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Time to Use Scabs

View Poll Results: If the deadlock continues to December would you agree to using scabs?
Yes 28 70.00%
No 12 30.00%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
09-18-2004, 08:18 PM
  #26
Kirk Muller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habitual_hab
I don't know the legalities involved in the owners' ability to state that there's an impasse, end any and all recognition of the NHLPA and begin a new season.

If the owners' intent is to break the NHLPA, then all the power to them. But two can play hardball - and I'm sure the NHLPA is aware of the options, both legal and otherwise, open to them.

If solidarity in the NHLPA is as strong as I think it is then the scenario where the players look to moving to the WHA en masse is not far-fetched.

Historically the owners have treated players like chattel and it's only in the last 20-odd years that a more equitable system is in place. Notice how the public backs the owners by a huge majority - even though the owners, who cry poverty just like back in Ted Lindsay's day, will not allow an independent audit of their books.
You mean the WHA who can't even get proper ownership and management groups in place. While the WHA is a nice thought, why would this league want to accept players who frankly are a huge part of the reason one league is in trouble. So are the WHA just going to let it be run how the NHL is currently or would they impose a cap to prevent what the NHL is going through. Personally I can't see this happening either. Fact is, if it came down to scabs, the WHA may be completely descimated by then.

And again it comes back to the fans. I personally wouldn't watch this league despite an influx of NHL players. Sorry I want my Montreal Canadiens, NY Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, not some crappy rip off of the league.

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09-18-2004, 08:31 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Nash13
players who frankly are a huge part of the reason one league is in trouble.
And here I was ignorantly thinking that it was Bettamn's over-zealous expansion into non-hockey markets, non-existant US TV revenues and Ranger mismanagement that was at fault for the NHL's woes.

Jeez, doesn't anyone know that it was the owners, not the players, who brought many of the key stipulations in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement that are currently considered contentious.

It was the owners who got the NHLPA to concede on issues like the rookie cap (with no free agency or arbitration in that player's first three season). It was the owners who insisted upon and got an age limit of 32 for unrestricted free agency (later lowered to 31 in 1999). It was the owners who got the level of restricted free agency we see today, whereby any team signing away a RFA from his original club would be forced to part with five first round draft picks as compensation, plus allowing the original team to match any offer from a competitor thus eliminating a bidding war that would escalate an RFA's salary. The owners also got the right to walk away from an arbitrator's award if they didn't like it.

These are some of the issues the owners have been using to club the players over the head with, yet it's the owners who won those issues and then sought to twist or bend them to suit their own needs.

link

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09-18-2004, 09:12 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by habitual_hab
And here I was ignorantly thinking that it was Bettamn's over-zealous expansion into non-hockey markets, non-existant US TV revenues and Ranger mismanagement that was at fault for the NHL's woes.

Jeez, doesn't anyone know that it was the owners, not the players, who brought many of the key stipulations in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement that are currently considered contentious.

It was the owners who got the NHLPA to concede on issues like the rookie cap (with no free agency or arbitration in that player's first three season). It was the owners who insisted upon and got an age limit of 32 for unrestricted free agency (later lowered to 31 in 1999). It was the owners who got the level of restricted free agency we see today, whereby any team signing away a RFA from his original club would be forced to part with five first round draft picks as compensation, plus allowing the original team to match any offer from a competitor thus eliminating a bidding war that would escalate an RFA's salary. The owners also got the right to walk away from an arbitrator's award if they didn't like it.

These are some of the issues the owners have been using to club the players over the head with, yet it's the owners who won those issues and then sought to twist or bend them to suit their own needs.

link

Not saying the owners are innocent but the players play a large role as well. Both are at fault here, yet neither seem willing, for the benefit of the game to sit down and talk and find an agreement that is reasonable. Many "experts" (Burke, hell Watters came up with a decent one) have come forth with reasonable agreements yet neither seem willing.

Also the only real point you brought up is arbitration regarding issues owners want changed from the current agreement. Owners would love to keep free agency at 31, but will probably have to concede that. The rookie cap is great, its the bonuses that cause problems which is something top prospects especially CHA players play hardball with. That likely was a PA iniative in the past agreement. No one has problems with compensatory picks and RFA at least from what I have heard and read.

