Lockout Discussion Thread 4.0
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12-09-2012, 10:35 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Originally Posted by
Problem is, you have not demonstrated that the players are receiving any ridiculous benefits, and even if they were, they are concessions the players received in exchange for accepting a 57% salary cap, whereas previously they were getting the free market rate of 76%.
Yes it's a benefit that Saku Koivu got good cancer treatment -- for both Koivu and then-owner George Gillette and the Montreal fans. You can be sure that Gillette made back the money he paid into Koivu's medical care many times over. The losers from that arrangement are Joe Thornton and the Boston Bruins of that era.
It's simply facetious to imply that owners don't benefit from giving their employees better medical care. They certainly benefit. The owner ends up with a superior labor force.
There's also a general economic rule, which is kind of common sense. Employees tend to be paid less if they have more benefits, because the benefits are somewhat equivalent to pay. This came up in arguments two years ago over striking teachers. Some right-wingers were complaining that public school teachers get free pensions. An economist argued this was not correct, as the concessions they got in pensions inevitably meant lower base pay as well. In the case of the players we see this explicitly: they get better working conditions as a concession for lower base pay. The reality is that both employees and employers pay for benefits, as counter-intuitive as that may be.
Those weren't concessions. The concession for the salary cap was recieving 57% to 43% even if it was unfair. Some of those benefits are not tools to play hockey, and I'm not talking about medical attention, equipement or gyms that have been there pre-cap era. I've never said they were ridiculous benefits, but I do think some of them are privileges and not job requirements, which is what were debating. Privileges are relied to playing hockey at the highest level, but not in any way instrumental to the product on the ice, downgrading them a bit wouldn't significantly hurt the product or work conditions as compared to equipement, medical attention and training facilities. Some of the best hockey games I've seen we're 20 years ago when the NHL didn't have the wingspan that it has today. It's easy to blur the line between job requirements and actual privileges when we talk about the greatest hockey players in the world who play for the greatest hockey league in the world. It is absolutely understandable to find players who act like they're being oppressed annoying.
I sense that the problem with the NHLPA is not that the owners are treating them to unsuitable work conditions or pay; It's that they lose a bit of salary and are scared to be condemned to lose more in the future. Which is not in the league's interest, because players can easily opt to play other leagues if the pay is greater, even though their working conditions or privileges aren't as good.
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