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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, NHL revenues, relocation and expansion.

With Fehr end-around, owners hit new low—and waste lead

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Old
12-08-2012, 12:20 AM
  #376
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Originally Posted by ScottyBowman View Post
Despite what our HF legal experts think, the players are not some dumb farm boys from Canada who can't do basic math. They understand that they need Fehr in there to review and close the deal. The owners thought they could con the players and they don't want Fehr because he is an expert at labor and can shake down these bullies. Decertify next and have the owners head spin.
Pretty much.

The owners don't understand Fehr. Bettman can't handle dealing with someone who's actually an expert in labour negotiations. So instead of sitting down and trying to get a fair deal done, the leagues just playing games; trying to get the PA to crack or de-legitimizing the entire players association by getting a deal done without Fehr in the room.

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12-08-2012, 12:22 AM
  #377
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Originally Posted by Riptide View Post
That's an assumption. Before telling someone they're wrong, you might want to have some proof to back this up.

If Bettman was happy just catering to the top, he only needs 7 or 8 owners to back him to force a deal through.
no, he needs only 7 + himself to kill a deal. they still need a majority to agree to a deal if bettman signs off

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12-08-2012, 12:24 AM
  #378
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i cant believe Fehr is brain washing the players again like in 05

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12-08-2012, 12:27 AM
  #379
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Originally Posted by ScottyBowman View Post
Most definately it was stunt by Bettman. He had the podium and speech ready in order to gain more followers. The owner bandwagon folks bought it hook line and sinker. "Bettman cares about the game", "Bettman is mad" , "Bettman is shaking he's so mad, guys this man is speaking from the heart". Fehr is probably laughing at this. Lets get real here. The NHL is a garage league and pales in comparison to the MLB powerhouse. Bettman is the king of scripted speeches, stunts, and facial expressions. His job is part drama and part to BS to the fans. He is good at that. Unfortunately, he ends up losing every negotiation at the end and this won't be any different. This might be the worst defeat ever the longer it drags out.
This. Finally some of you are getting it. There will come a time also when some of the owners will get what Bettman is really doing.

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12-08-2012, 12:33 AM
  #380
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There is a league called the CFL which has been around for 100 years. I'm sure the all Canadian league would be fine.
Which due to severe limits on population has been relegated to second status when 25 years ago they were signing away top talent from the NFL (Rocket Ismail).

I am a huge CFL fan, but they just cannot compete with NFL due to the population difference. CFL gets great attendences at solid prices with a fantastic TV deal for us, but there's only so much money to go around with the population limits. So now you have to be top 10/15 player in the CFL to make more than a league minimum depth player in the NFL. Given a decade or so, an all-Canadian NHL would wind up in a similar situation, better than that, but not by nearly enough. The best players will end up in the US.

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12-08-2012, 12:36 AM
  #381
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Originally Posted by ScottyBowman View Post
Most definately it was stunt by Bettman. He had the podium and speech ready in order to gain more followers. The owner bandwagon folks bought it hook line and sinker. "Bettman cares about the game", "Bettman is mad" , "Bettman is shaking he's so mad, guys this man is speaking from the heart". Fehr is probably laughing at this. Lets get real here. The NHL is a garage league and pales in comparison to the MLB powerhouse. Bettman is the king of scripted speeches, stunts, and facial expressions. His job is part drama and part to BS to the fans. He is good at that. Unfortunately, he ends up losing every negotiation at the end and this won't be any different. This might be the worst defeat ever the longer it drags out.

I think Bettman's track record for the NHL has been excellent and he's been a huge contributor of the growth and stability of the league. He brought cost certainty and parity through the last CBA negotiations, having to react to spiraling salaries, putting teams on a level playing field.

People complain about markets they feel the NHL shouldn't be in, but the reality is it has grown interest in the sport massively in the US over a short time span and it has grown revenue through expansion, which has translated to higher PA salaries through revenue growth and more PA jobs.

I remember when the Sharks entered the league and people complained about that not being a hockey market. Today they have a loyal fan base in a large US TV market. Bettman fights for struggling teams. He fought to keep the Oilers in Edm when the dollar was at .70 cents and was a major part in brokering that deal. When people talk about moving NHL franchises from struggling markets to Canada, and it being the only obvious choice, and how stupid is Bettman for not seeing it,, - that is based on a small snapshot of time in our current economy, and there's a lot more to think about than where the most ravenous fans might be currently. Bettman cares about hockey and I didn't think his emotion was scripted on Thurs night.

