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Incentives To Make A Deal

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

First, the players: The main demand on the NHLPA's side is that every contract currently signed is honoured on a dollar-per-dollar basis, with no funny stuff. But if the players resist the owners' entreaties past a certain point (ie. the league's preferred date of Nov. 2) and Gary Bettman irrevocably cancels a third of the season's games, that roughly means they'll have lost exactly what they stood to lose from the league's last offer when hockey eventually resumes and they're paid pro-rated salaries....

Which brings us to the owners: In 2004, there was no broadcast partner and few big-ticket corporate partners, the same isn't true now. Those folks aren't necessarily going to be happy if a big pile of games get scrubbed from the schedule (although uncertainty is arguably worse). The other thing is a lot of owners will find ever-growing swaths of fans want their season-ticket money reimbursed - most teams processed their renewals this summer, weeks before the lockout - and a lot of that money will have to be paid back with interest.

To say nothing of the fact that while some teams are perfectly happy to not have to pay players right now, others are starting to feel a revenue pinch that's only going to get more uncomfortable....

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Here’s the incentive to make a deal:

Some portion of $3.3+ B.

Here are the disincentives to make a deal:

The owners share of that 3.3 B allegedly barely covers costs overall, and also allegedly doesn’t cover costs for ~20 clubs.

The players hate Bettman and think since they went from 74% to 57% of HRR as previously defined they aren’t the problem, the owners should figure out some other way to make more money.

Both sides are idiots.

The owners are idiots because they should have written a better CBA last time instead of the absolute shamockery they did.  It had so many holes in it GMs were driving 15 year contracts through them in 24 months.  Had they gotten the NHLPA to much closer to 50-50 then it wouldn’t be such a awful, horrible very-bad experience for those oh so oppressed players now.

The players are idiots because they will never ever make back the money they will lose from a work stoppage.  They didn’t make it back last time and they won’t make it back this time either.  They’d be better off signing a 50-50 split under old terms and playing 6 years than they’d be if they held out for a year and got their old 57-43 re-instated.

But it’s personal for them now, and most of them aren’t exactly financial wizards, and most of them won’t ever really miss the money in a tangible way anyhow.  Are their lives going to be appreciably different because a guy makes 8 mil in his career instead of 12 mil?  Probably not.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/22/12 at 06:45 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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