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Khan: Red Wings’ NHLPA members call out the NHL’s CBA proposal as bunk

MLive's Ansar Khan spoke to several Red Wings players about the NHL's second CBA proposal to the players, and the players spelled the proposal out in plain English:

“It (the proposal) was a pig with lipstick on, instead of a pig,'' Detroit Red Wings forward Danny Cleary said on Thursday.

...

Cleary, who has been active in union matters for years and has attended a couple of meetings in New York this summer, said the league's second proposal wasn't much different than the first, even though it did not include the 24-percent rollback of salaries the NHL proposed in July.

“They're not calling it a rollback, but they'll take it through escrow,'' Cleary said.

Justin Abdelkader, who told Khan that he'll be re-signed by the Wings next week, agrees with Cleary's assessment, pointing out that it does little other than put PR pressure on the NHLPA to offer a response...

“We don't think the new proposal has moved too much to our favor,'' Abdelkader said. “It puts us in a tough position, but we want to keep talks going.''

And while the players believe that revenue-sharing is truly essential to any CBA that they'll eventually agree to...

"We understand some clubs are struggling,'' Cleary said. “Our revenue-sharing (plan) helped lower-end teams. There's a lot more sharing of the pie, so everyone would keep their heads above water.''

They're well aware of the fact that a lockout will be harmful to the people who can afford it least--and those who can't afford it aren't players or owners:

“There's still time,'' Cleary said. “No one wants a lockout. The money that will be lost for everyone will be astronomical. A lot of people at Joe Louis Arena I know personally could be laid off. That's one side no one thinks about.''

Said Abdelkader: “We know Sept. 15 is coming up. I don't think anyone is panicking. The sides are still apart, but we've still got some time. Hopefully, we can get something done before opening night (Oct. 12). We still got a lot of time to hash things out. I think there's still a lot of optimism that something can get done.''

The rest of Khan's article involves union solidarity talk and a note for Wings fans that the team will be skating at the Joe by next Friday, but at this point, it certainly appears that the players will be locked out of their home rink on September 16th...

And, for the record, from Norskirama, the second page of the University of Wisconsin's athletics magazine, Varsity, shows Patrick Eaves smiling while practicing with Wisconsin alums in Madison...

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Comments

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Boy, I’m on the players’ side in this, but hearing a guy who has made $11 million in the last four years playing hockey talk about how a lockout would hurt the employees at the Joe Louis Arena with kind of a “sucks for them’ comment and zero commitment to actually helping those people doesn’t do much to endear me.

I’m glad to hear Cleary’s thinking about them and it’s CURRENTLY a non-issue because none of those fine people have actually lost their jobs as a result, but the fact of the matter is that any side bringing up how the other side is being unreasonable and that’s what’s hurting the innocent non-millionaires in this situation without actually stepping up and helping them can go get bent.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/31/12 at 02:51 PM ET

Keyser S.'s avatar

A little confused why the players want a larger revenue sharing plan. I’d rather the owners put that money towards buying out two teams instead of keeping them afloat. Which the league would never agree to anyway. I’d love a 28 team league as a fan.

Damn! This hockey business is really getting to me.

Posted by Keyser S. on 08/31/12 at 02:54 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/31/12 at 02:51 PM ET

With all respect, how do you know he isn’t do anything to help out the employees in the league?  And so what if he’s made a few million playing the game - I don’t understand how someone who has worked damn hard to get where he is can be scrutinized for making some money.

Posted by TreKronor on 08/31/12 at 03:28 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

With all respect, how do you know he isn’t do anything to help out the employees in the league?  And so what if he’s made a few million playing the game - I don’t understand how someone who has worked damn hard to get where he is can be scrutinized for making some money.

If Dan Cleary is willing to use the little guy as a sacrificial lamb to point out who’s going to be hurt be the other side’s refusal to come to an agreement with his side while at the same time hiding the fact that he’s helping out the people he is insinuating this situation is hurting, then that move deserves a different kind of derision than the one I’m offering.

What’s the point of being brash enough to bring up the little guys being hurt while being humble enough to not take credit for helping them?  What possible benefit does he gain from playing that PR card only halfway?

And please don’t pull the strawman out about me scrutinizing Dan Cleary for making money. OF COURSE I want those people to keep their jobs and for those jobs to start on time. I want them paid and fully employed by the people who are supposed to be paying & employing them: The Ilitches.

What I’m scrutinizing is using plight of the less fortunate to point a finger at the other side and say “look how much they’re hurting the little guy!”

Like I said, it’s all talk at this point. I don’t dislike Dan Cleary and I don’t think he should have to give back any portion of the contract he earned in good faith by playing hockey. I’m just saying that if it comes down to these people actually losing their jobs because both sides can’t come to an agreement, then the side that’s using those people as a PR gimmick can get bent.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/31/12 at 03:39 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Sorry, JJ, but what was Cleary supposed to say? I have no idea if he’ll help the Joe employees or not, and frankly I don’t care, but if he is why would he admit it?

