Has the NHLPA already cracked in half?

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by nyrmessier011, May 12, 2005.

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  1. nyrmessier011

    nyrmessier011 Registered User

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    I was thinking back on the events in the middle of February. How could they finish off so close to a deal and blow 1/3 of a seasons revenue ($700 million)??? In my opinion --and you can agree or disagree if you will but it won't change my mind-- the NHL was out to cancel the entire 04-05 season since the middle of the 03-04 campaign. The NHL team of lawyers, hired accountants and businessmen well understood that a powerful union like the NHLPA would never give into a deal linking salaries to depleted business revenues.

    In order to achieve there deal, I think the NHL estimated it would need to literally break the union and dissolve the players association until they became a torn every man for himself group of 750 players. First, take a step back and realize that there is basically no difference between $42.5 hard cap and $45-46 million. You'll realize that the NHL really didn't want a 28 game shortened season or else they would have went up on there offer the less then 10% they needed to strike a deal.

    It seems as though from the start of the lockout that the NHL has always planned on a fresh start "new NHL." Bettman wants a league with new rules and different expensive ways to market the "new NHL" (expensive as in hiring an expert like they did a few weeks ago). They had none of this in place to play a short season. It would have been a waste.

    If you were an NHL owner tell me if you would actually embarass your league with the same exact slow lack of open ice product that we saw before a 150 day lockout. I don't think so. Add a 28 game season added to that...with out of shape players!!!What a disaster waiting to happen. What a way to bring back your fans--with a watered down season. I'll admit I have been a bit niave in not noticing the fact that no season for the NHL was better then a 28 game season. I was just so pissed they canceled the season I didn't take time to notice that I didn't really want to see a 28 game season, I just wanted the lockout to be over. I think that emotion filled a lot of us here.

    Although I think so sometimes,I believe the NHL wasn't stupid enough to ever consider playing a 28 game season or to bring in replacements. They had no marketing plan, no nothing. They took all there money and put it on surviving the lockout with there $300 million warchest. Why in the world would the NHL need that much money if they weren't ready to go two full seasons? One full season? Where am I getting at: I don't think the NHL ever wanted that 28 game season without linkage. I think they went just far enough to push the union to a split of those who would play under a $42.5 CBA, and those who won't without actually getting the lot to agree to something. Kudos to the NHL for reading the PA like a book. Bettman knew from the beginning they would need to de-unify the union to land the best deal for the owners.

    The union is not unionized what so ever in my opinion. With so many people thinking season on February 19, not having one cracked the union in half. Right now there isn't hush about any de-unionship within the union, but I think that's because there is no hockey until September (no what would be "paycheck cycles"=no more money to lose). I think by June some players will start to realize they need a deal with the owners because this deal is now linkage...by July I suspect more to jump ship into just playing...and I think by August most everyone who would play under $25-$38ish Million dollar linkage is going to bring up quite a fuss about the situation. The union will follow by showing more signs of cracking (as it did in Feb.). I still think, though, that no side has leverage at this point. I don't think the owners can afford to miss a puck drop and because of linkage, the players can't either. It's a joint responsibility and I think everybody is starting to wake up and realize this. I just hope the players realize NOW is the time to help better their next contract. The deal is linkage, let's get with it.

    I think by June/July/August it will again be the guys would play under an NHL offer vs the die-hard union guys. I think the majority will be those who are willing to play under linkage at the 25-38 level. The players are not grumbling right now because they will not lose any more money in the SHORT RUN. But as soon as there salaries can begin to be effected--which I predect is July because they need the normal off season--they will begin to show cracks and the majority will be those who just want a damn deal already for the sake of there LONG RUN salaries
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2005
  2. Boltsfan2029

    Boltsfan2029 Registered User

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    But they weren't close to a deal. Everyone keeps saying if they'd compromised on the cap it was done, but numerous articles and interviews since then have indicated that there was still a huge gap on all the major issues - QOs, entry level considerations, bonuses, arbitration, etc.

    But the NHLPA never indicated they were willing to compromise on the cap figure. They didn't make a move down that would allow the league to counter with a move up to middle ground. The reports that a $45M offer by the PA was forthcoming or even being considered were false. The league had made an offer, it's the responsibility of the PA at that point to counter, which they didn't do at that time.

