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CBA- Now The Clock Starts Ticking

from Katie Strang of ESPN New York,

Commissioner Gary Bettman made the NHL’s intent very clear, saying the league plans to lock the players out if a new collective bargaining agreement cannot be reached by September 15, when the current CBA is set to expire.

Bettman said this stance was re-iterated to the NHLPA during Thursday’s bargaining session.

“I re-confirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last 9 to 12 months. Namely, that the time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon. And we believe there’s ample time for the parties to get together and make a deal and that’s what we’re going to be working towards,” Bettman said outside of league offices in midtown Manhattan.

The two sides, which have been engaged in labor talks for six weeks, have five weeks to broker a new deal and a significant divide on a number of issues.

“Our efforts are going to be devoted to making a deal but as I said, the owners are not going to operate under the economics of this collective bargaining agreement,” Bettman said.

continued

added 4:31pm, from Jesse Spector of The Sporting News,

“We obviously have a wide gap to bridge on a whole host of issues, including the significance and importance of revenue sharing (between teams),” Bettman said after Thursday’s negotiating session for a new collective bargaining agreement.

Said Fehr: “Let me just put it this way: There’s a meaningful gulf there. I’ll just leave it at that for now.”

Fehr added one other piece of good news for the negotiations, that the NHLPA expects to present its economic platform on Tuesday in Toronto—exactly one month after the NHL’s initial CBA proposal. That good news also comes with bad news, namely that on Tuesday, the world will learn just how wide of a gap or meaningful of a gulf there is, depending whose terminology you want to use.

read on

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Comments

Evilpens's avatar

This was going to happen the second the NHLPA hired Fehr ! he is an arrogant *#$%@& who destroyed the competitive balance of baseball

Posted by Evilpens on 08/09/12 at 05:44 PM ET

BTCBen's avatar

Posted by Evilpens on 08/09/12 at 03:44 PM ET

You cannot seriously be blaming Fehr and the players can you? The owners got basically everything they wanted in 2005 and now they have the gall to ask for so much more? If there is another lockout its because the owners are incompetent economists…NOT because of Fehr or the players.

Posted by BTCBen on 08/09/12 at 06:01 PM ET

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If Bettman wants to ensure a deal is made on time, how about proposing something that isn’t outlandish in the first place? In the battle between who is more arrogant Fehr or Bettman, I can’t see how anyone can determine a clear winner.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 08/09/12 at 06:07 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

They did not hire Fehr to play pattycake, He ruined Baseball him & Marvin Miller

Posted by Evilpens on 08/09/12 at 06:18 PM ET

Primis's avatar

You cannot seriously be blaming Fehr and the players can you? The owners got basically everything they wanted in 2005 and now they have the gall to ask for so much more? If there is another lockout its because the owners are incompetent economists…NOT because of Fehr or the players.

Posted by BTCBen on 08/09/12 at 04:01 PM ET

That’s not entirely true.

Last time I checked, about a month has passed between the owners proposal and the PA’s response.  A month.  The PA is not doing anything to avoid a lockout either, in truth.  They’re knowingly letting it happen, hoping it backfires on the owners.

I get what you’re saying about the owners, but the PA has shown no urgency in this whatsoever either, and that’s not going unnoticed or forgotten.  Fehr is undoubtedly doing this deliberately to LET the owners take the brunt of the inevitable stoppage, but IMO we shouldn’t be at this point if the players made actual effort.

Posted by Primis on 08/09/12 at 06:19 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Video- Fehr speaks to the media after today’s session.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 08/09/12 at 06:28 PM ET

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Last time I checked, about a month has passed between the owners proposal and the PA’s response.  A month. 

How much time passed between the start of a new CBA being needed and the Owners first proposal considering the players were perfectly willing to play under the current one while negotiations continued?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 08/09/12 at 06:55 PM ET

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Bad baseball teams that take revenue sharing and don’t spend it on payroll ruined baseball.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 08/09/12 at 07:06 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Last time I checked, about a month has passed between the owners proposal and the PA’s response.  A month.

