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True Blue 09-15-2004 12:00 PM

Bettman's real plan?
 
Lately I've been reading/hearing the same thing from several different reports. Could it be that the real reason that Bettman seems so cavalier in his attitude towards canceling a season is because he has another real reason to do so? Could Bettman's REAL plan be to cancel the season, so that at the outset of next year he could declare a labor impasse? What that would do is send the players on a strike and the owners, in turn, would be able to set up whatever rules they want. So, at that point, the owners would take in all the minor leaguers, draft choices, and whatever players want to cross the line.
I've seen this mentioned in several publications and websites now. So, I truly believe that this idea has legs. When one thinks about it, it makes sense. Bettman cancels an entire season, and then essentially starts a league with whatever rules he wants. He believes that the hockey fan will be so starved for the NHL that they will tune in and show up to watch anyone play in their team's uniform.

Fletch 09-15-2004 12:12 PM

That's pretty risky, TB...
 
because when these 'scab' players come rollin' in, do you think there will be many hockey/non-hockey fans in attendance for those games, especially after a year of no hockey and the sport becomes even more of an after-thought than it is currently? The players will sit even tigher at that point, while watching the owners continue to lose money for just playing these games. Further, would a court back the thought that the owners negotiated in good faith. Not sure what good faith is, but they basically said there needs to be a salary cap and that's it. It's pretty subjective, but there's no bending over backwards anywhere (even though the players proposed a 5% rollback in salaries - do the GMs, CEOs, coaches and others also take this cut?).

The idea has legs, no doubt because the fact that it's come to this shows the idiocy on both sides (as both beleive they gain bargaining leverage as time passes); I'm just further stating the idiocy of it all.

bobbop 09-15-2004 12:38 PM

Anyone inside or outside of hoickey who thinks "scab hockey" would ever come about is crazy. Brooks had a good point in his Sunday column -- this is a game that is dependent on teamwork and unity. Hockey bplayers would never cross a picket line.You think baseball players (i.e. Rick Reed) were targets? And one other thing -- the Canadian courts would bever allow mandatory implementation of work rules i.e a salary cap. There's also legal precedent (i.e. baseball) that US courts wouldn't either. :mad: Keep dreaming, Mr. Bettman.

True Blue 09-15-2004 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobbop
Hockey bplayers would never cross a picket line.You think baseball players (i.e. Rick Reed) were targets?

Football players crossed the line when the NHL broke the NFL Player's Union. From what I recall Lawrence Taylor was one of the first to cross.

"And one other thing -- the Canadian courts would bever allow mandatory implementation of work rules i.e a salary cap. There's also legal precedent (i.e. baseball) that US courts wouldn't either."

Not sure I understand what you are saying. The US courts have nothing at all to do with baseball not having a salary cap. If that was the case, how could the NFL have one? Baseball has a luxury tax system becuase Bud Selig knew that a hard salary cap would never work. Owners like Steinbrenner, Hicks, Angelos (just to name a few) would never back the idea. The luxury tax system WAS a compromise between players and owners. And it IS working. Just becuase Steinbrenner ignores it, does not mean it does not work. You never hear as much as a peep from small market owners when George writes his $80m check for going over the treshold.
However, as I have said many times, Bettman is not interested in a compromise. He is only interested in ramming down a proposal down the NHLPA's throat. The only terms he is interested in is his own.

Chief 09-15-2004 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by True Blue
The luxury tax system WAS a compromise between players and owners. And it IS working.

I guess "working" depends on what your goals are. If the goal is to get low salary teams some more cash to pocket, then it's working great. If you're goal is to get competitive balance, then it ain't working.

Of the top 12 salaried teams in baseball, all but 3 are in the PO picture, the remaining 9 (in order of salary) Yankees, Boston, Anaheim, Cubs, LA, Atlanta, SF, St. Louis and Houston. Of the 10 bottom salaried teams ($50 mill payrolls or less) only Florida has a PO chance (last year's Florida team had a higher payroll than this year's version - a payroll of over $60 mill - so they weren't exactly a bottom rung team). The rest of the bottom 10: Milwaukee, TB, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Florida, Cincy, Montreal, Detroit, KC and Toronto.

True Blue 09-15-2004 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chief
I guess "working" depends on what your goals are. If the goal is to get low salary teams some more cash to pocket, then it's working great. If you're goal is to get competitive balance, then it ain't working.

One cannot blame Steinbrenner and the Yankees if the owners of the receiving teams are choosing to pocket the money instead of reivesting it in their own teams. Comeptitive balance cannot come about when you have owners that want to line their pocket with every last dime.

"Of the 10 bottom salaried teams ($50 mill payrolls or less) only Florida has a PO chance (last year's Florida team had a higher payroll than this year's version - a payroll of over $60 mill - so they weren't exactly a bottom rung team). The rest of the bottom 10: Milwaukee, TB, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Florida, Cincy, Montreal, Detroit, KC and Toronto."

