"The reality of losing more regular-season games as well as the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus is extremely disappointing," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "We feel badly for NHL fans and particularly those in Columbus, and we intend to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return the NHL All-Star events to Columbus and their fans as quickly as possible."
Statement from NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr: "On Wednesday, the players presented a comprehensive proposal, once again moving in the owners’ direction in order to get the game back on the ice. The gap that remains on the core economic issues is $182 million. On Wednesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league is losing $18-20 million per day during the lockout, therefore two more weeks of cancelled games far exceeds the current economic gap. It makes the NHL’s announcement of further game cancellations, including the 2013 All-Star Weekend, all the more unnecessary, and disappointing for all hockey fans – especially those in Columbus. The players remain ready to negotiate but we require a willing negotiating partner.”
So about $20m/day lost revenue (or is that "net"?) from lockout.
Whitney: NHL behaving like 'bullies'
..."We have to stop the cycle of work stoppages," Whitney told ESPN.com on Friday. "It kills the game. And I’m not saying this to kiss up to them, but it’s not fair to the fans. To be out this long, for a game that was thriving, to be doing this kind of damage to the league makes no sense to us as players," said Whitney. "To me, it just shows a lack of respect for the game by the people in charge. They’re not really hockey people, they didn’t grow up loving the game of hockey."
"They’re like schoolyard bullies right now; they want everything. That’s not negotiating," he said. "With us coming down to 50-50 [split of revenues], I don’t see the need for this to go as long as this has."
"There are some incredibly smart GMs out there, guys like Ken Holland and Lou Lamoriello," said Whitney. "They’re not allowed to say anything but what the league is trying to do now is say, 'We don’t trust you GMs, we want to put in a system that tells you how to run your teams now. We’re going to cut your legs out. Kenny, I know you’ve got a genius mind when it comes to contracts and maneuvering things, but we’re not going to allow that anymore. We’re going to make it so the worst GM in the league can compete with you because your hands are tied.'"
Don't know if this qualifies, but Pierre MacGuire does a podcast where he talks about the lockout every day. After listening to the first two (first one, Hamrlik fallout and lack of mechanism for the PA to raise concerns with the PA, second one: lack of need for the owners to even lock the players out in the first place this time around, as well as some history of off-the-record player comments during the 05 lockout), these are really, really interesting.
Fehr would not say whether the approximately two-hour meeting concerned the issue of union decertification, which has been bandied about in recent days.
“The only thing I’m going to say about that is this,” Fehr replied, “there are two sets of laws which govern these situations.
“And what happens is, from time to time, unions and sports unions have officially said that there are circumstances where members would be better off without a union and taking action with the anti-trust laws. That’s all I can tell you about it.”
Pressed on whether it’s too soon for media to assume decertification might occur, he said, “I don’t want to tell you what is too soon. You can look at what’s happened in the other sports and make your own judgments.”
Don Fehr speaks at Atlantic City Hurricane Sandy fundraiser
Before the game, union executive director Donald Fehr met with about 25 players at Caesar's to fill them in on what's happening, which isn't much.
"There are no further (negotiation) meetings scheduled," Fehr said.
The union thought it took a big step toward a resolution when making a new proposal last Wednesday, one that spoke "the owners' language" and seemingly left the sides just $182 million over five seasons apart, but the offer immediately was rejected.
"It was off their proposal," Fehr said. "Everybody understands that negotiation is a process. So far, we seem to be doing all the negotiating."
Asked if he thinks the sides are closer to a deal than a week ago, Fehr said, "When we made our proposal on Wednesday, I thought the answer would be yes, but we didn't get a response that suggests that we are."
Open the doors to people who will truly appreciate the job, guys who won’t mind fixing the problems your mismanagement will inevitably create.
They’ll work for less, so you can charge a lot less for tickets.
The truth about fans is most cheer for the logo. I’m sorry, but many of them wouldn’t know good hockey from a notch or two below. That’s not a terrible thing. They go to games to support the local team and have some fun. That won’t change.
Charge less for beer, too. That will make the new on-ice product more enjoyable.
Allow us in the media to tell the stories that will endear you to your new Ottawa Senators. As hockey players, they’re sure to be good guys, deep down.
MONTREAL — Let’s face the truth, folks: Gary Bettman has become hockey’s worst enemy.
Bettman is now the author of three lockouts and the disastrous expansion into the Sun Belt, egomaniac, a man who would rather destroy the National Hockey League than form a workable partnership with the players. Under his watch, the NHL has already lost more games to labour disruptions than the three other major North American team sports combined — with no end in sight.
