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Mirtle: NHLPA’s hard-liners hint at decertification after latest offer rejected

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11-21-2012, 10:33 PM
  #1
Fugu
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Mirtle: NHLPA’s hard-liners hint at decertification after latest offer rejected

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle5545211/

Quote:
The moderates on the player side have had their say. Now the more militant members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association could get their chance to weigh in.
And the word players talk about more and more is decertification.
“Blow it up,” one wrote in a text message on Wednesday.
Decertifying the union has until now been considered an extreme option by players, but it has been one that NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr has informed them about in recent days.
...
On hand to help craft the proposal earlier this week were veteran players believed to be moderates like Vinny Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Andy McDonald and Shawn Horcoff, among others.
The players’ offer of a 50-per-cent share along with $393-million (all currency U.S.) in additional “make whole” money, however, was rebuffed by the league, as commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners declined to offer any concessions in response.
The two sides are now only $182-million apart over the life of a new five-year agreement, although several contracting issues remain outstanding and may be the largest impediments to a deal.


I know I've felt all along that the core economic issues were not the sole thing the league was after this time. It's also been noted by some here (namely SJEasy) that the smaller markets may be putting a lot more weight on the contracting rights in order to prevent the bigger teams from continuing to flex their cash-enhanced muscles.


Quote:
The value of professional athletes having a union has become a subject of debate in sports law circles the past few years, as owners have used labour stoppages to shrink players’ share of revenues.
Without a union to negotiate with, a league couldn’t have a collective agreement, which would mean basic elements of the league, such as the salary cap, could be challenged under antitrust laws.


“Now, the purpose of the union is not so much to prevent exploitation, but it’s really to protect the owners,” Ron Klempner, associate general counsel of the NBPA, said in May. “The purpose of decertification, if we do it the next time, will be because the collective-bargaining process has pretty much run its course in professional sports,” he added.
I guess there are some other [developing] trends in the capped sports leagues to keep an eye on.

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11-21-2012, 11:07 PM
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I think this will get ugly very quickly

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11-21-2012, 11:10 PM
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And after all, as Phoenix has taught us, handing a matter over to the courts is a wonderful way to expedite a resolution.


Last edited by Fugu: 11-22-2012 at 12:05 PM. Reason: the PA has never decertified, removing so people can stop quoting
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11-21-2012, 11:16 PM
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Interesting stuff.
I think a year or two of wild-wild-west NHL might be a good thing.
It would get rid of some of the weak sisters in no time.

Draft? Gone, right?
That's cool with me.

The Wings lots of prospects and finally have a chance at the Taylor Halls and Sidney Crosbys.

The Wings can keep all their players as they peak and then sign and keep a guy like Hossa instead of giving him to Chicago.


Decertification will be great for teams that can actually support hockey. But it's going to be murder for the league's fake markets. Kiss Parity good bye. Kiss Phx and Columbus and Florida goodbye.

Players could lose lots of jobs, though, if teams just up and fold.

More than anything, I think it will be good for the lawyers, as every player will need to hire a lawyer and an agent.

He must be so proud. More games lost than all the other leagues combined.

What a leader! What a manager!
I could live with it. Only to see Gary Bettman preside over the ultimate death of the league.

In all seriousness, I can see Fehr pushing this.
There's got to be a reason he signed on to this NHL job. He seriously can't have signed up to represent a bunch of candy-ass hockey players who start crying when Bettman walks into the room.

I wonder if the NHL is going to be the test case for the other sports. The sports agents don't want to screw around with the real leagues too much. So they need a sandbox pro league to see what decertification does.

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11-21-2012, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
Interesting stuff.
I think a year or two of wild-wild-west NHL might be a good thing.
It would get rid of some of the weak sisters in no time.

Draft? Gone, right?
That's cool with me.

The Wings lots of prospects and finally have a chance at the Taylor Halls and Sidney Crosbys.

The Wings can keep all their players as they peak and then sign and keep a guy like Hossa instead of giving him to Chicago.


Decertification will be great for teams that can actually support hockey. But it's going to be murder for the league's fake markets. Kiss Parity good bye. Kiss Phx and Columbus and Florida goodbye.

Players could lose lots of jobs, though, if teams just up and fold.

More than anything, I think it will be good for the lawyers, as every player will need to hire a lawyer and an agent.

I could live with it. Only to see Gary Bettman preside over the ultimate death of the league.
Why on earth would the league deal with the players that way? The BOG would never agree to it, and so what's going to happen? Are a third of the teams going to start their own league?

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11-21-2012, 11:19 PM
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What exactly does it mean if the NHLPA De-certifies. Does it turn to a mediator or courts to solve this?

