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

NHL Seeks To Have All Contracts Declared Void If Union Disclaimer Successful

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Old
12-16-2012, 12:38 PM
  #1
colchar
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NHL Seeks To Have All Contracts Declared Void If Union Disclaimer Successful

Just as the NBA did, the NHL is asking that ALL contracts be declared null and void if the union is successful in its disclaimer.

As the article notes though, they should be careful what they wish for. Personally, as someone who loves trade deadline day and the opening of the free agent signing period, this would be something approaching nirvana if it actually happened!

And as Kipper has said countless times on Hockey Central At Noon, if this was to happen the owners would be cutting each other's throats to sign players and any unity amongst the owners, whether real or not, would be out the window as guys like Illitch would be signing everyone possible and execs like Sather would be let of the leash to do as they wished.

Realistically, I doubt it would ever get that far but it is interesting to speculate as to what would happen if it did.



http://www.torontosun.com/2012/12/15...hlpa-dissolves

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12-16-2012, 12:50 PM
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The SPC's were negotiated under the terms of a CBA and between the NHL and the Union. It would seem to me that if neither a CBA nor Union now exist, then those contracts would be deemed void. But I'm sure there are legal arguments against this notion.

Also, how would signing bonuses be handled? Does Zack Parise now have to return his $25 million that he got from the Wild?

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12-16-2012, 12:55 PM
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The owners would lift the lockout, all contracts would be void, players can't file antitrust claims, everyone is a FA - do the owners have any legal obligation to quickly negotiate new contracts for ALL of the players in the PA? Don't they have the legal right to sit on their hands and take their time - it's not like the hockey players provide an essential service to the community that it would require swift action by the owners to get contracts settled quickly.

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12-16-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xref View Post
The SPC's were negotiated under the terms of a CBA and between the NHL and the Union. It would seem to me that if neither a CBA nor Union now exist, then those contracts would be deemed void. But I'm sure there are legal arguments against this notion.

Also, how would signing bonuses be handled? Does Zack Parise now have to return his $25 million that he got from the Wild?
Parise has gotten 10 million so far. 25 if this goes up to 14-15 season.

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12-16-2012, 12:57 PM
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The owners would need to flesh a team out, so 22-25 contracts would need to be negotiated, signed with NO preconceived or organized stipulations.

In other words, Gary would have to tell them that they couldn't talk to each other about pricing and limits on anything.

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12-16-2012, 12:58 PM
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From what I've been reading, I thought this is so the owners don't have to pay them while the court case is ongoing and to prevent the players from filing lawsuits. My understanding was this doesn't make the contracts totally go away, and doesn't make everyone UFAs. Very confusing, so many different takes on it out there, no way to know which is right.

If (and that's a big "if") this actually goes that far in court, could the judge just make it part of his ruling that all contracts are reinstated (if that's not an automatic thing, anyway)?

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12-16-2012, 12:59 PM
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Just as the NBA did, the NHL is asking that ALL contracts be declared null and void if the union is successful in its disclaimer.
Welcome to Philadelphia, Sid.


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12-16-2012, 01:03 PM
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It would be such a disaster. I would probably stop watching hockey if that happened. All those years losing for nothing.

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12-16-2012, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kemisti View Post
Parise has gotten 10 million so far. 25 if this goes up to 14-15 season.
OK thank, I stand corrected on the numbers. But I wonder if the Wild would sue to get their money back. It's all uncharted and scary waters.

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12-16-2012, 01:31 PM
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OK thank, I stand corrected on the numbers. But I wonder if the Wild would sue to get their money back. It's all uncharted and scary waters.
They'd have no standing. That contract took effect as soon as it was signed, which is why they had to pay the bonus. The CBA expired after the contract clock started ticking.

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12-16-2012, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xref View Post
The SPC's were negotiated under the terms of a CBA and between the NHL and the Union. It would seem to me that if neither a CBA nor Union now exist, then those contracts would be deemed void. But I'm sure there are legal arguments against this notion.

