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Lockout Discussion Thread 4.0

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Old
12-16-2012, 08:30 PM
  #476
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Originally Posted by waffledave View Post
Well, I hope it's worth all the money they are losing by drawing this out further. Because by my count, if you look at the offer they could have had in October vs today, while the players have made some gains, those gains are offset by the lost wages by a fairly significant margin.

The players talk about the money they'd lose with this new CBA, but don't forget that is hypothetical money. If league revenues continue to increase as they have been doing, the make whole would be enough to cover the 2 years where the HRR split was too low to cover existing contracts.

The players go on about this hypothetical lost money, but don't seem to be too concernred with the actual money they've lost, in real dollars, money that they will NEVER get back again. NEVER. No matter how good the next CBA is, they will NEVER get this money back.

The last CBA offer was for 10 years. Most players will have retired by then, and it is impossible to know the state of the league at that point. It's silly to say the owners will keep trying to get more from the players 10 years from now because almost every owner will have changed, the economic landscape of the league will have changed and both Bettman and Fehr will no longer be around.



The owners' last offer was very fair. The players continue to stall and refuse to vote on it. This is effectively a strike at this point.
I agree with much that you're saying, especially about the length of the CBA. Gawd, who wants to go through this every 5 years. It is agonizing.

The problem with capitulating to save money and disregarding the importance of other equally vital issues may be okay in the short term, but will put players at a disadvantage in the future.

Even with record revenues, the league is not doing great overall. In my opinion, none of the problems are caused by the players. Expansion into questionable markets is on Bettman. Allowing contracts that circumvent the cap is on Bettman. Owners offering contacts of absurd length and value is on them. Yet the players are asked to pay for it all, and frankly they know it and have accepted it.

The NHLPA bought into the 50/50 long ago. Okay, the owners get the money. How to resolve the other issues? I like the NHLPA accepting the 10 and 8 CBA length and asking for 6 and 8 year contracts. I also like a one time buy out, and especially the idea of have-not teams selling cap space to the wealthier teams. I would think the owners would love this. The bottom teams get much needed income and the extra profit sharing yields the wealthy teams something of value in return.

I'm convinced we'll see hockey this year, but I really hope both factions will be smart enough to split the difference and make a deal viable for both sides for the 10 years.

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12-16-2012, 08:30 PM
  #477
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One thing people forget is how much the owners benefit from a CBA. If they're the ones who take all the risks, having a CBA is an enormous way to guarantee profits.

Let's compare pro athletes to other entertainers. Imagine if record companies got to draft Justin Bieber at 18 (or Michael Jackson, or the Beatles). The winning label gets to own the rights to all his work product exclusively until he is 27 years old, and the maximum he can earn is about 10 mil a year.

Lots of players are overpaid. But as a group they are the product the NHL is selling. One of the huge ironies of this current lockout is that since the cap came into play, it's really the players who want a free market system (or more of one) and the owners who want a completely controlled economy in terms of employment.

IMO the NHL had a bargaining victory from the outset. What they want is a crushing defeat of the union, and they're willing to shut down their product to get it, again and again and again. It's a ****ing **** way to run a business, in my opinion.

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12-16-2012, 08:38 PM
  #478
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Originally Posted by Roulin View Post
That offer was pulled off the table.
Because the players rejected it. They had a chance to end the lockout by accepting a deal that would not affect 95% of the union's constituents, and they decided they would prefer to hold out for something better. This is exactly what Fehr told them, "hold out a little longer and they will give up more".

The lockout could have ended in October, the players would actually have more money and a more favorable outlook going forward had they accepted what was on the table when a full season was still possible. They rejected that too, in favour of holding out for something better.

At some point, this ridiculous stalling strategy ends up being viewed as intentional holding out. While to me, is close enough to a strike.

It's not as if the players have been negotiating here. Let's be real. They tabled the same offer multiple times and it's ambiguous as to whether or not they've actually backed off from a de-linked system. Some say they still haven't.

Come on...5 days for a vote to possibly disclaim interest? The whole disclaiming interest thing is a stalling strategy in itself. The vote just adds another week to it.

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12-16-2012, 08:39 PM
  #479
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Originally Posted by Bullsmith View Post
One thing people forget is how much the owners benefit from a CBA. If they're the ones who take all the risks, having a CBA is an enormous way to guarantee profits.
That would be a valid statement if the franchises were all profitable.

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12-16-2012, 08:40 PM
  #480
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Originally Posted by Corky View Post
Back to a state of servitude? If the league grows, their salary grows. It's a partnership between owners and players. No one is getting exploited here.
Now that is really naive! All you have to do if look at the NHL's initial offer. Call it a wish list. Like every other pro sports league, they want to bust the union and dictate terms, not negotiate them.

