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Thread: An Interesting Read for NHL Fans by Al Strachan

  1. #1
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    An Interesting Read for NHL Fans by Al Strachan

    Hi All You NHL Fans

    An interesting insight into Why the Season Loss.

    It will be a puzzling end

    Al Strachan writes the players have tried, so what's the real reason for scrapping the season?


    IT WOULD appear that this is the week. At some point, the National Hockey League season will be cancelled, and few people in the hockey community can figure out why that is the case.

    Sure, there are half a dozen hawkish team owners, who never intended to have a season and have pressured commissioner Gary Bettman to accede to their demands.

    But among people who understand what's going on -- which unfortunately excludes a lot of fans -- there is a communal scratching of heads. They just don't understand why there will be no hockey this season.

    Some of the owners, those who did well under the old collective bargaining agreement and would be rolling in money under the new one, don't understand it.

    The agents don't understand it. They're complaining that the rollbacks offered by the NHL Players' Association will have a major negative impact on their salaries.

    Because they live off commission, their incomes will be cut by 24% off the top. But furthermore, the removal of the pressure points that cause inflation has some of them hopping mad.

    Ever since the NHLPA's offer was presented, they've been trying to devise ways to quickly ratchet up the salaries if and when the league comes back. And they can't do it.

    And the players, the most important segment of the hockey community, don't understand it either.

    They made an offer that they genuinely believed was workable, in many cases at considerable personal cost. They chopped a minimum of 24% off their salaries. But the league won't take it.

    And you don't get any real explanations from the league's people. They said they wanted a deal that would reduce the average salary to $1.3 million US.

    The players gave it to them. They rejected it.

    They said they wanted an end to runaway inflation. The players gave them a system to do that. They rejected it.

    When Bettman used to hold news conferences instead of hiding behind his security people, he tried to provide some answers.

    At one point, he said the league needed a new deal because: "From our standpoint, we have seen the economic problems. We have seen the (Buffalo and Ottawa) bankruptcies."

    But at the time of the Buffalo situation, he said: "What's interesting in both Ottawa and here in Buffalo is that in Ottawa, the financial underpinning or strength of the franchise was Ogden/Covanta and they went into bankruptcy (protection), having nothing to do with the hockey team.

    "And here, Adelphia went into bankruptcy (protection), and that's where the money was coming from to support the club, having nothing to do with the hockey team."

    In Tampa last year, it was put to Bettman that the 12 conference finalists over the past three years have been 12 different teams, therefore there was no economic disparity.

    Bettman agreed, but said such success was costly: "I think in Carolina's case, their payroll increased by 33% or something like it after they went to the Stanley Cup final."

    In fact Carolina's NHL roster payroll went from $30.5 million to $33.75 million, an increase of 10.66%. The team's total NHL payroll, including the farm system, bought-out and injured players, went from $43 million to $46.1 million, an increase of 7.06%.

    When the NHLPA made its Dec. 9 offer, Bettman said it was "fatally flawed."

    He made a number of assertions regarding Exhibit 13 which showed its inflationary nature. The union held a conference call to show that those assertions were wildly inaccurate and Bettman hasn't been heard from since.

    It's clear now that the season will not be played. Soon, the league will announce its cancellation. But wouldn't it be nice to know the reason? The real reason, that is?




  2. #2
    Salary cap.

    ..until the players agree to a cap the NHL is dead. I said this in a post in another thread and i still feel this is the case. It doesn't matter if the players give up enough to meet the financial demands of the owners ..until there is a cap to prevent out of control salaries again I feel it will be a long time until something is agreed upon.

    ...also the article suggests that the players 'made great sacrifices' or something like that.....they are millionaires! to suggest they made a sacrifice is ridiculous.... same goes for the agents who are worried about their salaries.. gimme a break... they make millions off of player contracts... my advice would be to start clipping coupons and tighten the belt a bit because its gonna be a while.

  3. #3
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi Izzo

    We have a fundamental disagreement here Izzo.

    Since when is it up to the Employees of Microsoft to run the Business of Microsoft?

    Since when is it up to the Players to have to run the Teams of the NHL, when the Owners are unwilling or incapable of doing so?

    Yes some players are millionaires. Who paid that to them? Why did they pay that to them? Who offered the players unrealistic Contracts with no trade clauses and other options?

    The Owners of the Teams did thats who. So who is responsible for the shape of the situation today...The Owners are.

    If your Boss offers you too much for a Wage are you about to say No Thank you. Of course not.

    Do not blame the players or their Agents for taking what was offered. Anyone would do the same.

    Instead blame the Owners of the Teams who cannot, or will not control their own spending, which was in most cases unnecessary. They bid against other Owners for players and drove up the salaries. It was not the other way around.

    When the Players offered a 1/4 cut in their pay across the board that is a very big number, no matter the salary in question.

    As to the Agents, they are not at all happy with the players for doing so as this just cost them a like amount.

    There is absolutely no need for a Salary Cap of any kind. Teams like Toronto, Philly etc are making nothing but money now. They also have some of the highest payrolls in the Game.

    These Teams are very happy with the status quo and offered a 25% reduction in payroll like they were are ecstatic. Thats pure profit to them.

    Teams that are in trouble are there because of poor Marketing, Management and in many cases Location. Don't blame the players for that situation either imho. They had nothing to do with it.

    Look instead to the NHL and Bettman who sold these Owners on the idea they could make money in these locations etc. When this failed he promised them a Salary Cap. Bad idea and undeliverable imho.

    The Owners without the players have no product to Market and are out of business as far as Hockey goes on the Pro level at least.

    People will not pay $75 to 150 Bucks a Ticket to watch less than the best play.

    I fear there will be no hockey this Season and hope there is not, as it would be a sham imho.

    They should however keep at it now to ensure the Season will start on time next year. They owe it to the Game and those who support it.

    Bettman should be ousted as he has no feel or knowledge of the sport and is the wrong man to be negotiating.

    There are ways other than a Salary Cap to ensure the Game remains viable and both sides need to keep working on a solution rather than posturing.

    The players Union made a very respectable offer imho. The League Office has done nothing to work with those numbers instead sending back insulting offers they know will not fly.

    They are not negotiating in good faith imho.

    Just my opinion for what its worth.

    Thanks Izzo & Have an enjoyable day




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