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CHL Class Action Part 2.5

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Old
02-22-2016, 03:25 PM
  #26
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players deserve to be fairly compensated for their work....

and if that means teams like Flint get flushed down the toilet, then all the better.
But what is fair is it $9100 plus player pay there own room and board or is it higher as some think it should be.

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02-22-2016, 10:12 PM
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Right now, the class action suit is attempting to establish what is legal, not what is fair. If the class actions are not successful, the leagues will retain the right to provide players with as much or as little as they want. Keep in mind that for many years players generally received $25 per week with no future post secondary education funding. The players did not ask for this education funding. The leagues instituted it as one way to attract players who were leaning in the NCAA direction. The point is simply that the leagues historically and currently exercise the right to arbitrarily determine what players get. They do not have to provide room and board or education funding. They choose to.

If the class actions are successful, the players will be deemed employees, and as such will need to be compensated at a rate no lower than the statutory minimum required by law, which varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

But at the same time, if the players are deemed employees by the court, the leagues will find it difficult to arbitrarily set the terms and conditions of employment for all of the players. Since the teams are all separate employers, anti-trust legislation would come into play. In essence, 20 separate employers cannot legally act in concert to fix wages. Just as McDonald's cannot decide the wages paid to Burger King employees, the league would not be able to dictate to each club what salary structure they must impose and follow. To do so would be illegal and an anti-competitive practice.

Players and teams would negotiate terms of employment individually. The only legal way to collectively set wages for approximately 1500 workers with 60 separate employers is through a collectively bargained agreement.

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02-23-2016, 06:22 AM
  #28
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Right now, the class action suit is attempting to establish what is legal, not what is fair. If the class actions are not successful, the leagues will retain the right to provide players with as much or as little as they want. Keep in mind that for many years players generally received $25 per week with no future post secondary education funding. The players did not ask for this education funding. The leagues instituted it as one way to attract players who were leaning in the NCAA direction. The point is simply that the leagues historically and currently exercise the right to arbitrarily determine what players get. They do not have to provide room and board or education funding. They choose to.

If the class actions are successful, the players will be deemed employees, and as such will need to be compensated at a rate no lower than the statutory minimum required by law, which varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

But at the same time, if the players are deemed employees by the court, the leagues will find it difficult to arbitrarily set the terms and conditions of employment for all of the players. Since the teams are all separate employers, anti-trust legislation would come into play. In essence, 20 separate employers cannot legally act in concert to fix wages. Just as McDonald's cannot decide the wages paid to Burger King employees, the league would not be able to dictate to each club what salary structure they must impose and follow. To do so would be illegal and an anti-competitive practice.

Players and teams would negotiate terms of employment individually. The only legal way to collectively set wages for approximately 1500 workers with 60 separate employers is through a collectively bargained agreement.
The funny thins is if the courts say yes a fair salary would be $9100 that would be a massive blow to this idea players should get paid extra for everything so while the league's might not say it they likely are praying the courts set the salary at $9100 while players atleast some would not be happy.

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02-23-2016, 06:43 AM
  #29
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Are 17-year-olds intelligent enough to collectively bargain? In some jurisdictions you're considered a juvenile and would require an adult's signature as guardian for it to be legal.

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02-23-2016, 06:50 AM
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Are 17-year-olds intelligent enough to collectively bargain? In some jurisdictions you're considered a juvenile and would require an adult's signature as guardian for it to be legal.
That is a very good point another thing in Ontario you have to be 16 to work full time.

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02-23-2016, 08:33 AM
  #31
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Players and teams would negotiate terms of employment individually. The only legal way to collectively set wages for approximately 1500 workers with 60 separate employers is through a collectively bargained agreement.
And in the blink of an eye, UNIFOR or some other union will be standing there with their hands out. Working, of course, for the good of the players. At a small fee per player per month, which will also be passed along to the fans I suppose.

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02-23-2016, 08:37 AM
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And in the blink of an eye, UNIFOR or some other union will be standing there with their hands out. Working, of course, for the good of the players. At a small fee per player per month, which will also be passed along to the fans I suppose.
I just can see many player not being happy with a true salary comes other things players will not like maybe a longer schedule or maybe the Nhl draft age is increased.

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02-23-2016, 09:33 AM
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And in the blink of an eye, UNIFOR or some other union will be standing there with their hands out. Working, of course, for the good of the players. At a small fee per player per month, which will also be passed along to the fans I suppose.
Yes, unions don't work for free. Are you thinking they should?