    Not trying to be confrontational, honest, but... how do you know this? If you're not employed by the league or an NHL franchise, are you able to state this as factual, or is it an assumption on your part?

    Welcome to the real world!! The NHLPA doesn't work for *all* of its members. The 24% rollback is an example -- an offer to cut salaries for only a select number of its members so only a few pay the price while others (the majority) are unaffected.

    Neither side can afford it because the sport can't survive another lost year -- linkage or no linkage, it could be *no* paychecks and no league to play in.

    Now if only the fans would!
     
  3. CGG

    CGG Registered User

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    I would have loved to see the NHL still try to explain why they cancelled the season over qualifying offers had the union given in to the $42.5 milliion cap. None of it happened of course, so it's a moot point.

    Crap man, get your facts straight. 592 contracts would have been affected directly by the lockout. That's 592 players "paying the price", which is a hell of a lot more than a few, where I come from. The remaining 100 or so that were free agents at the time somehow make up the majority? That's some crazy math, without even getting into the ripple effect the rollback would have had on free agents.
     
  4. Boltsfan2029

    Boltsfan2029 Registered User

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    Exactly.

    I was under the impression that the NHLPA membership was over 1,000. Incorrect?
     
  5. Weary

    Weary Registered User

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    Well since the NHLPA had made the last offer ($49M salary cap), by your reasoning the NHL should've made the next offer.

    Yes. This is the key truth of the situation that is rarely, if ever, written about. The reason this hasn't been resolved is because of fan apathy. If the fans ever united and started their own "union," this whole dispute would end in a matter of days.
     
  6. CGG

    CGG Registered User

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    Even if it is 1,000 the 592 are still a majority. That 592 number comes from actual NHL players as defined by the NHLPA (spent 90+ days in the league the year before) so if you want to include NHLPA members who don't fit that criteria such as players who didn't play at all last year or spent most of their time in the minors, that 592 would be a lot higher, ie. Chris Higgins, member of the NHLPA played 2 games for Montreal last season, spent the rest of his time in the AHL. He's under contract, and his contract would have been cut by 24%, but he's not part of the 592.

    23 active players on a roster at one time yields 690 players (plus injured reserve) of which most spots would be taken by those 592.
     
  7. Boltsfan2029

    Boltsfan2029 Registered User

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    Alrighty then. Remove the word "majority" and substitute an arbitrary figure of your choice -- 48%, 45%, 35%. The point remains the same.

    The NHLPA, however, does not consist solely of NHL players.

    Well, this is basically exactly what I said. A union represents the best interest of all of its members. To my knowledge, the negotiations that are going on right now do not apply to only NHL players. The CBA applies to the entire union membership, doesn't it? Asking 45% or 35% or 25% or 10% or even 1% of a union membership (not NHL players) to be “penalized†while the rest of the membership is not does not fit what I consider to be the job of a true union – to see to it that all its members are treated equally (i.e., a pay cut would apply to every member, not just a portion, no matter what percentage that portion makes up).

    Hope that clears up what I’m trying to say.
     
  8. CGG

    CGG Registered User

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    That does clear up what you're trying to say, I still don't necessarily agree with it. The CBA does affect the entire union, not just NHL players. It also affects future NHL players who aren't part of the union yet. However, there were, at most, 200 players who are part of the union that were not under contract prior to the lockout.

    You've got 592 "NHL players" under contract, plus I would assume the mass majority of AHL players on two-way contracts were signed or under contract before the lockout. Their contracts also would have been directly impacted by the 24% rollback, even though they're not part of the 592.

    So if you're looking for a percentage of union members that weren't DIRECTLY affected by the rollback, I would peg it at 20% at most.

    But that's really beside the point, you're claiming those not under contract would NOT be penalized by the rollback. That's what doesn't make sense. You've got maybe 100-125 open spots on rosters to be filled by either UFA's or RFA's. Whatever these guys sign in the future would be based on the salaries of others, all of whom are rolled back.

