POSITIVE VIBES

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was named captain of Canada’s World Junior team this morning. It is a huge honour for him, and it will be a great opportunity for him to evolve and grow as a leader. Considering the lockout negotiations are moving slower than a snail, I doubt the Oilers will have to worry about making decision whether to recall him back to the NHL or let him play the entire tournament.

But if that option comes up, it will be a hotly debated topic.

Do the Oilers owe it to Hockey Canada to let him stay?

Do they owe it to their organization to ensure they ice the best possible lineup every night in the NHL?

Both sides have merit.

It seems unlikely that this scenario will unfold, and Nugent-Hopkins will hopefully get the best of both. He will captain team Canada for the entire tournament, and then return to the NHL in time to start the season.

If the NHL lockout does end early, which I doubt, I imagine we will have an epic debate on what the Oilers should do with Nugent-Hopkins. For me it would be hard to pull him out if the tournament has already started.

DISCLAIMER OF INTEREST

The NHLPA has asked for a full membership vote that would grant the NHLPA board the authority file a disclaimer of interest.

What does this mean?

Essentially it would allow the board to dissolve the union. And once the union is dissolved then players could file antitrust lawsuits in an attempt to get an injunction to end the lockout. The players could also win a lawsuit for damages as well.

How is this positive you are probably wondering?

It is positive Friday so I looked at the most recent history of "disclaimer of interest" and it didn’t derail negotiations between the NBA and the NBA.

There is a difference between disclaimer of interest and decertification.

Sports legal analyst Micheal McCann wrote an article that outlined some of the differences last year pertaining to the NBA.

From what I gathered here are the main differences:

Decertification is not an immediate event, nor is it instantly reversible. It is "more serious" and would need to be recognized by the National Labor Relations Board.

Disclaimer of interest (DOI) can happen quicker, and most importantly, it contains retractable steps for the players. Basically a DOI allows the players to sue instantly, but isn’t as permanent as decertification.

It seems this is another bargaining tactic. I’m immune to any tactics being more vile than the next, and if this tactic leads to a resolution I’m all for it.

Last year the NBA filed for their DOI on November 14th, but on December 8th the NBA lockout ended.

Ironically today is December 14th, and since it is Positive Friday it must mean we will see a resolution by January 8th. Remember, positive vibes my friends, positive vibes.

DAY TEN

Yesterday we raised an amazing $4,500 for Santas Anonymous. A huge thank you to Darrell and the gang at Jet Label for their generous bid on the GM/COACH dinner package at Von’s Steakhouse. Awesome.

Today’s package includes….

  • A signed Nail Yakupov blue and orange jersey. (Or Justin Schultz, your choice)
  • The jersey will be framed courtesy of proamsports.ca
  • A party for 10 at the Pint.
  • A pair of gold seats to Oilers game in 2013.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

  • This is a great experience for RNH. It seems to me that it would be a classless move for the Oilers to recall Canada’s captain.

    RT @WharnsbyCBC: CDN Jr coach Steve Spott says #Oilers altered their stance. RNH will return from world jr if NHL lockout ends.

    Edit: Huge props to everyone bidding on the packages! On days like today it is important to remember we can make positive contributions to this world!

  • Bucknuck

    If I own a company and I am losing money, I should be able to close the doors without my staff suing me. Something stinks about this latest tactic.

    However… if it gets us hockey sooner then who cares if it stinks. I like the positive vibes, Mr Gregor.

      • DSF

        gross is not the same as net.

        roughly speaking the league is thought to be three groups of teams – one third losing money, one third breaking even and one third doing well.

        had the salary floor not moved up as much as it has only a very few 3 -4 ? would be losing money. That would not be out the norm for most pro sports leagues and most franchise operations in general (and the NHL is a franchise business).

        if the league gets to fifty fifty and rejigs the formula for the floor things could be stable for a long time.

        but we may see the destruction of the PA and this season and most of the next before then…

        • DSF

          In 2004, the NHLPA proposed a salary cap of $49 million that was NOT linked to revenue and would have been in effect until the last CBA expired.

          Bettman rejected that and cancelled the season.

          It was the NHL that eventually proposed a salary cap linked to revenues and we’ve seen how that has worked out.

          While I think the players have been taking a disproportionate share of revenue, Bettman was the author of the last CBA.

          Blaming the players is revisionist history.

      • DieHard

        I agree that the logic is flawed. It is not the fault of the players as well. What would be an appropriate solution to the issue of so many teams losing money?

        • DSF

          Ultimately, revenue sharing is the only solution.

          The owners are currently trying to get the players to make the league profitable and I can understand their position but it was the players who decided to put teams in Phoenix, Carolina, Florida.

          Unfortunately. Bettman and Co are focused on only one aspect of the solution and that’s doing tremendous damage to the game and its revenue growth.

