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"The way I see it, if Shea Weber or Ryan Suter or Zach Parise signed those big deals in July and then arrived at training camp and said, 'We’re not playing until we get 20 percent more on our contract.' There would be an uproar.  The owners would say, 'No chance.’ Well, it’s the same thing. Contracts have been signed, both the owners and the players have signed these contracts. Now they’re trying to take whatever percentage off the top? It’s all about principle. It’s a handshake and an agreement. Why did all these owners rush to sign all these players before the lockout?" 

-Ryan Clowe of the San Jose Sharks speaking on CBA topics with Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.  Read more from Clowe.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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Oh look.  Another dude of questionable intelligence struggling with the basic notions that A) CBA > SPC and B) when a CBA expires it’s not written in stone that the next one has to mirror the last one, just like the next SPC doesn’t have to mirror the old one.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/10/12 at 06:17 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

It takes courage to look facts in the face and say “NO”

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/10/12 at 06:30 PM ET

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It takes courage to look facts in the face and say “NO”

You and Clowe are models of courage, then.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/10/12 at 07:16 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Ignorance must be as blissful as they say it is

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/10/12 at 07:39 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

What’s questionable about Clowe’s intelligence? He’s right: the owners would find it insulting if the players demanded a CBA which modified their pay up by 20% or more.

The relationship of the individual contract signed to the modifications done by the CBA doesn’t change here.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/10/12 at 11:40 PM ET

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I’ve said it before, that if the owners signed contracts under the old CBA knowing full well that they would be collectively asking for a 20% rollback of those salaries, the players have a serious case that the owners colluded which is against the CBA by which the contracts were signed.

I think Clowe fully gets it because he says it is about the “principle” of it all, he isn’t attempting to weasle word or lawyer his way around it. You may legally have the right to do something, just as a murderer can get off on a technicality, but it doesn’t make it honorable or principled.

If the players came into the current CBA negotiation and asked for 20% more on every contract, we would laugh at them as well. They would have every “right” to ask for it, but it would be deemed unreasonable even though “technically” they have every right to do so since CBA > PSC as we have been told about 100 million times.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/11/12 at 09:08 AM ET

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What’s questionable about Clowe’s intelligence? He’s right: the owners would find it insulting if the players demanded a CBA which modified their pay up by 20% or more.

Here’s what Clowe said: “The way I see it, if Shea Weber or Ryan Suter or Zach Parise signed those big deals in July and then arrived at training camp and said, ‘We’re not playing until we get 20 percent more on our contract.’ There would be an uproar.”

That statement is stupid for three primary reasons:  One, it ignores the reality that CBA > SPC.  I didn’t hear any players demanding to follow the terms of the old CBA when the new one moved free agency up 3-6 years for many of them when they had signed deals under the old one, did you?  No?  Ah.  Well then. 

Two, it’s a hypocritical comparison.  Don’t players demand to be traded after signing deals?  Don’t players hold out from performing under existing deals until a new one is offered?  Don’t players run out on QAs to go play overseas even though an NHL team still owns his rights?  Don’t players refuse to sign with teams that draft them?  Don’t players agitate and complain about coaches, or teammates, or systems, or playing time, or situations, and make all sorts of in-organization demands?  Seems pretty silly to complain about how people aren’t holding themselves to the letter of the law while they themselves spit in the face of it when it becomes sufficiently enticing to do so, which relates to…

Three, the CBA expired!.  There is no collective bargaining agreement between the two parties.  The NHL is no more refusing to play than are the players.  Both sides have made offers under which they would be willing to resume play and neither side has agreed with the others proposals.  Clowe’s stupid example appears to forget this basic fact.  Further, if he wanted to draw an exact comparison it would be drawn to players who, after their SPC expires, refuse to sign anywhere for a penny less than they made under their old one regardless of any other issues at play..

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/11/12 at 01:47 PM ET

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Ignorance must be as blissful as they say it is

That mask can hide a huge smile.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/11/12 at 01:47 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I didn’t hear any players demanding to follow the terms of the old CBA when the new one moved free agency up 3-6 years for many of them when they had signed deals under the old one, did you?  No?  Ah.  Well then.

How many of those already-signed SPCs had specific wording about when a player would become a free agent? None? Ah. Well then.

Two, it’s a hypocritical comparison.  Don’t players demand to be traded after signing deals?  Don’t players hold out from performing under existing deals until a new one is offered?  Don’t players run out on QAs to go play overseas even though an NHL team still owns his rights?  Don’t players refuse to sign with teams that draft them?  Don’t players agitate and complain about coaches, or teammates, or systems, or playing time, or situations, and make all sorts of in-organization demands?  Seems pretty silly to complain about how people aren’t holding themselves to the letter of the law while they themselves spit in the face of it when it becomes sufficiently enticing to do so

Don’t teams trade players after signing them to deals?