The bizarre part is that Bettman managed to get these smart, ridiculously wealthy owners to sign on to a small minority vote required to keep him as biz czar.

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12-16-2012, 08:42 PM
  #481
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That would be a valid statement if the franchises were all profitable.
It doesn't guarantee profits against piss poor management, but the whole impetus of the NHL's CBA proposals have been to, as much as possible, reduce risk exposure for the league and for franchises. The whole argument is to get a deal that allows even terrible markets to break even, and to allow already profitable markets to increase profits dramatically.

The amount of actual financial risk taken by, say Jeffrey Loria compared to entrepreneurs in an actual competitive industry, as opposed to the monopoly situation that a major league sports franchise owns in it's own territory, is enormous. As you say, many franchises aren't profitable, and yet they survive and generally sell at a profit (or get saved by the league. Look at how the failure of the Expos in Montreal has resulted in huge profits and/or increased value for Loria, for John Henry and even for the current owners of the Nationals. Major league sports is simply not a typical free market business. Far from it.)

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12-16-2012, 08:44 PM
  #482
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Calling this a strike because the players didn't accept an offer that would leave them worse off than the previous CBA in every way is ridiculous to start with. The fact that the offer doesn't even exist anymore is just icing on the cake of ridiculousness.
Newsflash: Players will never get a better offer than what they had.

That's why there's a lockout.

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12-16-2012, 08:49 PM
  #483
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Originally Posted by HCH View Post
That would be a valid statement if the franchises were all profitable.
Yes, because it makes sense that 30 out of 30 franchises should be profitable in a competitive zero sum game where some some of the owners are inept

I have no sympathy for inept management in Columbus, NYI, and Nashville.

If you buy a house, and you fill it up with mould, you lose your investment, same idea.

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12-16-2012, 08:49 PM
  #484
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Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
Newsflash: Players will never get a better offer than what they had.

That's why there's a lockout.
Can you explain the logic you're using to come to this conclusion? As far as I can tell the owners offer has improved substantially over the course of the lockout. Why is it guaranteed that this offer was the best one? I heard the same thing said about earlier offers, but then "a better offer" did indeed come along.

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12-16-2012, 08:49 PM
  #485
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Originally Posted by waffledave View Post
Because the players rejected it. They had a chance to end the lockout by accepting a deal that would not affect 95% of the union's constituents, and they decided they would prefer to hold out for something better. This is exactly what Fehr told them, "hold out a little longer and they will give up more".

The lockout could have ended in October, the players would actually have more money and a more favorable outlook going forward had they accepted what was on the table when a full season was still possible. They rejected that too, in favour of holding out for something better.

At some point, this ridiculous stalling strategy ends up being viewed as intentional holding out. While to me, is close enough to a strike.

It's not as if the players have been negotiating here. Let's be real. They tabled the same offer multiple times and it's ambiguous as to whether or not they've actually backed off from a de-linked system. Some say they still haven't.

Come on...5 days for a vote to possibly disclaim interest? The whole disclaiming interest thing is a stalling strategy in itself. The vote just adds another week to it.
Actually, the BOG left the negotiating table, not the players. And there's nothing stopping the league from submitting a new offer during the next 5 days - nothing is being "stalled" by the DOI vote. Ever since the BOG locked out the players, there's no evidence the union has done any more "stalling" than the owners.

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12-16-2012, 08:50 PM
  #486
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Originally Posted by Bullsmith View Post
Can you explain the logic you're using to come to this conclusion? As far as I can tell the owners offer has improved substantially over the course of the lockout. Why is it guaranteed that this offer was the best one? I heard the same thing said about earlier offers, but then "a better offer" did indeed come along.
This is what happens when you don't negotiate in good faith.

There's no trust between the NHLPA and the NHL, and for that we can all agree that the owners are to blame.

Kriss E might actually be right -- but there's no way to know.

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12-16-2012, 08:52 PM
  #487
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Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
Newsflash: Players will never get a better offer than what they had.

That's why there's a lockout.
You're probably right, they won't. One more reason to decertify.

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12-16-2012, 08:53 PM
  #488
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
This is what happens when you don't negotiate in good faith.

There's no trust between the NHLPA and the NHL, and for that we can all agree that the owners are to blame.

