Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes,
The NHL’s problem is the widespread disparity in profits for its 30 teams. We estimated that 18 teams lost money during the 2010-11 season in our annual look at the business of hockey. Several other teams barely eked out a profit, but the league’s most flush teams made a killing. The Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens had an operating profit (in the sense of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $171 million combined. The other 27 NHL teams lost a collective $44 million. If you add the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers to the fat cats ledger, profits hit $212 million with the remaining 25 teams posting a loss of $86 million....
The NHL is not in dire financial straits as it was in 2004 when a lockout caused the cancellation of an entire season. It does need the top teams to share more of the wealth if it wants to be healthier financially. The league currently shares about $150 million of its revenue and the league has proposed bumping that up to $190 million. The players association is looking for revenue sharing closer to $250 million. We know why the Maple Leafs, Rangers and Canadiens do not want that much revenue sharing. What about the other 27 teams?
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
If both these sides are as committed to playing hockey as they'd like us to think, why isn't anyone talking about binding arbitration? Let's bring in a mediator, let him look at the two sides' best offers, and find a middle ground.
Basically, the two sides are fighting over seven percent of the revenues. We believe, as do most folks, that if the split was moved to 50-50 the owners would say, "Let's play," and they could work out the other elements (contract term, age of unrestricted free agency, etc.) over time.
So, next time one of these yahoos declares "we're doing everything in our power to get the game back on the ice," ask them why they haven't used mediation?
more CBA talk...
“Should employees get 57 percent of the revenue? If I owned a company, I don’t want to give my employees 57 percent, so I understand where they’re coming from. But why not just say, ‘Hey guys, let’s go 50/50 and see how this works for the next five years? Let’s just do it.’ It would really be nice to see guys get together and say, ‘What is BETTER for the game?’ Not what’s better for the players and not what’s necessarily better for the owners. What is better for the GAME. And sitting out is not."
-Orest Kindrachuk, former NHL player. More quotes via Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull.
Gary Bettman has been the NHL's boss for almost 20 years. He was hired by the NHL to bring the salary cap, and so he did, as he had received the salary cap NBA Basketball: acquisition. Twice the lockout has been a stoppage during his reign, and each time the lockout is done. Now it is the third! He is certainly the NHL's most hated person. For every NHL team's arrival at the hall throughout the hall buuaa and show her mind. Yes fans to know! He makes himself more than eight million dollars a year. Would Mr. Bettman willing to give up their salary and give part of it to these "poor" teams? Hmm ... interesting question.
-Teemu Selanne at the blog Salama. More (translated from Finnish as is the above) from Selanne.
thanks to Dmitry Chesnokov for the pointer via Twitter.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The really big next step, one that actually produces progress, is going to take some time. After all, the great deadline of Sept. 15 declared by the NHL commissioner only marked the expiry of the collective agreement, not the start of the season or even the start of training camps. No one in this mess will be inclined to get serious about labour negotiations until pay cheques and gate receipts are missed, which is almost four weeks away.
There is no reason for NHL Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr and the players to do anything right now. They know they have the moral high ground and are, for a change, winning the public relations battle. And the league is doing nothing except shooting itself in both feet right now with Sunday's statement as Exhibit A.
First of all, the NHL seems to be the only business in the world that thinks the expiry of a labour agreement means business must cease. This is the fourth time since 1992 the league ceased operations due to a labour dispute and it is the third time the owners locked out the players, all three of them coming on Gary Bettman's watch.
Where every other business carries on operations while a new labour agreement is being negotiated, with both labour and management rightly regarding a strike or lockout as the absolute last resort, Bettman and his chief labour strategist, outside counsel Bob Batterman, rush to lock the doors.
Two videos from CBC, the first one Elliotte Friedman suggests the tweets and pr propoganda needs to stop and the second video, is Kevin O'Leary suggesting the NHL dump the current playes and bring in new blood.
from Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal,
So nothing existential is at stake in hockey's labor dispute. All that is left for owners to push for is to shrink the players' share of revenues and lock in lower costs moving forward. That would likely raise the values of their franchises.
The players, who gathered nearly 300 strong in New York recently, understand they have made out pretty well, too. But they don't want be treated like chumps. If the league needs more money to support its weaker franchises, the players don't want to be the only ones to supply it.
So, a few percentage points off the players' share, a little more revenue sharing. League lawyers and Fehr, the fiery former leader of baseball's union who was markedly calm last week as the deadline approached, know how this is done.
"He's a great communicator. He's up-front, he puts it out there -- what he thinks is best for the union -- and he's just a great leader."
"You're willing to trust his opinion and his leadership and his instincts. He's just a perfect union boss, I think."
-Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, via John Shipley of the Pioneer Press.
A few NHL players deliver a message about the NHL lockout.
And so, let us pause now to ponder the colossal stupidity of the lockout and all that it entails.
If you're connected to the game, if you're a fan, a journalist, a PR staffer, a player, a GM or an owner, there is a certain conceit connected to being a puckhead, a certain sense of propriety about The Game.
Whether it's part of your DNA, as is the case with so many Canadians, or you have just fallen in love with the game through other levels of exposure, there is for the most part a connection that is palpable, unique.
It's this kind of connection that allows players and owners to take fans for granted and regularly close down the game for their own good.
You'd think we'd be used to it by now.
Still, we pause to ponder the great opportunity lost, the great opportunity to prove that such sentiments were actually true and/or worthwhile.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org