Don Fehr told the press in July that the players were more than happy to continue playing hockey under the terms of the old CBA while they ironed it out.

Let’s not forget, a lockout is most-definitely something the owners have to do, not something the players are forcing them to do.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/09/12 at 07:10 PM ET

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Can we just start a new top level professional hockey league that doesn’t involve Bettman, Snider, Jacobs, etc?  These guys are all clowns that need to have their power within the game either significantly reduced or eliminated completely.

Posted by RoneFace on 08/09/12 at 08:07 PM ET

Paul's avatar

I might be behind you on that RoneFace, as long as Ken Dryden is the commish.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 08/09/12 at 08:10 PM ET

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Let’s not forget, a lockout is most-definitely something the owners have to do, not something the players are forcing them to do.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/09/12 at 05:10 PM ET

That’s actually not true. If there’s new agreement in place by the beginning of the season (or even a 1 year extension under the same terms), as a practical matter, considering the history of the guy they’re dealing with, they HAVE to lock the players out to avoid Fehr leveraging a player strike just before the playoffs (under a work stoppage then, the players lose little and the owners lose a ton) into major owner concessions, which is exactly what this exact guy did in Baseball in 1994.


I’ve long though the owners had no basis with which to be asking for concessions in this next CBA…but I’m with Primis on how this has been handled by the Players’ association. I think the membership just got screwed by Fehr trying to use an 18 year old playbook everyone else has also read (procrastinate…strike at the worst possible moment for the other party). What they needed to do was turn the Wang’s and whomoever owns the predators against the Jacobses and Leipold’s. 37 days isn’t long enough to do that, imo, with Bettman whispering that there’s another way to do this in the ear of the small market owners for almost a whole calendar year.

I think Fehr botched this and the players, none of whom went into the offseason expecting a strike, will end up paying the price.

Posted by larry from pitt on 08/09/12 at 08:23 PM ET

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Last time I checked, about a month has passed between the owners proposal and the PA’s response.  A month.  The PA is not doing anything to avoid a lockout either, in truth.  They’re knowingly letting it happen, hoping it backfires on the owners.

The fact that the words “revenue sharing” came out of bettmans mouth seem to signal that some progress has been made in that time.  Revenue Sharing between teams was completely off the table one month ago. I think Fehr and the PA deserve some credit there.

Not presenting a counter proposal is not the same as doing nothing.  They have repeatedly asked the NHL and teams for more information, and demanded that the owners justify their own proposal and explain how it solves any of the problems with the current bargaining agreement.  Why rush to give the other side something to be against, if you can close the gap by pointing out the flaws in their plan first.

Posted by jwad on 08/09/12 at 08:32 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

The PA made a counter proposal, which is the same as the current CBA.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 08/09/12 at 08:44 PM ET

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The players are foolish to allow a lockout.  No matter the agreement the oers will be looking for ways around it before the ink is dry.  The CBA isn’t about the players and owners, it’s te owners trying to control each other.  The owners are basically idiots and are running the risk of killing all the momentum they have gained in the last few years.  Times are bad, people won’t miss the game as much thuis time. 

The fans will come back but they will lose the growth rate they have been experiencing.  I stll say the players will win no matter what agreement they sign.  Look what the Flyers just offered weber.  That dope Snider is a big hawk among the owners.  It’s laughable what a bunch of backstabbers the owners are.

Posted by 13 user names on 08/09/12 at 08:44 PM ET

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Don’t fall for the Owners BS.  The player’s have short careers for the most part. They deserve whatever they can get.  The owners are very good at the old shell game both with the fans and the players and mostly with the taxpayers.

I’m a capitalist.  And it cuts both ways.  These frauds become socialists when they lose money LOL.

Posted by 13 user names on 08/09/12 at 08:49 PM ET

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They did not hire Fehr to play pattycake, He ruined Baseball him & Marvin Miller

Posted by Evilpens on 08/09/12 at 04:18 PM ET

If it wasn’t for Fehr’s luxury tax system in MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates wouldnt exist today.

Once again Bettman and owners refuse to look in the mirror and take any responsibility.

