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It's Not About Winning Or Losing. It's About Who Gets The Blame (CBA/Lockout) XVI

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Old
10-27-2012, 09:02 AM
  #901
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
Leopold and Jacobs negotiate ludicrously irresponsible contracts over the summer, and then lock the players out so they can undo the damage of their stupidity, and people hate on Krys Barch?

Meanwhile, Bettman acts like a banana republic dictator (though that's probably unkind to banana republic dictators), saying that every dollar we once promised to pay you is now worth $0.76 cents (upped now to $0.88). Is there anything more contrary to the straight-shooting, no BS, look-you-in-the-eye culture of hockey than shaking hands on a deal and weeks later saying each dollar we promised is now worth around $0.80. Talk about a weasel. If the league's bargaining posture were a player, he would definitely be Alex Burrows or Brad Marchand.

And I don't agree that this sort of unilateral contract devaluation is OK because of escrow -- that's a true-up mechanism to adjust salary within mutually agreed upon revenue parameters. Bettman, Jacobs and Leopold want to unilaterally devalue the currency of the contracts they agreed to even though their own absurd offers recognized that (absent a self-imposed wound of a lockout by the owners) league revenues would continue to grow.
Depends on the contract the player signed with the team. If the contract stated that the monetary value of the contract was based off the CBA HRR split, they have no soap box to cry off of.
If the players didn't know that. They should read the deals they are signing or get a better agent.

The players knew a battle was upcoming over the new CBA, hence the hiring of retired Fehr to get as much as he could for the PA.
They had to know the CBA would go down. The players didn't have to sign those mega deals before the CBA expired. The GM's didn't put a gun to Suter's and Parise's head and force them to sign those deals.

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10-27-2012, 09:06 AM
  #902
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
It's absolutely mind-boggling to me that Krys Barch draws hate and vitriol, while most people on this thread have just given Leopold and Jacobs and the hard-liners a free pass. Really, Barch encapsulated this whole dispute in one sentence:

<<The lockout is a procedure to take from the players to pay for the NHL mistakes.>>

Leopold and Jacobs negotiate ludicrously irresponsible contracts over the summer, and then lock the players out so they can undo the damage of their stupidity, and people hate on Krys Barch?

Meanwhile, Bettman acts like a banana republic dictator (though that's probably unkind to banana republic dictators), saying that every dollar we once promised to pay you is now worth $0.76 cents (upped now to $0.88). Is there anything more contrary to the straight-shooting, no BS, look-you-in-the-eye culture of hockey than shaking hands on a deal and weeks later saying each dollar we promised is now worth around $0.80. Talk about a weasel. If the league's bargaining posture were a player, he would definitely be Alex Burrows or Brad Marchand.

And I don't agree that this sort of unilateral contract devaluation is OK because of escrow -- that's a true-up mechanism to adjust salary within mutually agreed upon revenue parameters. Bettman, Jacobs and Leopold want to unilaterally devalue the currency of the contracts they agreed to even though their own absurd offers recognized that (absent a self-imposed wound of a lockout by the owners) league revenues would continue to grow.
Again, this argument completely ignores the reality of the situation and the economics of pro sports. No, the signings weren't a self acknowledgement that revenues would grow. The signings were an acknowledgement that under the previous CBA, those were the prices a GM had to give in order to better his team. If Minnesota didn't sign them to those contracts, some other team would have. This has to be engrained in your head. Regardless of who signed them, those UFA's were getting those big deals because that's what the current market dictated, a market under the old CBA rules. If teams just collectively decided not to offer large contracts because they knew a new CBA was on its way they'd be getting thrashed, possibly in court, on collusion charges. And the NHLPA knew this, and thats why 1. they chose to increase the cap in the off season and 2. high profile UFA's and RFA's negotiated their salary to be very heavy on the signing bonuses.

