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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.

What would a league without a union look like?

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Old
12-22-2012, 01:54 PM
  #1
atomic
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What would a league without a union look like?

if there were no union would all current contract be void?

Would we see teams playing 4 games in 4 nights?

If there was no union would the players get medical benefits? Retirement?

The draft would be gone. Everyone a free agent?

I think the union couldn't sue the league until they tried to implement something. So if the union disbands they could say everyone is a free agent. If I were a team it might not be wise to give more than one year contract as who knows there might be a union tomorrow so you don't want to get stuck with huge contracts you can't unload.

Could they have a draft for foreign players? I don't think a foreign player is going to be able to sue about his rights to play for whatever team he wants.

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12-22-2012, 01:56 PM
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The players don't want to know.

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12-22-2012, 01:57 PM
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One that doesn't exist. I truly believe that IF, and it's a huge IF, it ever get's to the point where there is in fact that no union moving forward, the NHL will try and find some way to cease operations in absence of a union. I have no facts to base that in nor am I a lawyer however that's just what I believe.

However my true feelings is that it will never come to that.

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12-22-2012, 03:28 PM
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Steve
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Originally Posted by Wingsfan2965 View Post
The players don't want to know.
I disagree, I think it would be better for the players in a free market. The owners have said themselves, they can't control their spending. In the short term salaries would increase, especially if all contracts are void. Philly/Tor/Montreal etc.. would offer a BOATLOAD to crosby/stamkos/malkin etc... Not to mention all the junior stars getting contracts at 15-18yrs old. I'm pretty sure Reebok isn't alone in wanting to secure/sign McDavid.

Long term both the owners and players lose, teams would fold b/c they can't compete financially b/c the gap between the big and small markets is drastic.

As for medical coverage, I think this is thought. They have it now, it and all the players demand them in their contracts. Every contract is based off an equivalent player.

NHL loses immediately and in the long run and players would lose in the long run due to fewer teams.

Fans, on the other hand, how amazing would a full draft be???? The quality of hockey with fewer teams would be great but, I think ultimately everyone loses if they decertify.

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12-22-2012, 03:33 PM
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Ron C.
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Rick DiPietro, Scott Gomez and Alexei Yashin vote no.

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12-22-2012, 04:45 PM
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I think this is an interesting question.

So many seem to think that a 30 team sports league with each team fighting for the championship each year should be treated the same as 30 widget manufacturing companies fighting for their share of the widget market.

But how can that be? A 31st widget manufacturing company can join the fight any time they want but a 31st team can't just join the league. Why is it ok for the league to keep their 'market' closed to any other competitors?

And these widget companies can employ as many people as they want and can afford. But sports leagues are allowed to limit roster sizes and reserve lists. Why can't a team that can afford it not have a roster of 100 players? Is it not restraint of trade to limit each team to 23 roster spots? And to take it a step further why is it ok that only 20 players get sweaters each night? As many widget company employees can work at the same time as each company has room for.

And there are no rules over how you make widgets. If one company comes up with a better way good for them. But the league is allowed to have rules for how their game is played and it isn't like their rules are some universal never changing set of rules for the game so why is this allowed? Isn't this stifling innovation?

So isn't a sports league just a giant antitrust violation from beginning to end? But it only matters when it comes to salaries? Why? Why can a league keeps it's ranks closed, limit the number of players on a roster and how many of those can play each game, and pick and chose what rules their games will be played under with no problems but limiting salaries is a no no?

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12-22-2012, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I disagree, I think it would be better for the players in a free market. The owners have said themselves, they can't control their spending. In the short term salaries would increase, especially if all contracts are void. Philly/Tor/Montreal etc.. would offer a BOATLOAD to crosby/stamkos/malkin etc... Not to mention all the junior stars getting contracts at 15-18yrs old. I'm pretty sure Reebok isn't alone in wanting to secure/sign McDavid.

Long term both the owners and players lose, teams would fold b/c they can't compete financially b/c the gap between the big and small markets is drastic.

As for medical coverage, I think this is thought. They have it now, it and all the players demand them in their contracts. Every contract is based off an equivalent player.

NHL loses immediately and in the long run and players would lose in the long run due to fewer teams.

Fans, on the other hand, how amazing would a full draft be???? The quality of hockey with fewer teams would be great but, I think ultimately everyone loses if they decertify.
Yeah pretty much. You can't really say exactly what would happen, but in my opinion the best guess is that with no spending limits the players will start taking in a much bigger percent of the revenue pie, but with no effort towards competitive balance the total revenue stream is going to shrink. This can be seen in effect over the past two CBA's. Whether the players would make more getting a bigger chunk of a small revenue pie or a smaller chunk of a bigger revenue one can only guess.

in my opinion people who think the players would just get massacred by the owners are mistakenly looking at the players from the perspective of a factory worker or some other low level labour job. They aren't. They would fall more in line with other professional occupations, which generally aren't unionized but don't have problems getting well rewarded for their services. Hockey players in general aren't necessarily going to be as educated or intelligent as other professional occupations, but that's athletes have agents who are.