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09-18-2004, 10:22 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by habitual_hab
"the tenuous financial state of so many franchises" has yet to be proven by an independent audit. The NHLPA has seen one set of books (and is bound by a privacy agreement not to disclose the contents) and has made a proposal they feel to be equitable.

I order for the "world change" to be recognized, it must first be proven that the world has changed. The owners claim poverty? The owners must prove it and so far they haven't. And giving financier Arthur Levitt a set of books so he can write a report that says the NHL lost $273 million last season doesn't cut it.
The NHLPA was given access to any four sets of books they chose. They chose LA, Boston, Montreal and one other.

As for Levitt, he has a reputation for outstanding integrity.

In any event, you can argue all you like over how deep the trouble is that the league is in, but if you can't accept that overall things just don't support current salary levels you're in denial, imo. Moreover, whatever problems and shortfalls have existed over the last two or three years are sure to be exacerbated by the new and much less lucrative TV deal....

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09-18-2004, 10:50 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by JV
The NHLPA was given access to any four sets of books they chose. They chose LA, Boston, Montreal and one other.

As for Levitt, he has a reputation for outstanding integrity.

In any event, you can argue all you like over how deep the trouble is that the league is in, but if you can't accept that overall things just don't support current salary levels you're in denial, imo. Moreover, whatever problems and shortfalls have existed over the last two or three years are sure to be exacerbated by the new and much less lucrative TV deal....
Levitt does have a good reputation - but the question is: what set of books did he see?

And if the league is in such deep trouble, why do so many want to see the NHLPA broken? Because, to quote from the link below, if you figure the NHL has problems with a CBA and a NHLPA then think what'll happen without:

http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.p...0&page=1&pp=15

"(The NHL) can't afford to break the union. No union, no CBA means no entry draft, no standard player contract, and every player is a free agent from day one.

How much do you figure Sidney Crosby will get next year if the NHLPA decertifies?"

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09-18-2004, 11:29 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by mcphee
chicpea, I know that obviously nothing can be done at the present time. I think I know where you stand on basic owner/labor relations, at least historically. My question is, if the owners feel that their interests are best served by sitting back, waiting to see if the NHLPA at least opens the door to the system they want, then declaring an impasse if this doesn't happen, are you opposed to this as a strategy ? Basically sacrificing a season to bust the union.
mcphee, if the owners feel that their interests are best served by sitting back, waiting for the legal period of the impasse (in order to bust the union), and sacrificing an entire season in order to further these aims, then I feel that, strategically, it is a sound plan for them, considering the recent polls which indicate player support is at an all-time low (sorry for long sentence!). That said, this is precisely what I find disturbing and mainly why I am worried: their plan is to bust the union after a year (when the legal "impasse" period kicks in) without giving any heed to legitimate negotiation, simply because they can. There is no spirit of compromise it seems; only a spirit of determination to crush the opposition

My personal view on the matter is that such an act would be despicable (though, I admit, perhaps logical from the owners' point of view - after all, what McDonald's owner likes having to pay some snotty-nosed pimple face the mininum wage). The NHL is comprised of two parts and both parts need to be forced into negotiation. Without negotiation, no progress can be made; neither side can table offers; neihter side can reject them in the press; the battle for "image" will remain stagnant; and each side will remain so far apart that the only alternative will appear to be a union bust.