Fehr tore baseball apart with his strike in 1994. According to the article I read earlier today, MLB revenues plummeted from $1.87B in '93 to $1.2B in '94 and didn't return to '93 levels until '97 - a full 4 years after the strike. That article was written in '04 and attendance levels still hadn't returned to pre-strike levels (it dropped 20% in '94) . Imagine a 5 year CBA where the players lose 40% of the revenues they were anticipating in yr 1 and they were only earning a portion of their contracts in 4 of those years. That is where Fehr is leading them. What would that lead to in 5 years?

I think its pretty obvious who cares more about the game.

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12-08-2012, 12:42 AM
  #382
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Originally Posted by slantedEnchanted View Post
I think Bettman's track record for the NHL has been excellent and he's been a huge contributor of the growth and stability of the league. He brought cost certainty and parity through the last CBA negotiations, having to react to spiraling salaries, putting teams on a level playing field.
The league is a side bar in the U.S., has a large number of unstable teams including owners who were arrested and/or bankrupt. Cost certainty in the last CBA is making it even more difficult for teams to make money because they can't control their budget. The same teams that were ****** before are still ******.

Bettman gets credit for recent growth in the game... he shouldn't. He has nothing to do with the strength of the Canadian dollar or big market teams in the U.S. having great runs, those are the reasons for growth, the NHL was lucky.

Bettman has done nothing for hockey or the NHL.

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12-08-2012, 12:50 AM
  #383
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Edit: It's unclear from Schneider's comments who else was in the room, but neither of D Fehr or Bettman were there:

http://www.thehockeynews.com/article...-with-Don.html
“The conclusion I keep coming to is somehow the owners do not want to deal with Don,” Schneider said, “and that was obvious this past week, but I think it’s been the case throughout the negotiations. They come in with a take-it-or-leave it, walk away, they try to pressure the guys, they have other people, they have owners, GMs, coaches, calling guys, meeting them in the dressing room, telling them, ‘You better take this offer, it’s not going to get any better.’ ”
In the interview that took place on Sirius/XM NHL Network Radio early Friday afternoon, Schneider said that, despite the presence of new blood in the negotiating room – including Penguins majority owner Ron Burkle and Leafs owner Larry Tanenbaum – on Wednesday, the league’s position remained the same. Schneider also said the owners let the players know Fehr’s mere presence in the room was enough to derail talks.
“(NHL player and negotiating committee member) Ron Hainsey said to (league deputy commissioner) Bill Daly and (Calgary Flames owner) Murray Edwards, essentially, ‘We’re not deal-closers, we can’t finish this off. We’re very close, guys, let’s get in a room and work it out, but we’ve got to have Don and Steve and Mathieu and all of our staff in there, but we’re right here’,” Schneider said of Wednesday’s negotiating meetings, at which Fehr and league commissioner Gary Bettman were not present. “And (owners) essentially said, ‘If Don’s in the room, it’s a deal-breaker.’ And I don’t know what you do with that. I don’t know how you work with that. They cannot tell us who should represent us. It’s like you’re buying a house and the seller says, ‘I’m not going to sell you the house if you don’t hire this realtor’. That’s essentially what they’re saying.”
Schneider said the message from owners hadn’t changed at all.
“It was a new cast of characters, but it was the same old story,” Schneider said of the talks. “It was a take-it-or-leave it offer and they walked out of the room. We had a counter-proposal ready for them. The owners wouldn’t even come and listen to it. They sent (NHL lead counsel) Bob Batterman and (deputy commissioner) Bill Daly. We’ve heard back that they essentially said they were not going to accept our proposal in the morning before they even knew what we were going to say. It’s typical. It’s exactly what they’ve done throughout this negotiation, and I hate to say we expected it, but we expected it.”


Last edited by Fugu: 12-08-2012 at 01:42 AM. Reason: meant to change the opening line before posting
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12-08-2012, 01:00 AM
  #384
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If true, isn't this in violation of labor law?

