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10-27-2012, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
It's absolutely mind-boggling to me that Krys Barch draws hate and vitriol, while most people on this thread have just given Leopold and Jacobs and the hard-liners a free pass. Really, Barch encapsulated this whole dispute in one sentence:

<<The lockout is a procedure to take from the players to pay for the NHL mistakes.>>

Leopold and Jacobs negotiate ludicrously irresponsible contracts over the summer, and then lock the players out so they can undo the damage of their stupidity, and people hate on Krys Barch?

Meanwhile, Bettman acts like a banana republic dictator (though that's probably unkind to banana republic dictators), saying that every dollar we once promised to pay you is now worth $0.76 cents (upped now to $0.88). Is there anything more contrary to the straight-shooting, no BS, look-you-in-the-eye culture of hockey than shaking hands on a deal and weeks later saying each dollar we promised is now worth around $0.80. Talk about a weasel. If the league's bargaining posture were a player, he would definitely be Alex Burrows or Brad Marchand.

And I don't agree that this sort of unilateral contract devaluation is OK because of escrow -- that's a true-up mechanism to adjust salary within mutually agreed upon revenue parameters. Bettman, Jacobs and Leopold want to unilaterally devalue the currency of the contracts they agreed to even though their own absurd offers recognized that (absent a self-imposed wound of a lockout by the owners) league revenues would continue to grow.
Again, this argument completely ignores the reality of the situation and the economics of pro sports. No, the signings weren't a self acknowledgement that revenues would grow. The signings were an acknowledgement that under the previous CBA, those were the prices a GM had to give in order to better his team. If Minnesota didn't sign them to those contracts, some other team would have. This has to be engrained in your head. Regardless of who signed them, those UFA's were getting those big deals because that's what the current market dictated, a market under the old CBA rules. If teams just collectively decided not to offer large contracts because they knew a new CBA was on its way they'd be getting thrashed, possibly in court, on collusion charges. And the NHLPA knew this, and thats why 1. they chose to increase the cap in the off season and 2. high profile UFA's and RFA's negotiated their salary to be very heavy on the signing bonuses.

The economics is very simple. There are a select few teams that can truly afford the huge salaries and contracts. Problem is, those teams don't just drive up the price of their own players but they drive up the price of every other player in the league. So, you're Minnesota's GM. You can just sit on your hands, do no signings, watch other teams sign UFA's and get better meanwhile you're team stagnates because it can't afford any high profile player and you lose revenue through less fan support and less playoff gate revenue. Or, you can sign the big names hoping that your financial situation improves enough with added fanfare and deeper playoff runs by improving the team to offset the added salaries. Neither option is really all that attractive for an owner, and the owner is saying, and even after making those signings, he is still entitled to say its not a acceptable system when so many teams have to gamble their financial future just to try and improve their team. for an even more poignent example, what exactly was Nashville to do? Letting Weber walk wiuld have lrobably crippled the marketing potential their team had, but by signing him, they are now in financial thin ice. My team was stuck with this choice throughout he late 90's and it went bankrupt and nearly moved because of it. The salary cap helps but it hasn't done enough, especially since the big market teams and agents found a way to basically circumvent the cap through contract length. This lockout is about changing the market and yes, a market correction for past signings as well to help eliminate that terrible choice. Do I let my team become a farm team for bigger teams (and thus, have fan support and less playoff revenue and thus risking the long term financial viability) or do I risk my financial state by signing the players to the rates the current market dictates? Both options suck, but are a reality for nearly half the teams in the NHL right now

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