MAKE A DEAL: THE SILENT MAJORITY?

Robin Brownlee
December 06 2012 09:26PM

nhllogo1

With all the optimism coming out of negotiations in New York Wednesday, fans riding the roller-coaster they've been on during the NHL lockout felt they might actually get to watch a game this season.

That latest bit of positivity about the possibility of a new CBA lasted, what, about 24 hours until the whole damn thing came off the rails again today with Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman back at the controls?

Fans, it goes without saying, aren't impressed. Understandably so. And, if you believe reports trickling out in the aftermath of the upside-down-and-on-fire bit we just witnessed, neither are some members of the NHLPA.

If the players were as optimistic as many fans, and if a significant percentage of the NHLPA membership was ready to get back to work -- as one might conclude by sifting through the Twitterverse -- I'm wondering if we might soon see cracks in the unified front Fehr is trying to portray. I'm guessing yes.

READY TO PLAY?

MalkinCrosby1

These tweets from veteran Denver Post reporter Adrian Dater:

adater?@adater

From deep inside players side: "We were ready to play again. But Don came in (Wed.) and told us we could get more and to hold out"

adater?@adater

That deep-inside-players quote came from depth player. They want to play, but top players still in Fehr camp. Could explode soon

adater?@adater

That depth player was not on the Avalanche, FYI. That's all I have on this

adater?@adater

Fehr did not hold a player-wide conference call in saying that, important to note. Came from top down, trickle-down

adater?@adater

Bottom line here: Players say they are unified, but not what I'm hearing from this depth player. They'll deny that publicly, but...

adater?@adater

....privately, they are feeling powerless as the Ryan Millers and Brad Richards of the world pretend this is a sacrifice for them

adater?@adater

This depth player is wicked smart though. May put his name to comments soon. Sorry for anonymous tilt to this. not my style

THE LITTLE GUYS

I'm not suggesting that Dater speaking to one player represents the stance of the majority of NHLPA members – it might, but we have no way of knowing for sure -- but I'm willing to bet the sentiment Dater passes along is growing, and likely by the minute.

How long until we see the unified front Fehr portrays start to crumble? How long until more players let their feelings be known? Specifically, the majority of NHLPA members, the players not named Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin who occupy the bottom 15 spots on NHL rosters.

Simple math tells us there's a lot more of those players than the marquee guys acting as window dressing alongside Fehr and, for now, driving the bus. Framed that way, I take back what I just said about there not being a way for us to know for sure what the players think. There is, of course.

It's called a vote.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 DSF
December 07 2012, 10:12AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Some interesting thoughts, but I think your comment that "Fehr outsmarted him", illustrates perfectly why we are where we are.

Even if I concede that Fehr outmanouvered Bettman, which I am not necessarily convinced of, the bottom line is ..... he is SO smart that they still are not playing hockey and Fehr's charges are losing money - now and in the future - as the fans get more and more pissed off.

These two egomaniacs are engaged in a personal game of cat and mouse while hundreds of millions of dollars, the game's credibility and the interest of the public is pissed away. So while they smugly celebrate their own genius, the groups they represent are both losing money and the ever-diminishing goodwill of the fans.

At some point a "victor" will emerge and proudly stand on top of the smoldering pile of rubble that was the NHL.

EDIT: I see about 4 guys (either faster typists or less long-winded) came to the same conclusion before me.

Short term thinkers.

If you put a limit (the cap) on actual dollars and then ALSO put a limit on term you are effectively implementing a huge drag on salaries since GM's no longer have term to offer instead of dollars.

Fehr knows this.

What would effectively happen in the long term, is GM's would need to find a balance between paying and keeping their stars and rounding out their roster with very cheap players.

Since the stars already get their money and will continue to do so, there will be immense downward pressure on the contracts of second and third tier players.

You can see this in action in the NBA.

I'm not arguing that it's right or wrong, just what I see happening and I think Fehr has been able to convince the players that it is NOT in their long term interests to allow this to happen.

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#52 DSF
December 07 2012, 10:15AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

The 100th anniversary of the NHL is in 5 years (the original term requested by Fehr). Obviously the NHL would not want to spend that milestone mired in another labor war so that would have but the PA in the driver's seat going into 2017.

Maybe.

I would think, under the right terms, it would be much better for the game if there was a longer CBA in place.

I would expect Fehr will give up CBA length for an increase in contract length.

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#53 Lebowski
December 07 2012, 10:16AM
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Captain Obvious doesn't know the legal meaning of the word "partnership".

