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10/26 - NHLPA Statement from Don Fehr

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Old
10-26-2012, 02:34 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by Habaneros View Post
NOBODY should ever forget this ,were getting so close IMHO


http://www.torontosun.com/2012/10/09...our-talks-near
He already has. With every offer. That "delinkage" stuff that nobody seems to know what it is? It's the foundation for attacking the cap. It's why the owners won't even consider working within the frameworks he proposes.

It would be the equivalent of Bettman having added a provision to each offer that all contracts can be bought out at .10c on the dollar. Sure guaranteed contracts still exist, but they won't for long if the other negotiating partner accepts it.

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10-26-2012, 02:35 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by Kopistar View Post
Ok...... and then he takes it off the table....... and then there's still no hockey lol. Smart move if he does it......
http://m.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Jou...nd-Agents.aspx

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One big reason for that is Don Fehr, who took over as executive director of the NHL Players’ Association in September 2010. Fehr joined the NHLPA after 25 years of heading up the MLB Players Association, long considered the strongest union in sports and which has used labor law through the years to fight off the imposition of a salary cap and other restrictions.

Fehr could not attend the SLA meeting. His brother, Steve Fehr, who serves as outside counsel to the NHLPA, took his place on the union executive directors panel at the event.

Although Steve Fehr did not suggest in any way that decertifying the NHL players union was a serious option in the coming labor talks, he did address the subject of decertification during his presentation before the SLA group.

Fehr noted that former Solicitor General Ted Olson, who represented the NFL players in the Brady v. NFL case, said last year about sports, “This is not an industry in which it advantages the employees, the players, to belong to a union.”

Fehr said, “I thought, ‘Wow, that is quite a statement.’ I don’t think any players who were members, or are members, of the MLBPA would think that. I don’t think many members of the NHLPA would agree with that — but I don’t know; maybe we will find out.”


Fehr, who has served as outside counsel to the MLBPA since the 1980s, was involved in filing an amicus brief for both the NHLPA and the MLBPA in favor of the NFL players in Brady v. NFL before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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10-26-2012, 02:37 PM
  #78
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Assuming that you're correct and that they have no leverage, what could their end game possibly be?
Fehr's end game has to be something similar to baseball, where he splintered the ownership by giving the rich owners the ability to spend as much as possible while paying off the rest with heavy revenue sharing that allow Kansas City and Pittsburgh types to cover their entire salary structures some years with just the revenue from league wide and luxury tax sources, making every fan walking through the gates all summer pure profit.

I think we see hints of this when he gets frustrated about only seeing the same handful of hardcore owners in meetings.

His problem is two fold. One, that Bettman still likely had the 3/4 override necessity to go around him and two, that I'm not sure there's enough "community" money (national TV deals, merchandising) to be able to "bribe" the non-rich owners without having to dig heavily into the pockets of said rich owners, which would turn them back off to the idea.

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10-26-2012, 02:40 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Buttonwood View Post
The deal on the table is analogous or better than the deals in the NFL and NBA. The players would like to see a MLB deal. Guess which end of the spectrum the final deal will fall on?

That's leverage at work.
My point was that if the players truly didn't have any leverage the owners wouldn't have ever needed to improve their offer from either their initial one or an NFL/NBA clone. They could have simply dropped it on the table and said "call us when you're ready to sign"

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10-26-2012, 02:41 PM
  #80
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Well done Bettman. Great move to pull the deal from the players.

They now know what they are dealing with. A united Owners front. The players can pretend that they are all in it together for the greater good. One day they will realise that Fehr doesn't have any of their interests at heart and is only intent on attacking the salary cap.

Guy is unreal.

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10-26-2012, 02:43 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
It was a grand capitulation at the time. 54% of HRR and 24% rollback. No one knew what revenues would do as the NHL was the only league to ever lose an entire season. Would sponsors and fans return? Would they get a national TV deal? Everything was up for renewal.

They also changed many rules, so there was a certain amount of risk.

What I take exception to though isn't so much what did eventuate but what Bettman promised would be the result: a level playing field where all 30 franchises had the chance to be financially healthy.

Almost half of the owners around at that time have since cashed out! Two teams were sold twice (TB and ST Louis). Meanwhile, the two wealthiest franchises were sold for record levels, and the second wealthiest NHL owner has put his entertainment business on the block.

