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11-28-2012, 10:58 AM
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Contracts are signed with the understanding that they will be governed by the terms of current and any future CBAs. The players signed the contracts knowing this as did the owners. The players signed contracts under a system where escrow was in play knowing that the dollar value on the paper may be higher than what they actually receive (or as happened TWICE in 7 years that dollar amount on paper was LESS than what they actually received). The whole thing about making whole and what not is quite frankly a joke. The terms of the deal they signed dictated that depending on the monies spent on the other 699 players they may never realize all that money (or they could receive more). They act like it is some sort of surprise or evil doing. If the owners and league felt the deals currently out there are 100% acceptable for a stable business model they would have just rolled over the old CBA into a new CBA.

If the owners look at the outstanding money and say "you know what, that is too much on yearly basis and we need to cut that back some in order to make it work" they have every right to do so. The contracts will be honoured based on what the terms of the CBA are. And really the players without those longer term deals that need a contract renewal in the next year or so should look very carefully at this make whole thing because what it is going to do is result in them getting less money. Neuvirth was 100% correct in his assessment that the PA negotiating stance is primarily concerned with the big money long term contract players.

I also have zero issue with the owners signing big contracts and then locking out players looking for contract restictions and reductions. Zero. It happens in business all the time. You operate to the best of your ability under the current climate even if you dislike that climate or believe the climate should be changed. You work at changing the climate to better suit your needs as a business....the ONLY opportunity the NHL has to do this is when the CBA comes up for renegotiation. So that is what they are doing. is it about lining pockets? Certainly, but that is what for profit business does. Problem is no matter what numbers you look at only a handful of teams make a profit so changes need to be made. A 57% cut of revenues (or 56.5% as the players last offer actually works out to) isn't sustainable and needs to be changed. Part of the way to get there is by a rollback of some sort. Complete avoidance of this by the PA just means those guys who aren't signed or need to sign in the next little bit will take the brunt of the cut. It needs to be reduced and reduced in a quick manner (i.e. not 5 or 6 years....also convenient that the PA really only wants to talk about a 5 year CBA length so those players can negotiate a new one. I'm sure it has nothing to do with holding the NHL hostage on it's 100 year anniversary).

And no just because the players may give back more this time around it doesn't mean they will have to each and every time a CBA comes up fro renewal. There needs to be a driving force for the owners to lockout and not settle and that driving force in professional sports has more to do with avoidance of loss on team operations over maximizing of profits. Because of that, if the we have the opposite situation where 25 or so teams are breaking even or profitable the owners have little need to ask for any givebacks from the players.

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