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From Trevor Linden...

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Old
09-13-2004, 10:45 AM
  #1
Fletch
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From Trevor Linden...

here's what the President of the Players' Association has to say about the players' stance (nothing in there that's real new):

http://www.nhlpa.com/Content/FEATURE...es.asp?ID=3360

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09-13-2004, 01:55 PM
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He makes some very interesting points,

especially pertaining to the fact that the NHL has the most restrictive player movementsí clause in professional sports, 13 years!

I wonder how fans across the country would feel about losing their studs early in their careers alla the NBA? I think what Linden was alluding to was the fact that the league wants its cake and eat it too! I read into his comments that the league has not offered up a substantial reduction in UFA status to warrant the players to even consider such a structure.

Linden goes on to make, IMO, an excellent case regarding the shift in the emphasis from winning to accounting. The NFL, while one can make the argument that there is parity in that league, the real truth is that it is very hard to keep a successful team together for any length of time. The cast keeps changing. While that may be good for jersey sales, it does little for the loyalty aspects of both the players and the fans. The NFL has succeeded in making their teams fantasy league teams where the cast changes more often than an ESPN fantasy league.

Hockey truly needs to think twice about the direction it wants to take and do they really want someone like Bettman driving the bus?

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09-13-2004, 02:29 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLANTARANGER
especially pertaining to the fact that the NHL has the most restrictive player movementsí clause in professional sports, 13 years!

I wonder how fans across the country would feel about losing their studs early in their careers alla the NBA? I think what Linden was alluding to was the fact that the league wants its cake and eat it too! I read into his comments that the league has not offered up a substantial reduction in UFA status to warrant the players to even consider such a structure.

Linden goes on to make, IMO, an excellent case regarding the shift in the emphasis from winning to accounting. The NFL, while one can make the argument that there is parity in that league, the real truth is that it is very hard to keep a successful team together for any length of time. The cast keeps changing. While that may be good for jersey sales, it does little for the loyalty aspects of both the players and the fans. The NFL has succeeded in making their teams fantasy league teams where the cast changes more often than an ESPN fantasy league.

Hockey truly needs to think twice about the direction it wants to take and do they really want someone like Bettman driving the bus?
it's also worth noting that the nfl has a much stronger pool in which to to draft from. football players come out of college and immediately challenge for roster spots while college hockey players.....well how many of the world cup americans were under 30 or even under 25? seems to me that bettman's expansion plan has done very little to grow the popularity (in terms of players not viewers) in the states. why either side believes that the sport could survive a lengthy lockout is confounding at best.

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09-13-2004, 02:30 PM
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He had good counsel...

in preparing that letter. My opinion is that the league do not have as good spin masters as the players and thus their case doesn't come off as well as the player's (strictly from a PR perspective). I've been more impressed with reps of the players than the league, in other words.

He does make good points. It would be a shame for an organization to build a good, young team but have to give that up because its players are making too much and and they're going over the cap (the players' side). The owners would say that it's too bad that an organization can build a good team, but are then forced to dump players in their prime to the 8 teams that can afford to 'buy' these players as a result of lack or resources.

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09-13-2004, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony
why either side believes that the sport could survive a lengthy lockout is confounding at best.
That has been a huge question to me as well. Is Bettman blind or ignorant? Or just so arrogant that he thinks that hockey has such a huge marketplace that he does not have to fear reprecussion?
Or maybe both sides think what some of us have been thinking for a while now. There is not "casual" hockey fan. Either you are a hardcore fan or you are probably not a hockey fan. As such, they probably think that they can cancel an entire season and all of us hardcore fans will just flock back when they come back.

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09-13-2004, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Blue
That has been a huge question to me as well. Is Bettman blind or ignorant? Or just so arrogant that he thinks that hockey has such a huge marketplace that he does not have to fear reprecussion?
Or maybe both sides think what some of us have been thinking for a while now. There is not "casual" hockey fan. Either you are a hardcore fan or you are probably not a hockey fan. As such, they probably think that they can cancel an entire season and all of us hardcore fans will just flock back when they come back.
i doubt it could only be hardcore fans...especially at msg. brokers and salesman will find other ways to entertain clients. considering that expense spending has been in a steady decline anyway who knows if they'll come back if the lockout is settled.


Last edited by tony: 09-13-2004 at 02:57 PM.
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09-13-2004, 09:04 PM
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not true about the football nonloyalty bit
just about every legend has played more then 80% of their career on one team

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09-14-2004, 02:48 AM
  #8
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My thoughts

I'm glad the NHLPA has finally decided to post some of their points and views. The NHL has been running a huge propoganda machine with the construction of a website dedicated to pumping out anti-player pro-management sentiment and snippets gathered from various sources all of which are pro-management.

In my opinion, cost certainty = salary cap = guaranteed profit for the owners. Let me ask you in what industry are you guaranteed a profit, (besides Haliburton of course )

The players should come out publicly and propose a 10 percent reduction in salary to be offset by a 10 percent reduction in ticket price. This may bring more fans, who because of the sheer effort of the owners pr machine are supporting the owners, to the side of the players.