Was Bettman's promise delivered?
The only issue I side with the players with on is to make the playing field between teams more level. What player wants to be bound by contract to a team that's riding out minimal attendance, and riding the salary floor every year?

The PA proposed enhancing revenue sharing. That might work, but the result isn't always what the rulemakers intend them to be. I say the result should be to crack the high-interest markets like Southern Ontario. The NYI move to Brooklyn should help. But get the bottom-end revenues up.

Players have no control over what decisions the league makes in team placement, so I can imagine the PA resents seeing their earning potential limited by averaging those teams' revenue into the equation.

I really don't want this CBA to result in an agreement that challenges locations like Ottawa (self-interest), Carolina, Edmonton, Calgary, etc too much. With 30 teams in the NHL, linkage is absolutely necessary to stay away from the bore that is MLB. There will never be a level playing field where player contracts are unrestricted.

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10-26-2012, 02:43 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by hatterson View Post
To be fair, I think you need to differentiate between teams that are well run but still having troubles making profits due to high salary costs and teams that are either run terribly (NYI) or are in terrible locations (Phoenix).

It's hardly fair to blame the NYI money losses and move on the CBA when they haven't ran the team in even a remotely competent manner in many years.

I absolutely agree that there are still teams in the first column (I think I saw SJS were losing money despite being a fairly successful team), but conflating the issue of bad management with a CBA that doesn't provide the proper structure is unfair.

Isn't the reverse happening? Saying the CBA offers every team a chance at financial health (via cost certainty) forgives the result of bad management.

There are very few teams which have sold for a king's ransom despite poor management of the on-ice product (your team being the most notable example). Montreal has done better product-wise, and while Gillette need to liquidate for other reasons, he made a very handsome pile of money. Thus, for the bigger teams, the system has delivered beyond anyone's wildest dreams.

The middle class have done only slightly better. St. Louis was a decently run franchise, established, only to see their market value erode. ($120-130 MM sale, including all sorts of extras like the AHL affiliate and an opera building...). Can you examine why they haven't done better?

Nashville seems to have sold for a better price, until you look closely to realize that the market couldn't bear that price. Del Biaggio only closed the sale with the help of Leipold and AEG! It was capital unavailable otherwise, or someone would have stepped up.

Tampa went from $204 MM, inspired by the promise of the CBA, only to end up selling for under $100 MM! Why wasn't the next buyer inspired by the outstanding system?

Atlanta had no hope of realizing their hoped for potential in that market, which is why their ownership wasn't interested in losing $30 MM per year.

Phoenix? Even worse.

What will provide the next bump up in franchise values? The market potential for each of these markets is relatively established over the course of any foreseeable CBA term. Perpetuating the system that forces the weakest to keep spending above their means while simultaneously the values of the big market teams go through the roof. I'm not really sure why big market fans don't like this system, and small market fans do.

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10-26-2012, 02:44 PM
  #83
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It's hilarious to hear people say the players have no leverage.

1. What percentage of last years players are now earning wages internationally? A lot, and that number will grow drastically the longer this goes on.

2. Mutually assured destruction. If this goes on for 1 year, the players lose. If this goes on for 2+ years, everyone involved loses - the players, the owners, all league employees, the fans, the public, local municipalities, all the way down.

Players saw what Fehr did for MLB, and nobody can say the sport is worse off for it. It's no secret that he has the players fully on board for whatever his plan is, and he is absolutely crazy enough to drive both the ownership and players union off the same cliff together to get what he's asking for.

Edit: I forgot to explain that in #2 that it is the only way to combat the new method of owner negotiations across all sports - lockouts and deadline demands.

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10-26-2012, 02:44 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Assuming that you're correct and that they have no leverage, what could their end game possibly be?
The players are a bunch of rubes when it comes to economics.

Fehr's endgame, and this has been my fear from the beginning, seems to be cementing his legacy as the one labor negotiator to destroy a salary cap, interests of the 600 guys he represents be damned.

It's not going to work, either.

Most baseball owners' primary business is their baseball team, and most baseball teams roll around in cash. They can't afford a work stoppage because they have no income if they do. Hockey's not like that. David Glass is in the "make money off of baseball" business. So is Steinbrenner. And Nutting. And the Marlin's owners.

