THE WAY IT IS

Lowetide
October 18 2012 08:18PM

When it comes to negotiation, there are several styles that can and will work. It all depends on what your side wants and the other side desires. Then, you have to use the things available to you--time, money, bullets, assclowns--to force the issue. At some point, the other side gives in, sells the plant or moves everything to China.  

One of the best negotiators I've ever met was my old boss. In the interests of anonymity, we'll call him OTTO. Otto felt that the only good negotiation was one that left both sides feeling a little uncomfortable with the final agreement. The more both sides stretch, the more likely the agreement was truly beneficial.

Most of us live in a world that doesn't allow these long transactions. The amount of lawyering involved in the NHL/PA negotiations could sustain third world countries for a century, but folks like you and me can't stay the course over a long period.

NEVER TAKE A KNIFE TO A GUNFIGHT! 

Last time the NHL and the NHLPA got together it cost the players one season without much in the win column. Now, the NHL succeeded by so much that everyone made money but that's different than winning a negotiation. I'm no expert in the field, but this--right where we are now in the process--is the point where I believe the 'PA lost it all last time.

The players side were convinced of one thing: the NHL didn't want to lose an entire season, they would not go that far. The owners called their bluff, and after that all that was left to do was buy presents and wait for Gary to cancel the season. I think Don Fehr has decided to turn the owners ploy from last time into the players ploy this time: the players as a group are acting like they're somewhat indifferent as to the outcome of the negotiation.

Fehr's offer today was described as 'disappointing' by Gary Bettman. Sure! They haven't learned the lesson of last time! From the Fehr pov, that's probably the best word of the day: disappointment.

WHAT COMES NEXT? 

The NHLPA gave in to a salary cap last time and this time the issue is the percentage to cap. If the NHLPA didn't say no last time and they don't say no this time--what then? At some point you have to show the courage of your convictions and the players appear to feel this is the time.

I can't say I blame them, but that doesn't really matter. The point is this: just like in childhood, when you are challenged by a bully, the choices are stand up for what you believe in or give in and lose a piece of yourself.

I believe that's what players are fighting for this time.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

At some point, you have to make a choice. Whether it is minimum wage for $6M a year, the choice is the same: get busy living, or get busy dying. NHL hockey players may not be happy, but they are free. Free from taking a smaller piece of the pie on someone's say-so, or because they've been bullied into it.

I don't believe I have the right to tell a man to accept a deal he feels is demeaning or unjust. And that's the way it is. Sometimes we as fans lose perspective on these things, and I believe this is a time to remind ourselves it is a game, these men have skill that earns them a fine living, and that allowing the process to play itself out is probably the best plan. 

I miss the NHL, and I very much miss the Oilers. This, I feel, is a bigger issue. And since it doesn't involve me--I can't pay to see a movie that hasn't been made, and I can't watch a league that can't gather its employees--then I choose to spend my money in other areas and wait for a day when this is settled.

I'm not angry at NHL players tonight. I would request that if they are serious they follow through. I'm not going to choose one side or another, but would like to express my respect for these men and how they play the game.

Godspeed, see you someday.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Archaeologuy
October 18 2012, 08:23PM
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Donald Fehr is a monster. A monster.

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#2 Wanyes bastard child
October 18 2012, 08:30PM
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Like you I haven't taken a side in this either, mostly I just want hockey. What I think irks me the most about this is that the owners felt they "won" the last CBA and we're happy with the outcome. Now here we are 7 years later and facing the same issues.

Can't we all just... get along?

Also, you said "assclown" *giggles*

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#3 Chris
October 18 2012, 08:41PM
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Thats all fine and dandy, but how can the players win? I suppose if all they care about is getting "fair and just" agreement then fine hold out.

But the fact is that if they hold the line, and the NHL cancels the season they will lose money they will never earn back. Some will lose their careers either due to being at the end of their careers, fringe players or just get passed on the depth chart by prospects.

Getting you fair shake is a great thing to fight for, except when you have no leverage and are just cutting off you nose to spite you face.

I can't help but feel the players are blindly following, or just scared to step out, because as a whole they might get a better deal by fighting (as a collective and as future NHLers). But the vast majority of players as individuals are fighting a losing fight that they are absolutely guaranteed to never come out ahead.

It makes me question who is advising them, and also tip my hat to Fehr for somehow pulling the wool over the eyes of the layers in order to keep them united.

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#5 toprightcorner
October 18 2012, 09:02PM
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Fifth Element - Awesome flick, Maybe we need Korben Dallas to be the mediator.

I don't feel that the players are all on the same page. Sure it looks great to have the Crosby's, Iginla's, Staal's and the Toew's going with Fehr to show the support of the players, but they are all making over $6 million. The things the NHLPA are looking for only seem to benefit the ultra-paid players, or 10% of the whole.

