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The Fehr Letter

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The first official NHLPA reaction to the NHL offer is in -- NHLPA executive director Don Fehr sent a letter to all players and agents last night -- and not unexpectedly the league's proposal wasn't met with great enthusiasm.
 
In the letter, which breaks down a summary of the NHL offer, Fehr writes the following:
 
- "Simply put, the owners' new proposal, while not quite as Draconian as their previous proposals, still represents enormous reductions in player salaries and individual contracting rights. As you will see, at the 5 per cent industry growth rate the owners predict, the salary reduction over six years exceeds $1.6 billion. What do the owners offer in return?"
 
- "The proposal does represent movement from their last negotiating position, but still represents very large, immediate and continuing concessions by players to owners, in salary and benefits (the Players' Share) and in individual player contracting rules."
 
On some of the specific aspects of the NHL proposal:

continued

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

Comments

Evilpens's avatar

Hahahahahahahaha the littles ones who hate for Bettman Blinds them from what Fehr is all about starting to have a on the road to Damascus moment

Posted by Evilpens on 10/17/12 at 10:27 AM ET

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Posted by Evilpens on 10/17/12 at 10:27 AM ET

English, please.

Posted by Garth on 10/17/12 at 10:37 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

I don’t get it. I read through the proposal. Sure 50-50 is a rollback but if you read the proposal, that actually starts next year. They kind of kept the current CBA with putting a cap of 5 years on contracts, 50/50 HRR split (which is what NFL/NBA have, I believe), quicker arbitration/RFA with 2 year full or 3 year partial contracts and UFA eligibility for those that come directly into the NHL at 18 with the 8 years to UFA.

Seeing the statement from the NHLPA, it’s almost like Fehr is saying we aren’t going to give up 57% and I’d like the cap eliminated too. It isn’t going to happen, that shipped sailed when the NHLPA agreed to it and the other leagues went to 50/50.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 10/17/12 at 10:41 AM ET

JBytes's avatar

English, please.

No NHL hockey for you yet.

Posted by JBytes on 10/17/12 at 10:48 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Seeing the statement from the NHLPA, it’s almost like Fehr is saying we aren’t going to give up 57% and I’d like the cap eliminated too.

When did he say he wants the cap eliminated?

Also, the percentages all come back to what 100% represent. Steve Montador said the proposal calls for a reduction of what’s defined as HRR, so there’s that.

Basically, the players had 57% of a small portion, which was actually 50% of the whole pie. Now the owners offer 50% of an even smaller portion.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 10/17/12 at 10:53 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 10/17/12 at 10:53 AM ET

He says further down in the article the goal of their negotiating team is to not reduce player salaries and make better usage of revenue sharing. That’s where I gained the information for the conclusion I drew.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 10/17/12 at 10:59 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

50/50 HRR split (which is what NFL/NBA have, I believe)

The NFL and NBA don’t deduct costs from their revenue streams like the NHL does. That makes a sizable difference.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/17/12 at 11:00 AM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

It’s funny how the NHL and their supportest always jump on the money part of the CBA.
Why does nobody talk about the contracting rights? you know stuff that is as important as money to the players. just imagine you are nr 1 pick and get picked by edmonton or toronto, you’d have to stay there until 28. no way this deal is gonna happen.

 

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 10/17/12 at 11:33 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Hahahahahahahaha the littles ones who hate for Bettman Blinds them from what Fehr is all about starting to have a on the road to Damascus moment

Posted by Evilpens on 10/17/12 at 10:27 AM ET


“WHAT IN GOD’S HOLY NAME ARE YOU BLATHERING ABOUT?!”

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 10/17/12 at 11:33 AM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

If you sort the comments section on the TSN article by “Most Liked,” EVERY comment with a positive rating says the players are too greedy if they refuse to accept this deal.  The NHL has already won the PR war.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 10/17/12 at 11:35 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

If you sort the comments section on the TSN article by “Most Liked,” EVERY comment with a positive rating says the players are too greedy if they refuse to accept this deal.  The NHL has already won the PR war.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !! the Little one still think it is Gary ASS’s Fault or is that Buttman’s Fault

see the Bammster voters are here too

Posted by Evilpens on 10/17/12 at 11:55 AM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

I can’t imagine the Players being super happy about this offer, as while it’s better then previous ones, it doesn’t fully address the issues most important to players.  Fehr and the PA will have to work off this proposal though as any outright rejection will lead to Bettman canceling the season.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 10/17/12 at 12:47 PM ET

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Basically, the players had 57% of a small portion, which was actually 50% of the whole pie. Now the owners offer 50% of an even smaller portion.

Well, them’s the breaks.  If they want a bigger portion of the pie, how about they offer up something.  Like, say, guaranteed contracts.  I bet if Fehr offered to de-guarantee all contracts the NHL would go up to 52 or 53% in a heartbeat.

Fehr would be assassinated before he could get in the building to sign such a deal, but still.

The PR battle is over.  The NHL just won it.  The 50-50 offer gives the NHL all the cover they need with fans, advertisers, everyone.  The NHLPA has maybe 2 or 3 days to either take the deal or come back with something really close to the deal, as in it has to headline with ‘50-50’ in the split section. 

Maybe they change some definitions or something, but now that the NHL has presented it anything that doesn’t say ‘50-50’ in the lede is going to be scoffed at by a majority.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/17/12 at 01:33 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

That’s very true. If the NHLPA is concerned with the fans who don’t understand the difference between gross and net revenues, all they really have to do is offer a counter-proposal asking for a 50/50 split of the gross.

