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Players Starting to Ask Uncomfortable Questions of NHLPA Leadership

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Old
12-09-2012, 06:26 PM
  #201
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Originally Posted by Lard_Lad View Post
And how much of an impact would it really have on parity? That cap would still only be 67% higher than the floor. People keep throwing out the MLB argument about parity being destroyed, but baseball's top payrolls are three times higher than the lowest ones. There's no comparison. All we'd get is something like the NBA, where small markets have to be selective about when they try to contend - some years you rebuild on the cheap, others you spend the money. (Actually, a ceiling 67% above the floor wouldn't even be that extreme - the Lakers' payroll is more than double the NBA floor.)
There is a big difference in the two leagues. NBA is star driven, most of the starter play 75% of the game. Hockey is more of a team sport - where your 2nd line is just as important as the first and depth is critical vs. pure high end talent - your top line is likely to play 1/3 of the game.

In the NBA you can have 1 super star and make the playoffs - not so w/ hockey. Different team dynamic - actually more like football then basketball w/ regards to what it takes to win.

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12-09-2012, 06:33 PM
  #202
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Originally Posted by ottawah View Post
Sorry, no Miami Marlins wanted in the NHL.



Why wouldn't the players agree to eliminate the floor? It really is only there for parity. It does not actually lower salaries. Players are guaranteed a percentage of revenue, and if the players are collectively "to be paid" 10 dollars or 10 trillion dollars for a face value on their contracts, they will still get 50% of revenue (i.e. 2B dollars), whatever that may be. If 300M of the current salaries retired today and were not replaced, the payroll would not change, other players would collectively receive 300M more.
It would create a huge gap between the haves and the have-nots, as far as the players are concerned. It also virtually eliminates the market for older high-priced players on the brink of retirement.

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12-09-2012, 07:09 PM
  #203
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So 700 guys take a trip to NYC?

Having said that - what do you see as the role of a player rep?
NO that's not what I said and that is a bit facetious of you. Taking it to that rediculous extreme.

Players rep would have the same role as my union rep.

BUt Fehr has said all players are welcome. So if you have an issue get your butt to NY and get involved. Don't go whining to the media.

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12-09-2012, 07:13 PM
  #204
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Originally Posted by ottawah View Post
Why wouldn't the players agree to eliminate the floor? It really is only there for parity. It does not actually lower salaries. Players are guaranteed a percentage of revenue, and if the players are collectively "to be paid" 10 dollars or 10 trillion dollars for a face value on their contracts, they will still get 50% of revenue (i.e. 2B dollars), whatever that may be. If 300M of the current salaries retired today and were not replaced, the payroll would not change, other players would collectively receive 300M more.
Salary floor has helped push up some player contracts. Recent shining example being some of Florida's UFA signings.

At the macro level it shouldn't make a difference to the NHLPA membership as a whole since they still receive the same share of HRR. But in practice the PA has continued the time honored strategy of trying to maximize individual player contracts, even though under the last CBA that strategy caused collateral fallout via escrow to the majority of PA membership.

Maximizing player contracts has been such a cornerstone of sports player unions for so long I don't see it changing anytime soon.

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12-09-2012, 07:28 PM
  #205
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Originally Posted by charliolemieux View Post
NO that's not what I said and that is a bit facetious of you. Taking it to that rediculous extreme.

Players rep would have the same role as my union rep.

BUt Fehr has said all players are welcome. So if you have an issue get your butt to NY and get involved. Don't go whining to the media.
So I'm asking..........I'll list some yes or no questions...............just wondering about protocol as personally I don't have experience with unions. Thanks.

1. If a union member expresses his/her concerns in private to a union rep, does a union rep offer them to the negotiating committee or just ignore them?

2. Is it an acceptable practice for a union rep to listen to ideas of fellow member(s), disagree with them and proceed to share those ideas with others in an effort to demean that individual?

3. Is it possible that an individual who has shared an opinion more than once with either # 1. a player rep and/or # 2. a member of the negotiating committee had reasonable expectations that his/her concerns would be shared respectfully?

4. Under what circumstance(s) is it deemed necessary that a union hold a vote to determine whether or not a CBA will be accepted or not?(not yes or no)

5. Is it customary to at least poll your constituents on certain issues to ascertain the proper direction to serve all constituents?