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12-08-2012, 01:00 AM
  #385
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Originally Posted by Scurr View Post
The league is a side bar in the U.S., has a large number of unstable teams including owners who were arrested and/or bankrupt. Cost certainty in the last CBA is making it even more difficult for teams to make money because they can't control their budget. The same teams that were ****** before are still ******.

Bettman gets credit for recent growth in the game... he shouldn't. He has nothing to do with the strength of the Canadian dollar or big market teams in the U.S. having great runs, those are the reasons for growth, the NHL was lucky.

Bettman has done nothing for hockey or the NHL.
Skalbania should not be mentioned. Or the assistance program for when the Canadian dollar was only two thirds of the American dollar; this should be stricken from the record as well.

Noted.

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12-08-2012, 01:02 AM
  #386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scurr View Post
The league is a side bar in the U.S., has a large number of unstable teams including owners who were arrested and/or bankrupt. Cost certainty in the last CBA is making it even more difficult for teams to make money because they can't control their budget. The same teams that were ****** before are still ******.

Bettman gets credit for recent growth in the game... he shouldn't. He has nothing to do with the strength of the Canadian dollar or big market teams in the U.S. having great runs, those are the reasons for growth, the NHL was lucky.

Bettman has done nothing for hockey or the NHL.
I obviously disagree. At a grassroots level, hockey has grown dramatically in the southern US - I would imagine that is a function, in part, of NHL level hockey in those areas.

Teams like Anaheim, Dallas, Minnesota, Colorado and even Nashville, Carolina, and a reinvented Jets franchise have seen successes. It doesn't always happen overnight, or even inside of a decade. It takes time to build those markets in growth areas. Revenues have gone from $400m/season to $3.3B during his tenure.

His track record hasn't been perfect, as nobody's would be, but he's done real, measurable good for the game.

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12-08-2012, 01:11 AM
  #387
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Originally Posted by slantedEnchanted View Post
His track record hasn't been perfect, as nobody's would be, but he's done real, measurable good for the game.
What about the damage he has caused? How much money do you think the dead puck era cost and is still costing NHL owners?

How much growth would we have seen in the southern US if the NHL product wasn't terrible for 10+ years?

Despite two lockouts, Bettman is still chasing his tail trying to come up with something that makes money. The NFL model they were after didn't work, time to follow the NBA...

The concussion issue, suspensions, refereeing... the NHL botches it all with Bettman as their head. His thinking is archaic and he doesn't pay enough attention to what they are selling, the product.

And why not dump on the money makers, Gretzky and Corsby while you're at it? Smart.

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12-08-2012, 01:17 AM
  #388
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If true, isn't this in violation of labor law?

I don't know, but it confirms the thread title, imo. A new low for owners.

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12-08-2012, 01:22 AM
  #389
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I don't know, but it confirms the thread title, imo. A new low for owners.
So long as they don't outright say it, I don't think it would be. And the text there suggests that.

To me, it looks like the owners will not accept a PA proposal. They want the final deal to be their proposal, even if the players get what they want. More play at optics again?

NHL has certainly shot themselves in the foot with all these "final" proposals. Unfortunately for fans, they probably realize this at this point, and will likely stick to their previous make whole number (not the 300 million they proposed last week) until the mid-january deadline now, in an attempt to say, "that was it, we went out on a limb, you still didn't accept now we are holding firm". Of course the union will not accept a lower proposal.

I always thought this would end in late November/early December. Now we will not see anything until at least early january, IMO. There will be one last push to salvage the season. We'll see what happens there.

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12-08-2012, 01:32 AM
  #390
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Originally Posted by Scurr View Post
What about the damage he has caused? How much money do you think the dead puck era cost and is still costing NHL owners?

How much growth would we have seen in the southern US if the NHL product wasn't terrible for 10+ years?

Despite two lockouts, Bettman is still chasing his tail trying to come up with something that makes money. The NFL model they were after didn't work, time to follow the NBA...

The concussion issue, suspensions, refereeing... the NHL botches it all with Bettman as their head. His thinking is archaic and he doesn't pay enough attention to what they are selling, the product.

And why not dump on the money makers, Gretzky and Crosby while you're at it? Smart.

As far as the dead puck era goes, I don't recall a bunch of people lining up to make the rule changes they eventually made any earlier, with Gary Bettman fighting it, but perhaps it happened.

