Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
... In the meantime, we are left to speculate on what, if anything, the league will do with back-diving contracts.
-- Could the new CBA recalculate back-diving contracts so that years left on a contract still count against the team’s salary cap even if said player retires?
-- Could all long-term contracts, back-diving or not, be recalculated so that the five highest-salaried years count as the cap hit? Suddenly Hossa’s deal in Chicago would go from a $5.275 million cap hit to a $7.9 million cap hit under that scenario.
-- Could all existing contracts, long-term or not, be recalculated so that the actual yearly salary for that season counts against the cap and not the average salary? Imagine Minnesota’s reaction if Ryan Suter and Zach Parise would suddenly go from counting $7.53 million (average salary of their new deals) against the cap to $12 million against the cap this season and next?
“I think we’ll get most of the season in. Don and Gary are two smart guys, and there’s so much good in our game right now. From talent, the L.A. market winning the Stanley Cup, the Rangers are going to be strong, there’s so many young players, TV contracts – there’s a lot at stake here. I think it can be done.”
-Bobby Orr via Luke Fox of Sportsnet where you can read and watch what else Orr had to say.
from Patrick Rishe of Forbes,
Is there any sports executive who comes off as being more arrogant, snotty and unlikable in professional sports than NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman? You couldn’t find 3 NHL players today that wouldn’t pull a Hanson brothers attack on Mr. Bettman if they thought they could get away with it.
That said, it is aloof – and standard negotiating rhetoric by the way – for Donald Fehr (the NHLPA’s executive director and former long-time leader of baseball’s powerful players association) to suggest that the NFL and NBA lockouts from 2011 should not have any influence upon the direction of the NHL’s current labor negotiations.
Here’s the simple reality of the matter:
- Perhaps what goes on in other sports shouldn’t matter from a financial standpoint, but it does matter from a practical standpoint if there is evidence that the current model is causing more teams than not to lose money. This data from Forbes suggests this could still very well be true in the NHL.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
We're heading into Week 2 of the lockout, of this super stupidity, complete with cancelled exhibition games and a complete lack of negotiation. The biggest concern, however, may be that it's hard to see where or when the thaw is going to come.
With the National Hockey League wanting player costs to drop immediately and the NHL Players' Association proposing instead to slow salaries against revenue growth, we're at an impasse. And the overwhelming answer to a question about how the gap can be bridged?
"I don't know."
But the majority opinion from people on both sides of the argument is this: there's no incentive for anyone to back down now and when they are ready for serious conversations, they (initially, at least) will be kept private.
The biggest issue remains the percentage split. And after spending a lot more time than I ever wanted researching hockey-related revenue, you can see the landmines.
From here, it looks as if nothing’s going to change any time soon – and the stalemate could drag on so long that it costs both sides another full season. It would be wasteful, it would be unnecessary, but make no mistake about it. These are not rational people acting in a rational manner. It could easily happen again.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on this.
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.
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