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-   -   Mark Spector: Reflecting on bad decisions (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1284599)

Fugu 11-17-2012 05:35 PM

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl-l...bad_decisions/

Spector on CBA: Reflecting on bad decisions

Little good.

The Bad:
Quote:

Yes, the NHL has grown economically to a $3.3 billion business under Bettman. But in doing so, its labour situation has been botched to the point that today’s poisonous relationship between player and owner is irreparable.
...

Today, players are paying the costs for 25 years of doing what was good for themselves, yet not good for the game as a whole. They drove the NHL’s economy into the ground. Like driving your car too hard, eventually it stops, and there’s a big bill involved in getting it started
The Ugly:

Quote:

And isn’t that rich?

The collective financial losses of sunbelt teams over the years will one day surpass their sum total in expansion fees gobbled up by Original 21 owners. Perhaps they have already.

Today, a lockout based on forging an economy in which the Columbus Blue Jackets can make a profit is killing the game.

It wouldn't be too hard to add up the revenue transfer money and juxtapose against the expansion fee. I think there is some need for a national footprint, but the NHL's support and implementation is probably where the problem lies.

Fourier 11-17-2012 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fugu (Post 55840085)
http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl-l...bad_decisions/

Spector on CBA: Reflecting on bad decisions

I think Mark Spector has done an excellent jon throughout this lockout. He has managed not to take a side, but rather has seen the lack of virtue in both side's positions.

Fugu 11-17-2012 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourier (Post 55841261)
I think Mark Spector has done an excellent jon throughout this lockout. He has managed not to take a side, but rather has seen the lack of virtue in both side's positions.


Yes, I agree. I know I often say that no one held a gun to the owners' heads, but the players have done far better than the economic reality of the league supports. The owners created that league and situation. This is very difficult to unravel simply through collective bargaining.

KingsFan7824 11-17-2012 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fugu (Post 55841259)
http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl-l...bad_decisions/

Spector on CBA: Reflecting on bad decisions

Little good.

The Bad:


The Ugly:

The league has been trying to get a better TV deal since the 60's. Some of Gary's teams, or "his" teams, aren't even "his", but were agreed to before he took the job, and some had owners that just wanted to move. Some of the owners didn't want the WHA teams back in the day, 3 of them relocating in the mid 90's, and the last one was in danger of moving probably a few times. Some owners weren't crazy about the 7th-12th teams that were added in 67.

So really, the league today is dealing with the mistakes of the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's. The only real long term success, looking back with 20/20 glasses, was adding the Flyers.

Tekneek 11-19-2012 08:36 AM

It is very difficult for me to blame the players or agents for signing contracts that were offered to them. The players/agents don't make the teams offer those deals. They will take whatever deal they consider the best for them. The teams should offer whatever deals are the best for them. If the teams cannot afford the contracts, why are they offering them?

Sanderson 11-19-2012 08:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tekneek (Post 55875533)
It is very difficult for me to blame the players or agents for signing contracts that were offered to them. The players/agents don't make the teams offer those deals. They will take whatever deal they consider the best for them. The teams should offer whatever deals are the best for them. If the teams cannot afford the contracts, why are they offering them?

Maybe because they would be even worse off if they didn't?

Yes, players and agents make teams offer those contracts. Obviously the owners hold a big share on that as well, but it's not like agents just sit there and see shiny offers roling in.

Saying that teams should just stop offering deals they can't afford is ignorant of the situation as a whole. The teams are still connected by the same rules. Players look at what similar players make and expect to get the same, which drives up prices for everyone even though only the rich are really spending. That is curbed a bit in the cap-era, but it still applies. The big teams set the market value for everyone and that's where the system falls apart.

Teams can't just let those players go, either. If they lose their best players again and again, they will never have a competitive team for any prolonged time. If they don't have a competitive team, revenues will drop, which means even less money is available. Sometimes taking the risk of keeping a player you can't really afford leads to success, more money and the ability to keep the player without a problem. If you just let everyone go instead, you will never get anywhere.

Gotta Catch Em Staal 11-19-2012 09:06 AM

Quote:

Worse yet, the only way to make most of those markets tenable is to revenue share.
The only way to make a great many markets "tenable" is to revenue share. Why is revenue sharing constantly put out there as such an evil thing when all of the other more successful major leagues do it at much greater rates?

MoreOrr 11-19-2012 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanderson (Post 55875689)
Maybe because they would be even worse off if they didn't?

Yes, players and agents make teams offer those contracts. Obviously the owners hold a big share on that as well, but it's not like agents just sit there and see shiny offers roling in.

No one's been holding a gun to those billionaire owners' heads forcing them to make such contracts. Of course the players and their agents are going to be asking for as much as they can possibly get, but the final decision comes down to the guys signing the cheques. The only thing that's holds most of owners hostage is their own egos to out-compete each other at all costs; so much so that they have to create rules to restrict themselves to protect themselves from themselves; and still they look for loopholes to bypass their own rules in order to offer even more lucrative contracts to the players.

