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Old
08-20-2004, 12:38 AM
  #1
oiler4ever
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Thomas Quotes

Thomas comments on TSN:
Nice to see a player stepping up and exploring their views regarding the CAP. But I bet you THomas won't say anything like this if he was only 25 yr old.

As far as Lindros going back to school, Eric don't get any concussion by reading the books.

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08-20-2004, 12:49 AM
  #2
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Wow was the NHLPA quick to reign him in!

And they criticized the NHL because they fined the GM's for speaking of a possible lockout.

The NHLPA land of the hypocrite.

Thomas was misquoted my ...

Man have some guts, stand up for what you believe. Hull has said similar statements before about the players making too much money and he was man enough to stick to his comments.

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08-20-2004, 01:08 AM
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seems a little suspicious that thomas simply issued a statement saying he was misquoted. he made his comments in front of the cameras. how the heck can he be misquoted. seems to me the nhlpa issued a statement and put stumpy's name at the end of it. if he really doesn't believe what he said let him get in front of the cameras and say it. until i see that it's my belief that this is damage control by the pa.

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08-20-2004, 07:42 AM
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That's alright, did you see Nieuwendyk's comments?

They were along the lines of:

If you look at what has happened this summer and last summer, it shows the system works.

LOL... yeah Joe, it works fine when everyone is on the same level (which in this case is uncertainty about the future).

I am going to use the first 8 years of the agreement, rather than the last 2, to form the opinion of what works thanks...

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08-20-2004, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
That's alright, did you see Nieuwendyk's comments?
I got a kick out of Nieuwendyk's comment

He said that it is "starting to work"

The damn system has been in pace for 10 years and only NOW it is STARTING to work.

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08-20-2004, 09:22 AM
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The Thomas quotes confirmed what I've suspected all along: the union isn't as strong as they are leading on. Laraque and Stephane Quintal made a few quotes last winter in the "Journal de Montreal" saying how they don't want a work stoppage and that some players are making too much, etc...Brett Hull has been quite vocal as well.

If the vote is put to a private ballot, there will be hockey next season. Rookies will be sacrificed I'm guessing.

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08-20-2004, 09:35 AM
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In other news, Steve Thomas woke up this morning to find a horse's head in his bed.

I tell you, the Goodenow Mafia doesn't play around.



A private vote would be telling, but like in '94 there's no way in hades that the NHLPA ruling class would ever let it come to that unless they had no other options to exhaust.

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08-20-2004, 09:38 AM
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The problem digger, is that the NHLPA reps for the team have to like the deal in order for it go to a vote for the players.

So whether they have a private vote or not is pretty meaningless, because the guys at the top of the NHLPA aren't going to let a deal they don't like go to a vote, at least not without holding out for a while.

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08-20-2004, 09:38 AM
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The Thomas quotes are interesting. I sincerely hope that it means the union truly is just posturing. Perhaps Thomas' words were a signal of what's really being felt within their group.

It could also explain why they didn't really investigate the Levitt report. After all, why investigate a report that you can't disprove?

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08-20-2004, 09:52 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. van Nostrin
The Thomas quotes confirmed what I've suspected all along: the union isn't as strong as they are leading on. Laraque and Stephane Quintal made a few quotes last winter in the "Journal de Montreal" saying how they don't want a work stoppage and that some players are making too much, etc...Brett Hull has been quite vocal as well.

If the vote is put to a private ballot, there will be hockey next season. Rookies will be sacrificed I'm guessing.
What I wonder is if Goodenow would still be against a cap if the CBA remained for the most part the same otherwise?

Or if the players would still be pushing for a luxury tax if they had to give up the safety net of getting qualified with a guaranteed 10% raise (or in event of being above the average, qualified at the same salary)?

Personally I think a good compromise is;

-Rookie cap with no bonuses
-Luxury Tax (I took this from a thread by Trottier on the NHL board - where it's 1 for dollar over 40 mil and 2 dollars tax for every dollar over 50 mil)
-Arbitration where the arbitor chooses one side OR the other, none of this meet in the middle BS
-The only guaranteed qualify a player gets is ... same as existing contract up to 1 mil dollars max (Any player making more than a million can be qualified at 1 million to secure th players rights. That way (an extreme example) things like we just witnessed with Pronger where he is grossly overpaid for what he has done in the past 3 years could be retained with a 1 mil qualifier and teams and players can both negotiate a more reasonable contract, it also applies to the Isbister situation and about 100 other players that cash in on one good year only to never repeat the expectations)

I actually think that these items work better for the owners than a cap and from a players perpective they would likely rather have a cap if it maintained guaranteed raises or big money qualifiers.