Despite 2 lockouts, the players don't seem to get that a profitable business model for all parties involved is the best long term solution. It brings stability, certainty, and growth. Bettman is forced to balance owners from varying markets, fans, and player needs. The players are only concerned about two things - themselves and their ching.

Crosby has not been dumped on. Where and when? The players are the ones making this personal.

I wouldn't say the NHL botches it all when it come to your points. For example, I agree there have been referee issues at times and they don't work in a perfect system, but I also wouldn't say the reffing is broken. And I'm sure it will be tweaked over time to make it better. As long as you identify the issues, they will be addressed. Not like OT in the NFL.

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12-08-2012, 01:32 AM
  #391
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I really don't understand the league's position. Take the max contract length for example. Why does the NHL want a 5 year limit? I hear the players explaining their side. What is the NHL's point of view here? Why do we need it? I can't find much, if anything, wrong with David Backes' comments: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/hocke...c86a32fb7.html

I understand that those of you who support the owners think the players are greedy. But do you seriously think what the owners are proposing is good for the game?

Take Backes' example. If Crosby is eligible for UFA and makes say $8-12M (max is $12M according to the 20% max) on 5 years, what is Backes going to get? What is Richards going to get? Moen? You're going to run into a situation where you have a few high earners and a lot of low earners. This isn't the NBA where you can play 3 stars 45 minutes out of a 48 minute game. In the NHL you have to spread it out a lot more, you have more players and players playing half that time are considered the top of the top. This model just doesn't work. What in the NHL's argument are you guys supporting? Please explain because I'm having a hard time understanding.

If it's simply a philosophical position that the players should take what the owners give them, look at the good of the game and what the owners are asking for.

The way I see it is the NHL is acting like a bunch of morons just following whatever the NFL or NBA have done. They haven't bothered to review the NHLPA's proposals. It's a different game. The same strategies won't work in the NHL. Look at the good of the game.

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12-08-2012, 01:39 AM
  #392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Schneider's comments seem to indicate than none of D Fehr, S Fehr nor Schneider were in the group that was 'negotiating' with players when the talks broke down:

http://www.thehockeynews.com/article...-with-Don.html
“The conclusion I keep coming to is somehow the owners do not want to deal with Don,” Schneider said, “and that was obvious this past week, but I think it’s been the case throughout the negotiations. They come in with a take-it-or-leave it, walk away, they try to pressure the guys, they have other people, they have owners, GMs, coaches, calling guys, meeting them in the dressing room, telling them, ‘You better take this offer, it’s not going to get any better.’ ”
In the interview that took place on Sirius/XM NHL Network Radio early Friday afternoon, Schneider said that, despite the presence of new blood in the negotiating room – including Penguins majority owner Ron Burkle and Leafs owner Larry Tanenbaum – on Wednesday, the league’s position remained the same. Schneider also said the owners let the players know Fehr’s mere presence in the room was enough to derail talks.
“(NHL player and negotiating committee member) Ron Hainsey said to (league deputy commissioner) Bill Daly and (Calgary Flames owner) Murray Edwards, essentially, ‘We’re not deal-closers, we can’t finish this off. We’re very close, guys, let’s get in a room and work it out, but we’ve got to have Don and Steve and Mathieu and all of our staff in there, but we’re right here’,” Schneider said of Wednesday’s negotiating meetings, at which Fehr and league commissioner Gary Bettman were not present. “And (owners) essentially said, ‘If Don’s in the room, it’s a deal-breaker.’ And I don’t know what you do with that. I don’t know how you work with that. They cannot tell us who should represent us. It’s like you’re buying a house and the seller says, ‘I’m not going to sell you the house if you don’t hire this realtor’. That’s essentially what they’re saying.”
Schneider said the message from owners hadn’t changed at all.
“It was a new cast of characters, but it was the same old story,” Schneider said of the talks. “It was a take-it-or-leave it offer and they walked out of the room. We had a counter-proposal ready for them. The owners wouldn’t even come and listen to it. They sent (NHL lead counsel) Bob Batterman and (deputy commissioner) Bill Daly. We’ve heard back that they essentially said they were not going to accept our proposal in the morning before they even knew what we were going to say. It’s typical. It’s exactly what they’ve done throughout this negotiation, and I hate to say we expected it, but we expected it.”
Lol where do you read that the PA had no representation in the room. Numerous... No all credible reporters said steve fehr was part of the negotiation... Speculating that out of this is total nonsense.

