NHL Responds to Players Proposal

Here’s a look around social media at some reactions to the NHL denying the NHLPA’s counter proposal on Wednesday afternoon:

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30 Responses to NHL Responds to Players Proposal

  1. aaron says:

    Referring to comments here, about how the NHLPA’s offer is non-starter with the window-dressing of offering a reduced share of HRR, which I posted here:

    http://committedindians.com/nhlpa-counter-proposal-what-people-are-saying/#comments

    My goodness, what a burden it is to be right.

    As I said, there is little more here in the player’s offer in terms of workable middle ground than there was in the owner’s offer.

    Predictably, the players refusal to a contract term limit is a non-starter for the league, as I said it was.

    Plus there is this whole messy issue of what does or does not fall under the umbrella of HRR. We have a labor war, which the league declared, and the players cordially accepted. Big surprise.

  2. Ryan says:

    Wow you agree the slimey Bettman and you think you are right? We clearly know where your loyalties are. The NHLPA gave a ton of concessions last time around, Bettman (just like you) is foolish to think the NHLPA will cave this time around. Especially when the League is seeing record growth.

    But go ahead pat yourself on the back some more

  3. aaron says:

    Ryan,

    You just revealed your incredibly rudimentary understanding of this labor negotiation, and rather nubile understanding of this league’s structure and inner workings.

    Ah yes, the tired “slimey Bettman” lines. Receiving none of the credit he is due and all the derision he deserves and more. Like every other North American Commissioner he is an easy scape goat for the fans ire, which for the more fidgity fans draws their attention away from the truly shifty characters, the owners themselves (need I draw your attention to the fact that “home town hero Rocky Wirtz” is simultaneously crying poor to the players while also doing his best best to price many fans right out of tickets).

    If you think there are good guys and bad guys in a money fight between millionaires and billionaires then you need your head examined. Also, if you think this is all Bettman’s fault you need your head examined. He is a mere employee of the owners, you also don’t seem to recognize that all of this thriving the league has been doing has come under a system that the veteran members of the PA in 2004 fought tooth and nail to keep from ever seeing the light of day. The fact that Bettman has now overseen two lockouts, and will probably see a third is that his employers, the owners, are so over obsessive about cost-certainty that they refuse to engage in the extent of revenue sharing that has brought long lasting labor peace to other leagues. It has nothing to do with Bettman, who is little more than a patsy and glorified stooge. Oh, and if you think the players hired hired Fehr out of some huge altuistic sense of getting the best deal for all involved you are a fool. Mark my words, there will be no hockey until the players agree to end long cap-circumventing contracts. The owners will kill another season if that’s what it takes. The players and owners have to agree to move toward middle ground, and anyone who thinks the PA’s offer was any less of a declaration of war than the leagues offer is a fool.

    Next time, know something before you speak up.

  4. aaron says:

    @Ryan,

    I also find it quite funny that it hasnt really dawned on you that the only thing funnier than the fact that the player’s counter proposal is essentially asking the owners to reconsider virtually the same CBA they just declined to renew is the fact that the player’s no want to extend the exact same system that they vowed they would never accept back in 04.

    It seems the players have gotten rich indeed from “all the concessions they had to make” last time around. Ironic, eh?

  5. Ryan says:

    It is a fluid situation Aaron everyone has made money since 2004 especially the last 3 years. But the players did make a lot of concessions last time around and the owners got virtually everything they wanted and are now claiming it wasn’t good enough.

    In negotiations if both sides don’t feel like they gave something up it typically isn’t a fair deal for both sides. For the Owners to think the players will meet wvery demand this time is nieve.

  6. Ryan says:

    And Aaron they didn’t hire Fehr cause they were “altruistic”, they hired Fehr cause he is a smart man and good at this sort of thing.

    I find your Condescending tone as laughable as some your takes. You feel Fehr is an idiot yet George Steinbrenner always admired Fehr’s business saavy. Even to the point where he was quoted as saying, “I wish he worked for me.” There is a reason many people refer to him as Donald “No” Fehr.

