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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.

NHLPA "statement"

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Old
10-10-2004, 02:34 AM
  #1
LadyStanley
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NHLPA "statement"

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/10/sp.../10linden.html

Trevor Linden, of the Vancouver Canucks, and NHLPA President has an editorial in the Sunday edition.

I read it as the players essentially want the status quo - no caps, no limitations on salaries, etc.

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10-10-2004, 08:43 AM
  #2
BLONG7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyStanley
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/10/sp.../10linden.html

Trevor Linden, of the Vancouver Canucks, and NHLPA President has an editorial in the Sunday edition.

I read it as the players essentially want the status quo - no caps, no limitations on salaries, etc.
Be careful on using the term status quo...dr has a tendancy to over-react to that term! I am very disappointed in Trevor Linden and Knob Goodenow, and to a lesser extent Gary Bettman.

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10-10-2004, 10:53 AM
  #3
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Very well written editorial.

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Old
10-10-2004, 11:25 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLONG7
Be careful on using the term status quo...dr has a tendancy to over-react to that term! I am very disappointed in Trevor Linden and Knob Goodenow, and to a lesser extent Gary Bettman.
well since i cant read the article, I will reserve comment. however, if he is talking about a new luxury tax system, then he certainly isnt saying he wants the status quo.
dr

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10-10-2004, 11:50 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DementedReality
well since i cant read the article, I will reserve comment. however, if he is talking about a new luxury tax system, then he certainly isnt saying he wants the status quo.
dr
I think it comes down to what is meant by the status quo. The owners can correctly say the players want the status quo because they define status quo as no relationship between revenues and salaries. A more reasonable defintion of status quo is probably "no change" and given that definition the players aren't arguing for the status quo.

Here is the nub of the Linden argument:

A player wants to have the ability to sit down and negotiate his value with his team. A player does not want to work under a contrived formula that artificially limits his value to a set percentage of what the league and its 30 clubs declare as their revenues.

Bill Daly, Bettman's chief lieutenant and the league's lead negotiator, made some revealing comments during a recent interview on ESPN radio. When challenged about how the Rangers, of all clubs, could be reporting some of the largest losses in the league, Daly asserted that Cablevision, their parent company, may lose money intentionally as part of a broader corporate philosophy that raises the value of Cablevision as a whole.

Daly's comments illustrate the problem players have with the clubs' financial representations. They highlight the impracticality of negotiating an agreement based on the self-reported results of the 30 N.H.L. clubs.

Every team occupies a different place in its owner's overall business enterprise. Each has different reasons for reporting revenues, expenses, profits and losses. Sophisticated accounting strategies are the norm, especially in conglomerates like Cablevision, which uses many companies for many reasons. A system that straitjackets players' values in the face of such a varied set of accounting and business models will not work.


Tom

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Old
10-10-2004, 01:39 PM
  #6
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A great article from Trevor. I dont see how you can come to the conclusion the players are only interested in status quo. Somehow there is this idea that the business just cannot oeprate without a salary cap. Unless there is a salary cap, the NHL will never work. It is the only thing available to make the business work. Unless you are willing to talk about a cap, you arent willing to agree to lower salaries. A market will never operate at equilibrium. It is not possible to make choices to not lose money in a market. Thats ridiculous. The owners have nagged, cajoled, browbeaten and threatened fans with their franchises survival, so that in terror fans see the owners patently false arguments as the only way forward. And was it ever easy. They've taken their ball and gone home and are going to hold their breath until players capitulate to their demands like good little partners. And then the hardline, refuse to compromise, known fraudsters get fan support? Unbelievable!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor Linden
Over the past 10 years, the league has entered seven new markets in the United States. I doubt that Bettman, when selling new franchises for $80 million each, was telling the new owners that the industry was "bleeding to death" and that the league was "out of gas" as he now contends
The contention in circulating conventional wisdom seems to be that he was selling to them with the promise of only one or 2 years of horrible lockout labour strife, fighting, lawsuits, scabs, and franchise devaluations, he will eventually get his way in labour negotiations and they will all make money no matter how incompetently they run the business.

Who wouldnt buy with a sales pitch like that?

