Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Katie Strang of ESPN New York,
With the issue of supplementary discipline a large part of the Wednesday’s agenda, talks grew increasingly contentious between the NHL and NHL Players’ Association during Day 2 of labor negotiations.
Mathieu Schneider, special assistant to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, wouldn’t go so far as to characterize the negotiations as “adversarial,” but he did concede that there were some tense moments between the two camps.
“At times there have been heated exchanges,” Schneider said. “There’s definitely strong opinions on both sides, especially when it comes to supplementary discipline, but I wouldn’t describe it as adversarial. Not at all.”
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly similarly downplayed the tension and described the discussions as “lively.”
“I wouldn’t characterize it as tense, I really wouldn’t,” Daly said.
Also, the video version of today’s talks can be watched below, with Bill Daly and Mathieu Schneider commenting…
If the league doesn’t play on time, everyone will lose — especially the group that matters most.
The relatively few, the very proud and the particularly abused.
-Pat Caputo of the Oakland Press where you can read more on this topic.
Updated at 9:43 PM: from Chris Johnston of the CP at the Winnipeg Free Press,
Donald Fehr nearly has all his ducks in a row.
The globe-trotting head of the NHL Players’ Association is just about ready to counter the league’s initial proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement.
He’s likely to make at least part of his pitch during the scheduled talks in New York this week, Fehr told The Canadian Press on Monday.
“I think that there’s certainly a possibility — a reasonable one — that we’ll be in a position to make some further response,” Fehr said in an interview. “Whether we’ll be in a position to make an alternative proposal yet I don’t know.”
Update from George: Fehr and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly also spoke to the Associated Press about the clock ticking down to September 15th as negotiations continue:
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
There are reasonable, perhaps even essential, tweaks to be made to the 2004-05 CBA. The ebb and flow of business almost guarantees every CBA must change, for a variety of reasons, especially in an age when constant discoveries and innovations in technology provide new business opportunities and potential growth in revenue streams. We weren’t watching NHL games on our wristwatches in October 2005.
What the owners need most today is not a radical new deal with the players, but a new way of dealing with themselves. They need to find a more honest, equitable, dare we say visionary method of spreading the profit and wealth among the 30 guys on their team. The 800 or so union members who play for their teams aren’t the problem, not anymore.
The existing deal guaranteed owners parity on payroll via fixed labor costs. The game itself is balanced, with the playoffs a two-month roulette tournament, offering almost an equal chance among the 16 qualifiers to win the Cup. And the financial growth model works, quite well, considering seven seasons of the current CBA produced 50 percent more in income than the league could build in the years 1917-2004. Amazing growth, when comparing the last seven years with the previous nine decades.
This is a deal that needs to be nipped and tucked. That’s all. The big issues can be pared, middled, modified, massaged, which inevitably means some shift in wealth back to the owners — not unlike what happened in the NFL and NBA.
more plus other hockey topics…
So the CBA negotiations basically can be summarized thusly: The big-market teams don’t want to pay the small-market teams, the small-market teams don’t want to pay the players, and so, of course, the NHL is stuck in its flawed approach that satisfies both of these constituencies while reaching deep into the athletes’ pockets but doing nothing to generate revenue for cash-poor franchises.
-Larry Brooks of the NY Post.
from Etan Vlessing of the Hollywood Reporter,
Canada’s CBC network this week secured the local broadcast and digital rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympics, but with a twist.
The pubcaster isn’t talking terms for its contract for the Sochi and Rio de Janeiro Games with the IOC, but the speculation is the CBC will pay less if the National Hockey League doesn’t send its pro players to Sochi.
Whether NHL players participate in the Winter Olympics will be decided during the current negotiations on a new labor deal between the pro hockey league and the NHL Player’s Association.
“Certainly they have a right to ask for anything they want, but if the players had any brains, they wouldn’t accept it. But you have to start somewhere.”
“They (owners) have to sell this game,“not destroy it.”
-Ted Lindsay on the CBA negotiations. More on the CBA talks from the AP at the Detroit Free Press.
from Katie Strang of ESPN New York,
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association split into small group meetings during Day 2 of labor talks Wednesday to discuss players’ pensions and benefits, as well as health and safety issues, although a counterproposal from the NHLPA does not appear imminent because of the information requests to the league that are pending.
Although “non-core economic issues” dominated Wednesday’s bargaining session at league offices in midtown Manhattan, the major point of contention moving forward will be the financial issues that surfaced in the league’s first formal proposal submitted July 13.
The Players’ Association still has not received all the financial documentation—primarily the independently audited information for the league’s clubs—requested from the NHL and has no intent to submit a proposal until that information is received and then analyzed.
“The information that we’re getting now is independently audited statements,” said former player Mathieu Schneider, who is special assistant to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr. “What we got was the first drop—I think it was 76,000 pages. They’re asking for huge concessions ... $450 million from players. We certainly feel the audited statements are very important to what will eventually be our alternate proposal.”
added 7:15pm, Mathieu Schneider talks with the media after the meeting today, watch the video below…
from Jesse Spector of The Sporting News,
“We had a discussion (Tuesday) about how the players react to the proposals that would modify the terms under which players negotiate individual contracts,” Fehr said. “Things like 10-year unrestricted free agency, elimination of salary arbitration, limitation of contract length and so on. We talked about that for a while, and it will come as no surprise that the players are not enamored with those kinds of limitations.”
At this point, all the players have is dissatisfaction with the league’s initial proposal, with the only basis for comparison being the current system—one that clearly has worked for a union that is willing to continue to play under it, but not for a management side that does seem to be getting somewhat agitated by the fact as the calendar flips to August, with the CBA’s expiration set for Sept. 15, there is no ETA for the NHLPA’s CBA. It is a bitter alphabet soup.
“For the last seven years, they’ve been getting financial information on a regular basis, subject to verification through the agreed-upon procedures under the collective bargaining agreement,” Bettman said. “In addition, we made a substantial financial data dump five months ago, and they had, I think, auditors go in to do some procedures with at least half of the clubs over the last year. So, the union has, for quite some time, had substantial financial information. They have given us, recently, some additional financial information and other information requests, most of which we don’t understand the relevance to, but which we have been producing. Last night, we gave them the first installment, which was 76,000 pages of information, pursuant to their request.”
added 6:06pm, Watch a video below with both Bettman and Fehr speaking after today’s talks….
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL starts by setting what it calls Targeted Team Player Compensation each season. This is a number that is between the midpoint of the salary cap and the floor. It is a result of a complicated equation involving each team’s regular season and preseason revenue.
Next, the league calculates what each team should have available to pay player salaries. The available amount is subtracted from the target amount and qualifying teams are paid the difference.
But there are also exclusions and clawbacks. Any team in a market of more than 2.5-million households, such as the New York Islanders, cannot receive revenue-sharing funds. Teams who miss attendance and sales targets can see their shares clipped by up to 50 per cent.
When the players make their counterproposal, it is expected to follow the baseball model. This calls for a greater share of the rich teams` local revenue to go into the pot. This is not expected to thrill the owners.
Both a current NHL governor and a former NHL governor admitted the league`s richest teams are not keen even about the limited sharing the exists now. The former governor said the owners would only accept sharp increase like the NBA owners did if Fehr and the union can convince them every team will become profitable.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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