Posted by FlyersFan on 08/09/12 at 08:51 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The PA made a counter proposal, which is the same as the current CBA.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 08/09/12 at 06:44 PM ET

Yep.  There’s your offer.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/09/12 at 08:56 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

What they needed to do was turn the Wang’s and whomoever owns the predators against the Jacobses and Leipold’s. 37 days isn’t long enough to do that, imo, with Bettman whispering that there’s another way to do this in the ear of the small market owners for almost a whole calendar year.

Who says they’re not? Trying to sow discord among the owners publicly can backfire big time.

Instead, you let it keep floating out there that the Devils’ owner is trying to come up with $20M to keep his team out of default while Comcast is waging a financial arms race against the Preds and just let them fight it out amongst themselves.

The best way to keep the owners united is to become the obvious bad guy who’s trying to break them up.

In the meantime, the players’ card right now is “so you need us to take a $450M paycut to survive, you say?  Ok then, prove it.”

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/09/12 at 09:04 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) BULLSHIT!  That is Nothing more than hush money, You see what MLB did when the Red SUCKS cried about the Pirates drafting Josh Bell in the 2nd rd.?? they cut the Pirates & teams like them that are willing to spend money to sign players. See what Happened under the new rules?? they couldn’t sign Mark Appel to a Contract he * Scott Boras wanted because of the constraints on draftees

Posted by Evilpens on 08/09/12 at 09:29 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...the time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season, you know, the one we crafted and rammed down the throats of the players in 2004, so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon.

There. Fixed.

It never ceases to amaze me how one group, whether it’s owners or unions, can demand a specific set of operating conditions, get those conditions and then come back and act like they’re being robbed blind by those conditions.

The reason Bettman is threatening another strike is because he knows he’s going to get his salary no matter what happens. If it was set up so that he wouldn’t get paid if there was a lock-out, he’d stab the owners in the back in a heartbeat.

If there’s a bigger management scumbag in all of sports than Gary.Ass, I don’t know who it is.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/09/12 at 10:00 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

as long as Ken Dryden is the commish.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 08/09/12 at 06:10 PM ET

Right there with you Paul.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!! In ‘13

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 08/09/12 at 10:16 PM ET

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Dryden?  That pedantic pompous ass?  He’d bore everyone to death trying to show how sophisticated he is.  LOL

Posted by 13 user names on 08/09/12 at 11:34 PM ET

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Instead, you let it keep floating out there that the Devils’ owner is trying to come up with $20M to keep his team out of default while Comcast is waging a financial arms race against the Preds and just let them fight it out amongst themselves.

I’m inclined to think this was part of the plan. I’m also inclined to think 37 days is not long enough for that seed to grow.


The PA made a counter proposal, which is the same as the current CBA.

The old “play another year under the same labor agreement” Fehr’s been floating the last few weeks? Not an option from the owners’ perspective. Unlike revenue sharing, unlike cap numbers, that’s something that will be uniform among all 30 owners, if for no other reason than the last time Don Fehr found himself in a similar situation he canceled the MLB playoffs out of nowhere.

Posted by larry from pitt on 08/10/12 at 02:15 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

The old “play another year under the same labor agreement” Fehr’s been floating the last few weeks? Not an option from the owners’ perspective.

So, what you’re saying is, the operating system that the owners forced the NHLPA to accept in 2004 isn’t acceptable today. Well, boo hoo, for them. They got what they wanted back then. Now, they simply want more.

And five or six or seven or eight years from now they’ll again demand more. And on and on it wil go until the players end up with 45%, then 40%, then 35%, then 30% of the revenues.

And every time they go through one of these “bend ‘em over and make ‘em take it” deals, Bettman will get a big fat raise from the owners (although I’m guessing Mr. I won’t be one of those who celebrates the “victory”). That’s why I hope Fehr draws the proverbial line in the sand and says, “Not one inch farther.”

