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True Blue 05-26-2004 10:57 AM

More Bettman posturing
 
Can't get the link to the article as I do not see it online for some reason, but today's Star-Ledger ran an article that had Bettman saying that basically the owners was prepared for a work-stoppage of any length. The article had a quote by John Henry (Red Sox owner) that said that he thinks that Bettman is looking forward to the strike more than he is to the Cup finals.
Bettman is basically guaranteeing that when the smoke clears, that there will be a hard salary cap in the mid $30m range. So, all of his bluster tells me that he thinks that shutting down the league for 2 years in order to get his way is worth it. It basically seems to me that Bettman is determined to shut the league down just to prove a point. At this point, I really think that he wants to shut the league down and nothing will change his mind in the short-term. He even refuses to sit down to bargain unless Goodenow includes a hard salary cap into his vocabulary. Bettman is basically saying unless the players agree upfront to a hard salary cap, that there will be no bargaining.
A $35m hard cap is ridiculous, IMO. Heck, the Devils are one of the most frugal teams in the league, but even they had a mid $50m in salaries. Such a low cap would equalize salaries across the board. Gone would be the days of 4th liners making over $1m. But also there would be no difference in salary of the elite players and the mid-level players. A $35m cap would not allow the superstar player to be paid like a superstar (which even the NFL cap makes room for).
There have been grumblings from the players that they agree that they are definetly overpaid and are willing to do something about it, but under no cirsumstance are they willing to have such a low cap. Can't say I disagree with them there.
I typically have no sympathy towards the players. They ALL (in ALL sports) make too much money. However, the best players in the league deserve to be paid like the best players in the league. To me, the bigger of the 2 evils in this (players & owners) is Bettman. I don't know if this fool really recognizes the damage that he will inflict upon hockey in the USA. A 2 year strike may very well kill this sport forever. Even a 1 year-long shutdown may irrevocable damage the sport. It just seems to me that Bettman is determined for there to be no hockey in 2004-2005 just to prove a point that the owners can survive. He seems to be more interested in breaking the players union than he is in actually compromising an agreement.

Larry Melnyk 05-26-2004 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by True Blue
I typically have no sympathy towards the players. They ALL (in ALL sports) make too much money. However, the best players in the league deserve to be paid like the best players in the league. To me, the bigger of the 2 evils in this (players & owners) is Bettman. I don't know if this fool really recognizes the damage that he will inflict upon hockey in the USA. A 2 year strike may very well kill this sport forever. Even a 1 year-long shutdown may irrevocable damage the sport. It just seems to me that Bettman is determined for there to be no hockey in 2004-2005 just to prove a point that the owners can survive. He seems to be more interested in breaking the players union than he is in actually compromising an agreement.

TB...Agree with everything you said except for the statement "MAY irrevocable damage the sport"...No "May's" about it....The game barely has a pulse in the United States as it is and barely anybody gives a crap---even hockey fans (or ex-hockey fans)...Out of sight, out of mind---forever.....In the US, at least...Might as well just start contraction plans for a 20-team league in Canada and maybe then he can have the "hard cap", small salaries, and diluted product (watch the exodus to Overseas) ni North America...

Melrose_Jr. 05-26-2004 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by True Blue
Bettman is basically guaranteeing that when the smoke clears, that there will be a hard salary cap in the mid $30m range.

Really? I'd love to hear how the Sharks owners feel about that. They have a "Mid $30M" payroll, made it 3 rounds deep in the playoffs and STILL lost money according to this article. Basically, Bettman wants to shut down the league for 2 years and come out with owners in the same place, financially, that they are now. Great plan.

ArtVandelay 05-26-2004 11:15 AM

I wouldn't get overly caught up in Bettman saying the owners will demand a $35 million hard cap. Until an agreement is reached, it's all negotiation tactics - in other words, he has to state to the union a somewhat extreme point of view otherwise they'll never meet in the true middle. What I disagree with is that he's allowing his statements to be publicized during the finals. To me, it's a slight to the Flames and Lightning because it implies there's something more important and, if I were in either organization, my primary concern as of today is winning the next game.

kazo 05-26-2004 11:28 AM

Bettman has said from the get go that there will be a hard cap, period. All negotiations will start from there.

