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-   -   Bettman on WFAN yesterday (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=105481)

Slewfoot 09-24-2004 11:49 AM

Bettman on WFAN yesterday
 
Russo interviewed Bettman on the FAN last night. Bettman spoke out of both sides of his mouth by disputing the problem the NHL currently has is at least in part due to bad management by saying that revenues have tripled over the past 10 years. He then goes on to say that the salaries have quadrupled over the same timeframe but refuses to place any blame on the management.... He also indicated that the league is looking to lower the percentage of the revenue that is paid in salaries(supposedly 75%) to around 53%. The overall impression I got is that we are in for a long wait for a season....

True Blue 09-24-2004 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slewfoot
The overall impression I got is that we are in for a long wait for a season....

In the past 10 days or so, I have truly come to believe that it WILL last the 12-18 months. In 12 months, Bettman will declare an impasse and try to impose his own rules. At that point, he will face lawsuits from 2 countries and labor lawyers will become involved. That will take another 6 months. At the 18 month mark, it will be settled. But, with no NHL for 2 years, NHL hockey is dead in the U.S.A. And, to tell the truth, after 2 whole years of no hockey, someone like myself could probably care less at that point wether or not they have settled any issues and who won. They want to withhold hockey for 2 years and think that all is rosy? Good luck making new fans.
As an aside, Bettman is choosing to gloss over the fact that 75% of the purported $224m loss last year is caused by 6 teams. Of the 6, 3 are NY, Chicago, and St. Louis. Hardly teams that are crying poverty and not making payrolls. Is it really necessary to try to force a $31m cap becuase of 6 teams?
And speaking of necessary, every team contributed $10m to the league's warchest, right? So of that $300m, how much of that will go to the Rangers, Chicago, or St. Louis? I'm betting nothing. That $300m will be used to keep the Carolinas and Pittsburghs of the world propped up.

Slewfoot 09-24-2004 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by True Blue
In the past 10 days or so, I have truly come to believe that it WILL last the 12-18 months. In 12 months, Bettman will declare an impasse and try to impose his own rules. At that point, he will face lawsuits from 2 countries and labor lawyers will become involved. That will take another 6 months. At the 18 month mark, it will be settled. But, with no NHL for 2 years, NHL hockey is dead in the U.S.A. And, to tell the truth, after 2 whole years of no hockey, someone like myself could probably care less at that point wether or not they have settled any issues and who won. They want to withhold hockey for 2 years and think that all is rosy? Good luck making new fans.
As an aside, Bettman is choosing to gloss over the fact that 75% of the purported $224m loss last year is caused by 6 teams. Of the 6, 3 are NY, Chicago, and St. Louis. Hardly teams that are crying poverty and not making payrolls. Is it really necessary to try to force a $31m cap becuase of 6 teams?
And speaking of necessary, every team contributed $10m to the league's warchest, right? So of that $300m, how much of that will go to the Rangers, Chicago, or St. Louis? I'm betting nothing. That $300m will be used to keep the Carolinas and Pittsburghs of the world propped up.

I was wondering of the supposed 20 teams that lost money the last couple of years , how many of those had payrolls under $31m ?

LondonFan 09-24-2004 12:50 PM

2 years of no NHL? Surely the WHL or some other league would take over in that time. The NHL would be done for. And maybe that won't be a bad thing.

Fletch 09-24-2004 01:36 PM

Some other league?
 
Sweden, Czech, Russia...could go the way of the NASL...

PhillyNucksFan 09-24-2004 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by True Blue
As an aside, Bettman is choosing to gloss over the fact that 75% of the purported $224m loss last year is caused by 6 teams. Of the 6, 3 are NY, Chicago, and St. Louis. Hardly teams that are crying poverty and not making payrolls. Is it really necessary to try to force a $31m cap becuase of 6 teams?
And speaking of necessary, every team contributed $10m to the league's warchest, right? So of that $300m, how much of that will go to the Rangers, Chicago, or St. Louis? I'm betting nothing. That $300m will be used to keep the Carolinas and Pittsburghs of the world propped up.


