Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: NHLPA

Hockey Notes With Some Bite

via Damian Cox of The Spin,

- The bile directed towards Gary Bettman is ridiculous and misplaced. But I will say this. His number one priority every season should be to get the season started on time, every time. He has failed. And while working with that dysfunctional players union must be next to impossible, resorting to the lockout time after time shows a lack of creativity in problem-solving by a commish who should have other answers by now.

- Talk to people in some fragile markets down south. The lockout is having devastating results. But the players and owners seem blissfully unaware.

- Not sure marginal NHL agent Allan Walsh realizes what a fool he's making of himself on Twitter these days. He's gone from being outspoken to idiotic.

- One thing we know for sure; if the NHL just opened it's door for business and established new working parameters, and if the NHLPA then went on strike, players around the world would cross that picket line in a flash. NHLers have proven they have no respect for anyone else's job.

- That Craig Leipold was one of the NHL owners in the room last Thursday is nothing short of a bad joke.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

If They Really Love Our Game

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

This is the week we’ll discover if all those people on both sides of the NHL lockout love hockey as much as they promise while holding the game for ransom.

Thursday may be yet another deadline imposed only by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners as the final day to save a full 82-game season but unlike the Sept. 15 one when the previous collective agreement expired, it is one grounded in reality. Unless the players and owners make serious progress toward an agreement this week, there simply would not be enough time to shoehorn 82 games into the calendar and still finish the Stanley Cup final by the end of June, a outrageously late date to be sure, and still allow the players some semblance of rest between games.

Since both sides acknowledge their latest offers show there is a deal to be made, that a 50-50 share of revenue is now the admitted goal, the solution is going to lie with the moderates among the owners and players. They have to start nudging, well, pushing really, the hard-liners among them to a deal.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Some Wiggle Room When Talking Full NHL Schedule

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

The NHL badly wants an 82-game season starting on November 2. That would mean agreeing on the hockey-related revenue split, a formula for paying players what they are owed on their current contracts, and all the contract/salary arbitration/free agency issues. Both sides ratify the deal (unless they somehow decide to play while working on it), everyone overseas returns for a quick training camp, and teams make whatever moves they've been waiting on.

Do you see all that getting done in 11 days? Me neither. The only way it happens is if Bettman and Donald Fehr prove they've been wasting everyone's time by "suddenly" pulling proposals from their briefcases the other side might agree on.

So, how much time do they really have to play 82 games?

With the help of our baby's Fisher-Price counting toy, it looks like there is a tiny bit of wiggle room. 

read on plus 30 thoughts...

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Make The Right Deal

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

What the league has to do is grow some and hold out for the deal it needs. It should not be concerned with saving the season. Its primary objective should be saving the business because this cycle of lockouts is getting rather old. If that means a shortened season or no season at all, so be it. Do not cave to the segment of fans whose only answer to this lockout is to lock the owners and players into a room until a deal is done, or just get a deal done already because we don’t care about these issues.

Just bloody well get it right this time.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Agreement Needed This Week For A Full NHL Schedule

from Pierr LeBrun of ESPN,

The pressure is on. At this point, a whole season can be saved. Once games start to get cancelled past Nov. 2, both owners and players start to lose money they won’t get back. 

"If we end up missing and not rescheduling games through Nov. 2, we will have over $330 million in lost revenue," Daly told ESPN.com Monday morning. 

No question, the league and owners want to instill the fear of God into players this week with that notion. As one NHL team executive told ESPN.com Sunday, there’s either a deal this week or there’s no season at all because he believes the moderate owners who have pushed hard for a deal to be made will be so infuriated with players that they'll line up behind the hard-line owners and allow this thing to go nuclear if there’s no agreement this week. 

I'm not ready to go that far. Labor negotiations in pro sports tend to produce fictitious deadlines that are moved when it's convenient. So I suspect if enough traction and progress has moved both sides closer by the end of this week, Bettman's Thursday, Oct. 25, deadline can be pushed a little. 

