NHLPA President Trevor Linden's Column on the CBA
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09-13-2004, 05:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Halfway between Nothing and Not Much Else
Isn't revenue sharing and a luxury tax pretty much a decision amongst the owners? The rich ones agree to help the poor ones out in the name of unity (and the day Bill Wirtz cares about the finances of any other team would be the same day it snowed in hell). Exactly how do the players give anything up there? It's the rich owners who have to pay out to the poor ones; not the players. I realize that it comes up because it has to be negotiated into the CBA, but the PA makes it sound like this is a huge concession on their part when it's nothing of the sort. It doesn't affect their salaries at all, Exhibit A: Major League Baseball. So it basically keeps the status quo vis-a-vis salaries so the PA wins because that's all they want.
Owners can't collude, but agents representing the players can talk to each other all they want for the purpose of comparable salaries. Seems like a slanted playing field to me there.
I don't believe for a second all the smoke the NHL is blowing about all these teams losing money. There are just too many ways to hide revenue. Nor do I believe the players are all innocent farmboys who just take what is offered to them. If that were the case there would never be a single hold-out and no one would file for arbitration or turn down $5 million dollars a year because they want 6. There is more than enough greed and blame to go around on this one.
The only reason that I side with the owners on this one is that they have at least shown some kind of desire to fix things. They recognize that the problem was of their own making and are attempting to rectify the situation. The PA seems to believe, contrary to all evidence that everything was fine and that the gravy train would roll on forever. Time to wake up.
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