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proof that the NHL doesnt need a new CBA

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Old
07-10-2004, 10:23 AM
  #26
djhn579
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DementedReality
1) im sure hte players would be more than happy to relieve the owners of the obligation of the draft and of the waiver process for euro signed players.
Are you sure about that? I didn't mention getting rid of the draft, there would still need to be away to ensure the top talent can't be hoarded by a handful of teams. I'm just saying that increasing the number of players would significantly decrease the players bargaining power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DementedReality
2) my point, the original point, was that there is no reason for the owners to force a work stoppage. since you say you are open to any solution that brings sanity to the league, have the recent signings by PIT, MIN, PHX and CGY changed your mind on some of the issues you and others have been debating for the last few months.
The only reason that you see the salaries going down last season and the free agents not being signed this season is the uncertainty created by the CBA war. If not for that, it would be business as usually with salaries rising steadily. Of course I can't prove that any more than you can prove your position since we are not the ones responsible for making player decisions. We can just state our opinions and try to explain why we hold these opinions. Neither of us are likely to change our opinions now since we have had this same debate many times already.

My explaination for the signings that you are touting as proof that a new CBA is not needed (or at least a league stoppage is not needed) is that with all the uncertainty, teams with little money are able to make offers to players that in recent years were beyond their reach. Those players are willing to sign for less money and teams that already have a large amount of salaries locked up don't want to spend much more since there just may be a salary cap when this is over.

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07-10-2004, 06:28 PM
  #27
Brain Hemorrhage
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@Rob Paxson

In your McDonald's example, I would kindly like to point out that:

The McDonald's 1 block from my house is not any cheaper than the McDonald's 4 blocks from my house. McDonald's is not competing against other McDonald's franchises. It is against their interest to do so. One obvious goal of many sports businesses is to create franchises in new locations with large markets to reach a larger potential fanbase, creating new fans (or, in the case of corporations buying suites, customers who enjoy feeling like "highrollers").

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07-10-2004, 10:37 PM
  #28
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I think the idea or assumption that these markets are all the same or equal is also ridiculous. Revenue the Red Wings can generate will always have a much higher ceiling than that of Edmonton. Simple population statistics will bear this out. No matter how well Edmonton drafts or trades they will always be at a distinct advantage to the Wings because Detroit can always outbid for services and know they will recoup any short term losses. They can afford to sign their own good players or cherry pick from less financially viable teams. In todays NHL, they can always afford to pay more than teams with less ability to generate cash from product.

An UFA signing today pre CBA will try and get as much as he thinks he can... post CBA, the player will do the same thing. Uncertainty always messes with a market and to think otherwise is turning your back on reality.

With the CBA that is in place, teams with smallers markets or without a hardcore hockey base will collapse. The wealthy teams will for the most part continue to dominate in the playoffs. This season with Tampa Bay and the Flames was an aberation, as the looming change in the CBA caused most teams to behave differently than they would with market certainty.

With some kind of salary share (maybe TV revenue...), or soft cap well managed and coached teams would likely stand a better chance of being competitive.

With a hard cap, we would see leagues in other countries keep their nationals and likely begin to take some of the better players from North America.

I'm certain there is an exquitable way for the players and owners to guarantee they will all have access to the Billions of dollars that the game of hockey produces.

The game itself is a much better product when all teams have the opportunity to excell.

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07-10-2004, 11:00 PM
  #29
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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature.asp?fid=9229

Where's this proof? Looks like business as usual to me. You've got a whole bunch of average guys signing for pretty significant coin, many of them getting increases. There's basically two forwards, Ricci and Recchi getting significant cuts.

I think a larger than usual player supply and the CBA uncertainty easily account for any salary drops we've seen so far.

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07-11-2004, 12:00 AM
  #30
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When Kovy signs he will be making roughly half what he is currently making, so I would say that is reptty significant.

The biggest example, to me, is Keith Primeau. This guy was outstanding for the Flyers, the heart of the team and a great player in all facets of the game. And he took a pay cut.

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07-11-2004, 12:42 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brain Hemorrhage
@Rob Paxson

In your McDonald's example, I would kindly like to point out that:

The McDonald's 1 block from my house is not any cheaper than the McDonald's 4 blocks from my house. McDonald's is not competing against other McDonald's franchises. It is against their interest to do so. One obvious goal of many sports businesses is to create franchises in new locations with large markets to reach a larger potential fanbase, creating new fans (or, in the case of corporations buying suites, customers who enjoy feeling like "highrollers").
Yes, this is the thing closest to a "salary cap" McDonald's does. Again, I'm not comparing how McDonald's does business to how the NHL does business. I believe this is where I lost Vlad. I was comparing the entity of McDonald's as a restaurant business to other restaurant businesses. Diners and McDonald's both started from the same beginnings. McDonald's was able to grow by putting out a good product, yadda yadda, I won't go over all that again. The point of the comparison between restaurants was that other restaurants could one day rise to the power of McDonald's. They get more customers, make some money and branch out into another location. Anyone from Western New York should know and love Mighty Taco, which started as one location and now has 15. My guess is they will continue to grow more and more outside of the area. Tim Horton's is another example and a hockey-related one at that. I know this is all obvious, it doesn't take a genius to realize a business that does well can grow and branch out. People just don't realize that hockey teams have always been the same way or they don't agree that they should be.

