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NHLPA fires Paul Kelly (UPD: player review of firing completed)

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08-31-2009, 09:23 PM
  #126
Ernie
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Originally Posted by Bluefan75 View Post
This we can agree on. Bettman managed to keep the ownership side from reaching this point during the lockout, but like you say, they are already there without any labor trouble now. It makes you wonder whether the "supermajority" Bettman got the owners to agree to last time around will actually work against him..
well, in the last lockout, Bettman managed to keep everyone on board by promising a salary cap low enough that everyone could make a profit. He was going to "break" the union.

However, he ended up having to negotiate his way up to a cap level where many teams are struggling. It's going to be hard for the league to argue from here on that the players' revenue percentage needs to drop. Fans are not going to accept a lockout just so MLSE can continue rake in $100m a year (wild guestimate) while the majority of the league barely gets by.

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08-31-2009, 09:36 PM
  #127
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Originally Posted by Snap Wilson View Post
All of these articles seem biased as well. I really don't know much about Kelly or Hargrove or what's going on inside the NHLPA (although it's easy to guess), but the repeated suggestion that a hard-line union leader is a bad thing is ridiculous. If I'm charging someone with representing my monetary and career interests, you damn betcha that I want them to be hard-line. I don't think Goodenow was wrong in trying to prevent this awful CBA from getting ratified in the first place. I think he was just wrong in overestimating the strength of his union.
Really?

You think the UAW/CAW model is a good example to follow?

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08-31-2009, 09:40 PM
  #128
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Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
well, in the last lockout, Bettman managed to keep everyone on board by promising a salary cap low enough that everyone could make a profit. He was going to "break" the union.

However, he ended up having to negotiate his way up to a cap level where many teams are struggling. It's going to be hard for the league to argue from here on that the players' revenue percentage needs to drop. Fans are not going to accept a lockout just so MLSE can continue rake in $100m a year (wild guestimate) while the majority of the league barely gets by.
I don't think they negotiated the cap level up that much at all. wasn't the difference between the offer made public before 9/15 and the final offer $4M? the biggest mistake was the placement of the floor. it was set too close/high to the cap, and when the cap exploded, the floor exploded too.

in 03/04, 15 teams spent under the current floor, 1 basically spent even to it.

teams that would probably maintain a $25-30M payroll are essentially forced to take losses by the floor. but the floor is also necessary to make linkage work. they're going to have to find a way in the next negotiation to lower the floor and find another way to give money to the players (maybe something in the form of a mid-level exemption, or a change to the definition of HRR)

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08-31-2009, 09:43 PM
  #129
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looks like there are still those in thr nhlpa that want to fight the lock out all over again

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08-31-2009, 09:55 PM
  #130
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Here is the take from the Canucks players on the latest soap opera:
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The Canucks were represented at the Chicago meetings by defenceman Willie Mitchell, who volunteered for the assignment in the absence of a team player rep. Last season's rep, Rob Davison, was not re-signed by the organization.

"I mean, you can understand the information has to be relayed to us before we go commenting on it," said veteran centre Ryan Johnson after a workout at UBC. "We've been told we can't talk about it until our representative, which is Willie, talks."

Prodded further, Johnson conceded he was certainly concerned about the turmoil within the players association. Kelly was the third executive director fired since the lockout ended in 2005.

"This is a situation in need of some dire direction and leadership," Johnson said. "I don't think you have to be a brain surgeon to figure that out."

Winger Alex Burrows was reluctant to use the term "turmoil" to describe the union's leadership situation.

"I wouldn't say turmoil," comment Burrows, who is still awaiting word from Montreal police on whether he'll be charged for an alleged on-ice assault during a summer league hockey game. "Right now, I still have to get a few more facts to make sure I can comment on what's going on. For some reason, we haven't got all the facts."

Burrows is keenly atuned to players union affairs and attended a summer meeting held in Paris for Europeans and those travelling in Europe at the time. He intends to put his name forth to be the Canucks' player rep for the coming season.

