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NHLPA With The First Shot

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

In many ways, the dispute over realignment can be seen as the first shot across the bow of labour negotiations that will become a fixture on the 2012 NHL calendar. The current collective agreement between players and owners is set to expire in September, and the belief is that both sides are unhappy with some of its aspects. The players are dissatisfied with how the escrow process works, and the owners likely will look to chop the players’ percentage of revenue from current levels (57 per cent) to what NBA players settled for in their new agreement (50 per cent).

Realignment just looks like the tip of the negotiating iceberg, and the NHLPA will head into these negotiations with Donald Fehr, the former Major League Baseball union chief, as its (relatively new) executive director.

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added 11:43pm, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Bottom line is that this move allows new executive director Fehr to flex his muscles early in the process on an issue that at the end of the day is relatively innocuous in terms of the players’ bottom line. They still get paid the same regardless of how many charter flights they take.

Fehr’s players have been getting to know him through meetings and conferences calls but now they get to see him in action, and even if they don’t care or even if they disagree with the decision to put the kibosh on realignment, they will see a leader not prepared to let anything slide by.

This move proves everything is on the table and nothing is free.

If there is one disturbing element of this, it’s that by drawing a line in the sand this early on and over an issue that in many ways was a big win for the league and its fans, could set an early tone of discord.

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

Comments

SYF's avatar

The players are dissatisfied with how the escrow process works, and the owners likely will look to chop the players’ percentage of revenue from current levels (57 per cent) to what NBA players settled for in their new agreement (50 per cent).

Fehr:  Okay, fine.  Just drop the hard salary cap and salary floor.
NHL:  Aw naw, you just di’int.

And the fight begins.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 01/07/12 at 02:18 AM ET

Avatar

“If there is one disturbing element of this, it’s that by drawing a line in the sand this early on and over an issue that in many ways was a big win for the league and its fans, could set an early tone of discord.”

Except that the realignment is calculated into the NHL’s bargaining strategy.  The first piece of a protracted PR war, realignment is the “warship in disputed water over whose bow the shot is being fired…(?).”, if you like.

Posted by Guerin'sBackcheck on 01/07/12 at 04:55 AM ET

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Bottom line is that this move allows new executive director Fehr to flex his muscles early in the process on an issue that at the end of the day is relatively innocuous in terms of the players’ bottom line. They still get paid the same regardless of how many charter flights they take.

Not sure I agree with that, since travel costs affect teams’ bottom line and therefore come out of HRR. Now it may be a wash in the end (more for some teams and less for others), but it may not be entirely innocuous.

Posted by RyanVM on 01/07/12 at 01:51 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

And it isn’t innocuous from the players’ perspective, either. Just because they are paid well and are used to travel doesn’t mean that changed travel won’t have an impact on them. And perhaps players don’t liked the unbalanced conferences. Frankly, it really doesn’t matter what, if anything, the players don’t like here. What matters is that realignment and schedule changes impact the players as much, if not more, than anyone related to the game, and so it was absurd of the league to think the PA wouldn’t want and deserve a spot at the table for these realignment discussions.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/09/12 at 12:39 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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