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Suter Calls Out Leipold re: Contract Roll Backs

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10-27-2012, 01:55 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Even Bettman admitted that the optics over the course of the last few weeks leading up to the lockout weren't the best.

Then you get the guys who led that pack sitting on the negotiation committee. I think the players are right to call out their fellow hypocrites.

The saving grace for them may be that they didn't know the details of what was coming, and where the owners will hold the line.
On July 1st, the biggest problem was that the owners had no idea what the players end game was and that was completely Fehr's doing by stalling the negotiations. Fehr knew exactly was he was doing by delaying the negotiations, he forced the owners to continue to hand out huge contracts as normal because the owners couldn't give the slightest hint of collusion (Fehr's main tactic).

We will never know what the owner's true end game was because the players proposal de-linked salaries from revenue. That was a complete game changer. Maybe the owners were ready to negotiate to a soft landing, i.e. 54-52-51-50-50-50, but the players made that impossible by de-linking salaries and asking for guaranteed raises. The NHLPA also only presented a 3 year term with an option to go back to 57% linked to revenues if that was worth more than their guaranteed raises that they got the first 3 years. That is a lot to ask of an ownership group that just experience revenue growth that nobody expected. How long can the goose keep laying those golden eggs? When would the "market" correction occur and revenues stagnate? Could the owners really risk giving raises if revenues ended up flat?

As to the 5% escalator, all that does is increase the escrow payments and reduce the total value of all NHLPA contracts. If they players truely understood how it worked, they wouldn't have used it when revenues were increasing. It only helps the top UFAs and not the group as a whole, especially because you could use ELC bonuses and buy-outs to hit the floor.

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10-27-2012, 01:55 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by stuffradio View Post
I'm not giving the owners a pass, and the rest of my statement stands.

You're fine. You said you didn't see anyone doing it. It's pretty easy to spot. Just look for ***** and lots of strange characters in the posts.

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10-27-2012, 01:55 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Could have fooled me. I don't see expletive-laced posts about the worst cap-circumventing owners.

You must have missed all of those threads on the main and team boards.

You must not have followed the Kovalchuk saga.

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10-27-2012, 01:58 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Bourne Endeavor View Post
Fun fact. Had the owners all internally agreed not to offer Suter top market value. The NHLPA would be suing them on collusion charges.

Damned if you do...
Independently deciding not to spend beyond your own team's means isn't "collusion".

If your team is a big money loser then don't go offering massive contracts (just because you figure you'll get them scaled back in a few months).

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Originally Posted by Sydor25 View Post
On July 1st, the biggest problem was that the owners had no idea what the players end game was and that was completely Fehr's doing by stalling the negotiations. Fehr knew exactly was he was doing by delaying the negotiations, he forced the owners to continue to hand out huge contracts as normal because the owners couldn't give the slightest hint of collusion (Fehr's main tactic).

We will never know what the owner's true end game was because the players proposal de-linked salaries from revenue. That was a complete game changer. Maybe the owners were ready to negotiate to a soft landing, i.e. 54-52-51-50-50-50, but the players made that impossible by de-linking salaries and asking for guaranteed raises. The NHLPA also only presented a 3 year term with an option to go back to 57% linked to revenues if that was worth more than their guaranteed raises that they got the first 3 years. That is a lot to ask of an ownership group that just experience revenue growth that nobody expected. How long can the goose keep laying those golden eggs? When would the "market" correction occur and revenues stagnate? Could the owners really risk giving raises if revenues ended up flat?

As to the 5% escalator, all that does is increase the escrow payments and reduce the total value of all NHLPA contracts. If they players truely understood how it worked, they wouldn't have used it when revenues were increasing. It only helps the top UFAs and not the group as a whole, especially because you could use ELC bonuses and buy-outs to hit the floor.
The players saw what the owners' first offer was. Had the owners' initial offer been different than it was then we might well have seen a different response from the players. However, the initial offer was so extreme that it didn't give the players much to work with.

The fact that you, in no way, acknowledge the impact the owners' first offer had on the direction the negotiations makes it hard to take your post seriously.

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10-27-2012, 01:58 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
How do you feel about Leipold?
Personally? I think he is one of the biggest hypocrites out there. He was complaining about those huge, long term deal and then turns around and signs 2 of the worst ones.

