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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, NHL revenues, relocation and expansion.

NHL has lifted gag order

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Old
02-12-2005, 10:50 AM
  #76
likea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR
look for the context ... not sure if you were around here the year prior to AK being dealt, but a number of PIT fans were adamant that Kovalev would return a bounty of players and picks. he didnt.

and i dont think i ever said all salary dumps worked out great, only that it doesnt hurt as much as one thinks to dump a 6m loser hockey "star".

dr

he would have if they didn't insist on money and a salary dump to go along with the deal......

the Pens used the KOvy money and the Jagr money they got to buy the site they want for the new arena

Kovy would have returned a ton if it wasn't for the insistance of money, the insistance of money would not had to happen if the NHL was fixed with a cap

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Old
02-12-2005, 11:24 AM
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricBowser
Pittsburgh CFO Ken Sawyer was interviewed and spoke at length about the lockout and what the league needs. The reporter said the NHL had lifted the gag order and wanted all the GMs and Owners to start talking in hopes to getting more players to join in the pressure calls to Goodenow to get a deal done now.

Apparently, a ton of players have been calling teams asking what can get done and then calling NHLPA demanding action.

I wouldn't be surprised if NHLPA has already called the NHL for a meeting and to present an offer or counter from last proposal.
The NHL didn't have the gag order it was the 30 owners who initiated the gag order, Bettman just enforced it. It was the owners rule.

It has been more than the players calling teams. GM's have been calling owners and players, Owners have been calling players etc. Everyone is getting nervous.

Not all teams are losing less money by not playing and the thought of another season lost for some owners makes them nervous.

Tom Hicks of the Stars stated in DMN yesterday that the Stars are actually losing money by not playing because they have $6M if arena costs regardless if there is ice in the arena or not. Think he wants to sit out another year and lose another $6M. There are many more in the same type of situation.

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Old
02-12-2005, 11:30 AM
  #78
wazee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetcoaster
Sounds like the NHL is getting desperate.

The interesting thing about the lifting of the gag order signals to me that the NHL has given up on the possibility of declaring a bargaining impasse and using replacement players. One of the major reasons for the gag order was to prevent NHL owners from saying anything that could later be used against the NHL position if before a labour board.

Recall how fast Bettman hammered Steve Belkin with a fine when he spoke out about the possibility of using replacement players several montha ago.

It seems to me the NHL has now decided that a bargaining impasse and replacement players are not a viable strategy.

No surprise given the difficulties in getting the impasse declaration past the NLRB, the fact there is no impasse procedure in Canada, the ban on replacement players in BC and Quebec and the problem that the NHL would have in filling the rosters given the immigration law constraints.
Lifting the gag order could just as easily be a sign of strength. Bettman is sure enough of the owner's unity that he believes what they will say will work in their favor.

As for the impasse thing, unlike you, I do not think that was ever the owner's plan. It has been informative to read your posts about the legal ins and outs of declaring impasse in an abstract way, but I think the owner's would only try it if all other methods of bargaining had failed completely. I do not see them reaching that point until next year.

It has been amusing to watch you writing volumes about why the owners would lose if they tried to declare impasse when they have not been talking about doing so. Now, that they are still not talking about declaring impasse, you are saying they must be getting desperate. No spin there.

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02-12-2005, 11:35 AM
  #79
EricBowser
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If there is revenue-sharing and a salary floor, I think Pens will ask about the availability of Flyers RW Tony Amonte and LW John LeClair. Mark Recchi has already spoken with both players to gauge their interest coming to Pittsburgh if it became possible and LeClair told the Wreckin Ball he would love to come to Pittsburgh.

Amonte could be an option to fill the 2nd line right-wing spot vacated by Aleksey Morozov since the Russian decided to sign a contract in his home country for the season.

LeClair would likely be asked to be a role player on the third line and power-play unit seeing occasional shifts with Mario Lemieux.

Pens have also spoken with the agents for Alexei Kovalev and Alexei Zhamnov. Kovy for the obvious reasons wanted to come back to Pittsburgh but Craig Patrick wasn't prepared to meet his contract demands due to the unknown collective bargaining agreement.

Same with Zhamnov, Head Coach Ed Olczyk tried to lure him to the Burgh but like Kovalev, his asking price was a bit much to handle before knowing the financial landscape.

When the lights come back on, Penguins are likely to make about two or three surprising free agent or trade moves to bolster their roster for a strong playoff run.