The economics is very simple. There are a select few teams that can truly afford the huge salaries and contracts. Problem is, those teams don't just drive up the price of their own players but they drive up the price of every other player in the league. So, you're Minnesota's GM. You can just sit on your hands, do no signings, watch other teams sign UFA's and get better meanwhile you're team stagnates because it can't afford any high profile player and you lose revenue through less fan support and less playoff gate revenue. Or, you can sign the big names hoping that your financial situation improves enough with added fanfare and deeper playoff runs by improving the team to offset the added salaries. Neither option is really all that attractive for an owner, and the owner is saying, and even after making those signings, he is still entitled to say its not a acceptable system when so many teams have to gamble their financial future just to try and improve their team. for an even more poignent example, what exactly was Nashville to do? Letting Weber walk wiuld have lrobably crippled the marketing potential their team had, but by signing him, they are now in financial thin ice. My team was stuck with this choice throughout he late 90's and it went bankrupt and nearly moved because of it. The salary cap helps but it hasn't done enough, especially since the big market teams and agents found a way to basically circumvent the cap through contract length. This lockout is about changing the market and yes, a market correction for past signings as well to help eliminate that terrible choice. Do I let my team become a farm team for bigger teams (and thus, have fan support and less playoff revenue and thus risking the long term financial viability) or do I risk my financial state by signing the players to the rates the current market dictates? Both options suck, but are a reality for nearly half the teams in the NHL right now

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10-27-2012, 09:16 AM
  #903
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Originally Posted by wolffy66 View Post
The players need to use some logic here. Business had to go on as usual.
It did. And the Buyer Beware thing comes into play here. In the time leading up to the lockout a person had to be living under a rock not to know what was going to happen. The players knew and the owners knew. That's why hearing players play the dumb victim card is so tough - none of them are victims of anything other than greed and drunken narcissism.

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10-27-2012, 09:22 AM
  #904
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So that $25 million bonus Suter worked into his contract had nothing to do with him realizing the CBA is also a contract and could alter his future salary? This stance the players have is wholly disingenuous. They are well aware of the stipulations a CBA may impose, current or future. The victim act is frankly, irritating.
Probably the best term to sum up the players arguments. They lose a lot of credibility by consistently regurgitating these ridiculous talking points.

The two most mind numbing

"We would be willing to play under the current contract"
"Record Revenues"

Surprised that in the most recent Fehr interview that one of the numerous sports reporters didn't ask for clarification on the difference between revenues and profits.

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10-27-2012, 09:30 AM
  #905
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The owners should put out a rumors that they are looking to reduce league to 26 teams if deal cannot be reached. See if the Crosby and the Ovechkin of the world + the Union heads can still preach their gospel if 100 bottom rung players start thinking they are going to lose NHL job

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10-27-2012, 09:36 AM
  #906
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I love how Fehr reduces the salary cap argument to Toronto revenues versus Pheonix revenues. Way to frame reality. Most teams are writing cheques with red ink, you liar.
I thought it was the one point in the article worth responding to. Of course the cap doesn't solve the league's revenue disparity problems. But (1) I don't expect Toronto's revenue to continue expanding disproportionately to Phoenix's forever, so if this pulls Phoenix up enough to be solvent on a larger share of RS, major win; (2) what has the union proposed that would fix the problem more efficiently than a pay cut? Nothing, really. They proposed a small bump in RS, which the league mostly adopted in its last proposal. Great.

If Donald Fehr is basically insinuating that Phoenix needs to be moved, then he can suck an egg, not because it doesn't, but because the last people to be making that decision is the goddamned PA. This is not the forum for making that call.

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10-27-2012, 09:38 AM
  #907
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It is what it is...businesses that I have worked for have done the same thing forever. IBM has made money forever. The years they do not make as much as they want - they go on a cost cutting rampage (including jobs). What part of this do the players not understand????. . . . Sorry, but that is life in business, and this is a business.
That's a very succinct encapsulation of the owners' position. And I think the dynamic you describe above is precisely why most fans sympathized with the owners in 04-05. And I also think that's why most people would be OK with a ceiling on contract length, a narrowing of arbitration rights and a graduated reduction to 50-50.

But the owners stance this time around is basically, yeah revenue grew 50%, the game has never been more popular but we're still too stupid to restrain ourselves from overpaying for certain assets, a lot of us are incompetent managers, and a few of us are stuck in terrible markets because Bettman has no intuitive feel for the game and therefore has little sense of what separates a good hockey market from a bad one. So our solution is for the players to cough up a lot of money to fix all these problems.