  7. Ryan says:

    Aaron if you watched the video of Fehr responding why can’t we get you to comment on what Fehr said:

    “Think about something — I just leave you with this,” Fehr told reporters. “This is an industry in which the owners insisted upon and got enormous concessions from the players last time, with the stated expectation it would fix things.

    “Their position now is it didn’t fix things. Okay…so the question then becomes, ‘What do you do about that?’ And from the players standpoint, it doesn’t necessarily follow ‘Well okay, players get paid a lot less.’”

  8. aaron says:

    @Ryan

    Your responses are rather scattered, and you sort of make up components of my argument as you go to suit your needs.

    Nowhere have I said Fehr is an idiot. What I have said is that people who think Fehr isn’t equally as ruthless as Bettman supposedly is, and who think that Fehr would be somehow less willing to go nuclear on this season of hockey than owners is a complete idiot. I am scoffing at the notion that the PA’s counter proposal somehow offered any shred of a workable middle ground which the league and the PA can move forward from, it did not. I am bemused by the dolts who actually derived optimism, or to use Tab’s word “intrigue,” from this counter proposal, and missed the fact that this offer was clearly a jab meant to soft ball a positive silver-lining to the media all the while ruffling the owners’ feathers to let them know that if they want to fight, they have a fight.

    Fehr is good, and he is ruthless, but he also comes from a much weaker position than Bettman, because as I said before he and the PA have no real leverage in this situation, since millionaires not getting paid are much worse off in a lockout than billionaires not having to pay their employees.

    Also don’t understand how or why you are attempting to pigeon hole me as an advocate for either side. I’m just stating facts about the current state of the negotiations, not taking sides. I’m on neither side, since in fights like this both the players and owners come off to me as whiny, spoiled, children. What I am debunking is any notion that somehow the Players are more skiddish about the idea of cancelling the season, or starting it late than the owners are, because they are not.

    And yes, yes, the owners are hypocrites for saying that the system they forced on the players in 2004-2005 is not good enough. Absolutely agree with you there, but that doesn’t matter. If the owners say the system is broken, they have every right to try and change the system, its their money, they are their franchises, it’s their league. There’s no law against renegotiating a CBA on the basis of hypocrisy. The current CBA is also not perfect, it has done very little in terms helping small market franchises because revenues, the salary cap, and the cost-certainty that the owners craved in 2004 has grown at a rate no one anticipated, so it needs fixing. Its only going to get fixed if both the players and owners reach some workable middle ground. Right now the owners want to scrap the current CBA entirely, the players, like I said, have gotten filthy rich off the system that was “imposed on them” (so I have no sympathy for the crocodile tears being shed by Fehr and the players when they cry that they had to make all of the concessions last time, that’s business, boo freaking hoo), so they want to keep it. There are things that have to improve, and things that can’t go on. I, and alot of others do not think these cap-circumventing contracts can go on, I think they are a total violation of the spirit underwhich the salary cap was agreed to, as both a measure for cost certainty and parity. Who cares if the owners are hypocrites for wanting to be saved from the themselves, the league would be better for it. If big market owners like Ed Snider couldn’t come in and try to scoop up small market team’s talent with massive front loaded contracts, if he had to try to outbid small markets with cap crunching, crippling contracts, then the league would have more parity. I sure as shit want a league that rewards teams for successfully drafting and developing talent, rather than simply just rewarding those with the deepest pockets. Also the league needs more revenue sharing, not only to aid the health of small market teams, but revenue sharing also would help alleviate this great disparity that the NHL has been the rich and poor teams, which has created the climate underwhich we’ve had two major lockouts in recent memory and are heading toward a third. In revenue sharing and capping-contract term limits, there is a middle ground that can form the basis of a new CBA, together the two things represent a compromise, both the owners and players have to make a concession and work from there. However, if Fehr wants to play hardball with the owners, then the owners will lockout for as long as necessary to get what they want, and will not care a lick about what the players want.