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08-20-2004, 10:03 AM
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Strapping Jocks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. van Nostrin
The Thomas quotes confirmed what I've suspected all along: the union isn't as strong as they are leading on. Laraque and Stephane Quintal made a few quotes last winter in the "Journal de Montreal" saying how they don't want a work stoppage and that some players are making too much, etc...Brett Hull has been quite vocal as well.
I've been thinking about this a bit (but not too much!):

Why do these guys even have a UNION?!?!? Each of these guys is already represented by an AGENT, who works on their behalf to negotiate with their employers, look for other job opportunities, wipe their nose when needed.

The average player in this (only about 700 person) union is making over $1 1/2 million. Unions (from what I remember) evolved to help first craftsmen (in the form of guilds) and then with the industrial revolution, factory workers. Unions got involved in things like trying to reduce the working day from 12 to 10 hours and to get workers out of dangerous working conditions.

Some quick quotes I found from a search on labour unions:
"(unions) reflected the need of working people for economic and legal protection from exploiting employers."

The Americal Federation of Labour (ALF) was a federation that organized only unions of skilled workers. Their view: "The various trades have been affected by the introduction of machinery, the subdivision of labor, the use of women's and children's labor and the lack of an apprentice system-so that the skilled trades were rapidly sinking to the level of pauper labor," the AFL declared. "To protect the skilled labor of America from being reduced to beggary and to sustain the standard of American workmanship and skill, the trades unions of America have been established."

Hardly stuff the boys on skates in the NHL today (or even 1967) need to worry about....

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08-20-2004, 10:14 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strapping Jocks
I've been thinking about this a bit (but not too much!):

Why do these guys even have a UNION?!?!? Each of these guys is already represented by an AGENT, who works on their behalf to negotiate with their employers, look for other job opportunities, wipe their nose when needed.

....

Further to that, all the unions I have ever dealt with negotiate a pay scale for their members.

There is no free market for the individual union members, which is a huge irony when looking at the NHLPA.

In actuality, I don't think the PA is technically considered an union. I think it is just a term used to simplify things.

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08-20-2004, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikeisevil
...
It could also explain why they didn't really investigate the Levitt report. After all, why investigate a report that you can't disprove?
I think that the NHLPA did not post a rebuttal to the Levitt report for a simple reason ... they don't have a leg to stand on. They could question the handling of pre-season game revenues and minor-league salaries ... maybe a couple of other minor points I'm missing ... but its just nickel and dime stuff. From their POV, I think they are taking the right strategy with the Levitt Report ... ignore it.

As well, I think that they had some idea of the state of the league's finances already. The teams in the NHL each give about $500K to the NHLPA each year ... for playoff money, awards money, compensation for those couple of years when they played a couple extra games in places like San Antonio and Las Vegas etc. Some of those fees are contingent upon gate revenues ... and this is determined by an independent auditor that the NHLPA and NHL agree upon. It's been that way for years.

I doubt that the NHLPA brass don't admit that the league is a money loser. I imagine their contention is more along the lines of "The billionaire owners can afford it, they've gladly done it for a decade" or "We need to work together to get the NHL cities to subsidize their teams further". I dunno, just a guess.

.
.
.

As an aside ... think it might be a bit galling to the Oilers that a good chunk of their $500k-ish contribution to the NHLPA last year ended up in the pockets of Flames players this past season (as playoff bonus checks from the NHLPA) ???

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08-20-2004, 10:39 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
I doubt that the NHLPA brass don't admit that the league is a money loser. I imagine their contention is more along the lines of "The billionaire owners can afford it, they've gladly done it for a decade" or "We need to work together to get the NHL cities to subsidize their teams further". I dunno, just a guess.
Just speculation on my part but I have also felt that the players today recognize the excellent job the players did in '94 at getting them a deal that resulted in the lottery like paydays they are currently seeing. With that, I believe that with many players, they feel a responsibility to ensure that next years players are not "short changed" (I say that only in the sense of what was accomplished last time) by the current crop of NHLers decision surrounding this CBA.

