Kukla's Korner Hockey
I've lost track of where the federal mediator is at this point.
He is either with the NHLPA, NHL or gone home, yes, it has been that kind of day.
He started meeting with one side, then the other side at 10:00am ET and has kept up that pattern all day.
Will both sides finally meet later tonight? If they do, I shall return, if not, see you during the USA/Sweden WJC Final which begins at 8:00am ET tomorrow on NHL Network US and TSN.
added 10:50pm, per Pierre LeBrun tweet, mediator done for the night, back at it tomorrow morning.
from John Shannon of Sportsnet,
I honestly believe the arguments will be settled and, within seven days, the NHL and its players will sign a new collective bargaining agreement for the next decade. I fully believe that fans will eventually return, first in a trickle, then with a rush, as we play the 48-game schedule.
But for me, that's not enough.
The two sides have to keep the negotiations in the room. Even though they can't stand each other right now, they have to begin to tell the fans directly, or through the media, that the highest level of professional hockey is a fine form of entertainment and is worth the anguish of this lockout. Remember, these guys are actually negotiating to be 50-50 business partners.
In this video via Sportsnet, Josh Gorges of the Montreal Canadiens questions the negotiating tactics of the NHL.
Just before 5:00pm ET...
Just before 5:15pm,
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
I’ve tried to understand that locking out the players is the owners’ prerogative under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, just as it would have been an option for the players to go on strike. Or the two sides could have continued playing under the old agreement while they tried to negotiate a new one. The bottom line is that neither side was under any obligation to open the doors or start playing until a suitable deal was reached. How that was done was up to the two sides to work out and whatever tactics they used, within reason and within the confines of bargaining in good faith, were fair game.
But, my goodness, these two sides are making it increasingly difficult, nay impossible, to defend their positions. From the time talks blew up in New York one month ago, everyone involved in this standoff has accumulated an enormous amount of stink. And now, with threats of lawsuits flying back and forth, trust at an all-time low and both sides posturing with veiled threats then backing down, they are starting to look like a bunch of buffoons.
Let’s start with the league. They talk tough for a couple of months and insist they must get a deal that works for all 30 teams. Good luck achieving that, by the way. There is not a single collective bargaining agreement in existence that can address the disparities between markets in this league, nor is there one that can protect the perennial bottom feeders from making terrible decisions. No salary cap, no salary floor, no number of constrictions on contracts is going to make that happen.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
By engaging in a bizarre game of institutional chicken that has brought the current set of talks to a shuddering halt, just how much money is being thrown away every single day, to say nothing of the mounting ambivalence to a sport that has always struggled to be relevant in many of its markets.
According to figures obtained by ESPN.com, the answer is a lot, millions in fact. Millions upon millions of dollars.
Had the season begun on Jan. 12 -- a possibility if a deal was struck within a week or so of the owners’ offer of Dec. 27 -- its estimated total hockey-related revenues from that first night of action would have come in at around $32 million.
The average daily tally for hockey-related revenues, revenues that are split between the players and the owners, is estimated to have been just north of $18 million for the first week of that imaginary season starting Jan 12. In total, about $130 million in revenues would have been shared by the two sides through the first week of a season that would have, could have, should have been getting ready to launch in about a week’s time.
Instead, next week brings us a Jan. 11 deadline for getting a deal done to start a 48-game slate on Jan. 19, as negotiations continue to be marked not by urgency but by plodding gamesmanship.
There is plenty of blame to go around here, but remember this. Lockouts are done by owners. This is the second one in eight years, the third in 18. Even if they get back to the table in a day or two and get a deal, this will be yet another stunted season.
And it’s all in the wake of the owners raking in more money than they ever did before. The fans showered them with $3.3-billion (U.S.) last season. You don’t need to use your imagination much to know what the owners showered the fans with in return.
-David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on this topic.
Daren Millard and Nick Kypreos give us the latest talk surrounding the CBA negotiations.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Gary Bettman infuriated players across the table from him at NHL headquarters on Thursday — and, by extension, NHLPA membership — by claiming that a number of general managers had told him they regret some of the contracts they’d previously handed out and would welcome the opportunity to “dismantle” their teams in order to meet the steep drop to the league’s proposed $60 million cap for 2013-14, sources have told The Post.
The players responded with a mixture of anger and skepticism, demanding to know the identity of these alleged GM’s. Bettman refused to name the straw men in seeking to counter the players’ position that adopting a $60M cap — even with two amnesty buyouts — would be punitive against big-market, big-spending franchises.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com