I'm just wondering the responsibilites of a player / union rep. Again, thanks.


Last edited by swimmer77: 12-09-2012 at 07:38 PM.
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12-09-2012, 07:31 PM
  #206
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Salary floor has helped push up some player contracts. Recent shining example being some of Florida's UFA signings.

At the macro level it shouldn't make a difference to the NHLPA membership as a whole since they still receive the same share of HRR. But in practice the PA has continued the time honored strategy of trying to maximize individual player contracts, even though under the last CBA that strategy caused collateral fallout via escrow to the majority of PA membership.

Maximizing player contracts has been such a cornerstone of sports player unions for so long I don't see it changing anytime soon.

Like you said though, with a cap and fixed percentage of HRR, the only thing this does is redistribute the money among the players. The teams are protected (or hurt) not by player demands but by the cap range system. If they all paid to the cap limit, there would be a massive return of money from the players side. The player side really cannot drive salaries upward, revenues do that.

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12-09-2012, 07:38 PM
  #207
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Originally Posted by swimmer77 View Post
So I'm asking..........I'll list some yes or no questions...............just wondering about protocol as personally I don't have experience with unions. Thanks.

1. If a union member expresses his/her concerns in private to a union rep, does a union rep offer them to the negotiating committee or just ignore them?

2. Is it an acceptable practice for a union rep to listen to ideas of fellow member(s), disagree with them and proceed to share those ideas with others in an effort to demean that individual?

3. Is it possible that an individual who has shared an opinion more than once with either # 1. a player rep and/or # 2. a member of the negotiating committee had reasonable expectations that his/her concerns would be shared respectfully?

4. Under what circumstance(s) is it deemed necessary that a union hold a vote to determine whether or not a CBA will be accepted or not?

5. Is it customary to at least poll your constituents on certain issues to ascertain the proper direction to serve all constituents?

I'm just wondering the responsibilites of a player / union rep. Again, thanks.
Fehr visited every single team over the past year so he could hear from all the players. So that's 30 teams x 22-ish PA members each.

Each team has a player representative. Ultimately, the power in the union is within the 30 teams and their representatives (as far as voting or agreeing on any issue). The executive leader and the other staff and committees all take their marching orders from the membership. If you had 16 player reps demanding that a vote take place tomorrow on any issue, it would have to happen. You see, each player can talk to his fellow teammates, they can reach their rep, and the reps can make demands on behalf of their teammates.

This idea that players are somehow shutout or that they cannot be heard is ludicrous. They have a local structure and voice through the structure in place.

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12-09-2012, 07:44 PM
  #208
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I personally believe that the players in the room are only going for their own agenda and do not care about those outside the room who aren't being informed properly of the negotiations and what's being discussed. The bottom liners and some more prominent players are starting to call out the PA and Fehr and I think if it went to a vote then it would be passed as it's stupid to lose a season over this.
The NHLPA is a mafia, more or less. Players can be downright cruel. Look at baseball. I can't for the life of me remember the name of the player, but when there was replacement players during the strike he played and then when he finally had a cup of coffee in the "real" MLB he was shunned. I remember a report about him and it constantly showed him sitting all by himself with his teammates purposely sitting away from him all because he had the "audacity" to get what might have been his only chance in Major League Baseball during the strike. Shameful on the players.

The same thing is in the NHLPA. Look no further than Crosby's comments in 2005. He didn't care if he would play in the NHL with replacement players. A day later, and maybe one death threat later, he retracted his statement. From then on, Crosby became a puppet, plain and simple and we see this today as well with him and Fehr.

Alfredsson doesn't want a vote because it would expose the NHLPA as a sham and the players as fools for picking a leader with a track record that reads like the obituaries like Fehr. Pride will get in the way of this, even over a half season.

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12-09-2012, 07:51 PM
  #209
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Fehr visited every single team over the past year so he could hear from all the players. So that's 30 teams x 22-ish PA members each.

Each team has a player representative. Ultimately, the power in the union is within the 30 teams and their representatives (as far as voting or agreeing on any issue). The executive leader and the other staff and committees all take their marching orders from the membership. If you had 16 player reps demanding that a vote take place tomorrow on any issue, it would have to happen. You see, each player can talk to his fellow teammates, they can reach their rep, and the reps can make demands on behalf of their teammates.

