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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.

Washington Post: Owners shouldn’t underestimate the Fehr factor

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Old
11-23-2012, 12:54 AM
  #1
RedWingsNow*
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NHL lockout: Owners shouldn’t underestimate the Fehr factor
http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports...9ee_story.html
Quote:
It took baseball owners 20 years to grasp that Fehr isn’t a puppeteer. He educates, he shapes, but he doesn’t decide. The players do. That’s what empowered the MLBPA and made it so tough. Fehr will reduce demands rather than negotiate without full support. ...
...
For decades, many owners hoped that Fehr, like Marvin Miller before him, somehow had the players mesmerized, hypnotized. If they could just snap their fingers the right way, players would awake to their benevolence. NHL owners need to understand Fehr’s first two rules. First, the players are saturated with info and totally trust its source — other players, not Fehr. Second, a Fehr union will always bring a weaker deal for stronger backing.
...
Finally, after going 0 for 8 in work stoppages ... baseball figured it out ...That labor peace has lasted 17 years with no end in sight.
...
Now, it’s hockey’s turn. The most troubling development to me is that hockey’s leaders now sound like MLB owners a generation ago. It’s like a time warp. Two weeks ago, stories appeared intimating that players weren’t getting a straight story from Fehr, that he had his own agenda and owners’ concepts were not getting to the membership in a pure form. That is the one tactic that always backfired when baseball owners used it. It did again.

Fehr pointed out that “19 players” were at the negotiating table when the proposal, that he supposedly misrepresented, was discussed.
Worth a read for sure

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11-23-2012, 03:38 AM
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It was an interesting read. We get a little stale with the usual mainstream media sources, so this was nice to get a different perspective.

The interesting thing is what the writer calls "player trees" whereby players disseminate information to other players. In other words, don't take Fehr's word for it, but ask a player who was in the room.


One thing to add here, since the CB and I were talking about Fehr's motives. He once said that he wanted to work out a deal that the players felt they'd had a hand in crafting and that they could accept as fair. (I'm paraphrasing as this was about 2 yrs ago.)

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11-23-2012, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
It was an interesting read. We get a little stale with the usual mainstream media sources, so this was nice to get a different perspective.

The interesting thing is what the writer calls "player trees" whereby players disseminate information to other players. In other words, don't take Fehr's word for it, but ask a player who was in the room.


One thing to add here, since the CB and I were talking about Fehr's motives. He once said that he wanted to work out a deal that the players felt they'd had a hand in crafting and that they could accept as fair. (I'm paraphrasing as this was about 2 yrs ago.)
It's Fehr-friendly piece for sure.
The maddening thing to me, as someone who decided the owners needed to be taken out to the woodshed after their poison opening offer, is that I've had the sense that Fehr has been extremely moderate

I haven't sensed he was after anything big -- at most, holding your own as the share drops.
So why suffer the lost revenue?

I think Fehr is doing his best to represent a schizophrenic labor group

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11-23-2012, 10:37 AM
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In this day and age, the NHL has done extensive research on Fehr and his strategies.

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11-23-2012, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
It's Fehr-friendly piece for sure.
The maddening thing to me, as someone who decided the owners needed to be taken out to the woodshed after their poison opening offer, is that I've had the sense that Fehr has been extremely moderate

I haven't sensed he was after anything big -- at most, holding your own as the share drops.
So why suffer the lost revenue?

I think Fehr is doing his best to represent a schizophrenic labor group
Fehr believe like I do that unless the PA make this lockout very painful seven or so years from now the owners will lockout again and demand 45% or even 35%.

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11-23-2012, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by topher42 View Post
In this day and age, the NHL has done extensive research on Fehr and his strategies.
Oh I'm sure many baseball owners warned Bettman/NHL owners about this guy.

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11-23-2012, 02:56 PM
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1. Currently the owners are destroying the players...

2. The MLBPA might be in labor peace, but they're looking at a massive drop off in their fan base. World Series viewership is nearly a quarter of what it was 30 years ago, and their audience skews to the 50+ demographic far more than the other major sports.

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11-23-2012, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingsfan2965 View Post
1. Currently the owners are destroying the players...

2. The MLBPA might be in labor peace, but they're looking at a massive drop off in their fan base. World Series viewership is nearly a quarter of what it was 30 years ago, and their audience skews to the 50+ demographic far more than the other major sports.
I agree with #2. Baseball is not the model to follow simply because they have labor peace.

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11-23-2012, 03:14 PM
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That;s like blaming the decline of newspapers on reporters' salaries.

Baseball's "decline" is about changes in culture.

Baseball was a perfect game when people listened to sports on the radio and read about it in newspapers. But the slow paced game, non-violent game has a hard time getting kids' attention in today's society.

