NHLPA's behavior during these "negotiations" has been disgusting. Sure, there is no two ways around it. The owners are at fault for the lowball proposal. The players were the ones who sat around until June before coming to the negotiating table. They spent weeks "evaluating" the first proposal. The point of my "two wrongs make a right" is merely to inform you that the players have had a hand in these failed negotiations. So while you like to mention all of the NHL's skeletons, just be aware that the NHLPA has a fair share of blame.....even if you don't mention it.
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#828 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:29 PM

Uncle Gary's track record in "negotiating" speaks for itself. Again, the NHLPA is trying to negotiate a fair and equitable for their membership; not for the owners, not for you and not for me. I get it.

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#829 Pskov Wings Fan

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:55 PM

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.


At the very least players would be giving a interest-free load to NHL through "deferred compensation" even if current contracts were to be paid in full at some point.

#830 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 02:17 PM

At the very least players would be giving a interest-free load to NHL through "deferred compensation" even if current contracts were to be paid in full at some point.

They already do that under the current system. They have part of their paycheck held in escrow for the season and then once revenue for the year is assessed, then they get some or all of it back depending on where they are relative to the 57%.

As Fehr has pointed out, more often than not the escrow results in them not receiving the face value of their contracts. It's a massive part of the 2004 CBA that often gets overlooked. If you're a player, you've got a signed contract for a certain amount of money each year. During the course of that year, the league holds on to over 10% of your paycheck, and then if it doesn't meet its revenue projections you never see it again. So you getting the value of your contract is dependent in part on some of these owners who have shown themselves to be pretty big idiots.

Add to that the seemingly cloudy definition of what constitutes HRR. There's already been paychecks held in the past while the union and league disputed the revenue amount. It's why having your salary tied to revenue is so tricky. It can take a lot of accounting research to track down all the actual revenue.

One source I found said in 2011 the amount held from players was 12.5%. So imagine 12.5% of all the players salary in the league held for the season. That's quite a chunk of change. And accrued interest isn't part of HRR.

#831 sleepwalker

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 02:21 PM

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


Yeah no doubt, but you're missing the point. The proposal is not that much different at all from the leagues previous proposals, but with the help of Luntz group, they were able to successfully spin it to the public and get the fans back on their side as a "50/50 revenue split with no salary roll back" Which isn't true at all, not even close.

Edited by sleepwalker, 17 October 2012 - 02:21 PM.


#832 chances14

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 02:34 PM

Yeah no doubt, but you're missing the point. The proposal is not that much different at all from the leagues previous proposals, but with the help of Luntz group, they were able to successfully spin it to the public and get the fans back on their side as a "50/50 revenue split with no salary roll back" Which isn't true at all, not even close.


???

what did the luntz group have to do with promoting this proposal??

if anything the luntz group damaged the league's image due to the leaks of the focus group.

#833 sleepwalker

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:03 PM

???

what did the luntz group have to do with promoting this proposal??


Their job that they were brought in and paid to do was help the league spin the leagues proposals to the public as great strides forward and get fan support on their side.

I admit I am assuming, but it seems very coincidental that within days of hiring the Luntz group the league was able to successfully spin and promote more or less the same reworded offer they have been putting forward since day one into "50/50 revenue split with zero salary rollbacks"

Either Bettman and the league suddenly became brilliant spin doctors themselves, the public suddenly all became idiots, or the Luntz group helped the league do what the Luntz group does best. Spin and misrepresent something to the public as something it is not to get the people on their side.

Edited by sleepwalker, 17 October 2012 - 03:03 PM.


#834 StormJH1

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:26 PM

On the issue of whether or not "bad PR" hurts the owners (or the players), I keep thinking back to Steve Young's rant on the NFL ref lockout (before it was completely superseded by the MNF Green Bay/Seattle fiasco). Young said that the league had the upper hand because the demand for the product was "inelastic". Even though the league caved after the extreme embarrassment caused by the replacement refs, I'm not sure he was wrong. The league could have maintained course, and I don't think people would have stopped consuming the product. Gamblers might have laid off, but that's a whole different can of worms. The point is, people can kick and scream an awful lot...and still reach for their wallets simultaneously.

The perception has always been that the NHL has a much more fragile fanbase, but I don't think that's true. I think it's a smaller fanbase. I think it's a niche sport that doesn't translate well to network television ratings. But there was little evidence following the 04/05 lockout to suggest to Bettman that the fans won't be back...after two weeks, a year, or multiple years. I'll be back. Anybody who posts on a hockey board and honestly tells me they won't watch it or spend money on it after being DEPRIVED of it is basically lying to you.

So if you're the players, what are the "PR risks" to them? An NHL player is an individual who receives a salary. He needs the league more badly than the league needs him. But he's also a very small part of the collective that is the NHLPA. The players were fairly unpopular during the 2004 lockout (compared to now), but that unpopularity didn't attach to any individual players, unless it was a Jeremy Roenick situation where they said something stupid or offensive. Nobody blamed the lockout on, say, Steve Yzerman. So if it's a question between the players "saving face" with the fans or getting a better deal, I would think a players association led by Donald Fehr will tend towards the latter.