Doesn't mean that the players shouldn't have seen the % of HRR for the players going down. Wasn't there a season where they lost 12% of their contracts to escrow? Where was the player outrage then? Why wasn't there a groundswell of support to make their contracts "whole"?

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10-27-2012, 01:59 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Sydor25 View Post
On July 1st, the biggest problem was that the owners had no idea what the players end game was and that was completely Fehr's doing by stalling the negotiations. Fehr knew exactly was he was doing by delaying the negotiations, he forced the owners to continue to hand out huge contracts as normal because the owners couldn't give the slightest hint of collusion (Fehr's main tactic).

We will never know what the owner's true end game was because the players proposal de-linked salaries from revenue. That was a complete game changer. Maybe the owners were ready to negotiate to a soft landing, i.e. 54-52-51-50-50-50, but the players made that impossible by de-linking salaries and asking for guaranteed raises. The NHLPA also only presented a 3 year term with an option to go back to 57% linked to revenues if that was worth more than their guaranteed raises that they got the first 3 years. That is a lot to ask of an ownership group that just experience revenue growth that nobody expected. How long can the goose keep laying those golden eggs? When would the "market" correction occur and revenues stagnate? Could the owners really risk giving raises if revenues ended up flat?

As to the 5% escalator, all that does is increase the escrow payments and reduce the total value of all NHLPA contracts. If they players truely understood how it worked, they wouldn't have used it when revenues were increasing. It only helps the top UFAs and not the group as a whole, especially because you could use ELC bonuses and buy-outs to hit the floor.
The owners' end game is:

*48-50% share of HRR, preferably with some things redefined
*Term limits to contracts
*End to cap massaging techniques above and beyond the term limits (variance of contract value year to year)
*End to burying contracts in other leagues (cap circumvention)
*Count any NHL team contract against the cap no matter where the player is playing
*Change in UFA age, redo of ELC to squeeze in more salary restraints
*Some increase in RS if the big teams get to keep even more money

This was telegraphed by Bettman for a couple of years now, and there are team exec quotes that have passed on the target share, some from November of 2011.

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10-27-2012, 02:00 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by iiuh View Post
Lol at all the people going "**** off Suter", when has every right to be upset here. It doesn't matter if its for millions of dollars or just 1 dollar a contract is a contract. I don't see how anyone can be hating on Suter here just because he's still making money despite being screwed out of potentially millions of dollars.
bang on.

In any other business the employees would have the owners in court already, and no judge would ever rule in favour of the owners in this case. The employees are ready to show up for work and honour their contract, the owners are not.

Honour the contracts you sign, that's good, honest business.


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10-27-2012, 02:01 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Even Bettman admitted that the optics over the course of the last few weeks leading up to the lockout weren't the best.

Then you get the guys who led that pack sitting on the negotiation committee. I think the players are right to call out their fellow hypocrites.

The saving grace for them may be that they didn't know the details of what was coming, and where the owners will hold the line.

Not only did he admit it, but he was apparently furious about it.

He warned teams that overspent that they might feel the heat from the new CBA (1 way contracts buried in the AHL counting against the cap for example, evening out cap hits and pay outs as another).

He has also said that he could not instruct owners and GM's to show restraint, in fact he instructed them to act as if it was "business as usual" because anything different would have been collusion. This was a classic catch 22 situation... The players negotiated huge bonuses knowing full well that there may be a stoppage. Pocketing 10 million of Leopold's money without playing a game and then turning around and talking smack is rich.

I would go so far as to say that Bettman and Daly are probably the only two people in the system that truly are advocating for an overall healthy league. The owners want it secondary to the health of their own franchises, and the players are doing the union thing of advocating solely for the most money they can get (not an indictment, it's what unions do).

It has been pretty clear that the only issue that the NHL will not bend on is linkage. In the end, if the NHLPA were to start offering linked proposals the lockout would end. Until then, everything else is smoke and mirrors. To those with a clear head Fehr is going after the cap, starting with delinkage, it's more than obvious, which is why the NHLPA has never submitted an offer with soft landing percentages with a link to revenues. Even PA apologists think that would solve the issue, as do I, the fact is, it has never been proposed. Why? Because Fehr is fighting linkage behind a screen of the rest of all of this blather.