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#54 oilabroad
December 07 2012, 10:17AM
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If Fehr was as smart as DSF says, he would have this whole thing worked out to the penny in terms of what the lockout is costing the players/day, and would have told them to sign the first real offer that came in from the owners last month as once they hit December the offer would have to be so much better that break even was no longer an option... If Fehr was smart, he would explain to Crosby and his colleagues in the top 5% that once the make whole had been settled the rest of this cba does not affect you due to the long term contract you already have... the bottom 50% this doesn't affect you as you will either not be in the league long enough or you will always be near the salary floor this is really about 25% of the players... 75% of the players losing half or even a full season is simply not money well spent for the DIFFERENCE that is the pissing contest we are witnessing today...

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#55 The Soup Fascist
December 07 2012, 10:22AM
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DSF wrote:

Short term thinkers.

If you put a limit (the cap) on actual dollars and then ALSO put a limit on term you are effectively implementing a huge drag on salaries since GM's no longer have term to offer instead of dollars.

Fehr knows this.

What would effectively happen in the long term, is GM's would need to find a balance between paying and keeping their stars and rounding out their roster with very cheap players.

Since the stars already get their money and will continue to do so, there will be immense downward pressure on the contracts of second and third tier players.

You can see this in action in the NBA.

I'm not arguing that it's right or wrong, just what I see happening and I think Fehr has been able to convince the players that it is NOT in their long term interests to allow this to happen.

What is good under the league proposal is the team that held the free agents rights DOES have the advantage of offering a 7-year deal instead of a 5 year offer.

This may allow fans the opportunity to keep their younger stars around and build some loyalty. And it is beneficial to the player because it offers him security. Really what % of the league is getting offered > 5 year deals in the first place?

I would suspect a very small amount. Again, the elite players concerns seem to be paramount to Fehr's agenda. This will ultimately be his undoing.

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#56 The Soup Fascist
December 07 2012, 10:24AM
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DSF wrote:

Maybe.

I would think, under the right terms, it would be much better for the game if there was a longer CBA in place.

I would expect Fehr will give up CBA length for an increase in contract length.

I agree. A five year deal would be unconscionable. This is why that trial balloon that Fehr floated up was quickly pulled down.

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#57 DSF
December 07 2012, 10:30AM
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oilabroad wrote:

If Fehr was as smart as DSF says, he would have this whole thing worked out to the penny in terms of what the lockout is costing the players/day, and would have told them to sign the first real offer that came in from the owners last month as once they hit December the offer would have to be so much better that break even was no longer an option... If Fehr was smart, he would explain to Crosby and his colleagues in the top 5% that once the make whole had been settled the rest of this cba does not affect you due to the long term contract you already have... the bottom 50% this doesn't affect you as you will either not be in the league long enough or you will always be near the salary floor this is really about 25% of the players... 75% of the players losing half or even a full season is simply not money well spent for the DIFFERENCE that is the pissing contest we are witnessing today...

You, like many others, are thinking short term.

Fehr, and many of the players, are thinking long term.

This dispute isn't about the Crosby's of the league, they, as you say, already have their money, it's about a system that will do a lot of harm to the rank and file.

While it's true that there will be short term casualties among players who are on short term contracts, I think Fehr has been able to convince them that there is a greater good involved here.

Whether or not he can keep their support is another question but, so far, he has it.

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#58 DSF
December 07 2012, 10:33AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

What is good under the league proposal is the team that held the free agents rights DOES have the advantage of offering a 7-year deal instead of a 5 year offer.

This may allow fans the opportunity to keep their younger stars around and build some loyalty. And it is beneficial to the player because it offers him security. Really what % of the league is getting offered > 5 year deals in the first place?

I would suspect a very small amount. Again, the elite players concerns seem to be paramount to Fehr's agenda. This will ultimately be his undoing.

I think quite the opposite is true.

If a GM is able to offer term instead of increased dollars, he is more likely able to hang on to his stars and be able to offer more dollars to non-stars.

Under the NHL proposal of 5 year terms, the dollars flowing to the stars will increase in a competitive market while the dollars flowing to others will be severely throttled.

Stars win, everyone else loses.

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#59 oilabroad
December 07 2012, 10:35AM
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DSF wrote:

You, like many others, are thinking short term.

Fehr, and many of the players, are thinking long term.

This dispute isn't about the Crosby's of the league, they, as you say, already have their money, it's about a system that will do a lot of harm to the rank and file.

While it's true that there will be short term casualties among players who are on short term contracts, I think Fehr has been able to convince them that there is a greater good involved here.

Whether or not he can keep their support is another question but, so far, he has it.

