Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Afternoon Line

“To all of a sudden sign a deal that changes your life and makes things better for you and your family, someone tries to take that away from you, it’s insulting and, quite frankly, it’s embarrassing for (the league) as well.  We only have a limited time to play and earn a living as hockey player,s and we’re doing everything we can. Every guy has worked hard for that. We can be proud to stand up for what we stood up for so far, and there’s no shame in that.”

-Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Black Hawks on the NHL negotiations.  More from Toews and Patrick Kane at CSN Chicago.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+toews

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And lo, another player opens his mouth and sounds like a moron.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/24/12 at 04:45 PM ET

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Time for the PA to put a gag order on the players.

To read the constant BS from the players of how terrible their lives will be if they take any kind of reduction in pay makes me sick.

I cacn only imagine it would be terrible to survive on 95 Million instead of 100 Million.  Give ti a tr guys, I think you’ll find a way to survive.

Heck you can always go play in the KHL for 65% of your salary…losers.

I hope the NHL owners give you all the giant screw.

Posted by Adanac on 10/24/12 at 04:53 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Ignoring the pathetic fact Toews is indirectly asking for the public’s sympathy that he and his family may have to try and make ends meet on his paltry 6 million per year (or, 13,630 percent more than the annual salary of the average North American worker), he did hit on the owners and Bettman’s ace in the hole with this remark:

“We only have a limited time to play and earn a living as hockey players”

Exactly, Jonathan.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 10/24/12 at 05:00 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 10/24/12 at 06:00 PM ET

You hit the nail on the head there. I remember the veterans after the last lockout basically saying they wouldn’t do it again. I wonder if the younger guys who didn’t go through it back then are heeding their advice or trying to “make right” what happened to them in the ‘04 lockout.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 10/24/12 at 05:13 PM ET

Mike Chen's avatar

Bill Guerin and Mike Modano really need to have a conference call with these guys to give them a reality check.

Posted by Mike Chen on 10/24/12 at 05:19 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

so sad money is more important than integrity anymore.. disappointing

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/24/12 at 05:45 PM ET

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so sad money is more important than integrity anymore..

Because accepting a “*#$%@& you” CBA that the owners are trying to force down the PA’s throat somehow shows integrity?

Posted by Garth on 10/24/12 at 08:31 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Toews is not crying poor (although the NHL is). He’s saying that a league bragging about how flush it is/was suddenly wants them to take a reduction of an already signed contract simply because they think they can. The players would be insane to be happy about that, and if they did accept it, they would be as boneheaded as their management seems to think they are.

I like this guy and am bummed he’s a Lackhawk. I wish he were on my team.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/24/12 at 09:26 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by Garth on 10/24/12 at 09:31 PM ET

That’s EXACTLY my point.  Seems there’s a few on here who think the players should take whatever money they’re offered without applying moral law the rest of us try to live with to the situation.  Players are asking for honor of the owners and the owners are looking for money, it’s crazy to me there are people who seem to think the players asking for honor are putting their foot in their mouth and that they should take whatever deal they’re given, that’s it’s not worth standing up for your principles.  I’m with you Garth on this

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/24/12 at 09:49 PM ET

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That’s EXACTLY my point.

I misunderstood.  My bad.

Posted by Garth on 10/24/12 at 10:30 PM ET

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Because accepting a “*#$%@& you” CBA

Again, a 10-12% pay cut that disappears in 4 years and results in an even split of HRR is not a ‘bleep you’ CBA.

If you want to see what a ‘bleep you’ CBA is, wait until you see the deal the NHLPA ends up signing after they blow up a season and cost themselves $1.6ish B in salaries they’ll never ever make back.

I mean, seriously people.  This hyperbole is just silly.  If you’re making 50 grand in your job and the owner says to you ‘our costs are rising so we need to pay you 45, 46.5, 48 and 50 grand the next four years, but from years 5 on you’ll likely get raises every single year’.

