Are the Philadelphia Flyers leading the charge on the NHL side to end the lockout?

Jonathan Willis
November 17 2012 10:02AM

According to a report in the Philadelphia Daily News, Flyers owner Ed Snider – pictured above and one of the most influential owners in hockey – is pushing for the league to bridge the gap with the players’ association and bring the lockout to an end. Does this mean we could once again have NHL hockey in the near future?

The Report

The piece on Snider is by Flyers beat reporter Frank Seravalli, and mentions a lot of interesting things. I highly recommend reading the full item. This is an excerpt:

Behind the scenes, there seems to be a seismic shift going on among the NHL's Board of Governors, also known as the group that Bettman answers to collectively… Multiple sources confirmed to the Daily News on Friday that Snider, once seen as a supporter of the Bettman's push to rein in the players' share of revenue, has soured on the process after it became apparent that a deal would not be brokered in time for a Dec. 1 puck drop.

It’s worth noting that the entire piece is sourced anonymously. There is enough meat there to be interesting – and Seravalli, in my experience, is a solid reporter – but it remains a caveat that must be mentioned.

The Implications

Beyond the fact that Snider is an influential voice on the Board of Governors, he’s also the chairman of Comcast SportsNet, also known as NBC Sports Regional Networks. A shift in Snider’s position may suggest a shift in the position of NBC. While the NHL has a long-term deal with the network, they’ve long prioritized the needs and requirements of American television.

If in fact the television networks are getting antsy about the fallout of a prolonged labour dispute, that will be a major pressure on the league to get a deal done.

Bettman’s Perspective

While the task facing NHL owners hoping for a settlement is daunting – they need a three-quarters vote to overrule the commissioner – it seems very unlikely that this is a situation that will eventually come to a vote. Gary Bettman is not a dictator wielding absolute power – in the long-term, his job is dependant on the good will and the support of the Board of Governors. He can’t afford to alienate them, and he knows that. If support really is shifting behind the scenes, it seems probable that he will respect the owners’ wishes.

Of course, Bettman also has opportunity to try to convince doubtful owners that continuing the lockout is the right course of action financially, and he has a decent case if there’s a belief that the NHLPA will bend under further pressure.

I’ve looked at the NHL’s financial motivations previously, and the fact is that on a CBA with a six-year term, every dollar they save in negotiations is worth losing six dollars this season. At this point, with the long-term dollars seemingly set at a 50/50 split, the owners have already gotten their money’s worth out of this lockout – a 12 percent drop in the percentage of revenue allocated to players easily justifies losing half a season when seen through a financial lens. The question is whether Bettman’s numbers suggest that putting a deal off a little longer could result in additional benefits for the league, enough to outweigh lost time this year and the potential of diminished fan support next year.

The players, after all, are in a much less favourable position financially: money lost now is money that the vast majority will never recoup even if they are able to secure concessions from the league. The NHLPA’s financial interest has always been represented by getting the best deal they can as quickly as possible.

Bridging the Gap

The long-term future of the NHL appears to be set: the owners and players will split hockey-related revenue, as currently defined, 50-50 over the bulk of the next agreement. The remaining issues – the NHL wants small contractual concessions and there are disagreements over how to get to 50/50 and how to share damage caused by the lockout – are significant but really should not be the sort of problems that threaten the season.

The players have a financial incentive to get a deal done, and though Donald Fehr has done a good job of downplaying that he is under pressure. If the owners can start to put the same pressure on Gary Bettman, maybe there’s a deal to be had.

Then again, there have been positive indicators in these negotiations before and they have ultimately gone nowhere.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 The Towel Boy
November 17 2012, 10:23AM
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BRING ME BACK MY HOCKEY!!! #Yelling #HashtagsOnTheNation

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#2 Gret99zky
November 17 2012, 11:47AM
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Snider is part of the problem and is one of the reasons why the other owners need protection. His offer sheet to Weber, his ridiculous Pronger and Bryz contracts, his hand in the last lock-out. Snider's only interest is Ed Snider.