There could be a plus side in that marginal euro players might decide that playing in Europe makes more sense for them than playing here. That might cause a bit of a shift towards the North American game.

Vito Andolini 05-26-2004 11:48 AM

I just don't understand how the NHL can turn their backs on half of the equation. They are obcessed with cutting costs, when they should also be focused on fixing the game. For years now we have seen the NHL lose the magic it had in the early nineties and yet the league does nothing to correct the problems. Meanwhile the game gets slower and slower, with more grabbing and less stickhandling, leading to less goals and just as important, less scoring chances, and apparently this is of no concern to the executives.

Fan interest in the game has severely declined leading to laughable TV contracts and then teams complain that they have hardly any revenue to spend towards player contracts? Give me a break, there's no reason why the NHL can't bring in the money that a league like the NBA does. Bettman and the other morons upstairs need to bring out the best in the game instead of letting it turn into soccer on ice.

RangerBoy 05-26-2004 12:12 PM

When the players are receiving 75% of the NHL gross revenues,there is a problem

When there are more NHL players than NFL players making $6-9 million per season,there is a problem

The players need to wake up and make a deal

The average NHL salary for 2003-04 was $1.9 million

NYR469 05-26-2004 12:21 PM

if the league shuts down for 2 years, most of the teams in financial trouble will fold and then when the league returns there won't be a need for a cap cause those teams are gone

tony 05-26-2004 12:27 PM

bettman is a joke and i have a hard time taking him serious as it's his fault the league is where it's at to begin with. he's the one that diluted the talent pool by expanding to a ridiculous 30 teams. now he wants to claim the players are overpaid in a market HE created??? i guess he had a window seat in economics when they taught supply and demand???

NYR469 05-26-2004 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melrose_Jr.
Really? I'd love to hear how the Sharks owners feel about that. They have a "Mid $30M" payroll, made it 3 rounds deep in the playoffs and STILL lost money according to this article. Basically, Bettman wants to shut down the league for 2 years and come out with owners in the same place, financially, that they are now. Great plan.

and that is why a cap really want fix anything...it might help but obviously on ice competitiveness isn't an issue and if a team like pittsburgh loses $$ with a $25 mil payroll then they will lose $$ whether the rangers spend $40 mil or $400 mil (and under a cap, it is likely that a team like the pens would be forced to spend even more to stay about the 'floor')...

so less important than a cap is finding a way to increase revenue. that extra revenue isn't coming from a tv deal since they basically signed a no $$ down deal with nbc, meaning it has to come from either a luxury tax or revenue sharing. and this is were things could get REALLY ugly. i've thought all along that the real battle will be between rich owners and poor owners, not owners & players...think about it, how happy do you think the owners of 'rich' teams will feel about having to give their own $$ to another team because that teams owner doesn't want to spend...the ducks are owned by disney but are considered 'small market' cause they don't spend $$. do you think dolan will be happy about the idea of giving someone who has more $$ than he does a free handout cause disney doesn't want to spend their own $$?? if i was the owner of the rangers, flyers, wings, avs, stars, etc i'd be seriously considering the benefits of forcing a long lockout that results in those 'poor' teams folding. if i'm dolan i'd rather have a 24 team league and all my $$ in my pocket than a 30 team league in which i have to dish out millions to owners that don't want to spend their own $$

NYR469 05-26-2004 12:35 PM

contraction isn't a realistic option no matter how much it might be the right thing...and bettman would NEVER publicly state that there are too many teams or teams in areas that can't support them because that would be admitting his own mistakes...

so could it be possible that bettman is so deadset on a lengthy lockout because he is hoping that a couple teams go under and then he can blame the players for those teams being gone?

True Blue 05-26-2004 12:38 PM

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=1809397

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/column...jim&id=1809402

Some highlights:

"Bettman said. "If this is a test to see if the owners really mean it, it's a shame to have to go through all the hardship that will entail to prove the point. "

"The owners are determined to get a hard salary cap or a close replica that would establish a relatively low ceiling, likely in the mid-$30 million range per team"

""It's fascinating and exciting, it's nice for a change to see different teams in the finals, but the last nine Cups have been won by teams in the top third in payrolls," Bettman said. "The ability for [a small-market finalist] to sustain itself is not there."