But you are right, McDonald's doesn't have its franchises compete. This is because McDonald's plan is to have a location in every place they can make money having one.

Now, the NHL can be seen similarly to McDonald's. They too would, I'd imagine, like to have a franchise in every market where it can be sustained. The major difference is McDonald's franchises don't compete as they have the same prices, the same food, etc. People choose the McDonald's they'd like to go to based on which one is closer, unless the person is going there to meet her frycook boyfriend or something.

NHL franchises do compete. There are Kings fans in other hockey markets, as well as markets where there are no teams. There are only so many fans out there and the teams are competing for them. Sure more fans come along, some become fans because of certain teams and some simply fall in love with the game. But how this ties in to what I've been saying in previous replies is that teams that succeed generally gain more fans from all markets. This is what increases their revenue, through ticket and merchandise sales, and allows them to spend more money on payroll.

I'm sure Tampa gained a whole lot of new fans, both hockey newbies and seasoned hockey nuts. It'd be a safe guess that Tampa is going to make at least a bit more money now and in the next couple years as a result, therefore being able to spend a few more bucks if they are so inclined. Again, they don't need to spend much more other than resign their players since they already won the cup -- and with a modest payroll I might add.

I know that the NHL has its haves and have-nots. Where I differ from many fans is I find nothing wrong with that. Most of the haves earned what they have. Most of the have-nots either were poorly managed or haven't had time to achieve much success yet. This is how the real world is and I'm not one to complain.

Hey, I'm a Sabres fan AND a high school dropout who can't find employment. I am fine with my team's position. Poor management is what handcuffed us. We have every opportunity to succeed in this league in the future.

I handcuffed myself by poor educational management. But I am confident in this open market I will be able to make a name for myself. It just takes time, hard work, and a bit of luck.

And to tie it all in a nice ribbon, Dave Thomas was once in my position as a high school dropout. He started with one little restaurant. He died with one of the largest (and probably better tasting) fast food empires in the world.

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07-11-2004, 12:59 AM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quat
I think the idea or assumption that these markets are all the same or equal is also ridiculous. Revenue the Red Wings can generate will always have a much higher ceiling than that of Edmonton. Simple population statistics will bear this out. No matter how well Edmonton drafts or trades they will always be at a distinct advantage to the Wings because Detroit can always outbid for services and know they will recoup any short term losses. They can afford to sign their own good players or cherry pick from less financially viable teams. In todays NHL, they can always afford to pay more than teams with less ability to generate cash from product.

An UFA signing today pre CBA will try and get as much as he thinks he can... post CBA, the player will do the same thing. Uncertainty always messes with a market and to think otherwise is turning your back on reality.

With the CBA that is in place, teams with smallers markets or without a hardcore hockey base will collapse. The wealthy teams will for the most part continue to dominate in the playoffs. This season with Tampa Bay and the Flames was an aberation, as the looming change in the CBA caused most teams to behave differently than they would with market certainty.

With some kind of salary share (maybe TV revenue...), or soft cap well managed and coached teams would likely stand a better chance of being competitive.

With a hard cap, we would see leagues in other countries keep their nationals and likely begin to take some of the better players from North America.

I'm certain there is an exquitable way for the players and owners to guarantee they will all have access to the Billions of dollars that the game of hockey produces.

The game itself is a much better product when all teams have the opportunity to excell.
I don't know if this was directed at me or the other guy who brought this line of thought up, or if it was just in general, but I'd like to clear myself just in case. I did mention there are teams like the Rangers and Leafs who seemingly get money no matter what they do. Then there are teams like Detroit that have earned it, but also have a larger pool of people to gleam money from than most.

I recognize this and feel quite simply that "that's life". It doesn't stop teams with a smaller base from being successful financially or on the ice.

I agree, no matter what CBA or uncertainty, players will try getting the most they can -- and they should! The fact is they can only get what the owners decide to give them. The owners set these market prices by giving out a contract. Sure, you have the Rangers out there giving huge contracts and skewing market value. So what I say. No one is twisting the owners of other teams to match their prices. Tell players of equal caliber that you are not willing to make the same mistake the Rangers did. The Rangers can only sign so many superstars -- there are still plenty to go around. Hey, it didn't do them any good anyhow, did it?