And when the players (who are willing to take a smaller share of HRR going forward, and probably willing to deal on contract length and arbitration) say to the owners "And what are you giving up to help address these problems," the answer is "nothing, other than a token hike in revenue sharing. But we don't have to give up anything because we take all the financial risk."

The players response is (i) it's the business you have chosen (and the framework you asked for) and (ii) in fact, what you seem to be doing every 6-7 years is off-loading the accumulated costs associated with that risk onto us -- and guess what, we're not going to keep agreeing to that; you guys have to take on some of the burden of solving your internal issues. If the league came up with a proposal that was something other than let's get the players to solve all of our problems for us, you'd have a deal here pretty quickly


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Originally Posted by TCsmyth View Post
Get the beast deal you can
Nice Freudian slip -- I think it's precisely because the league is going for a "beast" of a deal (instead of just a good deal) that we're at an impasse. Anyway, I appreciate the effective and level-headed way you presented the owners' side here.

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10-27-2012, 09:41 AM
  #908
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Originally Posted by PensFanSince1989 View Post
Again, this argument completely ignores the reality of the situation and the economics of pro sports. No, the signings weren't a self acknowledgement that revenues would grow. The signings were an acknowledgement that under the previous CBA, those were the prices a GM had to give in order to better his team. If Minnesota didn't sign them to those contracts, some other team would have. This has to be engrained in your head. Regardless of who signed them, those UFA's were getting those big deals because that's what the current market dictated, a market under the old CBA rules. If teams just collectively decided not to offer large contracts because they knew a new CBA was on its way they'd be getting thrashed, possibly in court, on collusion charges. And the NHLPA knew this, and thats why 1. they chose to increase the cap in the off season and 2. high profile UFA's and RFA's negotiated their salary to be very heavy on the signing bonuses.

The economics is very simple. There are a select few teams that can truly afford the huge salaries and contracts. Problem is, those teams don't just drive up the price of their own players but they drive up the price of every other player in the league. So, you're Minnesota's GM. You can just sit on your hands, do no signings, watch other teams sign UFA's and get better meanwhile you're team stagnates because it can't afford any high profile player and you lose revenue through less fan support and less playoff gate revenue. Or, you can sign the big names hoping that your financial situation improves enough with added fanfare and deeper playoff runs by improving the team to offset the added salaries. Neither option is really all that attractive for an owner, and the owner is saying, and even after making those signings, he is still entitled to say its not a acceptable system when so many teams have to gamble their financial future just to try and improve their team. for an even more poignent example, what exactly was Nashville to do? Letting Weber walk wiuld have lrobably crippled the marketing potential their team had, but by signing him, they are now in financial thin ice. My team was stuck with this choice throughout he late 90's and it went bankrupt and nearly moved because of it. The salary cap helps but it hasn't done enough, especially since the big market teams and agents found a way to basically circumvent the cap through contract length. This lockout is about changing the market and yes, a market correction for past signings as well to help eliminate that terrible choice. Do I let my team become a farm team for bigger teams (and thus, have fan support and less playoff revenue and thus risking the long term financial viability) or do I risk my financial state by signing the players to the rates the current market dictates? Both options suck, but are a reality for nearly half the teams in the NHL right now
This post does a good job dismantling the all-too-often parroted "the owners made all the financials mistakes" line. I think I can boil it down even snappier:

An owner can choose to be financially responsible (a) by himself, meaning he simply loses all his best players and depreciates his franchise value with lower fan interest, or (b) with other owners simultaneously, which brings him in to court on collusion charges. Which is the way you suggest that he go?

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10-27-2012, 09:42 AM
  #909
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I thought it was the one point in the article worth responding to. Of course the cap doesn't solve the league's revenue disparity problems. But (1) I don't expect Toronto's revenue to continue expanding disproportionately to Phoenix's forever, so if this pulls Phoenix up enough to be solvent on a larger share of RS, major win; (2) what has the union proposed that would fix the problem more efficiently than a pay cut? Nothing, really. They proposed a small bump in RS, which the league mostly adopted in its last proposal. Great.

