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10-06-2003, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Smail
You guys should read the business forum.

Actually, the situation is simple: players are saying to the owners "we don't want a salary cap, this CBA can work".

The current CBA lowballs young players, giving them no leverage. All players without arbitration rights should just get the qualifying offer and nothing else if the owners play the CBA like it was meant to be. In other words, if you take the CBA by the letter, than a player asking for more than the qualifying offer asks for too much.

However, as we see, players that have good on-ice performance and fans that see different salaries for players that are in different CBA categories won't have that (qualifying offer). Which is why the current CBA doesn't work.

Many fans keep saying it's up to the owners to fix their business, but they don't support the owners that are actually doing it (by letting players with no leverage hold out if they don't sign their offer).

Ottawa, Minnessota and Pittsburgh are just doing business the way it should be done (but the way it hasn't been done yet, which puts the owners in a bad financial situation).

Thumbs up to the teams for sticking up to their salary structure. Thumbs down to Walsh, a money-milking agent, who is putting his clients in a bad position. Let those players hold out 1-2-3 years and then don't offer them a gold mine to return (like NYI did with Peca and Yashin).
I agree with out on pretty much all accounts. Players "value" is more a function of what their contract status is, rather than how good they are. However, players in this situation (Havlat, Comrie, Gaborik, Richards, etc) do have the option to hold-out, which can give them more leverage than looks on paper. That's how Richards got his deal, although, I still think TB got schooled on that one. Feaster could have easily signed a deal $1-1.5 mil cheaper if he played his cards better.

If a team is reliant on a particular player as a cental figure on their team, then they are vulnerable to a hold-out. This is why that Havlat asking for anything substantial over and above the mandatory increase is stupid. He's a victim of the Sens depth. A hold-out has less impact on the team than it does to him (unless he holds-out until the playoffs), and the Sens know this. Gaborik has a bit more leverage, but he's also fighting against a management group (the Wild) that puts a lot of emphasis on maintaining a healthy salary structure, and are likely not going to take the short-term solution at the expense of their financial management over the long term.

As for Walsh, I guess if he does manage to get his guys the big contract, then it will be a successful tactic, however, I have my doubts that he's going to get the outcome he was looking for. He pushed off negotiations until right before the season. Starting earlier may have made some in-roads into getting the teams to come to a compromise solution earlier. It sounds like he's taking an antagonistic approach, and it wouldn't suprise me if the Wild and the Sens are being more aggresive than they usually would be in order to make an example out of Walsh, because he's being such an ass.

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