As Ron Mclean has pointed out on the CBC, the owners are not even listening right now because they are under no pressure at all until January. The US market (the one that actually matters) is highly satisfied at the moment with MLB, Ryder Cup, and soon, NFL etc. The Lockout story can barely crack the top 20 pages in any major US daily. Simply, they don't care - and thus, there is no pressure to negotiate. Bettman is banking on this inattention. It gives him the requisite breathing room to "play hardball" and as you suggest, "sit back and see if the NHLPA opens the door to his system." For this year, the owners are primarily concerned about the Playoffs as a revenue stream, and if they don't get it - well heck, they'll make the money back when the legal impasse period hits shortly thereafter. This is why they know the players will likely have to blink first. My problem (as I mentioned), is that I am convinced Bettman has no interest whatsoever in negotiation, regardless of what he or his boy Friday, Daly, says about the "preposterousness of the NHLPA's offers." For instance, Brian Burke went on national tv and submitted a classic "middle ground" offer. It may not be perfect, but it is a realistic start for first-round table talks. Yet, because it has no mention of a cap and because the Owners have no pressure until January, I don't believe any such propositions will be even remotely considered. This, we will all agree, is a shame. I've said before in other threads and I may as well mention it here, I do not have any solutions. Then again, I don't think the owners or the NHLPA are that much ahead of me on this one. This is why negotiation, in my opinion, is essential. It should be forced upon them, as Mr. Bobby Orr suggested.

But let me conclude with a cheap shot : I have found it shocking over the last several days to see some of the attitudes expressed, not just on this board, but throughout HFBoards as a whole. It seems that the priority among many here is not so much to get lower salaries, but simply to break the Union (or "Association" as someone pointed out above). I can only hazard a few guesses as to why this attitude may prevail amongst some of our members here but they are best kept to myself. For all the stereotypical knocks against unions e.g., they're lazy, they're gangsters/organised crime, they discourage individual excellence and accomplishment, etc.) I should stress that they have historically and contemporarily done a lot of good for communitites all across Canada (e.g. co-ops in the prairies). Maybe some of you are too young to know what a coal miner is (haha) or how many people used to commonly die while building the skyscrapers some of your parents work in (ok, I'm getting sentimental here) - but the principle is still the same, and the players know this. As Shean Donovan was saying the other day on the CBC, "I think people underestimate hockey players. Maybe what they don't understand is that we've been taught to play as a team our whole lives. Sticking together comes naturally for us." If Bettman and Robin's plan is simply to hold off and bust the union, then they've lost this life-long fan of the NHL. I will simply walk away, and I won't be taking my niece and nephews to any more Canuck games. There, you made me say it mcphee (curse you! :mad: ).


I may have been sentimental above at parts, but you can perhaps contrast that with what some people above were saying when they wished for the "good old days" again, times when the Rocket would have to hold a job down and take time off to come play hockey. Ask Ted Lindsay about those good ol days. He's still alive and will give you an honest answer.

p.s. if this sounded snarky in any way, mcphee, you know it's not directed at you personally. I'm just trying to get my point across reasonably, which is hard for me at the best of times.


Last edited by chicpea: 09-18-2004 at 11:41 PM.
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09-18-2004, 11:52 PM
  #32
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chicpea, I believe that is the intention of a number of owners, maybe 10. I believe Bettman is acting on their behalf and probably believes the number is higher. I'd bet that about 15 are open to compromise and would look at a naumber of systems including some of Burke's ideas. Bettman was hired in the belief that he could deliver some sort of cap. I have no inside info. or link to prove this, just opinion. If they truly get their way, they'd go after what the NFL has, no guaranteed contracts and very suspicious health benefits. The NFL deal is what the players really fear. chicpea, neither the players or the owners give me a warm fuzzy feeling these days.

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09-19-2004, 12:06 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habitual_hab
If I'm in the NHLPA and the owners even mention the word "scab" I'd suggest to my association that the players, after a vote so decrees it, look to moving to the WHA en masse.
Which is even more ironic, as the WHA already HAS a salary cap, which is what the *****ing from the PA is...

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09-19-2004, 12:42 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicpea
The new, nice chicpea holds tongue.
There's no such thing as a nice chicpea.

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Old
09-19-2004, 01:55 AM
  #35
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for the sake of it ...
there is a salary cap of 5m$ in the WHA!

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09-19-2004, 02:28 AM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
chicpea, I believe that is the intention of a number of owners, maybe 10. I believe Bettman is acting on their behalf and probably believes the number is higher. I'd bet that about 15 are open to compromise and would look at a naumber of systems including some of Burke's ideas. Bettman was hired in the belief that he could deliver some sort of cap. I have no inside info. or link to prove this, just opinion.
I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment. I think there is a cabal (to use a conspiratorial word) or a core group (to be more realistic) who are the main force on the owner side. Like you, my guess is just that, a guess - and I have no proof whatsoever.