If the owners are hell-bent determined to destroy this league, then here’s their opportunity to do it.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/10/12 at 02:29 AM ET

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Posted by OlderThanChelios on 08/10/12 at 12:29 AM ET

I so +1 this.  You guys railing against Fehr are looking at this all wrong and allowing your anti-union bias to get the better of you.  The owners got everything they wanted the last time around.  Everything.  And they’re still saying it doesn’t work.  Well, why should the players, the fans, or anyone else now trust them to have any of the answers for their own problems?  They acted more out of spite than foresight last time around and this negotiation is starting to look like just another case of history repeating.

The problem is the structure of the NHL not the union or the relationship between the players and the owners.  The Board of Governors, made up of the richest teams, ie the guys who would stand to lose the most from any form of revenue sharing, are the guys calling all the shots.  If the smaller market guys had an equal say in this mess the fight would be between the owners and not between the owners and the players.  If all the owners had an equal say the small market guys would get exactly what they want and need because there are so many more of them.

There’s no amount of money the plays can give back that will make the weakest teams in the league profitable year to year, and any money they do give back is simply more profit for the BoG guys.

Unlike revenue sharing, unlike cap numbers, that’s something that will be uniform among all 30 owners, if for no other reason than the last time Don Fehr found himself in a similar situation he canceled the MLB playoffs out of nowhere.

You’re misremembering your history.  The 94 strike was in no way a surprise or something that came out of nowhere.  Everyone knew the players were going to strike in August because they made no secret of it, and really, that’s the only way striking gets you any negotiating leverage.  If the owners had wanted to save the playoffs that year all they had to do was concede to Fehr and the players which, as it turns out, is basically what they did anyway.

Posted by RoneFace on 08/10/12 at 02:47 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The old “play another year under the same labor agreement” Fehr’s been floating the last few weeks? Not an option from the owners’ perspective.

Just like the ridiculous opening position from the owners isn’t an option from the players’ perspective. Now that we’ve got the ridiculous stuff out of the way maybe both sides can talk about an idea that’s actually sane.  The thing is that, just like OlderThanChelios argues, the idea that the players should have to give anything back in this negotiation is predicated on the fact that every word that came out of the league about what the last lockout accomplished was a lie.

I’m inclined to think this was part of the plan. I’m also inclined to think 37 days is not long enough for that seed to grow.

Those debts from Vanderbeek have been due for a while. The Devils are already in day 90 or so and his debtors have so far had to be convinced not to put the club in default. They’re not going to wait much longer and nobody is going to be in much of a mood to help him out if the devils vote to kill off their revenue stream for the year. The only thing saving New Jersey right now is that their creditors don’t want to deal with the pain in the ass that’s involved with the legal challenges of getting their money. That could change very quickly.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/10/12 at 10:04 AM ET

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Well, why should the players, the fans, or anyone else now trust them to have any of the answers for their own problems?

This has nothing to do with trust, or what was said during the last lockout. This has to do with the current economics. Half the league loses money every year. The NBA and NFL got 50-50 deals.  The length of contracts are too long and distorted. The cap has risen too fast and the floor is unsustainable. The big market teams don’t want to share revenue.  The players get paid millions to play a game. It really doesn’t matter if a player gets $5 million or $500,000, they are over paid for what they do. So they become the pressure point.

And in the end the owners will lock them out to get what they want.

Posted by timbits on 08/10/12 at 01:00 PM ET

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The length of contracts are too long and distorted

Teams hand out contracts.

The cap has risen too fast and the floor is unsustainable.

Won’t argue about the floor. But the cap rose proportionally to league revenues.

The players get paid millions to play a game. It really doesn’t matter if a player gets $5 million or $500,000, they are over paid for what they do.

And owners make a lot to watch players risk their health while making money for them. The cash will enter no matter what, and I’d much rather it goes to players than to owners.

Posted by Herm from the office on 08/10/12 at 01:13 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Half the league loses money every year.

As a fan, I’d as you to to do the same thing I’m asking the league to do.

Prove it.