To say this season was an aberation isn't exactly correct. I seem to remember the Mighty Ducks and Carolina both making it to the cup in recent years.

Also, if we were having this discussion in the early 80's would we be saying that Detroit has a higher ceiling than other teams? Perhaps they may have simply because they've been around so long, but I'd think their sustained success for a decade is what keeps raising their ceiling -- there are Detroit fans around the world. Detroit doesn't have the largest population of NHL cities, though probably one of the largest.

As far as revenue sharing, I'd bite on that way, way before a salary cap. If that is how the owners feel, then the more power to them. It is their money they decide to share or not share. I can't see any harmful effects of revenue sharing, unless you're one of the owners of a top team. Whatever the NHL decides, along with the owners, on that part is fine with me.

But as far as a cap is concerned, I don't think it is necessary and the cost to get it would be far too great.

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07-11-2004, 01:11 AM
  #33
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Also I'd like to add that the NHL has been operating without a cap for how long now? I wasn't very old around the last CBA but I'm wondering if there was as many people clamoring for a cap.

The league is as competitive now across the board as it has ever been if you ask me. Sure some teams are in financial spots now, but there are always teams that go through tough spots. Either they come out of it or they get sold to another location, a location that likely can better support a team. It makes sense to me that if a location can not support a team that it should go to one that can, but only after serious effort to keep the team.

Believe me, I am a diehard Sabres fan. But I'm not selfish enough to hope for a cap just to keep my team in town. Frankly, if the Sabres can't stay in town it isn't because of a cap. Our problem was that the owner was a criminal who got caught. Every team has its story. Every team in this league should be able to sustain success where it is located. Whether they do or don't rests in the hands of the owners and the men they select to manage their team. These "disastorous economic conditions" are a scapegoat in my opinion.

Any "across the board" losses the NHL is feeling has nothing to do with the competitiveness of the league. It has to do with the failure of the league as a whole to connect with the American audience at this point in time (edit: and the overspending of teams, of course). A salary cap is not going to gain more fan interest and a lockout will destroy it. Quite simply teams need to buckle down, as they are now, and stop spending more than they make. The league will still be competitive, even if the Rangers sign Palffy, Demitra, Kariya, etc. I truly believe that, as unlikely a scenario as it is.

While the owners buckle down and handle their business, the league needs to put some noggins together and do its best to make this darkhorse sport as appealing as possible without compromising its nature. These rule changes at least show they are interested, but I think most of them are as bad for the game as they are silly.

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07-11-2004, 01:12 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob_paxon
Apparently something is.
Ever thought it might have something to do with the high probability a new stricter CBA will be brought in?

If there wasn't this threat of a salary cap/luxury tax, rich teams like Rangers and Wings will be doing the same old outrageous contract offers as before.

Some people can't see the forest for the trees.

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07-11-2004, 01:20 AM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire
Ever thought it might have something to do with the high probability a new stricter CBA will be brought in?

If there wasn't this threat of a salary cap/luxury tax, rich teams like Rangers and Wings will be doing the same old outrageous contract offers as before.

Some people can't see the forest for the trees.
Perhaps the Rangers also realized that their "buy, buy, buy" policy simply isn't working. Let them sign as many players as they want and let them lose. The Wings can add to their roster of hall of famers if they want. They can also lose early in the playoffs.

The point isn't what is keeping owners from spending, but that owners aren't spending and players are stuck with that fact. As they are stuck with it, they are accepting it. If at least most owners decided that enough is enough, they could continue on this way without any new measures. If a team like the Rangers decided to go back to spending big, so be it. They can only sign so many free agents, and even the Rangers of years past know they can't ice a team of 12 first liners.

The owners recognize they are spending too much and they are looking for the easy way out: asking the NHL to stop them from spending money. Instead of just stopping themselves, they want a governing body to force them to do it. This is what bothers me about real world politics and it bothers me no less here. I understand that they feel the need to spend in the current NHL because they think if they don't spend the money someone else will. They might... a few teams that is. New Jersey has always been an organization that knows when enough is enough, and they've been able to sustain success. I'm not asking for collusion, but if the owners know they need to stop spending, they could very easily do just that... and still win.

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07-11-2004, 03:00 AM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob_paxon
NHL franchises do compete. There are Kings fans in other hockey markets, as well as markets where there are no teams. There are only so many fans out there and the teams are competing for them. Sure more fans come along, some become fans because of certain teams and some simply fall in love with the game. But how this ties in to what I've been saying in previous replies is that teams that succeed generally gain more fans from all markets. This is what increases their revenue, through ticket and merchandise sales, and allows them to spend more money on payroll.

