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Suter Talks About His Recent Comments

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

Two days ago at the "Champs for Charity" game in Chicago, Ryan Suter talked with Craig Custance from ESPN the Magazine and took some swipes at the owners, including Wild owner Craig Leipold....

In the story, Suter questioned whether Leipold negotiated the 13-year, $98 million contracts given to he and Zach Parise in good faith (in other words, knowing that the NHL would be asking for a rollback in the next collective bargaining agreement....

Tonight, prior to the Defending the Blue Line charity game here at Mariucci, I interviewed Suter. He said after thinking about the things he said, he wanted to make clear he doesn't think Leipold negotiated the contracts in bad faith and that he's just frustrated because he wants to be playing.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+suter

Comments

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It’s amazing how a tune might change after, say, a call from an agent who has a clue.

As an aside, can we stop it with the ‘Gee, that came out wrong’ garbage?  It came off exactly the way Suter wanted it to come off, except a day or so later he realizes it made him sound like an ass.

So out comes the ‘er, um, doh’.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/28/12 at 08:18 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/28/12 at 09:18 PM ET

Complete agreement.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/28/12 at 08:26 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

For the most part I agree as well.  I think he meant what he said.  I don’t think it made him sound like an ass since I think that’s exactly what Leipold did.  But I hate the back-peddling shit everyone does anymore.  Say what you mean, mean what you say.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/29/12 at 12:20 AM ET

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I don’t think it made him sound like an ass since I think that’s exactly what Leipold did.

I think Leipold sounded like an ass to complain about spending 90 days before he spent 200 mil on two dudes.

I think Suter sounded like an ass whining about maybe not getting quite every last dime of his 98 mil, as though there was ever any chance he was going to.  (This is how escrow works and why player share requires an escrow, to prevent the first 24 teams who spend all the leagues share from locking the last 6 out of being able to spend a dime.)

If Verlander started whining about Kate Upton not wanting to play Call of Duty with him, I think he would sound like an ass.

Dudes in spectacular financial/social situations really, really, REALLY better have a fantastic reason for complaining.  As in, Leipold would need to have had his life threatened in order to make those signings, Suter would have had to donate 30 mil to charity, and Upton would have had to make Stone look like Mother Theresa.

And even then it’s 50-50 on the Basic Instinct thing.  Upton is smoking.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/29/12 at 05:32 AM ET

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Dudes in spectacular financial/social situations really, really, REALLY better have a fantastic reason for complaining.

Yeah, *#$%@& them for only having principles.

Posted by Garth on 10/29/12 at 08:31 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Suter should not have backpedaled. He simply wants his contract honored, and when the owner who offered that contract is one of the voices continuing the lockout, it is perfectly reasonable to wonder if the contract was in good faith. Labor struggles are just that. They aren’t supposed to be neat and tidy. They’re struggles.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/29/12 at 09:36 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Complete agreement.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/28/12 at 09:26 PM ET

Dudes in spectacular financial/social situations really, really, REALLY better have a fantastic reason for complaining.  As in, Leipold would need to have had his life threatened in order to make those signings, Suter would have had to donate 30 mil to charity, and Upton would have had to make Stone look like Mother Theresa.

Well it was fun while it lasted.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/29/12 at 09:40 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

the thing about HD’s argument is it seems to boil down to “The players are rich - who cares if they have to take a haircut (but that somehow the wealthy owners can’t budge because ???).”

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/29/12 at 09:59 AM ET

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Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/29/12 at 10:59 AM ET

Pretty much seems to be the argument of everyone who is pro-league.

I think it stems from the “you’re doing what I wish I could do so you should shut up and accept whatever the owners want to give you” attitude.

Posted by Garth on 10/29/12 at 11:10 AM ET

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Yeah, *#$%@& them for only having principles.

Heh.  Yes, I’m sure this is all about ‘principles’, Garth.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/29/12 at 12:26 PM ET

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the thing about HD’s argument is it seems to boil down to “The players are rich - who cares if they have to take a haircut (but that somehow the wealthy owners can’t budge because ???).”

That’s an oddly ironic statement.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/29/12 at 12:27 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

i·ro·ny1    [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-] 
noun, plural i·ro·nies.
the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.

If both sides were trying to go back on their word, you’d have be for being inconsistent, but not ironic. There’s nothing inconsistent or ironic about my point; only one side of the negotiations table is trying to negate contracts where the ink is still wet.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/29/12 at 12:58 PM ET

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Heh.  Yes, I’m sure this is all about ‘principles’, Garth.