"I'd be really interested," Burrows said. "Some guys just like to play hockey and they're not the smartest guys out there but I like to learn. As a union, we have to show strength that we're together. It would be nice to have more players going to these meetings and following up on what's going on and stuff like that so we can make this game the best game on earth."
http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/C...546/story.html

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08-31-2009, 09:57 PM
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
I don't think they negotiated the cap level up that much at all. wasn't the difference between the offer made public before 9/15 and the final offer $4M? the biggest mistake was the placement of the floor. it was set too close/high to the cap, and when the cap exploded, the floor exploded too.

in 03/04, 15 teams spent under the current floor, 1 basically spent even to it.

teams that would probably maintain a $25-30M payroll are essentially forced to take losses by the floor. but the floor is also necessary to make linkage work. they're going to have to find a way in the next negotiation to lower the floor and find another way to give money to the players (maybe something in the form of a mid-level exemption, or a change to the definition of HRR)
Well, the main point of the cap was supposed to be that all teams could field competitive rosters and still turn a buck. Since players are guaranteed a percentage of league revenues, where the floor and ceiling stand aren't really THAT much of a concern. If either is too low, the players just make that difference up at the end of the year.

Where the cap and floor IS important is keeping all the teams competitive and thereby growing revenues in small markets. If the floor drops and the Coyotes only have a $15m payroll, chances are they'll end up in the basement of the standings. They won't sell season tickets and won't win over fans to the game, and won't deliver much in the way of revenues to be ultimately split with the players.

Of course, big revenue teams don't care much about that as long as their guaranteed profits remain in place.

If the league's goal is stability and growing revenues across the board, then they need to increase the cap floor and allow teams the ability to get there with increased revenue sharing.

As in all competitive systems, when there is a big difference between the strong and the weak, the strong tend to get stronger, and the weak tend to get weaker. The further the divide grows the more it accelerates.

In the league's situation, it's better for everyone to have franchises reaching into as many markets as possible. Bettman, to his credit, gets this. However, what he hasn't been able to do is maintain a base level of financial support to make this vision viable.

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08-31-2009, 10:13 PM
  #132
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Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
Well, the main point of the cap was supposed to be that all teams could field competitive rosters and still turn a buck. Since players are guaranteed a percentage of league revenues, where the floor and ceiling stand aren't really THAT much of a concern. If either is too low, the players just make that difference up at the end of the year.

Where the cap and floor IS important is keeping all the teams competitive and thereby growing revenues in small markets. If the floor drops and the Coyotes only have a $15m payroll, chances are they'll end up in the basement of the standings. They won't sell season tickets and won't win over fans to the game, and won't deliver much in the way of revenues to be ultimately split with the players.

Of course, big revenue teams don't care much about that as long as their guaranteed profits remain in place.

If the league's goal is stability and growing revenues across the board, then they need to increase the cap floor and allow teams the ability to get there with increased revenue sharing.

As in all competitive systems, when there is a big difference between the strong and the weak, the strong tend to get stronger, and the weak tend to get weaker. The further the divide grows the more it accelerates.

In the league's situation, it's better for everyone to have franchises reaching into as many markets as possible. Bettman, to his credit, gets this. However, what he hasn't been able to do is maintain a base level of financial support to make this vision viable.
I don't mean a drastic drop in the floor, but I think a $5M downtick would be helpful.
If a team is losing roughly $5M or less and were given an opportunity to spend $5M
less, in theory they could break even... it wouldn't effect performance that much because in alot of these instances, the teams spend money because they have to spend money... that doesn't lead to the best acquisitions.

the problem is, say if 10 teams take up this option, that's a $50M shortfall... how do you make it up?

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08-31-2009, 10:23 PM
  #133
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On the surface this seems like a very dumb move. There must be something more to this story that hasn't been reported yet.

GHOST

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Old
08-31-2009, 10:26 PM
  #134
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Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
the problem is, say if 10 teams take up this option, that's a $50M shortfall... how do you make it up?
The cap ceiling is too low - far too many teams pushing up against it. Simply increase the range between top and bottom.

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08-31-2009, 10:28 PM
  #135
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Originally Posted by Egil View Post
I don't disagree that this was the "plan" and it was endorsed by seemingly everyone at the top of the NHLPA. I am merely stating that this "plan" was never going to work, was never going to pay off in terms of greater career earnings for 99% of the PA, and the end result was almost inevitable after the first year.
Egil, don't let the union shills sell you on this supposed "two year strategy". That strategy never truly existed. There were players after the lockout ended who said that Goodenow told them in essence "yeah, we are saying it is a two year plan but we all know the owners will fold before then, so don't worry about it". The revisionism in this thread is interesting to say the least.