I'm sure Tampa gained a whole lot of new fans, both hockey newbies and seasoned hockey nuts. It'd be a safe guess that Tampa is going to make at least a bit more money now and in the next couple years as a result, therefore being able to spend a few more bucks if they are so inclined. Again, they don't need to spend much more other than resign their players since they already won the cup -- and with a modest payroll I might add.

I know that the NHL has its haves and have-nots. Where I differ from many fans is I find nothing wrong with that. Most of the haves earned what they have. Most of the have-nots either were poorly managed or haven't had time to achieve much success yet. This is how the real world is and I'm not one to complain.
I understand what you're saying. That's still not a free market, nor should it be one.

I'm sorry, but competitors just don't sit down to take decisions the way the NHL does, and they sure as hell don't negociate bargain agreements with their employees collectively.

There is an acceptable level of competition between NHL franchises, like there is in other sports. It's part of that industry, part of what makes it odd and the number 1 reason fans are terribly misguided and not totally understanding the issues at work.

The WHA or NBA or any league in any sport can always try to establish a franchise in Toronto, for instance. That's something that is out of control of the Maple Leafs and the NHL. But establishing a 2nd NHL franchise in Toronto would concern those parties closely, as the Leafs have first dibs in this territory and are not likely to loosen their grip with a smile on their face.

See? Very different process from the real world, where you have absolutely no say on who your competitors are, how many there are, and how they are going to conduct their business. It's nothing alike no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise and the similaarities are very cosmetic.

Now, that doesn't change the fact that yes, franchises that are well operated can have a level of success but in the hand, it's entirely acceptable for the NHL to want cost-certainty for all its members, members who have paid their franchises and all have a say in how this business (which is the NHL business, not the Wings or Sabres or Habs business) should operate.

The fact that NHL franchises, individually, have a certain level of freedom is just gravy for them. It doesn't change the fact they are franchises.

That's why they're called franchises.

Now, this particular discussion tells us in no way whether a cap is something the league should aspire to. My opinion is that a soft cap is something that is desperately needed but that's for another thread.

Right now, all that's important is that people realize the NHL are not ordinary competing business. Because, they are not. Simple as that.

They are (or are supposed to be) all equal partners in what happens to be a competitive league.

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07-11-2004, 03:06 AM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire
Ever thought it might have something to do with the high probability a new stricter CBA will be brought in?

If there wasn't this threat of a salary cap/luxury tax, rich teams like Rangers and Wings will be doing the same old outrageous contract offers as before.
Don't get your hopes too high. What little (very little) moderation we have seen is just for show. The NHL is already bending over. In the last year, they have slowly been dropping their pants too.

There might be some improvements but it won't be much. They had a better hand last time, and they wussed out big time. This time around, the NHLPA is better prepared, the NHL is struggling with poor TV contracts and greatly taxed because it expanded way too rapidly. Some of its franchises are in poor health and unlike in the past, there are very few cities to target for relocation. The time where the NHL could turn around and just dump its Nords, Jets, Rockies, Whalers and so many others in new cities is over.

I don't think the NHL will score big in this CBA.

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07-11-2004, 01:07 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
That's something that is out of control of the Maple Leafs and the NHL. But establishing a 2nd NHL franchise in Toronto would concern those parties closely, as the Leafs have first dibs in this territory and are not likely to loosen their grip with a smile on their face.

See? Very different process from the real world, where you have absolutely no say on who your competitors are, how many there are, and how they are going to conduct their business. It's nothing alike no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise and the similaarities are very cosmetic.
I agree that the NHL - all sports leagues - are unusual businesses. I'd describe the NHL as a cartel made up of independent businesses that each exercise a territorial monopoly. I also agree with Bettman when he says there is no free market for labour in the NHL, and there never has been.

The point I would make is that both these anomolies favour ownership. They favour ownership by so much the NHL would be declared illegal under anti-trust legislation absent a collective bargaining agreement. They favour ownership by so much that if they were delivering an important service, governments would regulate them.

If there were no barriers to entry, anybody could start an NHL team and with several teams in the large markets, all the competitive issues would drop away. If there was no CBA, players would have the right to play wherever they wanted and the bidding wars for the likes of Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla would push average salaries into the stratosphere.

The cartel limits entry, thereby assuring no real competition in the local market. The cartel acquires rights to an employee for 13 years simply by calling out his name at the draft table. These facts allow teams to charge more than they could if there was real competition and allows teams to pay less for labour than if there was real competition.

These things are good for the business of sport. A truly free market would be very bad for the business of sport.