No one else involved in junior hockey is working for free (although the players themselves are grossly undercompensated).

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02-23-2016, 09:34 AM
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Yes, unions don't work for free. Are you thinking they should?

No one else involved in junior hockey is working for free (although the players themselves are grossly undercompensated).
I know people love to say that but do any staff get free room and board no do any arena workers get room and board again no.

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02-23-2016, 10:06 AM
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I know people love to say that but do any staff get free room and board no do any arena workers get room and board again no.
I don't think the arena workers and staff are minors who are leaving home and moving to a new city to work. The organization also doesn't exercise the same off ice control over staff and arena workers that it does over the players.

The situations are not at all comparable if you actually think about it.

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02-23-2016, 10:11 AM
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I don't think the arena workers and staff are minors who are leaving home and moving to a new city to work. The organization also doesn't exercise the same off ice control over staff and arena workers that it does over the players.

The situations are not at all comparable if you actually think about it.
I think people in part have this idea its going to be a major cash cow for the players if they get the $9100 then there going to be told you have to pay for your own room and board and by the way minors are really anyone under 16.

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02-23-2016, 10:23 AM
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I think people in part have this idea its going to be a major cash cow for the players if they get the $9100 then there going to be told you have to pay for your own room and board and by the way minors are really anyone under 16.
In Ontario, the age of majority is 18.

I don't think anyone thinks it's going to be a "major cash cow" for players. You're aware that minimum wage isn't a lot?

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02-23-2016, 11:41 AM
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In Ontario, the age of majority is 18.

I don't think anyone thinks it's going to be a "major cash cow" for players. You're aware that minimum wage isn't a lot?
No, it's not. But minimum wage plus room and board, plus all the other perks, plus offseason training allowance, plus schooling works out to a LOT more than minimum wage.

Unless the next proposal includes eliminating scholarships... which helps no one.

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02-23-2016, 12:55 PM
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No, it's not. But minimum wage plus room and board, plus all the other perks, plus offseason training allowance, plus schooling works out to a LOT more than minimum wage.

Unless the next proposal includes eliminating scholarships... which helps no one.
I respect your opinion. I'd imagine that the CHL, the 3 leagues, and the member clubs will put forward a similar defence in court.

All of the parties should have a strong interest in the establishment of legal clarity on the issues before the courts. Moving forward, everyone is best served by knowing what is and is not legally permissible. Whether I'm a player, a player agent, a general manager, a team president, ownership, Board chair, one of the leagues or the entire CHL, I don't like legal uncertainty. If I'm following the law, I want the courts to confirm this. If I'm breaking the law, I also want the courts to confirm this and provide a pathway to compliance. In any sphere of employment law, everyone wants clarity.

Junior hockey in North America has had many periods of change over the last 75 years and today's setup is much different from the sponsorship years, the unsanctioned years, the years before the annual midget priority selection, or the "everyone gets a shot at the Memorial Cup" years when the OHA governed things. It has survived and thrived across the country both because of these changes and in spite of them.

I know you are a Kitchener fan, CG, so surely you remember the club's sponsorship days under NY's control, the Guelph situation and Eugene George's acquisition of the club for $1 in the late 60's. So different from today's setup, no doubt. But junior hockey has always been adaptable -- sometimes to self-imposed changes and sometimes to changes beyond its control.

These class action suits are not much different from John Tonelli's dispute with the Toronto Marlboros in 74. Tonelli wanted to play in the WHA, the Marlboros said they owned him and he could not. A judge ruled, which gave everyone legal clarity moving forward.

Regardless of which side of the issue people are on, junior hockey is not about to end because of the final disposition in these suits. If the end of sponsorship didn't kill it, nothing short of a nuclear warhead will.

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02-23-2016, 01:21 PM
  #40
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Regardless of which side of the issue people are on, junior hockey is not about to end because of the final disposition in these suits. If the end of sponsorship didn't kill it, nothing short of a nuclear warhead will.
I don't think it will end either, but it will look very, very different depending on how this plays out. Chances are likely that we could see an 8 team OHL, or perhaps a 20 team league, but it will be national, not regional. Small markets need not apply, thank you very much.

At that point, they will all truly be professional hockey players who probably have tutors so that they can graduate high school. Will the hockey be better? Probably. Will the league be better? Questionable. Personally, I prefer having communities invested in their junior hockey teams, and I think losing that will be inevitable, but a damn shame.

