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Lockout 2012-2013 (Hockey's back!)

   130 votes

  1. 1. When will we see hockey?

    • Oct 12
      10
    • Nov 12
      19
    • Dec 12
      26
    • Jan 13
      33
    • Feb 13
      1
    • Mar 13
      0
    • Apr 13
      0
    • Oct 13
      14
    • Never
      27

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1,718 posts in this topic

The NHL wants huge givebacks on salary, and in addition to said givebacks, wants player concessions on contracts, free agency age, and pretty much anything else. It is offering virtually nothing in return.

I'm pretty sure that they actually changed some of the contract issues in favor of the players. One being that entry level contracts are only two years long.

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The NBA lockout ended right around now, and I expect the NHL lockout to end right around now. The NFL lockout lasted a long time, and part of the issue that both sides, but especially the players, realized that once they started missing any games it would become harder and harder to reach an agreement. The NHL, of course, intended to miss games unless they got 100% of what they wanted, which is why we're in this spot. If they could've gotten to 50/50 and Make Whole by September 10th, we might've had a season, but the NHL had no interest in that.

The involvement of the courts also aided in the NFL not losing any games. Although the NFL position won at last point, the league (and all sports leagues) were worried about a court, perhaps even the Supreme Court, allowing the players union to decertify and then subjecting the league to the antitrust laws.

The NHLPA can't really threaten to decertify, since about half the teams would fold-up if there were no salary cap or draft. It would be 2005 all over again.

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I'm pretty sure that they actually changed some of the contract issues in favor of the players. One being that entry level contracts are only two years long.

You think that's a concession to the players? Because it isn't. Let's assume that it is, because the way you're thinking is that it means that players get off their ELC earlier. But all ELC's presently in the league are already signed, so this means it would only apply to new signees. So if you're right, those players would then get more money quicker, at the expense of the union members negotiating right now. If Sidney Crosby makes 8.7 million in his third year instead of 900k plus bonuses, that's at least 6 million dollars being taken away from union members who suffered through the lockout of 2004-05.

But on a more macro level, it means players who don't make it to the NHL earn slightly less. Which I imagine the NHL union doesn't care about, it's hard for me to imagine they care about anyone who makes less than the NHL average.

The involvement of the courts also aided in the NFL not losing any games. Although the NFL position won at last point, the league (and all sports leagues) were worried about a court, perhaps even the Supreme Court, allowing the players union to decertify and then subjecting the league to the antitrust laws.

The NHLPA can't really threaten to decertify, since about half the teams would fold-up if there were no salary cap or draft. It would be 2005 all over again.

New teams would spring up. There's plenty of money in professional hockey. Nor do I think that you're correct - no draft means yeah, players sign for lots of money in big markets. But not everyone does that.

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New teams would spring up. There's plenty of money in professional hockey. Nor do I think that you're correct - no draft means yeah, players sign for lots of money in big markets. But not everyone does that.

The money in the NHL is highly concentrated, especially when you don't have enormous tv deals that the NFL has. (Every team in the NFL would at least break even with sharing of tv revenues alone). If it were a completely free labor market -- no salary caps, no draft, just play out the terms of a deal -- hockey could work in maybe, maybe ten markets, half of which would be in Canada. The Devils would be out of business in about five years unless there's a white knight that is willing to lose a ton of money because he likes hockey.

No draft would be the death knell. You can bet your bottom dollar that all of the top five/ten prospects in any given year would be the property of one of five teams. European soccer has a talent pool that is several times larger than all of the people that play all of the four major US sports combined. I don't follow the sport too much, but it seems like there are maybe fifteen soccer teams in all of Europe that manage to legitimately compete for anything of consequence.

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You think that's a concession to the players? Because it isn't. Let's assume that it is, because the way you're thinking is that it means that players get off their ELC earlier. But all ELC's presently in the league are already signed, so this means it would only apply to new signees. So if you're right, those players would then get more money quicker, at the expense of the union members negotiating right now. If Sidney Crosby makes 8.7 million in his third year instead of 900k plus bonuses, that's at least 6 million dollars being taken away from union members who suffered through the lockout of 2004-05.