          • DieHard

            Revenue sharing! Are you talking about gate receipts? That has a lot of implications. Ticket prices vary quite a lot. It doesn’t seem right to charge so much for Canucks, leafs, Oilers and not so much for Coyotes and Stars. Now it’s the fans that are paying the price for unstable franchises. But, you are right, it may be the only way. Socialistic league and capitistic players.

          • DSF

            You have to remember that it is ownership bidding up the price of players.

            No one told Leipold he had to pay Suter and Parise that much for that long.

            No one told Ed Snider he had to make that ridiculous offer sheet to Weber.

            I agree there is a problem with fans in Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Montreal and Philly subsidizing Bettman’s failed expansion strategy but there really is no other option.

      • I tried it at home

        Actually it’s your logic that is flawed. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is they’re losing money, they’re owners, therefore they lay off the ppl below them or cut their wages.

        • DSF

          In a free market system you would be right.

          But the CBA is a limitation on the free market and as soon as it is gone, the owners will be bidding on the free market for players without such niceties as a salary cap, free agency and a draft.

          Every player will be an unrestricted free agent when they are not under contract and the NHL will be powerless to control their movement.

          With today’s NHL filing which seeks to void all NHL player contracts, any NHL player could choose where to play, for how long and under what terms.

          Nuclear Winter has arrived.

          When the NHL resumes, the most talented players will be in the driver’s seat.

          Any junior, college or European player will be able to auction their talent to the highest bidder since a draft would be deemed to be anti-competitive.

          The owners may choose to not sign players to excessive contracts but, if they engage in collusion to do so, they will be subject to multi billion dollars lawsuits.

          Good luck with that.

          • Reg Dunlop

            Do you really believe the players will go through with this? This is simply a negotiating tactic by both parties. Your argument is based on an assumption, nothing more. The owners fought for a cap in the last CBA, now you think theyre going to abandon it and have a free for all? Also in a free for all system, how can they engage in collusion?

          • DSF

            The dispute is now before the courts.

            This season is over.

            The players have nothing more to lose so the owners of the teams that are giving up hundreds of millions in profits will have to try and create a system that will again make them money.

            In trying to do so, they will face a group of players who are severely pissed off and will demand huge amounts on money to pledge their services to any team.

            The owners can engage in collusion if they discuss limits on free agency, contract length, minimums, the draft etc…..it’s all out the window,

          • Reg Dunlop

            One more thing. I spent a little time looking but I find no mention of the NHL filing today anything that seeks to void extant contracts. Where are you getting this info from?

          • DSF

            From ESPN:

            It wasn’t an entirely unexpected legal move, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Examining the lawsuit filed Friday by the NHL answers some of the questions raised during decertification speculation in recent weeks. The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the lockout does not violate antitrust laws, but that’s just the beginning.

            Perhaps most interesting is a request made by the NHL that says if the judgment rules that a disclaimer of interest or decertification by the NHLPA is ultimately found to be valid, then all standard player contracts signed under the previous CBA would be void and unenforceable.

            “In the absence of a valid CBA or collective bargaining relationship, the provisions of the NHL SPCs will no longer have any force of effect,” the lawsuit reads.

            So, basically, everybody becomes a free agent in that scenario. Sure, it might lead to two or three years of court fights but the idea is a wild one to consider.

            “I’m pretty sure the Edmonton Oilers won’t like that scenario, or any team with good young players,” said one NHL source. “Steven Stamkos might get $20 million [a season] from the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

            Yes, this is the start of the nuclear option. ”

            http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/20801?

          • Meh. Apply it to all of the teams. Even your beloved Canucks will have valued players in peril of leaving.

            Your comment about the players benefiting form non-guaranteed contracts is wrong. Consider the NFL.

            None of this happens anyway. The CBA is still being negotiated in the midst of the armies massing on the border.

            You sir, have fallen for the oldest trick in the book! I hear sabres rattling! Head for the hills!

          • DSF

            If this were to come to pass, the richest teams would obviously have the biggest advantage in signing players.

            If the teams were run as good businesses rather than playthings, we would likely see a return to the era where some teams massively outspend others and would make the weaker franchises feeders to talent to the big boys, much like what the Oilers experienced in the 90’s.

            Based on Forbes team revenue numbers, it’s pretty easy to see what the pecking order is.

            1) Toronto $200 million

            2) Rangers $199 million

            3) Montreal $169 million

            4) Vancouver $143 million

            5) Boston $129 million

            6) Detroit $128

            7) Chicago $125 million

            8) Philly $124 million

            9) New Jersey $122 million

            10) Pittsburgh $120 million

            11) LAK $120 million

            12) Calgary $117 million

            13) Ottawa $113 million

            14) Edmonton $106 million

            15) Winnipeg $105 million

            The drop off in revenue after the first four teams is huge and you would expect those 4 teams would have a tremendous advantage in attracting players.