Good point. thats 20% of the teams contributing 75% of the total loss. Though I believe in a soft cap, but 31M is too low to begin with.

007 09-24-2004 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonFan
2 years of no NHL? Surely the WHL or some other league would take over in that time. The NHL would be done for. And maybe that won't be a bad thing.

I've been thinking about that. If the NHL were to fold, most teams would disappear, but I wager that some of the bigger, more established teams, such as Montreal, Toronto, Colorado, Detroit, the Stars, the Rangers, etc., would organise a new league amongst themselves. A smaller league would potentially lead to better hockey once established, but hockey would probably permanently lose it's position in the "big 4" of US team sports.

True Blue 09-24-2004 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 007
but hockey would probably permanently lose it's position in the "big 4" of US team sports.

One could argue that a) it has done so already and 2) if it has not done so yet, it will not take a 2 year lockout to get it accomplished. I'd say that even if they cancel one season, it will accomplish the same thing. Heck, they loose out even if they start in January.

True Blue 09-24-2004 02:52 PM

Just something that shows the owners hipocracy
 
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?id=1887263

Here's the best part:

"On the other side of the irony fence, Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos told Detroit-area reporters at a junior hockey kickoff that the players better suck it up and take what the owners are offering.

"We're going to tie players' salaries to the revenues of the league. And they can sit and be petulant and pout about it all they want," Karmanos said.

Nicely said.

But wasn't it Karmanos who, in 1998, signed Detroit Red Wings restricted free agent Sergei Fedorov to an obscene offer sheet that forced Karmanos' arch-rival owner Mike Ilitch to pay the holdout $28 million for three months' worth of work?

The one and only.

The offer sheet, matched by the Red Wings en route to a second consecutive Stanley Cup, made Fedorov the highest-paid player in the league -- albeit briefly -- and played a significant role in pushing the NHL off the economic cliff."



If that is not an example of hipocracy, what is? Yes, it is both the fault of the players and the owners. However, it just churns my stomach to see the owners try to scapegoat the players as the reasons that there is no hockey right now.

sickboy35 09-24-2004 07:25 PM

well they can say all the want to the players but the players have options that the owners don't. they can go play in other countries. sure the money won't be the same but some players have enough money to live a very comfortable life. while this all happens the nhl will fade away and die and the owners will only have themselves to blame. i'm not picking sides but soon the nhl will matter less than it does now in the u.s. so keep going the route your going mr.bettman. your legacy will be the man who killed the nhl. and all theese owners will be left with their d!cks in their hands and absolutly nothing to show for pulling one of the stupidest moves in sports history!

sathershouldgo 09-24-2004 07:54 PM

"If that is not an example of hipocracy, what is? Yes, it is both the fault of the players and the owners. However, it just churns my stomach to see the owners try to scapegoat the players as the reasons that there is no hockey right now."

Please wake up. Anybody can clearly see that the salaries will NOT work as is in the NHL. The owners only started blaming the players when those clowns started taking a baseball mentality. I don't believe 80% of the players care about a cap. It's a few dopes speaking for a lot of players. A la baseball

Infensus 09-24-2004 08:50 PM

The NHL will not shut down for 2 years; they would bring in replacement players first. To be quite honest, even if they did bring in replacement players, I would start watching. I follow the team, not the players.

After a while of some replacement hockey and players seeing their jobs lost to some clowns, they will start knocking on Goodenow's door to find out when the impasse will end.

The owners have arena's they can schedule events in and make some cash. If they are truly making more money by not playing hockey, then they can go on indefinitely with the dispute. If the players find they are making equal money in other leagues then they can stay there for all I care.

I just want to see hockey again regardless of the players. If we are willing to watch AHL games, then replacement players can't be much worse. The games may actually be more exciting if the replacement guys are trying to prove they are NHL caliber.

