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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, and NHL revenues.

Chipman ( Jets ) Why the lockout...

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01-10-2013, 12:47 PM
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cbcwpg
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Chipman ( Jets ) Why the lockout...

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/spo...186271721.html

FP: How did the lockout effect you emotionally?

MC: I kept my emotions in check. I didn't find it useful to ride the wave of ups and downs. Having a pretty good view of how it's going, the things I thought about were trying to keep our organization on course and remain optimistic. I also knew this thing was going to end and ultimately be favourable for our organization and team in Winnipeg."


FP: You were one of the guys in that boardroom that voted to enact the lockout. Why did you do that?

MC: The business of hockey in its existing configuration wasn't working and there was all kinds of evidence that pointed to that. Some more obvious than others. The fact there were a number of teams not capable of breaking even in the system, not withstanding revenue sharing, was a problem. We had studied the league very carefully leading up to buying the team. I came to the conclusion the lockout in 2004-05 created a significant correction in the model but hadn't gone all the way. There were still big holes and they needed to be filled or the operation of a 30-team league was going to be fiction. Understanding the league still had a ways to go to fix itself, it was an easy decision to make. You separate the emotion. The CBA had expired and we needed a new one and it needed meaningful change.


FP: Is the NHL fixed now?

MC: That remains to be seen. It certainly is a lot closer. Is it optimal? I'm not sure yet. Let me put it to you this way, if this doesn't work by the time the deal expires, I'm not sure what the next step would be. This ought to give all the teams in the league a chance to be viable.


FP: There is a story of you telling the players during negotiations that whatever gains were made by ownership in the new CBA, will be poured back into the Jets organization in an effort to make the team a championship contender. Does the new CBA give you a better chance to be competitive?

MC: I think so. There is some short-term pain in this deal that wasn't anticipated, maybe this year and next. But the playing field is going to be more level in the short term and in the long term far more level. That's what this is about for us, the chance to be able to compete with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers and Boston Bruins and all of those great and well-established organizations."

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01-10-2013, 12:53 PM
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GuelphStormer
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imagine that ... a smart guy running an nhl franchise. he won't last.

thnx for posting this

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01-10-2013, 01:00 PM
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My favorite parts of that interview:

Quote:
FP: The Pittsburgh Penguins, for one, have apologized to their fans. Do you have words for yours?

MC: Obviously, I'm very sorry we were unable to start the season on time. We all have to share in the responsibility for this. I don't expect everybody to understand why we took the position we did. I don't regret having taken the position but I apologize for it having angered people. Having said that, I've been taken by the amount of support we've had in our community. The support we've received in Winnipeg has been unique in particular to what some of the teams down East have experienced.

FP: How did you feel when you were invited by commissioner Gary Bettman to get involved in negotiations?

MC: Humbled. Curious as to why. It was more a reflection of how the league views our organization and our community. The league was really taken by how Winnipeg supported the NHL. Our market, our city and our organization is looked upon as something that matters. They are happy they are back in Winnipeg.

FP: What was it like sitting across the table from Ron Hainsey, one of your players?

MC: It was fine. I have a good relationship with Ron. I would say this -- I admire how much time and energy he invested in this process. He was there in the beginning and right to the end. I've told him this, I give him full credit for showing the courage of his convictions and I'm looking forward to talking to him again. Dealing with the players was a good experience.

FP: Will you try to speak with Ron and Andrew Ladd in an effort to get things back on course in terms of what is best for the Winnipeg Jets?

MC: For sure. It was a highly energized subject at times. They developed their own point of view. We saw it differently. But you can agree to disagree without making enemies. That's part of everyday life. There's no animosity. Laddy, to his credit, stood up in difficult circumstances as the captain of our team and spoke up and did well. If I ever took exception to what he said, it would have been far outweighed by the fact he had the courage to say what he believed in.

FP: If revenue grows at a rate of five per cent each year over the next 10, the salary cap could be $80 million. Does that number scare you?

MC: No. I have to believe the economy will grow at the same clip. I was heartened to see in your paper last week the city of Winnipeg is expected to have the fourth most buoyant growth rate in the country. The province is really well positioned and has been for several years. We're a very viable NHL market now.

FP: Why didn't the Jets lay any employees off?

MC: I didn't think it was the right thing to do. Bear in mind this is a group of people who made extraordinary, crazy efforts in the purchase of the team. We had to move a franchise from Atlanta, another to St. John's and then we had to get the season up and running and then get through the season. To then turnaround and say, 'Geez, thanks, but we're cutting you back,' just didn't seem right. Secondly, we're a brand new organization and there was lots of catch-up to do. Lastly, I knew this was going to end and it wasn't going to be that easy to fire up the engines. I knew it was going to be a lot harder if we had to call people back to work, who may or may not come back. I don't think it should be viewed as an overly altruistic action. It was just the right thing to do. If the season had been cancelled, we would have re-visited it. But the people we have, you just don't replace. It would have been difficult on a number of levels to lay people off.