You don’t know any of these players any more than I do, so why do you get to decide who’s being genuine and who isn’t?

And hell, why ISN’T it allowed to be about money for the people who are making their living doing this but it’s allowed to be about money for the billionaires who are in the hockey world as a hobby?

A millionaire can’t complain about it because he’s making enough money, but a billionaire can because he’s not making enough money?

Posted by Garth on 10/29/12 at 02:16 PM ET

BettmenSucks79's avatar

wonder if the Suters transmission went out as he threw the comment truck in reverse so quickly. He meant it exactly the way it sounded, and he is one hundred percent correct in his initial assessment of the situation.

Posted by BettmenSucks79 on 10/29/12 at 04:17 PM ET

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There’s nothing inconsistent or ironic about my point;

You’re missing the irony.  It’s a function of what I’ve said, what you are pretending I said, and then the manner in which you are attempting to apply your caricature.

You manage to not only be precisely wrong on my position regarding the players, but also regarding the owners, and you then double it up by flubbing the attempt at comparison.

It was a tour de force.

You don’t know any of these players any more than I do, so why do you get to decide who’s being genuine and who isn’t?

So let me see if I have the timeline straight.  You claim the players are standing up for principles, I chuckle at the idea, and you reply that there’s no way I could know if this is about principles or not.

Is that about right?

If it is, I’ll just let that sink in for a bit.

A millionaire can’t complain about it because he’s making enough money, but a billionaire can because he’s not making enough money?

This begs the obvious question: how much do you actually think owners are making from their teams, anyway?

Look, I don’t think anyone really believes an NHL team is a legit moneymaker, or that it is ever going to be a legit moneymaker.  There are maybe 5-8 teams that can make a little cash, a couple of them a whole bunch, but probably 20+ of the teams in the NHL have a profit ceiling in the low seven figures.  The really low seven figures.  As in, what a top 6 forward for the team in question might make.

This isn’t about a bunch of owners ‘not making enough money’.  This is about a bunch of teams losing 7+ mil a year, give or take.  If you taxed the top 5 profiteering teams in the NHL at 50% of their profit you couldn’t bring all the losers in the NHL up to just a break even point.

That’s a little bit of a problem.

So, until I hear some fresh ideas about how the NHL could save 200-300 mil a year somewhere besides player costs… I don’t exactly see what the other choices are in this particular Choose Your Own Adventure Novel.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/29/12 at 05:18 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

So, until I hear some fresh ideas about how the NHL could save 200-300 mil a year somewhere besides player costs… I don’t exactly see what the other choices are in this particular Choose Your Own Adventure Novel.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/29/12 at 06:18 PM ET

This must be the time-travelling choose-your-own-adventure novel that had an infinite loop.  The one where the annoying and socially inept kid expects everyone to accept his conclusions then gets really angry and starts yelling at them when they don’t accept his word as fact.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 10/29/12 at 05:28 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

They could always accept those losses, suffer the consequences of those losses, since they put their signature on those contracts as well.  Which means at some point in time they thought it was worth it.  Then next time they’re thinking about spending 200m on 2 people they might sit back and think of the impact that could have if they aren’t financially stable.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/29/12 at 05:29 PM ET

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You claim the players are standing up for principles, I chuckle at the idea, and you reply that there’s no way I could know if this is about principles or not.

Is that about right?

Actually no, it isn’t.  I’m arguing based on what has been said by many of the players.  You’re arguing based on “if I had any hockey talent I’d take whatever I could get, so these jerkfaces shouldn’t complain just because the league doesn’t want to honour the deals they made.”

That’s about right.

Look, I don’t think anyone really believes an NHL team is a legit moneymaker, or that it is ever going to be a legit moneymaker.

You’re absolutely right, which is why people don’t own NHL franchises because they need to make money off of them.

What is being argued here is who should get more money, the people who are among top 0.0000001% of the best hockey players in the entire world, or people who have billions of dollars and buy a hockey team that they know is not a legit moneymaker as a status symbol, just so that they can say they own an NHL franchise.

The guys who want to earn money doing what they’re good at or the guys who like sports and can spend hundreds of millions of dollars they earned doing what they’re good at?

Posted by Garth on 10/29/12 at 05:32 PM ET

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Posted by WingsFaninCO on 10/29/12 at 06:28 PM ET

Hah!