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#3 Jason Gregor
November 17 2012, 05:25PM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

I don't know how Willis engages with the masses of oilers nation. The people here are so ignorant of basic economic and philosophical principles that it is impossible to have a rational conversation.

There is a reason that 100% of intelligent and educated people understand the players side and are basically in support of it. Because they are right.

Only smart people side with the players? Did I read that correctly. That might be the funniest thing I've read in a long time, completely inaccurate, but funny.

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#4 John Ross
November 17 2012, 05:28PM
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I read every article on this website, and love this site. But for the love of God can you please just take off the canucks 3, oilers 0 scoreboard. I've been looking at it forever, everyday, can't take it anymore. Maybe put the okc score there?

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#5 Dodd
November 17 2012, 10:48AM
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I'm starting to wish financial harm on both sides (immature and ultimately pointless, yes) - I want both the ownership and players to work harder NEXT time because of the financial collapse of the league in '12/13.

I realize "collapse" won't happen, but I wish economic pain for both sides - they might learn something. Kill the entire season, and let Bettman and Fehr lose their jobs, and players and owners lose millions. Might make the future brighter for the fans.

If the season is saved, nobody hurts for long, and eventually this lockout is forgotten in time for the next one.

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#7 Hair bag
November 17 2012, 07:48PM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

Name one (other than yourself). The people who are pro-owner are people who have no understanding of the issues.

Conversely, those who are pro-player read like a whose who of the impartial, informed, and fair minded. For instance, from my twitter feed who are pretty clearly pro player (to some degree) and who have no vested interest in their success.

Jesse Spector Ryan Lambert Jonathan Willis 67sound (whoever he is, he is smart) Adam Proteau Michael Grange James Mirtle Matt Fenwick Tyler Dellow Woodguy Greg Wyshynski

Seriously, what kind of people are on the other side?

I'm on the other side. I'm a business owner who lives in the real world. The guys who support the players seem to be anti-ownership simply because the owners have built far more wealth than they ever will (most of them not through their NHL franchises mind you) - jealousy maybe. You have a province built on entrepreneurship where most of the people on here understand that it takes a lot to build, operate and grow a business for the long term. The system is broke - it needs to be fixed in order for long term success of all the franchises not a dozen or less. These are not the days of Ted Lindsay, the pendulum has swung far the other way and needs to come back to the middle. The average Joe supports the owners because a 10% rollback on an avg $2.4million/year contract is not the same as a 10% rollback for someone who makes $60k/year and struggles to feed their family.

Oh and by the way, all the people you listed who are apparently so smart and well informed - none of them are business owners they are all employees....

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#8 John Chambers
November 17 2012, 10:17AM
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If anything is encouraging it's that both sides are reaching the point of a Hurting Stalemate where both parties suffer from maintaining the status quo.

IMO, the onus is on the players union to deliver a counterproposal in-line with what has been negotiated thus far if expect to see anything productive happen over the next two weeks.

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#9 Fresh Mess
November 17 2012, 12:17PM
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Ed Snider has done more to circumvent the cap and inflate player salaries than anyone. He is an Ayn Rand zealot who is against enhanced profit sharing amongst the owners. He wants to retain his status as one of the wealthier franchises to have a competitive advantage.

As has already been mentioned, he has an interest in the NBC regional sports network.

Snider is part of the problem.

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#12 Captain Obvious
November 17 2012, 03:18PM
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I don't know how Willis engages with the masses of oilers nation. The people here are so ignorant of basic economic and philosophical principles that it is impossible to have a rational conversation.

There is a reason that 100% of intelligent and educated people understand the players side and are basically in support of it. Because they are right.

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#13 Captain Obvious
November 17 2012, 03:25PM
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@toprightcorner

Case in point. The fight against changes in contractual rights that Fehr is spearheading benefits young players and players with short careers more than it does the Sidney Crosby's of the world.