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02-23-2016, 01:33 PM
  #41
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One thing i hope the player understand is if they get the back pay for 4 years a large chunk of that will go to taxes.
You do know that Washington state doesn't have personal income tax, right?

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02-23-2016, 07:03 PM
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I don't think it will end either, but it will look very, very different depending on how this plays out. Chances are likely that we could see an 8 team OHL, or perhaps a 20 team league, but it will be national, not regional. Small markets need not apply, thank you very much.

At that point, they will all truly be professional hockey players who probably have tutors so that they can graduate high school. Will the hockey be better? Probably. Will the league be better? Questionable. Personally, I prefer having communities invested in their junior hockey teams, and I think losing that will be inevitable, but a damn shame.
Possibly, but the introduction of the education package, which currently costs each CHL franchise an average of approximately $90,000 per year, has not (to the best of my knowledge) been cited as a reason for any teams relocating or ceasing operations over the last decade.

My sense is that over the last decade there have been just as many "large market" clubs relocate to "small markets" than the reverse. Yes, small market Belleville moved to large market Hamilton, but we've also seen large market Brampton move to small market North Bay, large market Mississauga move to smallish market St. Catharines, and even Owen Sound (very small market) moved there from medium-sized market Guelph. St. Mike's Majors played in the largest market in Canada, though their eventual move to Mississauga is probably best viewed as being lateral. Over the years teams in huge markets (even Detroit) have moved to much smaller markets (Plymouth and now Flint).

More recently, the issue seems to be the arena and control over the revenues created from it. The ostensible reason for the Bulls move to Hamilton was the Belleville facility was not seen to be capable of generating enough revenue. Nilsen's move of Plymouth to Flint was approved in part because he owned and upgraded the Dort to what people called "OHL standards." Despite the fact that cities like Chatham and Brantford have existing arenas able to seat over 2,500 people, neither is seen as a viable relocation target unless a state of the art facility like the Meridian Centre is constructed. We all know that the Peterborough Petes, a community-owned team, are struggling financially. The biggest issue? The old Memorial Centre and control of it. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the Petes would immediately leave the "death watch list" if news broke tomorrow of a new 5000 seat facility with most revenues controlled by the team.

The OHL became big business a long time ago, and these days it seems as though the "big market vs small market" debate has been uttetly replaced by the "cash cow arena vs old local barn" debate.

Would teams operating out of state of the art facilities generating revenue the teams control fold over an extra $227,000 in yearly costs for player salaries? I don't see it, not at all.

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02-24-2016, 08:12 AM
  #43
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Possibly, but the introduction of the education package, which currently costs each CHL franchise an average of approximately $90,000 per year, has not (to the best of my knowledge) been cited as a reason for any teams relocating or ceasing operations over the last decade.

My sense is that over the last decade there have been just as many "large market" clubs relocate to "small markets" than the reverse. Yes, small market Belleville moved to large market Hamilton, but we've also seen large market Brampton move to small market North Bay, large market Mississauga move to smallish market St. Catharines, and even Owen Sound (very small market) moved there from medium-sized market Guelph. St. Mike's Majors played in the largest market in Canada, though their eventual move to Mississauga is probably best viewed as being lateral. Over the years teams in huge markets (even Detroit) have moved to much smaller markets (Plymouth and now Flint).

More recently, the issue seems to be the arena and control over the revenues created from it. The ostensible reason for the Bulls move to Hamilton was the Belleville facility was not seen to be capable of generating enough revenue. Nilsen's move of Plymouth to Flint was approved in part because he owned and upgraded the Dort to what people called "OHL standards." Despite the fact that cities like Chatham and Brantford have existing arenas able to seat over 2,500 people, neither is seen as a viable relocation target unless a state of the art facility like the Meridian Centre is constructed. We all know that the Peterborough Petes, a community-owned team, are struggling financially. The biggest issue? The old Memorial Centre and control of it. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the Petes would immediately leave the "death watch list" if news broke tomorrow of a new 5000 seat facility with most revenues controlled by the team.

The OHL became big business a long time ago, and these days it seems as though the "big market vs small market" debate has been uttetly replaced by the "cash cow arena vs old local barn" debate.