But on a more macro level, it means players who don't make it to the NHL earn slightly less. Which I imagine the NHL union doesn't care about, it's hard for me to imagine they care about anyone who makes less than the NHL average.

Ive heard numerous players say that this lockout is about protecting the young players and future players of the NHL. Also the NHL has said that they would most likely lessen their stance on contract lengths, which is definitely something the players care about. That there is a concession on the owners part, and in my opinion it is a big concession cause I think there are many problems with how contracts are being negotiated right now.

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The money in the NHL is highly concentrated, especially when you don't have enormous tv deals that the NFL has. (Every team in the NFL would at least break even with sharing of tv revenues alone). If it were a completely free labor market -- no salary caps, no draft, just play out the terms of a deal -- hockey could work in maybe, maybe ten markets, half of which would be in Canada. The Devils would be out of business in about five years unless there's a white knight that is willing to lose a ton of money because he likes hockey.

No draft would be the death knell. You can bet your bottom dollar that all of the top five/ten prospects in any given year would be the property of one of five teams. European soccer has a talent pool that is several times larger than all of the people that play all of the four major US sports combined. I don't follow the sport too much, but it seems like there are maybe fifteen soccer teams in all of Europe that manage to legitimately compete for anything of consequence.

And yet there are hundreds of professional soccer teams in Europe - imagine that. They must all be going broke or out of business. I mean, this is sublimely silly talk.

The decertification is a threat. It would likely not be followed through on. But still, if the NHL thought there was even a 1% chance of decertification they'd want to concede some things rather than have players follow through on it.

Ive heard numerous players say that this lockout is about protecting the young players and future players of the NHL. Also the NHL has said that they would most likely lessen their stance on contract lengths, which is definitely something the players care about. That there is a concession on the owners part, and in my opinion it is a big concession cause I think there are many problems with how contracts are being negotiated right now.

I hate this contract talk because an owner and a player are agreeing to these contracts. So both parties think this is fair. So sure, end the front-loaded contracts, but term limits on contracts are silly. It's for the owners to protect themselves against themselves because they don't know how to run a business.

I'm sure the NHLPA will cave on contract lengths since for 80+% of the union who cares, they won't get a contract that long anyway. But the lockout is not about protecting young players and future players of the NHL.

Edited by Triumph

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I'd like to see the NHLPA agree to a percentage based soft fall in their next offer. It doesn't even necessarily have to be to 50/50. I think that would really get negotiations going and seems reasonable to me, trying to guarantee a rising cap that gets to 50/50 under 5% growth scenarios is just not going to play. The NHL fought very hard for linkage last lockout and any offer that doesn't have that is just so clearly a non-starter I think.

If the NHLPA does that tomorrow I'll be very hopeful for a resolution very soon.

Edited by halfsharkalligatorhalfman

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And yet there are hundreds of professional soccer teams in Europe - imagine that. They must all be going broke or out of business. I mean, this is sublimely silly talk.

The decertification is a threat. It would likely not be followed through on. But still, if the NHL thought there was even a 1% chance of decertification they'd want to concede some things rather than have players follow through on it.

Hundreds of soccer teams, but how many of them are any good, what do they pay their players, and how many people show up to watch their games. Yeah, I guess you're right that with no player contract restrictions, the Devils and Tampa could play each other ten times per year to crowds of less than 2000 people to watch bordeline AHLers that get paid $100k per year. I would certainly throw down money to watch a team led by Darcy Zajac and Keith Kinkaid go toe to toe against another team led by the Sestito brothers (not quite as good as the Sedins, but beggars can't be choosers). Those scrappy teams could definitely compete against a Ranger team made up of Crosby, Shea Weber, Stamkos, Toews, and Zdeno Chara. Maybe the Rags would give their third string goalie -- let's say Pekka Rhine -- the start just to make things interesting.