Kriss E might actually be right -- but there's no way to know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullsmith View Post
Can you explain the logic you're using to come to this conclusion? As far as I can tell the owners offer has improved substantially over the course of the lockout. Why is it guaranteed that this offer was the best one? I heard the same thing said about earlier offers, but then "a better offer" did indeed come along.
We were speaking of the deal they signed in the previous CBA.
Why would the owners lockout to give more than what the players were getting? Makes no sense.

I'm not talking about the previous offers placed on the table during these negotiations. I'm talking about CBA 2005.

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12-16-2012, 08:54 PM
  #489
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Originally Posted by Roulin View Post
Actually, the BOG left the negotiating table, not the players. And there's nothing stopping the league from submitting a new offer during the next 5 days - nothing is being "stalled" by the DOI vote. Ever since the BOG locked out the players, there's no evidence the union has done any more "stalling" than the owners.
In fact it's the owners who have walked away from bargaining, on the basis of their offers being "take it or leave it". This has happened repeatedly now. The players have taken their own sweet time at times, but the owners have been pretty blatant about shutting down negotiations as a bargaining tactic. Honestly I interpret their strategy from the beginning to have been to start cancelling games before engaging in any serious bargaining. They didn't make their first offer a poison pill by accident.

Honestly, it is a lockout. The NHL managed to play hockey when player salaries were over 70% of revenues. It's the owners who decided to stop the games to grab more of the pie. It's their right, but it's also their fault. The players haven't given in, but they also haven't refused to honour their contracts and play. Only the owners are doing that.

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12-16-2012, 08:58 PM
  #490
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You're probably right, they won't. One more reason to decertify.
Decertify is just moronic. It favors only a minority of the league. The big stars will get all the cash, and the more average - bottom players will get paid less.
Right now, they play in a league where Brandon freaking Prust can get 10M guaranteed. Why would this guy want to decertify?

It could be good for Mtl as one of the richest teams, but to be honest, I don't want to go back to buying your way to the cup again.

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12-16-2012, 09:00 PM
  #491
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In fact it's the owners who have walked away from bargaining, on the basis of their offers being "take it or leave it". This has happened repeatedly now. The players have taken their own sweet time at times, but the owners have been pretty blatant about shutting down negotiations as a bargaining tactic. Honestly I interpret their strategy from the beginning to have been to start cancelling games before engaging in any serious bargaining. They didn't make their first offer a poison pill by accident.

Honestly, it is a lockout. The NHL managed to play hockey when player salaries were over 70% of revenues. It's the owners who decided to stop the games to grab more of the pie. It's their right, but it's also their fault. The players haven't given in, but they also haven't refused to honour their contracts and play. Only the owners are doing that.
Meanwhile the NHLPA refused to start discussing the CBA before when the NHL was ready.
People should really stop blaming one side more than the other.

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12-16-2012, 09:03 PM
  #492
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Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
Decertify is just moronic. It favors only a minority of the league. The big stars will get all the cash, and the more average - bottom players will get paid less.
Right now, they play in a league where Brandon freaking Prust can get 10M guaranteed. Why would this guy want to decertify?

It could be good for Mtl as one of the richest teams, but to be honest, I don't want to go back to buying your way to the cup again.
Why would Prust's salary drop?

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12-16-2012, 09:03 PM
  #493
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Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
Decertify is just moronic. It favors only a minority of the league. The big stars will get all the cash, and the more average - bottom players will get paid less.
Right now, they play in a league where Brandon freaking Prust can get 10M guaranteed. Why would this guy want to decertify?

It could be good for Mtl as one of the richest teams, but to be honest, I don't want to go back to buying your way to the cup again.
I don't buy this theory. If that was how management would distribute payroll in a post-CBA league, what was stopping them from doing so in a CBA league? There was nothing preventing Plekanec and Prust from being paid 7m and 500k respectively, versus 5m and 2.5m.

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12-16-2012, 09:04 PM
  #494
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Originally Posted by Bullsmith View Post
Can you explain the logic you're using to come to this conclusion? As far as I can tell the owners offer has improved substantially over the course of the lockout. Why is it guaranteed that this offer was the best one? I heard the same thing said about earlier offers, but then "a better offer" did indeed come along.
The offer has improved, but the improvements do not come close to compensating for the lost wages.

The best offer the players could have taken was the one in October that would have had them play 82 games.

I'm not sure they've realized this yet. The offers are getting worse, not better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roulin View Post
Actually, the BOG left the negotiating table, not the players. And there's nothing stopping the league from submitting a new offer during the next 5 days - nothing is being "stalled" by the DOI vote. Ever since the BOG locked out the players, there's no evidence the union has done any more "stalling" than the owners.
Every time the league gives in on one area, the union changes direction. The league gives in on make whole, the players now ask for pension changes. The league gives on pension changes, the players now ask for contract varience. It's a never ending stalling strategy, which has been the case from the moment the union started declining to meet and start negotiating.