This is why we are staring into the face of a winter without NHL hockey. Because Bettman, a pint-sized Grinch with a pea-sized heart, has no passion for the game. He does not like or respect the players, he has no use for the journalists who cover the game, he doesn’t care a fig for the thousands or tens of thousands of people who have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced because of the Bettman lockout.
Above all, Gary Bettman has nothing but contempt for the millions of fans who provide the financial engine that drives the game. Bettman talks about “our wonderful fans” but what he means is “the suckers who keep buying tickets, no matter how badly they are treated.”
WHAT NOW FOR BURKE AND LEAFS?
Brian Burke has made some recent appearances alongside Gary Bettman and Bill Daly on the NHL side of the labour negotiations, which raises some fascinating questions. Is Burke representing himself, his personal views, or the views of the ownership of the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Burke is a known hardliner on the NHL’s side, a hawk on the owners’ side. But it would be in the best interest of current Leafs ownership to be playing as soon as possible. In other words, it is thought the Leafs’ owners — Larry Tanenbaum, George Cope of Bell and Nadir Mohammad — would be closer to dove than hawk when it comes to settling the lockout.
This labour split of sorts has some observers wondering what Burke’s long-term future would be with his personal politics taking precedence over that of his team.
“National sponsors will eventually have to move their dollars because they have to sell soap, beer or whatever,” said Peter Luukko, president and CEO of Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center. “Locally, there’s more loyalty, sponsor-wise, and not as many choices, though obviously we don’t take them for granted.”
“If I was a company being courted by the NHL today, or if I was advising a company being courted, I would be concerned,” said Michael Neuman, the managing partner at Scout Sports and Entertainment, the agency for Geico, which has league sponsorship rights, and around 20 complementary NHL team deals. ...
Sponsors have clauses in their NHL contracts granting relief in the event of a work stoppage, reportedly after at least one quarter of the 82-game regular season is not played. Two weeks ago, MolsonCoors, the NHL’s largest sponsor, cited the lockout as one reason for lagging beer sales in Canada. The brewer said it will ask for financial compensation when the lockout ends. Neuman and others credited NHL chief operating officer John Collins, who declined to comment through a spokeswoman, for his transparency with sponsors during this lockout. But despite the open communication, the lockout is now beginning to affect important activation platforms, and may cause NHL licensees to miss the entire holiday shopping season.
Really hope that somehow @GuySerota is not the real mediator. Yikes.
Looks like he nuked his twitter page. Ouch. I look down my timeline and understand why I'll never hold an important government position.
Freidman is referring to one of the assigned mediators. After Friedmans initial tweet Serota deleted all the tweets he had previously made (thousands of them). I didn't read his twitter page so can't comment on what Friedman had found out of line.
“The NHLPA has agreed to the addition of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to our ongoing negotiations. We look forward to their involvement as we continue working to reach an equitable agreement for both the players and the owners.”
Believing a deal is there to be had, several team executives have told The Post of their frustration with the league’s refusal to negotiate off the PA’s proposal of last Wednesday and with the NHL’s all-or-nothing approach to bargaining.
Team executives — with the apparent exception of militant Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke — have all but been eliminated from the process by the hard line Board negotiating committee.
The players, meanwhile, as numerous sources report, have become extremely pessimistic the lockout can be ended through negotiation, believing the owners will open the doors only if the union capitulates. That’s why PA leadership has been given the authorization by the rank-and-file to prepare for legal action.
The mediation effort may be the last attempt to resolve this without going the decertification route, if Brooks' sources are accurate that the leadership has the players' authorization.
There's been a lot of talk about how close the two sides are financially but there's a major hurdle that needs to be addressed in the NHLPA's last offer. The line that says this: "There are no guarantees or fixed targets, other than a requirement that, beginning with the second year of the Agreement, players' share, expressed in dollars, may not fall below its value for the prior season." In English? In Years 2-5 of the players' offer, the number they make in the second year is the bottom line. Their cut of the revenue won't go below it.
"What they're saying is, 'We're not willing to absorb any risk," said one NHL source.
During the last CBA, revenues grew at record rates, so a clause like this wouldn't have mattered. But there's a growing belief that it may take a few years to recover from the damage of this lockout and the locked out players don't believe they should pay the price. The sooner a deal is reached, the less of an issue this becomes.
"If this thing settles in the next two weeks, they've put a lid on it," said an agent.