The courts have refused to acknowledge that these arrangements are required for competitive balance or for any other reason. There is no evidence to suggest that a 200 team NHL with a truly free market for labour would not work. (Bill James has suggested that it would work just fine in baseball.) There is no evidence to suggest a truly free market for labour would not work either. There would surely be competitive balance issues, but baseball worked fine in the 1950's when New York teams were the only teams that seemed capable of winning. Fans still turned out to watch baseball outside New York.

Insofar as the business of sport is concerned, the restrictions placed on competetion all favour the owners. It's a bad joke that the cartel is crying poor despite having the advantage of being able to flout anti-trust law.

Tom

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07-11-2004, 08:41 PM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
I understand what you're saying. That's still not a free market, nor should it be one.
I don't really want to again say this, but the NHL obviously isn't a free market. Many areas, though, of how the teams do business work with the same principals of the open market. Thus the restaurant comparison, which dealt solely with some of those elements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
I'm sorry, but competitors just don't sit down to take decisions the way the NHL does, and they sure as hell don't negociate bargain agreements with their employees collectively.
For the most part, you're right they don't. Well, except for the RIAA, MPAA, and countless other "corporate unions".

As to the latter portion of the sentence, perhaps not in the exact same manner, but many industries have unions which bargain with the employer over a wide range of work-related issues.

Again, these two points don't really matter as I never claimed the NHL is itself an open market. That would be quite ridiculous and I can't imagine a scenario in which a completely laissez-faire market would be created within another. Either the hosting market would suit the purpose intended or the hosted market would in some way not be completely open. It just makes sense that way. But the teams, again as I've made the comparisons to support, operate with free market principals in many respects. Some of these principals would be limited in scope or destroyed all together with a hard cap.

That doesn't make a cap good or bad, it is just a way of looking at it. What does make the cap bad is that this relatively free and unhindered market of teams employing players is, in my opinion, working just fine. If it ain't broke, don't break the sport's back to fix it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
There is an acceptable level of competition between NHL franchises, like there is in other sports. It's part of that industry, part of what makes it odd and the number 1 reason fans are terribly misguided and not totally understanding the issues at work.
I can't imagine why you use the phrase "acceptable level of competition". This is the level of competition that makes sense and allows for teams to rise and fall at their own hands while giving a playing field in which all teams can have their day in the sun. Anytime someone wants to "level the playing field", they're doing it at the expense of everything holy. Just look at affirmative action.

Just because you don't agree with people doesn't mean they are terribly misguided or not understanding of issues encompassed. To think so is to be condescending and damn ignorant at that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
The WHA or NBA or any league in any sport can always try to establish a franchise in Toronto, for instance. That's something that is out of control of the Maple Leafs and the NHL. But establishing a 2nd NHL franchise in Toronto would concern those parties closely, as the Leafs have first dibs in this territory and are not likely to loosen their grip with a smile on their face.

See? Very different process from the real world, where you have absolutely no say on who your competitors are, how many there are, and how they are going to conduct their business. It's nothing alike no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise and the similaarities are very cosmetic.
You're going on and on about things I never held to be. Me, my mother, and little johnny down the street know that the NHL controls its franchises. We know that the NHL does this to foster the growth and success of its franchises.

What we, and by we I mean strictly you, don't understand is that the way the teams interact with the players right now is reminiscent of the free market. I've said nothing other than this nor have you yet been able to place anything of weight contrary to it. Don't hark on what I don't propose.

Sure, there are minimum salaries and such, but in most capitalist societies these days there are minimum wages. That doesn't stop America from being capitalist, it simply means it has some socialist tendancies. The way the NHL does business with the world is obviously capitalist. The little world within the NHL -- the strict rule over the teams -- is obviously not an open and free market. But once a team is in place, from setting its ticket prices to handing out player contracts, the league is an open and free market. You don't want to pay this player $2 million? Fine, maybe Toronto will.

There are some restrictions on the money but not many. It does remind me very much of America's economic laws. If America was to adopt a maximum wage on top of the minimum wage, clearly one would have a hard time calling it capitalist. This is where a cap would change these similarities between capitalism and the player market in the NHL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
Now, that doesn't change the fact that yes, franchises that are well operated can have a level of success but in the hand, it's entirely acceptable for the NHL to want cost-certainty for all its members, members who have paid their franchises and all have a say in how this business (which is the NHL business, not the Wings or Sabres or Habs business) should operate.
Yes, it makes sense that they want cost-certainty. They want it because the owners want it. The owners want it because they don't have the heart to control their spending on their own, or so it seems. But they could.

If all this was leading up to you telling me the NHL should be able to take whatever measures it wants should it aspire to cost-certainty, you've wasted a good chunk of time.