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10-27-2012, 02:01 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
The owners' end game is:

*48-50% share of HRR, preferably with some things redefined
*Term limits to contracts
*End to cap massaging techniques above and beyond the term limits (variance of contract value year to year)
*End to burying contracts in other leagues (cap circumvention)
*Count any NHL team contract against the cap no matter where the player is playing
*Change in UFA age, redo of ELC to squeeze in more salary restraints
*Some increase in RS if the big teams get to keep even more money

This was telegraphed by Bettman for a couple of years now, and there are team exec quotes that have passed on the target share, some from November of 2011.
I don't think the players would accept an 52% HRR, but it is much more reasonable than the owners current 43% probably. If the owners said 50/50 was the best they would do, are they going to start offering the players 49% and then 48%?

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10-27-2012, 02:01 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by Sydor25 View Post
Personally? I think he is one of the biggest hypocrites out there. He was complaining about those huge, long term deal and then turns around and signs 2 of the worst ones.

Doesn't mean that the players shouldn't have seen the % of HRR for the players going down. Wasn't there a season where they lost 12% of their contracts to escrow? Where was the player outrage then? Why wasn't there a groundswell of support to make their contracts "whole"?

In fact, there was a lot of grumbling over the escrow structure. I don't recall all the details, but apparently Saskin made an agreement with the NHL as a side letter to the CBA in how that would be implemented. I think that along with the failure to use the escalator, among other things, led to his removal.

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10-27-2012, 02:02 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
It had occurred to me that Suter should have known better. He should point a finger at his agent too, who seems a bit too close to him on this one.
He did know better. Why do you think he demanded a $10M Signing Bonus this year and next - the former already paid and the latter likely payable even if the League remains locked out.

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10-27-2012, 02:03 PM
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
The owners' end game is:

*48-50% share of HRR, preferably with some things redefined
*Term limits to contracts
*End to cap massaging techniques above and beyond the term limits (variance of contract value year to year)
*End to burying contracts in other leagues (cap circumvention)
*Count any NHL team contract against the cap no matter where the player is playing
*Change in UFA age, redo of ELC to squeeze in more salary restraints
*Some increase in RS if the big teams get to keep even more money
That's what it is now, but the NHLPA made them shoot in the dark with their first offer because there was no dialog between the two sides. The owners were afraid of what Fehr was going to do, they were worried that he was going after the cap and they were right. They had to send a crap first offer to set the bar really low.

If the NHLPA had made an equally ridiculous offer based on the linkage, the two sides would have negotiated and we would all be watching NHL hockey right now.

Instead, Fehr went after escrow and was only willing to give some percentage back if the revenues continued to grow at record rates. He never offered really dollars, only a potential percentage. Getting rid of escrow is the first step in eliminating the cap system.

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10-27-2012, 02:05 PM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
In fact, there was a lot of grumbling over the escrow structure. I don't recall all the details, but apparently Saskin made an agreement with the NHL as a side letter to the CBA in how that would be implemented. I think that along with the failure to use the escalator, among other things, led to his removal.
I don't know much about Saskin, but if he was smart enough to not use the escalator, he was much better the NHLPA than Fehr. He at least understood it wasn't good for the group, only a select few (highest paid). The select few probably got him fired.

I know that there was grumblings about escrow, but it was more of a punch line for fans than the battle cry to "honor all contracts". Seems like nobody knew that most of the contracts were honored. Maybe a few 1 or 2 year deals were payed in full, but all long term deals have not been paid 100%.

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10-27-2012, 02:05 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by stuffradio View Post
I don't think the players would accept an 52% HRR, but it is much more reasonable than the owners current 43% probably. If the owners said 50/50 was the best they would do, are they going to start offering the players 49% and then 48%?

It's not just about what you or I call fair. It's against a backdrop of record revenues where players were promised a range of 54-57% IF revenues grew. The carrot was revenue growth. Implicit in that then must be that if revenues grow, so can the players' share since the teams would be better off with higher revenues than lower revenues.

What changed?

If you say the revenue growth was uneven, I think the PA has accepted that point, suggesting targeted revenue sharing, taking what they agree to give back in terms of future share of the pie and directing it to the weaker teams. They don't feel they should take a cut so the Leafs can pocket even more money, for example.

It's not an unreasonable suggestion if the reason for taking the money back is indeed to bolster franchises that need bolstering.