I think this blinds them in a pretty significant way from seeing the big big picture of just how poor off the league is as a whole. I would imagine that the vast majority of guys in the PA recognize that the living THEY are making is more than enough but their sense of duty to the '94 generation demands they take a hardline for the '14 generation.

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08-20-2004, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strapping Jocks
I've been thinking about this a bit (but not too much!):

Why do these guys even have a UNION?!?!? ...
I duno about that. My father-in-law was a professional soccer player in England, before the big money days. He lost some of his prime years due to the war, and when he did play was paid a relative pittance.

He has a brain tumor now, he's not in good shape. It is slow growing but he has slipped into pretty severe dimentia because of it.

Anyhow, he never talked about his soccer or war days ... but he had an old hardsided suitcase that he kept locked up in a cupboard, it had all his soccer and war stuff in it. And he never opened it up, even his wife hadn't seen this stuff, he just kept it locked away. Photos, newspaper clippings, old coins, momentos, old contracts and telegrams, etc. I was over there this spring, and going through that stuff really helped me see the other side of the coin. I mean he was just a young guy that had only ever played soccer and been a soldier. Didn't have a chance against the businessmen that ran the clubs.

There was a lot of cool stuff, I wish I'd had more time to go through it. One thing that stands out ... a hand written confidential letter from a club chairman, explaining that the club was in poor financial shape and that he would be required to take a paycut. It asked him to consider the minimum amount that he would be willing to play for, and to come and see him on the following Monday with his decision. I don't know what he did ... but I'd bet that he took the chairman's word at face value. Me ... I wouldn't move an inch, for all I know the chairman was just blowing smoke.

Later in his career, talents fading ... a telegram to tell him that he had been transferred to another team. Just two sentences. Roughly 'Your contract is no longer the property of X FC. Report to Y FC (hours away BTW) on Tuesday at 11 AM'

I'm not saying that the pendulum hasn't swung too far the other way in the NHL ... just saying that a fair union does have its place in professional sports in my opinion.

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08-20-2004, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperandblue
...
I think this blinds them in a pretty significant way from seeing the big big picture of just how poor off the league is as a whole. I would imagine that the vast majority of guys in the PA recognize that the living THEY are making is more than enough but their sense of duty to the '94 generation demands they take a hardline for the '14 generation.
I think that most players don't have a clue about how it all works. And no matter what they think and say, or how foolish it is, there is someone there to agree with them wholeheartedly. These players represent a lot of cash to a lot of people besides themselves.

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08-20-2004, 10:51 AM
  #17
copperandblue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
I think that most players don't have a clue about how it all works. ...
Don't suggest that to the NHLPA.....

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08-20-2004, 11:14 AM
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Strapping Jocks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
I duno about that. My father-in-law was a professional soccer player in England, before the big money days. He lost some of his prime years due to the war, and when he did play was paid a relative pittance.

... I mean he was just a young guy that had only ever played soccer and been a soldier. Didn't have a chance against the businessmen that ran the clubs.

... a hand written confidential letter from a club chairman, explaining that the club was in poor financial shape and that he would be required to take a paycut. It asked him to consider the minimum amount that he would be willing to play for, and to come and see him on the following Monday with his decision.

I'm not saying that the pendulum hasn't swung too far the other way in the NHL ... just saying that a fair union does have its place in professional sports in my opinion.
I share your sentiments. I referenced the 1960s in my original post, b/c I think that's when the players' association was formed. And similar things that happened to your father-in-law were happening to the players then.

And my point is that things have definitely changed since then for NHL players.

This is all a very complicated issue. IMO its also a few of the current team owners out there that are partially to blame for letting these contracts get out of hand.

Its not necessarily greed on one player's part to want similar compensation as another player if he deems himself comparible, and its not greed to want to maximize your salary. - If someone offered each of us $5M to do our current job, NOBODY would reply with "no thanks, its only worth $2M"!

The problem lies with the NHLPA and players THINKING that a hockey player SHOULD get paid $10M a year because they can play the game well. Or that the average salary of a player should be over $1M/ year.

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