Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Bsoton Globe,
Cheapskate though I may be, I would pay the equivalent of a third-row loge seat for a pay-per-view debate over CBA talks between NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Players Association boss Donald Fehr. Make TSN’s James Duthiethe moderator, and I’ll shell out first-row dough to hear how these two gents would go about divvying up $3.3 billion in revenue . . . The NHL last week announced it was rolling back its work force by 20 percent during the lockout, putting everyone on four-day weeks. A harsher, perhaps more pragmatic approach would have been to fire 20 percent of the staff, something that has become de rigueur in the mainstream media business. But not many media enterprises so easily generate $3.3 billion in annual revenue.
more hockey talk...
from John Shannon of Sportsnet,
Some issues are big, and others are small, but they are issues. And they did fill the time for the sub-committee meetings this summer in Toronto and New York City. What are these issues? Glad you asked.
1. Player safety and working conditions: This topic is broad. From ice conditions, practice times, the length of training camps and on-ice time, as well as the conditions of the visitors' dressing rooms, hotel rooms on the road (single, as opposed to double occupancy) and beyond. One aspect of travel, that was discussed, dealt with the late night charter flights the teams all partake in, and the ensuing game day skate on those back-to-back nights. Players arriving at hotels in the early hours of day, knowing full well they have to participate in a morning skate are taking sleep aids like Ambien to get them to a rest sleep. Over the counter drugs are an issue for pro athletes, and trying to adjust daily regimes might help some get weaned off these non-prescription drugs.
The National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association have scheduled to meet in Toronto on Monday to finish off last season's hockey-related revenue (HRR) numbers, including escrow payments for players.
Both sides are hopeful that negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement will resume following Monday's meeting.
Today the only thing an outsider can see in the squabbling over hockey’s $3.3-billion pot is “greed certainty.”
Which is why so many, many Canadian fans have no sympathies this time around for either owners or players.
They only ones they feel sorry for are themselves, for having to put up with such nonsense.
-Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on the difference between the last NHL lockout and this one.
The CBC updates us with the latest labor law battle between the NHL and the NHLPA.
from Gord Stellick of CBC,
Some players have tweeted that they feel the NHL season will be lost, but one veteran seems more optimistic. I liked Marty Brodeur's perspective as he commented on the differences between September 2012 and September 2004. There is continued dialogue this time around. Maybe there isn't the progress that hockey fans would like, but Brodeur recognizes it is a significant difference from eight years ago.
Here are some other reasons why I'm optimistic about a quicker end to the latest NHL lockout:
* Like Brodeur's recollection, I honestly can't remember any serious discussion between either side during the month of September and for a few months afterwards in 2004. Maintaining any form of dialogue, as is the case now, is a big positive.
* Though I can't see Don Fehr and Gary Bettman being hard and fast friends, I don't see any of the dislike and vitriol that existed between Bob Goodenow and Gary Bettman in 2004. A distinct second line of communication, with Bill Daly on the owners' side and Steve Fehr on the players', never existed in 2004.
from Bruce Dowbiggin at the Globe and Mail,
“Instead of waiting for ESPN to give the lockout its customary 23 seconds of news before giving Barry Melrose the floor for his ‘drunk uncle at the wedding’ analysis, hockey fans of every experience level and demographic can distribute and scrutinize the news of the day on Twitter – while also offering a suitable place to vent, frequently profanely.”
“Fans no longer have to wait for a talk-show host to put them on the air or a letter to the editor to be printed,” says Mitch Melnick, long-time radio host on TSN Radio 690 in Montreal. “The immediacy of a well-crafted tweet almost has the effect of putting you in the room when Gary Bettman reads them. And you know he reads them. If not originals then certainly via retweets... Whether they care or not is an entirely different matter.”
Have the sound and fury affected negotiations? The man who preceded Don Fehr as executive director of the NHLPA thinks so. “Twitter has changed the landscape since the last CBA negotiation in that every development in this standoff has gone viral almost instantly,” says Paul Kelly, now a sports lawyer in Boston. “Social media has also allowed the parties to attempt to shape public opinion directly and through surrogates, including players, agents, owners, friendly media sources and others.”
If you are a hockey fan concerned about the CBA negotiations, you need to read the full article George Malik pointed out during the night.
Detroit Red Wings VP Jimmy Devellano answers some questions at Island Sports News,
ISN: So you know the man well and I am guessing have had many meals over the years with him. Does he talk the same way over a quiet meal, or a drink, as he does on TV or radio, or is he more direct with his answers?
"The answer simply Scott is YES, he never seems to give you an answer to a question how you would like it to be, or think it should be answered. But don't mistake that for him being coy or unknowledgeable about the subject. He really is careful with everything he answers, right down to what to order off the menu."
"Let's take Ron McLean for instance on Hockey Night in Canada. He always asks agitated and sometimes exaggerated questions, not for the fans, or to get an answer, but to make what he thinks is good, bloody TV! So he thinks he's above the show, the game, and a lot of times has his own agenda. Well guys like Gary and I see through that as well as anybody would if they did the amount of interviews we have over the years and we tend to get our backs up. After all we are men too and we're not going to sit there and allow some guy to make us look like fools on national television."
"Again, a lot of these guys in the media today are looking out for their own popularity and to hell with the real story. And with Gary, like I said, you can dump as much crap on him as you want, but you're not going to rattle him. He is the strongest guy I know period and that is another reason that perhaps people do not like him."
That's a quote from the folks at CSN Washington discussing the possibllity of Alex Ovechkin not returning to the NHL. Here's the video...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
I touched base with (Ryan) Miller a few days ago, and he said part of what’s so difficult about these negotiations is an immense distrust of the owners and their motives in this fight.
It’s still hard for many players to look past what happened during the last lockout, when a win for the league resulted in a large share of those new revenues going to the wealthy teams.
“I think the anger and frustration comes from knowing what the owners are capable of under the guidance of Gary Bettman,” Miller said in an e-mail. “They are willing to let a season burn as shown in 2004-05, and it is a path that they are comfortable taking as their choice form of negotiating.
“This is the third time and no matter how the NHL spins it, the same story is being told. They claim teams are struggling financially and player salary restriction is the only way to address the inevitable disasters. It is hard to trust the owners when it is the same story after years of documented growth and increasing revenue.”
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