If you look at their roster, here's their current lineup

1st: Lemieux - Malone - Recchi
2nd: Koltsov - Kraft - Fata
3rd: Abid - Beech - Bradley
4th: Surovy - Pirjeta - Vandenbussche
Extra: Eastwood

When we come back, I think we'll see...
1st: Lemieux - Zhamnov - Recchi - Tarnstrom - Jackman
2nd: Malone - Kraft - Kovalev - Orpik - Whitney
3rd: Koltsov - Beech - Bradley - Melichar - Rozsival
4th: Abid - Pirjeta - Fata
Extra: Eastwood - Vandenbussche - Strbak
Trade/Minors: Surovy

Pens will decide it would be better to sign free agents like Kovalev and Zhamnov than help out the large market teams to get under the tax thresholds/cap plus lose assets for expensive contracts.

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Old
02-12-2005, 12:34 PM
  #80
handtrick
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I don't know if this link from Sportnet confirming this thread has been posted yet:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/artic...12_130606_1772

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Old
02-12-2005, 02:30 PM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded-Fan
Actually the opposite . . . the Pens over the three years prior to last year were middle of the road in attendence, something like 15th or 16th league wide. Last year they dropped to the mid-eleven thousands, near the very bottom. They did a number of salary dumps that I think got them the rep on this board of an in trouble franchise. However I truly believe that Craig Patrick was positioning them for this lockout and a hard cap environment instead of any desperation on the Pens' part. That said, I will agree with you, the Pens have a core of talent just ready to come up from the minors that has created excitement in Pittsburgh, I would not be surprised if season tickets sales in Pittsburgh take off when hockey begins again. I can almost guarentee that the Pens will at least return to where they have been since the 80's, middle of the pack in attendence. But as of this date, that remains to be seen.
Yeah, I could say with confidence that CP was not only keeping the team at the time close to even in cash, but prepping for the looming CBA issue at the time. He's made some questionable trades in his time (Zubov for Kevin Hatcher ), but for the most part I think he is one of the best GMs in the league for what he has had to go through and the way he has handled his job.

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Old
02-12-2005, 03:44 PM
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wazee
Lifting the gag order could just as easily be a sign of strength. Bettman is sure enough of the owner's unity that he believes what they will say will work in their favor.

As for the impasse thing, unlike you, I do not think that was ever the owner's plan. It has been informative to read your posts about the legal ins and outs of declaring impasse in an abstract way, but I think the owner's would only try it if all other methods of bargaining had failed completely. I do not see them reaching that point until next year.

It has been amusing to watch you writing volumes about why the owners would lose if they tried to declare impasse when they have not been talking about doing so. Now, that they are still not talking about declaring impasse, you are saying they must be getting desperate. No spin there.
And I pointed out yet again in the post that you quote that a declaration impasse would be very difficult to achieve in any event (case law is against winning an impasse declaration, immigration law constraints on foreign players during a labour dispute, no impasse procedure in Canada, no replacement players allowed in BC or Alberta and maybe Ontario if the provincial legislature passes the proposed amendments to the Ontario Labour Code re-imposing the ban on replacement workers) - but that is not the real issue now.

Up to this point the owners did have at least the threat, if not the actual fact, of an impasse declaration in their quiver. The NHL has abandoned that. It no longer is a viable option.

More evidence? Bill Daly announced yesterday on The Score that the NHL would not require linkage on a deal. That shows there is no impasse in fact. Couple that with the unfair labour practise of letting owners contact players during a labour dispute, it certainly appears desperate to me.

I have already posted on numerous occasions that the longer the dispute goes the more pressure will be brought to bear on the owners. They lose value on their assets, they have issues with their lenders because many of them are highly leveraged, they may lose corporate sponsors and ticket holders, advertising and broadcast contracts may be voided or have to be re-written along the lines of the NBC deal and there are serious legal issues with an entry draft, unsigned juniors, RFA's not being tendered offers on June 1, etc. if there is no CBA in place. For the players the pressure is less as time goes on.

The NHL confirmed that if there is to be a season it will be a 28 game season. That means the NHL players have already forgone about 2/3 of their salaries for this year and that will not be recovered - the players know that - they are not stupid. The owners by cancelling the season lose their gravy train - the playoffs where they are not paying salaries and raking in the revenues. If the owners thought the loss of 2/3 thirds of their salaries would bring the players scurrying back, they have badly miscalculated. But is not miscalculation and bad business decisions the hallmark of the Gary Bettman era as the first Commissioner of the NHL?

Seems to me the events of the last few days have shown the owners buckling under the pressure - they are making the proposals and making the concessions. Bettman trotted out his cancelling the season speech and the NHLPA did not blink. It was "Fine you called the lockout, you do what you have to do".