No, players do not hold out from performing under existing deals until a new one is offered. The last CBA expressly forbade that. The only player holdout that’s happened lately was for an RFA who didn’t have a contract.

A QA is not a contract, so a player refusing to sign one in order to sign in a foreign league isn’t any bigger a deal than a team not giving a player a QA and letting him go to sign elsewhere.

So what if players don’t sign with teams who draft them? It’s the only way the player actually has to make a choice. In a league whose entry rules are essentially that if you want to play in their system, you have to take the luck of the draw with whom you end up, a player who doesn’t sign a contract is simply choosing to take the risk that he’ll still be valuable enough to sign as a free agent some five years down the road.

Don’t organizations call out players who don’t meet their demands? Trade guys who management simply doesn’t like, and force others to go to the minors despite them being too good to be forced to play at that level?

Players aren’t spitting in the face of anything and that’s a hell of a stretch to make that claim.

Three, the CBA expired!.  There is no collective bargaining agreement between the two parties.

The CBA expired on September 15th. There was a CBA in place when every NHLer with a contract signed.

if he wanted to draw an exact comparison it would be drawn to players who, after their SPC expires, refuse to sign anywhere for a penny less than they made under their old one regardless of any other issues at play..

Draw an exact comparison to what? To the idea that the owners are asking the players to take a double-digit pay cut?  I would say that pointing out how ridiculous it would be for the players to demand a double-digit pay raise works much better as a direct comparison because it’s on-point.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/11/12 at 02:39 PM ET

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One, it ignores the reality that CBA > SPC…  Three, the CBA expired!.  There is no collective bargaining agreement between the two parties[/

So in this instance the NHLPA could indeed ask for 20% more across the board since the CBA IS expired and they have the RIGHT to ask that every contract increase 20% in value even though those contracts were signed about a month ago. It is perfectly in line with the CBA > SPC that you are fond of pointing out. If the players did ask for this, many of us would call them out on it and say they were not negotiating in good faith. The fact is, this is not the case, the owners asked for the rollback.

Don’t players hold out from performing under existing deals until a new one is offered?

No. The OLD EXPIRED CBA did not allow renegotiationg of contracts, but you knew that.

Don’t players refuse to sign with teams that draft them?

 

The player, although drafted, has not signed any contract. I could be drafted tomorrow, but would not have to quit my job and accept any offer. Does that make me a hypocrite for refusing to enter into a contract that I do not wish to fulfill?

Don’t players demand to be traded after signing deals?

And most people think that Dany Heatley is an ASS.  So where is the hypocrisy? Two wrongs, just make two wrongs. When did Clowe ever reneg on a deal or do any of the things you are accusing him of doing? Or are you calling him a hypocrite for some of the things other players have done? This is collective bargaining, not collective guilt. Does that mean you are in agreement with and responsible for everything someone that thinks the owners have every right to do what they are doing says? Hint: If yes, you have a lot of apologizing and rationalizing to do for a particular politically charged Pens fan.

I didn’t hear any players demanding to follow the terms of the old CBA when the new one moved free agency up 3-6 years for many of them.

Fail to see the relevance, because what you are implying is that if a player had signed a 6 year contract (assuming free agrency in severn years), was he magically allowed out of his contract at year 3 so that he could pursue the new CBA free agency policy? NO. He remained signed for the duration of the existing PSC.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/11/12 at 02:47 PM ET

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JJ, the fact that you and I came up with similar statements at the same time is at least proof we are not the same person, although we may be thinking alike.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/11/12 at 02:49 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/11/12 at 02:49 PM ET

Hahaha wink

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/11/12 at 02:59 PM ET

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How many of those already-signed SPCs had specific wording about when a player would become a free agent? None? Ah. Well then.

Because, again, the CBA > SPC.  The CBA determines the overall framework under which SPCs operate.  Why this is an issue so few people understand continually startles me.  If the CBA outlawed NTCs, guess what.  No more NTCs.  If a new CBA meant guys were UFA’s after 3 years or 6 years or 15 years of service… those are the new rules.  If a new CBA capped individual player comp at 10 or 15 or 20% of the cap, that would be the new limit.

The only player holdout that’s happened lately was for an RFA who didn’t have a contract.

 

He did have a contract.  He was extended as an RFA under the terms of the CBA and elected to hold out to force a different outcome.  He withheld his services to force a more beneficial outcome for himself to the detriment of his team in the short term.

The CBA expired on September 15th. There was a CBA in place when every NHLer with a contract signed.