Similarly, this notion that the owners should cancel the CBA and start over is farcical. The CBA is the only thing that allows the owners to take anti-competitive measures to restrict salaries in the first place through a salary cap, entry draft, ELC's etc. It is only through the good will and cooperation of the union that the league is allowed to operate as it does. If there were no union there would be no league because then teams would be forced to compete against each other for real.

If you are going to insist on having an opinion it is your responsibility to have an educated one.

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#14 G Money
November 18 2012, 01:19AM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

Here is a basic business principle which, if you are as successful as you say you are, you should understand.

First, % or HRR revenue is completely irrelevant from a business perspective. For instance if a business pays 90% of employee related revenue to an employee what matters isn't the 90% number. What matters is the relationship between capital investment, fixed costs, marginal costs, and the return that is received from the remaining 10%.

If you have only one employee paying them 90% of revenue is absurd. However, if you have an economy of scale and hence your fixed costs are proportionately low, then what matters is the return on investment you get on the remaining 10%. As such there is nothing intrinsically unfair about 57% of HRR and nothing intrinsically fair about 50%.

Second, the NHL as a whole is economically viable right now. Insofar as individual franchises have economic difficulties it is because their costs have risen faster than their revenues as a direct result of the system Bettman negotiated for them. The salary floor is the problem and nothing the NHL has proposed will address this problem. As such, from a business perspective, this lockout damages the long term prospects of the league to gain concessions that won't address the underlying economic problems of the league.

Finally, as this debate is demonstrating, there is a big difference between being pro-business and being pro free market. In this case it is the players that are defending free market principles while the owners are defending their right to act as a cartel. As a matter of philosophical principles, whether you are pro labour on the left, or in favour of free markets on the right, the players are the ones you should support.

There isn't a single rational philosophical principle that can be evoked on the side of the owners.

Your post is mostly amusing - and completely misguided. And throwing out the old 'anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot' is the classic fallback argument of those who have no supportable argument.

Like Hair bag, I am an actual business owner, one who's made a lot of money over a lot of years. Though I laugh at the idea that someone can truly pick sides in this situation (entitled millionaires playing a game for a living vs arrogant billionaires owning teams for amusement), as far as the business validity of the situation goes, I am 100% in agreement with the owners position.

Throwing out a statement like "HRR revenue is completely irrelevant ... what matters is the relationship between capital investment, fixed costs, marginal costs, and the return that is received from the remaining 10%" pretty much assures me that you have no clue about how a business actually operates, but a great desire to throw out buzzwords that make it sound like you do.

The only business that doesn't care about its revenue, however defined, is a bankrupt one. And as far as the capital invested, fixed and variable costs, and return (ROE/ROA/ROIC), those are not relevant to the discussion with the NHLPA. They relate to the invesment in and running of the business, and since players have never invested a red cent in the teams they wish to extract the lions share of revenue from, these are all 100% the owners issue.

And to suggest the players are pro free market is a laugh. By definition, any union is anti-free-market. And if it were a free market, the owners could be described as a cartel, but no moreso than a union acts as a cartel for employees. Both arguments disappear in the context of a sports league negotiating with a union on the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

If a CBA were not in existence, and the 'league' were to operate under true free market principles, it would be a disaster for players, since only about 6 franchises would pay a kings ransom to the star players (but NEVER with guaranteed contracts), while pretty soon all the other franchises would disappear. That's why the idea of the players union decertifying is an empty threat, and why the few times it has happened, it pretty much always ended badly for the players.

There is no true right and wrong anyway, but one thing is for sure - the NHLPA are idiots for not having signed already. The posturing they are doing right now is merely a very very expensive braying of morons.

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#16 oilabroad
November 17 2012, 10:33AM
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Interesting read on the so-called 50/50 this morning http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/179740001.html ... I think if we are seeing any dissent on the owners side, it is likely a way for Bettman to agree to a deal without agreeing with the deal, a way to save face and not look like he buckled to the PA...