Laches 09-25-2004 08:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sathershouldgo
Please wake up. Anybody can clearly see that the salaries will NOT work as is in the NHL. The owners only started blaming the players when those clowns started taking a baseball mentality. I don't believe 80% of the players care about a cap. It's a few dopes speaking for a lot of players. A la baseball


---Yeah I've been wondering out unified the union really is. They say they are, but's a lot easier to get 30 team owners on the same page than a few hundred players. And yeah, it's probably the high-end players who are most against a cap, they're the ones woh stand to lose the most from it.

I see the players point, in theory about free markets, etc. However, they seem to be totally out of touch with reality. Yeah, the owners' account of the financial state of the game is self-serving and one sided I'm sure, but even if half of what they say is true there are huge problems with salaries. The players need to come to terms with the fact that 1) we are where we are, how we got here are whose fault it is ultimately doesn't mean squat, both sides have to come together and be willing to make sacrifices to fix it and 2) the revenues the league generates don't justify the salaries they demand. I bristle when I see Goodenow saying things like "the players aren't greedy, they deserve to be highly paid" and "there's no link between salaries and ticket prices." The players often like to analogize themselves to workers in the real world to illustrate their position. In the real world, employees aren't rewarded with huge pay increases when their employer is losing large sums of money. I'd have a lot more sympathy for the players if they have the attitude that they should earn more because people pay to see them, but then resist the notion that their salaries should be tied to revenues.

Laches 09-25-2004 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by True Blue
As an aside, Bettman is choosing to gloss over the fact that 75% of the purported $224m loss last year is caused by 6 teams. Of the 6, 3 are NY, Chicago, and St. Louis. Hardly teams that are crying poverty and not making payrolls.

---Where is that stat coming from, just out of curiousity. That would mean that 6 teams lost an average of $28 million, while the other 24 average a $2.3 million loss. It seems to me that there has to me more to that stat than you would get at first glance.

Fletch 09-25-2004 10:13 AM

laches...
 
in '02-03 four teams combined for $142 million in losses. I read somewhere (I think it was Forbes) that St. Louis lost an estimated $25 million ('02-'03). I've also read that the Rangers lost $40 million ('03-04). I've also seen that Chicago is one of the top money-losers. Add it up and likely you have a situation where the wealthiest owners (and perhaps higher-revenue clubs, sans Chicago), are losing the most.And of course, this is what Cablevisoin has said publicly 'The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association expires on September 14, 2004. Unless a successor CBA is reached by the expiration date, or the parties agree to extend the term of the CBA, it is possible that the 2004/05 season may not begin as scheduled and this in turn may result in a shortened or canceled season which could negatively impact operating results.' Source: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/da...-9178_110q.htm page I-23

Again, how can results be negatively impacted if you've lost $40 million? Because of cross-selling and accounting tricks that you cannot see. So personally, I cannot trust one number in the Levitt report on what teams lost and how sorry a position financially these clubs are in. It's not good, I am sure, but it's likely not as bad a picture that's being painted.

True Blue 09-25-2004 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Laches
---Yeah I've been wondering out unified the union really is.

If all this talk of doubting unification is coming from the fact that John Madden talked to a newspaper and said that he would be willing to play under a salary cap, that is fine. However, what is not being mentioned is the fact that in the same interview, he also said that the idea of a $31m cap is ridiculous.

True Blue 09-25-2004 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sathershouldgo
Please wake up. Anybody can clearly see that the salaries will NOT work as is in the NHL. The owners only started blaming the players when those clowns started taking a baseball mentality. I don't believe 80% of the players care about a cap. It's a few dopes speaking for a lot of players. A la baseball

Please wake up. Who said ANYTHING about salaries being able to work as is? Hower, name me one union that has EVER agreed to a 35%-40% paycut. I'm betting that there is not many to be named. And the owners have been blaming the players for a very long time now, even though they screamed that the last CBA was a victory for the league.
The so-called "baseball mentality" stems from the fact that the players wanted a proposal to be somewhat like the baseball luxury tax system. They cited that system as an example of what "works". And they are not far off the mark.
I think that it is more than just a few that care or do not care about a hard cap. THey may compromise on a lot of things, but they mostly agree that they do NOT want a hard cap.