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Old
12-22-2012, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron C. View Post
Rick DiPietro, Scott Gomez and Alexei Yashin vote no.

Those three got there big salaries in a no cap, free'er market NHL. The same thing would happen to the stars or so players think are stars.

Crosby/Ovy/Stamkos would all make more. Montreal/Toronto would bid like crazy for any 18 year old super kid on the market.

The EPL, no union for players and they get 70% of revenue. Of coarse there are only 5 teams that matter.

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12-22-2012, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swarez99 View Post
Those three got there big salaries in a no cap, free'er market NHL. The same thing would happen to the stars or so players think are stars.

Crosby/Ovy/Stamkos would all make more. Montreal/Toronto would bid like crazy for any 18 year old super kid on the market.

The EPL, no union for players and they get 70% of revenue. Of coarse there are only 5 teams that matter.
Gomez and DiPietro both signed during the cap.

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Old
12-22-2012, 05:46 PM
  #10
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Originally Posted by Millhaus View Post
I think this is an interesting question.

So many seem to think that a 30 team sports league with each team fighting for the championship each year should be treated the same as 30 widget manufacturing companies fighting for their share of the widget market.

But how can that be? A 31st widget manufacturing company can join the fight any time they want but a 31st team can't just join the league. Why is it ok for the league to keep their 'market' closed to any other competitors?

And these widget companies can employ as many people as they want and can afford. But sports leagues are allowed to limit roster sizes and reserve lists. Why can't a team that can afford it not have a roster of 100 players? Is it not restraint of trade to limit each team to 23 roster spots? And to take it a step further why is it ok that only 20 players get sweaters each night? As many widget company employees can work at the same time as each company has room for.

And there are no rules over how you make widgets. If one company comes up with a better way good for them. But the league is allowed to have rules for how their game is played and it isn't like their rules are some universal never changing set of rules for the game so why is this allowed? Isn't this stifling innovation?

So isn't a sports league just a giant antitrust violation from beginning to end? But it only matters when it comes to salaries? Why? Why can a league keeps it's ranks closed, limit the number of players on a roster and how many of those can play each game, and pick and chose what rules their games will be played under with no problems but limiting salaries is a no no?
Is it really just limited to sports? Out of curiosity, can anyone just open a McDonalds? Or a Wendy's? Or a Dairy Queen?

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Old
12-22-2012, 06:14 PM
  #11
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Originally Posted by Ron C. View Post
Rick DiPietro, Scott Gomez and Alexei Yashin vote no.
That's three rather compelling reasons to support it.

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Old
12-22-2012, 07:32 PM
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On the iphone so have to kero this shorter than it desearves.

If this goes nuclear, look for the NHL to dissolve and reformulate into an MLS style business format whereby the single entity League signs the players, and assigns them to each team.

Existing owners would "sell" there franchises to the League, and be assigned players based on some kind of formula, probably based on the current League.

Profits would be assigned based on market size and past success.

Follow the link, and click on "Organisation" to get an idea of how this currently works for MLS.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Soccer

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Old
12-22-2012, 07:44 PM
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Also what would happen to the length of contracts?

With a CBA, all non-tryout contracts are set to expire on June 30th on some year.

Would it not be legal for them to sign a contract to expire whenever the team and player agree to? example; would there be anything stopping a contract to expire right before the deadline or even before the playoffs and a player become a free agent at that point?


And what happens with roster sizes? Could the NHL still maintain it's 23 player max roster size or would that be illegal without a union?

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12-22-2012, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Xref View Post
Is it really just limited to sports? Out of curiosity, can anyone just open a McDonalds? Or a Wendy's? Or a Dairy Queen?
Well, that's a different question. If any of those franchises had a stranglehold over the restaurant industry, they would have to play by different rules, no doubt.

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Old
12-23-2012, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Xref View Post
Is it really just limited to sports? Out of curiosity, can anyone just open a McDonalds? Or a Wendy's? Or a Dairy Queen?
No but anyone can open a restaurant...

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Old
12-23-2012, 01:38 AM
  #16
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Originally Posted by leeaf83 View Post
And what happens with roster sizes? Could the NHL still maintain it's 23 player max roster size or would that be illegal without a union?
Completely illegal, which is part of what I was saying. Without a CBA it is pretty much impossible for a sports league to function in the standard North American model.

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12-23-2012, 01:54 AM
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The NHL would exercise more anticompetitive practices since players dont have any union power.

There will always be a players union. Players are always going to stand together to withstand unjust labor practice.

