Players can have a free market system

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Buffaloed, Dec 16, 2004.

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  1. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    Goodenow complains constantly that the NHL should operate as a free market. All they have to do to get it is decertify the NHLPA. They've been breathing rarefied air for so long, they have no concept of how harsh the free market can be. Let them find out how things work at "normal" businesses. What do they gain in a free market system? As far as I can tell unfettered UFA is all. What does the NHL gain? The ability to control every other aspect of their employment, including wages, benefits, hiring and firing.
     
  2. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    A true free market system would also eliminate the draft.
     
  3. hockeytown9321

    hockeytown9321 Registered User

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    No question the league gets that. But if the owners couldn't keep from putting each other out of business under the last CBA, and they need a cap to protect them from themselves, how are thing going to survive each other with no CBA?
     
  4. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    I forgot about that. The NHL could do fine without a draft considering all signings would fall under their salary cap system. Every team would be on the same level when it came to signing prospects.
     
  5. hockeytown9321

    hockeytown9321 Registered User

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    There couldn't be a salary cap. Without a PA, there's no CBA. Without a CBA any agreement among owners to keep salaries at a certain level is collusion.
     
  6. Feenom

    Feenom Registered User

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    Without a PA the owners could do what they want. Collusion only occurs if owners are operating in a different fashion other than that of a CBA. No union and basically collusion reigns...

    If I misunderstood your point, my apologies.
     
  7. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    Your statement implies that a union and the free market system are mutually exclusive.
     
  8. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

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    Uh, no. Without a CBA, antitrust law governs the league's actions. The owners cannot collude to set wages in a free market system lest they be declared a monopoly and get the ATT/Microsoft treatment from the federal government.
     
  9. MojoJojo

    MojoJojo Registered User

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    No, meaning that with no CBA contract it is illegal. One player could challenge the salary cap in court and it would be thrown out almost immediately.
     
  10. Feenom

    Feenom Registered User

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    I understand, but it would be happening until it is identified as such.
     
  11. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    It's only collusion if they make agreements with other leagues to fix wages. Franchise structured businesses can set wages however they want. McDonald's franchises can't go out and bid against each other for the best burger flipper. They have to abide by the rules in the franchise agreement.
     
  12. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

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    Except they do have different wages, depending on the minimum wages set by particular regions. Also, McDonald's would not be considered a monopoly by the government, the NHL would.
     
  13. Feenom

    Feenom Registered User

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    CRAP, I coulda sworn I overheard my crew trainer say I was getting a 10 cent pay raise if I move to Canada.
     
  14. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    They are. Unions and labor laws, for good or bad, set artificial constraints on the free market. They serve to level the playing field between employer and employee, but that's not a free market. I happen to support unions. Without them, businesses would walk all over employees. One need only look at Walmart to see that. However it's absurd for a union to argue an issue on the basis that the free market system should apply.
     
  15. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    The NHL would not be considered a monopoly as there are many other professional hockey leagues. In fact there are probably more professional hockey leagues than burger chains. I'm sure the NHL would have no problem complying with local minimum wage laws.
     
  16. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    I will defer to you on this, but will simply note that unions operate (exist) within free market systems far as I can see, and do not in more restrictive economic environments, no?

    Irony here is that I am not a union advocate (NHLPA or otherwise), never have been. I just find humor in "fans" who bow :bow: in this particular CBA to the side who's demands, should they be met, will diminish key aspects of the game for fans.
     
  17. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

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    The difference is McDonald's has competitors whereas in the NHL doesn't. Leagues such as the AHL and ECHL are the equivalent of MacOS and Linux whereas the NHL is Microsoft. A monopoly does not require 100% market control.
     
  18. me2

    me2 Calling out the crap

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    In a year or so 75% of players will be off contract which means the NHL teams can start signing who they like. Without complete knowledge of the laws surrounding bargaining I'd speculate

    a) If the NHLPA decertifies then the NHL will target the cheaper players with their first signings

    b) then get those cheaper players to start their own union

    c) get that new union to present an NHL friendly CBA.

    d) Imagine that, if the bottom 300 players designed a new CBA it would probably cap the salaries elite players can earn. They might even implement a system with a minimum salary of $500K for non-prospects and a maximum of $4m.

    You think Bob would want that to happen?



    Alternatively the NHL could start 2 leagues, so teams can spend as much as they like.

    Stanley Cup League for teams that meet the criteria of payroll < $35m

    Gary Bettman Plate League for teams that meet the criteria that payroll >$35m

    Let teams nominate for which ever league they want. Over time teams could decide to move to the Stanley Cup League but its entirely their choice.
     