This idea that players are somehow shutout or that they cannot be heard is ludicrous. They have a local structure and voice through the structure in place.
Thanks..........still looking for answers to each question though although your explanation was of some help.

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12-09-2012, 08:01 PM
  #210
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IMO the problem is that any deal that NHLPA will accept now will undoubtedly be worst off than the original 82 games deal offered by the NHL in late October. If the union would have taken that offer or seriously use that offer and tweak it, then perhaps entire season (and paychecks) would have been saved

But Fehr and the negotiating committee held out for more. The rep told their teammates that there will be more, much more. In the end they did get more but the bottom-line money is less. And IMO they are stuck. If they accept the deal by NHL now, then most players will be left to wonder why had they not accepted the deal in October. They would have been better off in term of actual paycheck. So now, i think, Fehr will have to find "an out" because just going for more money in the make whole isn't enough. His reputation would be ruin

He essentially need a "moral victory" here. Some term in the new CBA that is unquantifiable. IMO that's the contract length. So now, he's telling players like Backes how less years mean less money for the middle guys. He's probably telling them if they get 8 years it would actually mean more to them than the salary lost thus far. The math is quite simple too, loss 1 year gain 3 years (owner offers 5 years). Of course not many players will get 8 years

So now Fehr is probably showing the players the worst case scenario. (not saying that it might not happen). And the players will keep fighting....but IMO they are essentially fighting for Fehr reputation at this point
More importantly the damage they've done to HRR by not negotiating and saving a full season will hurt the players for years.

Had they saved a full season, HRR would have continued to grow and the 7% lost would have been made up for in 3 or 4 years. Now, they have throw away ~550M in salaries to get an extra 89M in make whole, which they threw in the owners faces. So they're gonna lose another pay check and prolly lose that extra 89M too.

Fehr is not working in the best interest for the players, that's just a fact. The NHLPA made a huge mistake in hiring him.

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12-09-2012, 08:10 PM
  #211
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Originally Posted by Ragamuffin Gunner View Post
Fehr is not working in the best interest for the players, that's just a fact. The NHLPA made a huge mistake in hiring him.
No, thats not a "fact", thats your opinion, and as theyd already shot themselves in both feet over the Kelly fiasco, who else were they going to hire BUT Donald Fehr? Some things are just destined to happen RG.

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12-09-2012, 08:18 PM
  #212
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Here a couple questions...

Will limiting contracts to 5 yrs and limiting variance essentially effecting just 12% of present contracts actually significantly effect the middle class? If so, will it be anytime in the next 6-7 yrs?

Can you lay out for us economically the examples, from worst case to best case scenarios, that may result that make committing to a 10 yr deal a risk?

And what avenues would you predict we take in such scenarios when the CBA next expires? What are the scenarios which would result in us actually increasing our leverage and ability to negotiate a better deal sooner than 8 yrs?


Last edited by DL44: 12-09-2012 at 08:23 PM.
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12-09-2012, 08:29 PM
  #213
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The NHLPA is a mafia, more or less. Players can be downright cruel. Look at baseball. I can't for the life of me remember the name of the player, but when there was replacement players during the strike he played and then when he finally had a cup of coffee in the "real" MLB he was shunned. I remember a report about him and it constantly showed him sitting all by himself with his teammates purposely sitting away from him all because he had the "audacity" to get what might have been his only chance in Major League Baseball during the strike. Shameful on the players.
Brendan Donnelly, Shane Spencer, Damian Miller, and Kevin Millar were all replacement players who won the World Series and were still blacklisted by the MLBPA.

There was a sizable list of replacement players who didn't achieve such glory but were still blacklisted. I don't know the status of former MLB players who were replacements (Oil Can Boyd, Ken Oberkfell, Junior Ortiz, and several others) as far as MLBPA standing goes.

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12-09-2012, 08:52 PM
  #214
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Originally Posted by Ragamuffin Gunner View Post
More importantly the damage they've done to HRR by not negotiating and saving a full season will hurt the players for years.