My buddy stunned me today when we were arguing about the lockout - he compared the NHL players going overseas to "scab employees" in a labor strike. That's absurd. Not only does confuse a "lockout" with a "strike", 388 NHL players played in 19 European leagues during the '04 lockout.

#835 Nightfall

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 04:48 PM

Uncle Gary's track record in "negotiating" speaks for itself. Again, the NHLPA is trying to negotiate a fair and equitable for their membership; not for the owners, not for you and not for me. I get it.

If by "Negotiate" you mean drag their feet during negotiations, not offer counter proposals, and then complain to the press because they are locked out, I agree with you.
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#836 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:15 PM

Their job that they were brought in and paid to do was help the league spin the leagues proposals to the public as great strides forward and get fan support on their side.

I admit I am assuming, but it seems very coincidental that within days of hiring the Luntz group the league was able to successfully spin and promote more or less the same reworded offer they have been putting forward since day one into "50/50 revenue split with zero salary rollbacks"

Either Bettman and the league suddenly became brilliant spin doctors themselves, the public suddenly all became idiots, or the Luntz group helped the league do what the Luntz group does best. Spin and misrepresent something to the public as something it is not to get the people on their side.

Agreed. It's hard not to think that a lot of this was due to the consultation.

Bettman's idea of diplomacy is to lock players out, insult them with a first offer and show force.

Whereas 50/50 is a very easy phrase for people to remember. Simple. Sounds fair. Same goes for "no salary rollbacks" even if it's not true. They just finagled it so they could call it something else, but the players will still be taking a significant paycut from year one.

But in a fairly complicated proposal if fans walk away remembering "50/50 and no salary rollbacks," then it sounds like the deal everyone's been waiting for. It's also probably not a coincidence that in spite of Bettman's catch phrase "we don't negotiate publicly" they released the details on the NHL website, which is unprecedented.

Basically none of how this is presented seems like the Bettman we know. It was much more nuanced.

Don't get me wrong, wether it was the consultants or not, I'm happy Bettman and the owners finally put together a reasonable deal to negotiate from and presented it in a fashion that wasn't the equivalent of "F-you!" I wish they'd hired these guys sooner. Though honestly a lot of this change may have been a result of the info they got on how pissed fans were about this lockout and how unnecessary it seems.

If they're using the existing form of HRR, then the owners movement to 50% is significant. Most everything else sounds like the old deal with new fancier packaging.

#837 rrasco

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:45 PM

http://www.sportsnet..._fehr_to_nhlpa/

In the wake of the NHL's new proposal to its players' union Tuesday that was intended to kick-start the Collective Bargaining Agreement and end the month-long lockout, Donald Fehr, the NHLPA's executive director, spent Tuesday afternoon reviewing the league document before issuing an email to players outlining specific points Fehr views as problematic.

The letter, attained by Sportsnet’s HOCKEY CENTRAL department, can be viewed in its entirety below.

It is expected that Fehr and the union will craft a response to the proposal Thursday when the sides meet again in Toronto.


If you really want some insight into what the PA is thinking, read the letter Fehr wrote. I also don't think it was accidental this was made public. Moar PR.

Edited by rrasco, 17 October 2012 - 05:47 PM.

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#838 Nightfall

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:53 PM

http://www.sportsnet..._fehr_to_nhlpa/



If you really want some insight into what the PA is thinking, read the letter Fehr wrote. I also don't think it was accidental this was made public. Moar PR.

This is the part that concerns me the most...

Given the enormous concessions players made in the last round, plus 7 years of record revenue reaching $3.3 Billion last season, there is no reason for a reduction in the amount players receive.



So, in short, if Fehr has dug in, we are in for a long fight. I hope that he is at least willing to concede something. Otherwise, the season is on deep freeze.
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#839 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:59 PM

If by "Negotiate" you mean drag their feet during negotiations, not offer counter proposals, and then complain to the press because they are locked out, I agree with you.


Lockout X 3. This tactic shows a total alienation from both the entire process of collective bargaining and a of your employees.

http://www.sportsnet..._fehr_to_nhlpa/
If you really want some insight into what the PA is thinking, read the letter Fehr wrote. I also don't think it was accidental this was made public. Moar PR.


On today's episode of OTR on TSN, Michael Landsberg said that the "leak" was provided by the League; he said "NHL" and not "NHLPA.
The more I think about it, he may have been referring to the details of there "lipstick-on-a-pig" offer.

Edited by cusimano_brothers, 17 October 2012 - 07:22 PM.

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#840 esteef

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:57 PM

The worst part about this lockout is the Wings finally brought in a guy that will punch people in the face on a regular basis (Tootoo) and we can't even watch it now!

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