It's pathetic, IMO, that owners, powerful people in their own right, have to blame what are essentially their employees for supposedly forcing them to pay them too much. And then because the owners can't control themselves (oh collusion, blah, blah, blah; if something is bad for the League then it's bad for the League!), they want to alter the contents of established contracts in order to prevent further losses. The whole mess makes the idea of a "contract" laughable. Hey, I don't have much sympathy for the players, a great many earn a great deal; but I have even less sympathy for the owners.

The fact that apparently the owners have agreed to honor contracts at least for 2 more years (if I'm understanding correctly) is a good move by them; though I think they could/should make it 3 years. Now it's the players turn to accept NHL economic realities, and come down to meet the owners half way.

I am the Liquor 11-19-2012 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HaroldVonKimblestein (Post 55875797)
The only way to make a great many markets "tenable" is to revenue share. Why is revenue sharing constantly put out there as such an evil thing when all of the other more successful major leagues do it at much greater rates?

The NHL isnt comparable to the other leagues, who could probably still turn a profit without any fans in the seats. They have huge tv deals that the nhl simply does not have.

Gotta Catch Em Staal 11-19-2012 09:42 AM

Even if you normalize for that, I suspect you will still find the NHL is way behind the curve.

So you want to throw the TV revenue out of the equation? Okay:

http://harvardsportsanalysis.files.w...al-lockout.pdf

Quote:

This breakdown exists because the NFL has a 60-40 policy whereby the home team keeps 60
percent of gate receipts and gives 40 percent of receipts to a pool, which is then
distributed evenly among the 32 teams. The NFL has the most comprehensive system of
shared gate receipts. The NBA and NHL do not share ticket sales, and MLB home teams
keep 85 percent of ticket revenue.7
That was prior to the most recent NFL and NBA CBAs. In the new NBA CBA (http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q24), teams contribute around 50% of their revenues to the revenue sharing pool. This was specifically designed due to concerns about ticket revenue disparities (http://offsidesportsblog.blogspot.co...e-another.html).

I am the Liquor 11-19-2012 10:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HaroldVonKimblestein (Post 55876249)
Even if you normalize for that, I suspect you will still find the NHL is way behind the curve.

So you want to throw the TV revenue out of the equation? Okay:

http://harvardsportsanalysis.files.w...al-lockout.pdf



That was prior to the most recent NFL and NBA CBAs. In the new NBA CBA (http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q24), teams contribute around 50% of their revenues to the revenue sharing pool. This was specifically designed due to concerns about ticket revenue disparities (http://offsidesportsblog.blogspot.co...e-another.html).

The NFL tv contract is ten times that of the NHL. You cant simply throw that out of the equation.

Gotta Catch Em Staal 11-19-2012 10:05 AM

What? You were the one saying to throw that out of the equation because it was not comparable. I don't understand your argument here. The fact is that despite a massive television contract, the NFL still has a very large ticket revenue sharing component. I would think a league with a smaller television contract would have MORE ticket sharing revenue. Some minor leagues I believe are near 100% revenue sharing.

Tekneek 11-19-2012 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanderson (Post 55875689)
Saying that teams should just stop offering deals they can't afford is ignorant of the situation as a whole.

They want to sign players to contracts the teams cannot afford, with the hope that they can use collective bargaining to reduce the cost of the contract. That was why the Wild signed those guys to massive contracts (which I wish would be voided at this point, since it is all too obvious what they were up to). This is a case of management using collective bargaining to deal with their own inability to properly manage their business. Boo to them.

Sanderson 11-19-2012 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoreOrr (Post 55876063)
No one's been holding a gun to those billionaire owners' heads forcing them to make such contracts. Of course the players and their agents are going to be asking for as much as they can possibly get, but the final decision comes down to the guys signing the cheques. The only thing that's holds most of owners hostage is their own egos to out-compete each other at all costs; so much so that they have to create rules to restrict themselves to protect themselves from themselves; and still they look for loopholes to bypass their own rules in order to offer even more lucrative contracts to the players.

It's pathetic, IMO, that owners, powerful people in their own right, have to blame what are essentially their employees for supposedly forcing them to pay them too much. And then because the owners can't control themselves (oh collusion, blah, blah, blah; if something is bad for the League then it's bad for the League!), they want to alter the contents of established contracts in order to prevent further losses. The whole mess makes the idea of a "contract" laughable. Hey, I don't have much sympathy for the players, a great many earn a great deal; but I have even less sympathy for the owners.

The fact that apparently the owners have agreed to honor contracts at least for 2 more years (if I'm understanding correctly) is a good move by them; though I think they could/should make it 3 years. Now it's the players turn to accept NHL economic realities, and come down to meet the owners half way.