That’s a ‘bleep you’ offer?  Yeesh.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 04:23 AM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 05:23 AM ET

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a multi-year employment contract that guarantees that I receive a certain wage.  If I did, and my employer came to me and said “Hey!  I want to cut your pay for the next four years but you’ll probably get a raise each year after that” I would tell him to go take a hike.  I would demand that they honor the contract they offered me, and I bet you would too.  The principal of the matter doesn’t change just because hockey players make so much more than most people in the world.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 10/25/12 at 05:28 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

There’s no such thing as a disappearing pay cut.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/25/12 at 06:59 AM ET

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Again, a 10-12% pay cut that disappears in 4 years and results in an even split of HRR is not a ‘bleep you’ CBA.

Yes it is, because in a year of record revenue, the employees should not be taking a pay cut and should not have to worry about getting back to the 2011-12 pay level in several years.

If the NHL is struggling so badly I wonder what pay cut Gary Bettman is going to take.

If you’re making 50 grand in your job and the owner says to you ‘our costs are rising so we need to pay you 45, 46.5, 48 and 50 grand the next four years, but from years 5 on you’ll likely get raises every single year’.

Wow, that’s quite the scenario.  What about the actual scenario, which is more like “We’re making more money than ever as a company, and there are a couple departments that aren’t pulling their weight, so everyone, including all the people who are the actual moneymakers, have to take pay cuts while the management, who are the ones wholly responsible for the poor decisions that led to these departments losing money, are all going to benefit from your pay cut”?

That’s not a *#$%@& you?

You and everyone like you are going to be the people I call if I ever start a business.

“I know you deserve a raise but instead I’m going to cut your salary.  No, I’m not giving you a cost of living raise, I’m going to take money away from you.  Don’t worry though, you just keep working hard and being responsible for ALL of the money that the company brings in and in a few years you’ll be making what you made last year.  What?  That doesn’t make you happy?  OK, how about a bigger pay cut then?”

Please sign the contract, HiHD.  I so badly want someone like you to be my employee.

Posted by Garth on 10/25/12 at 07:02 AM ET

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There’s no such thing as a disappearing pay cut.

Well put.

Posted by Garth on 10/25/12 at 07:06 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Again, a 10-12% pay cut that disappears in 4 years and results in an even split of HRR is not a ‘bleep you’ CBA.
If you want to see what a ‘bleep you’ CBA is, wait until you see the deal the NHLPA ends up signing after they blow up a season and cost themselves $1.6ish B in salaries they’ll never ever make back.
I mean, seriously people.  This hyperbole is just silly.  If you’re making 50 grand in your job and the owner says to you ‘our costs are rising so we need to pay you 45, 46.5, 48 and 50 grand the next four years, but from years 5 on you’ll likely get raises every single year’.
That’s a ‘bleep you’ offer?  Yeesh.
Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 05:23 AM ET

My response to owners would be as such: “Honor the feckin contract we signed!” Done.
Also, if they think I’d trust them to honor their ” but from years 5 on you’ll likely get raises every single year” and not want to renegotiate that in 5 yrs…..

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 10/25/12 at 07:42 AM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

People keep citing “record revenues,” but they often fail to mention costs. I own a business and could probably get record revenues relatively easily if I upped my costs significantly for marketing, PR, etc.(not to mention all of the NHL’s rising costs elsewhere such as medical, travel, etc. also, running an increasingly popular league takes extra manpower, which means paying more salaries and wages).

Just because the league had record revenues absolutely does not mean it had record profits. I feel like too many people ignore that.  I’m sure the owners fudge their numbers to an extent, but even so, that doesn’t mean many of them aren’t losing money or that they’re not making enough under the current system to maintain a viable business. (Although I’m not saying that’s not their fault.)

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 10/25/12 at 09:29 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

If the league is losing money on anything other than direct hockey costs, they’re mismanaging a fairly low-overhead business. They have the expense of travel and jet fuel that is quite flexible. Just about everything else is negotiable. The league could also minimize the impact of travel costs by compacting the road trips on the schedule or realigning teams so that Columbus, Ohio isn’t in the same conference with San Jose, CA. If the league’s marketing is costing more than it brings in, it isn’t effective. If the league is spending more on salaries than they can afford, they shouldn’t offer and contract those payroll numbers. If they have, let the contracts run their course and stop signing semi-talented people for multi-multi million dollar deals. Let the business cycle run through.