Show me a few minimum wagers, 34 year old fourth liners and a couple fringe players stand with Fehr showing support and then I will believe all the players are on the same page.

Most of the players will be lucky to have 3 years in the NHL and need to make that time count and get paid for it before they drop to $60k a year in the minors. They lose a half a season and it greatly affects their lives. The get a deal done and the changes will hardly affect them, their salary won't drop and they will still get to play in the NHL.

It only affects the uber-rich player. Sure, mis a half a season is no big deal when you sign $50 million or $100 million dollar contracts and you want to get more of it. They want $8 million a year instead of $7 million. Cry me a river.

Fehr should be working for the good of the masses and get the majority that need the paycheck for a couple short years back on the ice, but he isn't.

Players say they want the NHL to come up with a better program for revenue sharing to help the bottom feeder teams because it makes it better for all the owners. How about Weber sharing some of his money with the guy making 600K with 2 years left in his career and has 4 kids and has to support himself for 40 more years so has to get another job on a grade 12 education. Would that not make it better for all the players who play?

I hate to say it, but most of the players do not have the knowledge to know what is going on in the negotiations so they just listen to what Fehr says. Their agents are not going to tell them any different cause they will make more on their big name clients if they fight more.

The longer this goes unsolved, the more the majority of players it will hurt and Crosby can buy a few more homes and cars to enjoy.

It is sad to see a wolf in sheeps clothing hurting 60% of the players because of the greed of the few.

What a joke!

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#6 toprightcorner
October 18 2012, 09:06PM
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@Lowetide

Hey LT, if you will pay me $6 million next year, I will gladly not get paid $6 million this season.

Unfortunately a majority of the players make under $1 million, totally different ball game then.

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#7 Chris
October 18 2012, 09:14PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

Fifth Element - Awesome flick, Maybe we need Korben Dallas to be the mediator.

I don't feel that the players are all on the same page. Sure it looks great to have the Crosby's, Iginla's, Staal's and the Toew's going with Fehr to show the support of the players, but they are all making over $6 million. The things the NHLPA are looking for only seem to benefit the ultra-paid players, or 10% of the whole.

Show me a few minimum wagers, 34 year old fourth liners and a couple fringe players stand with Fehr showing support and then I will believe all the players are on the same page.

Most of the players will be lucky to have 3 years in the NHL and need to make that time count and get paid for it before they drop to $60k a year in the minors. They lose a half a season and it greatly affects their lives. The get a deal done and the changes will hardly affect them, their salary won't drop and they will still get to play in the NHL.

It only affects the uber-rich player. Sure, mis a half a season is no big deal when you sign $50 million or $100 million dollar contracts and you want to get more of it. They want $8 million a year instead of $7 million. Cry me a river.

Fehr should be working for the good of the masses and get the majority that need the paycheck for a couple short years back on the ice, but he isn't.

Players say they want the NHL to come up with a better program for revenue sharing to help the bottom feeder teams because it makes it better for all the owners. How about Weber sharing some of his money with the guy making 600K with 2 years left in his career and has 4 kids and has to support himself for 40 more years so has to get another job on a grade 12 education. Would that not make it better for all the players who play?

I hate to say it, but most of the players do not have the knowledge to know what is going on in the negotiations so they just listen to what Fehr says. Their agents are not going to tell them any different cause they will make more on their big name clients if they fight more.

The longer this goes unsolved, the more the majority of players it will hurt and Crosby can buy a few more homes and cars to enjoy.

It is sad to see a wolf in sheeps clothing hurting 60% of the players because of the greed of the few.

What a joke!

^^ exactly.

It makes no sense. Lowetide you say you respect the players. I just wonder who is advising them and or if they have the balls to stand up to the rich few.

Are you telling me Petrell, Hordichuk, Sutton or even Peckham are on board with losing their careers to stand up for what is right. I can't say I respect that, I just think its naive, uninformed etc.

My understanding is that the reason the NHL released their full offer to the press was because Fehr didn't even show the real offer to the players. Instead he wrote them a letter spinning it negatively and telling them it was a bad deal.

Again I tip my hat to Fehr for controlling his union solidarity and somehow convincing 650 players its in their best interest to lose millions of dollars and potentially their careers so the 50 at the top can make an extra $10 million.

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#9 Ken
October 18 2012, 09:51PM
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These players are already wealthy from the league and team owners.

They should thank the owners and sign the CBA.

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#10 David S
October 18 2012, 10:18PM
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The average NHL salary in 2005 was $1.46M

The average NHL salary in 2011 was $2.4M

Seriously. Are these guys idiots or what?