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11-23-2012, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by KINGS17 View Post
I agree with #2. Baseball is not the model to follow simply because they have labor peace.
Labor wars every six years are worth the semi-parity?
I guess for some.

Not for me.

At the end of the day, NOBODY believes that there is financial parity between the Predators and Flyers or Red Wings and Hurricanes.

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11-23-2012, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
Labor wars every six years are worth the semi-parity?
I guess for some.

Not for me.

At the end of the day, NOBODY believes that there is financial parity between the Predators and Flyers or Red Wings and Hurricanes.
So losing an entire season and maybe more and the lost salary that goes with that. Potentially causing several franchises to fold under the financial problems caused by a wide open economic model thus causing many NHLPA jobs to be lost for ever. Thats worth this nonsense?


For the players as a whole this would be a Pyrrhic victory if ever there was one.

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11-23-2012, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
That;s like blaming the decline of newspapers on reporters' salaries.

Baseball's "decline" is about changes in culture.

Baseball was a perfect game when people listened to sports on the radio and read about it in newspapers. But the slow paced game, non-violent game has a hard time getting kids' attention in today's society.
I have to agree about the slow pace in our new faster paced lifestyles does not hold the attention of the young generation. With texting and instant responses from all over the world people's time has become quicker. Their processing speed is trained to be faster. That is why hockey is such a great sport for the current masses.

I like going to a baseball game if I am sitting right behind or in the vicinity of the pitcher/catcher. Then you are always in the game. Watching the signals and the subtle movement of the catcher's glove. In nose bleed territory there are too many other distractions from watching the game. On TV I only like the highlights on the sports news. That's pretty much the game eh?

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11-23-2012, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
So losing an entire season and maybe more and the lost salary that goes with that. Potentially causing several franchises to fold under the financial problems caused by a wide open economic model thus causing many NHLPA jobs to be lost for ever. Thats worth this nonsense?


For the players as a whole this would be a Pyrrhic victory if ever there was one.
Fewer franchises will not only affect the NHLPA jobs. Fewer coaches, trainers, supporting staff,regular and game day. Referees and linesmen, sports broadcasters, restaurants, servers etc. etc. Reduced economics for the local area affected.

The owners have a lot of responsibility.

Segway to a different question if okay? Don't want to start a separate thread but mods feel free if you think it needs it.

Do all AHL, ECHL, KHL etc. teams make profit?

Second why do new owners buying teams that are not profitable do it? The history of the team as a business is not making $ so it's not like they were buying a profitable business. Like the Phoenix and Dallas teams for example. Why? I don't get it.

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11-23-2012, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingsfan2965 View Post
1. Currently the owners are destroying the players...

2. The MLBPA might be in labor peace, but they're looking at a massive drop off in their fan base. World Series viewership is nearly a quarter of what it was 30 years ago, and their audience skews to the 50+ demographic far more than the other major sports.
After losing 2 out of 8 years you don't think the NHL is looking at a major dropoff in fans? That is the model they should be looking at, I'm a die hard fan and I couldn't care less about this season or next season.

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11-23-2012, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rockinghorse View Post
Fewer franchises will not only affect the NHLPA jobs. Fewer coaches, trainers, supporting staff,regular and game day. Referees and linesmen, sports broadcasters, restaurants, servers etc. etc. Reduced economics for the local area affected.

The owners have a lot of responsibility.

Segway to a different question if okay? Don't want to start a separate thread but mods feel free if you think it needs it.

Do all AHL, ECHL, KHL etc. teams make profit?

Second why do new owners buying teams that are not profitable do it? The history of the team as a business is not making $ so it's not like they were buying a profitable business. Like the Phoenix and Dallas teams for example. Why? I don't get it.
Many teams are owned by a LLC that also owns or runs the arena they play in. Those LLCs make their money from the operation of the arena (concerts and other events). Essentially the hockey team is the anchor tenant that gets the arena lease and is sort of a lost leader that allows for the profits from the various other events that take place there. As such, its really the LLC and not the team that appreciates in value. I can't imagine anyone buying a NHL team without the arena rights and revenues that come with it.

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Old
11-23-2012, 07:52 PM
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The most obvious truth about this lock out is the fact that Bettman has a set date to squeeze the players and he really isn't interested in solving this until his drop dead date.

This lock out makes no sense whatsoever compared to the last one. The revenues are at an all time high and revenues have been agreed to get to 50/50 immediately with a make whole agreement or in a step down fashion over time.

Contract rights can very easily be NEGOTIATED and the NHL can pick which ones (2 yr ELS, variance and back diving contracts) need to be adjusted to help decrease escalating salaries. This is so simple you can read just about any news outlet to get the solution to the lockout. They just don't want to solve it yet!