But let us also not forget the headline on April 13 - “Best-ever business year highlighted by record revenue”

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=559630

It’s hard to trust a league that pats itself on the back so hard a month or two before suddenly crying broke.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/25/12 at 09:59 AM ET

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I own a business and could probably get record revenues relatively easily if I upped my costs significantly for marketing, PR, etc.

Great, and if you decided to do that, would it be fair for you to say to all your employees “Look, I’m going to spend more money so I can make more money, but part of that is I want all of you -who are the primary reason for this company making money- to make less money in order to do that”?

How do you think that would go over with your employees?

And it might be different if the the owners didn’t go out and sign players to $98M contracts before crying poverty.  Nobody forced owners to dole give Ryan Suter, Shea Weber, Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk or Sid Crosby the contracts they received.

If the ownes of the Wild or the Predators came out and apologized to their fans for not being able to land Suter & Parise or retain Weber because of the economics of their teams there might be some sympathy, but they willingly opened up their check books and paid the players.

Shea Weber didn’t force Nashville’s hand, Ed Snider did.  Maybe Nashville’s ownership should be trying to pry some money out of Ed Snider’s wallet rather than Shea Weber’s.

Posted by Garth on 10/25/12 at 09:59 AM ET

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I would demand that they honor the contract they offered me, and I bet you would too. 

How about if a part of that contract said that the terms of the contract could be adjusted due to future CBA’s?

So, they should honor the rest of the contract… just not that inconvenient part? wink

There’s no such thing as a disappearing pay cut.

Math.

Yes it is, because in a year of record revenue, the employees should not be taking a pay cut and should not have to worry about getting back to the 2011-12 pay level in several years.

What is the difference between revenue and profits?  Because when you say something like:

What about the actual scenario, which is more like “We’re making more money than ever as a company,

I have a suspicion you may not actually know the answer.

who are the ones wholly responsible for the poor decisions that led to these departments losing money,

So let me pose you a question:

How would you feel about the NHL keeping player salaries right where they are, but cutting way back on all their other player-related costs.  Like, say, free airfare for the team.  Free lodging on the road.  Free food.

Stuff like that.

Would you be cool with all teams in the NHL requiring players to pay for food, transportation and lodging, in addition to being responsible for the scheduling and securing all of those things?

If the league is losing money on anything other than direct hockey costs, they’re mismanaging a fairly low-overhead business.

Yikes.  Pretty much every pro team is a high overhead team.  The vast majority of costs are labor costs, either player or organizational or admin/support.

A low overhead business is one that can be run in a fairly lean manner.  That’s not even remotely close to how a pro team has to be run.  There have to be all kinds of people all over the place, often in duplicate or triplicate to make sure the service flow isn’t interrupted for any reason.

The league could also minimize the impact of travel costs by compacting the road trips on the schedule or realigning teams so that Columbus, Ohio isn’t in the same conference with San Jose, CA.

They tried that.  The NHLPA vetoed it, remember?

Shea Weber didn’t force Nashville’s hand, Ed Snider did.  Maybe Nashville’s ownership should be trying to pry some money out of Ed Snider’s wallet rather than Shea Weber’s.

Let me ask you a question:

If all the NHL teams decided to stop spending as much on players, how do you believe that would affect what % of HRR players received?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 11:09 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

  There’s no such thing as a disappearing pay cut.

Math.

Semantics.
Logic.
Reason.

Look at that, when your percentage goes down and stays down, the pay cut remains.  In order for it to “disappear”, you have to change the math to somewhere to decouple the percentage. 

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/25/12 at 11:27 AM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

  I would demand that they honor the contract they offered me, and I bet you would too.

How about if a part of that contract said that the terms of the contract could be adjusted due to future CBA’s?

So, they should honor the rest of the contract… just not that inconvenient part? wink

What inconvenient part?  The contract specifies that they honor the CBA.  There is no CBA right now.  How are the players not honoring the contract?

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 10/25/12 at 11:29 AM ET

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Record Revenue is NOT Record Profit.

And the NHL is NOT a low-overhead business.  There is countless hidden costs ABOVE the apparent; coaching staff, front office, PR, give-aways fans always want, etc How about an average of $1000 per player per game for sticks alone?  That’s 3 sticks at around $300/each the teams supplies to the players.  How about the fitness rooms, equipment, and medical expenses the team supplies?  How about the extra practice facilities most teams manage?  Scouting alone costs many teams millions each year.