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#11 Sanaa Montana
October 18 2012, 10:21PM
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I doubt that more than 5% of the players actually read the offer. Furry knew yesterday he was going to turn that down and the three offers he offered back today he had drawn up for weeks if not months.

I do not understand why Iginla and Horcoff waste their time going there to stand behind Furry like lost sheep. They both have 3-4 years left in their careers. The NHL was here before all those players and it will be here after them. I would understand if the players behind Furry were young stars like Hall, Landeskog and so on, young kids that will be there in the game. But I'd be willing to bet that they dont even know whats going on in negotiations, other than what their agents or Furrys lawyers tell them in a short courtesy phone call.

I wonder how many players over the oceans actually read the offer or had any say on it. Any say any players have is what they have been told. Listen to Bieksa and some of them last night, it was as if they were already making excues in advance on why the offer would be turned down.

You say you respect the players. I dont. They dont even respect eachother on the ice most of the time, yet have the nerve to stand as if they are united for a greater cause. #%^ those goofs!

I find it an absolute joke that they are doing this to fans out of stubborness and for the money they will more than likely never seen or earn.

The players dont have a clue whast going on, they know and do waht Furry and Co. tell them. Its so sad its embarassing.

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#12 book¡e
October 18 2012, 10:51PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Chris: That's what I'm saying. The players must clearly believe that losing a season is better than giving in. That's what today was all about imo.

Today, the players told the owners to shove their money, shove their season. We're not playing.

I've never lost 6M in a season, so don't really know what to say about it. Except--as I mentioned above--that you have to respect their decision.

they are not chattle.

Somebody who jumps off a building with only an umbrella is brave!

Of course they are not chattle. They are individuals with a skill set to sell, they can sell it in Europe, to the KHL, to the Chinese Professional League, to some league they start on their own, etc. This has value.

However, those options all suck relative to the nicely set up NHL option that has been built for them. NHL owners make some money (on many teams this 'some money' is highly subsidized by municipal governments) and in many cases, they make less than single players on their club (i.e. the workers make more than the boss).

The players overvalue thier skillset given the very limited market they have. They are extremely rare individuals with great talent, but so are volleyball players, its not enough to have talent. The NHL has organized things to level where players today make 10-20 time what players in the 80s made. The players didn't do that. Hockey is equally as exciting as it was in 1980 (maybe less so).

The reality is that the players are overpaid. How do we know this? Because despite being heavily subsidized, the owners would rather walk away from this thing than play the game. I bet that there are a dozen owners who would walk away from the NHL if they could do so without tremendous losses.

This, like any negotiation comes down to two parties doing what is best for them - I have no trouble with that. However, just like the Molson workers in Edmonton who were striking because they thought they were worth $30 despite having no skills or education, sometimes people do dumb things and hurt themselves badly because they are too stupid to know better. In a lockout/strike like this, a lot of players might give up 10% of their lifetime earnings to earn an additional 1 or 2 % per year? That works out great if they play hockey for 50-100 years.

The players will not win because they have no options that will come close to making the same amount elsewhere. The owners would probably make more PROFIT (less revenue) using replacement players.

As per the 'when does it end'. It ends when hockey is such a profitable business for owners that it hurts them to shut down for a year, or when it is so profitable that someone opens up a rival league during a lockout. Hockey with players taking all of the profit with none of the risk provides none of that.

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#13 book¡e
October 18 2012, 11:02PM
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LT -Does respect their decision mean:

1. You have to respect people's right to make their own decisions

or

2. Their decision is worthy of respect?

Because I can get behind #1, but I don't understand #2. You seem to be sending mixed messages here.

Maybe you think of the NHL as a big bully and the players as the 97lb weakling who stands up to him and gets the crap kicked out of him? Kind of a respect=honour thing.

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#14 Mark-LW
October 18 2012, 11:45PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Chris: The absense of evidence to the contrary tells us that indeed the players are behind Fehr all the way. I'm absolutely certain there are many players who want this to end rfn.

But no one has broken ranks yet, not that we know.

Same could be said at this time eight years ago.

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#15 Gret99zky
October 19 2012, 12:01AM
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Well if telling the NHL to shove it for a season, we aren't playing is worthy of respect then telling the NHL to shove it for 5 seasons is worthy of 5x the respect, right?

As a matter of fact the ultimate respect move would be when a new CBA gets signed and the bullied players say, "No way! I don't care what they the deal is or how much they pay us, the owners and the league are bullies, they will always be bullies and they will just lock us out again when this CBA expires. Screw them! I'm tired of being the victim! I'm not playing in the NHL today, tomorrow, or ever again!"

Believe me, if the players refuse to report to their teams because they refuse to have sand kicked in their faces every 6-8 years I will admire and respect them because they will have proven that honour and principles are more important than the almighty dollar or a game played on ice.