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08-31-2009, 10:29 PM
  #136
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Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
I don't mean a drastic drop in the floor, but I think a $5M downtick would be helpful.
If a team is losing roughly $5M or less and were given an opportunity to spend $5M
less, in theory they could break even... it wouldn't effect performance that much because in alot of these instances, the teams spend money because they have to spend money... that doesn't lead to the best acquisitions.

the problem is, say if 10 teams take up this option, that's a $50M shortfall... how do you make it up?
It doesn't really matter.. if the league has earned $50m more than it has paid out, it has to divide that money amongst the players at the end of the year.

As I mentioned in my post, by lowering their payrolls, teams ultimately undermine their competitiveness, which then lowers their revenues, in a nasty cycle. If they're truly interested in improving success across the board, they'd bring the cap and floor closer together, not farther apart, and share revenues more equitably.

Teams like Phoenix dig themselves into a hole which is hard to get out of. Theoretically they can use their high draft picks to field a competitive roster, but even then they only get 3 years out of those players before they get expensive

But I suppose the rich teams would still always have a leg up by hiring more expensive coaches, GMs, and scouts, as well as investing money in things like sleep therapy no matter how much the cap is adjusted.

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08-31-2009, 10:29 PM
  #137
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From Twitter:
kausatoday: Neither Buzz Hargrove or Ian Penny will be applying to be NHLPA Executive Director

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08-31-2009, 10:30 PM
  #138
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Originally Posted by Bluefan75 View Post
your hypothesis requires 2 big assumptions: 1) that the league was never going to agree to anything other than what was agreed to, and 2) that should the NHL fold another league would not materialize nearly immediately. Among other things, the NHL's history indicates there is a market for hockey.

Saskin saved the owners
.
And speaking of revisionism ...

This is the equivalent of Monty Python's black knight. Simply astounding.

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08-31-2009, 10:31 PM
  #139
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Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
From Twitter:
kausatoday: Neither Buzz Hargrove or Ian Penny will be applying to be NHLPA Executive Director
What about Mr Pink?

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08-31-2009, 10:34 PM
  #140
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Originally Posted by GHOSTofMAROONSroad View Post
On the surface this seems like a very dumb move. There must be something more to this story that hasn't been reported yet.

GHOST
Ghost and GSC2K2 agree on something. Let the raining of frogs commence. The end is nigh.

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08-31-2009, 10:37 PM
  #141
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Originally Posted by Wetcoaster View Post
Here is the take from the Canucks players on the latest soap opera:

http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/C...546/story.html
Funny that Burrows would be the one to pipe up. Here's what he had to say earlier in the year:

Quote:
The players are entitled to 57 per cent of those revenues, according to the collective bargaining agreement. Anything more and the money is returned to the owners. The salary cap for this season is $56.7 million US.


"We're not happy about it," said winger Alex Burrows, among the lowest paid players on the team at $525,00 US. "I'm still making good money, but nobody would be happy to lose 20 per cent. This should have been thought about last summer. They pushed the cap up $5 million and now they're taking it back from everyone.


"It wasn't really the brightest idea, but nobody could see the economy struggling that much."
http://www.faceoff.com/hockey/teams/...%3Fid%3D830270

The good news is that the players saw the majority of that money coming back, minus the 5% inflator. The bad news for Kelly seems to be that they really, really did not like handing it out in the first place.

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08-31-2009, 10:43 PM
  #142
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For those talking about why Lindros left his position with the NHLPA. There was more then Kelly's relationship.

When lindros got the job certain things were expected and it became clear that Lindros was not going to do what he said he was going to do. A few weeks before he resigned there were reports that Lindros had stopped doing what he was doing, but was racking up charges on his expense account.

Lindros also got called to the carpet over donations that he announced but did not fallow up with and he never addressed the issues and refused to respond when asks questions about it.

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08-31-2009, 10:53 PM
  #143
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Originally Posted by The Vagabond View Post
For those talking about why Lindros left his position with the NHLPA. There was more then Kelly's relationship.

When lindros got the job certain things were expected and it became clear that Lindros was not going to do what he said he was going to do. A few weeks before he resigned there were reports that Lindros had stopped doing what he was doing, but was racking up charges on his expense account.

