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Another CBA Solution

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

We already know the players are wiling to roll the dice on future revenue growth and accept a haircut in the overall percentage they get every year, and it's an open secret that the owners would be willing to sign on for a 50-50 split.

So the way they get there from here in the short term is blindingly obvious: cancel a few games (say eight or 10 or 12), play a shortened season a la NBA with pro-rated salaries and a sweetener in the form of, say, a one-time escrow holiday. Owners pay a little less out of their pocket this year, players get something very close to what they signed on for - 100 per cent of 85 or 90 per cent of what you're owed is better than missing paycheques into the indeterminate future.

Presto, first year problem solved, and you haven't imperilled any commercial relationships (yes, I'm referring to NBC, and I'm presuming here that there's a point this fall at which sponsors like MillerCoors are going to start wanting their money back and/or start putting their dough elsewhere, although the ins and outs of from deal to deal are apparently quite different).

Hell, you could even tweak the playoff system to have an eighth-place play-in game to goose revenues and general fan interest (don't laugh, it worked for baseball).

For subsequent seasons you negotiate an escalator for the owners' share of total profits where they can claim most or even all of the total revenue growth in the medium term (not sure how that would work, quite certain the players wouldn't want it to be through escrow) until the split hits 50-50 in two or three or four seasons' time.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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This is another Candyland Unicorn Butt suggestion.

The absence of hockey is the big weapon both sides think they have.  The owners know they can break the players eventually and get the 50-50 split they want.  The players think if they just hold out long enough the NHL will decide to do… something.  I have no idea what they think their endgame is, really.

There is literally not one thing to suggest the NHLPA is even remotely close to accepting a 50-50 split.  I’m not even sure I’ve seen them propose anything less than 55-45.

The two sides are pretty much as far apart as they can be, and the only significant issue is HRR.  And the longer this goes, the more and more firm owners are going to be on a 50-50 split for the players.  If it goes long enough they’ll have to bust the NHLPA down to 47 or 48% to make their lost revenue back.

That’s why I really struggle with understanding the long-term thought process of the NHLPA right now.  There’s literally no way they are ever going to make their money back.  That’s a dead solid given.  The next CBA is going to have them getting less of the pie than their last one did.

Fehr’s a smart guy.  He knows this.  IMO he’s holding out hope that the NHL will cave and sign a 48-52 split in the players direction and he can maybe sneak a couple codicils in there to make it go down smoothly.  I just don’t think the NHL will go for that.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/11/12 at 05:13 PM ET

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Hell, you could even tweak the playoff system to have an eighth-place play-in game to goose revenues and general fan interest (

Remember when Charles Wang proposed something like this and he was just some crazy dude?

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/11/12 at 05:17 PM ET

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There’s literally no way they are ever going to make their money back.  That’s a dead solid given.

If I recall the last CBA negotiation the same thing was said. The players initially offered a better deal than the one the owners accepted. They would not be at 57% if the owners didn’t outsmart themselves the last time.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/11/12 at 05:19 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I’ve come to a stark realization that there is NO common ground.
There are dozens of quotes from players stating how much they loathe Gary Bettman.
You don’t hire Fehr in order to make nice. They hired him to break the owners and get Bettman dethroned.
On the flip-side, Bettman sees Fehr as the top contender in the world and will do whatever he can to destroy him and the union. Hanging the head of the man that stood up to and beat-down the MLB owners is quite a trophy.

So I don’t think fans should be waiting anytime soon for this to be resolved amicably.
I think there’s a very good chance that when the smoke finally clears, one side will be crushed; there will be no middle road traveled.

That’s why I wouldn’t be shocked if this season is scrapped and if the players refuse to lay down, we could see a 2nd season lost or possibly scab players.

Posted by Hank1974 on 10/11/12 at 07:45 PM ET

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If I recall the last CBA negotiation the same thing was said. The players initially offered a better deal than the one the owners accepted. They would not be at 57% if the owners didn’t outsmart themselves the last time.

Oh, you’ll get little argument from me on that issue.  I started ripping the CBA within a month of it being released for reading.  The mack truck-sized loopholes teams drove ther 39 year long contracts through, the idiotic step up of percentage as revenue increased, the stupidity of setting the floor and ceiling with a hard number rather than a %... all really, REALLY stupid, ill-concieved ideas.

That said, I think the owners are going to stay away from all that stuff this time.  They’re going after percentage points and HRR definitions, plain and simple.

So I don’t think fans should be waiting anytime soon for this to be resolved amicably

My gut tells me it’s going to be over 18 months before we see all the NHLers back.

This year is gone, toast.  My guess is that the NHL will devise a plan this ‘season’ to prepare to open the 2013-14 season with replacement players.  They’ll get all the organizational AHL stuff lined up so it can start up next year with limited problems.

At that point the NHLPA will have to accept a 47-53 pro-Owners HRR split just to get back in.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/11/12 at 08:08 PM ET

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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.

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