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/29/12 at 06:29 PM ET

Why take personal responsibility when you can just take some of the money back next time?

Posted by Garth on 10/29/12 at 05:54 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

personal responsibility

I dont understand.. what’s personal responsbility?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/29/12 at 09:07 PM ET

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This must be the time-travelling choose-your-own-adventure novel that had an infinite loop.  The one where the annoying and socially inept kid expects everyone to accept his conclusions then gets really angry and starts yelling at them when they don’t accept his word as fact.

Here’s the small problem.  You’re not addressing the issue.  Yes, I’m sure you feel incredibly witty by making a bunch of (sorry) pretty stupid attempts at insult, but come on. 

You can’t possibly imagine I take stuff like that seriously, right?  If you can’t make a substantive point, enh.

They could always accept those losses, suffer the consequences of those losses, since they put their signature on those contracts as well.

Excellent.  So your idea is to have an NHL populated with guys who own the teams knowing they are going to lose money.  That’s your idea.

Actually no, it isn’t.

Oh?

“Yeah, *#$%@& them for only having principles.”
“Heh.  Yes, I’m sure this is all about ‘principles’, Garth.”
“You don’t know any of these players any more than I do, so why do you get to decide who’s being genuine and who isn’t?”

Comment 1: You say it’s about principles.
Comment 2: I chuckle at the suggestion.
Comment 3: You say that neither of us can know who is being genuine.

Seems pretty cut and dried there, G-man.

I’m arguing based on what has been said by many of the players.  You’re arguing based on “if I had any hockey talent I’d take whatever I could get, so these jerkfaces shouldn’t complain just because the league doesn’t want to honour the deals they made.”

Ah.

1) So since someone says something we should take them at their word?  Interesting.  Do you extend this to everyone who says something or have you, and I’m just guessing at this here, maybe cordoned off a portion of the populace which you won’t just take at face value when they make a claim?

2) You don’t understand what I am saying.  I am saying that if a guy just signed a 98 million dollar deal I have a hard time taking his complaints very seriously, because in even the worst case scenario he’s still going to walk away with 85+ mil.  Tough to feel bad for a guy who will make 80+ times more than the average person makes in their whole life in just 13 years.

Further, I have a question, under the old CBA exactly how much of his 98 million dollars was he going to get?  This appears to be a fairly consistent flaw you have in your thinking here.  Suter was never going to get the full 98 mil on that deal.  If at any point league expenditures exceeded 57% of HRR, he was going to lose escrow dollars.

This isn’t about ‘honoring the old contracts total dollar values’.  That remains a fallacious and factually incoherent argument.  The total dollar value of all of those deals was always subject to escrow based on league spending, and thence to real-dollar reductions.

That we’re talking about a codified HRR cut as opposed to the previous escrow reductions make the stance ‘every dollar of the old deals!’ logically disconnected.

You’re absolutely right, which is why people don’t own NHL franchises because they need to make money off of them.

But that is the point, and the problem.  If you have a league where a certain significant number of teams are going to lose a significant amount of money every year… you’re not going to get very good or very committed owners for those teams.  Very few people who have money will want to buy a team just for the privilege of owning an NHL club and watching seven figures fly out the door every year.

This is why Phoenix remains owner-less while there are five or six other franchises with moderately disengaged owners that result in those franchises being afterthoughts, and run as such.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/30/12 at 07:17 AM ET

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So since someone says something we should take them at their word?

No, but when you make shit up, that’s not more reliable than anything that’s been said.

Do you understand that?  I may or may not believe Jonathan Toews or Ryan Suter, but I sure as shit give more credence to what they say than your assertions that they’re lying based on nothing but the fact that you think that if you can convince people that they’re lying, people will agree with you.

You believe the NHL’s BS, I tend to believe the PA’s BS.  Or at least you side with the NHL’s BS and I side with the PA’s BS.  You can pretend that the NHL’s BS isn’t BS or that somehow you’re smarter than I am because you buy into the billionaire BS rather than the millionaire BS, but it doesn’t make you right.

You don’t understand what I am saying.  I am saying that if a guy just signed a 98 million dollar deal I have a hard time taking his complaints very seriously, because in even the worst case scenario he’s still going to walk away with 85+ mil.  Tough to feel bad for a guy who will make 80+ times more than the average person makes in their whole life in just 13 years.

I completely understand that.  You can only feel bad for someone in he isn’t rich.

Because for you, money is all that matters.