It’s a way of pressuring the owners, “you’re not just locking us out, but also these guys”. How would that be an argument if he said “they’re going broke(!), they’ll starve(!!), they’re all going to die(!!!!), but I’m helping them, so that’s okay”.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 08/31/12 at 03:40 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Sorry, JJ, but what was Cleary supposed to say?

In that situation?  The answer is “nothing”

It’s a way of pressuring the owners, “you’re not just locking us out, but also these guys”. How would that be an argument if he said “they’re going broke(!), they’ll starve(!!), they’re all going to die(!!!!), but I’m helping them, so that’s okay”.

YES. 100% YES that is what he should do if he wants to put pressure on the owners.  Because THAT message is this:

“they’re going broke(!), they’ll starve(!!), they’re all going to die(!!!!), but I’m helping them, so they’ll be okay.  LOOK HOW MUCH MORE THE PLAYERS CARE ABOUT THE LITTLE GUY THAN THE OWNERS DO!”

why wouldn’t he admit it? What possible benefit is there to Cleary using them to pressure the owners while letting people believe that he’s not willing to help them either?

Either be open both ways or keep your mouth shut in the first place.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/31/12 at 03:49 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

“they’re going broke(!), they’ll starve(!!), they’re all going to die(!!!!), but I’m helping them, so they’ll be okay.  LOOK HOW MUCH MORE THE PLAYERS CARE ABOUT THE LITTLE GUY THAN THE OWNERS DO!”

I see what you mean, JJ, I really do. But the way the owners are, they’ll read that as “take your time, the players will play your employees, no rush to get a new deal”.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 08/31/12 at 04:02 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

why wouldn’t he admit it? What possible benefit is there to Cleary using them to pressure the owners while letting people believe that he’s not willing to help them either?

Also, I wonder how many people read his words as “I won’t help them”. He cares, that’s more than the owners have shown.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 08/31/12 at 04:03 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The players are the only side who’ve suggested that while they can “afford” to be locked out, people who make wages that are not disproportionate to the rest of society are the people who are really going to get *#$%@& over if there’s a lockout, and the players have suggested that between the people who might lose their jobs and the fact that they don’t want to jerk around the people who pay everyone’s salaries in the fans by engaging in lockout politics, this whole “let’s not play hockey if there’s no deal on September 15th” business is a dangerous strategy.

is that self-serving and possibly said for PR purposes? Maybe, maybe not. If you want to bash Cleary for being flippant, fine, but I’d rather hear someone say that than not.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/31/12 at 04:06 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I see what you mean, JJ, I really do. But the way the owners are, they’ll read that as “take your time, the players will play your employees, no rush to get a new deal”.

In fairness to the whole situation, I don’t think the court of public opinion makes a damn bit of difference to the owners or the players until the fans simply stop caring about who’s winning the PR battle and start just paying attention to things other than the NHL.

To your second point, I’d argue that not everybody who says they’re aware of your plight necessarily cares about it.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/31/12 at 04:08 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If the players just want to play while this is being hashed out and simply don’t want all of the fine people whose livelihoods actually depend on hockey being played this season (including some of the lower-tier players who aren’t millionaires), then fine. I love this idea.

Know how to solve that?  Go to the media you’ve been telling all of these saintly things to and give them and your fans a promise that, if the NHL doesn’t lock out and allows the season to start without a new CBA in place, but under the rules of the old CBA, the players will commit to a promise that they won’t strike.

Until I hear “and we promise we won’t strike”, the players saying that all they want to do is play hockey doesn’t mean jack shit.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/31/12 at 04:15 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

To your second point, I’d argue that not everybody who says they’re aware of your plight necessarily cares about it.

Maybe it’s just me. I heard too many people talking about how everyone in here bashed Ayrton Senna, who always talked about poor people but never helped, until he died and it was discovered that he secretly donated some millions to charity during his career. I believe in people, and like Malik, I just feel better that at least some is talking about it (nothing to do with the point, but you know what I mean).

/cries into napkin

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 08/31/12 at 04:19 PM ET

Avatar

Come on, was anybody really expecting this deal to get done before an extended lockout?

The NHL has 200 mil from NBC to piddle around with.  The only way the PA can even ding the owners a little is to stay away for the whole regular season, and it will have to be a full season plus some time into the next season before anything really starts to scare the NHL.

That’s the only thing the NHLPA can do to win.  Threaten to stay out for 2 full years and stick to it.  Until the NHL really believes that can happen, they’re going to steamroll the NHLPA just like they did last time.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 08/31/12 at 04:46 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

A little confused why the players want a larger revenue sharing plan. I’d rather the owners put that money towards buying out two teams instead of keeping them afloat. Which the league would never agree to anyway. I’d love a 28 team league as a fan.

Damn! This hockey business is really getting to me.

Posted by Keyser S. from http://theredwingsforum.com on 08/31/12 at 02:54 PM ET

While I’ve tried hard to stay out of the details, I believe what’s going on here is that the players want all the franchises to stay afloat because that ensures more NHL level positions for players.  If two teams folded, 46+/- NHL caliber player paychecks would be lost.  I think that’s what’s going on but I’ve largely stayed away from any details because it would just piss me off and depress me.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 09/01/12 at 10:37 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.