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12-08-2012, 01:40 AM
  #393
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Lol where do you read that the PA had no representation in the room. Numerous... No all credible reporters said steve fehr was part of the negotiation... Speculating that out of this is total nonsense.

Ah, you're right. I wrote that, re-read the article and was about to remove the part about who was in the room because it was unclear. Apologies for the oversight.

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12-08-2012, 01:44 AM
  #394
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Originally Posted by Ginu View Post
I really don't understand the league's position. Take the max contract length for example. Why does the NHL want a 5 year limit? I hear the players explaining their side. What is the NHL's point of view here? Why do we need it? I can't find much, if anything, wrong with David Backes' comments: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/hocke...c86a32fb7.html

I understand that those of you who support the owners think the players are greedy. But do you seriously think what the owners are proposing is good for the game?

Take Backes' example. If Crosby is eligible for UFA and makes say $8-12M (max is $12M according to the 20% max) on 5 years, what is Backes going to get? What is Richards going to get? Moen? You're going to run into a situation where you have a few high earners and a lot of low earners. This isn't the NBA where you can play 3 stars 45 minutes out of a 48 minute game. In the NHL you have to spread it out a lot more, you have more players and players playing half that time are considered the top of the top. This model just doesn't work. What in the NHL's argument are you guys supporting? Please explain because I'm having a hard time understanding.

If it's simply a philosophical position that the players should take what the owners give them, look at the good of the game and what the owners are asking for.

The way I see it is the NHL is acting like a bunch of morons just following whatever the NFL or NBA have done. They haven't bothered to review the NHLPA's proposals. It's a different game. The same strategies won't work in the NHL. Look at the good of the game.
As a fan, how are shorter contract lengths worse for the game? In my view, it's better. You have less 'dead weight' contracts floating around, more movement, and players need to keep performing in order to earn their keep, lest they get replaced by some skilled young hotshot.

From a parity standpoint, shorter contracts with limited variance closes a massive loophole for salary cap circumvention.

Shorter contracts are better for the game. Dead-weight and 'retirement' contracts need to die completely.

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12-08-2012, 01:45 AM
  #395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginu View Post
I really don't understand the league's position. Take the max contract length for example. Why does the NHL want a 5 year limit? I hear the players explaining their side. What is the NHL's point of view here? Why do we need it? I can't find much, if anything, wrong with David Backes' comments: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/hocke...c86a32fb7.html

I understand that those of you who support the owners think the players are greedy. But do you seriously think what the owners are proposing is good for the game?

Take Backes' example. If Crosby is eligible for UFA and makes say $8-12M (max is $12M according to the 20% max) on 5 years, what is Backes going to get? What is Richards going to get? Moen? You're going to run into a situation where you have a few high earners and a lot of low earners. This isn't the NBA where you can play 3 stars 45 minutes out of a 48 minute game. In the NHL you have to spread it out a lot more, you have more players and players playing half that time are considered the top of the top. This model just doesn't work. What in the NHL's argument are you guys supporting? Please explain because I'm having a hard time understanding.

If it's simply a philosophical position that the players should take what the owners give them, look at the good of the game and what the owners are asking for.

The way I see it is the NHL is acting like a bunch of morons just following whatever the NFL or NBA have done. They haven't bothered to review the NHLPA's proposals. It's a different game. The same strategies won't work in the NHL. Look at the good of the game.
One counterargument the NHL will use is this.

Kovalchuk or whoever currently has a 6.6 cap hit versus an 11 million dollar salary fr this season (something like that number might not be exact). The way escrow works is that the 11 million still goes into the players share when calculated for escrow. While his cap hit is lower, his money is still calculated into escrow. Now remember that the players share is controlled to 57% (in the old agreement), no matter how much each individual contract is worth. So by giving Kovy or Crosby their actual salary as cap hit, they are merely rearranging the money to count against the cap in the years he makes them against the players share, rather than saving that money for later when he makes less than his cap hit. In reality, it's just rearrangement of caphit to reflect actual salary, Backes should not get less. Their may be less capspace to go around(or more capspace once these retirement contracts begin to pay less than caphit), but the players share remains the same. Remember that if the league beats projections it's possible for the players to make more than their salary in escrow, same as it's possible for them to lose money in escrow. Those guys were ALREADY taking that large chunk of the players share, now their caphit will reflect that.