And he certainly did not get the reaction he expected with his trigger point phantom offer. The media almost universally derided the NHL for a transparent attempt to impose a salary cap under guise of "accepting" the players' December 9, 2004 proposal - BTW it was NOT the same proposal. The NHLPA response - they simply ignored, and did not bother to negotiate on, the triggers taking Bettman at his word that this was his final best offer and he was being chastised by some owners for giving up too much. The NHLPA wanted to talk about the parts of the December 9 proposal that Bettman had chopped from his offer - revenue sharing and a payroll tax. Seems to me it left Bettman and Daly dazed and confused.

Every time Bettman has faced Goodenow he has come out second best - this just seems more of the same. Make no mistake this is an adversarial process and the NHLPA seems to have the best weapons on their side. It seems that Bettman has brought a knife to a gunfight.

Even Stan Fischler who is the most rabidly pro-owner media type out there admitted that despite his earlier continual predictions, there is no sign that the NHLPA is wavering at this point in time. In fact he printed a retraction on an earlier story where he reported a large percentage of the players ready to accept a cap. Bill Watters said the same thing - the players are united - on Sportsnet yesterday in response to Mike Brophy's report that the owners were now contacting players directly in an attempt to put some pressure on Goodenow to make a deal. Brian Burke and Bob McKenzie both said that they do not see the NHLPA wavering. Burke knows Goodenow better than anyone - they used to be in business together as player agents.

It all sounds pretty desperate to me on the part of the owners. Maybe Goodenow has the NHL just where he wants them? As Bill Watters said it is consistent with Goodenow's reputation as "deadline hunter" and he now has his deadline.

I know I would much rather face Bettman across a Texas Holdem poker table than Bob Goodenow. Bettman is bureaucrat and corporate lawyer, Goodenow is a warrior and a litigator. IMHO Goodenow has played a weaker hand masterfully. YMMV.

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Old
02-12-2005, 04:09 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Conservative
Until the past month or so, I really haven't missed hockey all that much, but recently its been like a part of me is missing. I know that sounds kind of melodramatic, but god damnit, there are very few things I like more than watching my boys play. I think when the reality of the whole thing comes crashing down, i'm really gonna be devastated. Football(soccer) is nice, but it just ain't the same.
It would be nice if Man U, or even the Gunners, could give Chelski a run for it, especially if we're going through Stanley Cup withdrawal.

http://www.4thegame.com/

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Old
02-12-2005, 07:03 PM
  #84
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We differ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetcoaster
I have already posted on numerous occasions that the longer the dispute goes the more pressure will be brought to bear on the owners. They lose value on their assets, they have issues with their lenders because many of them are highly leveraged, they may lose corporate sponsors and ticket holders, advertising and broadcast contracts may be voided or have to be re-written along the lines of the NBC deal and there are serious legal issues with an entry draft, unsigned juniors, RFA's not being tendered offers on June 1, etc. if there is no CBA in place. For the players the pressure is less as time goes on.

I know I would much rather face Bettman across a Texas Holdem poker table than Bob Goodenow. Bettman is bureaucrat and corporate lawyer, Goodenow is a warrior and a litigator. IMHO Goodenow has played a weaker hand masterfully. YMMV.
I have to disagree with the first quote. The owners at this stage can't take anything less than linkage, because the damage to the game right now is too great for the Owners to be the only ones bearing the brunt of the fan backlash. They, like every other business will pass that onto their workers. Yes, tv rights, season tickets, advertising, etc. those revenues will all decrease, so if they're not at least matched by a good percentage drop in player costs, then it makes no sense to cave in now.

Players have a lot to lose, and IMO, more than the owners. Owners are billionaries, so they can stand the lose of a few millions. The players, how long can they play hockey for? Hockey is also the thing they grew up wanting to be.

I just wonder if both sides before this work stoppage began thought out "The Worst Case Scenario"

For the Owners:
1) Major hit in revenues on all fronts
2) No major US TV deal for a long time
3) Value of the teams will drop
4) A Few owners may have to fold teams and thus in the future, if the NHL tried to go back to a Nashville, Carolina, Florida, etc. the fans of the future will remember that the league folded their teams in the past and that it could happen again, so the league would lose a lot of credibility in any future expansion decisions.

For the Players:
1) Lose salaries for however the work stoppage goes on for
2) Tarnished image amongst the fans given some very stupid comments of some players during the lockout
3) A major, major reduction in salaries whenever the lockout ends (especially if salaries are linked to revenues)
4) Lose of teams, means loss of NHL jobs
5) Dissention among the membership if jobs are lost. Guys will say I sat out 2 years of my NHL career to only have 2, 4 or 6 teams fold and I can't land a NHL job?

Hope both sides realize the worst case scenario is coming true for them.

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