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#16 common sense
October 19 2012, 12:27AM
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book¡e wrote:

Somebody who jumps off a building with only an umbrella is brave!

Of course they are not chattle. They are individuals with a skill set to sell, they can sell it in Europe, to the KHL, to the Chinese Professional League, to some league they start on their own, etc. This has value.

However, those options all suck relative to the nicely set up NHL option that has been built for them. NHL owners make some money (on many teams this 'some money' is highly subsidized by municipal governments) and in many cases, they make less than single players on their club (i.e. the workers make more than the boss).

The players overvalue thier skillset given the very limited market they have. They are extremely rare individuals with great talent, but so are volleyball players, its not enough to have talent. The NHL has organized things to level where players today make 10-20 time what players in the 80s made. The players didn't do that. Hockey is equally as exciting as it was in 1980 (maybe less so).

The reality is that the players are overpaid. How do we know this? Because despite being heavily subsidized, the owners would rather walk away from this thing than play the game. I bet that there are a dozen owners who would walk away from the NHL if they could do so without tremendous losses.

This, like any negotiation comes down to two parties doing what is best for them - I have no trouble with that. However, just like the Molson workers in Edmonton who were striking because they thought they were worth $30 despite having no skills or education, sometimes people do dumb things and hurt themselves badly because they are too stupid to know better. In a lockout/strike like this, a lot of players might give up 10% of their lifetime earnings to earn an additional 1 or 2 % per year? That works out great if they play hockey for 50-100 years.

The players will not win because they have no options that will come close to making the same amount elsewhere. The owners would probably make more PROFIT (less revenue) using replacement players.

As per the 'when does it end'. It ends when hockey is such a profitable business for owners that it hurts them to shut down for a year, or when it is so profitable that someone opens up a rival league during a lockout. Hockey with players taking all of the profit with none of the risk provides none of that.

Nicely said. My thoughts exactly. For a significant number of owners not having the players play this season means less money lost then them playing under the current contract or that proposed by the players. I don't see the players winning this war. The NHL is overall not that profitable a proposition for the average NHL owner.

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#17 Pouzar99
October 19 2012, 01:15AM
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The players accept a 50-50 split of HRR, but they also insist that signed contracts be honoured, which frankly it is pretty hard to challenge.

How would the owners react if NBC suddenly informed them that despite the 10-year deal they signed for $200 million a year, if they wanted the games televised they would have to settle for $150 million a year?

The NHL offer is that a percentage of those agreed upon salaries be deferred from Year 1, to stay within the cap, and paid off at the end of the terms of each individual contract. Not ideal but probably acceptable in exchange for some other concession. Except of course this is a classic con game.

The problem is that the owners want those payoffs, when they come (2014 for Hemsky, 2015 for Horc, 2020 for Eberle, 2021 for Hall)to be counted as part of the 50 per cent share of HRR that belongs to the players as a whole each year, so that the sum of all NEW contracts will be well under 50 per cent of HRR. Players without long term contracts in place will hence be shafted every season with an artificially low cap until all the current long term deals run out.

In short, in exchange for honouring signed contracts, the players will not really be getting 50% of HRR. The owners knew that Fehr would see though this BS but they are counting on most fans, who, like me, are anxious to see the games begin, not seeing through it. What the NHLPA is asking, honouring contracts owners offered and signed of their own free will and thus taking a few years to get down to 50% of HRR, a 12.3% cut in their share of HRR, is manifestly fair. The stunt the owners are trying to pull is not. A contract is a contract is a contract.

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#21 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 19 2012, 07:59AM
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The thing that bugs me the most about this whole thing is the owners' refusal to honour the contracts that they've offered players. I think a 50/50 split of HRR and an agreement to honour the contracts (especially those signed in the most recent off-season) should be the starting point for discussions.

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#22 oilabroad
October 19 2012, 08:06AM
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I have to disagree LT, there is no way they are NOT being led around blindly by Fehr... when you consider over 50% of the players today will play less than 100 games in the NHL, this negotiation in theory should be over already. No matter how mathematically challenged someone is, you can't miss an 82 game schedule, when the odds are your were only going to play 100 games or less to begin with, and you somehow believe a 10% paycut over the next 6 year CBA will hurt you more?? Either players have a weighted voting system based on their salaries or most of the players are simply very misinformed as this new cba would only hurt those at the very top of the payscale, 80% of the players would be far better off today just signing and getting back on the ice.

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#24 oilabroad
October 19 2012, 08:20AM
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See that is where I disagree, the NHL would not have put the offer out publicly if it was that bad, they did that to put the pressure on the players. Fehr is simply playing games here with the players livlihoods, and I hope the 50% of players who are going to be selling cars or real estate in a couple years think about how much another million in the bank would have helped their situation...