So you are going to convince me as a depth 4th line guy with a typical 100 game NHL career that I should give up 40-80 games of that career in which I will set myself up for my post hockey career, that I should hold out for more money for some 14 year old kid who will be making 50% of HRR on a much larger number than I am today??

You are dreaming if you think these guys think that way... these guys all think they are going to play for years in the league, hit the big payday some day and they will reap the benefits of this war they went to this year with the owners... they need people telling them that this is not going to happen and they need to do what they can today to set themselves up for tomorrow

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#60 Matt Henderson
December 07 2012, 10:38AM
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DSF wrote:

Fehr, like Bettman is looking long term.

Remember the last 3 "final offers" from Bettman?

It appears they weren't final.

Fehr has been able to get the league to drastically increase Make Whole, agree to pension reform, give up on arbitration and free agency and now we are stuck on contract limits and length of CBA.

Fehr, like many others, has figured out that agreeing to 5 year limits on contracts will eliminate the "middle class" in the NHL since virtually all the dollars available will flow to the upper echelon players leaving little for the second and third tier of players.

I'm not sure why the union is insisting on a shorter CBA but I expect it just may be one last bargaining ploy.

All those concessions you listed Fehr got have all been taken off the table. They arent there anymore.

There is no Make Whole. It doesnt exist this morning.

If Fehr wants them back he has to re-negotiate them.

And Fehr hasnt figured out anything RE: The Middle Class. He has obviously postulated that it will happen and his argument was convincing enough that the Players are taking it as Gospel Truth.

Are NHL teams really going to lose the middle class? They need to have a roster with 20+ players on it. They cant afford to Max out the Few Stars there are on each team and choke out the the 90% of remaining players.

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#61 Rama Lama
December 07 2012, 10:38AM
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The drama in these negotiations is so utterly predictable. I speak from experience when is come to dealing with unions.........I have never been involved with any union that is actually does the right thing, even if it is starring them right in the face.

If the union was so interested in labour peace, they would recognize that the last deal they signed actually benefitted them. They would recognize that they are very privileged to be playing a sport most of us pay to play, and that their earnings are way beyond the average persons wildest imaginations. In other words they would act like thankful humans and negotiate accordingly or in good faith.

The NHLPA is a farce of a union, ( since when do millionaires need a union to represent them) and most fans know this and are starting to see the NHLPA for what it is.........a dysfunctional bunch of uneducated pampered athletes who think they are more important than the average person.

Now in fairness to the silent majority of the good NHLPA members, if the last deal was put to a vote........we would be playing right now!

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#62 smiliegirl15
December 07 2012, 10:39AM
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The players will find themselves with a lot less sympathy after this latest development. They're willing to make no concessions? Strudwick has said previously, the players wished they'd signed earlier last CBA and had saved the season. Shoulda, woulda, coulda - are they putting themselves into the same position this time?

Fehr is no friend of hockey.

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#63 SHARKY5150
December 07 2012, 10:44AM
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I just hope that the de-certification does not gain traction as it will not only kill this season, it will draw this fiasco out well into next season.

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#64 DSF
December 07 2012, 10:49AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

All those concessions you listed Fehr got have all been taken off the table. They arent there anymore.

There is no Make Whole. It doesnt exist this morning.

If Fehr wants them back he has to re-negotiate them.

And Fehr hasnt figured out anything RE: The Middle Class. He has obviously postulated that it will happen and his argument was convincing enough that the Players are taking it as Gospel Truth.

Are NHL teams really going to lose the middle class? They need to have a roster with 20+ players on it. They cant afford to Max out the Few Stars there are on each team and choke out the the 90% of remaining players.

Everything has been taken off the table before and magically reappeared.

I don't doubt for a minute that will happen again unless the owners are prepared for nuclear winter.

I disagree completely with your thoughts on the middle class.

Looking long term, teams will be fighting tooth and nail to sign free agent stars and, since under Bettman's system they would no longer be able to offer term, the only arrow in their quiver will be dollars.

Since the total dollars available are capped, those dollars will have to come out of the pockets of second and third tier players.

What I think would happen long term is you would see a lot of those second and third tier players heading to Europe where they would be paid better while the bottom 6 and bottom pairing defensemen would be AHL calibre or less.

The School of Unintended Consequences.

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#65 Lebowski
December 07 2012, 10:54AM
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DSF: You know full well that those things the NHL "agreed to" are now off the table. Trouble is that Fehr said he doesn't know what that means. Really he does know what that means but he's going to try to spin things such that those things are still on the table. Strategically speaking the NHL has to keep those concessions off the table until the PA puts its concessions on the table.