Would teams operating out of state of the art facilities generating revenue the teams control fold over an extra $227,000 in yearly costs for player salaries? I don't see it, not at all.
Your relocation comments are a little off base. Yes, Toronto is a large market but not where the OHL is concerned. The city couldn't give a damn about the OHL, other than during the World Juniors. Detroit cared even less. Brampton and Mississauga together didn't have the attendance of a Guelph, for example. St. Mikes is a high school arena and had an average OHL attendance of about 1100 on a good year.

Teams that are struggling financially or breaking even will have a difficult time finding an "extra" $230,000 on top of scholarships and all the other expenses they have. The Londons and Vancouvers of the world obviously won't, but I suspect that any team averaging less than about 5,000 in attendance may find they can no longer exist. That leaves 11 teams (6 in the WHL, 3 in the OHL, and 2 in the Q, based on 13-14 attendance figures).

There is also a finite amount of money that fans can or will spend to watch the OHL. Ticket prices have increased substantially in the last decade (in Ontario, partly due to the inclusion of harmonized sales tax). Adding another $2-$4 per ticket may be the final straw for a number of fans. Compared to NHL pricing, the CHL is still a very good value. But we're generally talking about two very different economic groups.

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02-24-2016, 09:48 AM
  #44
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Teams that are struggling financially or breaking even will have a difficult time finding an "extra" $230,000 on top of scholarships and all the other expenses they have.
While the teams would be on the hook for the scholarship packages already in the pipeline, it is important to remember that the entire program is an invention by the leagues and they are under no obligation whatsoever to provide it. In other words, the players didn't ask for it and the teams can end it just as easily as they started it.

Further, there is no obligation on the leagues or teams to provide billet hosts to players. They can discontinue the practice just as easily as they started it. Or, at their sole discretion they can offer players a minimum wage salary with nothing else, or a partial salary with billets, or some other truncated model. The only legal obligation they will have if the players are deemed employees by the courts is to comply with applicable employment legislation and regulations.

As you point out, minimum wage is likely less than the in kind value of the other things teams arbitrarily decided to provide.

They do have a choice, provided they meet the statutory minimum.

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02-25-2016, 09:57 PM
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I realize this is a bit "meta" for the purposes of this thread - but isn't the answer to a lot of the complaints ITT revenue sharing amongst these teams. Btw, I appreciate the 1 000 reasons that the haves don't want to share with the have-nots.

In any event, from both a legal and intellectual sense, I find the lawsuits fascinating. From a strictly legal evaluation (without reference to the consequences)...I keep coming back to the players qualifying as employees. It's difficult to see them not - but who knows, it's a really grey area.

What's more interesting to me is how this all gets resolved.

None of these claims have gone through a certification proceeding. I'm assuming the potential outcome of all of them will heavily depend on whether any of them get certified. but we'll see...

Bruce Badger you were commenting on the issue of 'in kind' compensation. How does that work when it comes to billets? i.e. you'll get players staying with billets where the weekly compensation (to the billet) is as low as $75 (+tickets to the team's game)...in fact, for a number of teams, the billets end up out $ b/c they're paying to feed a hockey-playing teenager...and the $ the team gives them is far lower then they end up paying to house the kid (not to mention increased internet fees, etc).

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02-25-2016, 10:58 PM
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Television Deal

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Your relocation comments are a little off base. Yes, Toronto is a large market but not where the OHL is concerned. The city couldn't give a damn about the OHL, other than during the World Juniors. Detroit cared even less. Brampton and Mississauga together didn't have the attendance of a Guelph, for example. St. Mikes is a high school arena and had an average OHL attendance of about 1100 on a good year.

Teams that are struggling financially or breaking even will have a difficult time finding an "extra" $230,000 on top of scholarships and all the other expenses they have. The Londons and Vancouvers of the world obviously won't, but I suspect that any team averaging less than about 5,000 in attendance may find they can no longer exist. That leaves 11 teams (6 in the WHL, 3 in the OHL, and 2 in the Q, based on 13-14 attendance figures).

There is also a finite amount of money that fans can or will spend to watch the OHL. Ticket prices have increased substantially in the last decade (in Ontario, partly due to the inclusion of harmonized sales tax). Adding another $2-$4 per ticket may be the final straw for a number of fans. Compared to NHL pricing, the CHL is still a very good value. But we're generally talking about two very different economic groups.
The CHL has drifted from a gate driven revenue model to a television driven model, evidenced by the 12 season TV deal that was signed prior to the 2014-15 season.