  9. aaron says:

    @Ryan

    Also, why are you hung up on what is or is not fair? Who cares! There is also no law that says the negotiating has to be fair, and of course it won’t be, the owners hold all of the meaningful power and leverage, they have no reason to be “fair”. The players will always have to make more concessions, always, because the owners are just that, the owners of the means of production, I’m sure they’ve told the players that if they find this industry overly harsh and unfair, then they are free to retire from the NHL and go ply their trade somewhere else.

    But again you won’t get much empathy for players from me, since they’ve spent the last seven years living fat and happy off of a system that in 2004, the players labeled as “one-sided, unfair, and forced on them.” Well guess what, the players are definitely going to label the next system as a “one-sided and unfair” system that has been forced on them, and they still get plenty rich anyway. Boo Hoo.

  10. Ryan says:

    Here is what Tab said. How is any of that bemusing to you? The scene from High Fidelity comes to mind “how is it bullshit to state a preference” anyway I digress. Again the video at the top of the page starts by Fehr saying the NHLPA will work with teams that are losing money. I believe Tab’s take is spot on. What am I missing from his response?

    ” My Response is Intrigue……By accepting lower HRR,the players are now forcing Bettman to do his job: serve all of the owners. The focus of Fehr’s comments,and this proposal,is squarely on leveling the playing field across the league so every team can compete financially.”

  11. aaron says:

    As I pointed out in that comment thread, there are some serious flaw’s in Tab’s take.

    First off the player’s decision to “take less HRR” is a pretty shallow gesture, considering they keep every cent of their current contracts and that they freeze their own growth for a couple years (taking 53-54% instead of 57%) and then have the current CBA reinstated in 4 years. So what they are really proposing is a 3 year pause on contract growth and then a reinstatement of the status quo. Really what they are saying to the owners is, we’ll offer you $450-600 million in savings on player salaries as opposed to the $1.5-1.75 Billion you are looking for.

    As I said there too, the idea that the players are extending an olive branch to small market teams is equally stupid. They are suggesting more revenue sharing, in an ultimately self-serving manner, but the main point is that the PA knows revenue sharing is a divisive issue for the ownership (it always has been, the NHL has long had this rift between the rich and poor in the ownership, its why there has been two very recent lockouts), and they’ve thrown this out as a barb to try and divide the owners, especially since the revenue sharing they proposed is barely an expansion over the status quo and still nothing compared to the revenue sharing that goes on in the other major North American Leagues. The reason the players have offered no olive branch to small markets at all is that they have demanded to retain the longterm contracts that small market owners can’t afford, demanded to retain a share of revenue, and a salary cap that small market teams increasingly can’t afford, and have demanded to retain the same access to UFA status that threatens small markets with losing their best players to free agency just as these players hit their prime. So no, they aren’t willing to work with small market’s at all, and no, they haven’t forced any sort of hand, because, as I predicted they would, the owners didn’t take long to respond to the players’ proposal negatively, because the barb of revenue sharing didn’t work, and never has. The owners may be divided on that issue, but there is far more that unites them. And the owners shared interest in limiting contract terms, and reducing the fixed costs of players salaries will hold them together. The sooner the PA recognizes that, the better.

    I understand Fehr’s tactic, he wants to maintain the status quo, because he knows these negotiations always result in the players giving back to the owners, and he wants to be arguing from the same baseline when these negotiations are renewed 5 or 6 years down the road. I see the cleverness in that tactic, but realize its ultimate futility. If the players really want to work with small markets and get more revenue sharing, which I think the league needs, they are going to have to accept shorter contracts, and more UFA protections for the small market teams. There is no way around that.

  12. aaron says:

    So were still at the same point which I raised yesterday, as a refutation of Tab’s “analysis” of the PA’s counter-offer:

    It’s a thinly veiled acceptance of a lockout, its a declaration of war coated in honeyed words for the media and the foolish. But above all else, its a proposal that is just as one-sided, and just as much of a non-starter as the league’s proposal was, with the difference being that, unlike the players, the league has the leverage and the power to stuff what they will down the players throats.

