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09-10-2004, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Smart Alek
The original poster hit it bang on... the players just want to get as much as they think they can get... that is their only concern.
I would argue that all employees, in all fields, feel this way - they want to maximize their earnings (both in absolute terms, and relative to their coworkers). Everyone wants to be paid according to the value they feel they bring to their organization (whether it is a hockey team, an ad agency, or a convenience store). It's up to the owner(s) of said organization to take a more macro view, and decide what that person should be paid, based on historic/anticipated revenue - part of which will be influenced by the contribution of the employee.
What they don't understand is that they haven't 'deserved' what they've had for the past ten years, and they should just be happy that they sucked the owners dry while they could. They won't though... and we probably won't see hockey again for a long time.
I disagree partially - the players certainly deserved whatever they were able to earn - it's not their fault the owners decided to pay what was asked. If I asked my boss to pay me $1M+, and he agreed - well more power to me! If that's what the going rate is, and what he thinks I'm worth, so be it.

The problem is that the current situation seems to dictate a change in S.O.P. It's clear that some sort of rebalancing needs to take place - either the NHL needs to start earning NFL/MLB/NBA-type revenues to make these high salaries make sound business sense (unlikely); or, the salaries need to decrease to help even out the bottom line. The owners let it get to this sorry state, and I certainly understand the players not wanting to derail the gravy train, but something has to give.

Unfortunately it seems like both sides are determined to shoot themselves in the collective feet on this. I'm afraid they're not seeing the forest for the trees though, and are severely overestimating hockey's importance in the overall North American sports marketplace (US mainly). A lot of people won't bat an eye if it's gone for 1 or more years. It'll be tough though to make up any lost ground once it returns - most people will be more than happy to turn their sports attention to football/basketball/nascar/poker.

The trouble MLB had getting people to be interested again after their last strike should be a solemn warning - and baseball was infinitely more popular than hockey to start. They're still trying to regain the ground they lost.

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