Tabling the same offer multiple times isn't stalling?

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12-16-2012, 09:07 PM
  #495
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Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
We were speaking of the deal they signed in the previous CBA.
Why would the owners lockout to give more than what the players were getting? Makes no sense.

I'm not talking about the previous offers placed on the table during these negotiations. I'm talking about CBA 2005.
Sorry for the confusion. But even so, I really think major league sports operate in an incredibly sheltered business environment. The idea of being able to draft some 18 year old and OWN him for most of a decade is actually pretty radical. Especially in the entertainment industry, which is what pro sports is pretty much. The Studio system didn't die because it wasnt profitable, it died because the stars are what puts ***** in the seats. Sydney Crosby is worth a billion dollars to the Rangers as an 18 year old UFA.

I love pro sports. I want leagues to be viable and teams to be able to control talent so fans can look forward to a young player sticking around. But I think the NHL is overplaying it's hand. Odds are 99% the players will settle, but it if it ever does go to court, honestly, the pro sports leagues are the ones getting a huge economic advantage by the CBAs. Worst case scenario, they have more to lose by playing brinksmanship with a "right to work" situation (which US courts might just hand them).

Just my take, of course.

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12-16-2012, 09:10 PM
  #496
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Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
Decertify is just moronic. It favors only a minority of the league. The big stars will get all the cash, and the more average - bottom players will get paid less.
Right now, they play in a league where Brandon freaking Prust can get 10M guaranteed. Why would this guy want to decertify?

It could be good for Mtl as one of the richest teams, but to be honest, I don't want to go back to buying your way to the cup again.
Isn't this exactly what Fehr wants... free market with no CAP?

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12-16-2012, 09:15 PM
  #497
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Why would Prust's salary drop?
It might not drop. Or it might. Or he might play half a season and be released.

Do you honestly feel that under a decertified system, a guy like Prust would be more likely to walk away with $10 million guaranteed over 4 years?

As it stands right now, under a CBA, he is guaranteed this money no matter what.

In a decertified scenario, he is not. He has to hope he gets it, and play well enough that a team is willing to continue to employ him for this money.

Either way, in which case is he most likely to walk away with the most money in his pocket?

Quote:
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I don't buy this theory. If that was how management would distribute payroll in a post-CBA league, what was stopping them from doing so in a CBA league? There was nothing preventing Plekanec and Prust from being paid 7m and 500k respectively, versus 5m and 2.5m.
Like I said before, there were mechanisms in place that established the baseline salary range for different players. RFA status, guaranteed raises, qualifying offers, arbitration... Prust is also a poor example, he's a player with a very in-demand skillset that multiple teams were bidding for.

A better example is a guy like Darche.

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12-16-2012, 09:21 PM
  #498
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Why would Prust's salary drop?
Because owners don't necessarily have an unlimited amount of funds either.
Stars won't have to work around the cap and sign 15year deals that are front loaded in order to lower the cap hits.
They will likely sign shorter term deals and get 10-12-14+M per year.
So, owners will squeeze every bit of cash out of the bottom guys or more averaged ones, in order to reserve more cash to the top stars. Only logical unless you expect owners to be dishing out 100M+ in salary every year.

There's also the fact that there's a possibility whatever contract he's offered won't be guaranteed.

At the end of the day, explain how decertifying is actually beneficial to anybody other than the stars?

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12-16-2012, 09:24 PM
  #499
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In my view, Brandon Prust gets 2.5 million in a league where the average team spends ~60 million.

If that rose to ~75 million, he would get ~3.2 million.

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12-16-2012, 09:29 PM
  #500
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Like I said before, there were mechanisms in place that established the baseline salary range for different players. RFA status, guaranteed raises, qualifying offers, arbitration... Prust is also a poor example, he's a player with a very in-demand skillset that multiple teams were bidding for.

A better example is a guy like Darche.
I actually agree that a Darche might make less. That's changing the argument from claiming "the majority of players" would take a paycut to claiming a team's 13th forward would take the cut. IMO the best option for most players in Darche's position is Europe.

Looking at the Habs' current bottom 6 - Prust, Eller, Moen, White, Gomez, Armstrong - IMO those first four have an "in-demand skillset that multiple teams" would bid for on the open market. The Gomez that signed his big deal in 2007 would still be able to leverage a big time guaranteed contract. Armstrong, I'm not sure where he fits.

My point is, most players in the league actually do have "in-demand skillsets" of one kind or another.

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