  13. wall says:

    Aaron, agree… especially on the FA (young players) and Long Term Contracts…
    these are huge points, that left unchanged, really handicap small market teams and the overall parody of the league… Small market teams can offer the LTC’s but they are really screwed if they don’t pan out… whereas Hawks or Flyers can absorb them (see Pronger) and keep chugging along if they don’t pan out! The owners don’t want the One year wonder (like in baseball) making a shitload of money for 4-10 years… Fans don’t either!

    As mentioned -this is Millionaires crying to Billionaires…

    Aaron, you seem pretty smart… what would you propose to fix?

  14. Ryan says:

    How is the issue of Long Term Contracts a League or Players Association issue? It is a team issue.

    And to think that shortening the length of contracts will keep teams from circumventing the cap is nieve.

  15. Ryan says:

    The NHLPA didn’t include talk of the Length of Contracts in their initial proposal because it is directly related to how much HRR the players get AND whether or not the League agrees to add a Luxury Tax (or allow teams to go over the Cap). Fehr said as much in the video above.

    Also I still feel that is a Team or Club specific issue that shouldn’t need talked about.

  16. aaron says:

    @wall

    Though some around the blogosphere and media have suggested an MLB like system of luxury tax and revenue sharing (even Fehr has hinted around this) on the grounds that like the NHL there is a great disparity in the MLB between super rich and poor. I think there are merits to this argument (as I do not think that the MLB is as lopsided in favor of big markets as some people want to make it out to be), and indeed the MLB’s system has created a long-lasting labor peace to a league that almost committed suicide in the mid-1990s, but I just don’t see the owners giving up the hard-salary cap that they killed an entire season to get.

    That being said.

    I start at share of HRR and contract term limits. Here is where it has to start, because the owners will lockout until they get what they want in these two debates, no question about it.

    I just don’t see the players coming out of this without surrendering at least 6 to 7% of their share of hockey related revenues, and without agreeing to some sort of cap on contract term in the neighborhood of 5-7 years (something that stops GMs from being able to attach these years of $1 million base salary “tails” on these long frontloaded contracts).

    I think the workable compromise on salary is, the players will have to take 50% of the HRR, and in return from the owners they will get the same definition of HRR as under the old CBA, so they’d be slicing up the same pie, not taking a smaller share of a smaller pie. Also rather than taking salary rollbacks, as the owners demanded, they could entice the players with an agreement to freeze the current salary cap until it represents a 50% player share of HRR. At the current rate of growth that would take two seasons, so a two season moratorium on raises, and then a much more reserved growth in the cap, since it will be based on 50% and not 57%. I think the players could also be enticed by offering the potential of a raise, a greater share in revenue in the future, should revenue growth exceed certain thresholds. If that isn’t workable, then there could be a compromise wherein the owners guarantee that if the players take a 7% paycut for this CBA, then the league cannot pursue further paycuts in the next CBA.

    Contract limits are just something the players are going to have to live with, like the hard cap, they will be imposed like it or not. However, long it takes, I am certain the next CBA will only allow teams to sign contracts that are around 6 years in length. Beyond that, to get rid of frontloading, or the possibility of finding a new loophole, I’m certain the next CBA will do away with or severely alter signing bonuses and incentives, and require that a contract pays out the same amount each year. So a 5 year deal worth $35million will have a cap hit of $7mil and will pay out $7mil each year of the term. The only compromise here, is that the players could retain contracts as guaranteed money, and also grandfather in existing contracts that exceed the new limits.

    I think ELC’s will be extended to 4 years, and a compromise could be made there to allow players the same definition of RFA status as exists now (7 years service, barring age exception).