Bottom line is if the players think RECORD REVENUE (which is all the NHLPA every brings up) is PROFIT, they need to take grade 10 math again (oh wait…they didn’t take that…..they were playing junior hockey….with a “tutor” on a bus….)

Posted by 41 Long Ones from Edmonton on 10/25/12 at 11:44 AM ET

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I have a suspicion you may not actually know the answer.

I think I do, because I think it was the NHL who broadcast that they brought record revenues.  I don’t recall, when they were patting themselves on the back, any single one of them saying that there was some problem with this.

Not until it came time to discuss sharing these record revenues.

How about if a part of that contract said that the terms of the contract could be adjusted due to future CBA’s?

How about the part of the contract that says each new CBA has to be markedly different from the last one?  Even when the players are bringing in a record amount of money for the league?

Yes, the CBA affects contracts, but how come it’s OK for the owners to simply assume that it will shrink the contracts?  And why would it be ridiculous for the players to decide they want more than 57% of the revenues?  With the NHL demanding that the players’ share shrink to 42% it was a starting point, but what would it be if the PA’s first offer was that they go back to the 74% they got before?

Let me ask you a question:

Or how about, instead of quoting and ignoring, you address the part you quoted.  Was it Shea Weber who forced Nashville’s hand or Ed Snider?

There’s no such thing as a disappearing pay cut.
Math.

Sorry, where’s the part where they get reimbursed for theis lost percentage points under the owners’ last offer?

If the players’ percentage drops to 50% from 57%, even if that 50% eventually equals the 57% they got last year, they’re still taking a significant pay cut over what they would have been making.

You can’t really be so dumb as to not realize that 50% will always be less than 57%.

Posted by Garth on 10/25/12 at 11:51 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

How about an average of $1000 per player per game for sticks alone?  That’s 3 sticks at around $300/each the teams supplies to the players.  How about the fitness rooms, equipment, and medical expenses the team supplies?  How about the extra practice facilities most teams manage?  Scouting alone costs many teams millions each year.

How about the thing where direct costs (such as equipment) is deducted from revenue before the players’ share is calculated?

How about how “benefits” paid to the players for things like travel and hotel stays are already considered as part of what they’re paid (as in taken directly out of their pay?)

Hockey Related Revenue is not all hockey-related revenue.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/25/12 at 11:58 AM ET

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That’s 3 sticks at around $300/each the teams supplies to the players.  How about the fitness rooms, equipment, and medical expenses the team supplies?  How about the extra practice facilities most teams manage?  Scouting alone costs many teams millions each year.

And these all go up every year?  Beyond the fact that most players have deals with companies who provide them with sticks, does the price of fitness equipment go up each year?  Does the rent on practice facilities go up each year?  Does the cost of scouting go up every year?

Most companies who are trying to turn a profit don’t cut essential needs, but also don’t go out and blow a huge cunk of money remodelling the office.

Minnesota can’t cut the cost on their practice facility, so if they’re in financial trouble then maybe they should’ve just not spent $196M on two players, rather than signing that deal and then asking for some of the money back.  I mean clearly, the bottom line for most NHL owners is turning a profit right?  Rather than trying to ice a competitive team.

Posted by Garth on 10/25/12 at 12:03 PM ET

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Look at that, when your percentage goes down and stays down, the pay cut remains.

Math.

If you are making 50 k, and then 4 years later you are making 50k, is your pay cut?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 12:36 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

If you are making 50 k, and then 4 years later you are making 50k, is your pay cut?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 01:36 PM ET

Yes, since 50k is worth more today than it will be in 4 years due to inflation and increased cost of living.

Ignoring the point of the statement to be intentionally obtuse IS fun.  Now I know whyyou do it so often, HD.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 10/25/12 at 12:42 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If you are making 50 k, and then 4 years later you are making 50k, is your pay cut?

You’ve consistently championed that players are payed a percentage, so now why are you championing the flat rate?

If you are making 50k as a feature of you earning X% of a different number and then 4 years later your are making 50k as a feature of you earning X-Y% then yes, your pay remains cut because you’re still using the correct mathematical comparison: percentages-to-percentages. 

