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07-16-2012, 10:33 AM
Mayor Bee
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Originally Posted by blahblah View Post
Don't agree. This suggests intent from an organization to be the worst team in the league.

At any rate, now that I've thought about the first pass at the CBA. As I saw somewhere, this is a declaration of war. I am not hopeful that this gets resolved before the season starts. I'm not sure if the owners are willing to have another year under the old CBA.

The requests. They are going to be miles apart. Some things I don't like. Most of this I'm working through as I type it, so this is going to look unorganized as some of these thoughts are in their infancy.

1. The 10 year gap on UFA. These are not slaves to a franchise because they were drafted. I understand the concept of the draft and player mobility. However, I don't like this as a collective bargaining position and I don't like, even more, that the owners are trying to push this.
2. I don't agree, in principle, that players are allowed a set percentage of league wide revenue from a collective bargaining position beyond setting the cap. I understand the concept of a salary cap, I don't agree withe a salary floor and I don't like the max to individual salaries. The economics in each city are a bit different and I don't like a uniform approach. If a team can't compete and put a reasonable team on the ice, that is a owners concern and should be addressed independent of the players.
3. I don't like salary arbitration to begin with. Seeing that disappear doesn't bother me. There wouldn't be a need for it if the owners didn't want to keep rights to a player for a decade. If they get the 10 year provision, or even if it stays at 7, I think arbitration needs to remain. If players can't look for other employment with another team, you lose your right to dictate contract to the players. I understand the RFA process, but the penalty is too high to poach a player. Get rid of the poaching penalty, or at least scale the penalty based on player age to basically nothing at age 25 and brutal at age 21.
4. I don't see anything about changes to revenue sharing. At least with the articles I've seen. Once again, I don't think this is players concern. But since the league wants to put these restrictions around terms of service, I guess it will need to be in there.

Normally the free market would dictate salaries, baring owner collusion. However it would appear the owners are trying to severely limit player mobility.

Normally I am not a big union guy, but I think in this case the owners are trying things the players should push back on.
To address your points...
1) UFA status used to not begin until age 31, unless a player fell into Group VI (which still exists) or Group V free agency. Group V was for players who had at least 10 years of NHL experience and made less than the league average. That's how Scott Lachance became a Jacket.
2) From a competitive balance standpoint, the salary floor is needed in order to make sure that what happens in MLB doesn't happen here. With MLB, the accusations have been leveled for years that "some teams" (Kansas City) collect revenue sharing checks and pocket it, rather than putting it back into the team.
3) Arbitration is necessary to ensure a player's ability to actually demand and receive a raise. If UFA status began after 10 years, AND there was no salary floor, AND there was no arbitration, there would theoretically be ways to draft a player, sign him to an ELC, and then never give him a raise until he became a free agency...and the player would have no real leverage except the threat of a holdout. That's fine for a few players, but for those who might be later in developing or are marginal, that's a very different story.

If compensation for signing an RFA goes away or is substantially reduced, then what we have is de facto UFA status starting at an early age. That would probably cause the league to revert to what it was in the late-1990s, when there were a clear-cut top-6 or -7 teams, with the rest of the league (especially the smaller markets) acting as a serfdom. Don't get me wrong, I would like nothing better than to have sat up on July 1 and signed Evander Kane to a nice big contract and not had to have paid any real compensation to do so, but it's not good for the league.

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