Yes, the owners are "forced" to sign such deals, and yes, it has to do with collusion, not to mention the 57% of hrr that goes to the players. Saying that they could just stop it is bs. All teams are bound by the same rules, players compare themselves to similar players, did you even read what I wrote?

You are completely ignoring the fact that people who work together to get a new CBA don't automatically have to share the same view about every matter. Of course teams will compete with each other, that's the whole point of the league. The teams work together on a matter they have to work together, and once that is done, each and every team is back to being on its own again. Your whole point makes no sense. Do the players who negotiate as one group all behave the same when hockey starts, no, they don't. They sign for different salaries, leave teams for more money and try to beat players who are on different teams. By your logic that shouldn't be the case.

The owners have exactly one way to fix any problem that comes up, through negotiating a better CBA. Beyond that, they are bound by the rules and what's going on around them. Teams don't exist in a vacuum, if rich teams pay more money to certain players, it influences every single team. They can't just let those players go without being hurt. As I said, and that's a fairly obvious point, a team that loses good players gets weaker. If they continue to lose their good players all the time, they have less success and thus far less revenue. If they have less revenue, they have even less money to keep the team at that level, much less improve it.

This whole point wasn't about who is to blame, it was a desription of what is actually happening. Creating some weird ideas about how owners should "just stop making those kind of deals" doesn't change anything about those facts I mentioned.

Beyond that, contracts were altered in the past. In fact, they were altered each and every year of the last CBA. In addition to that, the CBA specifically mentioned that all contracts would be subject to changes made in a new CBA. If you are oh so interested in people keeping to their word, why do you ignore this written contract the players negotiated?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tekneek (Post 55876669)
They want to sign players to contracts the teams cannot afford, with the hope that they can use collective bargaining to reduce the cost of the contract. That was why the Wild signed those guys to massive contracts (which I wish would be voided at this point, since it is all too obvious what they were up to). This is a case of management using collective bargaining to deal with their own inability to properly manage their business. Boo to them.

And the players negotiated huge bonuses that had to be paid out regardless of what happens for the very same reason, so what is your point?
To act as if only the owners tried to get the most out of upcoming collective bargaining is flat out wrong.

MoreOrr 11-19-2012 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sanderson (Post 55876675)
You are completely ignoring the fact that people who work together to get a new CBA don't automatically have to share the same view about every matter. Of course teams will compete with each other, that's the whole point of the league. The teams work together on a matter they have to work together, and once that is done, each and every team is back to being on its own again. Your whole point makes no sense. Do the players who negotiate as one group all behave the same when hockey starts, no, they don't. They sign for different salaries, leave teams for more money and try to beat players who are on different teams. By your logic that shouldn't be the case.

So the owners, during the years between CBA negotiations, actually work at odds to each other and at odds to the benefit of the League itself; only to, in the next CBA, attempt to contradict the contracts that they signed with players and try to force the players to make up for the damage that the owners did to each other and the League during that time between each CBA. Sounds like a perfectly designed system to me. And again, one in which those same owners have to continually create new rules to keep each other from using newly discovered loopholes that further screw themselves (as a League) over annd over.

KingsFan7824 11-19-2012 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tekneek (Post 55876669)
They want to sign players to contracts the teams cannot afford, with the hope that they can use collective bargaining to reduce the cost of the contract. That was why the Wild signed those guys to massive contracts (which I wish would be voided at this point, since it is all too obvious what they were up to). This is a case of management using collective bargaining to deal with their own inability to properly manage their business. Boo to them.

I'm guessing the players knew full well that the CBA was going to be expiring soon after they chose to accept the contracts offered by the owners. Because of those signing bonuses as was just said in the post above, and they also had Donald Fehr heading up their PA.

The players knew this was going to be a fight. If the players are going to stand on principle, then don't accept the fake contract offers from the owners, and the real guaranteed bonus money. Take a stand and fight on principle.

MoreOrr 11-19-2012 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KingsFan7824 (Post 55877229)
I'm guessing the players knew full well that the CBA was going to be expiring soon after they chose to accept the contracts offered by the owners. Because of those signing bonuses as was just said in the post above, and they also had Donald Fehr heading up their PA.

The players knew this was going to be a fight. If the players are going to stand on principle, then don't accept the fake contract offers from the owners, and the real guaranteed bonus money. Take a stand and fight on principle.

But how many, of the hundreds of players, got those signing bonuses? And sure, the players knew that those with contracts that would extend beyond the date of the CBA would be subject to the new CBA. But having signed a contract, with certain stipulations, should in itself provide more real weight than not having any agreement at all. If contracts don't have any weight at all, then what's the point of them? They may be subject to changes, but from the side of whoever is potentially to lose, the signed contract is at least a starting point from which to fight, a point from which to protect.