          • DSF

            Sure, but your Forbes numbers are based on estimates, which numerous teams have advised are not accurate.

            Plus, factor in the willingness to spend from each team’s ownership, and your theory becomes very unstable very quickly. It isn’t wrong, but there are so many variables that it fast becomes mere speculation.

            Again, all of this is moot. Any economic bargaining model/game theory does not result in annihilation – the reason that we are not currently communing with cockroaches and making tools from stone after the Cuban missile crisis.

            I know you need to find ways to sewer the Oilers as much as possible, but this nuclear threat isn’t going to come to pass.

          • DSF

            Well, almost any idiot can figure out which teams generate more revenues than others even if Forbes numbers are gospel.

            Thing is the Oilers are not anywhere near top 10 in revenue and without a new arena, never will be.

            Whether or not it comes to pass is now before the courts

          • DSF

            It’s too bad you resort to (implied) name-calling. Ultimately hurts your credibility. Just trying to have a conversation. You don’t take it well when people raise valid counterpoints, do you?

            By revenue, I would presume we speak of all revenue, not just gate, correct?

      • Reg Dunlop

        Hey buddy, are you in elementary school. The entire league had gross revenue of 3.3 billion. Take away 57% for player salaries and then some more for other expenses and you get a net profit that is only in the millions and of which only a handful of teams made. Read the Forbes review of the NHL teams to get a glimpse of how the teams are doing financially. Most are not doing great at all. Why am I reiterating the obvious. This has all been noted before.

        • The problems with the Islanders, Coyotes, etc. are long range, systemic issues that won’t be cured with the current “solution” of narrowing the players share to 50% of revenues. The Coyotes lost close to $60 million last season, for example. A new salary cap of $60M rather than $70M doesn’t even make a dent in their financial problems. Heck, there’s evidence that the last CBA made things worse for them thanks to the existence of a salary floor.

          Bad markets or bad business strategy can’t be waved away by shaving your employee costs.

          Which isn’t to say I don’t understand why the NHL is insistent on this course of action – another 7% of 3.3B is a $230M wealth transfer after all – but I’m guessing most of that money ends up in the pockets of the middle-to-big market teams again.

          • DSF

            Exactly.

            The current system was designed by the owners when they imposed the last CBA on the players.

            Without massive revenue sharing, the system will stay broken.

          • Time Travelling Sean

            I totally agree, and in my mind the key question is actually pretty simple: Is the NHL as a whole measurably more successful because it has 30 teams?

            If yes, the answer is revenue sharing, because the struggling teams provide a net benefit to the league as a whole.

            If no, contract them.

            The richer owners want the best of both worlds – a 30 team league that somebody else pays for.

        • Reg Dunlop

          Yes I agree, but put a mike in front of Bettman, with his nose twitching, well boast about how great and strong the league is with its $3.3 billion in revenues… always shmoozing and fibbing to people’s faces.Now they cry poor.
          Would be a rich league if it wasnt for the bottom feeders.

  • Eulers

    I can see that the Oilers would badly want him in the line-up. Hard to sympathize with the NHL teams after locking out the players from the fans and player’s point of view. Doesn’t the NHL have enough image problems now without screwing the World Juniors for a couple weeks of playing time?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    With the lingering January 15th deadline as far as a seson goes, this won’t even be close for Hopkins and his commitment to the Oilers.

    If the lockout were to end today, he’s far better off and would probably even prefer to remain with the juniors than he is playing a couple nothing reg season games for the Oilers. Let the kid have his experience, it’s what he’s wanted all along.

  • DieHard

    All of Canada needs the NUGE, its only us Oil fans or Oil Mgmt that would want him back in the NHL. Like a couple of weeks would make a difference. Even if the season starts, its with a asterisk. Dont let the country down , Let the Nuge grow , he will be with us for years to come.
    NOTE- Not all Oil fans would want him back if the season started.
    This is Big…the world juniors. We can do without him for a bit.

    Kick ass RNH , make us proud.

  • james_dean

    HOw many owners own the building their team plays in?

    does anyone believe multi hundred million dollar tycoons that own NHL teams care about losing 10 mil per year?
    They might not like it but they really dont care.

    Do you think when Jerry Jones’ advisors tell him to stay off the field and hire a GM that he cares?