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10-10-2004, 09:07 PM
  #7
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mr thinkwild - thank you for all your links and posts - dr, tom and yourself have the picture well painted - i just blurt it out but you guys are very articulate and i just can't figure out why anyone could say that the players are to blame for this -

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10-11-2004, 12:28 AM
  #8
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I just think the "Fat Seven" are to blame (the seven worst offending teams that drove salaries up the most) and whatever solution is presented, it has to address the problem of the Sakic&CuJo contracts/offer sheets, the McCabe contracts, the Jagr contracts and, less noted, the problem of the average 2 goal scoring foreward making three times the league minimum for no reason whatsoever.

Owners are gonna make a profit. Fine. Players will want raises. Fine. But when the price of the game goes up and popularity goes down, something's gotta be fixed.

Start by firing Bettman, firing Goodenow and bringing in people who are looking at the real victims: the people forced to pay $100 plus to see a watered down product with overpriced players (read: BOTH sides grabbin' at ol' Ned Beatty, in a Deliverance like portrayal of the CBA and league with regards to the fan appreciation efforts).

I almost hope to see teams jump from the NHL to the WHA just so we can keep the teams and start all over. Keep the history and ditch the problem. A reverse Oilers/Jets deal. Just a thought.

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10-11-2004, 01:23 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlTimeHockey
... the real victims: the people forced to pay $100 plus to
lol .. no one is forced to pay anything for an NHL ticket. if they dont want to pay $100, or $35, or $350, then they dont.

its called business, you charge a price for your product, if you cant make enough money, you either charge more or less, depending on the circumstances.

forced ... my goodness man. if you dont want to pay $100 for a ticket, then dont. i know that i choose to not pay those prices, i dont feel forced, nor do i feel cheated. i make the decision to not waste my hard earned money and if that means I dont goto NHL games or wear NHL jerseys, so *** what.

people have to get over this feeling of entitlement. the NHL is not a born right, if you cant afford to go, life sucks but that aint anyone else's problem.

here is a thought, if you smoke and cant afford a hockey ticket, quit smoking. my point ? people make priorities with their money and can afford whatever they want, they just cant afford everything.

dr

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Old
10-11-2004, 05:43 AM
  #10
Sinurgy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DementedReality
lol .. no one is forced to pay anything for an NHL ticket. if they dont want to pay $100, or $35, or $350, then they dont.

its called business, you charge a price for your product, if you cant make enough money, you either charge more or less, depending on the circumstances.

forced ... my goodness man. if you dont want to pay $100 for a ticket, then dont. i know that i choose to not pay those prices, i dont feel forced, nor do i feel cheated. i make the decision to not waste my hard earned money and if that means I dont goto NHL games or wear NHL jerseys, so *** what.

people have to get over this feeling of entitlement. the NHL is not a born right, if you cant afford to go, life sucks but that aint anyone else's problem.

here is a thought, if you smoke and cant afford a hockey ticket, quit smoking. my point ? people make priorities with their money and can afford whatever they want, they just cant afford everything.

dr
I knew someone would jump on the use of the word forced and I agree but take that word out of OlTime's writeup and he does have some good points. Most notably his "when the price of the game goes up and popularity goes down, something's gotta be fixed".

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10-11-2004, 11:57 PM
  #11
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I don't think that the fans caused the issue, but I do believe that right now they're a huge part of the problem. Sometimes you just have to admit that no matter who's fault it is, the wheels have come off and repairs have to be made. Yes the owners are still making money, but not as much as they used to, and not as much as they should. The fact of the matter is, that the players have played their cards all wrong, and they are alienating fans. The players have already lost this round, they're just not willing to admit it yet. The only way I see the players not being broken over this if they show a more fan supportive side and if something happens that forces the issue and forces the owners to reach a decision quickly.

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10-12-2004, 06:50 AM
  #12
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Whether Cablevision makes money or not does not have a bearing on whether the Rangers organization is making money or not. They are separate entities. People can correct me but I was living in NEw York up until last December. ARound that time CAblevision was buying up various bits of the television/cable industry...so is the philosophy Linden is talking about simply acquiring equity at a temporary loss for gains later on. If so how exactly does it relate to the Rangers? Have the Rangers acquired various pieces of property etc. to report a temporary loss? If so prove it. If not saying Cablevision does this or that means nothing in terms of the revenues and expenses of the Rangers team.

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10-12-2004, 08:00 AM
  #13
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Anyone who has an understanding of the financial side of sports should have lost respect for Linden after reading this 'article'. His reasoning for not wanting a cap is because the owners aren't truthful. He's right. They probably aren't truthful right now, but as anyone should know that would not be a concern once the definition of revenues is determined and included in the CBA. There's a reason why the NFL and the NBA have both been able to accomplish this successfully... because not accurately reporting revenues would be fraud and owners would face being sent to jail. By telling you the reader that that's the reason the players don't want a cap, he's insulting your intelligence.