Had they saved a full season, HRR would have continued to grow and the 7% lost would have been made up for in 3 or 4 years. Now, they have throw away ~550M in salaries to get an extra 89M in make whole, which they threw in the owners faces. So they're gonna lose another pay check and prolly lose that extra 89M too.

Fehr is not working in the best interest for the players, that's just a fact. The NHLPA made a huge mistake in hiring him.

Who is responsible for the NHL's revenue growth and momentum?

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12-09-2012, 08:54 PM
  #215
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Originally Posted by DL44 View Post
Here a couple questions...

Will limiting contracts to 5 yrs and limiting variance essentially effecting just 12% of present contracts actually significantly effect the middle class? If so, will it be anytime in the next 6-7 yrs?

Can you lay out for us economically the examples, from worst case to best case scenarios, that may result that make committing to a 10 yr deal a risk?

And what avenues would you predict we take in such scenarios when the CBA next expires? What are the scenarios which would result in us actually increasing our leverage and ability to negotiate a better deal sooner than 8 yrs?

One can easily flip this around and ask, if as you imply, there isn't a significant impact, why the NHL would make this a hill to die on issue.

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12-09-2012, 09:03 PM
  #216
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No, thats not a "fact", thats your opinion, and as theyd already shot themselves in both feet over the Kelly fiasco, who else were they going to hire BUT Donald Fehr? Some things are just destined to happen RG.
No, it's a fact. Fehr knows basic math. If he was working in their best interest, financially, the best interest of the players was to take the best deal they could get before a single game (and thus a single game check) was lost. If it was just about maximizing player income, this lockout would never have happened.

Now it's possible that the players want something other than the most money possible. Some other goal that might be worth sacrificing money for. But I really doubt it. 99% of these union fights come down to money in some way or another, and financially speaking the players have already lost more than they could ever recover.

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12-09-2012, 09:04 PM
  #217
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One can easily flip this around and ask, if as you imply, there isn't a significant impact, why the NHL would make this a hill to die on issue.
Insurance. A factor that doesn't affect the players at all, but sure as heck affects the owners. It's a bald fact that it's easier to insure a shorter deal.

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12-09-2012, 09:13 PM
  #218
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Insurance. A factor that doesn't affect the players at all, but sure as heck affects the owners. It's a bald fact that it's easier to insure a shorter deal.
No, we already covered insurance. Giving the home team the option of signing their own players to seven would then not be a gain for that team, but a punishment.

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12-09-2012, 09:22 PM
  #219
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Depends on how well the home team does its homework on its own players, and whether they really do know more about the risks associated with each player than the rest of the league does.

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12-09-2012, 09:29 PM
  #220
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Who is responsible for the NHL's revenue growth and momentum?
Seeing how they have a vested interest they are just as responsible. It's kind of a lame word to use. The players are responsible to put in an effort each and every night.

They have taken responsibility in forming the competition committee. They just have to watch they don't let their own union get in the way of growing the game by blocking new rules that may not favor goalies or certain player types.

It should be who's interest does increased revenue benefit? Who gains the most by increased revenues? Considering the 50/50 split that the owners have to take costs into effect. It's the players.

That's what I believe Betman meant when he said they were partners. Not you guys get to tell us how to run our business but you are now tied to our mutual interest in growing the game. I know I know lets use his words, twist the meaning and say he was full of crap and he's cheating his partners.. boo hoo.. pity.. etc.

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12-09-2012, 09:33 PM
  #221
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IMO the problem is that any deal that NHLPA will accept now will undoubtedly be worst off than the original 82 games deal offered by the NHL in late October. If the union would have taken that offer or seriously use that offer and tweak it, then perhaps entire season (and paychecks) would have been saved

But Fehr and the negotiating committee held out for more. The rep told their teammates that there will be more, much more. In the end they did get more but the bottom-line money is less. And IMO they are stuck. If they accept the deal by NHL now, then most players will be left to wonder why had they not accepted the deal in October. They would have been better off in term of actual paycheck. So now, i think, Fehr will have to find "an out" because just going for more money in the make whole isn't enough. His reputation would be ruin

He essentially need a "moral victory" here. Some term in the new CBA that is unquantifiable. IMO that's the contract length. So now, he's telling players like Backes how less years mean less money for the middle guys. He's probably telling them if they get 8 years it would actually mean more to them than the salary lost thus far. The math is quite simple too, loss 1 year gain 3 years (owner offers 5 years). Of course not many players will get 8 years

So now Fehr is probably showing the players the worst case scenario. (not saying that it might not happen). And the players will keep fighting....but IMO they are essentially fighting for Fehr reputation at this point
I don't get this line of reasoning.