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#18 Gret99zky
November 17 2012, 10:56AM
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Meh. Sounds more like a conflict of interest and a personal agenda for Snider than a crack in the NHL's BOG. Besides, don't the other owners have a vote? You know the ones without a major TV station and a deal with the NHL?

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#19 nunyour
November 17 2012, 10:59AM
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can they have a 50-50 split and lower the salary cap to a point where most teams make a profit?

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#22 G Money
November 17 2012, 11:02AM
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Maybe the players will smarten up if we can somehow start publicizing the recent Hostess bankruptcy to them. The company is gone because the workers thought they were too important to accept more pay cuts, especially in light of the cutbacks they had endured in the previous strike (sound familiar, NHLPA?).

End result? The owners will likely break even on the deal, since the brands like Twinkies are worth a lot. On the other hand, over 18,000 workers are out of a job. They will never make up the money lost during the strike, nor will they make up the money lost while they look for their next job. I would bet that almost all will end up working for the same or less than what Hostess was offering in the first place. Wonder how many marriage, home, etc. losses will follow. Talk about a hollow victory.

Now I understand that there are structural differences (strike vs lockout, entitled millionaires vs blue collar workers), but the lesson is the same. The owners will be fine regardless. The players are holding out for changes that will never ever come close to paying back on the money they are losing.

Hey NHLPA: you have a quintessentially fair deal at 50-50. The rest is minor details. Even in the unlikely event you get the deal you are holding out for, at this point you will never come close to making back the money you are losing. Many of the owners on the other hand are fine waiting, since they are losing less than you, and they have lots of other revenue sources to keep them in caviar and private jets.

Take the deal. Get back to being paid millions to play a game. Your posturing at this point is just grandiose stupidity of the highest order.

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#24 atleastwehavethekhl
November 17 2012, 11:28AM
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With this "the NHL must pay for the damage inflicted by the lockout" demand currently being pushed by the PA, I really can't see how an agreement gets done.

I get the move, but on the other hand, it's insanely unrealistic. If the PA doesn't get this out of their heads, we can pretty much guarantee a season doesn't happen.

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#25 nunyour
November 17 2012, 11:59AM
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isn,t that what lawyers do,wait till one side is finacially motivated ?

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#26 Rama Lama
November 17 2012, 12:17PM
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Forget dealing with the NHLPA, they are using the negotiating model developed by the military.........Operation Moving Target!

Time to draw the line in the sand, no deal by Dec 1 and the season is cancelled......no more back and forth.

If no deal is imminent, start fresh with a new league.

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#27 toprightcorner
November 17 2012, 12:23PM
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I think everyone has been fooling themselves if they thought this was going to be a short negotiation once Fehr was hired by the NHLPA.

His history shows he is willing to take as much time as required to get what he wants, the difference with this CBA is that the owners are trying to do whats best, long term, for all of the teams and Fehr is doing what only seems to benefit the top 10% of the players.

Fehr is starting to lose solidarity of the majority group of players (making less than $2 million a year) since he seems more concerned about the uber-rich players. And this 2 week "break" will weaken it even more.

Bettman has outmatched Fehr every step of the way, almost to the point that Fehr will not likely be part of the next CBA negotiations, which I believe is a huge goal of the owners. If they spanked the players last time (in the players eyes) and then clearly beat the baddest dog on the pound in Donald Fehr, Every future CBA negotiations will go smoother as the players finally understand they are simply employees and do not have the power and say that they think. The way it should be.

If the players hate Bettman, then he is doing his job for the owners.

Hopefully the players realize that a man like Paul Kelly leading them would lead to much more success then a pitbull.

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#28 toprightcorner
November 17 2012, 12:27PM
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Owners have a longer vision and looking not at the complete results of this CBA, but the next one. Setting another precedence this time gives them way more control in the future.

Look at the NFL, the owners have full control and nothing the players can do about it. Players still get paid great money and are not taken advantage of and are treated well. That is how a successful business is run. The NHL would like to move as far in that direction as possible and this CBA is an important victory to have to achieve that goal.