I don't know if you saw this during the week but CBC showed the entire press conferences of all six canadian teams. Each had the President + GM (e.g., Boivin + Gainey) but the owners were nowhere to be seen in most. I have no problem with that, but if they are the final say for their side, I'd like to see what they have to say. I mean, I've seen the players doing individual interviews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
chicpea, neither the players or the owners give me a warm fuzzy feeling these days.
I agree. But, seeing as I've spent my entire life either playing with or watching guys like these players, I'll stick with them anyday of the week - whether they're in the NHL or not. I have no sympathy for owners. If it's such a racket, why did they buy in? Because it was a poor investment? If so, they should be ridiculed as poor businessmen and not lauded as saviours of the NHL. But I refuse to pin it all on their shoulders. It's not like the players don't have a stake in this cash cow as well. The thing is, they're just playing by the current CBA which the last crop of asture businessmen ushered into place. Yes, the players need to negotiate, bend, be as flexible as a young rumanian gymnast.

Sorry. I get swept up in my rhetoric at times.

Anyway, it's curious that we have guys at this moment lining up in Vancouver to buy the canucks if things are so bad. Gagliardi and Beaddie are the Johm Maddens of the Owners/NHL side.

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09-19-2004, 02:32 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by ShootOut
There's no such thing as a nice chicpea.
hmmm.

I don't think it's fair to judge people from their politics board behaviours. People get worked up sometimes. But, if you feel that way, there's nothing I can do but try to be a better person.

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09-19-2004, 02:41 AM
  #38
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im all for the scabs ...
especially if their names are:
Kostitsyn,Perezhogin,Komisarek,Hossa,Hainsey,
Higgins,etc...

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09-19-2004, 08:24 AM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryoptix
im all for the scabs ...
especially if their names are:
Kostitsyn,Perezhogin,Komisarek,Hossa,Hainsey,
Higgins,etc...
I know you're to an extent joking, but keep in mind what the long term is for a replacement player. Spend your road trips alone. Better hope you can fight because you can expect a lot of 2 on 1 situations with no teammates coming to your defense. Ask a major league ballplayer who tried to stick around as a replacement player, or a major league umpire, or a NFL scab.

chicpea, I understand your union thoughts and agree in a historical sense, but I guess we're seeing sort of a historical pendulum where having your own money on the line doesn't buy you the rights they once did. While I don't want to see coal miners with no health benefits, I hate to see a city of Montreal vehicle like I did last week. The corner of Sherbrooke and Girouard, a driver, a guy with a shovel placing that red mulch around some plants, a person pointing to where each shovelful should go, and 1 making sure an irate passerby didn't run them over for blocking a rush hour lane. Not sure what that has to do with it, but I've got a bit too much caffeine in my system.

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09-19-2004, 09:00 AM
  #40
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McPhee & Chicpea, if you haven't read this thread already it might help to elucidate the legal ramifications of the NHL ending its "partnership" with the NHLPA (or any players' association, for that matter).

The idea that the NHL owners can wait out the players, end any association with the players' union and impose a salary cap on non-unionized "scabs" (I prefer the word parasites) has been debunked. It is illegal and the owners would lose much more money in lawsuit(s) than they would ever gain in wage savings.

http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.p...0&page=4&pp=15

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09-19-2004, 09:10 AM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryoptix
for the sake of it ...
there is a salary cap of 5m$ in the WHA!
for there to be a salary cap in the WHA there must be a WHAPA that accepts that salary cap. If not, it's illegal. Actions that restrict salaries and benefits violate anti-trust law.

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09-19-2004, 10:03 AM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kryoptix
im all for the scabs ...
especially if their names are:
Kostitsyn,Perezhogin,Komisarek,Hossa,Hainsey,
Higgins,etc...
Those names aren't far off the scab list already, really. When you look at the lists of guys recently assigned to the AHL by NHL teams, you quickly come up with a pretty good handful from every team who were either full-time NHLers last year, or were pretty good bets to be full-time NHLers this year... Komisarek, Jed Ortemeyer, Tommi Santala, PM Bouchard, Tuomo Ruutu, Michael Leighton, Stephen Weiss, David Hale, Pascal Rheaume, Spezza, Hasek... the list goes on.

