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Evening Line- Allan Walsh

via Allan Walsh tweets,

The NHL is soft floating the idea with media if no deal with the NHLPA is reached on the Return to Play, it can unilaterally invoke Force Majeure and cancel the 2020-21 season.

There are so many flaws to this, I don’t know where to start.  Does the NHL really think it can demand an additional $300M in concessions from players after negotiating the financial terms of the 20-21 season DURING the pandemic 4 months ago?

The Players agreed to accept 72% of their contracts due to the pandemic. NHL owners cannot now assert they don’t like the deal, demand $300M more from the Players and if the Players don’t give in, cancel the season by invoking Force Majeure?

In reality, if the NHL cancels the 20-21 season because the Players won’t give another $300M in concessions, that is a LOCKOUT, which is expressly prohibited by CBA Art. 7.1 (b).

If the NHL lawyers are advising owners they have a winning case here, I suggest they go back to law school. Owners will be subjecting themselves to billions in potential damages if they falsely invoke Force Majeure to cancel the season.

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

Comments

Paul's avatar

Walsh tweet,

One more point.  What about the NHL owners who also own NBA teams where both teams play in the same buildings?  The NBA regular season is starting Dec. 22nd. However, the NBA owners who also own NHL teams will invoke Force Majeure due to the pandemic and cancel the NHL season?

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/01/20 at 09:06 PM ET

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There’s no such thing as a good faith agreement
with some of these owners. Which is, I’m sure, part of how
many accumulated the billions they have. And one can see how
far this ruthlessness and lack of conscience and responsibility go
when the Jacobs’ did everything possible to avoid paying loyal, hardworking,
already financially suffering, vulnerable employees during the pandemic.

Of course these owners would never even entertain the idea that maybe
the massive largesse of the Seattle expansion fee if paid earlier, itself coming not long after the largesse of the Vegas expansion fee, could help cover losses teams are facing. No, that’s their special, extra pot of play money - hands off. They need that over and above their normal revenues.

It’s pure greed.

Posted by lefty.30 on 12/01/20 at 10:06 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Sounds like a lot of manure to me. LOL

Posted by bigfrog on 12/01/20 at 11:12 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

William Shakespeare said it best. “... Let’s kill all the lawyers…”.  sick

Posted by Down River Dan on 12/02/20 at 12:29 AM ET

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It’s pure greed.

Yep.

We are looking at, at most a 48-game season, likely without any fans. That’s 60% of a normal season with 0% of the gate revenue.

And the players think it’s unreasonable to ask them to make less than 72% of their salary.

Gredd is right.

Posted by PresidentJoeByzerman on 12/02/20 at 09:06 AM ET

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Agreed Lefty, pure owner greed.

Those owners multiple strings of income including portfolios whoch Im sure they have the best and brightest running and now the market just had its best day since 87.

The players, who like most of us probably lives according to their paycheck, have been extended lines of credit, like mortgages based on their income.

And how are all the other leagues able to pull off seasons and not the NHL? How can it be financially viable for all of them without asking their players for half their salaries back?  Where is the precedent the NHL needs this just to survive?  Swedish hockey, finnish hockey, khl all seem to be doing it.

So, Ive got a hard time swallowing that the owners NEED this, but the biollionaires definitely wont be surrendering their bonuses, e.i. expansion fees.

Posted by ThatGuy on 12/02/20 at 10:33 AM ET

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The players, who like most of us probably lives according to their paycheck, have been extended lines of credit, like mortgages based on their income.

Did you honestly type that with a straight face?

And how are all the other leagues able to pull off seasons and not the NHL?

The NHL is an almost-entirely gate-driven league.

Every single other league makes much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, more lucrative TV and merchandising deals than the NHL has.

Everyone knows that. Literally everyone.

You can pretend you don’t, because you need to be ignorant to make your point, but you know as much as anyone else that this is true.

“So, Ive got a hard time swallowing that the owners NEED this, but the biollionaires definitely wont be surrendering their bonuses, e.i. expansion fees.”

Why is it that the league should give up something that has nothing to do with hockey salaries, but the players shouldn’t take a discount when they’re going to be playing, at most, 60% of a season?

“Those owners multiple strings of income including portfolios whoch Im sure they have the best and brightest running and now the market just had its best day since 87.”

So, apparently there’s something preventing players from starting businesses, making their own money, investing their money in stocks?

It’s not the owners’ fault that the players don’t have outside streams of revenue, but we are talking ahout H-O-C-K-E-Y here, not stock portfolios.

Posted by PresidentJoeByzerman on 12/02/20 at 10:50 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Viewing ownership as a Randolph and Mortimer Duke character, who are just scrooges for not going into their underground vault, pulling out a gold bar and scrapping some off to payout millionaire athletes indicates the lack of real world understanding of business and how many of these teams are actually owned and financed by individuals vs. groups.  Not to mention the contractual agreements and payments they have with state and municipal governments, under bonds, with banks, other unions etc.

First can we at least recognize that if anyone is coming out of pocket to pay money, it sure as hell should be to rank and file full time employees of the organizations and arenas, and not these million dollar athletes?  Much more concerned with the full time security at LCA, you know the folks who will earn in a lifetime what these players made in 2019.  I do feel for an AHL’er to an extent, but I’m not listening to Mark Staal, Larkin, Shea Webber (just to put names to the case) cry poor, they can get bent, as can the owners. 