FP: What do you say to people that call you greedy?

MC: They don't know me, they don't know my partner, they don't know our organization.

FP: Is the honeymoon over between Winnipeg and the Jets?

MC: I don't think so. I think our building is going to be right amped up. Maybe some people won't be quite so energized. But I honestly think the people that are truly invested in our game, truly invested with their hard work and their hard-earned money, understand what our perspective was in this process. I know they were disappointed in not being able to watch hockey, as I was, but having lost a team due to a business model that was completely unsustainable back in the day and having gone through all the emotions that losing a team included, I think our fans are smart and they understand the game and business of the game. What we were doing equated to making this that much more sustainable long term and better for all of us.

FP: Now, when you look into your crystal ball, do you see the Jets in Winnipeg in 20 years?

MC: Absolutely. And beyond. Having a seat at the table in the National Hockey League is a privilege for me and our community and we'll fiercely protect it. Not only do I see us being in the league, what we see when we look into the crystal ball now is the way to win championships. That's what I hope will be the legacy in 20 years. That we'll have challenged and succeeded in winning the Stanley Cup.

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01-10-2013, 01:04 PM
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The Leafs, Bruins and Rangers have a grand total of two Stanley Cups in the last 40 years.

When NHL owners talk about "competing" with the big money franchises, they aren't talking about winning. They are only talking about making profits.

Selling lock-outs to the fans as being about "competitive balance" is complete garbage. It is about money and only money. Given his response to the "Is the NHL fixed now?" question, he and the other "small market" owners are already looking towards the next lockout.

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01-10-2013, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilky01 View Post
The Leafs, Bruins and Rangers have a grand total of two Stanley Cups in the last 40 years.

When NHL owners talk about "competing" with the big money franchises, they aren't talking about winning. They are only talking about making profits.

Selling lock-outs to the fans as being about "competitive balance" is complete garbage. It is about money and only money. Given his response to the "Is the NHL fixed now?" question, he and the other "small market" owners are already looking towards the next lockout.
Thanks for reading the whole interview. I congratulate you on coming in here without any bias and being able to make a spot-on accurate assessment of Mr. Chipman's character and intent after much deep thought.

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01-10-2013, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilky01 View Post
The Leafs, Bruins and Rangers have a grand total of two Stanley Cups in the last 40 years.

When NHL owners talk about "competing" with the big money franchises, they aren't talking about winning. They are only talking about making profits.

Selling lock-outs to the fans as being about "competitive balance" is complete garbage. It is about money and only money. Given his response to the "Is the NHL fixed now?" question, he and the other "small market" owners are already looking towards the next lockout.
He should have of named the Canadiens, he could not go wrong with them, I mean the most rewarded team in NHL history, how to not name them oh god why has he done.

He's one of the very few if not the only team that did take care of his employees (others than the players). Big respect for him and all this makes me believe there are good guys in NHL ownership, wish only there were more of Chipman kind around.

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01-10-2013, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilky01 View Post
The Leafs, Bruins and Rangers have a grand total of two Stanley Cups in the last 40 years.

When NHL owners talk about "competing" with the big money franchises, they aren't talking about winning. They are only talking about making profits.

Selling lock-outs to the fans as being about "competitive balance" is complete garbage. It is about money and only money. Given his response to the "Is the NHL fixed now?" question, he and the other "small market" owners are already looking towards the next lockout.
Of course it's about the money and competing on a monetary level. The point is that if a team can at least compete on the spreadsheet, then with good staff ( GM, coaches, etc ) they will compete and win on the ice. A 30 team league where the elite players can only play for 5 or 6 teams is not worth watching IMO.

People in Winnipeg aren't naive... we know how we got back in the league. If it wasn't for the '05 lockout TNSE wouldn't have even thought about buying a team, and it's because of this last lockout , that we will be able to keep it. If missing 4 months of hockey allows us to keep our team forever, than you will find most fans in Winnipeg have no issues with the lockout.

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01-10-2013, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilky01 View Post
The Leafs, Bruins and Rangers have a grand total of two Stanley Cups in the last 40 years.

When NHL owners talk about "competing" with the big money franchises, they aren't talking about winning. They are only talking about making profits.

Selling lock-outs to the fans as being about "competitive balance" is complete garbage. It is about money and only money. Given his response to the "Is the NHL fixed now?" question, he and the other "small market" owners are already looking towards the next lockout.
Of course it's about "making money", silly, or at least not losing money or barely breaking even. But yes, there is the part of having to spend more money than your franchise can afford in order to be or stay competitive on ice. But the bottom line is the money, for any franchise or business to have a chance to be at least minimally profitable while at the same time being competitive. Chipman talks about a League of 30-teams all having the opportunity to do that.