The proof that is most telling is the fact that they are $182M apart on a deal and Bettman is willing to cancel $266M worth of games instead! It is plain foolishness from any view of the outside world...except for Bettman whois just implementing his plan!

Common sense says you meet in the middle before canceling an entire season. The last lockout was worth the salary cap for financial and competitive reason. This lockout is pointless!

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11-23-2012, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cleaver View Post
After losing 2 out of 8 years you don't think the NHL is looking at a major dropoff in fans? That is the model they should be looking at, I'm a die hard fan and I couldn't care less about this season or next season.
let me get this straight, the NHL tripled in revenue over 6 years, but you think they should follow Fehr's MLB style that helped reduce 75% of their fanbase? logic is your strong suit.

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11-24-2012, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by echlfreak View Post
The most obvious truth about this lock out is the fact that Bettman has a set date to squeeze the players and he really isn't interested in solving this until his drop dead date.

This lock out makes no sense whatsoever compared to the last one. The revenues are at an all time high and revenues have been agreed to get to 50/50 immediately with a make whole agreement or in a step down fashion over time.

Contract rights can very easily be NEGOTIATED and the NHL can pick which ones (2 yr ELS, variance and back diving contracts) need to be adjusted to help decrease escalating salaries. This is so simple you can read just about any news outlet to get the solution to the lockout. They just don't want to solve it yet!

The proof that is most telling is the fact that they are $182M apart on a deal and Bettman is willing to cancel $266M worth of games instead! It is plain foolishness from any view of the outside world...except for Bettman whois just implementing his plan!

Common sense says you meet in the middle before canceling an entire season. The last lockout was worth the salary cap for financial and competitive reason. This lockout is pointless!

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11-24-2012, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by echlfreak View Post

The proof that is most telling is the fact that they are $182M apart on a deal and Bettman is willing to cancel $266M worth of games instead! It is plain foolishness from any view of the outside world...except for Bettman whois just implementing his plan!
Well, not really. $266 revenue is not profit. Its not like they pocket that money. Some teams will actually still LOSE money by playing that 2 weeks worth of games. The players are the stupid ones, they are actually losing all that money, all that goes in their pocket. Also if it was JUST about that money it would be settled, but you have the other contract issues that need to be settled, neither one will be settled on their own they will have to negotiate BOTH at the same time to bridge that gap.

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11-24-2012, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by skywarp75 View Post
let me get this straight, the NHL tripled in revenue over 6 years, but you think they should follow Fehr's MLB style that helped reduce 75% of their fanbase? logic is your strong suit.
Or they can do what they are doing now, and just lose 90 percent instead. Nice Strawman. Right now MLB revenue is 3x the NHL and all their teams turn a profit, something the NHL will never achieve.

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11-24-2012, 05:42 PM
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As fans we have been preparing for war since the day fehr got hired. I assume the owners have to

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11-24-2012, 05:47 PM
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Or they can do what they are doing now, and just lose 90 percent instead. Nice Strawman. Right now MLB revenue is 3x the NHL and all their teams turn a profit, something the NHL will never achieve.
MLB is nothing like the NHL.

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11-24-2012, 05:59 PM
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for those that dont know, thomas boswell is one of the truely elite sportswriters in north america. he is basically a baseball writer. his wisdom is unmatched on that subject. purely from the point of view that he knows what happened between fehr and baseball, he knows his crap. where it crosses with hockey....i'd tend to believe him.

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11-24-2012, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by skywarp75 View Post
let me get this straight, the NHL tripled in revenue over 6 years, but you think they should follow Fehr's MLB style that helped reduce 75% of their fanbase? logic is your strong suit.
Did you word this wrong or what do you mean? Pretty sure 11-12 revs werent 3x what they were in 05-06. Or do you mean from 06-12 revenue was 3x what it was from 99-05?

Baseball is apples and oranges with hockey. One is the national pastime of a nation of 300 million, one is the national pastime of a nation of 30 million. Baseball teams play twice as many games, have no cap, large revenue sharing, and have HUGE television contracts. And I reject your statement that Fehr's "MLB style" (what does that even mean?) has at all influenced the decline in their fan base.

I do like Fehr though, he is the best at what he does and has organized the PA as well as it has been in recent memory. I dont buy any of the talk that he has been misrepresenting details, from every report I have ever heard on the man is that he is squeaky clean in his dealings.

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11-24-2012, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
So losing an entire season and maybe more and the lost salary that goes with that. Potentially causing several franchises to fold under the financial problems caused by a wide open economic model thus causing many NHLPA jobs to be lost for ever. Thats worth this nonsense?


For the players as a whole this would be a Pyrrhic victory if ever there was one.
Look, the players have their interest.
The owners have their interest.

But there is something greater than the players and owners.

It's the NHL.

And the commissioner of this game apparently has no desire whatsoever to protect the integrity and reputation of the NHL.

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