In fact, you have a number of teams (Phoenix and the Rangers jump to mind) who actually had their AHL affiliates sign some of their prospects for them, specifically to avoid the waiver issues (that swallowed Beauchemin) and let them keep playing in the AHL.

So there's already a big double standard by the players, since the AHL is so closely affiliated with the NHL. Surely if the players were united as a union in trying to withhold their services from the owners, then all of these guys shouldn't still be playing for those same owners, albeit in the AHL?

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09-19-2004, 10:11 AM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habitual_hab
McPhee & Chicpea, if you haven't read this thread already it might help to elucidate the legal ramifications of the NHL ending its "partnership" with the NHLPA (or any players' association, for that matter).

The idea that the NHL owners can wait out the players, end any association with the players' union and impose a salary cap on non-unionized "scabs" (I prefer the word parasites) has been debunked. It is illegal and the owners would lose much more money in lawsuit(s) than they would ever gain in wage savings.

http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.p...0&page=4&pp=15
Thanks for the info., except now I'm pretty depressed about how little I understand. Actually, it is interesting analyzing the various scenarios if you discount the reality that the majority of us are fairly simple people who want to relax and watch the game on Saturday nights. Have you noticed anything in this summer's ufa activity that smells like collusion? I've had the feeling all along that there seems to be $ figures assigned to the ufa's and their teams are just deciding if the player in question falls into their own cap. For all the Hab fans encouraging BG to up his offer to Kovalev, I think this is just not going to happen. His value has been decided. The only negotiating point seems to be length of contract. The players who profited or will profit are the ones who signed just before July 1, like the 3 [I believe] Leafs who got in under the wire. The thread had some interesting comments on the return on investment on certain players. Makes one wonder why Bonk was signed in the manner that he was.

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09-19-2004, 10:43 AM
  #44
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I don't know about you guys but I'll be attending more OHL games.


To hell with the Greedy baztards in the NHL.

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09-19-2004, 11:11 AM
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicpea
hmmm.

I don't think it's fair to judge people from their politics board behaviours. People get worked up sometimes. But, if you feel that way, there's nothing I can do but try to be a better person.
Or give me good results in the Rate the avatar thread. But I digress.

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09-19-2004, 05:02 PM
  #46
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Here's my view on the whole thing. I think that the players having a union is a really good thing overall, but that the current market based situation is ruining the situation simply because motivating factors are not being taken in. For example, you look at the Theodore signing where he was signed for the amount he was because the fans demanded it, because he's from Montreal, and because Montreal needed a go-to guy in goals. But then that drove the prices up, the agents didn't care if no other teams had the same motivations for signing a player they just pushed for their players to get the same salary (and if they can get away with it they'd be stupid not to) And I don't think that the owners could realistically stay competitive in that market situation. Especially when arbitration would make the team pay out according that higher figure.

The fact of the matter is, as long as the big spending teams were out there or a team was willing to spend big money to get a piece they needed it was impossible to fight the inflation.

I think that there is a solution that isn't a hard cap, and the luxury tax COULD maybe help out, but there has to be more. Maybe cap individual player salaries or do away with arbitration, or maybe have an option where on future contracts the players would be payed mostly on the effect of performance.

The fact of the matter is that the only solution that would be easy to manage and to keep would be a cap. They could re-evaluate the cap every couple of years, and the cap could be expanded as necessary every few years.

I don't usually like the idea of breaking a union, but the fact of the matter is no person is in business to lose money. They're not even in business to break even or to make some money. They put in millions to make millions. I think that the situation isn't as bleak as they make it sound, but its definitely not rich pickings either. Everyone here who works (other than those people who are self employed) have owners who make twice as much and in some cases as much as a few thousand times as much as the average employee. Hockey owners can't be any different. And I think that's what it boils down to. Its not that the owners are losing that much money is that their return isn't as high as it should be. Which boils down to the same thing from a business perspective.

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