I don't think the PA will and Bettman is not Neville Chamberlain. There will not be any peace in our time.

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#66 Will
December 07 2012, 10:55AM
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It really is starting to sound like Fehr and a few superstars are tanking this season. I really agree that a group of millionaires hardly need union representation, as their labour is not being marginalized or exploited by their employers. The fact that they made 57% of the revenue demonstrates that. If they made 2%, I could see the need for a union.

I am so far happy that most of the Oilers are either playing abroad, or in OKC, and do not seem to be mixed up in this, and just want to play hockey.

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#67 Matt Henderson
December 07 2012, 10:56AM
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@DSF

There are always unintended consequences, but to assume the death of the middle class will happen because the very few all of a sudden cant circumvent the Cap is a little overboard.

If 2nd Tier players start going to Europe to make their money then someone will have to "take a hit", but if the NHLPA wants a 30 team league then there needs to be some ways of maintining a balance on spending.

In the last 7 years the average salary has doubled. I doubt the Middle class of the NHL will starve under the new CBA.

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#68 A-Mc
December 07 2012, 10:57AM
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OilClog wrote:

I don't want to say this.. But DSF pretty much nailed it.

That's exactly what i was going to say.

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#69 DSF
December 07 2012, 10:59AM
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smiliegirl15 wrote:

The players will find themselves with a lot less sympathy after this latest development. They're willing to make no concessions? Strudwick has said previously, the players wished they'd signed earlier last CBA and had saved the season. Shoulda, woulda, coulda - are they putting themselves into the same position this time?

Fehr is no friend of hockey.

This is just hooey.

The players have already agreed to massive concessions.

Agreed to share of HRR down from 57% to 50%.

Agreed to limits on contract length when none existed previously.

Agreed to "make whole" that was less than the 100% the owners agreed to when they signed those long term contracts of their own free will.

And, here is part of the memo Fehr emailed to players last night:

Individual SPC (standard player contract) length and Variability of SPCs: The Owners have proposed (i) a limit of 5 years, except that Players who re-sign with their Clubs could contract for 7 years, and (ii) a 5% limit on year-to-year salary variability in long-term deals.

We believe that these restrictions would devastate the "middle class" of players and result in the NBA model, where a few players earn huge salaries while pushing everyone else down toward the minimum.

(Their proposal would also undermine the free-agent market by giving a significant advantage to Clubs that want to re-sign their own Players.)

Moreover, in spite of our concerns, in order to close the deal we moved from of our last offer (a 10-year limit and no limit on variability) and instead proposed an 8-year limit on all SPCs and a variability limit of 25% over the term of the SPC, applied to contracts of 7 years or longer.

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#70 DSF
December 07 2012, 11:01AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

There are always unintended consequences, but to assume the death of the middle class will happen because the very few all of a sudden cant circumvent the Cap is a little overboard.

If 2nd Tier players start going to Europe to make their money then someone will have to "take a hit", but if the NHLPA wants a 30 team league then there needs to be some ways of maintining a balance on spending.

In the last 7 years the average salary has doubled. I doubt the Middle class of the NHL will starve under the new CBA.

See my last post which contains Fehr's take on things.

Thing is, the NHL's proposal doesn't create the balance on spending you mention.

It does exactly the opposite.

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#71 Captain Obvious
December 07 2012, 11:03AM
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DSF is absolutely crushing this board. He's right on all counts. This isn't about short term money, it's about whether the players allow the owners to dictate their longterm relationship solely on their terms.

At this point the player's have made major concessions on every single issue. The owner's have conceded nothing. It's very interesting to watch the media and fans be influenced by the owners so easily. The anchoring point isn't an imaginary want in someone's head, it is the last agreement. If you measure against that, the players have given and given and given. This isn't a moral judgement, it is a simple fact.

Every time someone in the media says we need to split the difference they are ignoring the fact that players have already made huge movements while the owners have not moved at all.

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#72 Rama Lama
December 07 2012, 11:09AM
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Captain Obvious wrote:

DSF is absolutely crushing this board. He's right on all counts. This isn't about short term money, it's about whether the players allow the owners to dictate their longterm relationship solely on their terms.

At this point the player's have made major concessions on every single issue. The owner's have conceded nothing. It's very interesting to watch the media and fans be influenced by the owners so easily. The anchoring point isn't an imaginary want in someone's head, it is the last agreement. If you measure against that, the players have given and given and given. This isn't a moral judgement, it is a simple fact.