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Hundreds of soccer teams, but how many of them are any good, what do they pay their players, and how many people show up to watch their games. Yeah, I guess you're right that with no player contract restrictions, the Devils and Tampa could play each other ten times per year to crowds of less than 2000 people to watch bordeline AHLers that get paid $100k per year. I would certainly throw down money to watch a team led by Darcy Zajac and Keith Kinkaid go toe to toe against another team led by the Sestito brothers (not quite as good as the Sedins, but beggars can't be choosers). Those scrappy teams could definitely compete against a Ranger team made up of Crosby, Shea Weber, Stamkos, Toews, and Zdeno Chara. Maybe the Rags would give their third string goalie -- let's say Pekka Rhine -- the start just to make things interesting.

You haven't thought much how the economics of a decertified NHL would work. First of all, obviously Devils vs. Rangers would sell out. The Devils could probably charge a fortune for those tickets. Second, there's a limited number of spots available on an NHL team, so would players sign for more to literally not play? Remember, in a decertified NHL the relationship between the AHL and NHL, roster limits, etc. change dramatically. Some would, others probably wouldn't.

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You haven't thought much how the economics of a decertified NHL would work. First of all, obviously Devils vs. Rangers would sell out. The Devils could probably charge a fortune for those tickets. Second, there's a limited number of spots available on an NHL team, so would players sign for more to literally not play? Remember, in a decertified NHL the relationship between the AHL and NHL, roster limits, etc. change dramatically. Some would, others probably wouldn't.

The Devils could charge as much for games against the Rangers as they do now, and that assumes that the Rangers would even feel it's worth their while to play a team that's nothing more than a sparring partner.

There are only a limited number of spots on a soccer roster, yet in the past twenty years in the English premier competition, four teams have won the championship, and one team, Man U, has won more than half of them. Something like a total of ten teams during that time have finished in the top three teams. So basically, despite an enormous talent pool, there are ten teams in the premier league that have sniffed a title over the past twenty years. It's even more concentrated in the Spanish premier league.

My guess would be that most of the good players that aren't good enough for those ten to twelve North American teams that could pay players a lot of money (NYR, Flyers, Bruins, Blackhawks, Red Wings, Maple Leafs, Second Toronto team, Canadiens, Nordiques, Vancouver, and let's say two more Canadian teams owned by rich guys would be willing to lose money on) would end up playing in Russia, and a few other Euro teams that would pay them more money than the Panthers, Devils and Hurricanes could.

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If they could've gotten to 50/50 and Make Whole by September 10th, we might've had a season, but the NHL had no interest in that.

Tri, that has nothing to do with it. The NHLPA is STILL NOT at a 'real' 50-50, because they're not offering linkage. This is not a small thing. And neither side made any effort to negotiate before September 10, the NHLPA kept offering up excuses about Fehr getting up to speed when the NHL wanted meetings. Which I guess makes sense considering he's always late to meetings so clearly he's been in no hurry at any point and yet you only blame the owners for dragging their feet.

You complain about the owners' heavy-handedness when the owners offer something ridiculously slanted in their favor but you don't seem to have an issue with the players doing the same thing, or not offering anything at all. Both sides are full of **it, period.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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Tri, that has nothing to do with it. The NHLPA is STILL NOT at a 'real' 50-50, because they're not offering linkage. This is not a small thing. And neither side made any effort to negotiate before September 10, the NHLPA kept offering up excuses about Fehr getting up to speed when the NHL wanted meetings. Which I guess makes sense considering he's always late to meetings so clearly he's been in no hurry at any point and yet you only blame the owners for dragging their feet.

You complain about the owners' heavy-handedness when the owners offer something ridiculously slanted in their favor but you don't seem to have an issue with the players doing the same thing, or not offering anything at all. Both sides are full of **it, period.

The players have offered nothing heavily slanted in their favor. Have the players even offered 57% across the board? A continuation of the old CBA + more revenue for increased NHL revenue? Nope. Nothing like it. The NHL is at record revenues and wants to cut salary, it's going to have to give stuff to the NHLPA to make that happen. One thing they could offer is de-linked Make Whole combined with a linked salary cap with an agreed upon cap for the next 2 seasons. You just assume that the NHL has to get everything it wants or there won't be a season. In that case, there probably won't be a season. I don't assume the NHL is that intractable.