Florida recieved quite a bit of money. Their owner, Lauria, has long been intersted in his own pocket. There was no need for them to let I-Rod go or Derrick Lee go. The recieved enough money to cover those players. And Milwaukee is a joke. There was a report of how much money they recieved inthe first year of the luxury tax, and when combined with other revenue, NONE of the extra money went into the team. Cleveland CHOSE to slash their payroll when they got rid of all of their old players. Their payroll will rise quite substantiall over the next several years. Detroit took the money and reinvested it in their own team and the results from a fan standpoint have been obvious and their attendance is up 50%. Now this year, they will take more money and if they reinvest it, they will actually have a pretty good team within a few years. Montreal has been a sports joke for several years. They are not allowed to raise payroll.

ATLANTARANGER* 09-15-2004 01:48 PM

If there is a prolonged lockout
 
& Bettman thinks that he can institute some new financial work rules I think he is setting the owners up for one whopping law suit and not just from the players association. It is a known fact that the owners, under Bettman's insistance and direction established their strike fund long ago. What was the purpose of this fund if you were bargaining in good faith? Secondly by establishing this fund there can be no other intent gathered from it than the Owners attempt to bust the NHLPA. All one has to do is look at their proposals. All they did over the last couple of years was changing some wording, but the fact remained that the intent of the proposals remained the same.

In any negotiation there is always a give and a take. Even when little head way is being made on the central issues usually both sides start to address some of the smaller, less significant points. For no other reasons than to move the dialogue forward, try to get something positive going and hopefully you can build momentum and start dealing with the main issues. None of this has occurred. Why? The answer is obvious. Bettman makes Ziegler & Campbell look like champs instead of the chumps they were as Commissioners.

True Blue 09-15-2004 03:19 PM

[QUOTE=ATLANTARANGER It is a known fact that the owners, under Bettman's insistance and direction established their strike fund long ago. What was the purpose of this fund if you were bargaining in good faith?[/QUOTE]
A very, very good question. The $300m warchest was begun 2 years ago. Can that be used as evidence that Bettman is not bargaining in good faith?

Larry David* 09-15-2004 04:45 PM

[QUOTE=True Blue]
Quote:

Originally Posted by ATLANTARANGER It is a known fact that the owners, under Bettman's insistance and direction established their strike fund long ago. What was the purpose of this fund if you were bargaining in good faith?[/QUOTE
A very, very good question. The $300m warchest was begun 2 years ago. Can that be used as evidence that Bettman is not bargaining in good faith?

The players have made out the past ten years. The owners aren't the guys that have had two proposals in the past two years. The league needs a salary cap and the lockout sucks but its worth it.

Fletch 09-15-2004 05:06 PM

The players came out with two proposals...
 
and the owners have basically said one - albeit different variations of a Cap.

NYFAN 09-15-2004 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chief
I guess "working" depends on what your goals are. If the goal is to get low salary teams some more cash to pocket, then it's working great. If you're goal is to get competitive balance, then it ain't working.

Of the top 12 salaried teams in baseball, all but 3 are in the PO picture, the remaining 9 (in order of salary) Yankees, Boston, Anaheim, Cubs, LA, Atlanta, SF, St. Louis and Houston. Of the 10 bottom salaried teams ($50 mill payrolls or less) only Florida has a PO chance (last year's Florida team had a higher payroll than this year's version - a payroll of over $60 mill - so they weren't exactly a bottom rung team). The rest of the bottom 10: Milwaukee, TB, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Florida, Cincy, Montreal, Detroit, KC and Toronto.

Alot of that is because they are pocketing the money instead of improving their clubs. It was never supposed to be pocketed by owners but that is happening in several cases.

RangerBlues 09-15-2004 06:52 PM

If the owners have the money, they could pay off all existing pro contracts fufilling their monatary obligations. Set up whatever rules they want and start all over. they would have no obligation to the union.

Larry David* 09-15-2004 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletch
and the owners have basically said one - albeit different variations of a Cap.

The fact remains that the teams are losing money and i applaud the commish for taking a stand.

Fletch 09-15-2004 07:25 PM

So I guess you applaud the commish...
 
for the last CBA. I guess you applaud him for all the good he's done for hockey - expansion's been great. Refereeing gets better everyday. More and more people watch hockey all the time.

And thank God for Bettman. Those poor shareholders of Cablevision, suffering from all those losses ($40 million last season, apparently). Now Bettman can come in and save the Rangers from all these losses that the evil players forced them to take.

And I feel so bad for McCaw too. Getting $180 million for the Canucks and the arena. Poor poor McCaw.

RangerBlues 09-15-2004 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry David
The fact remains that the teams are losing money and i applaud the commish for taking a stand.

I think the bigger problem is that the sport has been marketed so poorly. Far too many rule changes and gimmicks to change the game instead of promoting what the game is all about.
Bettman is nothing but a yes man for a bunch of fossiles as owners.

vbox81 09-15-2004 07:58 PM

They can declare a labor impasse almost immediately if they wanted to (just has to do with distance apart, not length of negotiations). And yes, since they collectively bargain they can create their own new rules (just ask the NFL and the RB from Ohio State and the USC WR). As this, they know, goes way to far in alienating the foreign players, this will not happen, IMO.