If Donald Fehr is basically insinuating that Phoenix needs to be moved, then he can suck an egg, not because it doesn't, but because the last people to be making that decision is the goddamned PA. This is not the forum for making that call.
You're right, the PA doesn't have a say. The league can back themselves into a corner by making poor financial decisions that are fuelled by pride and then get out of it by reducing the players share. Sounds legit.

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10-27-2012, 09:46 AM
  #910
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post

<<The lockout is a procedure to take from the players to pay for the NHL mistakes.>>
So how would you like owners to be responsible: by themselves, meaning they just lose players, or in collusion, in which case they're criminals? I'll wait.

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10-27-2012, 09:50 AM
  #911
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Probably the best term to sum up the players arguments. They lose a lot of credibility by consistently regurgitating these ridiculous talking points.

The two most mind numbing

"We would be willing to play under the current contract"
"Record Revenues"

Surprised that in the most recent Fehr interview that one of the numerous sports reporters didn't ask for clarification on the difference between revenues and profits.
I think your forgetting the "this is a lockout not a strike"

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10-27-2012, 09:50 AM
  #912
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I don't see a big issue with the league asking for 50-50. In 2005 it was 46%, all they're asking is to level the playing field and get back to a fair share. They never thought the game would grow so fast.

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10-27-2012, 09:52 AM
  #913
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Again, this argument completely ignores the reality of the situation and the economics of pro sports. No, the signings weren't a self acknowledgement that revenues would grow. The signings were an acknowledgement that under the previous CBA, those were the prices a GM had to give in order to better his team. If Minnesota didn't sign them to those contracts, some other team would have. This has to be engrained in your head. Regardless of who signed them, those UFA's were getting those big deals because that's what the current market dictated, a market under the old CBA rules. If teams just collectively decided not to offer large contracts because they knew a new CBA was on its way they'd be getting thrashed, possibly in court, on collusion charges. And the NHLPA knew this, and thats why 1. they chose to increase the cap in the off season and 2. high profile UFA's and RFA's negotiated their salary to be very heavy on the signing bonuses
Good post. By condemning Leopold, Jacobs, et. al. for signing those contracts I'm implicitly acknowledging that the players -- especially the top-end guys -- are getting an excessive share of HRR. That's why I'm fine with a graduated reduction to 50% and a cap on contract lengths. And the players seem to be fine with that as well. The problem is the NHL has given no indication that it's willing to accept that type of outcome.

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10-27-2012, 09:54 AM
  #914
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The owners should put out a rumors that they are looking to reduce league to 26 teams if deal cannot be reached. See if the Crosby and the Ovechkin of the world + the Union heads can still preach their gospel if 100 bottom rung players start thinking they are going to lose NHL job
Wonder what Barch would have to say then.

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10-27-2012, 09:57 AM
  #915
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Good post. By condemning Leopold, Jacobs, et. al. for signing those contracts I'm implicitly acknowledging that the players -- especially the top-end guys -- are getting an excessive share of HRR. That's why I'm fine with a graduated reduction to 50% and a cap on contract lengths. And the players seem to be fine with that as well. The problem is the NHL has given no indication that it's willing to accept that type of outcome.
The NHLPA is not interested in a reduction to 50/50. They want to de-link their current contracts and keep them at their current value. They could make over 60% of HRR under their proposals if revenues don't grow by at least 5%.

If the NHLPA kept contracts linked to revenue, we would have hockey on November 2nd. Instead they want to change the system.

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10-27-2012, 10:07 AM
  #916
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
Meanwhile, Bettman acts like a banana republic dictator (though that's probably unkind to banana republic dictators), saying that every dollar we once promised to pay you is now worth $0.76 cents (upped now to $0.88). Is there anything more contrary to the straight-shooting, no BS, look-you-in-the-eye culture of hockey than shaking hands on a deal and weeks later saying each dollar we promised is now worth around $0.80. Talk about a weasel. If the league's bargaining posture were a player, he would definitely be Alex Burrows or Brad Marchand.
The CBA is quite clear, players get paid 82% (or 86%) of their salary when paid. It's been like that for the past seven years. Players really have no excuse for not "knowing" this. Then at the end of the year, they get a portion of what's left based on HRR. The owners have offered a deal where this would happen once again, it's just that the chance of getting back the extra kept in escrow is lower.

