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Disappointment in both the players and owners

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11-19-2004, 07:55 PM
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BoltsnRags
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Disappointment in both the players and owners

however I am a little more critical of the players at this point then the owners. Some items that bother me about the players are as follows:

1. Players do not want a cap in the NHL but the same players (you know the ones that make 7 figures and above in the US) are willing to go over seas and play under a cap system in Europe. Not sure of all the leagues but it is my understanding that Europe operates their teams with cost certainty (a la a cap).

2. Every star that leaves the US to play in Europe costs a European hockey player a chance to earn a paycheck. However, the same players do not want their union brothers to consider crossing the line to earn a paycheck in the NHL. Complete crap in my mind. The players that have gone overseas are not the players that need their current paychecks to survive. They have made a concious choice to go to work and force someone else to go without the paycheck inorder to keep their pockets full with spending cash. TRULY selfish behavior and scabs in their own right.

3. The middle and lower tier player (over whelming majority of the players) will continue to keep getting screwed to protect the salaries of the upper tier player. This is not specific to the NHL but Unions in general.

4. How about the economic nature of the business districts that depend on the flow of the NHL crowd to support their small businesses.

Just some random thoughts while I am sitting here bored out of my mind without hockey.

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11-19-2004, 08:59 PM
  #2
Kodiak
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Because I'm also bored and trying to avoid doing my work, I'm going to respond.

Like you, I'm frustrated with with both sides, but I tend to lean towards the players' side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoltsnRags
1. Players do not want a cap in the NHL but the same players (you know the ones that make 7 figures and above in the US) are willing to go over seas and play under a cap system in Europe. Not sure of all the leagues but it is my understanding that Europe operates their teams with cost certainty (a la a cap).
They're willing to play for less and under a cap system in Europe because the players view this as temporary. They're playing in Europe to keep their games sharp (whether this is right or wrong is another issue entirely) and because they're hockey players. They're going to play hockey, if not in the NHL than somewhere else.

There is also the fact that the teams in Europe do not generate the kind of revenue that NHL teams do. These players can make 7+ figures in the NHL because they bring in that kind of money. The players are not out to bleed the owners dry. They're fighting for their share of the pie, just like the owners.

Quote:
2. Every star that leaves the US to play in Europe costs a European hockey player a chance to earn a paycheck. However, the same players do not want their union brothers to consider crossing the line to earn a paycheck in the NHL. Complete crap in my mind. The players that have gone overseas are not the players that need their current paychecks to survive. They have made a concious choice to go to work and force someone else to go without the paycheck inorder to keep their pockets full with spending cash. TRULY selfish behavior and scabs in their own right.
To restate my above point, hockey players are going to play hockey. I could buy this argument if this were a players' strike, but it's an owners' lockout. That's a big difference. The players have not refused to play. So they go overseas and play there. It's sad that some players are having a hard time because of it, but that's the nature of the game. The best 23 (or 25 or whatever the roster limit is in Europe) players get the spots. The rest can find another team or another league. It seems harsh because there are ~700 less hockey jobs in the world, but that's not the players' fault. They aren't on strike.

What gets lost in this debate is the European hockey fans. These guys regularly see almost all of their top talent leave between the ages of 18 and 22. If they're lucky, these guys might come back for a couple of years when they're 35+. Right now, they're getting to see some of the best players in the world in their primes. Don't they deserve that? Don't the owners of these teams owe it to their fans to get the best players they can afford? Ask a Swiss hockey fan how he feels about Corey Hirsch being bumped for Martin Gerber (just an example). He's probably ecstatic about it.

Quote:
3. The middle and lower tier player (over whelming majority of the players) will continue to keep getting screwed to protect the salaries of the upper tier player. This is not specific to the NHL but Unions in general.
This is going to happen no matter what. In a salary cap system it's the depth players that feel the pinch the most. The stars get their money because they bring in fans and make the most impact on the game. The third liners don't. It really comes down to this: you can't even come close to replacing Chris Pronger (just as an example) without spending a significant amount, but you can replace Alexander Khavanov with a minor leaguer and still get 75% of his production. So Pronger drops from $10 mil to $8 mil, but Khavanov drops from $1.3 mil to $500k. Pronger lost more total, but Khavanov feels it more. Regardless of which side "wins" in the end, it's the depth players that are going to feel the sting.

Quote:
4. How about the economic nature of the business districts that depend on the flow of the NHL crowd to support their small businesses.
Again, lockout, not a strike. Most of these arenas have NBA teams as well. It's sad that some of these businesses are struggling, but neither the owners nor the players owe any duty to them. They should concern themselves with the NHL first and foremost.


Last edited by Kodiak: 11-19-2004 at 09:17 PM.
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