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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.

Lockout IV: One likes to believe in the freedom of hockey (Moderated: see post #2)

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Old
12-15-2012, 02:02 PM
  #801
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Originally Posted by Soundwave View Post
Well I'll just say collectively I don't view the NHLPA membership as the brightest bulbs in the pack.
I hate generalizing about 700 people. I hate making blanket statements when my own credentials aren't on the line.

I mean, I 'know' that my educational achievements are at a higher level than probably the majority of players, but I'm not about to post my resume and transcripts online, so maybe I shouldn't walk around talking about IQs and education. Anyone can make that claim when they don't have to put up, can't they?

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This "deal" that they've basically wasted half the season to get to could've easily been available to them in November if you ask me.
That's true, but that deal wasn't available to them in July or August or September, October, or November. No, we had to wait to get to December to get certain elements that were more valuable to THEM than what was offered earlier. It's not always about the money. The lockout is designed to do exactly that-- extract as much as possibly because making X is always higher than making zero.

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12-15-2012, 02:05 PM
  #802
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
What I believe you'll see is more of the 80:20 rule as far as pay segregation. The more money that gets funneled to the top players, the less there is for everyone else. That will create a group of players who will see equal or greater opportunity overseas. Why did Radulov bolt?
I'm not disagreeing about the RFA players at all, I was asking why you included ELC players. Radulov bolted because there was no agreement between leagues at the time, and also because he essentially went home. Since they are allegedly going to honor existing contracts, it would require a kid to immediately choose the KHL. I'm not sure any top North American kids will ever do that.

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12-15-2012, 02:06 PM
  #803
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Would you like to make a serious point? The hyperbole actually detracts from the point you're trying to make.
My only point was that percentages are meaningless without context. There is no way the players would ever get 74% of a $3.6 billion business. The only reason it got to 74% was because the NHL was a very small business and a lot of owners treated it like a hobby. They didn't care that they were losing money because they were making a ton of money elsewhere. Bettman wanted the NHL to grow into a big business and since the NHL is driven by the gate, parity was key to growing the sport (but I think you disagree with this?). Lowering the salaries was a huge step in the right direction and going from 74% to 54% in year one was a huge win for the owners. Putting in the escalator to 57% was a huge win for the players, the owners apparently didn't believe in the new system enough to not put in a poison pill if revenues grow faster than expected.

The MLB is the closest to a "free" market for players and they are now making around 42% of MLB revenues and they will continue to lose "share" with these new local TV deals that are being signed around the league. The superstars will still get their money, but the rest of the league will continue to lag behind in the money share compared to the owners. That is why there is labor peace in MLB, the owners are making an insane amount of money and they don't have to "share" it with the players. Even the Yankess are cutting payroll. The Dodgers are about to have their entire $200+ million payroll covered by their local TV contract and they don't have to share it with anyone (MLB doesn't share local TV money). The players may soon fall below 40% of MLB revenue.


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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I think you'll see more Radulovs. I think you'll see more European players staying home over taking the lower pay that trickles down due to 50% share and 5 yr contracting limits.

I never suggested that the top players would leave. Try to address my points instead of making sweeping generalizations. Thanks.
Wouldn't this actually hurt the players in an anti-trust case against the NHL? How can they prove that the NHL is a monopoy when most of the players can get jobs overseas and still make a great living? Isn't it already up to around 30% right now and wasn't it almost 66% during the cancelled season?

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12-15-2012, 02:07 PM
  #804
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Why do people say these things?

The PA is not one connected Borg brain, it's a collective of 700 individuals.





You realize that both those leagues settled AFTER the players moved towards decertification? And that their CBAs expired well before the start of their respective seasons?
Honestly.....Fehr recommends their course of action and the players go along with his plan, that's why he is there, not for Prust or Upshaw to tell Fehr how to do his job.

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12-15-2012, 02:08 PM
  #805
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Originally Posted by 19Yzerman19 View Post
Their actions lead people to saying these things
Maybe some of us don't much stock in these conclusions.