And then it expired.  Which is my point.  Without an active CBA there are no expectations of uniformity that either side can assume safely.  The cap may go up, down, be abolished, have untold legions of terms added to it, all sorts of stuff.  SPC are not sacrosanct documents.  They are and will always be secondary to whatever the CBA dictates.

The owners are as subject to those terms changing as the players are.

So in this instance the NHLPA could indeed ask for 20% more across the board since the CBA IS expired and they have the RIGHT to ask that every contract increase 20% in value even though those contracts were signed about a month ago. It is perfectly in line with the CBA > SPC that you are fond of pointing out. If the players did ask for this, many of us would call them out on it and say they were not negotiating in good faith. The fact is, this is not the case, the owners asked for the rollback.

First off, no, the owners have not asked for any rollbacks in salary.  They have asked for a reduction in players share of HRR.  Different things.  If the next CBA signs at a 50-50 split and HRR is 3.762 B the players won’t have to give back a dime.  They’d get the same 1.881 B in revenue they got last year.  A rollback is a universal reduction in pay regardless of outcome.

Secondly, yes… the NHLPA can ask for whatever they want to ask for.  That’s how negotiations work.

Thirdly, 57% of revenue is far and away the highest percentage of revenue allotted to players in any major pro team sport.  It is just as easy to suggest that the NHLPA is not bargaining in good faith by trying to preserve such a lofty % of revenue as it is to claim the NHL is not negotiating in good faith by asking them to lower it.  Which mostly just makes those claims generally pointless.

When did Clowe ever reneg on a deal or do any of the things you are accusing him of doing? Or are you calling him a hypocrite for some of the things other players have done?

Because he is speaking on behalf of the players, obviously.  In speaking on behalf of the whole group his position needs to be analyzed as it would apply to his whole group.  Didn’t he bring up other players by name as examples?

He remained signed for the duration of the existing PSC.

But did they stay with their drafting club until the end of their RFA status under the old CBA out of some form of honor?  Of course not.  As soon as the situation changed they availed themselves of the changes which benefited them.  As, of course, they should.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/11/12 at 03:11 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Because, again, the CBA > SPC.

No matter how many times you champion this idea, it doesn’t make it correct in this framework.

He did have a contract.  He was extended as an RFA under the terms of the CBA and elected to hold out to force a different outcome.  He withheld his services to force a more beneficial outcome for himself to the detriment of his team in the short term.

Being extended a qualifying offer does not constitute having a contract. You have to actually sign the qualifying offer, which did not happen. Ergo, no contract.

Without an active CBA there are no expectations of uniformity that either side can assume safely.  The cap may go up, down, be abolished, have untold legions of terms added to it, all sorts of stuff.  SPC are not sacrosanct documents.  They are and will always be secondary to whatever the CBA dictates.

You’re still working off the incorrect assumption that legally there actually has to be a CBA for there to be NHL hockey.  This is not correct.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/11/12 at 03:22 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Just one more thing

He did have a contract.  He was extended as an RFA under the terms of the CBA and elected to hold out to force a different outcome.

...

First off, no, the owners have not asked for any rollbacks in salary.  They have asked for a reduction in players share of HRR.  Different things.

I’m just going to sit here and quietly laugh for a while about a world where a player can have a contract without having a contract while a league asking for the players to take a smaller portion of a smaller definition of revenues based on projections as realistic as they can possibly be does not count as a request to roll back salaries.

The CBA is apparently so powerful it can bend logic.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/11/12 at 03:29 PM ET

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First off, no, the owners have not asked for any rollbacks in salary

.

You are playing semantics, Dolan also called this a strike, doesn’t mean it isn’t a lockout. They asked for a reduction in HRR which would have forced a rollback of 20%.  So you can call it what you want, the affect is the same and you can believe spin or reality. If revenues increases by $1 Billion dollars the players will get even more and if it goes down by $1 Billion because the owners refuse to accept revenues for a year it will be much less! Making up numbers to get the result you want doesn’t make it a fact.

Because he is speaking on behalf of the players, obviously[/quote]

Why are you such a careful wordsmith and sloppy with logic? It is NOT obvious he is a spokesman for the players. I never once read that he was espousing an official NHLPA position. He is speaking on his own behalf.  I believe the Fehr brothers are the only ones that speak on the behalf of all players. I can use any number of names as an example, but that doesn’t mean I speak for them. Does Mitt Romney speak for Big Bird because he used him as an example?

57% of revenue is far and away the highest percentage of revenue allotted to players in any major pro team sport.

Not all sports calculate HRR the same way so this is a dubious NHL talking point at best. What is the HRR split for MLB? If you ask the NHLPA what the real split is, they would say 51/49 versus 57/43.  The NHL would like it to be reversed.

 

 

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/11/12 at 03:49 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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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