Every time someone in the media says we need to split the difference they are ignoring the fact that players have already made huge movements while the owners have not moved at all.

Wow I can't believe that you feel that the owners have conceded nothing?

It seem you live in the same parallel universe that the NHLPA does where reality is bent to suit your needs!

Stool pigeon!

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#73 DSF
December 07 2012, 11:10AM
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@Captain Obvious

"This isn't about short term money, it's about whether the players allow the owners to dictate their longterm relationship solely on their terms."

Bingo.

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#74 DSF
December 07 2012, 11:11AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Wow I can't believe that you feel that the owners have conceded nothing?

It seem you live in the same parallel universe that the NHLPA does where reality is bent to suit your needs!

Stool pigeon!

Please list the concessions the owners have made based on the last CBA...not based on the ridiculous Declaration of War Bettman issued to kick off this process.

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#75 Matt Henderson
December 07 2012, 11:12AM
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DSF wrote:

See my last post which contains Fehr's take on things.

Thing is, the NHL's proposal doesn't create the balance on spending you mention.

It does exactly the opposite.

The NHL's proposal hasnt done anything yet, lets not act as if our extrapolations have actually come true. Nothing, good or bad, has happened yet.

The NHL has proposed a system where the players cannot circumvent the Cap and the teams wont be handcuffed by ridiculous contracts for a generation.

What happens after that has yet to be determined.

What if the Middle Class (also known as multi millionaire athletes) stays proportionally status quo and its the extremely wealthy that take a hair cut in this deal? Why arent we accepting that thought experiment as if its reality?

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#76 DSF
December 07 2012, 11:18AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

The NHL's proposal hasnt done anything yet, lets not act as if our extrapolations have actually come true. Nothing, good or bad, has happened yet.

The NHL has proposed a system where the players cannot circumvent the Cap and the teams wont be handcuffed by ridiculous contracts for a generation.

What happens after that has yet to be determined.

What if the Middle Class (also known as multi millionaire athletes) stays proportionally status quo and its the extremely wealthy that take a hair cut in this deal? Why arent we accepting that thought experiment as if its reality?

Well, Fehr's job is to extrapolate.

And, it wasn't the players circumventing the cap, it was the owners and GM's playing by the rules agreed to by the NHL.

Since they were unable to see the consequences of their actions last time, why would you think this time will be different?

A little critical thinking is all that's required to see what is likely to happen.

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#77 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 07 2012, 11:22AM
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I blame Ted Lindsay!!

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#78 A-Mc
December 07 2012, 11:22AM
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As far as i'm concerned, the only legislation that needs to be put in place is to prevent against contracts like Ryan Suter's. That front loaded crap needs to go.

If a team wants a goalie at 4mill/yr for the next 10 years then let them have him. But that goalie better be getting paid ~$4/mill per year.

Year to year salary variations in the low 5% is a good idea imo. leave the term alone or atleast concede on allowing 8-10year terms.

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#79 Matt Henderson
December 07 2012, 11:35AM
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@DSF

I enjoy the critical thinking quip, especially because I was just thinking the same of you.

"Since they were unable to see the consequences of their actions last time, why would you think this time will be different?"

The high end talent found ways to Circumvent the spirit of the Salary Cap last time. Calling it anything else, like say "And, it wasn't the players circumventing the cap, it was the owners and GM's playing by the rules agreed to by the NHL.", would be a gross mis-characterization of what actually happened. That's like saying, "Then in the late 30's and early 40's Europe was in an extended pillow fight and things might have gotten a little out of hand."

Obviously the Clubs didnt see 15 year deals when they created the Cap and they certainly wouldnt see the loss of the Middle Class as the outcome here either, much like they wouldnt see a Pie to the face coming. They wouldnt see it because the whole notion is absurd.

Each club has about 25 players on its NHL roster, 50 contracts in total. If the teams spent 40% of the Cap on 2-3 players across the board then it starts to look pretty bad for the middle class. It also gets pretty tough to ice a team, especially so when the KHL will be offering the Gagners and Hemskys of the NHL more lucrative deals than the NHL can.

The NHL cant allow that to happen. This isnt basketball where you can win a Championship with 3 good players. Team size and external competition for talent will prevent that from happening.

Absurd.

Try thinking about things critically for a change :)

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#80 mayorblaine
December 07 2012, 11:37AM
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for everyone stating that the players have already made massive concessions....who cares.

how hard of a concept is it to understand which side should and does run the show.

there is no right or wrong, fair or unfair. owners, own.

i hope they bury the players, because they can.

as well DSF your assumption that Fehr has somehow outsmarted Bettman will be proven to be false. imo. Fehr bit of more than he could chew here.