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Originally Posted by JAX View Post
Radulov being Russian might be part of it, when North American players start going over it would be a different story.
The non-NA content of the league peeked two CBAs ago, roughly, at almost 50%, iirc. That number has been slowly moving downwards, with most notably far fewer Russians and Czechs (not as many players being produced). I think the last time I looked at the figures it was roughly a third in non-NA content, but less than 40%.

Now, the reason it was very high to begin with was due to expansion and the mining for sufficient talent to stock 30 teams.

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12-15-2012, 02:09 PM
  #806
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I think you'll see more Radulovs. I think you'll see more European players staying home over taking the lower pay that trickles down due to 50% share and 5 yr contracting limits.

I never suggested that the top players would leave. Try to address my points instead of making sweeping generalizations. Thanks.
Fine, to amend my "sweeping generalization" that NHL players won't leave, I more particularly think that neither RFAs, ELCs, star players, fourth liners nor bench warmers will leave in numbers greater than 5-10, like they always have and always will. The average KHL salary is ~$600K. Lowering NHL salaries 12% just isn't going to come close to touching that.

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12-15-2012, 02:09 PM
  #807
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Originally Posted by JAX View Post
Honestly.....Fehr recommends their course of action and the players go along with his plan, that's why he is there, not for Prust or Upshaw to tell Fehr how to do his job.

JAX, at least admit that there's a template. Everything that has happened so far has mirrored the other two leagues that have caps and Proskauer-Rose. Fehr doesn't run the NBPA or the NFLPA. They also took the DOI route.

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12-15-2012, 02:10 PM
  #808
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Originally Posted by Ducks DVM View Post
I'm not disagreeing about the RFA players at all, I was asking why you included ELC players. Radulov bolted because there was no agreement between leagues at the time, and also because he essentially went home. Since they are allegedly going to honor existing contracts, it would require a kid to immediately choose the KHL. I'm not sure any top North American kids will ever do that.
Europeans do. That would hurt NHL.

Btw I agree with Fugu, Many current NHLers (future NHL caliber player) would consider KHL as serious option. You know, finnish and german clubs should join KHL sooner than later. Great locations for Europeans (Finns, Swedes etc)

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12-15-2012, 02:10 PM
  #809
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Originally Posted by haseoke39 View Post
Fine, to amend my "sweeping generalization" that NHL players won't leave, I more particularly think that neither RFAs, ELCs, star players, fourth liners nor bench warmers will leave in numbers greater than 5-10, like they always have and always will. The average KHL salary is ~$600K. Lowering NHL salaries 12% just isn't going to come close to touching that.

We agree to disagree then. I believe the erosion of European talent will continue, and perhaps accelerate under the type of CBA being negotiated. The exodus will probably be most notable with Russians, and then entry levels with other Europeans.

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12-15-2012, 02:14 PM
  #810
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Originally Posted by 19Yzerman19 View Post
Their actions lead people to saying these things



and the NHL tried to open negotiations on a new CBA last season and were rebuffed by Fehr and company.

And the brilliance that is the head of the NHLPA waits until Dec to finally offer a full CBA counter offer to the ones the NHL had been offering since July!

Yeah people are way off base with their thoughts of the merits nhlpa leadership, it just isn't the pro-owner crowd.
Why don't you try judging the owners and Bettman with half as much vigor you use to slam the players

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12-15-2012, 02:17 PM
  #811
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
JAX, at least admit that there's a template. Everything that has happened so far has mirrored the other two leagues that have caps and Proskauer-Rose. Fehr doesn't run the NBPA or the NFLPA. They also took the DOI route.
Yes, but that doesn't mean all the 700 players voices are heard, and realistically they can't be. But your making it sounds like the players are directly responsible for how this has played out so far. It's about PA leadership hardliners and Fehr.

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12-15-2012, 02:17 PM
  #812
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Originally Posted by vorky View Post
Europeans do. That would hurt NHL.

