Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Maury Brown at Forbes,
All told, just 11 clubs were shown making an operating profit, according to the most recent valuations of the NHL. The “haves” fall into clear categories that make the challenges all the more daunting for the league: the Canadian clubs, and those with long, storied histories in large markets such as the Bruins, Red Wins, and Blackhawks.
In the meantime, the average value of a club in the NHL grew 5 percent to $240 million. But, concerns about the league salary cap which is 57 percent of league revenue, is creating problems across the league in places like Columbus, Tampa Bay, and Phoenix.
All of this sits against the backdrop of labor negotiations. With former MLBPA Exec. Dir. Donald Fehr now leading the union for the NHL’s players, there is deep concern that we are on the cusp of a work stoppage.
Having Fehr lead the players, in and of itself should not be a concern. What should be a concern is the model upon which the NHL is standing.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
With the left-wing parties in both the U.S. and Canada now pushing the politics of class warfare and division with some apparent success, it may be interesting to see if this has any impact, even though the salaries made by both parties in this struggle will exceed the average worker by a goodly margin.
To be sure the same lame duck U.S. franchises the last lockout was supposed to fix, the likes of Florida, Nashville, the Islanders and the others that are always on the receiving end of what little revenue sharing there is, are still the laggards. The league will somehow bring this up again but the main part of their argument is going to have to centre on how NHL players need to give them the same concessions the NBA and NFL players Associations did in their recent agreements. Not sure that’s going to resonate the same in this country as ‘let’s save the Flames, Oilers and Senators’ did last time but there will be some who will argue hockey players don’t deserve any more than the other two groups.
But with U.S. television ratings on the climb and revenues going up every year, to the point where the cap this year before the old CBA expires is going to be in the $70 million U.S. ballpark, it’s going to be pretty hard to cry poor and be believed.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Don Fehr has spent much of the past year delivering his warning to the NHL’s 700 players: Prepare yourselves, a storm is brewing….
Fehr says bargaining with the NHL should begin over the next few weeks and while he is cryptic about what he is telling players about the coming labour battle — “I’m acquainting the players with what I think the issues are likely to be,” is how he puts it — others are more plain-spoken about what’s being said.
“His message to players is that NHL owners are going to come at us with Ginsu knives on the end of samurai swords,” says Mike Liut, the former NHL goalie who is now a player agent. “The owners are going to come hard and if the players don’t put their hands up, they will end up decapitated.”...
Fehr says Bettman enters negotiations on a confident footing. In most labour impasses, workers risk wages and job security, while management risks revenue and market share, Fehr says.
“If (General Motors) shuts down, people buy Fords,” he says. “They don’t all come back.”
But Fehr says Bettman was quoted at a recent sports business conference saying that the NHL’s revenue was the same the season after the 2004-05 lockout as it was the season before.
“The problem is the (NHL) owners believe they have a complete monopoly, so they don’t believe they lose market share at all (and) it doesn’t matter how long they shut down the business,” Fehr says.
Raffi Torres and the National Hockey League Players’ Association are appealing the 25-game suspension that was given to the Phoenix Coyotes forward last month.
Torres was given the punishment by the league on Apr. 21 after his late hit to the head of Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa during Game 3 of their first-round series.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Nhl Players’ Association already has acknowledged informally its obligation to change the culture in hockey that allows, if not promotes, the predatory head-hunting that has damaged the opening weeks of the Stanley Cup playoffs and portions of the past few regular seasons.
“As players, we’ve already talked about our responsibility to become more involved in the entire issue, and that’s going to begin with talks about our responsibility to each other when we’re on the ice competing,” the Rangers’ Brad Richards, who is held in utmost regard throughout the league, told Slap Shots on Friday.
“We’re definitely going to want to have more of a role in the supplementary discipline process going forward in the next [collective bargaining] agreement, but when it comes to it, the league can police it all it wants but we have a responsibility to each other as hockey players to stop this head-hunting.
continued plus does Brooks fire a verbal shot at Brian Burke?
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Other than what would best be described as idle chat and exchange of pleasantries (probably forced), there has been no substantive talk between the NHL and its Players Association toward forging a new collective bargaining agreement. Absent a new deal prior to September’s training camps, the league will implement its third lockout in less than 20 years.
Attention both sides, you do realize fans are watching this, probably more than you think they are. If another lockout comes about, some will be pointing to this idle time and wondering why talks didn’t start earlier.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The NHLPA filed a grievance over the Edmonton Oilers docking $13,000 from Ben Eager’s pay, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN.com.
Say what, you say?
It all started during a game in Vancouver on Dec. 26 when the Oilers’ tough guy shattered an HD camera in the penalty box…
The Canucks informed the Oilers they were on the hook for the $13,000 cost of replacing that camera. The Oilers then turned around and docked Eager’s pay (from his $1-million salary).
read on and watch the camera breaking incident below or at the linked ESPN site…
“I want to be able, with the players, to negotiate an agreement that they are proud of, that they are satisfied with and were a part of forming. “I want them to have that agreement, and begin a relationship with us to set the stage for other things in the years to come. I know that’s sort of amorphous, but it’s really the goal here.”
-Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA. Much more from Fehr from Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The NHL’s general managers appear to be on the verge of approving at least two new tweaks to the rule book this week, but the reality is that in a collective bargaining agreement year it’s likely the NHL Players’ Association won’t be in a listening mood.
That’s what happened to the league’s realignment proposal, remember, even though the union really didn’t have any truly serious objections to the proposal.
Don Fehr and Co. were simply offended that they weren’t consulted beforehand, and even then, the union is more interested in scrapping with the league these days than cutting co-operative deals, with the current CBA set to expire Sept. 15.
Either Tuesday or Wednesday this week, the GMs are expected to approve changes to icing — moving to the so-called “hybrid” model — and to hand passes in the defensive zone, which are expected to be outlawed.
Both are common sense moves. But both would need the approval of the competition committee, which includes members of the players’ association, and likely won’t be passed until a new CBA is agreed upon.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Flyers Faithful was kind enough to ask me and a few other bloggers to participate in Five Questions regarding the CBA.
You can read all about it here and there are two more questions left, which I imagine will be posted tomorrow and Friday.
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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