    Don't you think the values of Trevor Kidd and Byron Dafoe get chopped by 24% because almost every other goalie in the leage gets chopped by 24%? Why would they be immune to the re-setting of the market? Add in factors like a salary cap and luxury tax and the values of free agents might fall by even more than 24%. Who can fit Kovalev under their cap at $6 million? At $4 million, maybe.
     
  9. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    Current membership in the NHLPA is around 700.
     
  10. nyrmessier011

    nyrmessier011 Registered User

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    If I'm not wrong I think the PA countered last with the $49 million. Regardless, the PA agreed to meet thinking $45 million. That's what the media leaks said, that's why they met in the first place, to meet in the middle.


    It is an assumption but can be considered pretty valid I think. Look what they have done in recent weeks. They hired a marketing specialist a few weeks ago with 5 months of off season before the next season is due to begin. On the other hand, the season was going to start 14 days after they made a deal if they did so on Feb 19. That leaves no time for anything.


    It may not care about them all equally, but of course the PA works for all the players. The 24% rollback effects everybody that's in PA membership. Those who wouldn't have been included in the 24% are those free agents after July 1 of last year. Out of the 750 or so members (not over 1,000), I think 575ish were still under contract for 04-05 and would have lost 24%. That being said, the 175 or so guys not under contract still would have signed for what the market calls for, probably around 20-25% less then what they would have signed for without the lockout. Everyone, regardless if there under contract or not, would have felt a 20-25% decrease in salary because that's what the market calls for even if your not directly effected by the 24% rollback. If Yashin is going to get rolled back from $10 million to $7.5 million, a star player that would normally have signed for $10 million probably would sign for around $7-$7.5 million also because now that's the market rate for a caliber player because the NHLPA rolled back everything on all of there members under contract 24%.
     
  11. me2

    me2 Calling out the crap

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    Not really. The leaks seem to suggest the players side set up a deal, possibly around $45m, but it was not approved of by the NHLPA executive. The NHL seems to have assumed it was. The NHLPA exec then distanced themselves from the $45m deal when the meeting came. If the NHLPA executive committee didn't approve/negotiate the proposed deal I can see why they wouldn't be interested in cooperating.
     
  12. Boltsfan2029

    Boltsfan2029 Registered User

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    The way I understand it, it applied to the life of existing contracts. That would mean it would not apply to RFAs, who, under the terms of the 24% rollback offer, would have had to have been qualified at a minimum of 100% and up to 110%. That's not a reduction in pay the way it would have been for those under contract.

    Not without a cap, IMO. If a team had 3/4 of its payroll trimmed back by the 24% rollback and had no controls in place for the salaries paid to its RFAs and UFAs, those players are free to demand whatever they please. And while, yes, it's true they can just let all those players walk, history has shown they're not going to do that (and I do think it's a valid argument to say, for example, if this applied to the Lightning and we needed to sign Lecavalier, Richards, Khabibulin, St. Louis and Kubina -- which may be the case depending upon whether contracts are tolled or not -- that we could not possibly afford to let all those players just walk).

    Without a cap per the original 24% rollback offer, those players hit by the rollback would demand whatever they pleased when their negotiations came up. There would be no reason whatsoever for them to do otherwise.

    And we'll just agree to disagree on the job a union is supposed to do for its members -- IMO it's supposed to care about all of them equally & see to it that they all treated equally (not paid equally, of course). If it doesn't, I see no point in having the union at all. Unions were invented to protect the workers, not to protect only a select portion of them.
     
  13. kyle747

    kyle747 Registered User

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    'First, take a step back and realize that there is basically no difference between $42.5 hard cap and $45-46 million'

    it always amazes me how easy it is to give away other peoples money. If you are an owner and have to shell out 3-4 MILLION DOLLARS a year to cover operating expenses, let me tell you - there is a hellavu difference.
     
  14. MarkZackKarl

    MarkZackKarl Registered User

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    but.

    Uh... who is saying that the NHL owners have to pay to the cap?

    :dunno: :teach: :help: :shakehead
     
  15. mackdogs*

    mackdogs* Guest

    Any cap agreed to will surely have a minimum number that teams need to reach. So, NHL owners would have to pay this minimum amount.
    Try to keep up.
     
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