Their success is based on a long timeline, the players, for the most part, a short one.

The tortise will again beat the hare.

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#29 Sanaa Montana
November 17 2012, 01:41PM
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@Jonathan Willis

So is he leading the charge or not? Or are you asking us?

Why do you aimlessly side with the PA and make asinine assumptions about Bettman and Co.?

Where do you get the idea that the NHLPA’s financial interest has always been represented by getting the best deal they can as quickly as possible? How did you come to that conclusion? They haven't presented one offer to date of their own, all they done is turn down the leagues.

"The players have a financial incentive to get a deal done, and though Donald Fehr has done a good job of downplaying that he is under pressure. If the owners can start to put the same pressure on Gary Bettman, maybe there’s a deal to be had." Who is Fehr under pressure from? Why would the owners put pressure on Bettman? What did they tell you he ain't doing and is slacking off on?

What were some of these positive indicators that gone nowhere?

But, my real question is: why does the media side with the players all the time and go to lenghts to make them look good and righteous?

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#30 Sanaa Montana
November 17 2012, 02:36PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Keep up the good work. ;-')

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#31 toprightcorner
November 17 2012, 03:12PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

You're dreaming if you think the league is going to beat the players into submission.

They crushed the players in the last CBA negotiations - to the tune of $3.5 billion dollars - and it's only created greater player enmity.

It's just like the Treaty of Versailles: when one side gets everything it wants, it sets the seeds for the next war.

Agreed, the owners won't beat them into submission, but they will definitely win, as they should.

$3.5 Billion that the players got 57% of, over $400 million more than the owners, players, as a whole, made almost twice as much during this CBA than the last one so they didn't get crushed when looking back. They made more because of the owners, not made less in spite of them. Players just won't open their eyes to realize that because they are uneducated followers(for the most part) When George Parros is arguably the smartest player in the league (Princeton graduate), and most others struggled to graduate high school with hockey their focus, it is a perfect storm to have a greedy, conceited, egotistical lawyer to get you to believe anything he says to make himself look good at any cost and not do what is best for the majority of the players (lower paid, shorter career).

Your Treaty of Versailles analogy supports my claim, The NHL's plan is to win now against the big bad Fehr, the players heaviest hitter ever, then plant the seeds so in in 7 - 10 years (depending on CBA length) they will be in position to not lose anything, but gain a little more and every CBA they will gain a little more.

I know I am in the minority, but I am for the owners all the way. If you don't like who your employer is and work is that bad, quit and get a new job!!

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#32 toprightcorner
November 17 2012, 03:16PM
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The lock out could be ended within a week.

NHL offers that the minimum salary be increased to $1 million per year and that contract length would be based on the average annual salary. The higher the cap hit, the lower the years. Or a maximum of a total contract can be $25 million.

Tell them the offer is to benefit the players who are more likely to have shorter careers and have been hurt the most from the lost income.

Everything else stays the same as the NHL's current proposal.

Other condition is that this offer must be voted on by all members of the NHLPA.

If this happened, we would be playing hockey again by Dec 15th.

This would also reduce the huge gaps in salaries between players.

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#33 Captain Obvious
November 17 2012, 05:52PM
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@Jason Gregor

Name one (other than yourself). The people who are pro-owner are people who have no understanding of the issues.

Conversely, those who are pro-player read like a whose who of the impartial, informed, and fair minded. For instance, from my twitter feed who are pretty clearly pro player (to some degree) and who have no vested interest in their success.

Jesse Spector Ryan Lambert Jonathan Willis 67sound (whoever he is, he is smart) Adam Proteau Michael Grange James Mirtle Matt Fenwick Tyler Dellow Woodguy Greg Wyshynski

Seriously, what kind of people are on the other side?

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#34 FastOil
November 17 2012, 10:15PM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

Case in point. The fight against changes in contractual rights that Fehr is spearheading benefits young players and players with short careers more than it does the Sidney Crosby's of the world.

