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Mirtle: NHLPA’s hard-liners hint at decertification after latest offer rejected

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Old
11-22-2012, 01:11 AM
  #26
DL44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
That aspect that intrigues me the most about this is this statement:




It's been suggested in other threads that the PA is attempting to set up something that offers a disincentive to future lockouts. There is nothing player associations can do to effectively fight a lockout.

If that is the case, is it possible Mr. Klempner's statement is indeed accurate? The era of collective bargaining in professional sports may come to an end. Why would any group band together to make it easier for their employers to control their salaries and conditions/rights with virtually no input from them?
I would imagine its for EVERYTHING else.
In a free market without unions, the elite would cash in huge. Bonuses, vacation homes, the works could all be worked in there to bring in the names.

Its the rest of the roster that would pay the price... every depth piece would be youngen working @ 6 digits....
Everything else takes a hit to accomdate... flights, hotels, meals, training limits.. gone. all the mandatory perks gone... Pension plans? forget about it.. Benefits? maybe... well probably. they're pretty cheap plans out there....full coverage @ $200-300/month for each player and their families.

Parity and competition has been mentioned. Large markets would be fine... Stars would be fine.

But make mo mistake.... the majority of teams would be on a budget... and that would mean a limited middle class wouldn't it... put out for a couple of names, then fill the best you can.


The idea that unions in CBA negotiations has run its course is massive hyperbole... Only in ONE aspect is it limiting - the elite player's mega salary.

CBAs may be used via lockouts to reduce player cost in salary... but it would be an extreme tunnel visionary conclusion to make that thats all they are about..
Essentially that would be conceding that not only are unions useless... they are detrimental to the players and the system.

Simply ridiculous.
Don't ya think?

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11-22-2012, 01:16 AM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DL44 View Post
The idea that unions in CBA negotiations has run its course is massive hyperbole... Only in ONE aspect is it limiting - the elite player's mega salary.

CBAs may be used via lockouts to reduce player cost in salary... but it would be an extreme tunnel visionary conclusion to make that thats all they are about..
Essentially that would be conceding that not only are unions useless... they are detrimental to the players and the system.

Simply ridiculous.
Don't ya think?
I don't think it's hyperbole because it's more oft brought up in academic discussions about sports labor economics and what's effective or ineffective. Clearly, the lockout tool is showing that owners can indeed get what they want as long as they're willing to outwait the players.

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11-22-2012, 01:22 AM
  #28
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As a group NHL agents are not up to the task. Not a lot with law degrees.

They would need agents like Boras and Steinberg (ret.), not Walsh, Thun et al.
A guaranteed contract isn't more complicated to draft than a non-guaranteed contract - in fact, it's basically the default in contract law. The question is whether a player would have the leverage to insist on one.

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11-22-2012, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
They could. Sure.
And the best players will go to the teams that treat the players best. And teams will begin competing for their services.
I just saying this could be approached if the players were to get rid of their unions.

But I wonder if the teams could keep the same players even it becomes a work-for-hire type situation.

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11-22-2012, 01:36 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by massivegoonery View Post
A guaranteed contract isn't more complicated to draft than a non-guaranteed contract - in fact, it's basically the default in contract law. The question is whether a player would have the leverage to insist on one.
It is when you get into the clauses around injuries, etc. Defining the fault lines. Defining the behavioral clauses. And more. I agree on leverage, but I could see contracts extending beyond much more than a few pages to include that which is currently in the CBA. All it would take is for a team to drop a clause and the agent to overlook it. A little bit of wild west at the outset until both sides caught onto the game.

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11-22-2012, 02:13 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
That aspect that intrigues me the most about this is this statement:




It's been suggested in other threads that the PA is attempting to set up something that offers a disincentive to future lockouts. There is nothing player associations can do to effectively fight a lockout.

If that is the case, is it possible Mr. Klempner's statement is indeed accurate? The era of collective bargaining in professional sports may come to an end. Why would any group band together to make it easier for their employers to control their salaries and conditions/rights with virtually no input from them?
It has also been suggested that future lockouts will be avoided when both sides have something to lose. The word exploitation probably shouldn't be used to describe a average salary for union members of 2 million+. Perhaps "protecting the owners" creates an environment that is beneficial to the players as a whole.

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11-22-2012, 02:25 AM
  #32
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It has also been suggested that future lockouts will be avoided when both sides have something to lose. The word exploitation probably shouldn't be used to describe a average salary for union members of 2 million+. Perhaps "protecting the owners" creates an environment that is beneficial to the players as a whole.
So true, both sides have to be worried about losing something to stop these frequent lockouts. That won't happen until most teams are returning profits. It's bad when teams are losing less money during a lockout then if the season was being played. For the owners who do turn a profit, they know the cutback in player salaries over the course of the contract will be much more than a season or two of revenue. The players seem to ignore this and then wonder how owners can be so content to wait them out.