I am not against the right of the NHL to install a cap or anything else. I simply feel it is not needed for the sake of the league as a whole, from the economics to the game itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
The fact that NHL franchises, individually, have a certain level of freedom is just gravy for them. It doesn't change the fact they are franchises.

That's why they're called franchises.
No one would suggest otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
Now, this particular discussion tells us in no way whether a cap is something the league should aspire to. My opinion is that a soft cap is something that is desperately needed but that's for another thread.
I'm not sure what you mean about particular discussion. If you mean the thread and its intended point, it certainly does. If you mean the last few posts where we've wrangled over a few comparisons and non-comparisons I've made, then I agree. But it certainly wasn't my intention to go down this road.

I think the fact that, as me and the person I originally replied to see it, teams can control their financial destiny to an acceptable level is certainly relevant. Whether one agrees or not, it is at the very heart of the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
Right now, all that's important is that people realize the NHL are not ordinary competing business. Because, they are not. Simple as that.
The NHL is a normal and competing business. It competes with other sports and entertainment companies. Surely this isn't what you meant, but I think it is important to note nonetheless. How the NHL handles its franchises internally isn't ordinary, because most businesses don't have franchises. Many do -- a lot more than it would seem have franchises or something similar.

How the franchises interact aren't as normal businesses because they really aren't. They are extensions of a business, with individuals holding investment and a limited amount of control in various teams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
They are (or are supposed to be) all equal partners in what happens to be a competitive league.
That depends on how you use the term equal. They're supposed to be partners with a fair shot at success both in the bank and on the ice in what is understood to be a competitive sport.

That they are and that is the point.


I was going to end there, but consider this.

Take where you mistook my analogy with McDonald's and other restaurants. Let's go with what you assumed I meant and compare McDonald's franchises to NHL franchises. Obviously, they are infinitely different... but one interesting point comes to mind. When you buy an NHL team, you have different expectations when you buy Detroit than when you buy Atlanta. This is the simple nature of things as one is a storied franchise that is as current a powerhouse where the other is a new franchise with what should be a promising future.

When you buy a McDonald's franchise in a prime location your expectations are similarly different than when you buy one in a weaker location.

Given that McDonald's gives its franchises the tools to succeed, the bottom line is for you to be aware of what to expect from each location. The NHL similarly gives its franchises the tools to succeed and expectations should be similarly accepted.

Consider how a cap changes the expectations. If the league's goal is to truly make each franchise equal then it would fail... a prospective purchaser would still have different expectations when buying one of those teams.

If the league's goal is to limit the leverage that storied franchises who have sustained success have over newcomers and failures, then it would succeed. And shame on them for ruining what I think is a great and interesting aspect of sports.

If the league's goal is to provide cost-certainty, then it is killing an ant with an a-bomb. An owner can currently spend within his team's means while still being competitive. Those teams that don't are only hurting themselves... without hurting other teams. If a team folds, as in the past, there is another location happy to lap it up. In the grand scheme of things this does not harm the NHL or the other teams.

That is all.


Last edited by Paxon: 07-11-2004 at 08:44 PM.
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07-11-2004, 10:07 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob_paxon
Just because you don't agree with people doesn't mean they are terribly misguided or not understanding of issues encompassed. To think so is to be condescending and damn ignorant at that.
Well yeah. Sometimes, I don't agree with them because they totally fail to understand. Sucks but it is 100% true. Happens so often on these boards, I couldn't even count how many times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob_paxon
The NHL is a normal and competing business. It competes with other sports and entertainment companies. Surely this isn't what you meant,
You're right, it isn't what I meant. I skipped a word, I think. Meant frachises and not the NHL itself. Sorry about that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rob_paxon
If a team folds, as in the past, there is another location happy to lap it up. In the grand scheme of things this does not harm the NHL or the other teams.
It isn't as easy as it once was, however. There is a shortage of solid candidates compared to the past. The NHL has expanded too rapidly. Their fault but still not a good situation for all parties involved, including the NHLPA.

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07-11-2004, 10:17 PM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_Benjamin
If there were no barriers to entry, anybody could start an NHL team and with several teams in the large markets, all the competitive issues would drop away. If there was no CBA, players would have the right to play wherever they wanted and the bidding wars for the likes of Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla would push average salaries into the stratosphere.
The one thing I would be interested in seeing is what kind of relationship the players would have with a given team. Barring a collectinve bargaain agreement NHL-wide, players are left either:

-Being totally independent without unions

-Forming team unions. So you might get the RWPA (Red Wings Player's Association) for instance.

I agree with you it looks like salaries might go in the stratosphere but consider: some of the franchises out there could make out like bandits, literally.