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11-21-2012, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
Interesting stuff.
I think a year or two of wild-wild-west NHL might be a good thing.
It would get rid of some of the weak sisters in no time.

Draft? Gone, right?
That's cool with me.

The Wings lots of prospects and finally have a chance at the Taylor Halls and Sidney Crosbys.

The Wings can keep all their players as they peak and then sign and keep a guy like Hossa instead of giving him to Chicago.


Decertification will be great for teams that can actually support hockey. But it's going to be murder for the league's fake markets. Kiss Parity good bye. Kiss Phx and Columbus and Florida goodbye.

Players could lose lots of jobs, though, if teams just up and fold.

More than anything, I think it will be good for the lawyers, as every player will need to hire a lawyer and an agent.

He must be so proud. More games lost than all the other leagues combined.

What a leader! What a manager!
I could live with it. Only to see Gary Bettman preside over the ultimate death of the league.
Being a little drmatic, none of the above would happen if the NHLPA chose this course. Like last time, they will try to use it as leverage but fail.

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11-21-2012, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDoctor10 View Post
Why on earth would the league deal with the players that way? The BOG would never agree to it, and so what's going to happen? Are a third of the teams going to start their own league?
What choice will they have?

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11-21-2012, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDoctor10 View Post
The PA decertified last time. Lot of good it did them. If they'd like to lose the whole season, by all means carry on this course.

And after all, as Phoenix has taught us, handing a matter over to the courts is a wonderful way to expedite a resolution.
The PA didn't decertify in 2005.

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11-21-2012, 11:22 PM
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It's a last gasp at gaining negotiating leverage from the players. I doubt it goes that far.

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11-21-2012, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDoctor10 View Post
Why on earth would the league deal with the players that way? The BOG would never agree to it, and so what's going to happen? Are a third of the teams going to start their own league?
The players aren't going to commit financial suicide. The chances of them earning a fraction of the money they would make by caving is unlikely. They'll put on a brave face for a while, but eventually they'll realize that pride only gets you so far.

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11-21-2012, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Heaton View Post
The players aren't going to commit financial suicide. The chances of them earning a fraction of the money they would make by caving is unlikely. They'll put on a brave face for a while, but eventually they'll realize that pride only gets you so far.
We'll see. Two other leagues have gone down that route, and neither at a PA leader with any gumption/expertise.

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11-21-2012, 11:45 PM
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Of course, players decertifying into the "wild west" could also mean they no longer get guaranteed contracts for instance. Also a player getting injured could easily be simply cut without pay due to being unable to fulfill the terms of the contract and tossed into the Workman's Comp heap to collect payment. Not to mention things like retirement health benefits, survivor benefits, etc. could all be gone. There's a tremendous amount of risk involved to the player going this route since the owners would basically have free reign to do anything they want and force the players to pay tons of money out of pocket to challenge them in court any time the want to stop it.

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11-21-2012, 11:47 PM
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Of course, players decertifying into the "wild west" could also mean they no longer get guaranteed contracts for instance. Also a player getting injured could easily be simply cut without pay due to being unable to fulfill the terms of the contract and tossed into the Workman's Comp heap to collect payment. Not to mention things like retirement health benefits, survivor benefits, etc. could all be gone. There's a tremendous amount of risk involved to the player going this route since the owners would basically have free reign to do anything they want and force the players to pay tons of money out of pocket to challenge them in court any time the want to stop it.
Yep.
Absolutely. It's very dangerous.

Each player would need a serious ass lawyer to doctor up their contract.

Also, 4th liners on crappy teams could end up working for $150,000 a year.

There's obvious downside to it...

Here's what Steve Fehr had to say about it last year
Quote:
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.”

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11-21-2012, 11:48 PM
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It's like that little kid who wants his way and isn't gonna get it, but still wont shut up regardless...

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11-22-2012, 12:38 AM
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That aspect that intrigues me the most about this is this statement:

Quote:
“Now, the purpose of the union is not so much to prevent exploitation, but it’s really to protect the owners,” Ron Klempner, associate general counsel of the NBPA, said in May. “The purpose of decertification, if we do it the next time, will be because the collective-bargaining process has pretty much run its course in professional sports,” he added.

It's been suggested in other threads that the PA is attempting to set up something that offers a disincentive to future lockouts. There is nothing player associations can do to effectively fight a lockout.

If that is the case, is it possible Mr. Klempner's statement is indeed accurate? The era of collective bargaining in professional sports may come to an end. Why would any group band together to make it easier for their employers to control their salaries and conditions/rights with virtually no input from them?

