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NHL Players Don’t Like Bettman

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Good to see the alleged heroes in this Greek Tragedy are approaching this situation with the good of the game and the fans in mind.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/04/12 at 04:39 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Boy oh boy is the PR advantage the players enjoyed a month ago eroding quickly.

Bill Daly might be lying through crocodile tears as he laments that the owners have been “forced” to start screwing with the regular season schedule because his poor bosses are just looking out “for the good of the game”, but he’s at least lying his ass off while on-point about the negotiations.

Martyring Bettman is going to be a monumental task, but I’d just rather the players take on the challenge of getting a deal worked out rather than take on the challenge of making people feel badly for him in an all-out war against the PA.`

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/04/12 at 05:13 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Holy hell, I’d rather that the PA just let Fehr do all the talking.

Posted by SYF from hatrick's "...broken bone bone..." on 10/04/12 at 07:29 PM ET

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but I’d just rather the players take on the challenge of getting a deal worked out

The problem is that there is no reason for the league to even start negotiating unless the PA comes to them, hat in hand, ready to give everything up, and there won’t be any reason for the league to do that until there’s some sort of outside pressure and there won’t be any of that until NBC has to start signing checks to pay for games that aren’t going to be played.

The league decided long ago that they were going to lock the players out and there’s not incentive right now for them to do anything but keep a hard line.

Posted by Garth on 10/04/12 at 11:27 PM ET

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The problem is that there is no reason for the league to even start negotiating unless the PA comes to them, hat in hand, ready to give everything up,

That’s an exaggeration.  The NHL’s initial offer was 43%, IIRC.  The usual thing in negotiations is to start out so you end up where you want to end up.  The players are at 57%.  The owners offer was 43%.  What’s right in the middle of those two numbers?

50%.  Which is almost certainly where the NHL wants to get the NHLPA to go.

50-50 is an eminently fair and reasonable division of HRR.  If the NHLPA offered it I bet the CBA would fall into place pretty quickly.

The question is, does this mean that since the players won’t go to a 50-50 split that it’s still the owners fault there’s no hockey?

I agree that the league decided a long time ago that a “lockout” was the likely eventuality.  IMO that’s because they knew there was no chance the NHLPA would voluntarily go to 50-50.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/04/12 at 11:52 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Which definition of HRR again HD?  They want 50/50 of the actual pie, not 50/50 of what’s left after the owners get all their financial breaks. 

As it sits right now, because of that pesky “irrelevant” independent audit info, the players are actually getting 50/50 of the total pie already.

Players would be stupid to take the deal, they need to determine what’s considered HRR and go from there.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/05/12 at 12:12 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The problem is that there is no reason for the league to even start negotiating unless the PA comes to them, hat in hand, ready to give everything up, and there won’t be any reason for the league to do that until there’s some sort of outside pressure and there won’t be any of that until NBC has to start signing checks to pay for games that aren’t going to be played.

I don’t disagree with that, I’d just rather that in the meantime, the players not turn the negotiations into a personal vendetta against Bettman.  All that does is lend the slightest bit of credence to Daly’s bullshit.

Maybe instead they could spend their time talking about how the NFL and NBA deals don’t have direct costs deducted from their definition of revenue.  That still doesn’t really accomplish anything worthwhile, but it’s a lot better than what could turn into a pyrrhic rebellion.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/05/12 at 12:13 AM ET

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Which definition of HRR again HD?  They want 50/50 of the actual pie, not 50/50 of what’s left after the owners get all their financial breaks. 

Financial breaks which, hello, pretty much all benefit the players.  Are you actually trying to make the case that the owners should have to front all the cash to operate everything, house, train, doctor, coach and coddle the players on their own dime?

Look, show me players willing to sign SPCs that pay them more or less depending on how well they play, where players actually assume some risk, and you’ll start to have a cogent point.

As long as we’re living in a reality where players assume precisely 0% of the risk inherent in an NHL team, however, I’m afraid I don’t have too much sympathy left for people who want everything guaranteed for them.

Players want their money.  They want to play on a good team.  They want to play for this coach, or not for that coach.  They want to play with their friends.  They want to play in their hometown.  Every 2-6 years they have the opportunity to change any or all of their demands at will.

In order to have that amazing amount of flexibility combined with profit-certainty, the players ought to be willing to give up a little bit.

Like, for instance, an absurdly high % of league revenue.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/05/12 at 11:19 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Financial breaks which, hello, pretty much all benefit the players.

Like the direct costs associated with concessionaires and ticket sales.

Many of the things that people believe the owners “front” for the players are defined as benefits… which are included as paid for in full out of the players’ share, so the NHLPA actually IS paying their own dime for a lot of the “coddling” they receive.