Lindros also got called to the carpet over donations that he announced but did not fallow up with and he never addressed the issues and refused to respond when asks questions about it.
why not persue a criminal investigation here? I mean, if the rumors are true that they were being audited, why not continue said audit even if the new guard doesn't approve?

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08-31-2009, 11:19 PM
  #144
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why not persue a criminal investigation here?

For once, the pat answer of "I do not recall," may actually be believable.

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09-01-2009, 12:06 AM
  #145
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This league is turning into an even bigger joke everyday that goes by.

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09-01-2009, 12:20 AM
  #146
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You think the UAW/CAW model is a good example to follow?
No.

But that said, the UAW and company management colluded very nicely to maintain their "what's good for GM is good for America" status for far longer than anyone could have expected 30 years ago, and parlayed it into massive taxpayer subsidies.

So maybe then the answer is yes the cure for all the small-market maladies in the NHL is to get really big and hire brilliant lobbyists to ensure a flow of government largesse!

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09-01-2009, 12:31 AM
  #147
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Really?

You think the UAW/CAW model is a good example to follow?
The auto industry model is a loaded example, and not really a pertinent one; this isn't the auto industry. I'm saying that there aren't any saints on the other side. The owners, businessmen that they are, will take everything from the players that they can get. If I'm an NHL player, I want my representation acting the same way.

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09-01-2009, 12:35 AM
  #148
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Hard line is ok, but it has to be realistic. The Auto Unions kept being "hard line" until they drove their companies into the ground. Goodenow's was "hard line" and cost some players a very large % of their career earnings. A more intelligent negotiating approach could have gotten the same/similar outcome without a lost season (and probably without a 24% rollback).
Hard to say, but I won't disagree with you.

Quote:
As for Goodenow's mistake being overestimating the strength of his union, I think that is true. However, while you suggest this was a minor error than anyone could have made, a more reasoned analysis would suggest that it was never a realistic strategy.
No, I don't. I agree that it was pretty damned significant error, and one that was visible from the cheap seats early on. Goodenow needed to take a page from Marvin Miller and know when not to fight.

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09-01-2009, 12:49 AM
  #149
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That's not exactly what I meant. The players need to have the final say over their own association.
Sorry to misrepresent you, Kevin. I agree that the players need final say over the decision, but that comes down to a vote, not crafting the decision being made. That, I think, is the problem. This elective board of players who are governing decisions are the problem.

Not that I'm a labor expert, but if it were me, I would hire a law firm that specializes in labor relations, have them conduct a search for potential union head candidates, have the body of the players vote and let the winner establish his own staff.

What qualifications does Trevor Linden have to take part in negotiating a deal with the NHL? What qualifications does Eric Lindros have to be a union ombudsman in the first place?

Player participation should boil down to representation among the 30 teams in the league. This doesn't mean the executive staff has carte blanche to do whatever they want. The body of players would still get to vote to approve or deny any agreements forged by the leadership and could, if they so desire, vote to remove the leadership from office (again!)

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09-01-2009, 04:01 AM
  #150
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Since I'm suffering from insomnia, I'll throw in another two cents. Most of the media reports are rife with speculation and accusations of a coup from Lindros, Hargrove, and Ron Pink, yet none of those people cast the vote to have Kelly removed.

Pierre LeBrun's article on ESPN had some actual quotes from the people who actually voted Kelly out.

Quote:
"Until we're able to inform all the players on exactly what happened, we're really not going to be too specific," Horcoff, hopping on a plane, told ESPN.com. "There's some information and some news that came our way that forced the hands of the executive board to go in a different direction."

Something they heard Sunday night prompted them to act because, from the conversations I had with some of those player reps before Sunday, they didn't go into that meeting thinking they were going to fire Kelly.

"I changed my mind after what I heard," one player rep who requested anonymity told us Monday.
So even assuming that this was a malicious coup staged by Hargrove, Lindros, et. al., should we also assume that the thirty player reps, who were all elected by their respective teams, were so naive as to be swayed by such a thing to the point where they would suddenly and surprisingly (and overwhelmingly) vote Kelly out? Whether it was the right thing to do or not, there had to be some teeth to the reason for his ouster beyond what's being speculated by the columnists.

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