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#25 Lexi
October 19 2012, 08:29AM
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I actually think the sides are closer to a deal than yesterday's rhetoric indicates. I think we are just in a game of chicken that both sides will blink soon. There were two talking points I kept hearing from the players that tell me they are running out of things to fight over;

1) Players kept saying "if this was the league's best offer, why wasn't it brought out a month ago". That is asinine, as that isn't how negotiating works and I'm sure Fehr knows that. 2) They also talk about being made whole for this year's contracts. 50 out of 57 is 87%, while if they play 70 out of 82 games that is 85% and 60 out of 82 is 73%, so that tells me the players are going to make less money this year, no matter what the solution is. My hope is the players and/or their agents can do that math and that is why they will blink.

I think yesterday's pessimism is just a part of the negotiating spin and the reality is hockey will be played sometime in November.

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#26 Moses
October 19 2012, 08:40AM
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I say good for the players if they lose an entire season. I agree with everyone saying that the majority of players have nothing to gain by holding out, just the top paid players that are more likely to have a long NHL career.

If the bottom half of the league wont speak up due to pride then good for them.

Of course it is high paid players joining Fehr at the meetings, they are the only ones who really have anything to lose/gain.

50/50 is more than fair. No other business in the world other than professional sports would give employees anywhere near 50% of gross and nor should they if they want to be in business for very long.

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#27 Rick
October 19 2012, 08:44AM
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Lowetide wrote:

bookie: I certainly respect the players and their right to do as they choose in the negotiation. I also think it is ridiculous to imply--as some already have--that Fehr is leading them around as though they are blind.

One of the major issues in the negotiation can be summed up this way: Minnesota signed two enormous contracts WITH THE KNOWLEDGE that the negotiation plan was to cut those contracts. BEFORE they began!

I'm not sophisticated enough to know if that is bullying, or even if it is truly bad form, but I do respect the players' right to choose that hill to die on.

They can choose those contracts as their rallying cry and be somewhat justified in screaming bad faith, BUT they hardly have clean hands when it comes to they conduct themselves as well.

Was it good faith in June when the PA activated the 5% escalator clause for the cap despite knowing the key CBA issue was going to be revenue split and further being urged by the league to reconsider? If they don't do that they $90+ mil closer to an agreement

Is it good faith when the players and the agents came up with the fake final years to a ridiculously lengthed contract when they know full well they won't be playing them?

I guess the point being is that there are no white knights and there are no just causes in this fight. They are all certifiable. Players, owners and even us fans for continuing to beg for more.

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#28 madjam
October 19 2012, 08:49AM
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Bettmans sugar coated offer just another media ploy that backfired . With all the extra loopholes the owners offer was still below the 50-50 offer they tried unsucessfully to pull the wool over fansv aqnd players union. The weasle will now have to either get serious about negotiations or fast lose the season in it's entirity .

The players seem solid in support of Fehr and buckling under does not appear to be in the cards , 90% chance season will be lost now as owners go for same scenario as last lockout . I do not support any owner who does not live up to presigned contracts . Owners cannot expect players to take less than their contract - bottom line . Owners exposed with eggs on their faces . Phoney offer all along by Bettman and owners . Now thats the real spin . Sloth type movement that is going to take over a year to settle .

Lets see what next season will bring ! Oilers maintain first overall pick in junior draft because they have worst record over last three played season . Bonus , we get either MacKinnon or S.Jones . Nice concellation prize for Oilers and their fans i might add .

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#29 EL PRESIDENTE
October 19 2012, 08:50AM
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Has anyone analyzed the NHL schedule to see when the next couple of MULTI game weekends are?

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#30 Captain Obvious
October 19 2012, 10:13AM
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The players have conceded everything so far and without the owners giving a single reason why concessions are necessary. The owners deal was terrible for the players and didn't even address the underlying systemic issues in the game, like the way the salary floor is calculated, that are the root cause of whatever economic problems the league has.

The NHL is not losing money. Ergo the demand to cut salaries by 10% is absurd on its face. If the players don't resist now they will face a lockout every six years from here to eternity. This is their last, best, chance to salvage an even playing field in negotiations. If you don't understand that and if you don't respect that you're a bad person. Or, as Adam Proteau tweeted yesterday, "you have a different understanding of fairness than I do." I'd put it differently you have no idea of fairness at all.

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#31 rubbertrout
October 19 2012, 10:20AM
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Although the general perception is that the players "lost" the last lockout because of the rollback on salaries and the implementation of a cap, we have to recall that the last offers made by the owners before the season was cancelled were hard caps of $40M and $42.5M. These weren't linked to revenue if memory serves. Getting it linked to revenue was part of the reason for the significant increases in salaries for the players over the duration of the last CBA. That link, which wasn't part of what the owners offered to start with, was some measure of a "win" for the players but this is always overshadowed by the cap.

