Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/10/14 at 12:02 PM ET
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
At one point during negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement during the 2012 lockout, a juncture during which things weren’t looking particularly good, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly outlined the league’s insistence on limiting contracts to five years and called it, “the hill we will die on.”
Everyone knows you never end a sentence in a preposition – the correct way to say it would have been, “It’s the hill on which we will die” – and you don’t make extreme statements during negotiations that you’re going to later have to retract. The NHL did not get its five-year contract limit and it didn’t die on any hill.
The players got the eight-year limit they were seeking, at least for players who sign extensions with their own teams. Those signing as free agents from other teams are allowed a maximum of seven years.
And guess what? The sky has not fallen. It turns out that giving out long-term deals was not the problem. It was teams giving long-term deals to the wrong players, which is on them. All of which goes to show you there is no CBA in the world that will be able to legislate against bad managing.
At about the same point in negotiations, commissioner Gary Bettman also railed against long-term deals. “Let’s look at the following statistic: Contracts six years or longer in 2004: One,” Bettman said. “Currently: 90. The trend has gone completely in the wrong way and that has a whole host of consequences to the game and to the operation of our clubs.”
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