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10-27-2012, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Sydor25 View Post
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.
The owners' end game is:

*48-50% share of HRR, preferably with some things redefined
*Term limits to contracts
*End to cap massaging techniques above and beyond the term limits (variance of contract value year to year)
*End to burying contracts in other leagues (cap circumvention)
*Count any NHL team contract against the cap no matter where the player is playing
*Change in UFA age, redo of ELC to squeeze in more salary restraints
*Some increase in RS if the big teams get to keep even more money

This was telegraphed by Bettman for a couple of years now, and there are team exec quotes that have passed on the target share, some from November of 2011.

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