    In terms of revenue sharing here is where I think the players can actually force the owners into a better system, by arguing that revenue sharing can lead to a more stable business and labor climate that will reduce the risk of further lockouts in the future. Though lockouts hurt the players worse than the owners, nobody likes them. I think a workable system has to be a much more simple system, I think it can work if you give the owners the thing they desire above all else: cost-certainty, if you make a simple equation where owners will know “this is how much I will have to pay into the pot if I make X amount,” or where small owners will know that “I will recieve X amount of aid if I can spend this much money,” then I think they will buy into the system, because you’d have to think a majority of the owners would agree to the sentiment that a league with 30 healthy teams is good for everybody (I mean, just look at the NFL). I think you calculate teams that qualify for revenue sharing very simply: set a point that is based on an average of what the 15th and 16th ranked spending teams have paid in salaries, as a percentage of the cap, since the salary cap was instituted. Recalculate the number each year based on new data, any team that is at or below that point qualifies for revenue sharing regardless of market size. To reduce the risk of an owner underspending to manipulate revenue sharing add a clause that states that any team which recieves revenue sharing for consecutive seasons must open its books and prove that it could not afford to spend over the target figure without going into the red (like baseball currently does).

  17. aaron says:

    @Ryan

    Right, length of contract is a league issue, and owner issue, so it is up for debate, how do you not get that?

    Shortening the the length of a contract, and forcing a team to pay the same amount of money in each year of the term actually completely closes up that loophole. Because then if your Ed Snider, you can’t offer Shea Weber a contract that pays him out $27 million in its first year without killing your team, because the contract would have a $27mil cap hit. This is the exact sort of thing the owners want, and like the hard cap back in 2004-2005, the owners will get it regardless of what the players and their union say or want.

    Also, the NHLPA did address the length of contracts in their proposal. They demanded that there be no cap on length, demanded that ELCs stay the same, and demanded they be granted UFA status as quickly as possible. Can you not read?

  18. Tab Bamford says:

    Actually, while we’re accusing folks of not reading, the NHLPA’s proposal did not specifically address all of the pieces that were put forth by the owners in their original proposal, and PA leadership indicated that there were supplemental pieces (which could include discussion re: contract changes) that will come down the line as the two sides work on getting something together everyone can live with.

    re: the hard cap and luxury tax, it will be more in line with the new NBA agreement than Major League Baseball, which has the biggest joke of a “salary cap” system on the face of the earth. The NBA’s luxury tax is much more significant (dollar-for-dollar bill to ownership), which is why NBA teams are fighting going over it. In MLB, teams mock the luxury tax on an annual basis; it’s always been a broken system.

    What the NHL has on every other sport is a salary floor which, imo, has forced teams to at least present the appearance of trying to compete. When the Florida Panthers threw around money last summer to get to the floor, they did it in a smart way that made them into a playoff team; 29 of 30 NHL teams have made the postseason since the last lockout, and there hasn’t been a repeat champion since 1998. The floor is a good idea… IF (bold, double-size font, screaming) teams can afford to spend that much money… which is why revenue sharing is important. Now that there is a league-wide television deal and a league-owned network, there is money to be shared. If the NHL can come closer to the NFL’s revenue sharing program, the salary cap/floor concept works. But if teams continue going bankrupt while being forced to spend a dollar amount they’re not making, you’re jeopardizing the future of the league.

    Specifics of player contract lengths will undoubtedly be discussed at some point, but figuring out how 2/3rds of the league will afford the floor is being presented (ironically) as the players’ point of emphasis.

    Where the owners will continue to lose the PR battle is with how hard they push for contract length restrictions. While they have a plan on the table for a five-year max, players like Max Pacioretty & Wayne Simmonds are signing six-year deals. The number of years that were handed out this summer was ridiculous, and I outlined that earlier on this site. Personally, I’m not a fan of contract term limits; if a team wants to pay a guy for 20 years, good luck. It’s easy for fans to forget that a player has to sign the offer sheet for it to matter (Shea Weber), and if a player doesn’t want to be in a market (Minnesota) for the rest of his playing career (Suter, Parise), they don’t sign the long-term deal. Players do have choices regarding where they play.

  19. aaron says:

    Actually, as per Michael Grange, Damien Cox, Bob McKenzie, and Derren Dreger, the NHLPA’s counterproposal did address the issue of contract lengths. It rejected the league’s proposal to cap the length of contracts, extend ELC’s and extend the length of RFA status from 7 years to 10 years. So, yeah.