Btw I agree with Fugu, Many current NHLers (future NHL caliber player) would consider KHL as serious option. You know, finnish and german clubs should join KHL sooner than later. Great locations for Europeans (Finns, Swedes etc)
The KHL cap was 36M this year, right? Unless that goes up dramatically there's only so many young stars who will be making more in the KHL that the cap will allow for. Unless all the players will be taking pay cuts for them, in which case the nhl might start to look attractive again for those players. It's not an even playing field unless the KHL ups their cap dramatically.

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12-15-2012, 02:17 PM
  #813
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Whether or not the league wishes to retain them is near irrelevant; the league isn't the one threatening to either disclaim or to decertify. What the league in my view is saying is to pick one, stick with that choice, and live with the consequences of that decision going forward.
I always bite off more than I can chew, and can't possibly get to all the responses I owe people....

I think it is relevant in discussing leverage. Is it better or worse for sports leagues to bargain collectively or as individual competitors? To answer seems obvious to me.


Quote:
I disagree somewhat with your conclusions. The market forces won't exist to such an extent in a 20 team league for example versus the current 30, the difference then is 460 available roster spots versus the 700 you list above, and realistically there exist only a few players worthy of top dollars.

The players need be just as careful.
Sure, in the sense that you wish to create more and more NHL jobs. However, if you're looking at this dispassionately as I am (I'm not here to protect X number of union jobs or X number of teams' existence), you can make an economic case for the league and union being too fat.

My treadmill program would indicate that of those jobs you point out as being lost would be to the guys who are the bottom 240. The concentration of talent might yield a superior NHL product overall.

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12-15-2012, 02:19 PM
  #814
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
We agree to disagree then. I believe the erosion of European talent will continue, and perhaps accelerate under the type of CBA being negotiated. The exodus will probably be most notable with Russians, and then entry levels with other Europeans.
And that would be fine, if conditions to stay in the NHL are to harsh then they need to go where it is best for them. But you seem to think it's the responsibility of the leagues franchises to go into the red to make the players happy.

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12-15-2012, 02:20 PM
  #815
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Originally Posted by haseoke39 View Post
Fine, to amend my "sweeping generalization" that NHL players won't leave, I more particularly think that neither RFAs, ELCs, star players, fourth liners nor bench warmers will leave in numbers greater than 5-10, like they always have and always will. The average KHL salary is ~$600K. Lowering NHL salaries 12% just isn't going to come close to touching that.
How do you know? KHL salaries are not publicly available. But it is not my point.

There are KHL clubs which can afford to pay "NHL salaries" (consider taxes). They dont have to sign Malkin (current superstar) but players who have potential to become superstars (mostly Europeans), but dont get proper salary in NHL.

As you know, KHL will share revenue with clubs, maybe since next season. So additional resourse of finance for clubs.

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12-15-2012, 02:20 PM
  #816
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I hate to say it but I think the NHLPA is simply lacking the intelligence of other PA's.

The NBAPA knew when to cut their losses and agreed to a deal by late November of last year at 50-50 and their membership got 66-games worth of regular season revenue.

NFLPA knew better than to strike period.

Yet only the NHLPA finds the idea of a 50-50 split so unpalatable that here we are half the season, quite possibly the entire season done because they can't accept a CBA that's well in line with any other CBA in pro sports.

They're not going to get a deal much better than this one, and really this is a deal they probably could've had back in November if they focused negotiations on "OK if we give to 50-50, what we want is to focus on the make-whole".
The other unions are weak. It has nothing to do with intelligence.

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12-15-2012, 02:22 PM
  #817
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Sure, in the sense that you wish to create more and more NHL jobs. However, if you're looking at this dispassionately as I am (I'm not here to protect X number of union jobs or X number of teams' existence), you can make an economic case for the league and union being too fat.

My treadmill program would indicate that of those jobs you point out as being lost would be to the guys who are the bottom 240. The concentration of talent might yield a superior NHL product overall.
Of course, fewer teams would mean better concentration of talent. But I've never heard someone whose team would be on the chopping block argue that they'd rather have a higher concentration of talent and no team to root for. You may not represent either the league or the union, but you certainly can't claim to represent the interests of fans either.