Do you see?  This is where the principles come in.

For people who have principles, money isn’t everything.  Whether they’re getting $98,000,000 or $65.45, when your employer tries to *#$%@& you, if you have any principles, you want to stand up for yourself.

If you became rich you would lose any principles you have.  Good for you.  Not everyone is that way.  Some peope hold onto their principles whether they’re rich or poor.  Sorry you can’t understand that.

You may lack principles, or may not respect other people’s principles, but that doesn’t change the players’ principles.

Excellent.  So your idea is to have an NHL populated with guys who own the teams knowing they are going to lose money.  That’s your idea.

No, it’s not “my idea”, it’s reality.

The NHL resoundinly won the last CBA negotiation.  They destroyed the PA and got everything they want.  They got a hard cap, they got everything.  Since then they’ve grown each year, with record revenues coming in this past year.

Yet they’re not making money, apparently.

So yeah.  Sorry.  But that’s the reality of the situation.

This isn’t about ‘honoring the old contracts total dollar values’.  That remains a fallacious and factually incoherent argument.  The total dollar value of all of those deals was always subject to escrow based on league spending, and thence to real-dollar reductions.

You’re absolutely right.  The total dollar value was subject to escrow.  That was something that everyone who signs a new deal knows and agrees upon, based on the 57% HRR.

The league doesn’t want to do that now, do you understand?  They want to change the conditions of the contracts.  Do you understand?  Now here’s the biggie: the PA doesn’t want to change the conditions of the contract.  Do you understand?  Because they want the conditions of the contract to be the same as the conditions were when the contracts were signed.  Do you understand?

Posted by Garth on 10/30/12 at 09:44 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Excellent.  So your idea is to have an NHL populated with guys who own the teams knowing they are going to lose money.  That’s your idea.

Because they couldn’t possibly spend within their means instead, didn’t SJ owner say you don’t own a franchise to make money recently as well?  Aren’t only a handful making money anyway and the hard number cap vs. percentage cap means they’re forced to spend up above their heads in some case, FL, NY.

So yeah, I think it’s a pretty sane idea to not spend more money than you have.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/30/12 at 10:51 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

This isn’t about ‘honoring the old contracts total dollar values’.  That remains a fallacious and factually incoherent argument.  The total dollar value of all of those deals was always subject to escrow based on league spending, and thence to real-dollar reductions.

you mean escrow that probably would’ve gone back in their pockets because of league growth like the previous couple years?

Given all the facts and statements I’d have to say that’s exactly what it’s about.  Fehr offering a 50/50 split with NHL HRR definitions but honoring full value of contracts already signed through their contract term.  League said no.  After already signing these contracts once, with a chance to backout, they are.  And the players aren’t going to give up that money if they come back to work for them, hence the standstill.

I don’t see an incoherent or fallacious arguments there.  All reality.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/30/12 at 10:56 AM ET

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I may or may not believe Jonathan Toews or Ryan Suter, but I sure as shit give more credence to what they say than your assertions that they’re lying based on nothing but the fact that you think that if you can convince people that they’re lying, people will agree with you.

Where did I say I thought they were lying, anyway?

At some point, Garth, you’ll find life is a whole lot easier if you deal more with what people actually say and less with these wildly stupid misrepresentations guys like you and JJ tend to prefer.

You’re the guy who is saying this is all about principles.  “Yeah, *#$%@& them for only having principles.”

I’m just chuckling at the naivete of that position, is all.  Oh, I’m sure ‘principal’ plays a part in this.  Two, actually.  1) ‘Principal’ as in an asset and 2) OH MY GAWD I HATE BETTMAN RAWR!

You believe the NHL’s BS, I tend to believe the PA’s BS.

I don’t tend to believe either sides BS.  That where we are different.  I’ve only cited third party analysis of this issue, as far as I am aware.

I think the NHL royally screwed up the last CBA for the reasons I’ve mentioned before, and I think the players are beyond idiotic for pushing another lockout in the face of a fairly reasonable 50-50 offer, given what goes on in other leagues.

The reason you trick yourself into thinking I’m pro-NHL is that I’m not as vitriolically anti-NHL like you and most of the other rhetorical vandals are around here.

You can only feel bad for someone in he isn’t rich.

Eyeroll.

In the face of you talking about how owners should just bend over and take losses every year because they are rich, I find it fairly amusing you’d trot out that particularly clueless bit of misrepresentation.

