The 2012-2013 NHL Lockout Discussion Thread
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11-17-2012, 11:43 AM
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Possible big divide among the owners?
Behind the scenes, there seems to be a seismic shift going on among the NHL's Board of Governors, also known as the group that Bettman answers to collectively.
And Flyers chairman Ed Snider may be the big mover-and-shaker behind it all.
Multiple sources confirmed to the Daily News on Friday that Snider, once seen as a supporter of the Bettman's push to rein in the players' share of revenue, has soured on the process after it became apparent that a deal would not be brokered in time for a Dec. 1 puck drop.
Put simply: Snider and the rest of the NHL's owners were promised a big win by Bettman, with player concessions on revenue division and contracting rights. The best they'll get now is a small win in revenue split - coupled with a demoralized fan base and all-important corporate sponsors that are ready to quit.
A source familiar with Snider's thinking characterized it as: "If this is the deal we are going to get, what's the point of dragging this out?"
Neither Snider nor team president Peter Luukko has publicly addressed the lockout since it began on Sept. 16, for fear of a $1 million fine from Bettman.
Snider, 79, is the NHL's longest-serving governor and serves on the board's executive committee, which helps steer policy. A backroom wheeler-dealer, Snider can make his moves in a practical way via the board's numbers. When it comes to labor negotiations, league rules require a a vote of 75 percent of governors to oppose the commissioner's recommendation. That means Bettman has absolute power, so long as he has eight out of 30 owners to block any hostile movement against him. Bettman actually needs only seven owners to support him, since the league owns the Phoenix franchise.
On Friday, multiple sources indicated Snider's "strong discontent" for Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, a big-market owner who has been one of the lockout's ringleaders. Despite their on-ice rivalry, there seems to be some thinking that the Flyers are interested in teaming up with the midmarket but high-revenue Pittsburgh Penguins to sway more governors toward a swift resolution. The Rangers are also viewed as anti-lockout.
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