Lockout Looms: NHL Takes Stand

When negotiations broke up on Thursday, the NHL and NHLPA agreed on something: the gap between the two sides was substantial on the subject of revenue sharing. The players view revenue sharing as a more important piece of the new CBA than the league.

Commissioner Gary Bettman made clear to the assembled media that the league intends to lock the players out if there isn’t a new CBA in place when the current agreement expires on Sept. 15.

That date is five weeks from Saturday. The players will reportedly offer their counter-proposal to the owners on Tuesday next week.

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20 Responses to Lockout Looms: NHL Takes Stand

  1. Tony says:

    Time to get out the paper bags and saving up dog turds to mail to the fine Mr. Bettman when that date arrives.

  2. Ray says:

    A year after the NHL and NBC agree on a massive tv deal, there are talks of a lock out. I fully understand that the NHL and hockey in the US is ranked 4 out 4 of the major sports, but NHL hockey has gained substantial ground over the few years.

    Having every playoff game televised was huge last year, the buzz around the Winter Classic has increased viewership, and the quality of the young stars, and (re-)eregence of hockey in major markets has been great for the sport.

    If there is a lockout, it would be a blow to the traction the NHL has developed since the last one.

    I hope the two sides can come to an agreement before mid september, but it doesn’t seem likely.

  3. Tab Bamford says:

    There are two approaches to a potential lockout.

    View One is that it took too much good will to get the game back to where it is today for the owners & players to flush that down the drain now.

    View Two is that, if the game is (financially) stronger today than ever before, the owners will get theirs (at some point) whether there’s a lockout or not.

    I think every fan is hoping that the two sides can get their act together and have a deal done before the deadline in Sept. There is too much momentum taking the game in a positive direction for either side to assume they can come back from a work stoppage of any length for a second time inside a relatively short number of years. But, with that being said, they need to get it right… and the players are spot on that revenue sharing must be part of this CBA, especially with the financial growth of the game being sparked by the new TV deal.

  4. ratboy36 says:

    I can see both sides on most subjects,but the thing that’s complete horse shite is the fact the owners will not let the season start on time with the expired CBA in place while they sort it out.Completely understand they won’t progress considering they wait until the last minute to design a new contract.Since there’s no rush,why rush a lockout if there is nothing done by 9/15? I once felt this sport was above this trash,obviously not since the last time we were subjected to this.

  5. Ray says:

    I read recently that the NHLPA requested an absurd amount of financial paperwork, to the tune of 76,000 pages. The request was the books of all 30 teams, plus the league office. Evidently, per the current CBA, the NHL has been transparent about their finances with Fehr, and the NHLPA.

    The two sides are at odds regards the percentage of revenue for each side, and about contract lengths across the board.

    Tab, do you know any of the specifics of the contract lenghth disputes or the revenue sharing issue? I’m sure lifetime contracts are on the docket, but I’m not sure about much else.

  6. Logan Reilly says:

    Last time around, I was with the owners wholeheartedly in their attempts to get that salary cap in place.

    This time around, I’m with the players. The owners are absolute dumbasses and have no one to blame but themselves. They scale back everything in the CBA….why? Because they’re idiots who have no effin’ control on their spending urges.

    And why do I get the feeling that even if the owners won this dispute they’d still find loopholes in the CBA to hand out ridiculous amounts of cash to players.

  7. Logan Reilly says:

    Btw…one positive for Chicago if there’s a lengthy strike…Brandon Saad can focus in the AHL and not deal with the unrealistic expectations some have put upon him this coming season.

  8. ratboy36 says:

    By the time Saad is eligible for the AHL(November) hopefully the lockout will be over.Most likely go back to Saginaw.

  9. Dickie Dunn says:

    I have NO “inside information” about this either.

