Ever have a friend who's in a bad relationship? And every time you hang out with him all he does is complain about how awful things are, ask for advice that he never takes, and generally bring you down so you stop hanging out with him?
That's how the NHL has now become for me.
And as yet another reminder.No political discussion in this thread or on this site (no one really had yet but I wanted to head off any possibility from St. James' tweet) and no directing personal comments about the person making the post. Keep the discussion about this ridiculous lockout.
One thing I think people are overlooking regarding this CBA negotiations is that while this does involve business owners and a union, this really has little to do with typical labor negotiations.
For starters, hockey is entertainment. Yes the players get paid ridiculous sums of money to play game. They don't get paid that amount because they are very good at hockey. They get paid that amount because people will pay a lot of money to watch them play.
It's why the owners need the players and the players need the owners. Sure, the owners could get rid of all the players and start over, but people won't shell out the ridiculous money they do for NHL games to watch 4th line scrubs play the game. there's already plenty of existing leagues with that level of talent, and ticket prices reflect that. That's the second point, the players are an elite and very small talent pool, and it's reflected in their salaries.
That's why these negotiations have more in common with the entertainment industry than the auto industry. Adam Sandler gets paid a boatload of money to be in movies not because he's great at acting, but because a lot of people will pay money to go see him in a movie.
Just a point I wanted to make clear because it seems to be getting lost in the noise. I don't hate the owners, but the players generate massive amounts of revenue for the owners. Both sides need each other and should have been able to come to a sensible agreement.
good article on the breakdown of the core economic issues and while those are the most important issues, there are some things that the owners have given the players. and while they aren't nearly as important as the big issues, i'm sure the players will be glad to have them. also, that article didn't mention the pension issues, which would be considered an owner's concession
legally, the owners are the ones being generous with the make whole because all contracts signed are subject to changes to a new cba. the players and agents are fully aware that contracts could and most likely will be changed when a new cba comes along, which is why i believe suter and parise got so much signing bonus money, which is not subject to cba changes. now you could argue morally and ethically the owners are in the wrong if they don't offer to honor contracts in full which i agree they should, but legally they don't have to.
I know what you're saying, but I'd hardly call it generous to agree to honor a portion of the contract you've decided not to pay in full, some of which were signed only months ago.
My understanding is they tried a similar move in the NBA lockout (which isn't surprising since all 4 major sports are repped by the same law firm in CBA negotiations) and it got quickly shot down. While they NBA players agreed to 50/50, they play in a league with a soft cap and luxury tax and had the owners make a large increase in revenue sharing.
All sports are different, but the NBA is a relatively close business to the NHL. And in comparison, the NHL players are getting hammered in this negotiation, in great part due to the sins of the owners.
And of the things that benefit players listed in the article:
1) artificially inflate the salary cap in Year 1 so teams don’t have to trade or release players; That helps the owners just as much for teams to get under the cap. And I would hardly call that a benefit to players, other than things could have been much worse. They're having their salaries cut back and the cap further restricted. Not waiving players isn't a benefit offered to the players. It just means the owners didn't make things even worse for them.
This is the problem I have with the logic of the league side. Because of the owners ridiculous first proposal, Bettman keeps claiming all they've done is concede. Starting at an insane point and moving towards something reasonable, however, is not really a concession. It just means you've actually decided to negotiate in good faith. Fehr should have started by taking the cap off the table, or increasing player share to 70%. Then he could have "conceded" to allowing the cap be in play again. Or having the percentage come down to 60%.
At best, this one's a wash.
2) trade player salary and cap charges in trades (this is something both teams and players have wanted); probably benefits owners more in that they can dump the awful deals they've made. At best, also a wash.
3) eliminate re-entry waivers; I'd say wash, but I may be missing something on how this benefits players more than owners because I don't know all the ins and outs. Teams being able to send players down without potentially losing them is a benefit.
4) Increase revenue sharing with further increases as revenues grow, and the top grossing teams making the biggest contributions (revenue sharing is something Don Fehr is passionate about; wants it so the teams that really need assistance are assisted); This helps the league and unlike anything the owners have proposed, actually addresses the fundamental problem in the league's economic structure. Definitely a wash.
5) Introduction of appeal rights to a neutral third-party arbitrator in cases involving on- and- off-ice discipline (player-proposed wish). This one I don't know much about but I initially read somewhere it would probably be a very rare circumstance.
Taken in total, none of those even come close to moving from 57 to 50% in salary and giving up all the contracting rights the players will need to in order to make a deal.
Negotiations are give and take. The starting point for who determining who is conceding something is the last CBA, not the first ridiculous proposal the NHL made. Bettman keeps trying this slight of hand and it seems to be working on people.
I see what you mean, I don't think the issue is that it's only 50 players, but rather (as Bettman stated in his presser yesterday) that the tend is going toward longer contracts. As he said, prior to this last cba, only one player had a contract of that length. I think they're trying to preempt the problem. But you're right, it doesn't affect that many people.
McKenize tweeted a link to some guy who made an interesting argument. One he wasn't even necessarily completely sold on, but is an interesting point.