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11-22-2012, 02:26 AM
  #33
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What the players presented today was a system that the owners can succeed under, and indeed, do very well.

If the owners are still going to demand more and more and more, then the players absolutely should decertify. What's clear is that the owners, or at least the ones driving the bus, are not reasonable people. They are not interested in the sport of hockey, they do not care about the fans. You can't have an agreement with these people. You can't trust these people.

Let Bettman cancel the season. If that happens, or perhaps, given what happened today, when that happens, he'll leave the players with little choice.

And what does the day after decertification look like? Well, the league, in its current form, would not longer be viable.

The NHL would have two options: turn the league into a single corporation, doing away with individual franchises. Or folding anywhere from 10-15 teams.

The NHL isn't baseball, football, or basketball. There would be a lot of short term pain for the players if the league was blown up. But ultimately, they would see a lot more opportunities in Europe and in the AHL, which would likely receive a significant boost as it moves into markets which formerly had NHL hockey in them.


Last edited by Ernie: 11-22-2012 at 02:33 AM.
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11-22-2012, 02:42 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DL44 View Post
I would imagine its for EVERYTHING else.
In a free market without unions, the elite would cash in huge. Bonuses, vacation homes, the works could all be worked in there to bring in the names.

Its the rest of the roster that would pay the price... every depth piece would be youngen working @ 6 digits....
Everything else takes a hit to accomdate... flights, hotels, meals, training limits.. gone. all the mandatory perks gone... Pension plans? forget about it.. Benefits? maybe... well probably. they're pretty cheap plans out there....full coverage @ $200-300/month for each player and their families.

Parity and competition has been mentioned. Large markets would be fine... Stars would be fine.

But make mo mistake.... the majority of teams would be on a budget... and that would mean a limited middle class wouldn't it... put out for a couple of names, then fill the best you can.


The idea that unions in CBA negotiations has run its course is massive hyperbole... Only in ONE aspect is it limiting - the elite player's mega salary.

CBAs may be used via lockouts to reduce player cost in salary... but it would be an extreme tunnel visionary conclusion to make that thats all they are about..
Essentially that would be conceding that not only are unions useless... they are detrimental to the players and the system.

Simply ridiculous.
Don't ya think?
Can you please explain the market forces that lead you to your conclusion that elite players will make out awesomely but average players will hurt?

What is it about having a union that gives the middle class hockey player clout?

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11-22-2012, 02:48 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by jeety mcjeet View Post
It has also been suggested that future lockouts will be avoided when both sides have something to lose. The word exploitation probably shouldn't be used to describe a average salary for union members of 2 million+. Perhaps "protecting the owners" creates an environment that is beneficial to the players as a whole.
This is pie-in-the-sky.

1) 50-50 doesn't change the economics of the game.
There's a leak in the NHL. 50-50 just bails water out a little faster. But not fast enough. And nobody is trying to plug the leak.
2) Right now, there are teams that make money. And every team voted in favor of the lockout. The Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Red Wings, Flyers, Rangers etc... they are losing REAL profit. And they voted for the lockout.

This isn't about profits, IMO. This is about busting the union for 2 reasons. 1) Owners always love to bust unions for short and long term reasons 2) Franchises are easier to sell and will fetch a better price if buyers think the union is a push over.

It's really obscene to me that anyone would suggest that some of these crooks who own NHL franchises need "protection."

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11-22-2012, 04:02 AM
  #36
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Just like the owners, players are risk averse. Taking the deck of cards and throwing it up in the air just because owners are driving a hard bargain isn't something they will decide to do lightly. And for the same reason, decertification is something the owners don't really want either. They will go from a situation where they have control to a situation with a lot of uncertainty. Also, it's far from certain the courts would deem NHL to be breaking any anti-trust laws.

As I understand it, there is a 45 day period where the parties negotiate before the union will take a vote on decertification and both sides would hope to settle during that time with the added threat of future decertification acting as a pressure mechanism.

In the end, I don't think it will go that far here. As much as the sides are huffing and puffing, there is a deal to be made here. Always were, of course, even during all the time they wasted up to now.


Last edited by Freudian: 11-22-2012 at 04:07 AM.
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11-22-2012, 04:12 AM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
What the players presented today was a system that the owners can succeed under, and indeed, do very well.

If the owners are still going to demand more and more and more, then the players absolutely should decertify. What's clear is that the owners, or at least the ones driving the bus, are not reasonable people. They are not interested in the sport of hockey, they do not care about the fans. You can't have an agreement with these people. You can't trust these people.

Let Bettman cancel the season. If that happens, or perhaps, given what happened today, when that happens, he'll leave the players with little choice.

And what does the day after decertification look like? Well, the league, in its current form, would not longer be viable.