Go ahead and show me the Forbes numbers.  I’ll show you the part on the Forbes list which specifically mentions that those numbers are based on what Forbes has been able to dig out of public records (with a hefty ol’ reminder that all of these clubs are privately run and therefore not required to share the entire truth of what’s being made public.  Like….oh…. say for instance that the Capitals write arena lease costs as an expense because they’re leasing the use of the Verizon from a company that just so happens to be owned by Ted Leonsis… the guy who just so happens to own the Capitals)

You want to tell me that in 2011, the people responsible for running the PIttsburgh Penguins ended up $200,000 poorer at the end of the season than when they started?  Fine, prove it.

The cap has risen too fast

Could you tell me exactly how fast the cap has risen in proportion to how much revenues have risen?

This is red herring bullshit that the league would love people to buy.  It’s like a kid running home and telling his mommy that some bully beat him up and stole his lunch money and could he please have some more.  Then, when his mother asks him the bully’s name, he tells her it’s none of her business.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/10/12 at 01:16 PM ET

calquake's avatar

It really doesn’t matter if a player gets $5 million or $500,000, they are over paid for what they do.

So I’m assuming you feel all major league sports players are overpaid.  Well, so are actors, so are doctors, so are lawyers etc, etc. etc.  And let’s not even talk about them commie teachers, firefighters and policemen.  Hey… it’s free enterprise, you get paid what the market will bear.

Posted by calquake on 08/10/12 at 01:51 PM ET

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So, what you’re saying is, the operating system that the owners forced the NHLPA to accept in 2004 isn’t acceptable today.

That’s actually not what I’m saying at all. It’s clearly pretty darn close to acceptable considering growth. And yeah, unlike last time, the only argument the owners have for wanting to redefine revenue and keep more of it is greed. There’s no health of the sport angle to play because the sport’s healthy now.

What I’m saying is: it’s not an option, from the owners’ perspective, to enter into any sort of 1 year arrangement with Don Fehr (or even play without a CBA) during long-term negotiations because they can’t take the chance he’ll strike just before the Stanley Cup playoffs.


Those debts from Vanderbeek have been due for a while.

To turn the owners against themselves requires consensus building among a particular faction. That takes time. The seed of your idea needs to germinate. The idea has yet to be outlined.

It’s interesting that you bring up Vanderbeek. He might have been part of such a consensus had Fehr started building it earlier. As of now, if Vanderbeek doesn’t find tens of millions of dollars in 2 weeks, the league steering committee gets to make Vanderbeek’s vote for him. Yet another reason Fehr has waited too long.

Posted by larry from pitt on 08/10/12 at 02:49 PM ET

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So I’m assuming you feel all major league sports players are overpaid.  Well, so are actors,....

Pretty much. As for the other professions, they don’t have the same dynamic so to compare is apples and oranges. And for the record I think doctors and teachers and other professionals should be paid as much or more than athletes and actors.

The only things I really care about is that all of the teams are solvent and stable and that the teams are competitive and fairly balanced. I could care less if players make more or less money or how much the big team owners make. Sure revenue sharing would help and I would support that, but controlling player salaries is the only method on the table at this point.

Posted by timbits on 08/10/12 at 04:33 PM ET

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Sure revenue sharing would help and I would support that, but controlling player salaries is the only method on the table at this point

Salaries are controlled, they’re proportional to league revenues. Of course, Detroit and Columbus don’t make the same amount of money, that’s something a slight tweak in the CBA could fix.

Instead of 57% of league revenues (or 53%, or 50%, but holy moses 46%??), a percentage of the team revenue.

If an owner spends more money than he has, then he’s the one who needs control.

Posted by Herm from the office on 08/10/12 at 04:58 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It’s interesting that you bring up Vanderbeek. He might have been part of such a consensus had Fehr started building it earlier. As of now, if Vanderbeek doesn’t find tens of millions of dollars in 2 weeks, the league steering committee gets to make Vanderbeek’s vote for him. Yet another reason Fehr has waited too long.

Posted by larry from pitt on 08/10/12 at 12:49 PM ET

All of this happens directly under the watchful eye of the public as the NHL wrestles power away from an owner who is having his business yanked away by unfeeling creditors.

Vanderbeek will bring heat to the league before he goes down and every other owner who feels the tug of the creditors who are getting worried about a league whose members have been borrowing against their increasing franchise values will start to sweat.