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#32 Dave
October 19 2012, 10:23AM
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I own a small company. 50% to the help? Not ever going to happen. Ask our neighbourhood glass installer if he's paying out 50% of his gross to his staff. A successful business has 15 to 30% (tops) of its gross allocated to staff. Infrastructure, advertising, accounting & legal, lease/mortgage payments, insurance(s), etc, etc all eat into that pie. I bust my ass off 10 - 18 hrs a day, 6 of 7 days a week, all year... for $100K a year. These are an entitled bunch of kids that have one talent but stay stuck at a 15 year old mentality. There's a reason there's a psychology dubbed the 'hockey player syndrome' as it pertains to how they mature & develop - they don't. They stay stuck at 15 until forced to deal with the real world when they hang 'em up. Completely out of touch with the real world, many, until then. And we're supposed to wait on their every mood swing to get a game back? Seriously? We're waiting on 15 yr old mentality to hold to principle... to honor... to respect?

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#33 Hair bag
October 19 2012, 10:35AM
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Let's look at the big picture here: In Ted Linday's day things were bad for the players and the owners were a**holes - they reaped all the benefits and made huge profits. In the 90's the pendulum swung the other way where the players were getting way more than they were worth and the economics of the game became unhealthy. The last CBA brought things closer to the center but I do not believe it is there yet. The player benefits (primarily $) has exploded and now they have to accept the fact, at some point, that their percentage is going to have to come down. It is purely pride that is keeping them from accepting this deal. If they were to step back and take the emotion out of it they would realize that they have a short window of opportunity to make the kind of money that they do in their NHL careers. A 10% drop is not that significant when you consider the avg salary of $2.5million will go down to $2.25million. Maybe they should start listening to their friends and family who avg maybe $100k per year or less - and get some perspective. In the big picture they are still making a truckload of money to play a game, money that should allow them to live very comfortably for the rest of their lives. Maybe they should remember the 5am mornings when they parents got up early to drive them to practice or sacrificing money in other areas, or working two/three jobs just so their kids could play hockey - that is sacrifice! The 10% rollback they are being asked to accept is nothing more than a shot to their pride because in the big picture they have nothing to complain about.

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#34 rubbertrout
October 19 2012, 10:36AM
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@Rick

Is it good faith when the players and the agents came up with the fake final years to a ridiculously lengthed contract when they know full well they won't be playing them?

It drives me nuts when people suggest that the front loaded contract was entirely the creation of the agents and the players. You don't think that the GM's had something to do with it too? You don't think that the owners who were having to pay for these contracts signed off on them (either explicitly or implicitly by giving the GMs carte blanche within a budget)?

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#35 rubbertrout
October 19 2012, 10:38AM
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Dave wrote:

I own a small company. 50% to the help? Not ever going to happen. Ask our neighbourhood glass installer if he's paying out 50% of his gross to his staff. A successful business has 15 to 30% (tops) of its gross allocated to staff. Infrastructure, advertising, accounting & legal, lease/mortgage payments, insurance(s), etc, etc all eat into that pie. I bust my ass off 10 - 18 hrs a day, 6 of 7 days a week, all year... for $100K a year. These are an entitled bunch of kids that have one talent but stay stuck at a 15 year old mentality. There's a reason there's a psychology dubbed the 'hockey player syndrome' as it pertains to how they mature & develop - they don't. They stay stuck at 15 until forced to deal with the real world when they hang 'em up. Completely out of touch with the real world, many, until then. And we're supposed to wait on their every mood swing to get a game back? Seriously? We're waiting on 15 yr old mentality to hold to principle... to honor... to respect?

The distinction here is that the "help" are the very product that is being sold. It is pretty tough to compare a widget company to this scenario.

A brothel might be a better example ;)

Gary Bettman is one nasty pimp.

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#36 Hair bag
October 19 2012, 10:40AM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

The players have conceded everything so far and without the owners giving a single reason why concessions are necessary. The owners deal was terrible for the players and didn't even address the underlying systemic issues in the game, like the way the salary floor is calculated, that are the root cause of whatever economic problems the league has.

The NHL is not losing money. Ergo the demand to cut salaries by 10% is absurd on its face. If the players don't resist now they will face a lockout every six years from here to eternity. This is their last, best, chance to salvage an even playing field in negotiations. If you don't understand that and if you don't respect that you're a bad person. Or, as Adam Proteau tweeted yesterday, "you have a different understanding of fairness than I do." I'd put it differently you have no idea of fairness at all.