The NHL would have two options: turn the league into a single corporation, doing away with individual franchises. Or folding anywhere from 10-15 teams.

The NHL isn't baseball, football, or basketball. There would be a lot of short term pain for the players if the league was blown up. But ultimately, they would see a lot more opportunities in Europe and in the AHL, which would likely receive a significant boost as it moves into markets which formerly had NHL hockey in them.
I'm just curious as to why you believe the offer given today could work for the owners? To me it looked like the NHLPA just added clauses to keep the cap high, prevent players from their % dropping, and have the NHL pay for the lockout. It is no where close to moving in the NHL's direction. Maybe I missed something?
The worst part about their proposal... If the nhl's revenue drops they feel their pay should not be affected.

The players would never decertify, where would these players make the kind of money they are making now? The KHL couldn't afford the NHL's payroll and the AHL wouldn't come close. This PA is flat out dumb, they expect to make the same % or more than football, baseball, and basketball players make in a league that does not bring in near as much revenue. Take your pay cut and go cry in your million dollar mansion.


Last edited by Oshie97: 11-22-2012 at 04:22 AM.
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Old
11-22-2012, 04:26 AM
  #38
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This is pie-in-the-sky.

1) 50-50 doesn't change the economics of the game.
There's a leak in the NHL. 50-50 just bails water out a little faster. But not fast enough. And nobody is trying to plug the leak.
Can you please clarify the analogy? It just doesn't make sense. A 50-50 proposal is highly beneficial to the league.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
This isn't about profits, IMO. This is about busting the union for 2 reasons.
Ok...and thats....?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
1) Owners always love to bust unions for short and long term reasons
This is a reason? That there are short and long term reasons?

....sorry, I'm back, my pupils got really small. Can you tell us the long and short term reasons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
2) Franchises are easier to sell and will fetch a better price if buyers think the union is a push over.
This doesn't compute. How do you determine this? Are you telling us that there are billionaires lined up to own a professional sports team on simply the knowledge that the PA is perceived as weak?

By what rule of inference did you use to come to such a statement?

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Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
It's really obscene to me that anyone would suggest that some of these crooks who own NHL franchises need "protection."
Crooks is a strong word here. What illegal things have owners done that is against the law?

I would say that there are some NHL franchises that need protection from other franchises.

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11-22-2012, 05:32 AM
  #39
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It's a last gasp at gaining negotiating leverage from the players. I doubt it goes that far.
Maybe, but they have to be careful about using it as leverage. NFLPA tried it and got shot down because the judge considered it a sham decertification meant as a negotiation tactic.

If the players do it, it has to be because its what they want, not as a ploy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by massivegoonery View Post
A guaranteed contract isn't more complicated to draft than a non-guaranteed contract - in fact, it's basically the default in contract law. The question is whether a player would have the leverage to insist on one.
The stars would. 4th liners, 3rd liners? No.

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11-22-2012, 05:44 AM
  #40
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Can you please explain the market forces that lead you to your conclusion that elite players will make out awesomely but average players will hurt?

What is it about having a union that gives the middle class hockey player clout?
4th liners will definitely take a huge hit. Right now there is an "artificial" minimum wage in the league that is 5-8 times higher than many of the equivalent players make in the AHL (and more than a thousand times what equivalent junior players make). Right now teams pay that premium because its been agreed upon, not because the guy who barely squeaks on the roster is 5 to 8 times better than the best guy in the AHL. So this drives guys at the very bottom of the league towards AHL salaries. That in turn drives all 4th liners and most third liners down.

The simple way to put it is the hockey value of the bottom 10% of the league as compared to the to the top 10% outside the NHL is negligible, and not supported by the current salary differentials driven by the minimum wage leveled under the CBA.

Elite players will make out great because some teams have higher spending resources, and they will be able to strongly entice the elite players with cash. Elite players are the commodity, and with the artificial spending cap gone, fighting over these scant resources will be tight. As well, with all the money saved at the low end will be used to compete for top end players.

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Old
11-22-2012, 07:21 AM
  #41
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Yes, the collective-bargaining process in professional sports has pretty much run its course, as the guy says in the article. The negotiations are all now essentially about money and nothing more, so there's really nothing there for a union to "protect" anymore. The owners basically get more than the players from a union at this point -- without a union, there's no salary cap, no draft, etc.

Decertification is by far the players' best weapon at this point in the face of such relentless intransigence . Unlike the NBA and NFL who, despite the negotiating rhetoric, were always going to make a deal and were never going to lose a season, the NHL is run by reckless and vindictive clowns.


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11-22-2012, 07:32 AM
  #42
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... and, of course, the most important thing the owners get from the union is the ability to conspire to close the business for no reason to get negotiating leverage.