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12-15-2012, 02:22 PM
  #818
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
My treadmill program would indicate that of those jobs you point out as being lost would be to the guys who are the bottom 240. The concentration of talent might yield a superior NHL product overall.
I completely agree with that, as long as my team was one of the 20 left.

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12-15-2012, 02:22 PM
  #819
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Originally Posted by Ducks DVM View Post
I'm not disagreeing about the RFA players at all, I was asking why you included ELC players. Radulov bolted because there was no agreement between leagues at the time, and also because he essentially went home. Since they are allegedly going to honor existing contracts, it would require a kid to immediately choose the KHL. I'm not sure any top North American kids will ever do that.
What you cite as agreements are only relevant to existing contracts. If the KHL can get younger players under contract earlier and these are higher than the ELCs NHL teams offer, then more players will simply stay home. Keep in mind the taxation and agent fees as well. The KHL has an advantage because the NHL has chosen a path that tries to restrict younger players' salaries for as long as possible. It will only pay for the elite players to eventually leave-- the guys who can get maximum deals for the 5-7 yr terms being discussed. I think it's also material whether that figure is five or seven yrs.


I'm not sure how many NA kids or RFAs would choose the European leagues, but given the total non-NA content right now, it's still a significant number of players. The numbers were starting to decline before this type of CBA would take effect. I think it will take another bite out of European content in the NHL. I cannot prove it until it happens.

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12-15-2012, 02:23 PM
  #820
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Is it safe to say the NHL's failures are the NBA's gains? I'd appreciate an explanation from anybody if it isn't. Thanks in advance.

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12-15-2012, 02:25 PM
  #821
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I completely agree with that, as long as my team was one of the 20 left.
I don't use that as a criterion. It either makes business sense to have them in the league, or it doesn't. An ROI that can never be realized is a drain on wealth overall if you keep transferring money to losing enterprises that have no measurable return to the contributors, or in the net equation for the league.

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12-15-2012, 02:25 PM
  #822
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The other unions are weak. It has nothing to do with intelligence.
You realize that if the players had just taken the October offer, they'd be making more money than they'll ever get back? How is that not unintelligent?

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12-15-2012, 02:26 PM
  #823
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I always bite off more than I can chew, and can't possibly get to all the responses I owe people....

I think it is relevant in discussing leverage. Is it better or worse for sports leagues to bargain collectively or as individual competitors? To answer seems obvious to me.




Sure, in the sense that you wish to create more and more NHL jobs. However, if you're looking at this dispassionately as I am (I'm not here to protect X number of union jobs or X number of teams' existence), you can make an economic case for the league and union being too fat.

My treadmill program would indicate that of those jobs you point out as being lost would be to the guys who are the bottom 240. The concentration of talent might yield a superior NHL product overall.


And I would agree with you there. I find the more teams you have talent obviously get's spread more thin over 30 teams. When that happens it seems teams with less talent get overcoached and become defensive "trap" teams and smother the game. I'm not sure the realistic expectations of contraction but I would certainly welcome it.

I hope the the league doesn't plan on going to a 32 team league which has been rumoured by the new teams rumoured in Quebec and Markham. Hopefully they will be relocation teams not expansion.

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12-15-2012, 02:28 PM
  #824
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Originally Posted by haseoke39 View Post
Of course, fewer teams would mean better concentration of talent. But I've never heard someone whose team would be on the chopping block argue that they'd rather have a higher concentration of talent and no team to root for. You may not represent either the league or the union, but you certainly can't claim to represent the interests of fans either.

Would some fans be excluded? Probably. Would some fans prefer it? Probably.

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12-15-2012, 02:28 PM
  #825
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
My treadmill program would indicate that of those jobs you point out as being lost would be to the guys who are the bottom 240. The concentration of talent might yield a superior NHL product overall.
They won't become better players overnight; there still will only exist a very few players worthy of top dollars. The union will have soundly failed if the net result of this negotiation over the long run is the loss of more than one third of their jobs and as well MUCH lower salaries for all but of a few of the balance that remain. Perhaps the players should settle now while they still can.


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