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11-22-2012, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
Yep.
Absolutely. It's very dangerous.

Each player would need a serious ass lawyer to doctor up their contract.

Also, 4th liners on crappy teams could end up working for $150,000 a year.

There's obvious downside to it...

Here's what Steve Fehr had to say about it last year
As a group NHL agents are not up to the task. Not a lot with law degrees.

They would need agents like Boras and Steinberg (ret.), not Walsh, Thun et al.

The upshot would be a league like the one with the 94 CBA. Much more stratification in salaries. Superstars make out like bandits, the rest fall a little to a lot. It will not benefit the majority of the PA.

With the loss of restricted free agency, lower rev teams would not be able to keep stars. Teams taking a shot at spending beyond their means to improve their lot would likely be in for a one and done before an ownership change. A very high likelihood that the ownership pool for all but the top 4 or 5 markets would dry up.

Another side issue. Less jobs for ex-players. More GMs like Lombardi (law degree), less likely for Yzerman, Wilson, Sather, Tallon. This is due to contracting issues becoming front and center. If an ex-player goes GM, it will be less likely for another ex-player to grab the second spot as the GM will still need legal support.

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11-22-2012, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
That aspect that intrigues me the most about this is this statement:




It's been suggested in other threads that the PA is attempting to set up something that offers a disincentive to future lockouts. There is nothing player associations can do to effectively fight a lockout.

If that is the case, is it possible Mr. Klempner's statement is indeed accurate? The era of collective bargaining in professional sports may come to an end. Why would any group band together to make it easier for their employers to control their salaries and conditions/rights with virtually no input from them?
The only reason would be because it's better than the unknown

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11-22-2012, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by SJeasy View Post
As a group NHL agents are not up to the task. Not a lot with law degrees.

They would need agents like Boras and Steinberg (ret.), not Walsh, Thun et al.

The upshot would be a league like the one with the 94 CBA. Much more stratification in salaries. Superstars make out like bandits, the rest fall a little to a lot. It will not benefit the majority of the PA.

With the loss of restricted free agency, lower rev teams would not be able to keep stars. Teams taking a shot at spending beyond their means to improve their lot would likely be in for a one and done before an ownership change. A very high likelihood that the ownership pool for all but the top 4 or 5 markets would dry up.

Another side issue. Less jobs for ex-players. More GMs like Lombardi (law degree), less likely for Yzerman, Wilson, Sather, Tallon. This is due to contracting issues becoming front and center. If an ex-player goes GM, it will be less likely for another ex-player to grab the second spot as the GM will still need legal support.
Interesting breakdown.

I wouldn't mind seeing it in action, just so people get a taste of what the "free market" means.

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11-22-2012, 12:55 AM
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DiPietro votes no.

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11-22-2012, 01:00 AM
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DiPietro votes no.

Do you see any reason for an owner to offer that contract to DP at all? I know what you're saying, but where is the accountability on the side of owners who make what can only be considered a truly unsupportable business decision?

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11-22-2012, 01:00 AM
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The NHL could turn their business into a work-for-hire business like they do in professional wrestling where the guys are not really employees of the company, they are all independant contractors and as such the company can give them what they want. There's no union, hence no benefit. And they have to pay for their own travel, hotel rooms, etc...

In fact that's what I proposed the NHL should do a few weeks ago: cancel the season, don't sign any new CBA, just wait next season to start and watch who's gonna cross the line to play hockey and get a check.

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11-22-2012, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimota View Post
The NHL could turn their business into a work-for-hire business like they do in professional wrestling where the guys are not really employees of the company, they are all independant contractors and as such the company can give them what they want. There's no union, hence no benefit. And they have to pay for their own travel, hotel rooms, etc...

In fact that's what I proposed the NHL should do a few weeks ago: cancel the season, don't sign any new CBA, just wait next season to start and watch who's gonna cross the line to play hockey and get a check.
Wouldn't it be hard to build a roster? Hockey is a team sport, after all.

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11-22-2012, 01:08 AM
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The NHL could turn their business into a work-for-hire business like they do in professional wrestling where the guys are not really employees of the company, they are all independant contractors and as such the company can give them what they want. There's no union, hence no benefit. And they have to pay for their own travel, hotel rooms, etc...

In fact that's what I proposed the NHL should do a few weeks ago: cancel the season, don't sign any new CBA, just wait next season to start and watch who's gonna cross the line to play hockey and get a check.
They could. Sure.
And the best players will go to the teams that treat the players best. And teams will begin competing for their services.

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11-22-2012, 01:10 AM
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Wouldn't it be hard to build a roster? Hockey is a team sport, after all.
Not if you put some structure in place.

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