Similarly, this notion that the owners should cancel the CBA and start over is farcical. The CBA is the only thing that allows the owners to take anti-competitive measures to restrict salaries in the first place through a salary cap, entry draft, ELC's etc. It is only through the good will and cooperation of the union that the league is allowed to operate as it does. If there were no union there would be no league because then teams would be forced to compete against each other for real.

If you are going to insist on having an opinion it is your responsibility to have an educated one.

Are you by chance in a union?

I can guarantee that union or not, the league would continue to exist.

Money is what motivates venture. If there is money to be made, at some point, somebody will take a chance to make it.

You purport yourself to be smart, and I enjoy your posts about hockey player's stats and the value of salaries.

The "players" as an entity exist in tandem with the league. The players as individuals are overwhelmingly short term participants in the league.

Overall players have no leverage because of immediate and irretrievable financial losses for the majority, and the owners know it.

What is happening is less a league / player negotiation than an owner / owner negotiation. Rules for people so wealthy they play backgammon via sports teams.

The over competitive guys (owners by definition because of their wealth) need to establish some rules so they don't piss away too much cash (call it house limits).

If you overlook the fiscal realities of cost and benefit, you my friend are a fool. The world operates at the upper levels at least by these motivations. The players are pawns here, not deserving of disrespect in that way, as no one is, but there you have it.

The world may progress but it doesn't change easily.

The NHL doesn't have enough cache to have to be accountable to fans like MLB or NFL. The US doesn't really give a hoot, and the parts that do and Canada will return no matter what, perhaps bitching and moaning, even if the league ices replacement players and fires every existing player. NHL fans aren't fans, they're more like zealots.

In two or three years, the game will be competitive again with the new players coming in. Russia is far too crazy to take over with the KHL.

I am not saying the owners will take it that far, but I am saying they could and likely survive it.

They may lose corporate support in those years, but as soon as views begin to spike as things get good, someone will buy. Such is business.

This only gets as ugly as the owner's desire it to. Perhaps the biggest sin here is Fehr intimating that what he did in baseball will work with an old boys club like the NHL with specific regional support. Not the same ball of wax.

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#35 Captain Obvious
November 17 2012, 10:19PM
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@Hair bag

Here is a basic business principle which, if you are as successful as you say you are, you should understand.

First, % or HRR revenue is completely irrelevant from a business perspective. For instance if a business pays 90% of employee related revenue to an employee what matters isn't the 90% number. What matters is the relationship between capital investment, fixed costs, marginal costs, and the return that is received from the remaining 10%.

If you have only one employee paying them 90% of revenue is absurd. However, if you have an economy of scale and hence your fixed costs are proportionately low, then what matters is the return on investment you get on the remaining 10%. As such there is nothing intrinsically unfair about 57% of HRR and nothing intrinsically fair about 50%.

Second, the NHL as a whole is economically viable right now. Insofar as individual franchises have economic difficulties it is because their costs have risen faster than their revenues as a direct result of the system Bettman negotiated for them. The salary floor is the problem and nothing the NHL has proposed will address this problem. As such, from a business perspective, this lockout damages the long term prospects of the league to gain concessions that won't address the underlying economic problems of the league.

Finally, as this debate is demonstrating, there is a big difference between being pro-business and being pro free market. In this case it is the players that are defending free market principles while the owners are defending their right to act as a cartel. As a matter of philosophical principles, whether you are pro labour on the left, or in favour of free markets on the right, the players are the ones you should support.

There isn't a single rational philosophical principle that can be evoked on the side of the owners.

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#36 Captain Obvious
November 17 2012, 10:33PM
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@FastOil

My point was simpler than you are making it out. If there were no union the NHL would go on, of course. However, it would go on without a salary cap, because a salary cap is illegal without a union.

So if it is true that a salary cap is necessary in order to have "cost certainty" then it is incumbent upon the NHL to give the players something in return for them to accept it.