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12-23-2012, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Swarez99 View Post
Those three got there big salaries in a no cap, free'er market NHL. The same thing would happen to the stars or so players think are stars.

Crosby/Ovy/Stamkos would all make more. Montreal/Toronto would bid like crazy for any 18 year old super kid on the market.

The EPL, no union for players and they get 70% of revenue. Of coarse there are only 5 teams that matter.
EPL acts on a market that is crazy about football. You can't say the same about 2/3 NHL teams...

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Old
12-23-2012, 02:39 AM
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Stars might get paid more, prospects and journeymen hit hardest since minimum salary is 8$/hour instead of 500k.

Parity would be gone. Big markets and rich owners would round up all the stars.

For the fans the biggest difference would be parity and huge player shuffle if the NHL lawsuit goes through and all contracts are voided.

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12-23-2012, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Kshahdoo View Post
EPL acts on a market that is crazy about football. You can't say the same about 2/3 NHL teams...
That doesn't matter. All the teams that make the majority of revenue in NHL would be the ones spending the money on players, the small market teams would be statistically irrelevant since their contribution to total revenues would be small.

Players were making about 70% of revenues before the last lockout

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12-23-2012, 07:48 AM
  #21
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We know what it would look like. It will look like the WHA did. The old WHA formed bacause the NHL was mean to players. It was intended to provide another market for players and fans to choose over the old school NHL.

What happened was each team signed one star to a massive contract (for those days,lol) and filled the roster with AHL calibre players. This is what would happen with a no cap NHL. As well, the marketplace will cruelly beat the poo out of some franchises. Some might move, some will fold.

Actually, this scenario is at least a year away, so some teams won't even be starting up again. What we are really talking about is a league floundering. I do not think Bettman will run it into the ground, what would he be, then?

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12-23-2012, 09:08 AM
  #22
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Originally Posted by Kshahdoo View Post
EPL acts on a market that is crazy about football. You can't say the same about 2/3 NHL teams...
And compared to the US and Canada, England is tiny, the travel costs are ridiculously low. Especialy compared to how few games the EPL plays compared to the NHL.

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Old
12-23-2012, 09:52 AM
  #23
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At most a 20 team NHL probably less. Sorry Winnipeg, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton.
No chance for Quebec City and a second GTA team.
If you think Americans run the NHL now...

At least one third of NHLPA members will compete for jobs in the AHL and Europe.

Good news if you're a Ranger or Flyer fan.

Forget about a national US tv coverage.

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Old
12-23-2012, 09:55 AM
  #24
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A league without a union, huh? how about a TOP 10 for that

1. Players would be living in trailer park rentals as they wouldn't really be able to afford the pad fees for ownership!

2. The next time you ordered a pizza whilst watching the Jays tangle with the Marlins for 1st overall in the American League East, more then likely the guy delivering it and waiting patiently for a tip will be Sid Crosby

3. Players would be forced to carry a hot-plate(which they rent from the team) in their luggage for road-trips as their per-diem will only cover two boxes of KD per day and a half-pint of skim milk

4. Players will learn many new skills as they'll be doing their own laundry(so pay attention to those Tide commercials if you want to get the bloodstains out of your whites!)

5. They'll become expert seamstress's repairing their own uniforms as like in the bad old days their sweaters will be expected to last several seasons instead of games.

6. Players will have to go back to wooden sticks as they will no longer be able to afford the composite sticks the teams now pay for(Gretzky went through 700 game sticks and another 200 practice sticks his last year because the souvenir business was so "demanding")

7. Wet gloves! in back to backs those poor guys will have to adjust to wearing soaking wet gloves, shoulder pads and pants, shin pads and elbow pads if they forget their roll of dimes for the dryer at the laundromat.

8 Used cars! no longer will they be driving those beautiful new Caddy's they borrow from their Daddy's during their Jr careers. Used 2004 Corolla's and Civics will be the order of the day.

9. No more shot blocking! actually the players do get benefits with no union with only one pair of Bauer Supreme One.4 Sr hockey skates available(99 bucks is a lot of money you know!) they'll have to last and getting in front of those pucks is not the way to do it.

10. Their friends, wives(if any girls will marry them now) and parents will only be able to see them play if they pay for their own flights and tickets as the will no longer be comped for either of those things in the club's effort to inspire a family like atmosphere around the work place.

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Old
12-23-2012, 10:05 AM
  #25
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Probably you'd see a lot of craziness for a couple years while people try to figure out what the market equilibrium is - some GMs offering stupidly high and stupidly low salaries/terms. Then it'd probably settle down and there'd be a set of core expectations in contracting that would become harder to negotiate out of. At the end, I bet the players would be making a bit more than they are now per player, but you'd see a number of franchises move or fold.

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