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10-27-2012, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
That's a very succinct encapsulation of the owners' position. And I think the dynamic you describe above is precisely why most fans sympathized with the owners in 04-05. And I also think that's why most people would be OK with a ceiling on contract length, a narrowing of arbitration rights and a graduated reduction to 50-50.

But the owners stance this time around is basically, yeah revenue grew 50%, the game has never been more popular but we're still too stupid to restrain ourselves from overpaying for certain assets, a lot of us are incompetent managers, and a few of us are stuck in terrible markets because Bettman has no intuitive feel for the game and therefore has little sense of what separates a good hockey market from a bad one. So our solution is for the players to cough up a lot of money to fix all these problems.

And when the players (who are willing to take a smaller share of HRR going forward, and probably willing to deal on contract length and arbitration) say to the owners "And what are you giving up to help address these problems," the answer is "nothing, other than a token hike in revenue sharing. But we don't have to give up anything because we take all the financial risk."

The players response is (i) it's the business you have chosen (and the framework you asked for) and (ii) in fact, what you seem to be doing every 6-7 years is off-loading the accumulated costs associated with that risk onto us -- and guess what, we're not going to keep agreeing to that; you guys have to take on some of the burden of solving your internal issues. If the league came up with a proposal that was something other than let's get the players to solve all of our problems for us, you'd have a deal here pretty quickly

Nice Freudian slip -- I think it's precisely because the league is going for a "beast" of a deal (instead of just a good deal) that we're at an impasse. Anyway, I appreciate the effective and level-headed way you presented the owners' side here.
Thank you was not a Freudian slip - just an auto spelling one!

I am suggesting that the players should accept the owners framework, not worry about their ridiculous business decisions (Phoenix, outrageous bonuses, etc.) and push for a 10 year agreement. Then, get back out on the ice, and perform in a way that keeps saps like me buying season tickets, lots of beer and merchandise, and sign more multi million dollar deals for as long as you can.

All this crap about principle, fixing the business, good just that - it is crap. I see this as really simple, the guys get to play in the best league, with the best working conditions, with the best money...go out and make hay! I think bringing in Don Fehr is more than these players bargained for. I think we have an ideological labor negotiator that knows little about hockey (not that this is a prerequisite), but I think he cares little about the actual situations of the Krys Barch's of the game, and more about the elusive grand bargain.

Sorry for the rant, but I think all of our pontificating on here about what each side "said" is just window dressing. Guess I am just too jaded from being in business so long

TCsmyth is offline