Now it is impossible to predict what would happen exactly under free market principles however it seems quite likely that this would increase the salaries of the best players, lower the salaries of some players, and dramatically hurt the ability of the majority of teams to compete.

If the league needs a salary cap, a contractual structure that divides younger players amongts the teams, and an entry draft, then it needs to negotiate in good faith with the players and treat them as partners. Simply put, the players are not employees. They are the whole league.

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#37 RushPhan
November 18 2012, 01:29AM
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What this tells me is who it is that tells Bettman and Daly where to squat. Now we may know who it is calling the shots behind the scenes. That shouldn't surprise anyone but now it may be out in the open.

Gary may be an endangered species after the dust settles. We'll see. I just hope the next commish doesn't have a Napolean complex.

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#38 ed in mada
November 18 2012, 02:32AM
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I find it interesting that many people feel the need to make a value judgement that either the PA or NHL are "right" or "wrong".

The PA and NHL are in a business negotiation in an attempt to reach an agreement that provides the greatest benefit to them (as they see it). There is no "right" or "wrong" or moral high ground in this (or any other business negotiation).

IMO the NHL in a stronger negotiating position and are likley to get more of what they are seeking than the PA.

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#39 Sanaa Montana
November 18 2012, 03:01AM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

I don't know how Willis engages with the masses of oilers nation. The people here are so ignorant of basic economic and philosophical principles that it is impossible to have a rational conversation.

There is a reason that 100% of intelligent and educated people understand the players side and are basically in support of it. Because they are right.

Can you prop your comment for me, please?

I hate to thing that there was another visitor that prop'd that.

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#40 SB
November 18 2012, 03:12AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

You're dreaming if you think the league is going to beat the players into submission.

They crushed the players in the last CBA negotiations - to the tune of $3.5 billion dollars - and it's only created greater player enmity.

It's just like the Treaty of Versailles: when one side gets everything it wants, it sets the seeds for the next war.

Give me a break.... If the owners got everything they wanted and the players got screwed then why are players fighting so hard to keep the current CBA?

You want the definition of irony : The players giving up a years salary fighting against a system....that they now are willing to loose another years salary to keep! WOW

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#41 Slyers
November 18 2012, 03:33AM
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G Money wrote:

Your post is mostly amusing - and completely misguided. And throwing out the old 'anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot' is the classic fallback argument of those who have no supportable argument.

Like Hair bag, I am an actual business owner, one who's made a lot of money over a lot of years. Though I laugh at the idea that someone can truly pick sides in this situation (entitled millionaires playing a game for a living vs arrogant billionaires owning teams for amusement), as far as the business validity of the situation goes, I am 100% in agreement with the owners position.

Throwing out a statement like "HRR revenue is completely irrelevant ... what matters is the relationship between capital investment, fixed costs, marginal costs, and the return that is received from the remaining 10%" pretty much assures me that you have no clue about how a business actually operates, but a great desire to throw out buzzwords that make it sound like you do.

The only business that doesn't care about its revenue, however defined, is a bankrupt one. And as far as the capital invested, fixed and variable costs, and return (ROE/ROA/ROIC), those are not relevant to the discussion with the NHLPA. They relate to the invesment in and running of the business, and since players have never invested a red cent in the teams they wish to extract the lions share of revenue from, these are all 100% the owners issue.

And to suggest the players are pro free market is a laugh. By definition, any union is anti-free-market. And if it were a free market, the owners could be described as a cartel, but no moreso than a union acts as a cartel for employees. Both arguments disappear in the context of a sports league negotiating with a union on the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

If a CBA were not in existence, and the 'league' were to operate under true free market principles, it would be a disaster for players, since only about 6 franchises would pay a kings ransom to the star players (but NEVER with guaranteed contracts), while pretty soon all the other franchises would disappear. That's why the idea of the players union decertifying is an empty threat, and why the few times it has happened, it pretty much always ended badly for the players.