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12-08-2012, 01:50 AM
  #396
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Originally Posted by Scurr View Post
What about the damage he has caused? How much money do you think the dead puck era cost and is still costing NHL owners?

How much growth would we have seen in the southern US if the NHL product wasn't terrible for 10+ years?

Despite two lockouts, Bettman is still chasing his tail trying to come up with something that makes money. The NFL model they were after didn't work, time to follow the NBA...

The concussion issue, suspensions, refereeing... the NHL botches it all with Bettman as their head. His thinking is archaic and he doesn't pay enough attention to what they are selling, the product.

And why not dump on the money makers, Gretzky and Corsby while you're at it? Smart.
If i gave you 10000 dollars then kicked you in the shins would you still be better off? Of couse you would. While i hate bettmen the guy has bought the NHL into the golden age financially. Bettmen is tge whole reason we are in this pickle. The league has grown so much and doing so financially well everyone wants a piece of the pie. love him or hate him, market wise brought the NHL into the same paragraphs as NBA and NFL.

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12-08-2012, 01:59 AM
  #397
Freudian
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Schneider is being dishonest. NHL offered the NHLPA a take it or leave it offer and when NHLPA turns it into a take this and leave that offer and use the goodies as basis for their own proposal, NHL is being the unreasonable party here?

NHLPA gambled and lost big time when they pocketed what they wanted from NHLs proposal and trumpeted to the world that we're close to a deal. I guess it was worth a shot. It's not much more stupid than anything else that has been going on. But to double down on it like Schneider and pretend that they were the ones that negotiated in good faith here, the day after they got busted.

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12-08-2012, 02:00 AM
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In reference to David Backes' comments: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/hocke...c86a32fb7.html.

It's been my experience that any proposal for any item your discussing is in writing with the conditions spelled out so there are no misunderstandings. In this case the proposal is addressing contractual rights by what I can ascertain. Unless they're negotiating under a different set of standards this confusion about conditions should never ever happen. But then again this whole format of owners negotiating with players should of never happened!


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12-08-2012, 02:50 AM
  #399
Reed Solomon
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Originally Posted by Mr. Fancy Pants View Post
Ok then, how about at his press conference? "I don't understand the meaning of the word 'trust'"? Give me a break.
He was probably speaking in terms of the particular premise brought by the person posing the question to him. In the context of the question, he could not comprehend the meaning of the term trust.

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12-08-2012, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Scurr View Post
What about the damage he has caused? How much money do you think the dead puck era cost and is still costing NHL owners?

How much growth would we have seen in the southern US if the NHL product wasn't terrible for 10+ years?

Despite two lockouts, Bettman is still chasing his tail trying to come up with something that makes money. The NFL model they were after didn't work, time to follow the NBA...

The concussion issue, suspensions, refereeing... the NHL botches it all with Bettman as their head. His thinking is archaic and he doesn't pay enough attention to what they are selling, the product.

And why not dump on the money makers, Gretzky and Corsby while you're at it? Smart.
The concussion issue, refereeing and suspensions have been delegated to "hockey people" like Burke and Campbell. Those are not on Bettman. There is an old guard of hockey people in charge of those issues that are not adaptive and there have been serious, debilitating problems. When people say get a hockey person to run it and that is what they actually have and GB still gets blamed, I find it hard to take the opinion seriously. If GB is to blame for such, it is because he delegated the issues to the wrong people.

The growth argument for GB has its support. In two decades, enrollment in amateur hockey in the US has actually now come to equal that of Canada. In fact Canada is losing the race, badly on the amateur side. IMO a bit of bitterness from some of the northern neighbors. There is serious success in growth in Texas, California and Tennessee. The US has established a major junior league (USHL) in that time period. The quantity of quality amateur hockey in the US is not up that of Canada yet but it is gaining. It is like watching a leading marathon runner complain about an opponent at the halfway point as leader is gassed and can see a pursuer in the rearview who has a second wind and is rapidly gaining. His answer is to stop the race so he can be declared the winner.

I don't see complaints from the American side on baseball where it is Latin and Japanese players or on the basketball side where it is European players who are starting to overtake US programs. I don't follow them as closely, but I personally cheer for the parity being achieved on the international level in those sports.

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