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10-27-2012, 10:28 AM
  #917
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That's a very succinct encapsulation of the owners' position. And I think the dynamic you describe above is precisely why most fans sympathized with the owners in 04-05. And I also think that's why most people would be OK with a ceiling on contract length, a narrowing of arbitration rights and a graduated reduction to 50-50.

But the owners stance this time around is basically, yeah revenue grew 50%, the game has never been more popular but we're still too stupid to restrain ourselves from overpaying for certain assets, a lot of us are incompetent managers, and a few of us are stuck in terrible markets because Bettman has no intuitive feel for the game and therefore has little sense of what separates a good hockey market from a bad one. So our solution is for the players to cough up a lot of money to fix all these problems.

And when the players (who are willing to take a smaller share of HRR going forward, and probably willing to deal on contract length and arbitration) say to the owners "And what are you giving up to help address these problems," the answer is "nothing, other than a token hike in revenue sharing. But we don't have to give up anything because we take all the financial risk."

The players response is (i) it's the business you have chosen (and the framework you asked for) and (ii) in fact, what you seem to be doing every 6-7 years is off-loading the accumulated costs associated with that risk onto us -- and guess what, we're not going to keep agreeing to that; you guys have to take on some of the burden of solving your internal issues. If the league came up with a proposal that was something other than let's get the players to solve all of our problems for us, you'd have a deal here pretty quickly

Nice Freudian slip -- I think it's precisely because the league is going for a "beast" of a deal (instead of just a good deal) that we're at an impasse. Anyway, I appreciate the effective and level-headed way you presented the owners' side here.
Thank you Marcel...it was not a Freudian slip - just an auto spelling one!

I am suggesting that the players should accept the owners framework, not worry about their ridiculous business decisions (Phoenix, outrageous bonuses, etc.) and push for a 10 year agreement. Then, get back out on the ice, and perform in a way that keeps saps like me buying season tickets, lots of beer and merchandise, and sign more multi million dollar deals for as long as you can.

All this crap about principle, fixing the business, good faith...is just that - it is crap. I see this as really simple, the guys get to play in the best league, with the best working conditions, with the best money...go out and make hay! I think bringing in Don Fehr is more than these players bargained for. I think we have an ideological labor negotiator that knows little about hockey (not that this is a prerequisite), but I think he cares little about the actual situations of the Krys Barch's of the game, and more about the elusive grand bargain.

Sorry for the rant, but I think all of our pontificating on here about what each side "said" is just window dressing. Guess I am just too jaded from being in business so long

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10-27-2012, 10:30 AM
  #918
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Originally Posted by MacOfNiagara View Post
Probably the best term to sum up the players arguments. They lose a lot of credibility by consistently regurgitating these ridiculous talking points.

The two most mind numbing

"We would be willing to play under the current contract"
"Record Revenues"

Surprised that in the most recent Fehr interview that one of the numerous sports reporters didn't ask for clarification on the difference between revenues and profits.
That's not fair to the players; they have zero control over how well a particular hockey organization is run, and thus how profitable a team is. Their job is to play hockey, and indirectly to generate revenue, not to generate a profit. It's up to the owners, and team management in general, to create a budget that works for them within the constraints of their individual team revenue.

Revenue is way, way up since the last lockout, more than player salary growth, I believe. If you want to blame someone for the lack of profitability of various teams, blame Bettman for blocking relocation and blame individual team managers for poor business decisions.

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10-27-2012, 10:31 AM
  #919
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But the owners stance this time around is basically, yeah revenue grew 50%, the game has never been more popular but we're still too stupid to restrain ourselves from overpaying for certain assets, a lot of us are incompetent managers, and a few of us are stuck in terrible markets because Bettman has no intuitive feel for the game and therefore has little sense of what separates a good hockey market from a bad one.
Other than the length of contracts given out this has nothing to do with smart or stupid mgmt. Owners feel 57% of HRR going to the players is too much. As soon as the NBA got the 49 to 51% band on BRI this lockout/owner demand became a reality. NFL's band is 47 to 48.5% and Fehr's baby MLB is, according to some articles, 45% revenue going to the players. Why should the NHLPA care? They don't have to. However as the saying goes: you can do this the easy way or the hard way.

