Lockout Discussion Thread 3.0
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12-01-2012, 12:45 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Originally Posted by
I agree with what you're saying but this particular point. I think the owners are trying to find a way to fufill what I think is fair and that is that contracts signed under the old CBA be honored. And I think the contracts signed this summer and right up to and before the lock out especially need upholding. The reason I think this is as you have very thoroughly argued, the owners take on all the financial risk, and they have in signing players to contracts that go beyond the CBA. I think those risk should be taken into account, that is all I'm arguing.
An immediate true drop to 50/50 can't happen if contracts are going to be upheld but there in lies the make whole provision that the owners have put forth, and I think the players have taken the owners offer and have worked with it to come up with a number they feel will work. So I see that as negotiation, but I think at this point owners aren't willing to move from their stance and neither are the players.
Just judging by our discussion here on these boards and the divide between all of our opinions on the matter I think really goes to show just how hard it must be for owners and players to really come to an agreement, and I don't think I'm being unreasonable in saying that yes owners assume all financial risk, and yes players assume risk to get to the NHL, yes a 50/50 split is a workable arrangement for HRR, but is it also not reasonable to say that the players will go to 50/50 but previous contracts need to be honored as those contracts were awarded to the players as part of the owners financial risk.
You yourself have said that the players will make back the rollback in a few years time but the same could be said about the owners. It will only take a few years for the growth of the game and the players under contract to have those contracts expire. What it means though is players not under contract in the short term will need to accept less money while the transition period happens. I just don't see the need for current contracts to be rolled back.
We seem to be in the same ballpark (arena?) in regards to much of what we feel. Maybe we should be the negotiating team for each side...lol.
My only real disagreement is with your last paragraph. I think you misunderstand something. If the players take a rollback and the game grows, then they will easily make it back. The same is true for the owners, if the game grows, they will make more money. Here is the main difference, though: if the players take a rollback, but the game doesn't grow, they lose nothing beyond that initial rollback, because of the guaranteed nature of their contracts. The owners? They have no such guarantees and would lose money. The players need to accept that the "guaranteed" part of their contracts balances out a lot of other factors. Even if they accept a rollback, they will get paid throughout the length of the signed CBA whether or not the owners make money or the game grows. This is the main benefit that many who are on the side of the players fail to recognize the value of.
Should the owners honour the contracts signed leading up to the new CBA? Well, that is the crux of the argument. If you feel the owners are entitled to a true 50/50 split of the HRR, the answer is "no" because it is not possible. The truth is, the owners signed players, and those same players signed contracts, KNOWING that the CBA was expiring and KNOWING that there could be rollbacks on the table. Many of those contracts are quite bloated and I am certain that agents bargained under the knowledge that rollbacks would be on the table for the new CBA. Heck, if people like you and I knew, surely everyone associated with hockey knew. I don't know about you, but I am not a genius and I knew where the CBA negotiations were going before the terms were announced. As such, I do NOT feel the owners need to honour the amounts in the contracts, but should honour the term on them. Why? It is part of the reality of life. Sometimes owners reduce salaries. It happens to people working for Hostess. It happens to teachers. It happens to people in ALL walks of life. The players are not being harshly treated in any way, shape, or form. Their employers are saying that they need to cut some employee costs in order to ensure that the franchise does better. The reality is that it will probably lead to better long term financial gains for both the owners and the players. Just like the last CBA did.
The problem is that there is this huge "pendulum" effect that is causing people to see things in a skewed manner. It used to be the owners who were screwing the players and paying them so poorly that many had to get other jobs to survive. Then the pendulum swung to the opposite extreme and the players started to get over 70% of the HRR!! At the start of the last CBA, the pendulum began going back towards the owners and a fair 50/50 split but stopped short, giving the owners 43 to the players' 57%. Over the course of the last CBA, both parties did well. Now the owners are trying to get the pendulum to stop where it should be: 50/50. They have gone through more than a decade being on the lesser side of the pendulum and want it to finally hit the 50/50 it should be at. Anything that delays that final return to equality is simply continuing the unbalanced swinging of the pendulum.
Thanks for a lot of fun discussion!
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