There is no true right and wrong anyway, but one thing is for sure - the NHLPA are idiots for not having signed already. The posturing they are doing right now is merely a very very expensive braying of morons.

Thank you! Although I don't 100% agree with everything you wrote the main points were well put. I too have business experience (owner) and education ,and literally bust out laughing reading captain obvious's use of business terminology.

My guess is first year business student with too much time?

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#42 Slyers
November 18 2012, 03:47AM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

Name one (other than yourself). The people who are pro-owner are people who have no understanding of the issues.

Conversely, those who are pro-player read like a whose who of the impartial, informed, and fair minded. For instance, from my twitter feed who are pretty clearly pro player (to some degree) and who have no vested interest in their success.

Jesse Spector Ryan Lambert Jonathan Willis 67sound (whoever he is, he is smart) Adam Proteau Michael Grange James Mirtle Matt Fenwick Tyler Dellow Woodguy Greg Wyshynski

Seriously, what kind of people are on the other side?

Wow ...you should changer your call sign to captain obviously ignorant !

I am totally behind the owners, but I also understand that some pretty smart people disagree....get a grip

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#43 Slyers
November 18 2012, 04:01AM
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Hair bag wrote:

I'm on the other side. I'm a business owner who lives in the real world. The guys who support the players seem to be anti-ownership simply because the owners have built far more wealth than they ever will (most of them not through their NHL franchises mind you) - jealousy maybe. You have a province built on entrepreneurship where most of the people on here understand that it takes a lot to build, operate and grow a business for the long term. The system is broke - it needs to be fixed in order for long term success of all the franchises not a dozen or less. These are not the days of Ted Lindsay, the pendulum has swung far the other way and needs to come back to the middle. The average Joe supports the owners because a 10% rollback on an avg $2.4million/year contract is not the same as a 10% rollback for someone who makes $60k/year and struggles to feed their family.

Oh and by the way, all the people you listed who are apparently so smart and well informed - none of them are business owners they are all employees....

Nice! Well played sir!

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#44 Sanaa Montana
November 18 2012, 04:23AM
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Through the lights, cameras, action, glamour, glitters and gold I unfold the scroll.

I plant seeds to stampede the globe.

When I'm deceased, by then the beast will rise like yeast to conquer peace leaving savages to roam in the streets.

Live on the run, police paying me to give in my gun. Trick my Wisdom with the system that imprisoned my son.

Smoke a gold leaf and hold heat nonchalantly. I'm grungy, but things I do is real and they never haunt me.

While, funny style betas roll in the pile, rooster heads profile on a bus to prison for a while. Holdin weed inside they @$$&$ with they minds on the pretty things in life, thinking about kids and a wife.

It's like a cycle, men come home, some'll go in, do a bullet, come back, do the same sh!t again.

From the womb to the tomb, presume the unpredictable, guns salute life, rapidly, that's the ritual!

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#46 Captain Obvious
November 18 2012, 08:18AM
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@Jonathan Willis

The only difference between our position (and I read your article on leverage) is that I think there is a moral component to the use of leverage.

Since the owners started this fight they bear moral responsibility for its repercussions. The owners had alternatives, however the only alternative for the players once the owners went down this path was to resist.

While it is true that the owners have a certain amount of leverage and it is in their self-interest to use it, they are using in such a way that won't address the underlying economic problems of the league.

If they had come to the players with a proposal that lowered the salary floor and had contractual rights clawbacks that pushed free agency back, in exchange for a much smaller reduction of HRR (say 54%) the players likely would have agreed.

This would have improved the economic situation of the low revenue teams more than the current proposal without the immediate cost of the lockout and without whatever ramifications for future growth it will have.

This is why the owners bear responsibility for this. Just like last time, they are using their leverage to impose a sub-optimal outcome on everybody.

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#47 oilers2k14
November 18 2012, 08:54AM
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The old CBA over..both sides need to start from scratch..if they dont like it make the next CBA last 20 years instead of 7

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