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You guys will find out soon enough, Fehr isn't interested in negotiation, he wants war. Whether that's limited to delinkage or he secretly wants to go after the cap entirely is still up in the air. I love how a letter to the Canadian Parliament whining about the owners gets made public right before the summit meeting, which Fehr is predictably late for.

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You guys will find out soon enough, Fehr isn't interested in negotiation, he wants war. Whether that's limited to delinkage or he secretly wants to go after the cap entirely is still up in the air. I love how a letter to the Canadian Parliament whining about the owners gets made public right before the summit meeting, which Fehr is predictably late for.

If the NHL had any interest in actual negotiation this lockout would be over. Can you tell me what they have given to the players in any of their negotiations that was not in the previous CBA?

Edited by Triumph

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You guys will find out soon enough, Fehr isn't interested in negotiation, he wants war. Whether that's limited to delinkage or he secretly wants to go after the cap entirely is still up in the air. I love how a letter to the Canadian Parliament whining about the owners gets made public right before the summit meeting, which Fehr is predictably late for.

Fehr's job is to get the best deal he can for the players, same as Bettman's job is to get the best deal for the owners. Fehr will "negotiate" if he feels the owners will crack. Bettman will do the same if he concludes that the players are willing to go without paychecks for a sustained period of time. Both sides realize that it's in neither of their interests to completely alienate the fans, i.e. customers. So in a way, when either the owners or players put out leaks to make the other side look bad, it actually helps both sides. A fan who blames only one side is more willing to continue to be a customer than a fan that blames both sides.

It's an art, not a science. Being angry about it or whining about greed are besides the point.

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If the NHL had any interest in actual negotiation this lockout would be over. Can you tell me what they have given to the players in any of their negotiations that was not in the previous CBA?

Entry level contracts being reduced to two years is a plus for the players. And I believe they got the ability to get an outside opinion medically on injuries at the team's expense.

How much can the owners possibly offer as an 'improvement'? They're not going to offer 60% HRR, they're not going to reduce the FA age to 25.

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Entry level contracts being reduced to two years is a plus for the players. And I believe they got the ability to get an outside opinion medically on injuries at the team's expense.

lol. that is not a plus for the players; the league is the one offering it and the players rejecting it, what does that tell you? For every Sidney Crosby who gets to RFA earlier (which by the way almost certainly gets most players there without arbitration rights, so their second contract becomes take it or leave it), there are 15 players in the minors who miss out on a 3rd season as NHL property. It's not good for players. Ooh boy, second opinions for terrible team doctors, yippee. Cut my paycheck 15% and I get to get second opinions? Why not just bring up ending double rooms for players on the road?

How much can the owners possibly offer as an 'improvement'? They're not going to offer 60% HRR, they're not going to reduce the FA age to 25.

They could do a lot of things, they simply choose not to. The potential for no-trade clauses on RFA contracts, for instance. Increased payouts for buyouts. Full amnesty buyouts. The ending of re-entry waivers and no one counts on the cap until they make $250,000 US per year in the minors, instead of $105,000 as is being proposed now. An increase in the minimum NHL contract, which was a big thing in the last agreement that no one talks about now. Bump it to $600,000, say. The re-introduction of player options in contracts. There are a billion small things the NHL could give the union if you sat and thought about it.

Edited by Triumph

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Getting to your second contract quicker isn't a plus? Obviously it has no effect on current players, which is probably why the NHLPA could care less about it.

It's hard to say what has been offered as a plus and what hasn't since the ancillary issues don't see the light of day with all the attention to HRR, make whole and contract lengths. But I don't see how any of those main issues can be better than status quo for the players, and they're not all going to be status quo.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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Getting to your second contract quicker isn't a plus? Obviously it has no effect on current players, which is probably why the NHLPA could care less about it.

No, it isn't. If you get there without arbitration rights, you get a big take it or leave it offer, like what happened to Karl Alzner, or more familiarly, Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora. You'll see more holdouts if this comes to pass. And again, at the fringes you will see more players off NHL deals sooner, making less money and having less security.