Then both sides can watch as the fanbase eats itself alive arguing over the fact that both sides have asked for a 50/50 split of revenues yet remain $400M apart in their demands.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/17/12 at 01:49 PM ET

Keyser S.'s avatar

That’s very true. If the NHLPA is concerned with the fans who don’t understand the difference between gross and net revenues, all they really have to do is offer a counter-proposal asking for a 50/50 split of the gross.

Then both sides can watch as the fanbase eats itself alive arguing over the fact that both sides have asked for a 50/50 split of revenues yet remain $400M apart in their demands.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/17/12 at 01:49 PM ET

LOL.

Nightly news - “This just in! Both sides offer 50/50 split, but still far apart, here’s Tom with the weather”!

Posted by Keyser S. on 10/17/12 at 02:15 PM ET

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Please wake me when this is over.

Posted by 13 user names on 10/17/12 at 02:18 PM ET

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That’s very true. If the NHLPA is concerned with the fans who don’t understand the difference between gross and net revenues, all they really have to do is offer a counter-proposal asking for a 50/50 split of the gross.

Sure, but that’s an easy ball to bat back.  All the NHL needs to say is ‘Why should we have to bear all the costs of running the business, and then have to give away half of the revenues to players to boot?’

That’s how the old deal was, essentially.  The NHL bore all the costs of running the league and only got 50% of gross revenue.  57% of HRR, but that broke down to ~50% of gross.

A 50-50 split after expenses is an easy proposal to sell and a very tough one to turn or rebut.  It’s a heavy serve.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/17/12 at 02:49 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Sure, but that’s an easy ball to bat back.  All the NHL needs to say is ‘Why should we have to bear all the costs of running the business, and then have to give away half of the revenues to players to boot?’

A 50-50 split after expenses is an easy proposal to sell and a very tough one to turn or rebut

Not really:

Why should the players bear all the risks of physical harm, not to mention the stress (mental and physical) associated with the very long season, for less than 50% of the pie?  There are 700+ players and only 30 owner (ship groups).

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 10/17/12 at 03:08 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Sure, but that’s an easy ball to bat back.  All the NHL needs to say is ‘Why should we have to bear all the costs of running the business, and then have to give away half of the revenues to players to boot?’

And the NHLPA’s response:

If the NHL is looking for a deal that is inherently comparable to those of the NFL and NBA, then we’re looking to help them define one as such.

Ta-da!

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/17/12 at 03:12 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Besides, fans ALREADY think the league bears all the costs of running the business.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/17/12 at 03:17 PM ET

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All the NHL needs to say is ‘Why should we have to bear all the costs of running the business, and then have to give away half of the revenues to players to boot?’

And all the PA has to say is “There’s 800 of us and if you’re not going to do anything to protect us then you’re god damn right you should be “giving away” 50% of it.

Posted by Garth on 10/18/12 at 09:32 AM ET

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If the NHL is looking for a deal that is inherently comparable to those of the NFL and NBA, then we’re looking to help them define one as such.

The NHL would then respond with:  “Well, in the NFL there are no guaranteed contracts and drastically reduced free agency rules, and in the NBA they get a flat 50-50 split.  Hey, let’s do both!”

And all the PA has to say is “There’s 800 of us and if you’re not going to do anything to protect us then you’re god damn right you should be “giving away” 50% of it.

With the hyperbole again.  Yeesh.  The owners pay for doctors, medical care, rehab, room, board, flights, equipment, training, and God only knows how much else.

And now you think the owners should… what?  Prevent players from hurting other players?  Hey whatever happened to solidarity and brotherhood? wink

I don’t recall hearing about any proposals from the NHLPA to drastically increase the level of fines and punishments allowed to be enacted on their membership, right?

90+% of this is about money, Garth.  Neither the NHL nor the NHLPA has made player safety much of an issue.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/18/12 at 11:23 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Well, in the NFL there are no guaranteed contracts and drastically reduced free agency rules

“I’m terribly sorry that the NFLPA wasn’t able to get fair treatment in these non-monetary areas, but those pieces don’t affect the comparability of the financial realities.”

Sure, the fans can argue that non-guaranteed contracts DOES have a financial effect and they’ll be right,but remember that we’re talking about the 90% or so of the fans who don’t really care about the details.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/18/12 at 12:05 PM ET

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“I’m terribly sorry that the NFLPA wasn’t able to get fair treatment in these non-monetary areas, but those pieces don’t affect the comparability of the financial realities.”

“The NFL’s use of non-guaranteed contracts is what makes it possible for them to streamline their CBA against waste.  Without that component their CBA would look much different.”

Citing the other sports would be a bad move for the NHLPA.  Their best rhetorical stance was to beat on ‘but this is our second pay cut in 7 years’, which is why that’s pretty much all they and their supporters have been saying from the jump.  The NHL’s 50-50 offer knocked all of that down because now the NHL can say “The NHLPA was so overpaid before it’s taken two significant cuts just to get them to 50-50.”

And that resonates.

Sure, the fans can argue that non-guaranteed contracts DOES have a financial effect and they’ll be right,but remember that we’re talking about the 90% or so of the fans who don’t really care about the details.

That ship has already sailed.  The first to 50-50 was the first to establishing control of that portion of perception.

And just to be clear, I don’t believe we’ve seen one single proposal from the NHLPA that takes them under 53%, much less get them all the way down to 50 at any point, ever.

All of your points above are moot if the NHLPA can’t get to 50-50.  That’s a statistical hurdle it’s impossible to spin over.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/18/12 at 04:07 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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