The direct costs which are culled from revenue include overhead for pretty much everything but arena expenses and the GM’s salary.

It would be incredibly nice if both sides would tell us the truth about how much the current split leaves NHL players in a way that is comparable to the NFL and NBA deals, which don’t adjust their revenues for those same costs when figuring their players’ shares.  I agree that a 50/50 split of those revenues is fair.  I don’t think a 50/50 split of Hockey Related Revenues as defined by the last CBA falls in that ballpark. 

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/05/12 at 11:44 PM ET

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Like the direct costs associated with concessionaires and ticket sales.

Yes.  Isn’t the revenue from said operations added to the HRR pot?  If the revenue is added to the pot, and we’re defining revenue as ‘any money derived from’, then unless you back out the owners cost you are effectively saying the owners should bear all costs and the players should bear none.

Many of the things that people believe the owners “front” for the players are defined as benefits… which are included as paid for in full out of the players’ share, so the NHLPA actually IS paying their own dime for a lot of the “coddling” they receive.

My reading of the old CBA lent a rather different impression.  IIRC, HRR was defined as Revenue less… blah blah blah.  Staffing, ops, whatever.  Unless your idea is that there should be an equitable share of ops expenses, I’m not sure that you’re defining the ‘pie’ in a particularly accurate manner.

I don’t think it’s accurate to describe the backing out of costs incurred from revenue generation as the players ‘paying their own dimes’.

I mean, if we want to go down that road howabout the owners start charging the players for airfare, room, board and doctor’s fees.  That way lies madness.

It would be incredibly nice if both sides would tell us the truth about how much the current split leaves NHL players in a way that is comparable to the NFL and NBA deals, which don’t adjust their revenues for those same costs when figuring their players’ shares.

I think it’d be pretty easy to backdoor those numbers.  All we need is an aggregate salary paid to NFLers or NBAers and compare that to revenues.  It’s not precise because of escrow, but it’d be close.  Heck, all we really need is average player salary times number of players.

In 2010-11 it was:

NBA: 5.15 mil (450)
MLB: 3.31 (750)
NHL: 2.4 (690)
NFL: 1.9 (1696).

So, we’ve got roughly:

NBA : 2.318 B
MLB: 2.483 B
NHL: 1.656 B
NFL: 3.222 B

The NFL is around 8-9+ B a year in gross revenue.  The NBA was at 3.8 B in 2011 (old CBA).  MLB was at 7.5 B gross in 2011.

So if we do the quick math:

NBA players get (got, anyway) 61% of gross revenue.
MLB was 33.1%
NHL was 50.2%
NFL was 35.8% (I used 9 B)

As far as I am aware those are strictly gross revenue numbers, not CBA-adjusted numbers.

So the league that Fehr participated in before, where he was a hardline spine-snapper, he got 33.1% of gross.  And he’s holding the line at 50.2% of gross in the NHL.

Not for nothing… but for some quick and dirty (and certainly imprecise) number juggling it’s a bit of an eye-opener, no?

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/06/12 at 01:14 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I don’t think it’s accurate to describe the backing out of costs incurred from revenue generation as the players ‘paying their own dimes’.

In the piece to which you were responding, I was not talking about revenue. That part was about benefits. Benefits are taken from the players’ share entirely and not used for revenue definition.

Culling direct costs is not what I was describing as paying their own dimes.

So the league that Fehr participated in before, where he was a hardline spine-snapper, he got 33.1% of gross.  And he’s holding the line at 50.2% of gross in the NHL.

Great. We’re at the 50/50 split you’ve been clamoring for.

Do you have a source which puts a number on non-adjusted gross NHL revenues though? Every report I’ve seen either uses the adjusted net (for figuring the cap) or the Forbes “Net of stadium revenues used for debt payments.” definition.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/06/12 at 09:59 AM ET

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Great. We’re at the 50/50 split you’ve been clamoring for.

Gross v. net.  I want a 50/50 split of profits, not a 50/50 split of every 7 dollar beer when the owners have to pay 2-3 dollars to sell the beer in the first place.  Not a 50/50 split of a 3.3 B pot after the owners spend 1.6 B of that exact same pot just to get in the door.

Big, big difference between my actual opinion and the one you’re attempt to create.

Do you have a source which puts a number on non-adjusted gross NHL revenues though?

http://aol.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2012-09-27/nhl-lockout-news-2012-preseason-canceled-cba-negotiations

“The NHL’s gross revenues for last season were $3.3 billion, marking the fifth consecutive year with an increase.”

IMO you’re falling into the same trap Fehr tried to lay earlier when he said the players only got 50% of revenues anyway.  He was probably citing gross revenues.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/06/12 at 10:09 AM ET

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