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31.7.14 1446
The W - Hockey - The NHL Owners Fire Opening Salvo
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Freeway
Scrapple








Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

Since last post: 221 days
Last activity: 3 days
#1 Posted on
The NHL Owners reportedly dropped the hammer today in the opening round of negotiations between them and the NHLPA. (care of http://www.ontheforecheck.com/2012/7/13/3158336/nhl-cba-owners-players-revenue-free-agency-negotiation and many others).

It's not pretty.

#1: Roll back NHLPA share of hockey-related revenues to 46% from current 57%.

#2: Increase number of years of service before players can become unrestricted free agents to 10 from the present 7.

#3: Eliminate salary arbitration entirely.

#4: Limit contract lengths to a maximum of five years (a reduction from the unlimited status quo).

#5: Increase length of entry-level contracts to five years from the current three.

Basically, cut the amount that players make and reduce their ability to get a pay-day by cutting the ways they reach them.
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TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 2 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.61
Wow. Something tells me the union won't be accepting that proposal.

I pay little attention to hockey. Most years, I don't start watching till the conference finals, if at all. So forgive my ignorance, but how can the NHL be in such dire financial straits just seven years after canceling a whole year with the previous lockout? Did the owners just gain nothing at all in that deal and now they're back looking for some of the same demands?

I mean, I'm sure some of this is just bargaining, starting out at some extreme position with the idea of leaving room to make concessions later, but 10 years for unrestricted free agency? How many NHL players actually make it that long? Some quick Googling tells me the average NHL career is a little over five years, so this is quite the extreme. Coupled with the loss of salary arbitration for restricted free agents (something the author at the link above seems too quick to dismiss as no big deal), this would be quite the loss of bargaining power for the players.

Surely another lockout so soon after the last one would be a huge, huge blow for the NHL. Is losing another season or part of another season a real possibility here, in the opinions of those "in the know" on these issues?
lotjx
Scrapple








Since: 5.9.08

Since last post: 3 hours
Last activity: 1 hour
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.29
It sounds like borderline indentured servitude. The NHL Union would be insane to take any of these especially the arbitration. I wonder if these demands are so outragous, that it forces the Union to get most of these down to four years instead a five, a victory both sides can claim. If the NHL cries poor, the Union should put out the blacking out of games on NHL Network as well as owning and operating teams in places where it will never work or work maybe once every five or six years.



The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Chumpstain
Kolbasz








Since: 21.1.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 51 days
Last activity: 8 min.
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.24
The NHL isn't in dire financial straits. Some teams might be, but the last CBA included revenue sharing to help prop them up. The thing about the NHL is that the profitable teams (Toronto and Montreal especially, but also others like Vancouver, Boston, NYR) are really profitable, while there's quite a few teams that are just bleeding money (Phoenix, Florida, etc.).

Most of these bargaining points are the owners trying to protect themselves from themselves. Maximum contract lengths wouldn't be needed if we didn't have ridiculous 13+ year contracts being handed out. The equal pay among all years of the deal wouldn't be needed if owners weren't trying to cheat the salary cap by front-loading contracts, taking advantage of the cap only caring about the average hit over its duration (the owners being hopeful that the player with the contract will retire at the end during his low-paying end years, thus taking the contract off the books).

When the last CBA was agreed upon, most observers viewed it as the players surrendering a ton of things. They accepted a salary cap, a rollback on all their current salaries, and various other things. But it worked out pretty well for the players in the end, and as league revenues increased so did the salary cap (and corresponding salary floor). The attempt by the owners to claw back the revenue portion to players to 46% is just an attempt to grab more money for themselves. They're starting with a ridiculously low rate with, I'm sure, the intention of meeting the players in the middle. They just have to be careful that they don't push too hard. There is a chance that we'll miss some hockey at the season's start, but if that happens the fans won't be largely behind the owners as they were last lockout. Things simply aren't as bad as they were then.
Freeway
Scrapple








Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

Since last post: 221 days
Last activity: 3 days
#5 Posted on
There are a couple of bad things for owners in the CBA.

-The Cap Floor: the owners got a salary cap in 2005, which was HUGE and signified the players falling on their swords. However, the salary cap was also accompanied by a cap floor, a level of spending that ALL teams must hit as a minimum. The cap floor was $21.5 million in 2005-06 (compared to the cap ceiling of $39 million) and it grew along with league revenues, reaching $48.3 million in 2011-12.

That means that teams that were spending the LEAST THEY COULD after the lock-out were contractually obligated to DOUBLE THEIR SPENDING with no guarantee that it would make them anymore money. Many of the teams, as a result, are operating at a loss.

-Revenue Sharing: To qualify for revenue sharing, a team CANNOT spend above the half-way point between the cap ceiling and the cap floor. This results in the teams that NEED revenue sharing under-spending (to qualify) and operating at a distinct financial disadvantage against the higher-grossing (mostly Canadian and Original Six) teams.
TheOldMan
Landjager








Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

Since last post: 31 days
Last activity: 27 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.68
    Originally posted by Freeway
    There are a couple of bad things for owners in the CBA.

    -The Cap Floor: the owners got a salary cap in 2005, which was HUGE and signified the players falling on their swords. However, the salary cap was also accompanied by a cap floor, a level of spending that ALL teams must hit as a minimum. The cap floor was $21.5 million in 2005-06 (compared to the cap ceiling of $39 million) and it grew along with league revenues, reaching $48.3 million in 2011-12.

    That means that teams that were spending the LEAST THEY COULD after the lock-out were contractually obligated to DOUBLE THEIR SPENDING with no guarantee that it would make them anymore money. Many of the teams, as a result, are operating at a loss.

    -Revenue Sharing: To qualify for revenue sharing, a team CANNOT spend above the half-way point between the cap ceiling and the cap floor. This results in the teams that NEED revenue sharing under-spending (to qualify) and operating at a distinct financial disadvantage against the higher-grossing (mostly Canadian and Original Six) teams.


So is the problem here that teams operating at a loss are..

(a) spending above the halfway point and thus not getting any of the revenue sharing
(b) in markets so small that they can't get local TV deals to compare with 'big-market/Original Six' teams
(c) fucked in any case because the 'revenue sharing' is so measly

I mean, I thought that losing a season was all about the owners getting this deal that they claim is now killing them. The one with a salary cap, and a defined percentage of money that can go to the players? How can the owners claim they are losing money, if revenues are so high to trigger the larger payout percentages? (Unless they aren't effectively sharing the revenue.)

It's not the players' fault if Rocky Wirtz signs off on burying Christobal Huet in France for 2 years @ $5,000,000 a year to finesse that money off the Blackhawks cap. If anything, it's a loophole the owners ask to have closed in the new deal.

Bottom line, it sounds like the NHL owners are ripping up their own dream labor deal for no better reason than other sports are clawing back money from the players, so why not us too.



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