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Category: NHLPA

Time For Mario Lemieux To Step In

from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Revies,

Save the NHL season for us!

Ask me, and it’s actually well past time for the Penguins’ ownership to take an active role in this ridiculous NHL lockout, which likely will see the first slice of the 82-game season wiped away Friday. And by ownership, I don’t mean just Lemieux but also Ron Burkle.

No two individuals are more qualified to make an impact.

In Burkle’s case, though the co-owner keeps a low profile, he swings a huge hammer. He’s a billionaire who built his empire through growing a grocery chain in California. He’s a sharp businessman who used to get directly involved in talks with those unions, almost universally commanding respect at the blue-collar level. And in case anyone’s forgotten, he was the guy who went one-on-one in a room with former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to put the finishing touch on the Consol deal.

Lemieux opened the door, and Burkle locked up the deal.

As Rendell told Trib Total Media last week: “In negotiating, you need somebody who can cut through the mess and focus on what will get a deal. Ron was excellent at that when we worked out the arena for the Penguins.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mario+lemieux

What Are The Players Fighting For?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The insistence that all players must have their contracts honoured in full — and that is their side of the idiocy that is the current NHL lockout — is a foolhardy and costly stance that is not supported by historical evidence.

It raises the question: What exactly are the players fighting for?

While the salaries of NHL players were momentarily cut back after the lockout of 2004-05 — and Donald Fehr references this give back often — the truth is, not all players’ salaries were cut at that time and tracking the salary structure of the years that followed demonstrated that the 24% rollback was basically as irrelevant for the players as was their fight against the salary cap.

A certainty: Anyone and everyone who can play in the league and who has played in the league at any reasonable level has not been affected post-lockout of 2005 regarding the size of their salary.


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

How Close Are The Numbers?

from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,

It is all in the numbers.

As ridiculous and unnecessary as the NHL lockout seems even at a casual glance, the closer and harder you look at the numbers involved, the less this costly stalemate makes sense.

Here we have two parties that made a combined four proposals last week and moved some $600-million or so closer together over the next five or six years.


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

Cammalleri Discusses NHL Negotiation Tactics

from Jonas Siegel of TSN,

Mike Cammalleri was one of 100 or so NHL players on a conference call with the players association earlier this week, consensus largely shared amongst the participants.

"What can I tell you, guys unanimously feel the same way about it and the feeling guys are saying is they've offered us nothing," said the Flames winger, following an hour-long workout with a group of peers at a midtown Toronto rink. "It just really feels like a shakedown for the players. That's kind of the feeling across the board."...

"It's disappointing that the approach for Gary [Bettman] and the ownership group has been to make these hard dates and final offers and not budging and on and on," said Cammalleri. "There's no real answer to why except 'We think we can lock you out and your careers are short and we can shake you down'. Not a good feeling."

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+cammalleri

An NHL Executive Doesn’t Show His Face

from Travis Hughes of SB Nation,

An anonymous NHL executive took part in an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit Wednesday evening, answering direct questions about the ongoing NHL lockout and offering previously-unknown insight into the league's position.

Reddit moderators confirmed his identity as an "upper-level" team executive on the "business side" of his team's operation. Even noting that different teams certainly hold different opinions and stances in the lockout, the insight of this one team executive is enlightening, especially given the gag order the NHL has on all team and league employees. Hearing candid thoughts from somebody on the other side of the CBA battle provides a nice bit of perspective.

The anonymous executive said that the lockout hinges mostly on three points: "Contract fulfillment," the definition of revenue and what he called "intangibles" or "incidentals," things like hotel rooms and airfare for players on the road.


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

Throw The NHL Proposal Out The Window

from TSN and ESPN files,

The National Hockey League will withdraw its latest CBA proposal to the NHL Players' Association once Thursday's deadline to finalize a new deal passes.

There were no talks held between both sides on Thursday and none have been held since last week's NHL proposal and counter-proposals from the NHLPA.

"When we delivered the proposal last Tuesday, we told them it would be on the table through today," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on ESPN.com Thursday afternoon. "Having not reached agreement through today, I expect that we'll formally notify the union Friday that the proposal is no longer on the table. We're going to take it back internally and figure out where we go from here."
Daly also emphasized that he was not threatening the players in any way, but underlying what the league had already told the the NHLPA last Tuesday when it delivered the proposal.


Here is a story from Pierre LeBrun from ESPN with the same message.

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

It May Get Worse

from Jonathan Gatehouse of MACLEANS,

The fans are angry. But maybe the more appropriate response is sorrow. Sadness that those who run the game, and those who play it, can’t break a cycle that continually wastes its potential.

“I think they had tremendous momentum going in the U.S. market,” says Brian Cooper, the president of S&E Sponsorship Group, a Toronto firm that brokers arrangements between sports leagues and businesses. “They have the winter classic, where they claimed New Year’s Day for themselves. They had the HBO series. They were getting under the helmet and putting faces to the new stars of the game. And now we have momentum interruptus, and that’s not good for any brand.”

But with talks between the NHL and its players’ association at a standstill, there are indications that things are about to take a decided turn for the worse. 

read on

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

Refusing To Negotiate

via Jordan Shifman (fan post of the day) at CBC,

"No point meeting at this point": Bettman on NHL labour talks

In other words..."it's our way or the highway" The NHL is not willing to negotiate, Bettman and the owners aren't willing to listen to any offers other than their own. The NHLPA made the last 3 offers, all offering a 50/50 split of revenues, all turned down in less than 15 minutes. Was that even enough time to read them?? It's the NHL's turn to make an offer or at least listen to what the other side is saying.

"There is a major divide between the sides over how to deal with existing player contracts." What is the problem here? How to deal with existing player contracts is to honor them whether you like it or not. The owners had no problem signing these ridiculous contracts and now they don't want to honor them?

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

Afternoon Line

"Given the fact they’ve got $3.3 billion in revenue, I believe instead of fighting each other all the time, if there was a clear collaborative effort between players and owners once and for all, that $3.3 billion could be $5 billion. The NHL needs a culture more like the NFL and less like MLB."

-former Buffalo Sabres president Larry Quinn.  More from Quinn via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: larry+quinn

Fewer NHL Teams

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail, 

The players believe the problem can be addressed by enhancing the existing revenue-sharing system, which would (from their perspective) have the added benefit of preserving jobs in every one of those struggling markets. But a second, far more draconian solution is equally plausible, one which would be supported by anyone who believes the existing NHL talent pool is spread far too thinly across 30 teams:

Just shrink the NHL to a more manageable size by dumping cities that cannot support their teams, without massive handouts from the league’s richest franchises.

Consider what a smaller NHL looked like on the ice, even a single generation ago.

In 1991, in the 21-team era, the Pittsburgh Penguins won a Stanley Cup with six current Hall of Famers on the roster (Mario Lemieux, Paul Coffey, Ron Francis, Joe Mullen, Larry Murphy and Bryan Trottier), along with one future Hall Of Famer (Jaromir Jagr), a two-time 50-goal scorer (Kevin Stevens) and a couple of other players that still have an outside chance at making the HHOF grade (Tom Barrasso, Mark Recchi).

At the start of their dynasty, the 1984 Edmonton Oilers boasted five players that would go on to becoming leading playoff scorers of all time (Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson and Coffey). They too are in the Hall of Fame.


Filed in: NHL Teams, 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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