Will the Olympics be used as a bargaining chip by the NHL?

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by RangerBoy, May 23, 2005.

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  1. RangerBoy

    RangerBoy TRUST THE PROCESS

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    Kevin Allen of USA Today mentioned the NHL players want to play in the Olympics in Torino,Italia

    The consensus is that if owners and players make peace this summer, NHL players will be allowed to play in Torino in 2006. The logic is simple: NHL players want to go, and this CBA negotiation is about player concessions. If players give owners a cap system, how could owners say no to the Olympics

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/columnist/allen/2005-05-21-rink-rap_x.htm

    The idea of the NHL shutting down the league for three weeks in the middle of the season so the NHLers can participate in the Olympics after missing an entire season is ridiculous.However,if it means getting a new CBA completed,then so be it
     
  2. WC Handy*

    WC Handy* Guest

    Personally, I'd love to see in the CBA that for the duration of the CBA that players will be playing in the Olympics. It's ridiculous that it's a big ordeal every Olympics.
     
  3. mooseOAK*

    mooseOAK* Guest

    Interesting.

    In the last two Olympics it was the owners who had to make concessions to the NHLPA to convince the players to play.
     
  4. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    The Olympics have also conformed to the NHL schedule. This year they changed the format, as there is no more prelim round. Instead of 8 teams in a prelim round and then the 2 of them move on to face the big boys, I beleive there will now be a 14-team round robin (2 7-team pools). The way it should be.
     
  5. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Are Unemployed players without contracts like half the league will become July 1st considered NHLer's ?.

    How about if you have play a couple seasons in Europe under your belt by then like Thornton, Nash, Heatley, Morrison ..well sort of like the World Championship team ..

    Hockey Canada controls and runs the event not the NHL ..

    I always thought the NHL was only involved because they needed to shut the NHL down for a few weeks to allow the NHLers to play in the Olympics .. Seeing that they have the shutting down part resolved .. Where is the problem ??
     
  6. There is no problem, if you believe that we're 18 months away from a settlement. But if you live in the real world and understand that a settlement is likely getting close the olympic issue is going to be a point of contention for both sides. The league would shut down for three weeks, and that would have consequences. If the players wish to collect millions to play the game, then they have to think about the NHL first. If the players wish to play in the Olympics first, then they can do what other players have done before them and commit to the Hockey Canada olympic team and play there for the season. The players have choices, just like they always have. Making millions of dollars a year means you live with the rules in place in the NHL. If they don't like those rules they can take their skills eleswhere and take a job in another league. No one is forcing them to play in the NHL.
     
  7. WC Handy*

    WC Handy* Guest

    I don't think that's true at all...
     
  8. Da Game

    Da Game Registered User

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    I agree.
     
  9. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Its actually the IIHF that is putting pressure on the NHL ..

    The Olympics are in Canada in Vancouver in 2010 as I am sure you are aware of .. The IIHF has told the NHL and Bettman that if you do not send NHLers to Italy then you will not be permitted to send them to Vancouver ..

    However this is quite a dilemma for the NHL as after a year long stoppage minimum and still no guarantee as to when Hockey will return to the NHL, but should it be a go this fall then shutting down the NHL for 3 weeks again in the middle could be a real problem to fan support & recovery, thus the NHL must decide if its in the best interest of the NHL to do so ..

    Its quite simple IIHF is pressuring Bettman who in turn is pressuring the NHLPA.
     
  10. StevenintheATL

    StevenintheATL Registered User

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    If they don't, then they really aren't ready to solve this labor trouble. When you look at Team USA and Team Canada, they really are run like franchises of the NHL. You have NHL team management/ownership in charge of putting together the teams, the coaches come from the NHL ranks, as do the players. They need to make a statement by saying "If you don't come to terms for a new CBA, then we'll make sure that Team USA and Team Canada are stocked with players not currently under contract with the NHL."

    I think that if the NHL does have a 2005-2006 season, they should not have a three week "Olympic Break". The only real benefit it gives teams is that it gives time for injured players to recover without missing games. That three week break could make or break a team's season. They could be on a hot streak before the break and come back and struggle and possibly miss out on a playoff spot. And by the same token, a struggling team could come back from the break revitalized and make a run for the playoff. Make it so that each team can lose between 3-5 players to their respective national team for the Olympics. Then for that 3 week period, allow the max roster size to be upped to replace those players called to their national teams and to allow an extra player or two for a cushion, and once that three week period starts, no player can be demoted/promoted from the NHL team, nor would any trades take place.
     
  11. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    NO he is right to a point .. The concession the NHL made was extend the old CBA, once it was determined that professionals could participate in the Olympics .. The NHL and its schedule makers also had to shut the league down and work around the break to allow NHL participation.

    However Bettman's motive for doing this was not for the players sake. He thought he was doing it in the best interest of the NHL and growing the game in the US particularly .. He was expanding and was securing the Fox TV deal and his reasoning was that the exposure of the STAR players on the world stage in the Olympics would benefit the long term growth of the game.

    In a way its hard to judge the success as anything but mixed .. The NHL became a 2.1 bil dollar industry as a indirect result, but the TV deal money never really took off and we are where we are right now with many teams in financial difficulty as a result of the extending of the last CBA not once but twice in fact. Now that we have had a year long stop and damage to the Revenue stream as a result, the decision and its success is becoming easier to judge ..
     
  12. HockeyCritter

    HockeyCritter Registered User

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    The only reason that the League would let NHLers play in Torino is so they can play in Vancouver in 2010.

    If the players go to the Olympics (and I hope they don't) then there shouldn't be an All-Star Game that year . . . the schedule is compressed enough without the additional pressure of losing three weeks for the Olympics and four days for the All-Star Game.
     