Also, how would signing bonuses be handled? Does Zack Parise now have to return his $25 million that he got from the Wild?
I would assume any signing bonuses on contracts will still be due, including any future years. They were bonuses for a contract signed, and they are probably payable regardless if the contract is terminated or not.

The NFL may give us a good example. Signing bonuses are always due even if a player has his contract terminated, even if the signing bonuses are due after the contract is terminated.

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12-16-2012, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
The owners would need to flesh a team out, so 22-25 contracts would need to be negotiated, signed with NO preconceived or organized stipulations.

In other words, Gary would have to tell them that they couldn't talk to each other about pricing and limits on anything.
22 - 25 if the players are lucky.

Knowing players can be hired, layed off, quit in a second , etc, could very well mean teams only bother to sign the bare minimum they require to get by, and that would likely be less than the current minimum enforced by the CBA.

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12-16-2012, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ottawah View Post
22 - 25 if the players are lucky.

Knowing players can be hired, layed off, quit in a second , etc, could very well mean teams only bother to sign the bare minimum they require to get by, and that would likely be less than the current minimum enforced by the CBA.

You keep ignoring something fundamental. Every term and condition could be spelled out. A guy could ask for and receive a 5 yr golden parachute. They could get bonuses without limits (kind of like our investment industry, even if they fail).

The stars will an incredible amount of leverage, and I think many here would think the contracts they get bordering on the obscene if they don't like what they "deserve" under capped systems. The guys who wouldn't have much leverage would be the lower level, borderline NHL'ers.

Furthermore.... there is competition overseas. If you offer too little for guys who CAN get more in Europe, why would they sign here?

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12-16-2012, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
They'd have no standing. That contract took effect as soon as it was signed, which is why they had to pay the bonus. The CBA expired after the contract clock started ticking.
But isn't the bonus tied to performing for the team/fulfilling the contract? If the player walks and signs with another team (if all existing contracts are deemed null and void), does he get to keep the bonus? Not sure how "good faith" that is.

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12-16-2012, 02:09 PM
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It gives me a headache thinking about how things would be if this were to actually happen.

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12-16-2012, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xref View Post
The SPC's were negotiated under the terms of a CBA and between the NHL and the Union. It would seem to me that if neither a CBA nor Union now exist, then those contracts would be deemed void.


I thought so too but the general consensus seemed to be that existing contracts remained valid. The fact that the NBA and NHL both made this request seems to reinforce that. By asking to have them declared invalid I think the NHL is trying to scare players but, as mentioned in the article, that could easily backfire on them.




Quote:
Also, how would signing bonuses be handled? Does Zack Parise now have to return his $25 million that he got from the Wild?

The contracts were valid at the time at which that money was paid so the players should keep that money. I think this seeks to make contracts invalid going forward, not retroactively.

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12-16-2012, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xref View Post
But isn't the bonus tied to performing for the team/fulfilling the contract? If the player walks and signs with another team (if all existing contracts are deemed null and void), does he get to keep the bonus? Not sure how "good faith" that is.
The difference is its called a signing bonus, its a bonus you get for signing a contract. Not for fulfilling it. Not for performance.

They could possibly come at you later and say you never meant to honor the contract, etc, but in the current case current players who are due a bonus for signing their contracts (which they did) who lived up to the contract terms as best they could would likely have a strong leg to stand on in court.

Back in the hey day of the tech boom, I had a signing bonus once, 10K no stipulations. I know a lot of people who got them. Some left 6 months later.

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12-16-2012, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
You keep ignoring something fundamental. Every term and condition could be spelled out. A guy could ask for and receive a 5 yr golden parachute. They could get bonuses without limits (kind of like our investment industry, even if they fail).

The stars will an incredible amount of leverage, and I think many here would think the contracts they get bordering on the obscene if they don't like what they "deserve" under capped systems. The guys who wouldn't have much leverage would be the lower level, borderline NHL'ers.