  19. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    European leagues are highly competitive if the NHL's version of a cap is imposed. The fact that many NHL players have signed with teams in other leagues due to the lockout shows that the NHL does have competitors.

    Microsoft hasn't been ruled a monopoly. They can impose whatever wages, working conditions, and benefits they want on their workers as long as they comply with labor and safety regulations. Some of their practices have been ruled to be monopolistic, but its not considered a monopoly with respect to labor.

    How many jobs are available for professional hockey players and what percentage of the professional hockey player market does NHL jobs represent? There are 690 (23 man roster X 30 teams) jobs for players in the NHL at any given time. I would guess it's less than 20%. How many NHL players have found jobs in other leagues due to the lockout? Are they being deprived of the right to seek gainful employment in their chosen field due to monopolistic practices? The NHL isn't close to the standards where it could be declared a monopoly.
     
  20. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

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    Not only are you incorrect (Microsoft has been considered a monopoly for some time now, which in and of itself isn't illegal, but they engaged in antitrust violations which a monopoly cannot do), but the fact that the microsoft case has nothing to do with labour is immaterial. There are labour-related violations of the antitrust laws.

    Again you miss the point completely. And European companies are not taken into account by US courts when determining violations of US antitrust law.
     
  21. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    In the least restrictive market enviroments there are no unions, child labor laws, safety regulations, etc.. Unions represent a more restrictive free market, not less. Anything that puts constraints and restrictions on economies is more restrictive. We live in a free market that's modified for the common good.

    There's good and bad with a free market. The irony here is that the NHLPA argues for free market selectively. The NHLPA only wants a free market to pertain to aspects that will benefit it. If they want a free market, they can decertify and take the good with the bad. There's more bad than good in a free market for the vast majority of the NHLPA. In a true free market the NHL is competing with the SEL, RSL and other Euro leagues to sign players, rather than against itself.
     
  22. thinkwild

    thinkwild Veni Vidi Toga

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    Well yes. But the NHLPA is negotiating restrictions ot will accept from a free market for the good of the game. They are bound to a team, unable to negotiate their value where they best can be used. Can be cut on a whim. Despite guaranteed contracts, most have no security and little leverage or negotiating rights.

    If there was a free market, would Spezza have signed with Ottawa? I think he would of preferred to go to a young team where he could get #1 line ice time. Who knows, maybe a prefectly free market is really the best fairness. The players wanting to maximize their ice team, will tend to sign in a way that make the league competitively balanced.

    Its not that im in favour a of a free market. I want to balance the players rights to negotiate their value in a job where they have no guarantees and can be let go at any time, with the needs of owners to have a salary system that provides an opportunity to develop a team up until its UFA and make money, with fans seem to enjoy in sports teams which is keeping your players, with the natural reality that teams in hiockey develop slowly over a half dozen years, have a prime period, then age and can only stay together if they are champs.. To keep your players, you have to make a trade off. You cant keep them at all times, in any situation, for any money, keep any player forever. But you can keep them past their prime until they are 31. A fair trade off.

    Im in favour of this particular marketplace as the best compromise to meet all needs of allowing:
    owners the opportunity to profit,
    players to negotiate their value in a marketplace,.
    fans to have teams that grow with them until their ufas
    the natural team building cycle that fans love
    It works with the natural order of things. A team like Tampa will now have Richards and Lecavalier for several years at quite reasonable prices. I see no reason why Tampa Bay is in any Danger of losing key players like Detroit losing Federov.


    They are competing against them now. A free market would be a boon to agents. Decertifying is not a pretty process. Similar to bringing in strikebreakers, it is a tactic for a fight not a solution. But who knows, we've never tried it, a free market could actually work real well. It works pretty well everywhere else - why not sports?
     
  23. YellHockey*

    YellHockey* Guest

    The PA does not use the term "free market". Instead they use the term marketplace. There is a difference. What the PA wants is for players, at some point in their career, to have their salary determined by the highest bidder.

    The PA must know that it is more advantageous to have a CBA like the old one where any market can win. If a totally free market for player services were to occur it is very likely that small markets would be unable to exist in the NHL due to an inability to be anything more then a farm club to wealthy markets. That is not in the PA's best interests.

    But if the owners continue with campaign to crush the PA then the PA might decide that losing some less viable markets is more attractive then fighting the owners for the next five years.
     
  24. CarlRacki

    CarlRacki Registered User

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    And, perhaps, guaranteed contracts.
     
  25. me2

    me2 Calling out the crap

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    Ditch arbitration and let teams and players decide their market values. Let each team and each player compete in there own little free market. What NYR wants to pay shouldn't affect what Bill Wirtz wants to pay. If the players don't like the teams offer they can withdraw services.
     
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