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11-22-2012, 07:46 AM
  #43
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I still maintain that decertification is a lose-lose scenario for the majority on both sides, which is why things won't go that far (and by "that far", I mean a real, permanent decertification, not some cheap negotiating tactic decertification). But from a socio-economic point of view, I'd almost want to see it because it would provide a fascinating real-life "experiment" of sorts, a free-market counterpoint to the current CBA-based economic systems that are prevalent in professional sports.

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11-22-2012, 07:49 AM
  #44
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Can you please clarify the analogy? It just doesn't make sense. A 50-50 proposal is highly beneficial to the league.
I presume what Captain Bob means is that it doesn't do anything to address the main issue which is driving the financial problems in the NHL: massive inequality in total revenue generation. A 50/50 split, compared to the 54-47/46-43 range of the previous CBA, will merely slow the bleeding for the bottom-end teams, but eventually the continued revenue disparity being generated by the Leafs, Rangers, Canadiens, Wings, Flyers, etc. will have those teams right back in the same position: losing money because the NHL's overall revenue (and thus the cap numbers) are much higher, but theirs personally has not grown quickly enough to compensate.

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11-22-2012, 07:58 AM
  #45
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Why I believe decertification is likely:

1- It's been voted on already by the NHLPA.

2- It affected the settlement of the last two pro sport lockouts (NFL and NBA). David Stern, the NBA commissioner, called it a "nuclear winter" after the NBA Players decertified in 2011.


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11-22-2012, 08:08 AM
  #46
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Why I believe decertification is likely:

1- It's been voted on already by the NHLPA.

2- It affected the settlement of the last two pro sport lockouts (NFL and NBA). David Stern, the NBA commissioner, called it a "nuclear winter" after the NBA Players decertified in 2011.
Then how did the NBA get pretty much everything they wanted?

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11-22-2012, 08:14 AM
  #47
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Then how did the NBA get pretty much everything they wanted?
"Less than two weeks after the union disclaimed interest, the players and owners reached a tentative agreement on a new ten-year CBA,133 enabling the league to salvage most of its 2011-12 playing season.134 Significantly, the agreement included several key concessions from ownership, improving the league’s previous “last, best” offer made just a couple weeks before.135 These concessions included modifications to certain exceptions under the league’s salary cap that the players considered
to be particularly important.136 Given the speed with which the owners retreated from their previous take-it-or-leave-it bargaining posture once the NBPA disclaimed interest, it certainly appears that the NBA players’ decision to finally pursue antitrust litigation against the league provided them with valuable new leverage in the negotiations.''


http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...act_id=1978517

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11-22-2012, 08:16 AM
  #48
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Of course, players decertifying into the "wild west" could also mean they no longer get guaranteed contracts for instance. Also a player getting injured could easily be simply cut without pay due to being unable to fulfill the terms of the contract and tossed into the Workman's Comp heap to collect payment. Not to mention things like retirement health benefits, survivor benefits, etc. could all be gone. There's a tremendous amount of risk involved to the player going this route since the owners would basically have free reign to do anything they want and force the players to pay tons of money out of pocket to challenge them in court any time the want to stop it.
Except this isn't the 1930's where labor laws dont exist. Id guarantee every one of the owners in this league made their real money running a business or businesses that offered fair compensation to its employees and provided good healthcare and retirement choices. They're good businessmen, they understand the concept of competitive compensation.

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11-22-2012, 08:17 AM
  #49
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Decertifying now does nothing, as you are looking at a loong court battle before the players could get the lockout lifted. The NFLPA decertified on March 11th, and their was still a lockout until the end of July when they reached an agreement (a total of nearly 5 months).

Having said that, I believe that one of the major sports unions WILL decertify long before their current CBA's expire. For the 3 capped leagues, it is clear that CBA negotiations are rigged in favour of the Owners as it is always mathematically correct for the players to take a lower % of revenue in order to not lose money via a lockout (this is what we are witnessing right now). A decertificiation long before CBA negotiations will be viewed more favourably by the courts (as it is wouldn't be attacked as a bargaining tactic), and would prevent the owners from locking out the players, having a salary cap, etc.

So for me, if Fehr (and he would be a guy to try it IMHO) wanted to explore the decertification tactic, then his best approach would have been to get a 5-6 year CBA which maximized the players share in this agreement before the season started, wait the required 3 years, then decertify the union.

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11-22-2012, 08:22 AM
  #50
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From what I can tell, decertification beyond using it as a pressure tactic probably has an equal amount of disadvantages to the players as it does to the owners. If the players truly don't see themselves moving any further on their stance, then might as well decertify and see where that takes them. Seeing how decertification played out for the NFL and NBA, I don't know if the tactic provides AS much pressure on the league compared to if those leagues hadn't set the precendence for how courts usually rule on these matters but they aren't going to move from their position, they might as well do something now to save the season rather than do it later when a full season is lost.

By the way, if decertification happens, doesn't that mean that all the players have to come back to handle their claims individually?

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