The fact is compared to other NA sports leagues the NHL pays the highest share to the players with the smallest pie. If you have a solution to this that is player friendly I'd love to hear. Sticking your head in the sand and not paying heed to which way the wind is blowing in your industry is not constructive.

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10-27-2012, 10:38 AM
  #920
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I want hockey but i also want to see that ****er Barch suffer. I love the fact that he is losing money every day now.
Imagine him being forced to work at a McDonalds in like 5 years time. Priceless.


And the Fehrs brothers get it together or do a Jimmy Hoffa.

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10-27-2012, 10:39 AM
  #921
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If for the past 7 years he gave me raises which dwarfed the a huge amount the average raise in NA? If even after a 20% cut my average raise over the past 5 years dwarfed the rest of the countries? If he explained it was needed to stablize the business? If the business I worked for flirted with bankruptcy in the last 6 months?

Damn right I would. I know a good deal when I see it.
Good Post! Exactly how I feel, these guys made it through the recession unscathed unlike alot of working stiffs.

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10-27-2012, 10:47 AM
  #922
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I want hockey but i also want to see that ****er Barch suffer. I love the fact that he is losing money every day now.
Imagine him being forced to work at a McDonalds in like 5 years time. Priceless.

I am really glad that I am not the only one that feels that way

I have a buddy at work that keeps asking me "how do you think Krys Barch is doing?"

My answers become nastier every day.

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10-27-2012, 10:55 AM
  #923
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
But the owners stance this time around is basically, yeah revenue grew 50%, the game has never been more popular but we're still too stupid to restrain ourselves from overpaying for certain assets, a lot of us are incompetent managers, and a few of us are stuck in terrible markets because Bettman has no intuitive feel for the game and therefore has little sense of what separates a good hockey market from a bad one. So our solution is for the players to cough up a lot of money to fix all these problems.

And when the players (who are willing to take a smaller share of HRR going forward, and probably willing to deal on contract length and arbitration) say to the owners "And what are you giving up to help address these problems," the answer is "nothing, other than a token hike in revenue sharing. But we don't have to give up anything because we take all the financial risk."
you sir win the chicken dinner!

What other business is different? Except that these employees have an even shorter window of a career vs. a steel worker or miner. Why do the players not see that the owners need these things to protect themselves from each other?

Yes sir Mr. owner, we see you like the cap. We see you want to pay less (by the way, we believe you are serious). We will take less, happy to work within your suggested framework, here is what we propose. By the way, we really like the travel, benefits, per diems, signing bonuses, training staff and facilities...lets make sure whatever we do we keep these things - and maybe make them a little better.

Let's both go out and keep growing the **** out of this game, so that dummies like TCsmyth and his pals keeps paying big bucks now and into the future to follow!

Sorry guys, I am getting way too simplistic with my crap, but having fun doing it


Last edited by TCsmyth: 10-27-2012 at 10:58 AM. Reason: spelling
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10-27-2012, 10:59 AM
  #924
ottawah
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post

<<The lockout is a procedure to take from the players to pay for the NHL mistakes.>>

So what he is really saying its not fair that the league wants to fix their mistake?

I know when I make mistakes, I fix them rather than continue making the same mistake and letting it fester. Jeeez, no wonder I'm not more successful in life ....... I've apparently been doing ti all wrong.

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10-27-2012, 11:15 AM
  #925
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Originally Posted by ottawah View Post
So what he is really saying its not fair that the league wants to fix their mistake?

I know when I make mistakes, I fix them rather than continue making the same mistake and letting it fester. Jeeez, no wonder I'm not more successful in life ....... I've apparently been doing ti all wrong.
That seems to be the mentality of the PA, many teams should continue to suffer because they "won" the CBA last time. As we all know it didn't turn out the way they wanted but it doesn't mean many teams will have to continue to bleed red because of it....that's why the CBA has an expirary date.

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