Laches 09-25-2004 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by True Blue
If all this talk of doubting unification is coming from the fact that John Madden talked to a newspaper and said that he would be willing to play under a salary cap, that is fine. However, what is not being mentioned is the fact that in the same interview, he also said that the idea of a $31m cap is ridiculous.

---Not coming from that at all, more simply from the fact that it's a lot easier to get ownership from 30 teams on the same page than it is to get several hundred players. During the last lockout, one of the players said off the record to a reporter "Don't tell anyone this, but we'd play this game for free." These guys are hockey players, it's what they do. I question how long they'll be satisfied playing in charity tournaments and European leagues. Eventually, don't you think at least some of them will start to think that playing in the NHL with a salary cap is better than not playing in the NHL at all?

free0717 09-25-2004 03:47 PM

What I got from this interview
 
What I got from this interview is that the Owners are serious and they will not do a CBA deal unless it resembles the one they want. They want cost guarantees and like it or not, we wont see hockey until the owners get it. They will not bow to the pressure of the Media or Fans. I think the players should get back to the table and make the best deal they can, because they wont get a better deal in 3 Mos, 6 Mos,
1 year or 18 Mos. Im not saying which side is right, I believe the owners are serious and not going to move until they get the CBA deal they want.

Edge 09-25-2004 03:55 PM

I think some of us are focusing too much on "who" lost money and not on the teams that broke even but are stuck in a constant of rebuilding and mediocrity which is actually just as bad of a problem for the league in the long run.

patnyrnyg 09-25-2004 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infensus
The owners have arena's they can schedule events in and make some cash. If they are truly making more money by not playing hockey, then they can go on indefinitely with the dispute. If the players find they are making equal money in other leagues then they can stay there for all I care.

It's not that they will make more, they will just lose less. Karmanos and Leonisis have said as much. Not every team owns their building, and even the teams who do will have a hard time getting events. How many concerts can you possibly add? Maybe an extra 3-4 days of the circus. I'm sure a place like Nassau Colisseum will be able to rent it for local HS games, but at a fraction of what the Isles pay.

BoltsnRags 09-27-2004 05:26 PM

How about a whole industry taking large paycuts
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by True Blue
Please wake up. Who said ANYTHING about salaries being able to work as is? Hower, name me one union that has EVER agreed to a 35%-40% paycut. I'm betting that there is not many to be named. And the owners have been blaming the players for a very long time now, even though they screamed that the last CBA was a victory for the league.
The so-called "baseball mentality" stems from the fact that the players wanted a proposal to be somewhat like the baseball luxury tax system. They cited that system as an example of what "works". And they are not far off the mark.
I think that it is more than just a few that care or do not care about a hard cap. THey may compromise on a lot of things, but they mostly agree that they do NOT want a hard cap.

I see a lot of people making similar statements about paycuts, unions and salary caps. From what I have seen, most of the time union delegates represent the top 25-35% percent of the members and sacrifice the benefits of those yet to come (see the prior round of ConEd negotiations in NY as an example). The airline industry is a relevant example where employees can give back large portions of pay, lucrative planning schedules and pension benefits in order to keep jobs that will still pay better and offer much better benefits than 85% of jobs. Right or wrong, pilots are realizing that they have to give back inorder to keep their job because the industry can not sustain the benefits and pay as they existed.

