The players were the big losers last time. The just expired CBA was dictated by the owners and was designed to benefit them. Prior to the current CBA the players share of the revenue reached 74%. There was no salary cap. If the players won and kept the old system, the top salaries now would have been nearing $20 mil./year and the average salary would have been higher by at least a quarter, and given the existing then trend, probably even higher.
I suppose we can agree to disagree then. It should at least concern anyone who is pro-NHLPA and anti-owner when their side waits until the last minute to negotiate and their side is the big beneficiary of the last deal.
Let me clarify it for you. The owners want to cut the players salaries and limit their growth in the future. Since the league revenues went up 50% over the life of the existing CBA, there was no rational way to explain to the players why they would have to give up another 20% of their salary every year, when the players have signed contracts on hand. Since the owners didn't have any rational arguments, they had to somehow force the players to give up money they were contractually promised. The lockout is the most obvious option.
As for the motivations behind both sides, I really don't know how we got to this point. The players don't want to give that much and the owners want to take more than the players want to give. No common middle ground? Can't figure out how to split a $3 billion dollar pot? The owners locking the players out doesn't put the blame on the owners 100% thats for sure. Both sides need a swift kick in the ass and a mediator.
Hrm, NHL says the union doesn't want to budge while the NHLPA says the owners want to much. Both sides are way too greedy. Fire both Fehr and Bettman, and get some people in place that are willing to negotiate. Its that simple.
This is not only about greed. This is also about players' pride and self-respect. If the lockout lasts till January, and the players then win (that is their CBA offer,as it stands now, is adopted) the players would still lose more money then if they accepted the league offer right now. And the players know this.
The players motivation is to make sure that in the future they will not be forced to give up part of their salary any time the owners feel like taking it, without a fight. So the next time the owners want to redistribute income in their favor, they will know that they would have a fight on their hands.