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10-27-2012, 02:07 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by Sydor25 View Post
That's what it is now, but the NHLPA made them shoot in the dark with their first offer because there was no dialog between the two sides. The owners were afraid of what Fehr was going to do, they were worried that he was going after the cap and they were right. They had to send a crap first offer to set the bar really low.

If the NHLPA had made an equally ridiculous offer based on the linkage, the two sides would have negotiated and we would all be watching NHL hockey right now.

Instead, Fehr went after escrow and was only willing to give some percentage back if the revenues continued to grow at record rates. He never offered really dollars, only a potential percentage. Getting rid of escrow is the first step in eliminating the cap system.
Oh, okay...the owners' garbage offer was completely Fehr's fault. Sure.

The owners' garbage offer was because they figured by starting off that extreme the "middle ground" they ended up with would be heavily in their favour.

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10-27-2012, 02:07 PM
  #91
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Originally Posted by Sydor25 View Post
I don't know much about Saskin, but if he was smart enough to not use the escalator, he was much better the NHLPA than Fehr. He at least understood it wasn't good for the group, only a select few (highest paid). The select few probably got him fired.

There's nothing wrong with the escalator. Use it or not, the NHLPA was still only going to get 54-57%. No. Matter. What.

What the escalator does do is expand the pool of money for the cap going in, but that just rearranges how the players share the money.

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10-27-2012, 02:08 PM
  #92
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Dear Mr Suter

We aren't upset with your contract or attempting to punish you for signing it. You see we have other players we are paying as well. Additionally we have a salary cap, we feel its necessary to spend to the cap to keep fans happy and stay competitive. This dispute isnt about you per say, its about the cap and needing to spend to it, which we would have likely done with or without you.

Signed
Most teams

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10-27-2012, 02:09 PM
  #93
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Oh, okay...the owners' garbage offer was completely Fehr's fault. Sure.

The owners' garbage offer was because they figured by starting off that extreme the "middle ground" they ended up with would be heavily in their favour.
Didn't say it was Fehr's fault, just that the owners were "scared" and didn't want to give too much too fast.

And you just described almost all major business negotiations. They all start out at the extreme and work toward the middle.

De-linking salaries is why we don't have the NHL right now, not the ridiculous first offer.

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10-27-2012, 02:10 PM
  #94
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Yeah, it's so much easier to be brave when you already have millions in the bank. What a hero...
Most other players are millionaires as well. How many of them have called out their teams' owner/s?

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10-27-2012, 02:11 PM
  #95
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Originally Posted by Sydor25 View Post
That's what it is now, but the NHLPA made them shoot in the dark with their first offer because there was no dialog between the two sides. The owners were afraid of what Fehr was going to do, they were worried that he was going after the cap and they were right. They had to send a crap first offer to set the bar really low.

If the NHLPA had made an equally ridiculous offer based on the linkage, the two sides would have negotiated and we would all be watching NHL hockey right now.

Instead, Fehr went after escrow and was only willing to give some percentage back if the revenues continued to grow at record rates. He never offered really dollars, only a potential percentage. Getting rid of escrow is the first step in eliminating the cap system.

Sorry, but perhaps you weren't paying attention. As soon as the NFL and NBA (who also use the Proskauer Rose firm) got their 50/50, you knew this was coming.

On the other matters, Gary has been quoted so it was pretty clear what he was going to target beyond the share rate. He tried to get the non-NHL playing contracts in the last CBA, but let that one go.

(Noting also that re-entry waivers is on their proposed list this time, not really sure what to make of why the owners want that...another point to limit player movement?)

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10-27-2012, 02:12 PM
  #96
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Maybe some of them did.

Devellano said there was an unwritten rule about offer sheets.


For anyone who calls out Suter for complaining, are they prepared to call out Leipold? He's orchestrating a lockout to demand rollbacks (a rose by any other name), lowered share, contract limits, and a change in UFA age. (Suter and ZP would have needed to wait one more year. )

There indeed was a rush to circumvent the intent and cap of the last CBA.
Offer sheets are a different beast. They are technically owned assets, for all intents and purposes. That unwritten rule is more in place due to hostile relations and comes with a significant cost if the team opts not to match. This differs greatly from thirty owners agreeing to low-ball a free agent.

Partially, perhaps however even that I question. The CBA is itself, a contract, one the players are readily aware may deviate upon expiration. In order for Minnesota to maximize their profit and garner fan interest, they need to be aggressive, yes? How do you purpose they do this devoid of spending money? That does not mean the league's profit line is under preferable value nor that the owners wish to accommodate player's refusal to assume any of the risks.