But no matter how you look at it, if you’re an owner or a player who wants a full 82-game season, you want the leader on your side to deliver the goods this week. 


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sergei Kostitsyn Wants An Answer

via Reuters at the Globe and Mail,

Nashville Predators winger Sergei Kostitsyn, who joined Russian club Avangard Omsk during a work stoppage in the National Hockey League (NHL), hopes the lockout will lead to the cancellation of the entire season.

“Let’s put it this way – it would be better (for the players) if the lockout continues,” Kostitsyn was quoted as saying by Russian daily Sport-Express on Monday.

“Players want a definite answer. If the NHL season is lost – let it be that way. I would then play in Russia for the whole season.”...

Kostitsyn, 25, who joined the Predators from the Montreal Canadiens in June 2010, also said he hated life in North America and labelled Columbus “the gloomiest” city in the States.

“I couldn’t get used to (American) mentality. They are totally different people from us,” said the Belarussian, who was twice suspended by the Canadiens in 2009 after failing to report to their minor league team in Hamilton.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, NHL Media, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+kostitsyn

Morning Line

 ...We want to play, we're the ones who are doing the show in the NHL, but Bettman thinks it makes him. It is unfortunate that the NHL have such a guy. It's a shame for the entire hockey world. Treats us like animals....

-David Krejci of the Boston Bruins while playing in Europe during the lockout.  More (you may have to run it through Google Translate) via iSport.cz with Krejci.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+krejci

What You See Is What You Get With Donald Fehr

from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,

Last week was a dismal one for Donald Fehr and the N.H.L. Players’ Association, and not just because the owners flatly rejected the union’s offer to settle the N.H.L. lockout. For the first time since negotiations began last summer, public opinion seemed to have shifted: many fans, who had been blaming Commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners for the impasse, started to blame Fehr and the players.

Yet none of that is likely to sway Fehr, perhaps North America’s most effective union leader over the past three decades. He has drawn fans’ wrath before, but his accomplishments are enormous. As head of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1983 to 2009, Fehr thwarted efforts to impose a salary cap and kept players’ salaries high. In three years with the N.H.L. Players’ Association, he repaired a hopelessly fractured union and readied it for confrontation with the owners.

Players understand that this is something in which they all have to hang together,” Fehr said. “You can paraphrase Benjamin Franklin: if we don’t hang together, we’re going to hang separately.”

Fehr is something of an anachronism: an ardent trade unionist in an era when the power of unions outside of sports is shrinking.


Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr

Down To Crunch Time For The NHL

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

And so it comes down to this: a week, maybe less, to not just save a season but a game's reputation; to save the reputation of its players and owners and to disprove the widely held notion -- one that grows by the day -- that hockey will just never get it right.

Less than a week to prove that hockey isn't the crazy, drooling uncle of sport that deserves to be locked in the attic.

If commissioner Gary Bettman is to be believed, a full 82-game schedule can still be saved if the NHL and its players can get a deal done by Oct. 25.

We're guessing there is wiggle room there, that if there is significant progress made toward resolving this dispute over the next few days, that the deadline could be pushed a little.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s Just Not About Ego, Greed And Incompetence

from Forbes,

This is a guest post by Deepak Malhotra, a professor at Harvard Business School, where he teaches negotiation.  

National Hockey League fans are understandably upset by yet another dispute between owners and players.  The growing frustration with labor relations in professional sports stems from the perception that the conflicts in the NHL (and last year in the NFL and NBA) are due to an ugly combination of ego, greed, and incompetence. Why else would “millionaires and billionaires” be having such a hard time sharing billions of dollars in revenue?  Unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that.

If we want to chart the right course towards agreement, it is important to understand why even smart and well-intentioned parties may have a hard time negotiating seemingly straightforward deals – especially in the context of sports.  Consider the following:

Only one side really knows how much money is up for grabs.

Say $100 is on the table, and you want your fair share of $50. But the other side is stubbornly demanding no less than $90. They seem greedy.  But what if you’re the only one who can see there is only $100 available, while the other side believes that the total is $200? Are they greedy?


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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