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10-12-2004, 08:03 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tantalum
Whether Cablevision makes money or not does not have a bearing on whether the Rangers organization is making money or not. They are separate entities.
I think you're misunderstanding Lindin's point. What teams like the Rangers do is sell the TV rights to Ranger games to Cablevision [which is obviously the same company] for next to nothing. So, on the Rangers financials is shows them making 99 cents for their local TV rights and on the Cablevision financials they bring in millions from advertising revenue.

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10-12-2004, 10:45 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stich
What teams like the Rangers do is sell the TV rights to Ranger games to Cablevision [which is obviously the same company] for next to nothing.
Outside of the Rangers (and possibly Philly) what other teams are like them?

Besides, I thought Levitt accounted for that in his report. Didn't he assess wether or not the revenue streams for each team were reasonable for their respective markets?

Does anyone else see any irony in Linden now trying to poke holes in the Rangers accounting methods when the Rangers have never put limits on their spending in the first place?

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Old
10-12-2004, 11:01 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperandblue
Outside of the Rangers (and possibly Philly) what other teams are like them?

Besides, I thought Levitt accounted for that in his report. Didn't he assess wether or not the revenue streams for each team were reasonable for their respective markets?

Yes Levitt did account for that and has stated that the Rangers TV revenues reported in the URO's are indeed normal. The Rangers had a loss in operating income (Forbes agrees).

And if the Rangers just gave the rights for a minmal cost while Cablevision rakes in the money how does that agree with Linden saying Cablevision operates on the philosophy of a loss? What the loss has to do with is expansion and what I forgot to mention before....expansion and isntallation fo technology. In the areas controlled by CAblevision a large chunk of it does not have digital cable and high speed internet yet and CAblevision is putting in that infrastructure right now.

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10-12-2004, 12:28 PM
  #17
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Bettman's Folly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moester
I don't think that the fans caused the issue, but I do believe that right now they're a huge part of the problem. Sometimes you just have to admit that no matter who's fault it is, the wheels have come off and repairs have to be made. Yes the owners are still making money, but not as much as they used to, and not as much as they should. The fact of the matter is, that the players have played their cards all wrong, and they are alienating fans. The players have already lost this round, they're just not willing to admit it yet. The only way I see the players not being broken over this if they show a more fan supportive side and if something happens that forces the issue and forces the owners to reach a decision quickly.
I agree. First of all, I just don't see where there is any value in discussing "blame" on anyones part. The League made a calculated gamble that if they expanded into all the major US TV markets that network telelvision would buy-in so to speak. That would have propped up and supported the system that was negotiated back in the early 1990's. Everything was in place for the networks to step in. Call it, Bettman's Folly. In the meantime the league was surviving on soaring ticket prices and expansion fee's of 80 million per. When the expansion cycle was over and the network deals all went south, the league was caught with their financial pants down. Was it a gamble worth taking? Sure. The benefit would have been a tremedous windfall for the players. A windfall, by the way, that was already in the works. Now the league needs to put the wagons in a circle and go about it's business the old fashioned way. Keeping costs down, growing it's markets, and reconnecting with its regular customers. The first step in this process would be to negotiate player contracts downward...the second step would be to replace Bettman with a hockey man (my favorite choices would be David Poille or Ken Dryden) and put the on ice product back in ballance.

As far as scabs go, I don't see how the union can take the league seriously until they resume playing without union players. Plenty of current NHLers will cross the line. Since their agreeement with the current union is over, they would certainly be free to sign with another association of players, or perhaps even go it alone. Either way, something will have to give and the first step should be management getting their product back in business, let the players catch up.
-HckyFght!


Last edited by HckyFght*: 10-12-2004 at 12:38 PM.
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Old
10-12-2004, 12:49 PM
  #18
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Linden's Folly

As for Trevor Linden's piece in the Times, it was pure fantasy. The suggestion that a players value is limitless is absurd.

Secondly, even the dollar amounts Linden says the union is ceding to ownership, don't add up to the loss numbers he cites.

The rest of it, his speculations as to what Bettman's sales pitches were to expansion franchises and the like, is filler, and means nothing.

-HckyFght!

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