    (from The Globe And Mail) “Revenues have risen from roughly $2.2-billion to $3.3-billion – or an average of about $160-million a season – over the length of the current CBA, pushing the average revenue-per-team figure to $110-million. Overall, the league is profitable, too.” “What’s left is the profit – which according to these rough estimates here would be between $7- and $12-million per team. Sounds good, right? On the high end in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens are all pulling in more than enough revenue to be very profitable and they don’t lose all that much of it to revenue sharing. What’s not exactly news is that many teams on the low end struggle, and it’s that vast revenue disparity which is to blame for a lot of the problems the owners are once again making noise about correcting.” “The NHL as a whole, in other words, now makes money – and if revenues were 100 per cent shared among owners, they’d all be profitable. Where the league is suffering and why we may have yet another lockout (the third under Bettman) is (a) the bottom 10 teams have revenues so low they can’t cover their expenses and (b) those at the top have little intention of helping them do so more than they already are. It’s an owner versus owner problem more than it is an owner versus player one…” “The fact the players are again being asked to save the stragglers rubs many on the PA side the wrong way.”

    (…more: http://m.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/why-nhl-teams-cry-poor-despite-the-leagues-record-growth/article4429817/?service=mobile)

    Like I said, I’m no “expert”, but, (shitgoddam!) this smells SO much like the “real” / NON-professional sports world. “Capitalism”, “BIG Business”, “etc.” — the NHL owners are just trying to follow the script. Welcome to “The NHL New World Order”…? Pump up the GREED!! (…maybe Toronto, Montreal, the Rangers, and the Flyers can just have their own 4 team league?)

  10. Oliver Holloway says:

    If the fans want to teach the owners a lesson, then for every day there is a lockout, the fans should refuse to watch/attend games for that many days once the season starts. That is the only way the owners will learn their lesson, is if we show them who the real boss is. It’s our time and money that pays for everything, period.

  11. Waitforawhistle says:

    They should hold the negotiations within 500 feet of a school so Bettman cant attend

  12. Phil says:

    Bettman always wanted a expanded league along the lines of the NBA. As pointed out already on this forum it is the bottom tier teams in non hockey markets that are dragging down the established teams with loyal fan bases. The fans are carrying the weight as ticket prices have soared. The question becomes for both the players and owners, how much is enough? As a loyal Blackhawks season ticket holder I would not support scab hockey in Chicago if the owners want to try and pull a NFL style lockout and bring in non union players ie minor league hockey played in NHL arenas. I have some sympathy with the players, but in the end both sides of this argument are making money. It will be the fans that lose as usual if there is a lockout. I would love to see the league blow out some cities that have not supported their teams, but given the way the PHX situation was handled it seems unlikely that a reduced league will happen. Meanwhile the league has our money in the bank. The puck is in their end so to speak. The cancelled European games were cancelled a long while back suggesting the league is serious about a lockout. The players need to get out and sell their story.

  13. Omar says:

    @Dickie Dunn. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. If a team can’t survive because the situation is not financially feasible, why should the rest of the teams be required to prop them up. If you’ve ever been in business, which the NHL is, you know that when something isn’t profitable you try to make it so. If you cannot make it profitable you get rid of it. The issue stems from having teams in areas that can’t sustain them. If they can’t find a venue that is, they fold. Just like real life. The NHL has to contract IMHO. Shedding 4 teams total would do wonders.

  14. Dickie Dunn says:

    Omar – I said I was no expert. I shared what was available in the Globe And Mail. As far as business practices (“Just like real life.”) – FUCK(!!) what “Capitalism” has become and what “Capital” has done to the world economy and their agenda toward feudalism. But, this isn’t a “politcial” blog, so, as a hockey fan I hope that “cooler” (more intelligent) heads prevail – and a CBA can be put together in a timely fashion.

  15. ratboy36 says:

    The NHL minus four teams would do wonders.Let’s take out Florida,Phoenix,Dallas and and Carolina

  16. wall says:

    Omar, way to call out Dickie on his Socialistic view on Hockey/Business…
    Agree with you 100%… I made an “Al Gore ” reference to Dickie a few posts ago…

    The ISSUE is growth (just like the Real Economy)… Do you grow it by cutting your losses and “weak market teams”…. or do you “prop” it up and spread the wealth/losses to “market” the weaker teams/markets until they can stand on their own???
    It is obviously more complex than that… but the NHL is a business and wants to grow and market to the masses… bums are making 3-5 million/year now… just like in any business… the market will eventually dictate what the NHL and the players “get away with”… If fans want to keep paying $300/seat… so be it… I’ll watch on T.V.
    If owners want to keep paying bums more and more…

    But just like the State of California… the Ponzi scheme will come crashing down one day… Houses going up 20%/year, Cops making $150,000/yr. (and pensions)… now these Cities are on the verge of Bankruptcy!