I have to side with hockey's ownership on this issue because they take all the risks. Hockey players are replaceable and IMO the sport has been pretty crappy over the last couple of years anyway. Not to long ago, football owners used replacement players to change the unions mind about a cap and it is not out of the question for hockey owners. The hell with mentioning baseball in these conversations because baseball's luxury tax is a bunch of crap and baseball has declined from the #1 sport in the USA to the 3rd spot in terms of revenues and youth. If football players are willing to accept a salary cap and no gauranteed contracts why can hockey players refuse. THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE, too many hockey players get contracts far greater then their performance warrants by stupid owners and then owners are stuck paying off the balance while the player sits back and laughs all the way to the bank. The fans of this board know this scenario all too well, here is one example of many, imagine if the Rags could just cut Dunham without paying him anymore of his salary. How much longer do you think Dunham would be on this team? You do not produce in football you get cut and only keep your signing bonus but the team has the salary cap penalty to manage for its stupidity. The more I think about the hockey CBA the more I realize that this lockout is necessary. The solution is simple, just change the football CBA to read hockey, adjust the cap downward in relationship to revenue and sign on the bottom line. Players and owners would then be encouraged to make the league more profitable.

Fletch 09-27-2004 05:37 PM

Hockey's different that football...
 
even with scabs, there was a feeling that the sport would survive as it thrives on all levels, college, high school, Pop Warner, etc., and throughout the country. Hockey's a lot different. Throwing scabs out there may only increase the players' position as few casual fans come to see no names and the networks and advertisers don't support the league. The players would sit and laugh and the even emptier arenas than are played in currently and the lack of interest on television and other media. Further, the longer it goes, the greater the possibility that the sport, as we know it, no longer exists. There's always the possibility of the league just folding. It's happened in sports before, and hockey's not immuned.

The deal for football owners is great. You'd have to be an idiot to not make money owning a team with the cap that's put in place, along with the revenue-sharing and lucrative TV contract. Hockey's different. The current structure doesn't work and salaries are out of control. There are other solutions to keeping down the payrolls while narrowing the gap between the New Yorks and the Nashvilles. There is room for free market to work, but the league appears against letting that happen.

Not sure how this happens, though: 'Players and owners would then be encouraged to make the league more profitable.' They haven't done that good a job marketing the sport the last several years, why would they do it now? What I see happening with a cap is the excess going to the owners' bottom lines. Ticket prices don't come in. Cable costs don't come down. It goes bottom line.

True Blue 09-28-2004 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BoltsnRags
Not to long ago, football owners used replacement players to change the unions mind about a cap and it is not out of the question for hockey owners. The hell with mentioning baseball in these conversations because baseball's luxury tax is a bunch of crap and baseball has declined from the #1 sport in the USA to the 3rd spot in terms of revenues and youth.

Not true at all. As Fletch points out, you cannot compare hockey to football. Scabs or no scabs, people WERE turning out to watch football. THAT, more than anything else, was the straw breaking the camels back as far as the breaking of the NFL players union. Hockey is different. It is not debateable that the sport will hurt itself tremedously with the lockout. Make no mistake, even if they come back in January, NHL games will be played in front of half-empty arenas. But now if they cancel an entire season or 2 AND bring in no-name scabs......well, suffice it to say that they will not be playing in front of half-empty arenas. Instead, they will be playing of entirely empty arenas. The NHLPA knows this. Bring in scab players and every team will loose tons of money, even if you have a $15m hard cap.
One can also not compare football to hockey becuase, unlike the NFL, the NHL has no huge central revenue source. All of America tunes in on Sunday to watch football. That makes redistribution of money very easy in the NFL. The NHL has no such thing. Essentially, there would be teams who would be piggy-backing other teams and carrying them out of the red.
Your baseball comments are also WAY off. Whatever feelings you may have, to say that the luxury tax system is not working, is way off. To say that it is not working simply becuase George Steinbrenner ignores it, is not correct. Smart teams do not say a word, take George's $80m of luxury tax, and reinvest it into their teams. But you still have owners that take his money and only line their pockets with it. There are more teams that are in the playoff hunt in baseball than ever before. They are drawing record crowds that, by now, are dwarfing attendance records of pre-1994. There are suprising teams that crop up every year that compete for the playoffs. If not for football (and NASCAR), baseball would be America's most thriving big sport.


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