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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.

Duhatschek: The players always wins

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Old
12-07-2012, 10:07 PM
  #1
Freudian
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Duhatschek: The players always wins

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"The players will win because the players always win.

The players won in 1994-95, even if the consensus was they lost by surrendering to a punitive rookie salary cap and other major concessions.

The players won in 2004-05, even though the consensus was that by agreeing to a hard salary cap, they got clobbered by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman at the negotiating table.

The players will win because the minute the ink is dry on a new collective agreement, agents and general managers will find clever ways to circumvent the spirit and language of the new deal."


Hard to disagree with his article. The players always stand to benefit from owners and GMs trying to compete. No matter what the rules are. I think the only time the players lose is when there are canceled games.

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12-07-2012, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freudian View Post
The players will win because the minute the ink is dry on a new collective agreement, agents and general managers will find clever ways to circumvent the spirit and language of the new deal."[/I]

I think the only time the players lose is when there are canceled games.
If the NHL is successful in getting their 5 year term (and I think they will be), I'm not sure how the players can call anything out of this a win. Other than a current GM doing a sign and trade (to get 7 yrs vs 5), I'm not sure what other mechanics are available to give the GMs any wiggle room.

Yes over time they'll still make major money due to the cap being linked, and revenues growing. We all can look at what they had previously vs the most recent CBA and say that they made out pretty well in the end, more money and quicker FA. However we can't say that next time around - as we all know they'll see an increase in salaries due to HRR rising, and everything else is punitive/restricting.

Even if the PA signed their offer... it's still a loss for them. They gained the right to re-negotiate sooner, and lost everywhere else. Yes salaries will go up... but is that really a win?

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12-08-2012, 12:38 AM
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Agree with the article's theme. Players lost in the last deal initially but clearly won in the 2nd half plus the legacy contracts. Revenues are growing overall. I'd say the common fan has lost big time as many markets have priced them out.

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12-08-2012, 12:51 AM
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France Nielsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riptide View Post
If the NHL is successful in getting their 5 year term (and I think they will be), I'm not sure how the players can call anything out of this a win.
The point is that right NOW they're all fighting against the players, but the minute that ink is dry, they'll be fighting FOR those same players. They work to destroy the same CBA they created. There's an underlying attitude that the CBA is for everyone else.

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12-08-2012, 02:33 AM
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Agree that it will be a PR loss for the players, but a real world victory for the players.

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12-08-2012, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riptide View Post
If the NHL is successful in getting their 5 year term (and I think they will be), I'm not sure how the players can call anything out of this a win. Other than a current GM doing a sign and trade (to get 7 yrs vs 5), I'm not sure what other mechanics are available to give the GMs any wiggle room.
Well, I think the players will end up winning, sort of, especially if the owners get most of what they want. Salaries will rise further in the future and no change of contract rights is going to change anything about that.
Their attempt at stalling everything is mostly hurting themselves and not accepting what is on the table will only increase the amount of money they lose early on. So while they will "lose" the negotiation, and lose even more money the longer they wait, the new CBA will eventually lead to players making more money than before, and that is always going to be a win.

I would disagree with Duhatschek on one point. The players didn't win the last time around because the teams went seaching for loopholes to exploit. They won because the improved financial situation for the teams plus the increased offense let to larger interest in the league, and thus a huge increase in revenue. Anytime a league can ease it's financial problems, players will benefit enormously soon afterwards.

That's why it's logical to side with the owners in those kind of situations. If their situation improves, all sides end up winning. It's a bit different when it comes to basic rights or the working-class, as those can be exploited if management goes too far, but that's hardly ever really the case when it comes to pro-sports.

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12-08-2012, 05:38 AM
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I really think a 5 year limit benefits the players. More players will come up for free agency more often, and contracts will be able to rise with inflation more often. These long-term deals look outrageous now, but in 10 years when all of those guys are making $1M/yr it's going to look just as stupid when their $7M average is dwarfed by whatever the going rate is at that time.

Shea Weber could sign a 5 year deal for $7.5M now, and then when it expires he might be able to sign for $8, 9...10M? on the next one. Especially if UFA age is lowered. The role player won't benefit so much, but they never really do and this isn't about them in any way, no matter how much the star players and Fehr want us to believe.

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12-08-2012, 06:26 AM
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I don't think contract length will hurt the players at all. Top performers will be paid like top performers regardless.

From the players perspective:

Negatives:
-Players who sign big money long term deals and have their performance drop off substantially will clearly be paid less on the next contract. While this may be seen as a big negative as they are more than a few players like that floating around like this, owners don't exactly store their money under their mattresses it will find it's way into another players pocket soon enough.
-Less security (though I think 7 years with the team you are on or 5 years from the new team should be plenty secure)

Positives:
-Contracts expire more frequently, more likely to benefit from inflationary trends and increased league revenue growth.
-UFA years will come up more frequently, allowing greater flexibility in choosing a preferred destination and greater leverage in having teams compete for your services.
-Upward trending players, mostly younger players can reap the benefits of strong play sooner and more frequently than may have previously been the case.

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12-08-2012, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderson View Post
Well, I think the players will end up winning, sort of, especially if the owners get most of what they want. Salaries will rise further in the future and no change of contract rights is going to change anything about that.
Their attempt at stalling everything is mostly hurting themselves and not accepting what is on the table will only increase the amount of money they lose early on. So while they will "lose" the negotiation, and lose even more money the longer they wait, the new CBA will eventually lead to players making more money than before, and that is always going to be a win.
If you're looking at it from a purely monitory stand point, then yes the players win - as would be the case with almost any CBA signed, as all will have the cap attached to HRR. I do not think that the 5 yr deals are bad things... just that the players see it as a bad thing, as it gives them less security.

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12-08-2012, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedWheel1987 View Post
Agree that it will be a PR loss for the players, but a real world victory for the players.
Leagues usually find a way for the players to save their PR dignity.

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12-08-2012, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
I really think a 5 year limit benefits the players. More players will come up for free agency more often, and contracts will be able to rise with inflation more often. These long-term deals look outrageous now, but in 10 years when all of those guys are making $1M/yr it's going to look just as stupid when their $7M average is dwarfed by whatever the going rate is at that time.
I think it's really the year to year variance that the players want to protect. That allows them to frontload money. 5% would really just not allow for frontloaded contracts anymore, in which case they really would want shorter ones.

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12-08-2012, 01:27 PM
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Long term deals are not the problem. Long term guarantee deals are the problem. A compromise that could satisfy both party is no term limit but both owners and players get one week every Summer when they can both walk away from a deal. You did not perform or you outperform to your contract value no harm, no foul! You can walk away or I can cut you off depending. In the event of a player walk out the owner get exclusive negotiation rights for a week and matching rights like a restricted free agent with compensation for the rest of the Summer. In the event of an owner walk out the player become full UFA.

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12-08-2012, 01:37 PM
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I think both parties get caught up in CBA discussions and details take on such a magnified importance on both sides.

In reality both players and owners can live with 5 or 7 year max contract length and 8 or 10 year CBA. But it's part of the negotiation game that you get married to ideas and lose sight of the big picture. In 94 and 04 we heard the same rhetoric about things that in retrospect had very little importance.

The absolutely single biggest thing for player and league health is overall growth. Conflict hurts overall growth. Of course it's important that teams don't lose money for the league be viable in the long run but the road there shouldn't be so bumpy as it is.

I think the NFL understands this. NHL and NHLPA don't.

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