It's hard to say what has been offered as a plus and what hasn't since the ancillary issues don't see the light of day with all the attention to HRR, make whole and contract lengths. But I don't see how any of those main issues can be better than status quo for the players, and they're not all going to be status quo.

No one should care about contract lengths - that should be a non-issue. I mean, obviously it can't be 3 years, but when it falls beyond 5, that's fine for everyone.

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Both sides realize that it's in neither of their interests to completely alienate the fans, i.e. customers. So in a way, when either the owners or players put out leaks to make the other side look bad, it actually helps both sides. A fan who blames only one side is more willing to continue to be a customer than a fan that blames both sides.

It's an art, not a science. Being angry about it or whining about greed are besides the point.

I do blame both sides, I just don't like when people look at this negotiation solely as the players being 'bullied' or the owners being obstinate. Both sides are equally culpable, especially since there's no reason beyond greed for this lockout. In '04 the system was broken. The system is not broken now, not when you have an #8 seed winning a Cup and then Minnesota throwing around $200 million for two players and Nashville matching the ridiculous Weber offer sheet.

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I do blame both sides, I just don't like when people look at this negotiation solely as the players being 'bullied' or the owners being obstinate. Both sides are equally culpable, especially since there's no reason beyond greed for this lockout. In '04 the system was broken. The system is not broken now, not when you have an #8 seed winning a Cup and then Minnesota throwing around $200 million for two players and Nashville matching the ridiculous Weber offer sheet.

I have no idea how you can write these sentences in the same post and not have the 'aha!' light come on.

Edited by Triumph
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I have no idea how you can write these sentences in the same post and not have the 'aha!' light come on.

Again, it takes two to tango. The PA knew they weren't getting the same CBA and would have to make concessions. They didn't meet with the NHL at all over the summer, didn't make any proposals of their own and waited until today to actually (apparently) offer linkage, something that was never coming out without a nuclear negotiation.

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I'd like to see the NHLPA agree to a percentage based soft fall in their next offer. It doesn't even necessarily have to be to 50/50. I think that would really get negotiations going and seems reasonable to me, trying to guarantee a rising cap that gets to 50/50 under 5% growth scenarios is just not going to play. The NHL fought very hard for linkage last lockout and any offer that doesn't have that is just so clearly a non-starter I think.

If the NHLPA does that tomorrow I'll be very hopeful for a resolution very soon.

From twitter leaks it sounds like the NHLPA did exactly that, supposedly players pushed Fehr and hardliners to come off guarenteed cap idea.

https://twitter.com/...303360605466624

https://twitter.com/...303480117964800

@FriedgeHNIC

Think the biggest changes [to NHLPA's proposal] are 1) agreement on using percentage of HRR 2) agreement on backdiving contracts and 3) what contracts in AHL...Would count against cap -- but not necessarily HRR.

https://twitter.com/...310594441883649

@aaronward_nhl

Source,NHLPA proposal took NHL structure,50/50,no guarantee.Only difference,took $211M (make whole) to $393M over 4 yrs.This $393M works

So it sounds like the NHLPA basically gave in completely on the cap structure. Just want a larger make whole payment to make it happen.

The NHL is looking over the offer now and expected to respond within an hour or two.

Edited by halfsharkalligatorhalfman

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Again, it takes two to tango. The PA knew they weren't getting the same CBA and would have to make concessions. They didn't meet with the NHL at all over the summer, didn't make any proposals of their own and waited until today to actually (apparently) offer linkage, something that was never coming out without a nuclear negotiation.

The NHL had no interest in negotiation until a week and a half ago. If you look at their offers their entire strategy was to wait until players missed 2-3 game checks and felt the pain of the lockout before beginning serious talks. Any concessions by the NHLPA over the summer or a month ago would have just confirmed to the owners that the tactic was working and they could get even more out of the NHLPA once they actually wanted to talk. A concession from the NHLPA over the summer just would have made the NHL hungrier for whatever concessions they would potentially get after the first missed game check.

This was about extortion from the very beginning. You're criticizing the NHLPA for trying to fight instead of giving in because you want to watch hockey so badly and don't care about the actual details of the agreement.

Edited by halfsharkalligatorhalfman

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