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh...193415230.html

Through in the sponsorship deals starting with the Memorial Cup, down to local arrangements, the licensing arrangements for apparel down to trinkets and it is easy to see that any cost increases will be applied against non-gate driven revenues.

Key is the bonus revenue generated by being able to telecast the games from a small venue with a TV friendly old arena like Victoriaville into an NHL market or potential NHL when the home team visits, Boisbriand in the greater Montréal area, new small arena 3,100 capacity in a six pad hockey complex, Quebecor owns 70%. Interest is not at the gate which is a bonus. What matter is media content for the Quebecor empire. TVA and Vidéotron being prime considérations.

http://www.quebecor.com/en/content/l...-north-america

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02-25-2016, 11:22 PM
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The CHL has drifted from a gate driven revenue model to a television driven model, evidenced by the 12 season TV deal that was signed prior to the 2014-15 season.

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh...193415230.html
There are no hard numbers reported there in that piece, were talking "millions" but it could be single digit. 39 Games, going to 50 + the Memorial Cup.... who's ratings arent exactly stellar.... This is a Gate & Sponsorship Driven League. I really think your putting the Cart before the Horse with your suggestion that the CHL has evolved... transcended the pedestrian avenues of its dollar flows with some magical elixir of a non-existent & beyond lucrative television deal.... Where was TSN through all of this?.. No bidding war for so supposedly a valuable property. No... This is more smoke from Rogers who need to justify & alibi their HUGE mistake in payingwhat they are to the NHL... and... losing their thread as a result... Their goin down. Full count.... Drunken sailors on shore-leave.

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02-26-2016, 01:43 AM
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Perhaps

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There are no hard numbers reported there in that piece, were talking "millions" but it could be single digit. 39 Games, going to 50 + the Memorial Cup.... who's ratings arent exactly stellar.... This is a Gate & Sponsorship Driven League. I really think your putting the Cart before the Horse with your suggestion that the CHL has evolved... transcended the pedestrian avenues of its dollar flows with some magical elixir of a non-existent & beyond lucrative television deal.... Where was TSN through all of this?.. No bidding war for so supposedly a valuable property. No... This is more smoke from Rogers who need to justify & alibi their HUGE mistake in payingwhat they are to the NHL... and... losing their thread as a result... Their goin down. Full count.... Drunken sailors on shore-leave.
Perhaps. If your scenario materializes, trust you noticed who is in position to step-up - the owner of TVA happens to be ......... Quebecor.

TSN getting into a bidding war? Minority owner ESPN has been bleeding badly since app 2012-2013. Combined estimated $3Billion shortfall in revenues and fees.

http://awfulannouncing.com/2015/espn...ased-fees.html

Granted that in the overall scheme of things the CHL is a grain of sand on the beach but it is reliable, manageable, relatively cheap content, easy to bundle throughout Canada. Keeps the channel from being switched.

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02-26-2016, 06:38 AM
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I realize this is a bit "meta" for the purposes of this thread - but isn't the answer to a lot of the complaints ITT revenue sharing amongst these teams. Btw, I appreciate the 1 000 reasons that the haves don't want to share with the have-nots.

In any event, from both a legal and intellectual sense, I find the lawsuits fascinating. From a strictly legal evaluation (without reference to the consequences)...I keep coming back to the players qualifying as employees. It's difficult to see them not - but who knows, it's a really grey area.

What's more interesting to me is how this all gets resolved.

None of these claims have gone through a certification proceeding. I'm assuming the potential outcome of all of them will heavily depend on whether any of them get certified. but we'll see...

Bruce Badger you were commenting on the issue of 'in kind' compensation. How does that work when it comes to billets? i.e. you'll get players staying with billets where the weekly compensation (to the billet) is as low as $75 (+tickets to the team's game)...in fact, for a number of teams, the billets end up out $ b/c they're paying to feed a hockey-playing teenager...and the $ the team gives them is far lower then they end up paying to house the kid (not to mention increased internet fees, etc).
Let's deal first with your bolded question concerning "in kind" compensation (eg, billets).

The "in kind" portion of an employee's wages in relation to room and board is controlled by provincial statute. If the players are deemed by the courts to be employees, the maximum weekly amount that can be deducted from an employee's wages for room and board is $75-100, depending on the jurisdiction. There are no minimums -- the amount could be just $1.