JCProdigy 09-16-2004 12:39 AM

Scab players hmmm...will we see He-Hate-Me in goal for the Rangers next season?

AJ1982 09-16-2004 12:49 AM

Well, god damn the NHL, the NHLPA and the lockout. Not like we didn't see it coming though.

bobbop 09-16-2004 01:01 AM

The point I was trying (ineloquently) to make was that baseball tried to declare a labor impasse in 1995 and instuitute their own rules. It failed miserably and was quickly thrown out in court. You may also remember that baseball tried to put together scab teams but the effort essentially fell apart because they couldn't find enough players. Some owners -- specifically Peter Angelos -- did not even participate. The Clarett/Mike Williams case and decision was/is much different because it is based on a a specific clause in a negotiated labor agreement. My point about Canada (and maybe some of our brethern north of the border can help me out) is that I've been told that the Canadian system has low regard for employers who lock out employees and try create their own work rules. I think the part that will push many owners to ultimately negotiate is that they own control their arenas, they have significant expenses that they cannot stop and dark arena days will mount up quickly. At some point, the value of NHL franchises will decline below established debt ratios and banks will be calling loans.

SingnBluesOnBroadway 09-16-2004 06:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JCProdigy
Scab players hmmm...will we see He-Hate-Me in goal for the Rangers next season?

Couldn't be worse than I-Hate-Him who is already the Ranger goalie.

True Blue 09-16-2004 08:38 AM

After seeing seeing some of the press conference
 
More than ever I am convinced that Bettman is disengenous. He has NEVER been intereted in anything but a lockout. The only option he has is to cancel the season because he feels that this will force the NHLPA to do what he wants, namely a cap. In order for him to come to an agreement over the summer, well that would require one thing that he is not willing to do......compromise.
Y'know, a little while back, myself and Klingsor were having a discussion on wether or not fans like myself would come back. At first, I put on airs and said no way. Then, after debating with Klingsor, I said that, yeah, I would be back. Now, hearing people throw around words like 12-18 month long lockout, I am mad. If the NHL thinks that they can cancel 2 entire seasons and still expect fans to come back, that is certainly their right. But an 18 month lockout will probably mean that someone like myself will not be back. IF they can go 2 entire seasons without hockey, then they can make every effort to create new hard-core fans. They certainly will not need my fandom.

hb6947 09-16-2004 09:25 AM

[QUOTE=True Blue]Lately I've been reading/hearing the same thing from several different reports. Could it be that the real reason that Bettman seems so cavalier in his attitude towards canceling a season is because he has another real reason to do so? Could Bettman's REAL plan be to cancel the season, so that at the outset of next year he could declare a labor impasse? What that would do is send the players on a strike and the owners, in turn, would be able to set up whatever rules they want. So, at that point, the owners would take in all the minor leaguers, draft choices, and whatever players want to cross the line.




I wouldn't dought it, The Canadian mafia has done nothing but complicate the selling of this league.

With that said if your going to do anything they need to open the ice surface to international size, shorten the season to 62 to 70 games, and move the trade deadline to february 15. IMO these measures will help the league better market the game without changing the face of the game.

Without a salary cap you could not accomplish any of this except moving the trade dead line. The owners would never increase the size of the rink because they would loss too much of the 25% revenue they do get by doing so. Nor would they ever cut the amount of games, again because the current system depends on the expanded schedule to make what ever little money they make.

Now if what their trying to do is in fact get total control over decision making, these are the decisions the league and the owners should be held responsible to make. Business as usual SHOULD not be tolerated. Not 4 on 4, not elimnate the red line or prohibiting goalies from playing the puck (altough no touch icing and carry over offsides might help). This is all about US TV revenue and marketing or actually the lack there of, and everyone needs to keep this in mind.

pld459666 09-16-2004 12:10 PM

Actually the goal is to curb big spenders from spending big
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chief
I guess "working" depends on what your goals are. If the goal is to get low salary teams some more cash to pocket, then it's working great. If you're goal is to get competitive balance, then it ain't working.

Of the top 12 salaried teams in baseball, all but 3 are in the PO picture, the remaining 9 (in order of salary) Yankees, Boston, Anaheim, Cubs, LA, Atlanta, SF, St. Louis and Houston. Of the 10 bottom salaried teams ($50 mill payrolls or less) only Florida has a PO chance (last year's Florida team had a higher payroll than this year's version - a payroll of over $60 mill - so they weren't exactly a bottom rung team). The rest of the bottom 10: Milwaukee, TB, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Florida, Cincy, Montreal, Detroit, KC and Toronto.

and if you look at the amount of teams that were over the cap after last season to that of this season you will see that it is working.

Additionally if you look at the amount of teams that were in the hunt for a PO spot after the All Star break (I counted 21 teams back then) and how many teams are now in the hunt for a PO spot today there's a total of 15 teams that either are in the PO's or are within 7.5 games of a playoff spot.

I'd say that the intent of becoming a league that allows teams to be more competitive is working.

If the intent of the luxury tax was to get revenue to lower income teams then they would have set the threshold at a number closer to 90 million as opposed to the 127 million it sits at right now.


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