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#81 stevezie
December 07 2012, 11:53AM
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The PA boosters on here are right about one thing- the PA have made all the concessions. This lockout is about making things better for the owners, there is no pushback in the other direction. I have no idea how anyone can argue ot the contrary.

I just don't think it matters who has conceded what to this point- unless legally binding mediationj is brought in, and it won't be.

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#82 DSF
December 07 2012, 11:55AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

I enjoy the critical thinking quip, especially because I was just thinking the same of you.

"Since they were unable to see the consequences of their actions last time, why would you think this time will be different?"

The high end talent found ways to Circumvent the spirit of the Salary Cap last time. Calling it anything else, like say "And, it wasn't the players circumventing the cap, it was the owners and GM's playing by the rules agreed to by the NHL.", would be a gross mis-characterization of what actually happened. That's like saying, "Then in the late 30's and early 40's Europe was in an extended pillow fight and things might have gotten a little out of hand."

Obviously the Clubs didnt see 15 year deals when they created the Cap and they certainly wouldnt see the loss of the Middle Class as the outcome here either, much like they wouldnt see a Pie to the face coming. They wouldnt see it because the whole notion is absurd.

Each club has about 25 players on its NHL roster, 50 contracts in total. If the teams spent 40% of the Cap on 2-3 players across the board then it starts to look pretty bad for the middle class. It also gets pretty tough to ice a team, especially so when the KHL will be offering the Gagners and Hemskys of the NHL more lucrative deals than the NHL can.

The NHL cant allow that to happen. This isnt basketball where you can win a Championship with 3 good players. Team size and external competition for talent will prevent that from happening.

Absurd.

Try thinking about things critically for a change :)

LOL.

You just undermined your own argument.

"Each club has about 25 players on its NHL roster, 50 contracts in total. If the teams spent 40% of the Cap on 2-3 players across the board then it starts to look pretty bad for the middle class. It also gets pretty tough to ice a team, especially so when the KHL will be offering the Gagners and Hemskys of the NHL more lucrative deals than the NHL can."

Since that's exactly what I think would happen, how, exactly do you think the NHL would go about "not allowing that to happen"

With both a limit on dollars and term available, GM's would have nothing else to offer.

Let's use the Oilers are a "what if" scenario.

If the cap under the new CBA is, say, 57 million (given that HRR is going to suffer for a while) in 2013/14, the Oilers have $35 million committed to 9 forwards.

They also have $9.75 million to 4 defensemen.

They also have $3.5 million committed to 1 goalie.

That's a total of $58 million committed to 14 players. (oops)

A that point the Oilers have zero dollars to fill out the roster with both Hopkins and Schultz due big raises the following season.

Since a GM can no longer offer (based on the NHL's proposal) neither dollars or term, he would have to find a way to fill out the roster for peanuts or cut loose some high talent or both.

You say the NHL "can't allow this to happen" but that's exactly what the NHL proposal will do.

From a players perspective, bottom 6 players will have to play for minimum in the NHL or consider more lucrative offers from elsewhere.

If you can foresee a more plausible scenario, I'd like to see it.

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#83 The Soup Fascist
December 07 2012, 11:55AM
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DSF wrote:

Well, Fehr's job is to extrapolate.

And, it wasn't the players circumventing the cap, it was the owners and GM's playing by the rules agreed to by the NHL.

Since they were unable to see the consequences of their actions last time, why would you think this time will be different?

A little critical thinking is all that's required to see what is likely to happen.

Fehr's job is to look after the best interests of his clints - the rank and file members of the NHLPA.

He is doing them a huge disservice and costing them money with every game that comes off the schedule. A season wiped out means it is IMPOSSIBLE for the average NHLer to recoup those losses - even if they get what their last offer was.

The players will have choices at some point before the season is scrubbed:

1) Accept the final league proposal - whatever that may be 2) Say no and see what the market will bear in Europe - for those who can get jobs 3) Start their own league and make "millions" 4) Say no and wait until next year and the joy it brings.

I see no other options. If I am an NHLer I think it is a pretty easy decision. I fail to see where Fehr is in the driver's seat.

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#84 OilClog
December 07 2012, 11:58AM
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@mayorblaine

Burying the players in this day and age only buries the game itself. Where is this so called NHL? All I see are KHL, AHL, and other highlights. I see endless amounts of basketball, football action all over. Hell even baseball news is more exciting at the moment. Owners own yes, but what are they owning? You can't build the brand in a battle of greed, the worst thing the owners could do to themselves is shutting the league down. My attention is being grabbed by all sorts of other sports and my passion is being divided as a result.