BLONG7 11-19-2012 10:44 AM

The league and ownership have to take some blame in all of this...it's not all the PA's doing...there have been good and bad decisions on everyone's behalf...

I am the Liquor 11-19-2012 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HaroldVonKimblestein (Post 55876613)
What? You were the one saying to throw that out of the equation because it was not comparable. I don't understand your argument here. The fact is that despite a massive television contract, the NFL still has a very large ticket revenue sharing component. I would think a league with a smaller television contract would have MORE ticket sharing revenue. Some minor leagues I believe are near 100% revenue sharing.

When you are making a profit off of the tv contract alone, before selling even a single ticket, then it is much easier to give up a percentage of the gate.

The crux of the problem as has been pointed out already is that the NHL pushed into questionable markets in order to secure the coveted "national" tv contract in America. In effect they made a series of poor business decisions in order to try and get the tv deal that had eluded them.

Now they are in a position where they either have to support those questionable markets or lose the paltry tv contract they have. So far they have tried to avoid meaningful revenue sharing while trying to get the players to carry the burden of the poor business decisions of the BOG.

The owners have created this mess and are responsible for their own labour woes. The players are just trying to get what they can, which is what anyone would likely do.

They could fix this with a sizeable contraction. Cutting the league down to 22-24 teams, possibly moving back into a couple of Canadian markets and living with regional tv deals in the States. They likely have gone too far down the rabbit trail to attempt such a bold move, so we will have to live with a broken model and labour strife, lockouts and strikes every five or six years.

Gotta Catch Em Staal 11-19-2012 10:57 AM

Quote:

When you are making a profit off of the tv contract alone, before selling even a single ticket, then it is much easier to give up a percentage of the gate.
I don't think there are any sports teams that make a profit off of the television contract alone, even in the massively television-driven NFL. For example, the Packers, the only NFL team that publishes income statements (due to being publicly owned), received 37.13% of revenues for 2009-10 from television and radio.

Blaming expansion may very well identify part of the problem, but I don't think it's a very big part. Even if you contract some of those teams, there will always be a revenue disparity in the league, and as long as there is a salary floor linked to revenues, there will always be teams at the lower end of revenues struggling. Significant revenue sharing is a must for a healthy league if a salary floor linked to revenues is to exist.

sawchuk1971 11-19-2012 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fugu (Post 55841259)
http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl-l...bad_decisions/

Spector on CBA: Reflecting on bad decisions

Little good.

The Bad:


The Ugly:

that article was the best ever...

he really summarized 25 years of NHL mismanagement.......

Blackhawkswincup 11-19-2012 11:08 AM

Quote:

Today, Gary has his teams in Nashville, Anaheim, Dallas, Florida, Tampa, Carolina, Columbus, Phoenix and San Jose. But he never got the TV deal to go with them.

Worse yet, the only way to make most of those markets tenable is to revenue share.
Bettman had nothing to do with Anaheim/Dallas/Florida/Tampa/SJ being located in there current cities

And it wasn't that long ago teams like Dallas and rest of NHL was carrying deadweight that was the Oilers/Flames

sawchuk1971 11-19-2012 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I am the Liquor (Post 55877807)
When you are making a profit off of the tv contract alone, before selling even a single ticket, then it is much easier to give up a percentage of the gate.

The crux of the problem as has been pointed out already is that the NHL pushed into questionable markets in order to secure the coveted "national" tv contract in America. In effect they made a series of poor business decisions in order to try and get the tv deal that had eluded them.

Now they are in a position where they either have to support those questionable markets or lose the paltry tv contract they have. So far they have tried to avoid meaningful revenue sharing while trying to get the players to carry the burden of the poor business decisions of the BOG.

The owners have created this mess and are responsible for their own labour woes. The players are just trying to get what they can, which is what anyone would likely do.

They could fix this with a sizeable contraction. Cutting the league down to 22-24 teams, possibly moving back into a couple of Canadian markets and living with regional tv deals in the States. They likely have gone too far down the rabbit trail to attempt such a bold move, so we will have to live with a broken model and labour strife, lockouts and strikes every five or six years.

that makes perfect sense, unfortunately, that is not going to happen...

cheswick 11-19-2012 11:09 AM

Quote:

Today, Gary has his teams in Nashville, Anaheim, Dallas, Florida, Tampa, Carolina, Columbus, Phoenix and San Jose. But he never got the TV deal to go with them.
Bettman didn't put the teams in Anaheim, Florida, Tampa or San Jose. I don't think he had much to do with Dallas either but I could be wrong on that one.

bozak911 11-19-2012 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cheswick (Post 55878235)
Bettman didn't put the teams in Anaheim, Florida, Tampa or San Jose. I don't think he had much to do with Dallas either but I could be wrong on that one.

Bettman could not stop the relocation of the North Stars. He tried and was blocked.


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