Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Never mind the spreadsheets and the pie graphs breaking down the NHL’s revenue streams, all union head Donald Fehr needs to do when the NHL and its players sit down to try to hammer out a new labor deal is to bring the clippings from the first four days of free agency.
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter combining for $196 million over the next 13 seasons.
Forty-year-olds Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr combining to bring in a hair more than $9 million next season.
Matt Carle, 20th among NHL defensemen in point production last season, was lured back to Tampa by a six-year deal that will pay him an average of $5.5 million annually.
Jiri Hudler struck it rich with a four-year, $16 million contract after a career-best 25-goal campaign in Detroit.
Brandon Prust—seriously—got $10 million over four years to bring toughness to the Montreal lineup.
Every time a new contract was added to the list of bloated contracts that came before, commissioner Gary Bettman must have given a grim shake of his head.
I would caution anyone following this process to abandon any traditional ideas of what is “fair” or “unfair.” In a negotiation of this magnitude, both sides will be looking for the best deal possible for their collective membership. Period. The owners will try to take whatever they think they can get, as is their right, and so should we.
-An anonymous active player/member of a National Hockey League team on the CBA negotiations. Much more from the player at Puck Daddy.
TORONTO/NEW YORK (July 6, 2012) - National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) Executive Director Don Fehr issued the following statement regarding the July 5-6 collective bargaining sessions in New York:
“Eight Players, along with NHLPA staff, met with three owners and League officials at the NHL’s office in New York over the last two days. A number of items were discussed and, along with the League, we will be looking at these CBA matters in greater detail at upcoming bargaining sessions. We look forward to re-convening for further talks on Tuesday at our office in Toronto.”
NEW YORK (July 6, 2012) – National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly issued the following statement regarding the collective bargaining sessions that were held in New York July 5 and 6:
“We had two productive days of meetings with the NHLPA and the Players, concluding this afternoon at about 1:45 pm. A number of important issues were raised on both sides of the table, all of which will be discussed more thoroughly as we get deeper into bargaining. We are pleased with the level of engagement and look forward to meeting again next week.”
TORONTO/NEW YORK (June 29, 2012) - National Hockey League Players’ Association Executive Director Don Fehr issued the following statement regarding today’s collective bargaining session in New York:
“Eight Players on the Negotiating Committee, along with NHLPA staff, met with Commissioner Gary Bettman, four NHL owners and a number of League staff and legal counsel at the League’s office in New York. Following today’s meeting, we will review the NHL’s initial presentation with the Players’ committee before reconvening for further talks later next week.”
NEW YORK (June 29, 2012) – National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly issued the following statement regarding today’s collective bargaining session in New York:
“Members of our League Office staff and several of our owners met today with the NHLPA and various members of the players’ negotiating committee at the League Office in New York. The meeting was very cordial and we hope it was constructive.
“Before breaking, the parties discussed follow-up steps and confirmed plans for future meetings. We have nothing further to report at this time.”
from Michael Grange of Sportsnet,
Hey, Sid, how ya doing? It’s Don, Don Fehr. Yeah, yeah, the executive director of the NHLPA, that Don….
Are you out of your mind? Do you pay your agent for this stuff? I mean, I’ve heard the expression puckhead before, but never realized it was a literal thing.
You signed for $8.7 million Sid. That’s the same as your last contract, the one you signed four years ago. What is the matter with you? Didn’t anyone mention to you that league revenues have grown by $1.1 billion since then?
In case you missed the memo, I’m heading to the belly of the beast on Friday, aka: Gary Bettman’s office, to fight about exactly how much of the league’s $3.3 billion in revenue should belong to the guys who wear skates and risk getting their heads torn off every night.
I’m not sure if you are up to speed on this or not, but just in case: the owners—that would be your former landlord Mario and the rest of them—they want to give you guys less money.
We’re not exactly sure how much less at this point, but let’s assume it’s about 15 per cent less than you guys are getting now.
NEW YORK/TORONTO (June 28, 2012)—The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association announced today that the Team Payroll Range established for the 2012-13 League Year, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provides for a Lower Limit of $54.2 million, an Adjusted Midpoint of $62.2 million and an Upper Limit of $70.2 million.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
Talks begin less than 48 hours after Dennis Wideman signed a five-year, $26.25 million contract with Calgary. That will be an interesting backdrop. In the outstanding book Lords of the Realm, there is a story about the 1993 baseball negotiations, where Fehr questioned the owners’ complaints of financial issues as Cecil Fielder signed a five-year, $36 million contract that featured a $10 million signing bonus.
Other questions as things get started:
• Will anyone be making an opening proposal?
• How much common ground exists?
• What are each side’s non-starters?
• Do Fehr and Bettman stick to their histories as last-minute negotiators, decreasing the importance of these early July discussions?
• Will the owners try to split the union by offering an increased minimum salary and the promise of more jobs through expansion? (It’s actually a decent strategy.)
• Will either side refuse to discuss any of the lesser issues until the major ones (e.g. what percentage of revenues the players get) are settled?
CHICAGO (June 27, 2012) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) today announced its Negotiating Committee, following three days of Executive Board Meetings in Chicago. The NHLPA’s Negotiating Committee consists of 31 Players (see list below), representing a cross-section of the overall Membership of the NHLPA.
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