And the players gained everything in the 90's while the owners started losing money - there has to be a balance. Your comment about the NHL not losing money is completely naive, do you read the newspapers, do you think the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg because they were a profitable business in Atlanta, Phoenix, etc. Were you around when the Canadian dollar was low and the Canadian teams struggled to keep their franchises because of the economics - give your head a shake!

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#37 Rick
October 19 2012, 10:42AM
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@rubbertrout

Does it change anything to include the GM's in the finger pointing?

The point is that there is no moral high ground for any of the players (no pun intended) involved when it comes to good vs bad faith bargaining.

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#38 rubbertrout
October 19 2012, 10:53AM
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@Rick

It does. Blaming the players and agents solely for the circumvention makes them out to be the "bad guys". You yourself use this as an argument for bad faith. The guys that the owners hire to put their teams together have just as much to do with this as the players do. The owners hire these guys to do hockey operations. Calling it a "player/agent" problem turns a blind eye to the owners' roles in creating their own problems.

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#39 Wolva Groova
October 19 2012, 10:56AM
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Fehr kept saying that the players were happy with the current CBA and wanted to keep playing under it. Then the next breath he talks about the huge concessions they made when they agreed to the last CBA. He puts the dic in contradiction. (CBA should not be the term for this either. Collective(nope) Bargaining(nope) Agreement(nope))

Then Bettman the baby comes out and basically is upset that the PA is not using the owners' proposal as the framework for their counter proposal. Come on!!!

I can't stand it anymore. Why do they hold press conferences for this crap? I think the less I know the better. You're right LT; I'm not on anyone's side, I just want hockey back. Everytime the details come out I get lock jaw from clenching so hard.

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#40 Rick
October 19 2012, 11:07AM
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@rubbertrout

Unless you are suggesting that the players and their agents had no roll to play in the cap circumvention then you are chasing rainbows.

In the very post you quoted from I said the owners are no different. So my question would be, by objecting the way you are, are you actually suggesting that the players are not guilty of bargaining in bad faith with this example?

If not, then perhaps it's time to move along. If so then state your case. But either way it's probably best that you don't try and frame my point in a manner in which it wasn't intended.

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#41 oilabroad
October 19 2012, 11:14AM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

The players have conceded everything so far and without the owners giving a single reason why concessions are necessary. The owners deal was terrible for the players and didn't even address the underlying systemic issues in the game, like the way the salary floor is calculated, that are the root cause of whatever economic problems the league has.

The NHL is not losing money. Ergo the demand to cut salaries by 10% is absurd on its face. If the players don't resist now they will face a lockout every six years from here to eternity. This is their last, best, chance to salvage an even playing field in negotiations. If you don't understand that and if you don't respect that you're a bad person. Or, as Adam Proteau tweeted yesterday, "you have a different understanding of fairness than I do." I'd put it differently you have no idea of fairness at all.

First off, there is no agreement to this point so not sure what the players have conceeded. Secondly, I know on no other business that opens its books to the staff to negotiate what percentage of THEIR income the staff is going to get. If the players want to invest their money and buy into the league and take home their percentage of the income, then I have no problem with that, but until that day, take your 2.4M, shut your mouth and play hockey... replacing hockey players is easy, trying to find people with 300M kicking around to buy a franchise with a low ROI is difficult.

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#42 Cody anderson
October 19 2012, 11:47AM
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Unless the system is fixed I would not sign the agreement.

Forget what their chosen career is and what their income is.

If my employer came to me durind record profit years and renegotiated my commission rate so that I would make less and the company would make more for the same thing I have always done for them; it would be very hard to take.

Then 6 yrs later after posting record profits they come to me again telling me I am making too much and wanting to reduce my commision again. I don't care what the $ amount is I would be pissed and would let them know exactly what I thought of their idea. If they insisted I would be looking for work with another employer, preferably one that competes against my previous employer.

The only way I would sign is if the problems were fixed to the point that I was comfortable that I would not be asked to take another reduction when the next CBA expires.

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#43 Captain Obvious
October 19 2012, 12:18PM
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Dave wrote:

I own a small company. 50% to the help? Not ever going to happen. Ask our neighbourhood glass installer if he's paying out 50% of his gross to his staff. A successful business has 15 to 30% (tops) of its gross allocated to staff. Infrastructure, advertising, accounting & legal, lease/mortgage payments, insurance(s), etc, etc all eat into that pie. I bust my ass off 10 - 18 hrs a day, 6 of 7 days a week, all year... for $100K a year. These are an entitled bunch of kids that have one talent but stay stuck at a 15 year old mentality. There's a reason there's a psychology dubbed the 'hockey player syndrome' as it pertains to how they mature & develop - they don't. They stay stuck at 15 until forced to deal with the real world when they hang 'em up. Completely out of touch with the real world, many, until then. And we're supposed to wait on their every mood swing to get a game back? Seriously? We're waiting on 15 yr old mentality to hold to principle... to honor... to respect?