Hockey teams are hobbies. The Red Wings owners' moneymaker is pizza...the Penguins owners' moneymaker is supermarkets..the Flyers are a sub of a telecom conglomerate...the Lightning owner manages hedge funds etc. etc. They can outlast the union because this sport is not where their money comes from.

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10-26-2012, 02:45 PM
  #85
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Dear Mr Fehr. This is not 70's. This is not 80's. Internet has been invented among of many other things. Those tactics doesn't work. People see through you. You can't work like that, it's not productive.

Mr Fehr, I'm not on anybody's side here. But your tactics make players look even worse than they are. I don't know if they can afford it. Please, change the tactics and start to negotiate. Or step aside. I know you won't. But you make Bettman look good.. ..and got to admit, it is an achievement.

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10-26-2012, 02:46 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by hatterson View Post
My point was that if the players truly didn't have any leverage the owners wouldn't have ever needed to improve their offer from either their initial one or an NFL/NBA clone. They could have simply dropped it on the table and said "call us when you're ready to sign"
Unfortunately, I think we are about to see that play out over the next 1-10 months.

The deals on the table, take it or leave it, the first couple of offers were just framing this one to make it look more manageable.

Certainly the players have some leverage, but its like bayonets and horses compared to Barack's military.

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10-26-2012, 02:48 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by xdl1 View Post
It's hilarious to hear people say the players have no leverage.

1. What percentage of last years players are now earning wages internationally? A lot, and that number will grow drastically the longer this goes on.

2. Mutually assured destruction. If this goes on for 1 year, the players lose. If this goes on for 2+ years, everyone involved loses - the players, the owners, all league employees, the fans, the public, local municipalities, all the way down.

Players saw what Fehr did for MLB, and nobody can say the sport is worse off for it. It's no secret that he has the players fully on board for whatever his plan is, and he is absolutely crazy enough to drive both the ownership and players union off the same cliff together to get what he's asking for.
What did Fehr do for the MLB. Apart from creating a system in which only 4 teams compete in the entire league. Fehr has this lasting legacy which is a joke.

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10-26-2012, 02:50 PM
  #88
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Originally Posted by WiFi75 View Post
Dear Mr Fehr. This is not 70's. This is not 80's. Internet has been invented among of many other things. Those tactics doesn't work. People see through you. You can't work like that, it's not productive.

Mr Fehr, I'm not on anybody's side here. But your tactics make players look even worse than they are. I don't know if they can afford it. Please, change the tactics and start to negotiate. Or step aside. I know you won't. But you make Bettman look good.. ..and got to admit, it is an achievement.
Fehr only has his own agenda against the owners in mind and is mostly going for the homerun AKA the removal of the cap. Those players are so braiwashed that they don't have even realize Fehr doesn't give a darn about their careers or what's left of them. His legacy of bending owners over is the only thing Fehr wants to preserve.

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10-26-2012, 02:51 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by haveandare View Post
For the millionth time, changing the percentage the players get does not equate to not honoring contracts. The contracts are all written to be dependent on the CBAs they're played under. Every single player knew this, or should have known this, when they signed their contracts.
At first thought it was complete BS that the contracts would not be honored and wondered how this was even legal. Then I realized exactly what you wrote here and it was perfectly clear that this is how the system is designed and that everyone should be aware of it.

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10-26-2012, 02:52 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by KzooShark View Post
Fehr's end game has to be something similar to baseball, where he splintered the ownership by giving the rich owners the ability to spend as much as possible while paying off the rest with heavy revenue sharing that allow Kansas City and Pittsburgh types to cover their entire salary structures some years with just the revenue from league wide and luxury tax sources, making every fan walking through the gates all summer pure profit.

I think we see hints of this when he gets frustrated about only seeing the same handful of hardcore owners in meetings.

His problem is two fold. One, that Bettman still likely had the 3/4 override necessity to go around him and two, that I'm not sure there's enough "community" money (national TV deals, merchandising) to be able to "bribe" the non-rich owners without having to dig heavily into the pockets of said rich owners, which would turn them back off to the idea.
The NHL is gate driven, and Fehr's foolishness is hurting the gate...there is almost NO tv money...there is no way you can negotiate the same way for 2 different sports...the guy is clueless...and his membership is losing money...

