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10-27-2012, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Even Bettman admitted that the optics over the course of the last few weeks leading up to the lockout weren't the best.

Then you get the guys who led that pack sitting on the negotiation committee. I think the players are right to call out their fellow hypocrites.

The saving grace for them may be that they didn't know the details of what was coming, and where the owners will hold the line.
On July 1st, the biggest problem was that the owners had no idea what the players end game was and that was completely Fehr's doing by stalling the negotiations. Fehr knew exactly was he was doing by delaying the negotiations, he forced the owners to continue to hand out huge contracts as normal because the owners couldn't give the slightest hint of collusion (Fehr's main tactic).

We will never know what the owner's true end game was because the players proposal de-linked salaries from revenue. That was a complete game changer. Maybe the owners were ready to negotiate to a soft landing, i.e. 54-52-51-50-50-50, but the players made that impossible by de-linking salaries and asking for guaranteed raises. The NHLPA also only presented a 3 year term with an option to go back to 57% linked to revenues if that was worth more than their guaranteed raises that they got the first 3 years. That is a lot to ask of an ownership group that just experience revenue growth that nobody expected. How long can the goose keep laying those golden eggs? When would the "market" correction occur and revenues stagnate? Could the owners really risk giving raises if revenues ended up flat?

As to the 5% escalator, all that does is increase the escrow payments and reduce the total value of all NHLPA contracts. If they players truely understood how it worked, they wouldn't have used it when revenues were increasing. It only helps the top UFAs and not the group as a whole, especially because you could use ELC bonuses and buy-outs to hit the floor.

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