In other words, just like with more traditional ways of making things disappear, you have to use trickery to create the illusion that it’s gone.

Or putting it more simply:

Math.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/25/12 at 12:46 PM ET

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The contract specifies that they honor the CBA. 

Every SPC a player signs has a codicil in it that says in the event of a new CBA the terms of the SPC can be unilaterally changed.

This is why I always say CBA > SPC when people mention owners ‘not honoring the contracts’ when a new CBA may change some of those contracts.

They are honoring the contracts, because a part of every contract says the contract can be changed to meet a new CBA’s requirements.

I think I do, because I think it was the NHL who broadcast that they brought record revenues.

So no, you don’t know the difference between revenues and profits.  Okay then.

Yes, the CBA affects contracts, but how come it’s OK for the owners to simply assume that it will shrink the contracts?  And why would it be ridiculous for the players to decide they want more than 57% of the revenues?

I think it is perfectly okay for either side to ask for whatever they want to ask for in a negotiation, Garth.  What comments have I made which have led you to any other conclusion?

My point is that given the current financial situation of the NHL the owners have far less to lose in a standoff than the players do, because the players in the NHL have historically had a fantastically good deal.

Or how about, instead of quoting and ignoring, you address the part you quoted.  Was it Shea Weber who forced Nashville’s hand or Ed Snider?

You either aren’t getting the point, or you do get the point and are trying to avoid it.

The reason I asked my question is that it doesn’t matter at all what NHL teams spend on players salaries.

It really doesn’t.  How much the players get is a function of the CBA.

If HRR was $4 B, the NHLPA got 57% of them per the CBA and teams spent $1 B on salaries, the players would get 2.28 B.

If HRR was $4 B, the NHLPA got 57% of them per the CBA and teams spent $2 B on salaries, the players would get 2.28 B.

If HRR was $4 B, the NHLPA got 57% of them per the CBA and teams spent $3 B on salaries, the players would get 2.28 B.

If HRR was $4 B, the NHLPA got 57% of them per the CBA and teams spent $4 B on salaries, the players would get 2.28 B.

If HRR was $4 B, the NHLPA got 57% of them per the CBA and teams spent $5 B on salaries, the players would get 2.28 B.

If HRR was $4 B, the NHLPA got 57% of them per the CBA and teams spent Four Trillion Dollars on salaries, the players would get 2.28 B.

It does not matter ‘who forces whose hand’.  Every team in the NHL could spend right to the cap ceiling or every team in the NHL could spend barely over the cap floor and neither outcome would impact the amount of revenues players would be due to receive.

Hockey Related Revenue is not all hockey-related revenue.

I’m curious.  Exactly what expenses do you guys think NHL teams should cut in order to make more money?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 12:51 PM ET

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You’ve consistently championed that players are payed a percentage, so now why are you championing the flat rate?

You are JJ’ing.  I have championed nothing.  I am saying that if you are making the same in year 4 as you were in year 1, is your pay cut when comparing those two points?

Further, I would suggest you read some of the NHLPA’s proposals where they also move back and forth between %‘s and raw dollar amounts.

The definition you are attempting to make is one I see rather often when people discuss Government Budgets.  In many of those cases a 4% increase in called a ‘cut’ when a 6% increase was scheduled.

Because, hey, it’s less than I would have gotten otherwise, so it’s a cut… see?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 12:55 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The definition you are attempting to make is one I see rather often when people discuss Government Budgets.  In many of those cases a 4% increase in called a ‘cut’ when a 6% increase was scheduled.

This is nothing more than an attempt to confuse the issue with anecdotal doublespeak which has nothing to do with what we’re discussing.  There isn’t a clawback on an increase being discussed here; it’s a set point that is being cut from on a cut that never disappears.  Your example has precisely nothing to do with the semantic hoops you’re jumping through to call it a “disappearing pay cut”.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/25/12 at 01:05 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

The article on record revenues wasn’t from the NHLPA - it was from the NHL. If they want to grandstand about how the league is doing so well, they can’t cry poor two months later, even if it is true. They lose credibility with the conflicting PR spins.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/25/12 at 01:08 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

It does not matter ‘who forces whose hand’.  Every team in the NHL could spend right to the cap ceiling or every team in the NHL could spend barely over the cap floor and neither outcome would impact the amount of revenues players would be due to receive.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 01:51 PM ET

Correct.  But your statement has nothing to do with the comment to which you are responding:  the NASHVILLE PREDATORS could have reduced their TEAM-SPECIFIC costs by not matching the Weber offer sheet.  This is team-specific and has nothing to do with league-wide player salaries.