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10-26-2012, 02:53 PM
  #91
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Originally Posted by xdl1 View Post
It's hilarious to hear people say the players have no leverage.

1. What percentage of last years players are now earning wages internationally? A lot, and that number will grow drastically the longer this goes on.

2. Mutually assured destruction. If this goes on for 1 year, the players lose. If this goes on for 2+ years, everyone involved loses - the players, the owners, all league employees, the fans, the public, local municipalities, all the way down.

Players saw what Fehr did for MLB, and nobody can say the sport is worse off for it. It's no secret that he has the players fully on board for whatever his plan is, and he is absolutely crazy enough to drive both the ownership and players union off the same cliff together to get what he's asking for.

Edit: I forgot to explain that in #2 that it is the only way to combat the new method of owner negotiations across all sports - lockouts and deadline demands.
Not many... ? There's zero Canucks playing overseas.

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10-26-2012, 02:54 PM
  #92
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I am still a proponent of increased revenue sharing among the owners. That is the issue Fehr should have been focused on, IMO.
Agreed. My $.02 they should have insisted on at least $50M more revenue sharing and perhaps other minor tweaks and been done with it.

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10-26-2012, 02:54 PM
  #93
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Originally Posted by optimus2861 View Post
I used to think the PA believed the moderate & smaller market owners were going to get squeezed a lot worse by a long lockout than they did last time and would push to get a deal. Well.. that already happened. The PA promptly spat on that offer.

So I simply don't know what the PA's end game is, or if they even have one. I'm coming to believe that the PA is viewing this negotiation far too emotionally -- they felt they gave up a ton in 2005 and Bettman ended up beating the crap out of them and they will be damned if they let that happen again. It's clouding their judgment; they're showing that they're willing to watch the whole thing burn down around them than "lose" again.

I don't know how this legacy of mutual distrust and animosity between the NHL and NHLPA will ever be repaired.
I believe this has become more important to both sides, winning the battle, but losing sight of why there's a war. The NHL's war isn't really with the PA, but with itself and its economic position in this country. The PA wants to benefit from the successes that have been made, but also don't want to pay for the bad decisions owners made.



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Originally Posted by KzooShark View Post
Fehr's end game has to be something similar to baseball, where he splintered the ownership by giving the rich owners the ability to spend as much as possible while paying off the rest with heavy revenue sharing that allow Kansas City and Pittsburgh types to cover their entire salary structures some years with just the revenue from league wide and luxury tax sources, making every fan walking through the gates all summer pure profit.

I think we see hints of this when he gets frustrated about only seeing the same handful of hardcore owners in meetings.

His problem is two fold. One, that Bettman still likely had the 3/4 override necessity to go around him and two, that I'm not sure there's enough "community" money (national TV deals, merchandising) to be able to "bribe" the non-rich owners without having to dig heavily into the pockets of said rich owners, which would turn them back off to the idea.
This strategy should be appealing to both sets of owners.

Is what's preventing them from doing it the influence of the Bettman-Proskauer Rose strategy that unions can/should be broken, or more specifically along the lines of Devellano's comments: no frickin' union is going to tell us how to run our business. To me, that's utterly beside the point, as good ideas should be considered by all sides no matter the source.

I think one reason also is that the owners are convinced they can have the best of both worlds-- their system and insignificant RS changes when the lockout can just take it off the players. I'm not convinced that's really a constructive strategy over the long term nevertheless.

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10-26-2012, 02:55 PM
  #94
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Fehr fiddles, NHL burns.
Interesting - Nero fiddled and then had to deal with people in his empire revolting.

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10-26-2012, 02:55 PM
  #95
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Isn't the reverse happening? Saying the CBA offers every team a chance at financial health (via cost certainty) forgives the result of bad management.
I absolutely agree that the reverse is happening in certain circles. However, I also believe that making the Islanders or the Yotes the poster children for this CBA is as foolish as making the Habs or Leafs the poster child. All 4 represent something unique that completely obliterates the 'typical' financial model.