This is not a long process.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/10/12 at 05:18 PM ET

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Instead of 57% of league revenues (or 53%, or 50%, but holy moses 46%??),

So to get from 57% to 53 or 50 the NHL has to open at 46%. That is called bargaining!

Posted by timbits on 08/10/12 at 06:27 PM ET

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So to get from 57% to 53 or 50 the NHL has to open at 46%. That is called bargaining!

Applying the same (and correct, I don’t disagree) logic, to get to 53% or 50%, players have to open at 57%.

I’m not arguing against the owners, I’m arguing for the players.

Posted by Herm from the office on 08/10/12 at 07:10 PM ET

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All of this happens directly under the watchful eye of the public as the NHL wrestles power away from an owner who is having his business yanked away by unfeeling creditors.

Vanderbeek will bring heat to the league before he goes down and every other owner who feels the tug of the creditors who are getting worried about a league whose members have been borrowing against their increasing franchise values will start to sweat.

This is not a long process.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/10/12 at 03:18 PM ET

Vanderbeek will say what? Vanderbeek has problems with creditors because he lacks personal capital, not because the Devils are the victims of the Maple Leafs’ asymmetrical growth (which is the point Fehr needs to be making to teams such as the Dallas Stars who, conceivably, are). In other words, Vanderbeek’s problem is he’s not rich enough to own a sports team. He leased to own a car he couldn’t afford the monthly payments on. The Devils as a franchise don’t have a revenue problem apart from Vanderbeek’s personal debt, if that counts against their income.

Revenue sharing is the Wedge Issue Fehr needed to play. Vanderbeek would be the posterboy for this…why? Theoretically, his franchise might be paying into it, not benefiting. And who will make a martyr of him even if he can stretch reality to make it seem as if he’s a victim of lack of revenue sharing? His friends at the New York Post? That he’s been wrongfully accusing of libel for years? They tend to hold grudges about that sort of thing, well, forever.

And suppose you’re the owner of the Avalanche. Two proposals balance your ledger sheet. Who’s proposal are you going to side with? Whose boat will you tie your raft to? The guy who thrashes about on his way of being escorted out the room forever? Or the guy who balanced your ledger last time..added 50m to your franchise value?

All I’m saying is I think, by waiting in the hopes that it would force the owners into playing another season under the current arrangement (and shifting the leverage into the player’s hands) Fehr has misplayed the players’ hands. And forced them into a situation in which they will be giving the majority of the concessions. Which is ridiculous because they’ve done nothing to contribute to the problems that 6 or so teams still have under the current CBA.

Posted by larry from pitt on 08/10/12 at 07:28 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The Devils as a franchise don’t have a revenue problem

They certainly do in a lockout.

Listen, Vanderbeek is the highest-profile of the owners right now with teams who may not be able to survive a lockout intact because he’s getting the most coverage. He may not be the poster-boy for the need for revenue-sharing, but he’s certainly a poster boy for the need for revenue.

When that need for revenue starts to boil the owners in their own stew, I don’t think it will take long for the owners to start peeling off.

All I’m saying is I think, by waiting in the hopes that it would force the owners into playing another season under the current arrangement (and shifting the leverage into the player’s hands) Fehr has misplayed the players’ hands.

If you and I are smart enough to realize that the owners would never allow them to actually start the season without a new CBA in place, what makes you think Fehr isn’t smart enough to have thought of that? 

Why does a lockout force the players to take a majority of the concessions?  Is there anything about Donald Fehr that makes you believe that this whole time what he’s been doing has been waiting and hoping? 

If I’m the Avalanche and it’s the middle of July, it’s really easy to join the flotilla that says they want to add $15M to my pockets every season. What a proud little navy. Once the storm starts and the sea starts thrashing me around and I get told by the big oil rigs that the best way to stay afloat is to stay near them (but that I’m not allowed to tie my boat directly to them), then that’s when the real fun starts and the smaller ships start looking for ways to protect themselves.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/10/12 at 07:54 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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