Broadly speaking, these statutory limits exist to protect vulnerable classes of workers from exploitation. Think of seasonal agricultural workers or live-in caregivers. One can easily see the potential for abuse -- hire a live-in personal support worker/registered nurse to look after your ailing parents for $1000 per week but then deduct $900 for room and board. Obviously, in situations such as this, we can see that the statutory limits on room and board wage deductions exist for very good reasons. Without them, many vulnerable class workers would toil full time simply to keep roofs over their heads and food in their bellies.
Employment standards regulations throughout the western world are intended to prevent this. The underlying principle is that employees work primatily for wages, not wage surrogates (eg, food and shelter).

If the actual cost of providing room and board exceeds the abovementioned statutory maximums, that's the employer's issue, not the worker's. If CHL teams arbitrarily decided that all players had to reside and eat at the Ritz-Carlton and the cost would be deducted from their wages, players would be writing cheques to their teams every week. Thus, the $75-$100 maximums come into play. Don't quote me on this, but my general sense is that CHL teams tend to provide billet hosts a monthly payment that closely mirrors the statutory maximum deduction allowed from workers' wages. This could be a coincidence ...or not.

The next well known "in kind" surrogate for direct wages is the post-secondary education funding, which is funded by individual teams but administered centrally.

From an employment legislation perspective, the education funding initiative is much more difficult to decipher. A very small number of CHL players attend college or university part-time while they are in the league, and their tuition is paid by the teams. Others draw upon the funding after they finish playing. Most never use the funding. So-called "Gold Packages" provide tuition, residence fees, books and ancillary fees. The whole 9 yards.

But then there are less generous (call them "bronze packages") funding levels that cover only tuition. Further, the so-called "domicile rule" limits the amount of post-secondary education funding for which a player is eligible to the amounts charged by the post-secondary institution located nearest to his residence. Cam Fowler was eligible for $50,000 per year to attend Notre Dame, while a typical player from Quebec would be eligible for as little as $2295 per year to attend UQTR.

I'm not criticizing the program -- just trying to show that it is not a consistent one from player to player.
For the most part the funding, if used at all, is not accessed until the "employee" ceases to even be an employee. Further, my suspicion is that the leagues use the Canadian federal RESP program where possible, which allows for $2500 per year of direct contribution, $500 in government top-up, plus all of the capital gains that accrue over time. If the player never uses the RESP, the teams get back all of their contributions (less the government portion). Is a "scholarship" partially funded by the Canadian federal government "in kind wages" paid by an employer? Is a player able to opt-out of the program at the point of signing a SPA or at another point? In other words, is it mandatory?

Now, keep in mind that the CHL and its teams deny that the players are employees at all. If they are correct according to the courts, absolutely none of the above applies. All of the so-called "perks" players receive will remain nothing more than the cost of doing business for CHL clubs. If no employer-employee relationships exist from a legal standpoint, the status quo likely continues.

Having said all of this, dome observers (including more than a few on this forum) want to have it both ways. They insist that the players are not employees of the teams and thus are not entitled to wages and the protections provided by employment standards regulations.

But then, out of the other side of their mouths they assert that if the courts deem the players to be employees, all of the current "costs of doing business" for the teams -- room and board, post-secondary education funding, etc. -- must be viewed as player wages. To me, this is sucking and blowing at the same time.

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02-26-2016, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BadgerBruce View Post
Having said all of this, dome observers (including more than a few on this forum) want to have it both ways. They insist that the players are not employees of the teams and thus are not entitled to wages and the protections provided by employment standards regulations.

But then, out of the other side of their mouths they assert that if the courts deem the players to be employees, all of the current "costs of doing business" for the teams -- room and board, post-secondary education funding, etc. -- must be viewed as player wages. To me, this is sucking and blowing at the same time.
Not exactly. I think we can all agree that the current arrangements in place for CHL players are well outside the norm for any "employee" and especially a teenager.

If they are deemed to not be employees but student/athletes, then the current system (particularly in the OHL where improvements have been made over the past couple of years) works well for the vast majority of players.

If they are deemed to be employees, the CHL is going to have to develop strict guidelines about the perks that can and cannot continue to be given to players.

I personally believe they are not employees, but the law may very well find differently.

I further personally believe that there is some sucking and blowing going on, but it's from the legal community. The fact is that this was all started because one player had a disagreement about his education package with one team (and may very well have a legit claim against said team) and has now ballooned into potentially changing the face of junior hockey forever. That's the equivalent of one kid suing a high school because he flunked a class, and the entire education system being forced to change everything they do.

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