On the ticket subject, the owners claim that the high price of tickets are dictated by the high salaries paid out to the players. This is totally false. Tickets are a commodity that are ruled by supply and demand, not by labor cost. Any business in any industry would be foolish to sell their product for lower then market value. If MSG sells out those $1,000 seats every night why would they offer the same seat for $200. If they could sell them for $2,000 they would. If the salary cap does go in in 2005 or 2006 and the NYR payroll goes from 80 million to 40 million will all ticket prices drop 50 percent? I don't think so. It's like McDonalds charging 50 cents for its Big Mac, they could and would probably still make money but why would they want to when you or I are willing to pay $2 for it.

The owners want to link salary to revenue. Revenue they have shown under Bettman that they are unable to grow. Their latest tv deal is a prime example. They basically got the networks to show the games for free and are able to profit off of the advertising if their is any. Most people in the US would rather watch 5 idiots seated around a table playing poker. For any player to want to link revenue to salary under this regime, they would have to be out of their mind.

The league speaks of guaranteed parity under a salary cap system. Well for one fan, I hate parity. I like dynasties, the Canadiens, the Oilers, the Islanders, a team you either love or hate. By the way I hate the Islanders. Parity is like the NFL where you play in the Super Bowl one year and are 4 and 12 the next year. No more Cowboys or Steelers dynasties no more teams you love to hate. I personally love going to see the Rangers play an original 6 team especially a good original 6 team. With parity you might as well see them play the Ducks or the Hurricanes because everything will be on one level.

Also, in the eventual deal, I see the league lowering the restrictions on player movement. Which in my opinion has ruined baseball and totally driven me out of the game as a fan. How can any self respecting fan hate a player for years, have him come to your team, love him for a few years, and then hate him again for leaving. Roger Clemens and Yankee fans are a perfect example.

The league has over expanded which has caused players who would never have played years ago to play today, which in turn leads to all this clutching and grabbing and the institution of the trap. The marginal players don't have the skill to keep up with the stars so coaches have turned the game into a 1 man forecheck with 4 guys lined up on the blue line. They have put teams in areas where they have no business being. What is next a team for Sweet Grass, Montana or a team for Eagle Pass, Texas? When is enough enough. What the league needs is contraction. If you can't make it in Pittsburgh or Carolina then fold. Why should the strong teams have to subsidise the weak?

One point on the NHL numbers from the Levitt report which I understand did not include all revenue streams but did include all expenses. I read on another website a while back that the report itemized minor league expenses but did not include any minor league revenue. Putting that aside for a moment lets assume that the figures are correct and the league lost 300 million last year. They also built up a 300 million lockout chest. If this is factored in does that mean that they really broke even? The majority of losses were reported by teams who have terrible leases and major arena problems, Pittsburgh for one. It appears that most of these losses are from non-hockey related issues.

Now if I can figure some of this stuff out, how come the NHLPA can't come up with these same arguments and generate some pr of their own. What the league needs now is an agreement so hockey can be played. What the league doesn't need is a lockout to alienate the true fans who may wind up watching those idiots drawing cards on ESPN2. In my opinion the only think worse then millionaires crying about their money is billionaires crying about their money.

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09-14-2004, 09:08 AM
  #9
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On Clemens & the 'Yanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by robcav
How can any self respecting fan hate a player for years, have him come to your team, love him for a few years, and then hate him again for leaving. Roger Clemens and Yankee fans are a perfect example.
Yankee fans do not hate Clemens for leaving. Who could blame him for the deal he got? He is getting paid $5m to play in his home town, does not have to go on road trips, and makes every one of his kids football & baseball games? It was not about the money with Clemens and Yankee fans understand that. He fulfiled his contractual obligations to the Yankees and choose to go back home.
As for how one can hate him and then love him.....I am one. I used to not like him very much (though not quite DETEST him like I do with Pedro Martinez). However, Clemens is a true professional who took the pinstripes very seriously. He will always be a Red Sox in my mind, but during his time here, Clemens endeared himself to all Yankee fans. He protects his teamates. He pitches all the time. He demands the ball in pressure situations and will not beg out of tough assignments or innings. He does not throw anyone under the bus when his performance goes sour (a la Martinez & Grady Little). And most of all, he is one of those who will take the ball in a big game and tell his bullpen to have a seat for the entire game.

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09-14-2004, 09:49 AM
  #10
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robcav...

one correction: cost certainty does not guaranty any profits. The revenues have the be there too, and the rest of the business needs to be contained. Players salaries are the biggest element of the costs to running a hockey team, but it's not the only one.

And ticket prices are somewhat dictated by the payroll prices. Obviously supply and demand create elasticities in the price, but nonetheless owners typically use increases in payroll to justify their price hikes. Some may not believe the owners, but just like in any business, if the cost of the product goes up, you raise prices to at least compensate, and you raise the prices to the point where it can be tolerated.

I don't understand the Clemens example. In hockey we can hate, say, Yashin, and come his 30-something b-day, he can be a Ranger, and couple years later back to the Isles.