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01-10-2013, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilky01 View Post
...Given his response to the "Is the NHL fixed now?" question, he and the other "small market" owners are already looking towards the next lockout.
Yes I agree, and I appreciate his candour actually. Telegraphed to one & all that its beyond probable that more market corrections & adjustments will need to be made. Just how the NHL goes about it in the future is anyones guess, but if history is in anyway indicative..... not good. Hopefully, the league & the NHLPA gets it together over the life of this CBA, and whatever corrections & tweaks do need to be made wont require another Lockout or perhaps Strike. Hard to imagine though, or even be optimistic. Not when you have the soaring heights of disparity from top to bottom that exist in the league.

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01-10-2013, 01:35 PM
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Great interview. Sounds like Winnipeg has a really solid guy in their corner.

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01-10-2013, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
FP: Do you support Gary Bettman as the commissioner of the NHL?

MC: Very, very much so. There wouldn't be a team in Winnipeg but for Gary and I owe him for that and I always will. I also admire how he handled this very difficult negotiation.
Just throwing this out there.

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01-10-2013, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilky01 View Post
The Leafs, Bruins and Rangers have a grand total of two Stanley Cups in the last 40 years.

When NHL owners talk about "competing" with the big money franchises, they aren't talking about winning. They are only talking about making profits.

Selling lock-outs to the fans as being about "competitive balance" is complete garbage. It is about money and only money. Given his response to the "Is the NHL fixed now?" question, he and the other "small market" owners are already looking towards the next lockout.
Nice speculation there. Nothing like trying to push your own beliefs with nothing to back them up. He gave an honest answer. May of us questioned the same thing, and came up with the same answer - simply we don't know. You can't say it will or won't with 100% certainty. Will they ask for changes, yes. Does that mean it's 100% broken and doesn't work, no. But until you see what happens, you can't say with 100% certainty that it will not work.

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01-10-2013, 01:45 PM
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Mungman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbcwpg View Post
Of course it's about the money and competing on a monetary level. The point is that if a team can at least compete on the spreadsheet, then with good staff ( GM, coaches, etc ) they will compete and win on the ice. A 30 team league where the elite players can only play for 5 or 6 teams is not worth watching IMO.

People in Winnipeg aren't naive... we know how we got back in the league. If it wasn't for the '05 lockout TNSE wouldn't have even thought about buying a team, and it's because of this last lockout , that we will be able to keep it. If missing 4 months of hockey allows us to keep our team forever, than you will find most fans in Winnipeg have no issues with the lockout.
Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner! How some Jet's fans could have come down on Don Fehr's side from day one boggled my mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Yes I agree, and I appreciate his candour actually. Telegraphed to one & all that its beyond probable that more market corrections & adjustments will need to be made. Just how the NHL goes about it in the future is anyones guess, but if history is in anyway indicative..... not good. Hopefully, the league & the NHLPA gets it together over the life of this CBA, and whatever corrections & tweaks do need to be made wont require another Lockout or perhaps Strike. Hard to imagine though, or even be optimistic. Not when you have the soaring heights of disparity from top to bottom that exist in the league.
Well, IMO that doesn't even need telegraphing or stating, the industry (sports in general) and general economic conditions at the end of this CBA are unknown and unknowable. There would have to be adjustments in the successor agreement no matter what.

Will it be as confrontational as this go-round? I dunno, if the conditions are vastly different than today probably. If they don't change by much and there aren't the glaring loopholes that existed in the predecessor CBA, possibly not. One thing I'd like the NHL to change is the number of votes required on the BoG in the CBA process, the super-majority they have at the moment allows a few hard-***** to hijack the process. Maybe make it closer to a simple majority.


Last edited by Mungman: 01-10-2013 at 01:51 PM.
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01-10-2013, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilky01 View Post
The Leafs, Bruins and Rangers have a grand total of two Stanley Cups in the last 40 years.

When NHL owners talk about "competing" with the big money franchises, they aren't talking about winning. They are only talking about making profits.

Selling lock-outs to the fans as being about "competitive balance" is complete garbage. It is about money and only money. Given his response to the "Is the NHL fixed now?" question, he and the other "small market" owners are already looking towards the next lockout.
Not a business person I can see. Show me a business person who isn't constantly evaluating, adjusting, re-evaluating and re-adjusting their business plan and I'll show you someone who isn't going to be in business very long.

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01-10-2013, 02:14 PM
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http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/spo...186334842.html

Quote:
Winnipeg Jets governor Mark Chipman says the new NHL contract should make his team more profitable.

The Jets did better than just break even in their first season after relocating from Atlanta to Winnipeg.

Chipman said Thursday that should get even better under the new agreement once a true fifty-fifty revenue split is in place.
Another article reinforcing some of the effects of the CBA on the franchises.

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