    I enjoy the “tight” upper and lower Caps… Hockey has the most even playing field… I would like to see the league abolish those BS 10 and 15 year contracts… as far as revenue sharing… nobody has access to the “real” #’s…. Just like real world, owners are making the money… and if they put out a shitty product… don’t buy it! (see the Cubs)… but Monty, Hammer, Fro……. guys like this making 3 mill to be Average!!!

    The real solution (just like it should be in real world)… Tax the rich ( Dems are happy/right) and STOP subsidizing teams/programs that don’t work ( Rep. right).
    Translation- Teams that are making money will share more… league should lower cap (level field/ makes for even better competitive league) and if you can’t make money w/ a more level playing field, bye bye. Make the game more affordable to the fans. Shortening contracts and lowering Caps… will only make the players play harder for their piece of the PIE!

  17. Dickie Dunn says:

    Wall – But, this isn’t a “politcial” blog, so, as a hockey fan I hope that “cooler” (more intelligent) heads prevail – and a CBA can be put together in a timely fashion.

    “Teams that are making money will share more…” — I wouldn’t count on that. “Make the game more affordable to the fans.” — “I don’t think you understand finance.” (- Anita McCambridge, Slapshot) …or “Capitalism”, it would seem.

    (I enjoyed your economic & political references — fairly humorous.)

  18. Dickie Dunn says:

    …in addendum: reading espn/jesserogers 08/10 – “Once again, ownership — or at least Bettman — is saying, “We’re going to do what we want and you better follow suit.”, piqued my interest (or “Socialistic view on Hockey/Business…”). How much should the employees give (and give and give and give) in the NHL (or any business in the “real world”)? The last negotiation, the NHLPA gave a LOT – a salary cap (more than anything previously). Now, just because the climate (- in the “real world”) has become (not overnight, but from as far back as at least the Raygun administration – union busting, etc.) “Fuck you. Take it or leave it. (See also: “The Right to Work”)”, the NHL owners want to seize the opportunity to pass along the cost of failing weak teams (that’s “socialized debt” just like in the real world) to the employees, thus maximizing their take (that’s “privatizing profit” just like in the real world)…like I said, just trying to follow the script. (What’s been going on in the “real world” is obviously much more important, and much worse – but, this isn’t a politcal blog.)

    And, certainly, there ARE many overpaid players — whose fault is that? (It’s like the owners want it both ways – keep costs down, but pay Matt Carle (or whoever) $5.plus million for 5 years…) You can forget about cutting weak market teams – it happened only once(? Cleveland absorbed by Minnesota).

    “the market will eventually dictate” – yeah…oh boy!!! How is that working out in the “real world”? Not relevant — what are the odds that Hawks games will not sell out, or even drop to half capacity? It’s very likely Mr. Wirtz will continue to collect gate, parking, and concessions LARGE.

    One thing I can agree with totally – “Tax the rich”. In my (“Socialist” – ha, ha, “Al Gore” – ha, ha, ha, ha…) opinion, much more likely to occur in the NHL than the “real world”.

  19. Dickie Dunn says:

    Off the subject, but, (rumor/bs from a different source) if it were up to me, I wouldn’t sign Jason Arnott for $1 (or less) — I would rather he not impede the progress of Kruger or any other young center. Just my opinion.

  20. Logan Reilly says:

    I read that Jason Arnott rumor by John Jaeckel. That Jaeckel is a friggin’ moron.

    The Blackhawks aren’t gonna sign a guy with his footspeed after seeing how well O’ Donnell and Brunette did with the team. There is a reason that Arnott is not sticking with teams these days. I’m pretty sure Chicago brass knows this too. Arnott would only hinder the team.

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