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12-13-2012, 03:53 PM
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Baseball's collusion was a LOT more overt than what anybody here is suggesting. People are saying "don't be stupid with your money". That's a whole lot different than the open collusion that went on in baseball.

From wikipedia:

* It later emerged that the owners agreed to keep contracts down to three years for position players and two for pitchers. (Obviously they must have talked amongst themselves, no?)

* Only 4 of the 35 free agents changed teams and those four were not wanted by their old team. Star players, such as Kirk Gibson, Tommy John and Phil Niekro, did not receive offers from other teams. (Nothing remotely close to that would happen in hockey. People are saying you can still give offers, just not dumb ones.)

* George Steinbrenner offered Carlton Fisk a contract, then withdrew the offer after getting a call from Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. Teams also reduced team rosters from 25 to 24 players. (There you go - they openly talked, colluded, over a free agent)

* The free agent market following the 1986 season was not much better for the players. Only four free agents switched teams. Andre Dawson took a pay cut and a one-year contract to sign with the Chicago Cubs. Three fourths of the free agents signed one-year contracts... Even as this was happening, Ueberroth ordered the owners to tell him personally if they planned to offer contracts longer than three years. (Again, open communication/collusion)

* They created an "information bank" to share information about what offers were being made to players.

You'd never be able to prove collusion if Zach Parise only got a seven year offer, and not a 13 year offer, or whatever it was, anymore than it would be considered collusion if nobody offered him a 30 year deal. But if NOBODY offered him a deal, as is what happened in baseball, then yes, you would have a case for collusion.

The problem, of course, is that owners can't control themselves. And I said owners, because it's their money, and they get the final say in these things. A GM can come up to them and say "I've got a 13 year deal on the table" and all the owner has to do is say "no." But they didn't, and they won't. Heck, even now they can't. Bill Daly says that the five year term agreement is "the hill they are going to die on" and yet Jeremy Jacobs, the biggest hawk and lead NHL negotiator, signed Tyler Seguin to a SIX year contract extension, right before the lockout was imposed. Let me repeat that; AN EXTENSION. Seguin, wasn't a free agent, RFA or UFA, he was signed for this year. Jacobs didn't have to sign Seguin this year, and he certainly didn't have to sign him to a six year deal. He most certainly didn't have to collude with any other owner to make sure Seguin didn't get a six year deal, because none of the other owners could even talk to Seguin.

Collusion is a red-herring in the NHL, because it doesn't happen, and it won't happen. Those mega-contracts could have been controlled with common sense, not with collusion. But of course that doesn't exist, so the CBA needs to be toughened up to prevent that. Has everything to do with owner stupidity, and nothing to do with collusion, real, perceived or potential.

JohnnyReb is offline