There's always two sides to a coin. I wager players would pressure big markets but smaller markets might not budge much. Some would definitly not give garanteed contracts (and rightly so), some would not give the mimums we are seeing right now. Some would never, EVER accept the right to arbitration (otherwise known as player theft).

You caan easily find a bunch of sad players of Pens-calibre for less than $5,000,000 per year if you search hard enough in Europe and North America.

Some of those teams would certainly pressure players into taking extremely long, very nasty contracts.

You might be surprised at how ressourceful some teams would be, and totally be able to survive (most probably with a crappy product but still) in this environment.

However, both the NHL, the players... it's in everybody's interest to have a collective bargain agreement. This is a league and the product on a given night is always made up of two teams fighting it out. You can't have one union on strike while 29 other teams are ready to go, for instance.

All in all, I think I agree with you in part, but consider it may not be the great deal for all NHL teams you make it out to be right now. If it was up to certain teams right now, the CBA would be just as it is, others would like nothing more than to operate much cheaper payrolls with very strict guidelines.

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07-11-2004, 10:24 PM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_Benjamin
I agree that the NHL - all sports leagues - are unusual businesses. I'd describe the NHL as a cartel made up of independent businesses that each exercise a territorial monopoly. I also agree with Bettman when he says there is no free market for labour in the NHL, and there never has been.

The point I would make is that both these anomolies favour ownership. They favour ownership by so much the NHL would be declared illegal under anti-trust legislation absent a collective bargaining agreement. They favour ownership by so much that if they were delivering an important service, governments would regulate them.

If there were no barriers to entry, anybody could start an NHL team and with several teams in the large markets, all the competitive issues would drop away. If there was no CBA, players would have the right to play wherever they wanted and the bidding wars for the likes of Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla would push average salaries into the stratosphere.

The cartel limits entry, thereby assuring no real competition in the local market. The cartel acquires rights to an employee for 13 years simply by calling out his name at the draft table. These facts allow teams to charge more than they could if there was real competition and allows teams to pay less for labour than if there was real competition.

These things are good for the business of sport. A truly free market would be very bad for the business of sport.

The courts have refused to acknowledge that these arrangements are required for competitive balance or for any other reason. There is no evidence to suggest that a 200 team NHL with a truly free market for labour would not work. (Bill James has suggested that it would work just fine in baseball.) There is no evidence to suggest a truly free market for labour would not work either. There would surely be competitive balance issues, but baseball worked fine in the 1950's when New York teams were the only teams that seemed capable of winning. Fans still turned out to watch baseball outside New York.

Insofar as the business of sport is concerned, the restrictions placed on competetion all favour the owners. It's a bad joke that the cartel is crying poor despite having the advantage of being able to flout anti-trust law.

Tom
The NHL isn't a cartel as much as it is a corporation. It is true that no one can just start an NHL team without joining the corporation, but so what? There is nothing preventing any other coporation (or cartel if you prefer) from starting up a rival hockey league. Just because the NHL prevents NHL teams from moving into a market controlled by a current team, that is not anti-competetive. It is good business. No corporation in the world would put two business units in one location where they would be in direct competition for limited resources.

As for teams having control of players for 13 years, again, so what? A player has to make a conscious decision to join the NHL and accept those terms of employment. He also has to sign a peice of paper declaring that he wants to be make his services available under those terms of employment. If the player finds that those terms of employment are unacceptable, he can play in any other hockey league in the world, or quit hockey completely.

You say if there were no barriers to entry, anyone could start an NHL franchise. That is kind of a silly statement. Please show me one corporation anywhere in the world where someone can become a member of that corporation with out the approval of that corporation? Since McDonalds has been used so much in this thread, would anyone be able to build a hamburger stand across the street from a McDonalds restaurant and call it another McDonalds?

I don't know that you make a compelling case for the NHL flouting any anti-trust laws. The NHL set themselves up as an entertainment corporation based on independent teams competing against one another on the ice. They set the rules for employment by the corporation by negotiating with the players union. They set the rules for other teams to become a member of the corporation in the corporate by-laws. This is all legal. Nothing they are doing would prevent another league from forming in direct competion with the NHL.

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07-11-2004, 10:34 PM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djhn579
As for teams having control of players for 13 years, again, so what? A player has to make a conscious decision to join the NHL and accept those terms of employment. He also has to sign a peice of paper declaring that he wants to be make his services available under those terms of employment. If the player finds that those terms of employment are unacceptable, he can play in any other hockey league in the world, or quit hockey completely.
Playing Rights is a restrictive trade practice, and like someone previously mentioned, if it weren't superceded by a Collective Bargaining Agreement would plainly be illegal.