    The fact that the cap floor forces parity isn’t really up for debate at all, we all know that. The problem for small market teams is that the cap floor has gone up exponentially in seven years, the floor is now where the cap ceiling was seven years ago, how does that not put a serious strain on at least the bottom half of the leagues revenue earners? Especially when you consider that really only about 10 or 11 teams have truly benefited from this explosion in revenue while the rest are losing their shirts or barely treading water.

    Ok, granted, that’s the what the owners have said, so it may not be entirely true, but here is where it doesn’t matter: the owners perception of truth guides their actions, and at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if the players point fingers and say the owners can afford more than they let on, the players have no leverage to do anything about it.

    Here you go bringing up the PR battle again. Oh my God, who cares! It is so meaningless and insignificant. The Owners have officially lost every single darn PR battle in lockout history as it is, at the end of the day, the PR doesn’t really matter when the owners have real monetary leverage, in that they can lock the players out, and that they have no reason to believe that after the dispute is settled that the fans won’t come crawling back. They’ve always come crawling back in the past, what would stop them now! This whole PR thing only matters for the players because it is the only tiny, eensy-teensy piece of relatively meaningless leverage that they have.

    The same things were said in 2004-2005, the owners are only going to look like monsters forcing this horrible system on the veteran members of the PA, they will be the villians. Yep. They still won.

  20. aaron says:

    Also, I would very much quibble with you on your facile argument about baseball being a broken system. It has nearly twenty years of unbroken labor peace, and also since 6 of the last ten world series winners came from outside the top 10 payrolls, and the league’s top pay roll has only won once in 10 years.

    That’s a moot point though, since as I said previously, the owners would never give up the hard cap that they killed a season to get.

    You also are still missing the big point. Concern for small markets is NOT the players point of emphasis. Those are the honeyed words hiding the fact the players are screaming for a reinstatement of the status quo, underwhich they have done very well for themselves. That is why their “offer” to give some HRR money back for revenue sharing is a hollow gesture, they are offering nothing in terms of the cost reductions the owners want and then demanding they get their old CBA and their 57% share back in the fourth season under the new CBA. There is no working middle ground in that offer, but you have been totally blinded by the PA’s gilded words.

  21. Ryan says:

    For people with poor reading comprehension and the ability to click the big arrow on video, the NHLPA released a recap of their proposal. I especially like how they focused on emphasizing not only a Luxury Tax for teams that go over but the ability for teams to go under the floor proportionally:

    —- Players compensation would grow at fixed rates which would result in player compensation being reduced by potentially more than $800 million over the next three seasons (depending on revenue growth)

    —- A significantly expanded and simplified revenue sharing system specifically designed to help clubs in need of assistance

    —- Increased flexibility for teams; will help GMs to put their teams together including awarding extra draft picks for teams in difficulty, allowing teams to trade dollars and players and in limited cases, allow for small amount of teams to go over or under the salary cap

  22. Ryan says:

    @ Aaron. Man you are great to read when I actually have time to sit down and read it. When I am at work those huge blocks of tex keep me focusing on your words and more on the delivery. Use paragraphs even if that huge block is inline with the same thought.

    It is much more inviting to navigate.

    I admire the thoughtfulness in your responses and I will scatter my arguments when I want :)

  23. Tom Jaremka says:

    Boys……..I’m not sure what is going on with this labor negotiation. I cannot pretend to even understand who wants what, or who has the advantage.

    I do understand that the NHL has a pretty decent television contract for the first time in over 10 years. Why screw that up with a lockout, or league stoppage? Baseball has an unlimited money stream with HUGE television contracts, something the NHL will never have.

    It always seems to me that the owners use the system until they screw it up and then they ask the players for more concessions. In the end, it’s the FANS who pay for fixing the problems.

    If there is a lockout or stoppage, I’m retreating to the AHL, College and Junior hockey. I’ll go watch a good Junior A game or a Triple A game at a local rink. The NHL sucks me back into the swing of things with good television coverage, awesome talent and great games and now I may be left hanging on a ledge. Nope. Not any more.

    I’ll say this just like the fire fighters……… “you go, we go”.

