The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/14/11 at 11:16 AM ET
One of the most virulently anti-NHLPA voices during the lockout belonged to crusty curmudgeon Stan Fischer, and he’s cranking up the “Panic Meter” to 11 by suggesting that Donald Fehr will find a way to screw things up while rambling on about how great the NHL’s revenue-sharing agreement is despite the fact that big-market owners despise handing blank checks to subsidize their opponents:
The revenue sharing agreement brought labor peace [in Major League Baseball] because the large market teams were able to buy off the mid- and small-market teams just enough to keep them happy, while the big-market teams continued to make large profits and maintain their ridiculous competitive advantage. MLB teams are making money. If the small and medium markets were losing money the way the NHL’s small and medium markets were losing money before the 2004 lockout, the small and medium markets would have held out for a salary cap.
The NHL has several low-revenue teams which are struggling to maintain the salary floor while still making a profit. They are vulnerable to be bought off by the NHL large market/high revenue teams the way baseball’s little guys were bought off. And you had better believe that Fehr knows it.
It’s hard to be “bought off” when it’s Gary Bettman’s narrow $15 million payroll range that’s raising the cap floor to nearly unsustainable levels for franchises who’ve learned the hard way that a salary cap based upon league-wide instead of team-by-team revenues is…a mess…
And then Fischler really goes off into insanity land:
I know it’s possible, but I just can not picture Fehr announcing that he had just negotiated a deal that includes a salary cap.
The NHL’s hard cap with an ironclad link to a percentage of revenues is here to stay, and Fehr won’t screw with it—instead, he’ll be defending the players’ current share of revenues and fighting against a league-mandated rollback in salaries to bail free-spending owners out. Every indication thus far from the PA has suggested that they don’t plan on striking and want to play hockey during the 2012-2013 season, while the NHL’s intently watching the NFL and NBA lockouts to learn how hard it can squeeze the PA while continuing to garner public support because we live in a time where unions are, as a rule, expected to “give back” to the billionaires of the world.
There’s more blather from the once-great writer who’s turned into an embittered caricature of Grandpa Simpson, too…
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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.