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Dan Boyle understands that player salaries are indeed disproportionate to the rest of society

At least he said it: the Mercury News's David Pollak asked San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle about the "millionaires vs. billionaires" aspect of the lockout, and he received a refreshingly honest response:

“The biggest thing I tell [fans] . . . but people compare their own salaries, their own 9-to-5 jobs. And it was the same last time,” Boyle said, referring to the lost season of 2004-05. “Greedy, rich millionaire hockey players – ‘I’d play for one tenth of that or it’d take me 30 years to make that much.’

“I just tell people you can’t compare apples and oranges. I don’t compare my salary to Tom Cruise when he makes $20 million per movie. It’s just kind of the way it works,” he continued.

“Is it fair for a doctor or surgeon who saves lives every day to be making less than a hockey player or a basketball player or a movie star?,” Boyle asked. “It’s not fair. But that’s the way it is.”

Then he added: “Most people have been supportive.”

Continued, and no, it's not fair, but yes, it is the way it is, and I cannot begrudge the players their desire to defend their collective and individual right to defend their disproportionate wage-earning rights.

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Matt Fry's avatar

I’m sorry but yes we can.  I’d say they should be happy making millions every year especially in a job they really love.  A union for millionaires is a joke in my opinion.  A union for everyday blue collar workers, that actually makes sense.

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 09/21/12 at 06:16 PM ET

gowings's avatar

Matt Fry:

Yep, you summed it up for me and I agree 100%

Posted by gowings from MTL on 09/21/12 at 06:27 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I don’t begrudge the owners their right to make money and I don’t begrudge the players their right to make money. I don’t resent either for wanting their piece of the pie.

I begrudge the owners of a sports league who continually raise ticket prices that are determined by supply-and-demand when they repeatedly lock out the “talent” they charge fans to see because of greed and hubris.

And unions are not “good” or “bad”—they’re generally necessary for labor forces to negotiate collective bargaining rights with their employers, regardless of their earning power.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/21/12 at 06:48 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

A union for everyday blue collar workers, that actually makes sense.

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 09/21/12 at 06:16 PM ET

Compared to the other three major sports, hockey payers are making “blue collar” money. Look at it any way you want, but, a Union serves the players as a collective, instead of every man and attorney for themselves.

The owners have their partnership, their representation, and, someone needs to represent the worker bees in negotiations.

Whether it is about millions or less, fair is Fehr.

Lets Go Red wings!!!!! In’13?

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 09/22/12 at 07:42 AM ET

Baroque's avatar

“Blue-collar” workers are pretty much extinct though. Replaced by either robots or someone with a more traditionally “white-collar” background - and the white-collar jobs are getting hammered in terms of pay and benefits, too. Just look at the number of universities who don’t hire full time instructors but only adjuncts, so someone who has an advanced degree - even in a higher demand field such as engineering - isn’t making enough to live on comfortably.

For any wage, there is someone who makes less who thinks you make “too much” and should be happier and content with less, because THEY can get by so why can’t you? Why do executives make tons of money when they are interchangeable, and if they all die in a plane crash a company replaces them with another group of white men in dark suits and it is like nothing happened? If they are disposable why do they make millions for big companies, and the people who actually make something the company sells make so comparatively little? It’s a quick way to get fans on the sides of the owners because they can pull the “the players get paid for a game, and they should be freaking grateful they have any job at all and take whatever we give them and shut up” card, which works every time.

Besides, a hockey player who makes the league minimum for three or four years then is out of the league and has to get another job, possibly working around hockey-related injuries that limit his opportunities somewhat, is also in the union. Not every hockey player makes millions a year and has a 15 year career.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 09/22/12 at 09:13 AM ET


Major League Sports Gross Income and Average Salary 2011.

Based on this information the NHL has a disproportionately high average salary. The NBA numbers screw because they have half of the number of players signed per team. The NFL has twice as many signed but has the largest income by far.

National Football League (NFL)
$9 Billion
$1.9 Million

Major League Baseball (MLB)
$7 Billion
$3.31 Million

National Basketball League (NBA)
$3.8 Billion
$5.15 Million

National Hockey League (NHL)
$2.9 Billion
$2.4 Million

Posted by timbits on 09/22/12 at 01:57 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m sorry but yes we can.  I’d say they should be happy making millions every year especially in a job they really love.  A union for millionaires is a joke in my opinion.

Boy golly sure. If only that whiny bunch of jerks would just take what the magnanimous owners would offer them and we could all go to hockey games for free and everything would be great!

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/22/12 at 02:10 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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