  24. Tab Bamford says:

    This is exceptionally well done by the folks at CBC Sports, and is worth looking at.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/story/2012/08/16/spf-nhl-cba-labour-negotiation-language.html

    It compares/contrasts Bettman from the previous lockout to today. Worth a few minutes of your time.

  25. Tab Bamford says:

    Also, to respond to aaron’s thoughts re: the new CBA (see re: wall…)

    Where I begin my argument is siding with the PA on the initial piece of the deal, which is that this CBA should not be a long-term deal. This is a bad year for the league to be negotiating something including revenue sharing when the new league-wide television deal hasn’t been fully realized yet, VERSUS rebranding into NBC Sports Network isn’t even 12 months old, and the NHL Network is still an infant from a programming standpoint. I side with the PA on this being a 3-4 year deal to see how the relationship(s) with NBCs properties and sponsors thru NHLN evolve as the presence grows. Let’s get a firm grasp on what those relationships looks like before we commit to anything for a decade.

    I agree with aaron that the players look to sacrifice a significant percentage of HRR, whenever the two sides agree on the dollar amount being used to define that term is finally reached. However, I would probably put the players cut a couple percent lower than aaron’s estimation (4-5% less imo). There are other concessions that can be made, including the very definition of HRR, that can be used by both sides to make the owners feel that they are taking more money off the table; the players could get a higher percentage of the owners (read: lower) definition of HRR. At the end of the day, Fehr presented a model that I think can be used as a foundation for discussion when it comes to the players share of revenue slowing at an artificially slower rate than actual league-wide growth… the problem, again, is the dollar amount we’re using to determine who gets what.

    re: contract limits, I’m not a fan of them. If the league tries to level the playing field by maxing out the deal a player can get more than they already have, you limit the ability of a small market team to overpay for a player to get them to sign; as Blackhawks fans, we have to accept that the deals given to Havlat, Huet and Campbell were Tallon buying back into the big kids table with agents. If the Coyotes, Jets and Rangers all offer a player the same deal, the bright lights of NY will make that decision easy 9 times out of 10. Is that fair to smaller market teams? No. Is it reality?

    I like what aaron had to say about ELCs, but there’s another piece of this story that we need to keep in mind as well. The agreement between the CHL and the AHL also expired this summer. Right now, teams are allowed to send a player back to the CHL and not burn a year of their ELC; this is something that I could see being addressed if the league wants to lengthen the standard ELC. So… right now, the Hawks sign Saad to a three-year ELC, but when he plays the year out in Saginaw, he still has three years left on the deal. If the NHL makes ELCs four-year deals, you might not be able to slide the paper any longer.

    One more thing that I feel will ultimately be addressed is burying veteran deals. Looking specifically at Cristobal Huet and Sheldon Souray as two examples, the idea of an NBA-like amnesty has been floated around re: buying out one bad deal under the next CBA per organization. Most players would prefer to be bought out and get another shot at the league than get buried in Europe or the AHL, and most organizations would like a creative way to move a deal they regret off the books. With a couple significant organizations (Vancouver, Philadelphia) both having deals they would like to dump (Luongo, Pronger), this might be something one side uses to leverage another piece of their side gets done.

    There is a lot to work thru, and we have less than a month until the CBAs expiration date. Fehr told folks on Friday after meetings outside Chicago that they PA still has hope to get a deal done on time. We’ll see… but I wouldn’t want to be a ticket salesman working on commission when individual tickets go on sale Monday for the 2012-13 Blackhawks season.

  26. Morrison says:

    If the season starts in january, they bettter re-do the sch.’s

  27. Morrison says:

    If there is no season, that makes phx, njd, flr teams, etc. fold their teams.

  28. Morrison says:

    whatever ones are bankrupt…

  29. Tab Bamford says:

    Since Aaron was certain the players were completely blowing off the owners contract issues (which was not factual), just thought I would update the comment thread today. During the Aug. 23 meetings in Toronto, the NHLPA made their presentation re: contract changes for players. This from a number of sources, including RDS and SportsNet.

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