So I ask, had Leipold come out and said to Suter this contract was liable to be reduced subsequent a new CBA. Would that have effected Suter's decision, especially seeing every own would essentially have said the same?

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10-27-2012, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
The owners' end game is:

*48-50% share of HRR, preferably with some things redefined
*Term limits to contracts
*End to cap massaging techniques above and beyond the term limits (variance of contract value year to year)
*End to burying contracts in other leagues (cap circumvention)
*Count any NHL team contract against the cap no matter where the player is playing
*Change in UFA age, redo of ELC to squeeze in more salary restraints
*Some increase in RS if the big teams get to keep even more money

This was telegraphed by Bettman for a couple of years now, and there are team exec quotes that have passed on the target share, some from November of 2011.
I think the extra stuff the owners are looking for is just a much a barrier to a deal as the HRR split (and what to do about the contracts). The UFA, ELC, RFA rules were what the players got in exchange for agreeing to the cap - this time around the owners want to keep the cap but take away what they gave players in exchange for it. It's no surprise that they have a problem with this.

I think the owners should stop pushing for the other items (outside the HRR split). If you've got the cap there it alone will constrain the amount the teams can spend each year.

The unfortunate part of this is that it's simply a "take take take" negotiation - the owners only objective is to take as much from the players as they can - which means the players' sole focus is minimizing what can be taken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydor25 View Post
Didn't say it was Fehr's fault, just that the owners were "scared" and didn't want to give too much too fast.

And you just described almost all major business negotiations. They all start out at the extreme and work toward the middle.

De-linking salaries is why we don't have the NHL right now, not the ridiculous first offer.
The ridiculous first offer is one of the reasons you have de-linking salaries - and the ridiculous first offer is very much one of the reasons we don't have the NHL.

And no, not all major business negotiations start out as extreme as the NHL did - particularly when both sides are going to have an ongoing, and heavily intertwined, relationship with each other - in fact, many commentators I have read would agree with me that the owners' initial offer is a major reason that the negotiations immediately went as bad as they would.

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10-27-2012, 02:13 PM
  #98
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
It's not just about what you or I call fair. It's against a backdrop of record revenues where players were promised a range of 54-57% IF revenues grew. The carrot was revenue growth. Implicit in that then must be that if revenues grow, so can the players' share since the teams would be better off with higher revenues than lower revenues.

What changed?
There was a gross miscalculation on the owner's part of where the revenue growth would come from. I think everyone has recognized that, a huge mistake by the owners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
If you say the revenue growth was uneven, I think the PA has accepted that point, suggesting targeted revenue sharing, taking what they agree to give back in terms of future share of the pie and directing it to the weaker teams. They don't feel they should take a cut so the Leafs can pocket even more money, for example.

It's not an unreasonable suggestion if the reason for taking the money back is indeed to bolster franchises that need bolstering.
Yet the NHLPA's offers have barely included more revenue sharing than the NHL's offers, from what I have seen. They like to use this as a talking point, but it doesn't seem their actions have reflected that. Unless I am misinformed, it seems like both sides have proposed increased revenue sharing, and the PA has been just a bit higher, not major differences there.

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10-27-2012, 02:14 PM
  #99
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Oh, okay...the owners' garbage offer was completely Fehr's fault. Sure.

The owners' garbage offer was because they figured by starting off that extreme the "middle ground" they ended up with would be heavily in their favour.
Uh huh, and if the owner's didn't make an offer (including the "garbage" one) when would the PA have made theirs?

Fehr refusing to negotiate until after July 1st was pretty much the same "garbage" offer by omission.

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10-27-2012, 02:14 PM
  #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolffy66 View Post
Dear Mr Suter

We aren't upset with your contract or attempting to punish you for signing it. You see we have other players we are paying as well. Additionally we have a salary cap, we feel its necessary to spend to the cap to keep fans happy and stay competitive. This dispute isnt about you per say, its about the cap and needing to spend to it, which we would have likely done with or without you.

Signed
Most teams
Dear wolffy66:

Mr. Suter lives in Madison, WI, so your letter will have better luck reaching him there than posting it at HFBoards.com. While you're at it, Mr. Leipold can be reached in Racine, WI.

All the best,
HFBoards.com Administration



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