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11-15-2004, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by copperandblue
Discussing buyouts can be as simple as resetting the 2/3's buyout percentage to something lower.
Of course. That's all there was to this. I don't have any problem with the NHL wanting to negotiate this. And nobody should have any difficulty with Bill Guerin objecting to it or Bob Goodenow making sure the players know exactly what the owners have given notice about wanting to negotiate.

What drives both Goodenow and the players nuts over it is the insult Bettman delivers. He's implying 1) Goodenow is misleading the players, 2) the players are too naive to understand what is in the memo and 3) if Bob Goodenow was not misleading the players there would be a deal. That's not negotiating in good faith. That's disrespectful of Goodenow and the players.

It also disrespects the intelligent fan.

I expect this to get dismissed as another Bettman apology but another thing to consider is the PR war. Everyone seems pretty unanimous that Bettman is trying his hardest to provide a certain public image for the league.
No doubt. He's painting the players as greedy pigs. That's his PR campaign. But guess what? PR campaigns don't do a damn thing. That's all Bettman is doing. Running a PR campaign. The campaign is driving the parties further apart. Every time he opens his mouth, the players trust him less.

By him going public with the statement that eliminating guaranteed contracts is not on the table and never has been pretty much outright concedes that point to the PA - does it not?
No. This depends on the definition of guarantee. It does not mean the NHL does not want to change the buyout provisions. And it does not mean the NHL does not intend to raise it. All Bettman has said is that it has never been discussed with the union. He has not said it will never be discussed with the union.

Besides the players think Bettman is a liar. Even if he decalred that it was off the table as a concession, nobody believes him. I can't understand why anybody believes anything he says.

As for TB's second example, is it really underhanded to send an unmarked envelope (first I have heard of this but anyways...) to the agents when the information is also posted on the CBA website for public consumption?
Here's the story.

If the leak of the memo was intended to spur either agents or players into questioning the union's position, it did not appear to be working yesterday. One agent described the memo as "amateurish" and "ridiculous."

The leak of the memo is nothing really because here is probably nothing in it that Daly hasn't said out loud anyway or hasn't already hit the media. So why do it? It is not technically bargaining in bad faith, but it clearly shows bad faith. Brown paper envelopes. How bogus is that? Why do it? The only reason is to poke the players with a sharp stick. It is the same insulting, misleading message.

It is pettiness. Pettiness from petty little people. They are sitting around trying to think up ways to make the players and the union angry instead of trying to figure out a way to solve the dispute.

It is Gary Bettman all the way. Anything but upfront. A sleazy soap salesman who has done more damage to the game than any commissioner in history. Two labour disputes, ill advised expansion, corporate kowtowing and sticking it to the fan, all the while winning a PR battle. He should be Madison Avenue Man of the Year.

Once a grifter, always a grifter.


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