I'm just going to steal my response from an excellent post over at lowetide's site.

"I’m amazed how much traction 50% has as an idea. With well-educated people, too, as in “I’d never give my employees over Half of my Business!!”.

If I hire ten engineers at $90k each and rent them out at 100, they’re getting paid 90% of my revenue. I don’t care. What I care about is what my 100k looks like against my investment in the business – if I bought into this arrangement for 200k then my investment is returning me 50%. If I paid a million, then I’m getting 10% in return.

The players salaries are part of COGS, doesn’t make a bloody bit of difference. If I booked the Stones to play – another entertainment example – I expect they would be getting 90% of the gross proceeds too. It’s irrelevant. What matters is what’s left over as compared with what had to be put in. The transaction volumes in the middle of all that do not matter.

It’s irritating hearing about the fairness or not of 50% coming from professionals, doctors etc. – where the talent always gets the huge majority of the revenue – who think they are contemplating 50% to their receptionists, instead of realizing that they are in fact the highly-paid players."

So the 50% number is a complete red herring. If you are caught up in it this simply shows that you don't understand how business operates.

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#44 rubbertrout
October 19 2012, 01:52PM
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Rick wrote:

They can choose those contracts as their rallying cry and be somewhat justified in screaming bad faith, BUT they hardly have clean hands when it comes to they conduct themselves as well.

Was it good faith in June when the PA activated the 5% escalator clause for the cap despite knowing the key CBA issue was going to be revenue split and further being urged by the league to reconsider? If they don't do that they $90+ mil closer to an agreement

Is it good faith when the players and the agents came up with the fake final years to a ridiculously lengthed contract when they know full well they won't be playing them?

I guess the point being is that there are no white knights and there are no just causes in this fight. They are all certifiable. Players, owners and even us fans for continuing to beg for more.

Here's the whole quote.

I think it is pretty clear that the "they" you are referring to in the first paragraph is the players. The next two paragraphs are referring to the players as well.

My reply was that I thought the categorization of the "ridiculously lengthened contract" as entirely being the purview of the players was unfair because the GMs were in on it too. Your comment specifically says that it was the "players and agents" that came upwith the notion. Am I misreading this?

It is pretty clear what you were referring to in my mind. To try and justify the comment about contracts as being related to both owners and players in the context of your last paragraph which refers to "no white knights"( which point I agree with by the way) when it clearly isn't is a bit of a stretch.

I'm pretty sure that I never suggested that players and agents had nothing to do with the front loaded contracts. The actual item that I said was as follows:

The guys that the owners hire to put their teams together have just as much to do with this as the players do.

If that suggests to you that I'm putting the blame solely on one side or another then perhaps it is you that should "move along".

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#45 nathan
October 19 2012, 02:16PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Chris: That's what I'm saying. The players must clearly believe that losing a season is better than giving in. That's what today was all about imo.

Today, the players told the owners to shove their money, shove their season. We're not playing.

I've never lost 6M in a season, so don't really know what to say about it. Except--as I mentioned above--that you have to respect their decision.

they are not chattle.

"It's not you. It's me"

A lot of this is about the PA. From Eagleson on the PA has lurched from one disaster to the next. So they finally hired someone with a proven record and are locked 100% into the outcome. The modus operandi for the staying out and for settling is going to be exactly that indifference the NHL and the MLBPA are so good at.

Oddly enough both sides have accepted 50-50 as the goal. The indifference is all about the trip there. Fehr's channelling King ("not necessarily 50% but 50% if necessary") and won't guarantee the progress to the goal over the period of the contract.

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#46 Chris
October 19 2012, 02:53PM
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@Captain Obvious

Captain oblivious at it again.... You really have no clue.

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#47 Hair bag
October 19 2012, 03:40PM
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Chris wrote:

Captain oblivious at it again.... You really have no clue.

Totally agree

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#48 Pouzar
October 19 2012, 04:03PM
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Lowetide, the premise of the last CBA was cost certainty (linkage). The cap as we know it is just the side effect of it.

Contracts that are signed by players are done so under the guidelines of the CBA. They have been/are subject to escrow, potential rollbacks, etc.

The fact that you have problems understanding these basic ideas does not say much about your ability as a hoockey blogger to be honest, at least as far as a good one goes.

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#49 Pouzar99
October 19 2012, 04:53PM
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Just noting that the previous comment was made by Pouzar, NOT me, Pouzar99. Didn't know the Pouz was that popular.

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#50 book¡e
October 19 2012, 09:29PM
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@Captain Obvious

If the Stones don't want to play your gig, they just go to the next town and make as much. The players can't.

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