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09-14-2004, 09:57 AM
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[QUOTE=robcav]

One point on the NHL numbers from the Levitt report which I understand did not include all revenue streams but did include all expenses. I read on another website a while back that the report itemized minor league expenses but did not include any minor league revenue. Putting that aside for a moment lets assume that the figures are correct and the league lost 300 million last year. They also built up a 300 million lockout chest. If this is factored in does that mean that they really broke even? The majority of losses were reported by teams who have terrible leases and major arena problems, Pittsburgh for one. It appears that most of these losses are from non-hockey related issues.

I don't know if I have posted this on here before but, a friend of mine played in the Blackhawks organization and he said that all of the luxury boxes revenue is not shown in the Blackhawks revenue figures for the simple reason that Wirtz has them in the name of another corporation that he controls and pockets the money from.
The Blackhawks never see a cent of that money.

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09-14-2004, 10:33 AM
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The owners are not showing everything. Otherwise, if they all really are going broke as they claim, why are there not more teams up for sale? Most probably are taking in $$$ under the name of another company like Wirtz is. Or another form of a limited partnership.
Owners all cry poverty and yet there are no teams that are up for sale. Hmmm.....

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09-14-2004, 11:38 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Blue
The owners are not showing everything. Otherwise, if they all really are going broke as they claim, why are there not more teams up for sale? Most probably are taking in $$$ under the name of another company like Wirtz is. Or another form of a limited partnership.
Owners all cry poverty and yet there are no teams that are up for sale. Hmmm.....
Well one very big reason more teams aren't up for sale is that no one wants to buy them. Would you buy one at this point? The Senators went bankrupt, the Sharks made the conference finals and lost money, the league's profits are a joke, salaries are through the roof and a lockout is coming.

I think you'd have an easier time selling a presidential candidate to the opposite politcal party.

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09-14-2004, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
Well one very big reason more teams aren't up for sale is that no one wants to buy them. Would you buy one at this point? The Senators went bankrupt, the Sharks made the conference finals and lost money, the league's profits are a joke, salaries are through the roof and a lockout is coming.

I think you'd have an easier time selling a presidential candidate to the opposite politcal party.
with all of that said why is it that the players and the owners alike aren't calling for bettman's head?? seems like the game while smaller was much healthier pre-bettman. plus hockey had a better feel with the patrick/adams/smythe/norris setup. changing that alone was like asking the yankees to start putting player names on the jersey's. man i'm bitter.

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09-14-2004, 12:55 PM
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Subtle politcal positioning,

If the players want Gary out, they can do it quietly without looking like the bad guy. They'd gain little by making a public statement.

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09-14-2004, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
Subtle politcal positioning,

If the players want Gary out, they can do it quietly without looking like the bad guy. They'd gain little by making a public statement.
do you personally think there's dissention buidling between both parties and bettman?

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09-14-2004, 01:03 PM
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Well for the better part of his tenure there have been two types within the NHL. Pro-Bettman and anti-Bettman. Obviously the latter of the two has grown in recent years.

Bettman is essentially the rope in this tug of war. If he doesn't get a cap, the owners will want him out. If he does, the players will. You could argue he is now being played by both sides. Neither side willing to seriously negotiate in an effort to get him out, but who knows about that.

Either way I suspect that if there is a lockout, Bettman's job security goes down with each passing week.

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09-14-2004, 01:10 PM
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Edge...

we gotta stop being optimistic and replace [ifs], as considering the league rejected the latest proposal [as you know], they've only scheduled a meeting to move forward with the lockout [as you know]. If should now be used as in if...play resumes; if...the NHL doesn't go the way of the NASL.

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09-14-2004, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
Well for the better part of his tenure there have been two types within the NHL. Pro-Bettman and anti-Bettman. Obviously the latter of the two has grown in recent years.

Bettman is essentially the rope in this tug of war. If he doesn't get a cap, the owners will want him out. If he does, the players will. You could argue he is now being played by both sides. Neither side willing to seriously negotiate in an effort to get him out, but who knows about that.

Either way I suspect that if there is a lockout, Bettman's job security goes down with each passing week.
you'd think it would be in bettman's best interest to find some common ground between the players and owners. instead he's clearly sided with the owners. if the lockout occurs and bettman is eventually forced out i'd love to see who if anyone steps up to take the reigns. obviously a lockout would severely tarnish the game and it would take a marketing genius to restore the game's integrity. wanna venture a guess on a bettman successor??


Last edited by tony: 09-14-2004 at 01:26 PM.
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09-14-2004, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony
wanna venture a guess on a bettman successor??
Davisian (my faithfull sidekick) with Melnyk as his "enforcer"

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09-14-2004, 01:51 PM
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Way too early to tell.

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09-14-2004, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
I don't understand the Clemens example. In hockey we can hate, say, Yashin, and come his 30-something b-day, he can be a Ranger, and couple years later back to the Isles.

ahem, Erice Lindros, Ulf Samuellson......Bruce Driver :lol

.....with Clemens among others, winning and effort solves alot of things...And Yankee (baseball) fans being upset with his leaving for Houston had to do with his farewell tour at the end of last year more then anything else I believe.

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