Way to go Owners.

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#85 mayorblaine
December 07 2012, 12:02PM
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@OilClog

i know it will bury the game for the near future. this league has to right itself. as a "former" die hard fan i'm not happy about this either. certainly not, tho, an owner problem.

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#86 DSF
December 07 2012, 12:02PM
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mayorblaine wrote:

for everyone stating that the players have already made massive concessions....who cares.

how hard of a concept is it to understand which side should and does run the show.

there is no right or wrong, fair or unfair. owners, own.

i hope they bury the players, because they can.

as well DSF your assumption that Fehr has somehow outsmarted Bettman will be proven to be false. imo. Fehr bit of more than he could chew here.

Could be, but I doubt it.

While the players are certainly taking a financial hit, you have to remember that teams like the Leafs, Rangers, Montreal, Vancouver, Philly and Chicago are taking massive hits to their bottom line.

If we agree that the Oilers, Flames, Winnipeg etc. are marginally profitable, their owners aren't really giving up that much and, of course the perennial money losers are doing okay (without reference to how badly they are damaging their fragile fan bases).

You say that "running the show" is the all important factor here but you're thinking this is just another run of the mill labour dispute between management and workers.

It isn't.

You have to remember the players are the PRODUCT and without them, there is no show.

The owners are free to replace them at any time but we've seen in the NFL that the public is not willing to pay for a much downgraded product.

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#87 DSF
December 07 2012, 12:04PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Fehr's job is to look after the best interests of his clints - the rank and file members of the NHLPA.

He is doing them a huge disservice and costing them money with every game that comes off the schedule. A season wiped out means it is IMPOSSIBLE for the average NHLer to recoup those losses - even if they get what their last offer was.

The players will have choices at some point before the season is scrubbed:

1) Accept the final league proposal - whatever that may be 2) Say no and see what the market will bear in Europe - for those who can get jobs 3) Start their own league and make "millions" 4) Say no and wait until next year and the joy it brings.

I see no other options. If I am an NHLer I think it is a pretty easy decision. I fail to see where Fehr is in the driver's seat.

A this point, I think decertification is the most likely scenario.

No one knows how that will play out.

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#88 mayorblaine
December 07 2012, 12:05PM
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@DSF

and if the players want to continue to be the product they need to thank their "employer" and settle up.

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#89 RomRox
December 07 2012, 12:19PM
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Players giving massive concessions as compared to the last CBA? In what business do employees take 57% of gross revenue?

The NHL should go back to 74% of gross revenue, lose 75% of the teams, but at least the players will be happy they won!

Yay, half the players work at McDonalds now... Players win! Players win!

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#90 Rogue
December 07 2012, 12:21PM
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The owners take all the risk here. From 43% to 50% is still not enough for the owners. Why don't the players buy the NHL and run it themselves? By the way they talk, it is a walk in the park. Bunch of uneducated, pampered boys with a skill.

Fehr has screwed the pooch. Him being at the meeting and going in front of the media, proclaiming what was going to happen, has left him looking bad,bad, bad. I think he was trying to intimidate the owners with his stunt and it blew up in his face.

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#91 DSF
December 07 2012, 12:22PM
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mayorblaine wrote:

and if the players want to continue to be the product they need to thank their "employer" and settle up.

They will continue to be the product no matter what.

As I said in my original post, I believe this whole scenario was scripted by Bettman, Daly and Proskauer Rose to come to a conclusion this week with the NHL wringing every possible concession out of the players by today and then allowing for the season to start around Christmas.

You can bet your bottom dollar Fehr knows this and is the reason he flipped Gary the bird yesterday.

As you no doubt saw, Bettman was furious that his strategy got derailed and I would think he will do some irrational things in the next few days.

All the while, I am also sure Fehr has a drop dead date in mind but he's going play to his own script, not Bettman's.

Should be interesting to see if the NHL cancels another block of games today.

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#92 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 07 2012, 12:23PM
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The players are NOT selfish. They're stupid. If they were selfish they would not be brainwashed into believing that they are fighting for the future. The average NHL career is five years. Losing one season is potentially losing 20% of your career earning. Stop fighting for the future, fight for your present you idiots!

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#93 DSF
December 07 2012, 12:24PM
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RomRox wrote:

Players giving massive concessions as compared to the last CBA? In what business do employees take 57% of gross revenue?

The NHL should go back to 74% of gross revenue, lose 75% of the teams, but at least the players will be happy they won!