The basic idea is that even though the 5 year contract length only involves a handful of players, it indirectly affects a lot of other players. The longer contracts are really only going to be with star players. And because of the cap and contract restrictions, it's more difficult for franchises to compete for star players. One way they can compete is by extending longer contracts. That means more job security for the player, but it also means a lower cap hit because of the longer term. That frees up more cap space for the lower line players.
The thinking (as I understand it) is if there's 5% variance and 5 year contracts, contracts could just get maxed out for the star players and eat up a greater portion of the cap, thereby depressing salaries for the lower line players because there's less cap space left to split among several players.
It's an interesting idea. And if the logic holds up is a counterargument to why the contracting issues affect more than just those 40 or 90 players.
So I don't know what to think about it anymore. I just want hockey.
while i disagree with the owner's take it or leave it approach, fehr purposely misled the public. he knew full well that the league wasn't going to accept his proposal.
That or he badly misread the situation. Either way it's not good.
Someone should have had a sense of how the owners felt, many that they had already offered too much, so even if the NHLPA wasn't going to accept that offer outright, that is should have been handled more delicately than it was. Like maybe more conversation about the contracting issues instead of making an outright proposal that doesn't include what the owners want.
Either way, the fact that both sides got this close and it fell apart over contract issues takes it to a new level of idiocy, and the idiocy level was already extremely high.
"my way or no way" - Bettman.... it's like his negotiating tactics have been the same since he was 5
That's the thing, it's just so friggin hard to tell. From what I read on TSN it sounds like the league made a pretty good offer, one that should be able to get worked into a final deal.
Then it sounds like the union comes back closer to their demands but not accepting them outright, so the league bolts again.
Could it possibly be true they rejected the offer via voicemail??
But it's all so much conjecture I can't really even tell how far apart they are. I know the league wants 10 year CBA, didn't the union propose 8 years? Have both sides not heard of the number 9?
And while I think not honoring existing contracts is a screw job, it seems like something the owners are willing to sacrifice at least one season for. And the league apparently did increase make whole money. but it gets convoluted so friggin fast.
Though it is pretty funny Bettman saying the NHLPA offer was insulting to the owners, given what the owners first offer in this whole mess was.
Not that he's the end-all-be-all authority on anything, but Danny Cleary at least is is keen on the idea...
And while it may prove to be a terrible idea for the players, it does at least address one question that we've seen raised several times here. The question of "What would happen if Bettman and Fehr (and their substantial egos) were not involved in the process?"
In the end, I don't think anything would come of that kind of a meeting, especially if hawks like Jacobs and Leonsis are involved. But it would at least be interesting to see what might happen with a direct meeting like that...
Hell at this point they should try just about anything. I guess it's good Bettman actually asked the union this time before trying the end around of owners talking directly to players.
Mostly I just meant that this definitely benefits the owners more than players. There's nothing they'd love more than to negotiate directly with players during contract negotiations and CBA negotiations. It'd be like the pre-NHLPA days. If hockey players were great at negotiations, they wouldn't need agents. Meanwhile they're sitting across from billionaire owners with extensive business and negotiating experience, as well as a massive support staff to help them.
Either way, my main position is still f*** this league. With the growth this league has enjoyed during this last CBA, the prudent move would've been a compromise that wouldn't lose games and damage the integrity and public faith in the NHL. What both sides gave up on the negotiating table would've been recouped fairly quickly.
Instead they're still arguing over how to arrange the deck chairs on the titanic.
According to Forbes analysis with the financial info they have available to them, those teams have a negative operating income before things like taxes, depreciation and amortization. But it's inaccurate for them to simply say they're losing money.
These owners have multiple corporations with revenue and expenses moving between one and the other. The goal with corps is not to show a huge profit because you want to reduce your tax burden.
Clearly there are teams that are struggling financially but the Forbes report isn't a complete or accurate financial picture. In 2004 Bettman had an extensive audit of franchises to show in irrefutable detail how many were losing money. Strange how he didn't do that this time.
There's the secondary issue of how much it's actually the players fault that these franchises aren't profitable. Unlike 2005 the real issue is the disparity of the franchises, not the un-capped costs of player salaries.
Owners 100% at fault, players 0%. You have made your position understood.
You use the word 'ultimately', but the context of your surrounding argument seems to suggest the word 'entirely'.... and you would be right... in a world without labor unions. That is the point that keeps getting ignored... the owners are not free to run a successful franchise as they see fit... they are beholden to a CBA forced upon them by the players... that must be negotiated with the players - so that the players do effect the way business is run. You cannot hold the owners entirely responsible when their business decisions are in part dictated by the players.The CBA... it keeps getting conveniently left out of any argument skewering the owners. The last CBA was a large factor in creating the environment where owners felt compelled to give out large contracts to be competitive.
Let me spare several people the time and effort in their response by paraphrasing their responses for them:
"BUT the owners won BIG in the last CBA!!... they dictated this and now we are supposed to feel bad for them?!"... blah blah.
I had typed out a lengthy response but read your last line and realized you're not interested in an actual discussion.