In the case of the Leafs and Habs it's fanatical fan support that is backed by a lot of money. In the case of the Isles it's brutal management and in the case of the Yotes it's a brutal ownership situation (from the fiscal side) combined with a very tough location.

I think that when you respond to someone making the CBA about the Leafs or Habs (or using a similar team as an example of why it worked) by referencing the Isles or Yotes you're not really providing a solid argument.

There's always going to be the chance that a team loses a boatload of money if they're run terribly, a CBA shouldn't ever guarantee that, it should still take effort to manage a hockey team. However, the CBA should guarantee that, if you run your team consistently well (from fan relations, to on ice product, to business relations, etc.) you can keep it both competitive and profitable.

The current CBA is a step towards this as compared to the pre 2004 CBA, but it doesn't go all the way. The poster children to show this should be teams like San Jose, or Tampa Bay or similar.

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10-26-2012, 02:56 PM
  #96
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Originally Posted by Spongolium View Post
What did Fehr do for the MLB. Apart from creating a system in which only 4 teams compete in the entire league. Fehr has this lasting legacy which is a joke.

Every single team is profitable and franchise values are at an all-time high? A mid size market team swept the Yankees and is in the WS?

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10-26-2012, 02:57 PM
  #97
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Originally Posted by xdl1 View Post
It's hilarious to hear people say the players have no leverage.

1. What percentage of last years players are now earning wages internationally? A lot, and that number will grow drastically the longer this goes on.

2. Mutually assured destruction. If this goes on for 1 year, the players lose. If this goes on for 2+ years, everyone involved loses - the players, the owners, all league employees, the fans, the public, local municipalities, all the way down.

Players saw what Fehr did for MLB, and nobody can say the sport is worse off for it. It's no secret that he has the players fully on board for whatever his plan is, and he is absolutely crazy enough to drive both the ownership and players union off the same cliff together to get what he's asking for.

Edit: I forgot to explain that in #2 that it is the only way to combat the new method of owner negotiations across all sports - lockouts and deadline demands.
How many of those players are playing basically for free, with their clubs just paying the insurance costs to cover them? Plus the percentage has to be below 20%.

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10-26-2012, 02:57 PM
  #98
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Originally Posted by hatterson View Post
I absolutely agree that the reverse is happening in certain circles. However, I also believe that making the Islanders or the Yotes the poster children for this CBA is as foolish as making the Habs or Leafs the poster child. All 4 represent something unique that completely obliterates the 'typical' financial model.

In the case of the Leafs and Habs it's fanatical fan support that is backed by a lot of money. In the case of the Isles it's brutal management and in the case of the Yotes it's a brutal ownership situation (from the fiscal side) combined with a very tough location.

I think that when you respond to someone making the CBA about the Leafs or Habs (or using a similar team as an example of why it worked) by referencing the Isles or Yotes you're not really providing a solid argument.

There's always going to be the chance that a team loses a boatload of money if they're run terribly, a CBA shouldn't ever guarantee that, it should still take effort to manage a hockey team. However, the CBA should guarantee that, if you run your team consistently well (from fan relations, to on ice product, to business relations, etc.) you can keep it both competitive and profitable.

The current CBA is a step towards this as compared to the pre 2004 CBA, but it doesn't go all the way. The poster children to show this should be teams like San Jose, or Tampa Bay or similar.

SJ is on the record saying they chose to lose some money, but could have avoided it.

Tampa and St Louis have seen their franchise values implode.

How do you pull up examples of franchise values and link it to the CBA/system if you're going excuse or nullify each case?

What has the CBA delivered then?

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10-26-2012, 02:58 PM
  #99
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Originally Posted by czwalga View Post
You know... not that this will happen, but it would be funny if Gary Bettman came out and announced that the league is disbanding.

You'd see the players break out into all out panic.
I wonder what would happen if the league did fold as a legal entity and restart as something different (Like the WHA). That would end the lockout in a real hurry.

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10-26-2012, 02:58 PM
  #100
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Every single team is profitable and franchise values are at an all-time high? A mid size market team swept the Yankees and is in the WS?
Why is every team profitable ? (hint: massive TV deal revenue which can be shared amongst teams as well as local revenues)

That system would never work in NHL.

The NHL is not MLB, you need a system tailored for the NHL, not copy and paste from another more successful league.

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