Yay, half the players work at McDonalds now... Players win! Players win!

They're not "employees".

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#94 RomRox
December 07 2012, 12:33PM
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@DSF

So if they arent employees, they're partners? If they are partners, why is it that some players make more than owners?

There are owners losing money (thats a fact), are the players losing money (when they're playing, obviously)? I dont think so.

50/50? Ya right!

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#95 A-Mc
December 07 2012, 12:39PM
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You cant debate the reasoning behind NHL finances because the entire system is just MESSED.

Like Gregor often says, the only way for all of this to work out smoothly and start to make sense to the logical mind is for the entire system to implode and start from scratch.

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#96 DSF
December 07 2012, 12:42PM
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RomRox wrote:

So if they arent employees, they're partners? If they are partners, why is it that some players make more than owners?

There are owners losing money (thats a fact), are the players losing money (when they're playing, obviously)? I dont think so.

50/50? Ya right!

They are neither partners nor employees.

They are the "product".

The owners, especially with the cost certainty THEY demanded in the last CBA have only themselves to blame if they are losing money.

It was the owners who paid too much for the "product" and it was the owners who accepted all that expansion fee cash when Bettman expanded the league into cities that are not supporting the NHL.

Now, you can certainly argue the players are taking too much of the pie and I agree with you, but characterizing them as the bad guys here is nonsense.

They signed the contracts that were offered to them under terms which the OWNERS insisted on.

I don't disagree the system needs tweaking but suggesting the players just sit down, hang on and shut up because the owners have screwed up the system is unrealistic.

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#97 K-UGER Industrial Smoothing
December 07 2012, 12:45PM
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In Soviet Russia, KHL plays game. Owners make money, players can play or go Gulag.

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#98 DSF
December 07 2012, 12:48PM
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A-Mc wrote:

You cant debate the reasoning behind NHL finances because the entire system is just MESSED.

Like Gregor often says, the only way for all of this to work out smoothly and start to make sense to the logical mind is for the entire system to implode and start from scratch.

If it comes to that, I would like to see the Canadian franchises withdraw from the league and create a new league with teams in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Markham/Hamilton, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

With a new Canadian television contract up next year and by paying their players in Canadian dollars, the new league should thrive and could repatriate the Stanley Cup.

As feeble American franchises failed, the quality of players in the new Canadian league would be tremendous.

Just dreaming I guess.

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#99 416oil
December 07 2012, 12:49PM
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DSF wrote:

They will continue to be the product no matter what.

As I said in my original post, I believe this whole scenario was scripted by Bettman, Daly and Proskauer Rose to come to a conclusion this week with the NHL wringing every possible concession out of the players by today and then allowing for the season to start around Christmas.

You can bet your bottom dollar Fehr knows this and is the reason he flipped Gary the bird yesterday.

As you no doubt saw, Bettman was furious that his strategy got derailed and I would think he will do some irrational things in the next few days.

All the while, I am also sure Fehr has a drop dead date in mind but he's going play to his own script, not Bettman's.

Should be interesting to see if the NHL cancels another block of games today.

I never comment but I see you troll everywhere. Your one argument is that the middle class is going to get hurt and you are exactly right, that is who the NHL is trying to go after in this lockout. They will always pay the stars no matter what the term or price is, but when you have marginal players making $3+ million a year this is why the NHL is not a profitable league beyond the top 8 teams. When players are signing $100+ million contracts and franchises like St Louis and Columbus are worth just north of $100 million you have serious problems with balance. You say the middle class can get paid better else where I find that highly unlikely that most 3rd or 4th line NHL players would be able to get $1.5 million + in other leagues which is more in line to what their true value should be.

One way both the NHL and NHLPA could solve this, but the players will never agree to is to have non-guaranteed contracts. There would have to be no capped limit in terms of length because if said player signs a 13 year 120 million dollar deal and then mailed it in on his performance, or injuries take a toll on performance then teams can drop said player, and pay a new player to take his place. This works out better for both the league and the players as more players are going to get paid and teams have a sense of security for the dollars they are investing into the players. Players will still have the motivation to perform at the highest of levels and if not well you can bet there will be someone begging for the opportunity to take his place. Yes, this will hurt some players, but their is always guaranteed portions of non-guaranteed contracts. Seems to be working quite well in the NFL and it is both finically secure and highly competitive.

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#100 DSF
December 07 2012, 12:50PM
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K-UGER Industrial Smoothing wrote:

In Soviet Russia, KHL plays game. Owners make money, players can play or go Gulag.

Well, expect for all those Russians who play in the NHL and elsewhere.

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