Any deal the NHL gets now will make them less money than if they'd signed off on what the NHLPA wanted in October, too.

Both sides are losing money when they don't play for this long, but that doesn't mean you just agree to whatever the other side wants.

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12-09-2012, 09:37 PM
  #222
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Now if memory serves me correctly (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) the NHL is only able to get contracts insured for 5 years. I think (provided I am correct) that is a pretty substantial reason.
My understanding is that this is new. Older contracts should still be covered by the original insurance policies.

Why not buy an additional year of insurance as each year finishes? Then you are always insuring for the 5 years. The highest risk would be in the first year or two for career ending injuries.

How many career ending injuries have there been?

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12-09-2012, 09:45 PM
  #223
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This is the stupidest argument ever. The NHL is a gate driven league and it needs parity to have solid attendance especially in the "less than stellar" markets. Other than cost certainty parity was the other big reason for the salary cap if you undermine the level playing field teams that already struggle on the ice and to get fans to the games are going to suffer even more. Or they will be forced to hand out those contracts to stay competitive and have to accept that risk. Which obviously they don't want to.

I'll ignore your insult and answer.

If you want to have a hockey league, you need to have someone to play against. So you need an opponent. If the Toronto Maple Leafs want to have their players skate around at center ice by themselves and charge fans $300, let's see how many will pay.

At the end of the day, if these 30 independent business can somehow act as a single business to control the cost of labor, then these 30 independent businesses need to work share in the responsibility and sacrifice of fixing the game's economics.

FInally, I think it's really bad form to go around calling other people's arguments "Stupid" if you have nothing "smart" to offer. More specifically, nothing in your "critique" of my "stupid argument" makes the case for the Rich Teams making some of the sacrifice.

If the Detroits,NYRangers, Torontos, Montreals etc did more sharing, it would INCREASE parity.

That's kind of the point.

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12-09-2012, 09:48 PM
  #224
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I don't get this line of reasoning.

Any deal the NHL gets now will make them less money than if they'd signed off on what the NHLPA wanted in October, too.

Both sides are losing money when they don't play for this long, but that doesn't mean you just agree to whatever the other side wants.
I don't think what you've just stated is necessarily true and it's the whole reason why we're seeing these lockouts. Fundamentaly the owners don't lose as much as the players when the league is shut down (currently). Monetary, risk etc.

That's why you're seeing concessions from the players in hrr split. It's been the achille's heel of the players this lockout. They ended up doing so well from the last agreement the owners got lockout leverage and it looks like it's going to cost them some contracting rights.

If the NHL was losing comparitively similar value as the players. We'd probably see a deal done before the termination of the last CBA and contracting rights wouldn't have been touched. That's my guess at least.

I just think the PA doesn't have the ability to recognize how good they had it. I understand it's hard to let go.. even if it's in their best interests (the whole losing more sitting out then agreeing argument)

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12-09-2012, 09:57 PM
  #225
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One can easily flip this around and ask, if as you imply, there isn't a significant impact, why the NHL would make this a hill to die on issue.
That one is easy.
These long term contracts are like lottery tickets for the players that get em. Set for life no matter what happens...
Owners however Are concerned what happens when things go poorly. Owners pay the price. Insurance has it's limitations. Premiums rise. Etc.
Owners are concerned the dollars will not be going to the players that deserve them. 5 yr limits ensure their mistakes are limited... And dollars turned over to the correct players. Easier to reconstruct rosters.
There was only one purpose to long contracts... As evidenced by the fact there was only one signed pre-lockout.. And it was by Milbury.


And now on a more emotional tangent:
Not a single long term contract will end well for the players who have them... Not a single one. Fans will not remember or care about the great value players were early on... Just the massive burdens they've become. I feel bad for (some) the players already experiencing it actually... Kipper hate gets to me for example. Anyways...

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