"Until the core issue is resolved, Bettman said both sides have decided there will be no bargaining on lesser issues."

The core issue being the salary cap. So, according to Bettman, there will be no bargaining until the players agree to a hard, low cap.


"Bettman cut his corporate teeth in the National Basketball Association, where his legacy is the framework of a salary-cap system that has helped bring prosperity to the league and its players. "

Is it me, or is what the NBA has radically different from what Bettman wants to do in the NHL?

"Both men can put forth persuasive arguments extolling the merits of their approach. Both can point to history as support of their respective cases. And both appear to have developed such an intense dislike for the other's point of view that it's fair to assume the two would dispute the merits of anything put in front of them, including the shape of a puck."

Again, I just fear that with Bettman running the show, it will be the end of hockey in the USA.

pld459666 05-26-2004 01:33 PM

with regards to the NBA
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by True Blue
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=1809397

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/column...jim&id=1809402

Some highlights:

"Bettman said. "If this is a test to see if the owners really mean it, it's a shame to have to go through all the hardship that will entail to prove the point. "

"The owners are determined to get a hard salary cap or a close replica that would establish a relatively low ceiling, likely in the mid-$30 million range per team"

""It's fascinating and exciting, it's nice for a change to see different teams in the finals, but the last nine Cups have been won by teams in the top third in payrolls," Bettman said. "The ability for [a small-market finalist] to sustain itself is not there."

"Until the core issue is resolved, Bettman said both sides have decided there will be no bargaining on lesser issues."

The core issue being the salary cap. So, according to Bettman, there will be no bargaining until the players agree to a hard, low cap.


"Bettman cut his corporate teeth in the National Basketball Association, where his legacy is the framework of a salary-cap system that has helped bring prosperity to the league and its players. "

Is it me, or is what the NBA has radically different from what Bettman wants to do in the NHL?

"Both men can put forth persuasive arguments extolling the merits of their approach. Both can point to history as support of their respective cases. And both appear to have developed such an intense dislike for the other's point of view that it's fair to assume the two would dispute the merits of anything put in front of them, including the shape of a puck."

Again, I just fear that with Bettman running the show, it will be the end of hockey in the USA.


Bettman and Stern had help.

The claimed that the league was falling apart and that more than half would be filing for Bankruptcy Protection and in the early 80's it was true, the NBAPA demanded to see the books and the league said "have at it" and didn't limit the NBAPA to any specific area.

The NBA Players association came back and agreed witht he owners assertation and agreed to the "Cap". Its been revised (see the Larry Bird exception and the current salary "structure" based on time in league.

What turned the NBA around, was the game's stars. The Lakers-Celtic (Bird-Magic) wars, I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna be Like Miiike, The Bad Boys from Motown all played into the revival, but it all started AFTER the cap was introduced.

Bettman and Stern didn't demand anything from the Players, they begged.

The problem that the NHLPA faces is they still have so much distrust for the ownership group and the "constructive ways to account for earnings accentuate losses" that unless the NHL ownership body allows the NHLPA to look at their books, this is going to get real real ugly.

Cynical TyranT 05-27-2004 03:44 AM

I personally think Bettman, Stern, and Selig all suck horribly and should be ... fired? How the hell is that even possible. Either way, they should be... seems only the NFL has its $h!t together... I mean, they stared Clarett down... that was cool IMHO.

donpaulo 05-27-2004 05:42 AM

for those interested check out the HOCKEY RODENT (try google)
He has some excellent thoughts on the upcoming negotiations, what is wrong with the game and various other nuts of wisdom. I for one check his site out a few times a week.
He had an interesting take (although I am sure others have as well) about how contraction of a team or a few teams would actually go a long way towards reducing salary. Its basically the old guys who demand the big dollars. When the young guys put up old guy numbers their agents demand old guy money... its the core of the problem. Ergo remove the old guys, the inflated salaries and assuming the owners can police themselves (another issue in itself) salaries should be reduced. Of course this is simply put, but I found merit in the argument.
As far as Bettman the Basketball man goes. I don't like him, I don't think he has done a good job and I can't wait for the NHL board of governors to remove him from the office and put a real hockey man in place.


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