Back to the practicality of the matter.  True some teams might be directly owned by 1 rich guy or gal,  but even then its through a complex web of trusts family trusts, and other protection vehicles. Others have ownership groups, one majority rich person maybe, but others minority. One person can’t just slush money around without impacting the others, that’s not how that works and again, other contractual agreements may not allow them to do so.

That also ignores whether the owners have the funds to do it. Wealth does not always mean liquid and the NHL might not be their only priority.  If you haven’t read a paper, many industries are struggling, and you wonder if one might need whatever liquidity they have right now to support other businesses to survive.  No matter what happens in 2021, the NHL will survive, that’s not true for a lot of businesses out there.  So again going back to those people who need their job today, should an owners save his/her other businesses and their workers, or Alexander Ovechkin? 

Not saying I don’t get the sediment from 10,000 feet above earth, just that it doesn’t always match the reality on the ground.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 12/02/20 at 11:36 AM ET

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Why do many fans show such bias toward toward the billionaire owners,
and yet call the players greedy?

I don’t have any particular crying concern for any athletes
making millions.

But when you factor in two truncated seasons in what’s become an ever shorter
average career, a career in which head injuries are treated as par for the course and
many guys will struggle with painkillers and alcoholism and depression and a shorter life, and others will have back and knee and shoulder injuries that make it tough to play with their kids, it’s not that much money. These aren’t the professional business owners who can deploy every trick imaginable to lower their taxes. They’re briefly upper middle class to wealthy guys whose careers could end any game who make enough to get hit hard with taxes.

It’s the many many guys making league minimum minus large numbers of lost games, minus escrow, minus taxes, who *relatively speaking* stand to get screwed.
And the guys below them on the fringe who might have a few years to make AHL salaries with a few cups of coffee in the NHL.

But what it really boils down to is the owners made an agreement.
They asked the players to give a lot and the players agreed.
And now the owners - the guys with massive fortunes and decades of high level business experience, are saying: well, we didn’t read the agreement; we just assumed we’d come out on top like we always do? This pandemic that’s been the global story and challenge for coming up on a year now, is suddenly now going to be an “act of God” that forces them to flip over the game board (sorry cancel the season) because yes the pandemic is still raging and maybe everyone was too optimistic and too focused on organizing a safe playoffs. Well no one forced the league and owners to sign a CBA extension too. If it was truly just that the shrinking season we see before us is untenable and as hard as it is for competitors to admit just not practical, that’s one thing. But this is basically the owners using that threat as leverage to demand a bunch more morning back from the much less well off players months after they came to a good faith and binding agreement. Are these guys just temperamentally incapable of making a deal without rubbing the water players faces in it? Without pursuing a lockout or back door, effective lockout first? I guess this summer seemed too good to be true because for a once the owners seemed to allow a negotiation without demanding the win on virtually every last thing.

The billionaires apparently didn’t do their due diligence and now they want their oversights to come out of the players pockets or they effectively reneg by canceling the season.

I’d feel a little sorrier for these owners if they were all doing their utmost to keep their low wage employees able to afford food and roofs over their heads. I’d feel sorrier if they had just gotten handed a massive expansion fee with another one coming soon.

No the players aren’t nurses or firefighters or grocery clerks.
But they’re more sympathetic than most owners. And they aren’t
the ones coming back trying to tear up the deal.

Posted by lefty.30 on 12/02/20 at 12:13 PM ET

Colossal Cap Hit's avatar

When the league made the agreement with the NHLPA, they must have been either completely clueless (not likely) or they planned to cancel the 2020-21 season unless the players later caved in to additional demands. No one makes that agreement based on the assumption of a miracle dropping out of the sky to cure all. They wanted to complete the 2019-20 season.

The owners knew four months ago the pandemic wasn’t just going to stop overnight. Nothing new of substance happened since that time, therefore this whole debacle was planned and the agreement was made in bad faith. It may well be the NHLPA knew it too.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. If they use the force majeure clause to cancel the season, it’s a wrap. We shall see what we shall see.

Posted by Colossal Cap Hit on 12/02/20 at 02:34 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Why do many fans show such bias toward toward the billionaire owners,
and yet call the players greedy?

Posted by lefty.30 on 12/02/20 at 11:13 AM ET

What circles do you walk in where there’s “many” fans showing “such” bias towards a billionaires in favor of millionaire players?

I’ve been reading a lot of hockey blogs of late, I’m not seeing it, unlike the original cap negotiations when we lost a season.  What I’m seeing about most generally support for players, and even those that see ownership’s point of view, I’m not seeing people saying the owners are right and the players are greedy.  There’s 7 or 8 people on this thread, only PresidentJoeByzerman is siding with ownership and has said the word greed, and that’s about what I’m seeing elsewhere.

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 12/02/20 at 02:43 PM ET

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To be honest, I don’t have a numerical count or proportion of fans to throw out there
- it’s more a) a surprised reply to the first reply to me
b) taking off on Larry Brooks generalization that in his experience
most hockey fans seem to side with owners and c) a cumulative sense following other leagues over however many years that fans tend to get more impatient with the players

If you’re seeing a different picture, that’s interesting.

I try not to live and die by this stuff…just enjoy hockey when the games are on.
But the players have definitely gotten pushed around pretty consistently in the last few negotiations and hardliners among owners have mostly gotten their way.

Posted by lefty.30 on 12/02/20 at 05:17 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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