  13. mooseOAK*

    mooseOAK* Guest

    Who benefits from NHL players in the Olympics more? The NHL because it is a marketing opportunity for the league. The players themselves don't benefit financially, they can't even show the names of the products they endorse if they aren't approved by the Olympic committee.
     
  14. And you believe that? I thought the IOC had the final say in matters that affected the olympic games and not the IIHF? The league is fighting for its survival and they're going to give a rats buttend what the IIHF has to say about a three week hockey tournament in Italy? And if you think for a second that the IOC would not jump at the opportunity to get the NHL's participation in the Vancouver games you're kidding yourself. The olympics in Italy are an after thought to the NHL at this point. They are more important to the players than to the league. What benefit do the games in Italy propose for the NHL as a league? Come on man, its common sense.
     
  15. WC Handy*

    WC Handy* Guest

    You don't think the opportunity to represent you country and play in the Olympics and potentially win a medal is a benefit? :teach:
     
  16. HockeyCritter

    HockeyCritter Registered User

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    Sadly, I do not think the allure/romance of "playing for your country" resides in the hearts of many NHLers (or in many professional athletes) - - a lot of that was lost once the Olympics allowed professionals in the games.
     
  17. WC Handy*

    WC Handy* Guest

    Everything I've heard from the IOC was that they weren't putting any deadline on the NHL's decision.
     
  18. mooseOAK*

    mooseOAK* Guest

    Yes, in most cases.

    Even so, if the league stands to benefit financially from player participation then the NHLPA would want concessions in return.
     
  19. WC Handy*

    WC Handy* Guest

    I don't think that the case for NHLers.
     
  20. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    If the NHL, PA or IIHF prevents participation in Turin shame on them! I have never been so angry with Bettman (and the compitition could hardly be stiffer) when he decided to treat further participation as a bagining chip. It was such a great run for hockey and the last thing anyone needed was any of his baggery.

    The Olympics should be damn near sacrosanct for hockey. It's one area our sport has an advantage over the other major team sports. Either the US is dominating basketball or an embarasment, baseball is too lazy to explore international competition, no one else plays football and we suck at soccer.
     
  21. nyr7andcounting

    nyr7andcounting Registered User

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    But teams would get screwed over the same way as if they just stopped the league for 3 weeks. Some teams might get 4 or 5 players taken, obviously some of their best players, and some might get 0. It's not fair to make a team play without it's 4 best players for 3 weeks while some other teams have their full lineup, especially if NHL teams have no control over who gets picked and who doesn't.

    So the only fair way to do it if your not going to shut down the league is to allow NHL teams to have control over who goes and who doesn't. If someone gets picked, the NHL team has a right to deny them. BUT, then what is the point of even having NHLers picked in the first place. No NHL team is going to let their players go when they know other teams aren't going to. All it would take is for one team to hold their star in the NHL and all the others will follow.

    So the only way to do it is either shut down for 3 weeks and let NHLers play, or don't let them play at all. If you want them to play, you have to accept no NHL for 3 weeks because that's the only way it's going to be fair to NHL teams as far as who loses players and who doesn't. All or nothing.
     
  22. Exactly. The IIHF has very little to do with the NHL's participation in the olympics. It's the IOC who has the final say and at this point they are not getting antsy about it. The IIHF is in the picture only because they are the second fiddle that will see their players participate, on a much smaller scale if the NHL goes. The IIHF dictating anything to the NHL at this point is funny IMO. There is way too much in the air and the IIHF is meaningless to the NHL at this point.
     
  23. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Jacques Rogge the President of the IOC and the Olympic committee members, as well as the IIHF was in attendance in Vancouver about a month ago looking at the progress and sites for the events of the 2010 Winter games .. At that time it was reported in the media that the success of the games would be in large part do to the NHL participation in the Hockey event as that would be one of the spot light events.

    However the warning was issued that the Olympic Winter Games in Turin should not be neglected by the NHL, and that what actually happens there will effect the 2010 games in regards to Hockey players involved.

    Roggue made that comment directly to put pressure on the NHL who apparently have told him that its unlikely at this stage due to the labour dispute, to expect NHLers and that currently the NHL does not intend to be planning an Olympic break in the 2005-06 season should there be one.

    The IIHF was there in attendance as that would then fall into their laps of recruitment of players for both the games of 2006 and 2010.

    With the 2006 games quickly approaching the IIHF has made statements that players that sign up now for the Euro leagues will be given the first right to participation in the Olympics but the catch being that if the NHLer commits to Europe then it has to be for the full season without an out clause should the NHL start up again at any time next year.. Clearly an indication that they are presently involved in the issue and that they want some sort of commitment from players who want to be considered for the winter games as the planning is underway .. They also have mentioned a mid July commitment is necessary, and that the player needs to be playing at a high level throughout the year to be involved in the Olympics as per the IIHF selection process.

    People can decide for themselves what a 1 year guaranteed contract in Europe means to both sides.

    Thus I would imagine as the Bettman we need a deal by mid June was also influenced by the fact somewhat. The North American born players it would effect differently then the Euro's as well I would imagine .. Kovalchuk would have no problem committing to a year in REL and an Olympic games participation as he made $3 mil to play at home last season .. Would Joe Thornton and Rick Nash commit as quickly again to the Swiss leagues, who knows ..

    So the IIHF is very much in the middle of this dispute ..
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2005
  24. Motown Beatdown

    Motown Beatdown Need a slump buster

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    I look at it this way, if the hockey fans around the world want to see NHL players in the Olympics then they should be there. If they dont, well then they need to stay and play for their NHL teams. With all the bs we the fans have been put through it should be our choice.
     
  25. If "in the middle" means sitting on the sideline waiting for NHL table scraps, then yes, the IIHF is in the middle of this. :shakehead
     
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