Since we're talking the Entertainment Business here, explain why a musician or actor, once they have fufilled the terms of their contract, are free and clear to negotiate with another employer of their choice? Why should sports be any different?

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07-11-2004, 10:55 PM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycle Repairman
Playing Rights is a restrictive trade practice, and like someone previously mentioned, if it weren't superceded by a Collective Bargaining Agreement would plainly be illegal.

Since we're talking the Entertainment Business here, explain why a musician or actor, once they have fufilled the terms of their contract, are free and clear to negotiate with another employer of their choice? Why should sports be any different?
Would that be kind of like when you sign a contract to join the military, you may only join for 3 years, but the military has the right to call you up for another 5 years beyond that.

That is not illegal, so I don't see how it would be illegal in the NHL. Since a player voluntarily decides to make himself available for the NHL draft, he accepts that the team that drafts him has his rights for 13 years. If there was no CBA, the initial contract would be modified: to play in the NHL, you must agree to play for the team that drafted you and agree that the team that drafted you has your rights for X number of years, and that your rights can be traded at any time. It would still be perfectly legal.

I don't know enough about the entertainment industry to make any judgements, but I have heard of record labels requiring artist to sign for a certain number of records before they are free to sign with anyone else. The same with authors. The corporation making the contract offer can specify the length of a contract and the artist/performer/author can accept or reject.

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07-11-2004, 11:09 PM
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djhn579
Would that be kind of like when you sign a contract to join the military, you may only join for 3 years, but the military has the right to call you up for another 5 years beyond that.
Not all Militaries are Volunteer , but for the sake of argument we'll stick with the North American model.

The Department of National Defense is not a money-making enterprise. One may argue it's a calling and not a profession. In fact, even a mercenary outfit like the French Foreign Legion does not have the same restrictive contracts that NHL teams do.

What the NHL does is, in fact, called Indentured Servitude.

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07-11-2004, 11:15 PM
  #46
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Very interesting read from Moag & Company. A must read for anyone planning on debating the upcoming CBA negotiations. Cleary very pro-owners. Sorry no Cliff Notes versions available

CAUTION: The link is to a Adobe PDF file (about 1.5MB) consisting of 23 pages of text and graphics.

http://www.moagandcompany.com/pdf/04_06_NHL_review.pdf

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07-12-2004, 01:35 AM
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djhn579
I don't know that you make a compelling case for the NHL flouting any anti-trust laws.
A compelling case has been made and not by me. Every time a sports league gets into court, they lose on this issue. The only way leagues avoid anti-trust legislation is with a collective bargaining agreement. It is one of the ironies in this dispute. The NHL owner need the NHLPA more than the players do.

The NHL does not have the right to tie a player to a team beyond the length of a contract, and the draft is certainly illegal if the players did not voluntarily waive individual rights through the NHLPA and the CBA.

Tom

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07-12-2004, 02:57 AM
  #48
Vlad The Impaler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycle Repairman
What the NHL does is, in fact, called Indentured Servitude.
No, it's not.

I guess with the avatar you're sporting, I expected some pro-NHLPA melodrama but probably not that you would stoop that low.

Indentured servitude is one or two step away from slavery, and to bring that up to talk about NHL freaking players is a damn shame, irresponsible and nonsensical.

It's nothing alike. A child would see that.

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07-12-2004, 03:44 AM
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
No, it's not.
Indentured servitude is one or two step away from slavery, and to bring that up to talk about NHL freaking players is a damn shame, irresponsible and nonsensical.
Not according to Pro-Rep Management president Art Breeze, who represents a healthy stable of NHL clients. Those are his words. The NHL has the most restrictive rules on player movement of any professional sport and already sport a de-facto salary cap at the entry level. In fact, the entry draft itself is anti-capitalistic in that it restricts freedom of choice. It should be abolished.

It all comes down to amateur scouting. Place a number on how many prospects you can have under contract and let organizations scoop up as many 13 and 14-year-olds as they deem fit.

That, my friend, is a fair system. Competition based not on dollars alone, but where the prospect bests sees himself advancing. Even the well-heeled organizations can't rope in every player that passes their fancy. The prospect also is looking for an opportunity to make it to the top rung. He will sign accordingly with the organization that will best guide him there. It all evens out in the end.

I think if you had a son who was a bonified prospect you'd agree with me.


Last edited by Bicycle Repairman: 07-12-2004 at 03:52 AM.
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07-12-2004, 04:14 AM
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycle Repairman
In fact, the entry draft itself is anti-capitalistic in that it restricts freedom of choice. It should be abolished.
Gee, I don't remember anyone being forced at gunpoint to enter the draft.

Anybody who doesn't like the draft is perfectly free to not opt in.

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