More misdirection

 

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 10/25/12 at 01:20 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I’m curious.  Exactly what expenses do you guys think NHL teams should cut in order to make more money?
Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 01:51 PM ET

What expenses? Dump the shit teams that consistantly bleed money. Tis a start, no?

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 10/25/12 at 01:22 PM ET

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This is nothing more than an attempt to confuse the issue with anecdotal doublespeak which has nothing to do with what we’re discussing. 

I don’t agree.  There is a difference between talking in real dollar terms and talking in terms of percentages.

I think if a person is making the same amount of money at point A and point B, they didn’t have their pay cut.  Because their pay is the same.

Your position is that if a person is making the same amount of money at point A and point B, since they may have made more money at point B under a different system, their pay is ‘cut’ because it is less than it might have been at that future point, even though it is the same in real terms as it was at the previous point.

I used the example of governmental budgeting to illustrate why I don’t ascribe to the perspective you have attempted to employ with regards to what a ‘pay cut’ is.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the way you have chosen to comprehend this specific issue, JJ… I just think it’s a bit counterintuitive.

They lose credibility with the conflicting PR spins.

Revenue is not profits, and PR is not financial analysis.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 01:25 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the way you have chosen to comprehend this specific issue, JJ

Now you can rest easy tonight, JJ.  You have HD’s approval.

Holy fuching condescension.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 10/25/12 at 01:37 PM ET

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But your statement has nothing to do with the comment to which you are responding:  the NASHVILLE PREDATORS could have reduced their TEAM-SPECIFIC costs by not matching the Weber offer sheet.  This is team-specific and has nothing to do with league-wide player salaries.

But it does.  The point being made here is that hey, nobody is forcing the owners to pay players x, y, and z millions of dollars.

My point is that what the owners pay the players doesn’t matter, because the players will get the same amount they will get whether the owners spend 5 billion on players or 1 billion on players.

Sure, the Nashville Predators could have reduced their team specific costs, but the point of this whole debate isn’t trying to make one team more profitable.  It’s about trying to make a whole lot of teams more profitable.  Or profitable at all.

So in order to address that issue intelligently one has to look at the broader picture rather than the narrower one.

Yes, some teams could be profitable if they followed the Colorado Avalanche’s plan where the owner owns the building and ices a crappy team he doesn’t have to pay much to.  The problem is that unless the spending of the league as a whole met CBA-allocated revenue splits those teams would just have to cut huge checks over to the NHLPA anyway.

But even setting all of that stuff aside for the moment to sludge around in the nitty gritty of two teams, Nashville is only spending 1.5ish more mil this year than they did last year, and they’ve got some contracts coming off their books they could shed.  I thought how they handled Suter and Weber was beyond stupid and they’ve really shot themselves in the face over them… but that’s why there needs to be a decent basic financial structure in place.  A team has to be able to be poorly run without being in imminent danger of dissolution via bankruptcy.

Minnesota’s spending a lot this year, but if the experiment blows up they have some flexibility there to get cheaper via basic roster moves, or perhaps moving a couple guys.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 01:40 PM ET

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Now you can rest easy tonight, JJ.  You have HD’s approval.

Holy fuching condescension.

I’m pretty sure JJ doesn’t care overmuch if I agree with him or not, I just thought it was important I make clear the actual difference in our positions so that in a post or two when he starts wildly misrepresenting them I have an easy point of referral I can quote back in to explain what’s actually happening.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 01:46 PM ET

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What expenses? Dump the shit teams that consistantly bleed money. Tis a start, no?

As a fan I’d love to see the NHL shed 2-6 teams.  As a realist, I know it would never happen in a million years.

I guess I’m just curious where people think NHL teams are wasting money, since by far their largest single category of costs, player salaries and benefits, is apparently sacrosanct.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/25/12 at 01:59 PM ET

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