    Hes only got 10 years left and he wants to have some fun.

    too bad for the borderline players in NHL

    Aka Lennie pettrell my hero

    (ugliest man alive too)

  • RexLibris

    I really wish there was a way to rally all fans in Canada
    once this resolved to make our point and stay the hell away for a while.
    Yes i am diehard and want hockey back but there is no consideration
    for the fans, the ones that pay, the ones that make this lucrative for the
    owners [most] and the players.. Wonder what old Gordie Howe thinks
    of all this ? I bet he could just throw up.. Me too Gordie, Me too.
    Yeah it a business now, but with no customers most businesses
    go tits up.. Go piss up a rope NHLPA and NHL. You make me vomit.

  • RexLibris

    The NHL class action means that the decertification and then anti-trust lawsuit will be heard in NY by a republican-appointed court rather than a far-left one.

    This is the beginning of the doomsday machine (cue doctor strangelove) being started down the path of no return.

    the positive friday spin is that in the past this MAD (Mutually assured destruction) tactic wll make both sides reconsider and swiftly settle.

    I think that the filthy commie Mr. Fehr wants to take this all the way – to establish the legal precedent – and to nuke the salary cap. He has the players in the palm of his hand and with obama as POTUS by the time this reaches the SCOTUS one if not two judges will be appointed by him – his only appointee to date – sonia sotomayor – an uber leftie – ruled against the NFL when their PS decertified and thus forced that group of owners hands.

  • I tried it at home

    I couldnt care less about the world juniors if I sat back and actually tried, but if Nugent does wants to take part and its his last chance, hey go nuts. With all the hard feelings and blather going back and forth, its probably worth the short term loss to the Oilers to keep a franchise player happy. Also, good PR for prospective new comers if they see a team that can cater to reasonable requests.

  • DSF

    Also worth noting today from the NHL’s filing:

    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle

    Part of NHL’s filing includes section requesting declaration that “all existing contracts between NHL players and teams would be void.”

    mc79hockey ‏@mc79hockey

    I hope Oiler fans enjoyed the Hall/RNH/Eberle/Yakupov/Schultz era. NHL is seeking declaration that would end it.

  • Reg Dunlop

    @DSF

    Regarding your ‘nuclear winter’ and ‘This season is over’… the dissolution of PA and existing contracts would be accompianied by non-graranteed contracts. One whiff of that would push the majority, no, the vast majority of the PA to press Fehr to come to an agreement with the NHL. This season is far from lost, look for a deal by mid-January,

    • DSF

      Nope.

      The NHL has applied in court to void all NHL player contracts.

      This is actually a benefit to the NHLPA.

      Fehr is smart enough to know that this will remove the salary cap which I believe has been his strategy all along.

      The end of guaranteed contracts is a concern to the bottom third of the league but any agent worth his salt can negotiate a contract with guaranteed money and signing bonuses.

      Without a cap, the players win…big time.

  • Reg Dunlop

    A notice to all fans considering some form of boycott, whether it be organizing a mass ‘no-show’for the first game back or a ‘no beer and souvineer’ movement: if you as a group in any way collude to limit our revenue stream you will face the mother of litigations. Also, thank you to the world’s best fans!

    Sincerely, Gary and Don

  • Reg Dunlop

    @DSF

    Surely you see this as nothing but a negotiation ploy, just as the league’s class action filing states. The PA has no intention of continuing non-collectively. This same move led to a deal in last year’s NBA dispute, just like it will this year.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Returning to the original thread, I think RNH knows which side his bread is buttered. This amature tourney is fun but his future lies in Edmonton and he will return for training camp if a miracle happens and a deal is reached before Christmas.

    Wait, I forgot. DSF said all the Oiler young guns are going to be free agents so their futures will be elsewhere(but still not in Vancouver! haha).

    With the holidays nearly upon us, and with the nation’s love of Seinfeld well documented, I suggest we celebrate Festivus beginning with the airing of grievances. DSF, I got a lot of problems with you! Your goal of stirring up s#it at every opportunity JUST DOESN’T SIT WITH ME ANYMORE.

  • Cheap Shot Charlie

    I see I’ve come too late!!! DSF, I love you! You would be such a sweet, attractive, funny guy if you just did some minor work on yourself. Let me help direct you to the NEW you!

    First, take this! *HUG* Now look in the mirror and say “I am a desirable guy!” Say that with confidence.

    Now, take a shower, change out of those sweat pants and comb your hair.

    Look in the mirrorr and practice saying words like “I see your point”, “good one” and “I like your enthusiasm”. This will encourage people to engage in a friendly (remember friendly) conversation..

    Now let’s work on some non-offensive jokes to help break the ice when you meet someone. Try, “Excuse me, do you know how much a polar bear weighs?” Now wait for a reaction… If you’re having a hard time reading their reactions just count to 5 in your head and say “enough to break the ice”.

    I think with those tips we can help you feeling more comfortable and able to deal with real people and get you being LESS abrasive. Go try it.

    Here’s another *HUG* for confidence. Go get ’em, Tiger!