Whether they’re getting $98,000,000 or $65.45, when your employer tries to *#$%@& you, if you have any principles, you want to stand up for yourself.

What you apparently don’t understand is that by sticking to their absurd desire to ‘protect every dollar of current deals’, all the NHLPA is doing is A) screwing themselves out of those dollars in the immediate term and B) screwing future FAs out of a proportional piece of HRR down the road.

There’s a time to ‘stand up for yourself’, and there’s a time to actually have more than two firing synapses in your whole head.

You may lack principles, or may not respect other people’s principles, but that doesn’t change the players’ principles.

And again, just to be clear, you’re also the guy who said “You don’t know any of these players any more than I do, so why do you get to decide who’s being genuine and who isn’t?”

The NHL resoundinly won the last CBA negotiation.  They destroyed the PA and got everything they want.  They got a hard cap, they got everything.  Since then they’ve grown each year, with record revenues coming in this past year.

Yet they’re not making money, apparently.

1) I’ve been unbelievably clear that the NHL did an awful job writing the last CBA.
2) Revenues =/ profits.
3) If teams in the NHL aren’t making any money, eventually people aren’t going to want to own those teams.

The league doesn’t want to do that now, do you understand?  They want to change the conditions of the contracts.

You continue to fail to understand that the SPCs themselves provide the mechanism for changing the contracts.  Every player in the NHL who signed an SPC agreed that at any future point where the CBA is changed, their SPCs could be changed.

For you to be asserting that the players are now, after signing a document which agrees to allow their SPCs to be changed by future CBAs suddenly unwilling to allow future CBAs to change SPCs, and then to try and tie that reluctance to principla is hilarious.

The players, each and every one of them, agreed future CBAs could change their SPC.  Every single one of them.

Now, they don’t.

Because this isn’t about ‘principals’.  This is about money.  If it was about ‘principal’, like for instance following through on a document you actually signed, then the players shouldn’t have any problem with a duly-negotiated CBA changing the terms of their SPCs.

That, more than anything else I think, is our major point of difference.  You seem to believe that the players have some moral high ground.  That they are the injured, aggrieved party being cruelly assaulted by the vampiric, feudal owners.

I, on the other hand, realize that this is nothing more than every other major negotiation that’s ever happened.  It’s about cash, and who gets what.  The players want as much as they can keep, and the owners want as much as they can get.  No angels, no demons, just a whole bunch of dudes way better off than any of us will ever be trying to figure out how much faster they’ll get richer.

Because they couldn’t possibly spend within their means instead, didn’t SJ owner say you don’t own a franchise to make money recently as well?

There’s a difference between not making money and losing 7 figures every year.  As I have already said I don;t think it’s fair to try and set up a financial system where 25 or so teams in the NHL are making moey, with 15+ of them making money hand over fist.  If I got the impression that was the reality, I’d be a pro-player as you guys are.

My opinion here is that most teams in the NHL actually lose money, and 10-15 of them lose a lot of money.  That kind of financial model can;t go on forever without some real damage being done to the basic structure of the league.  Constant ownership drama, strife and instability isn’t any better for the NHL than labor stoppages every 6 or 7 years is.

So yeah, I think it’s a pretty sane idea to not spend more money than you have.

What the teams spend on SPCs is irrelevant to what the NHLPA makes every year.  The NHLPA gets their share of HRR, no more and no less.  If teams in the NHL spend 5 million or 5 billion on player salaries it makes absolutely no difference to what the players get.

you mean escrow that probably would’ve gone back in their pockets because of league growth like the previous couple years?

I have no information on that, HO.  Do you?  I know at least a portion of escrow is being returned to players from last year, but I don’t know how much or what that rate of return is like compared to previous years.

Fehr offering a 50/50 split with NHL HRR definitions but honoring full value of contracts already signed through their contract term.  League said no.

Because that’s not what Fehr offered.  If we are talking about the same offer, Fehr said 50-50 with any overages in order to cover current contracts being granted cap exceptions. 

After already signing these contracts once, with a chance to backout, they are.  And the players aren’t going to give up that money if they come back to work for them, hence the standstill.

Yes.  And the players are so smart, in order to protest having to give back 10-12% of their deals over 6 years (and not really that long considering revenue growth) they are going to give up 100% of their deals for one year… and then they’ll still end up giving some back in years 2-5.

I understand the players position.  My point is that it is a spectacularly stupid, self-destructive and self-defeating one.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/30/12 at 08:59 PM ET

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