Furthermore.... there is competition overseas. If you offer too little for guys who CAN get more in Europe, why would they sign here?
Not ignoring it at all. I've often said this scenario will be great for super stars, crap for everyone else.

The thing is, every talent tier you go down, there are significantly more people there. The simple fact is at the very lowest tier these guys would not look out of place as 4th liners and they can get jobs no where else. I really think the 4th line guys will be looking at 100K salaries non guaranteed and the best players will be treated like rock stars.

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12-16-2012, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xref View Post
But isn't the bonus tied to performing for the team/fulfilling the contract? If the player walks and signs with another team (if all existing contracts are deemed null and void), does he get to keep the bonus? Not sure how "good faith" that is.
It was a signing bonus. Unless there's a clause that says he has to pay it back if ____ happens, then no, he signed and he got the money before the CBA expired.


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Originally Posted by colchar View Post
I thought so too but the general consensus seemed to be that existing contracts remained valid. The fact that the NBA and NHL both made this request seems to reinforce that. By asking to have them declared invalid I think the NHL is trying to scare players but, as mentioned in the article, that could easily backfire on them.

Very good point. It does appear that unless something else happens (legal ruling on why the contracts can be voided), they in fact remain in place.

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12-16-2012, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ottawah View Post
Not ignoring it at all. I've often said this scenario will be great for super stars, crap for everyone else.

The thing is, every talent tier you go down, there are significantly more people there. The simple fact is at the very lowest tier these guys would not look out of place as 4th liners and they can get jobs no where else. I really think the 4th line guys will be looking at 100K salaries non guaranteed and the best players will be treated like rock stars.

No, I don't think everyone else will be off badly, just the 4th line grinders, fillers, your extra D.

And I also think that 4th liners in the NHL may still be a step above players who cannot break into the NHL at all (per the old paradigm).

The NHL will have to compete for non-NA talent against the salaries those players can garner at home, plus offer enough incentive for them to want to deal with moving overseas. That usually means some type of guarantee. Elite talent would still come as the pay level would be the highest for them. After that, you have to offer sufficient incentive to have them make that trade-off.

In terms of valuation:

Elite/superstars = rock star treatment
Middle Class/Veteran = always able to find work
Middle Class European = make it better for me vs home leagues
Middle Class/Younger NA = will prefer to stay in NA
Elite European/ELC = pay will be higher than current ELC, by far

Filler/AHL-level = predominantly NA players who don't want to go overseas, or cannot compete for those salaries

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12-16-2012, 02:25 PM
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I'd be done with the NHL if this ever seriously got that far (if it means that rosters pre-existing to the lockout would essentially not exist and be up for the highest bidder).

Hello NBA and NFL, you will get my dollars and ratings attention from here on out if that ever comes to pass.

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12-16-2012, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by HockeyCrazed101 View Post
The owners would lift the lockout, all contracts would be void, players can't file antitrust claims, everyone is a FA - do the owners have any legal obligation to quickly negotiate new contracts for ALL of the players in the PA? Don't they have the legal right to sit on their hands and take their time - it's not like the hockey players provide an essential service to the community that it would require swift action by the owners to get contracts settled quickly.
In a general sense no, they wouldn't have to do anything quickly but if they want to play games then they would have to.

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12-16-2012, 02:28 PM
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Welcome to Philadelphia, Sid.


Nah, the Rangers would throw open the bank vault for him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xref View Post
But isn't the bonus tied to performing for the team/fulfilling the contract?

It is a signing bouns so would be payable for the player signing.


Quote:
If the player walks and signs with another team (if all existing contracts are deemed null and void), does he get to keep the bonus? Not sure how "good faith" that is.
Since the league/owners are the ones asking for the contracts to be declared null and void why shouldn't a player be allowed to keep the money?

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12-16-2012, 02:31 PM
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Never gonna happen.

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12-16-2012, 02:34 PM
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It was a signing bonus. Unless there's a clause that says he has to pay it back if ____ happens, then no, he signed and he got the money before the CBA expired.
Yep.

Say "Thank you, Mr. Bettman", Nashville fans.

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