Comments From the 1992 Player Strike & 1994 Lockout

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Ziggy Stardust, Jan 23, 2005.

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  1. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    From "Cracked Ice" by Stan Fischler...

    "Could this be the end of the NHL, forever?" -- Former NHL President John Ziegler

    "If it will make the players happy, if it will be the thing that gets them back to what they do best, playing the game, I will call it a surrender. I will call it an unconditional surrender. All they have to do is go back and play hockey." -- Ziegler

    "If they wish to save this business, they'd better be interested [in the concept of a salary cap]. If they think a partnership is we pay and they get and take no risk, they've got the wrong idea." -- Ziegler

    "I don't know who is more stupid, the owners for proposing the deal or the players for rejecting it." -- Former Bruins G.M. Harry Sinden

    "That's what all sports need -- a salary cap. The only thing that's fair is sharing revenue on a 50-50 basis." -- Blackhawks Owner Bill Wirtz

    "I'm not going ot give up the store for one playoff year when the whole future is at stake." -- Wirtz

    "Bob (Goodenow) says 98 percent of a negotiation gets done the last two days. I don't understand that, but everyone's got his own style." -- Wirtz

    "We have to come up with a plan that makes it more attractive for players to play for smaller-market teams, so that it doesn't matter what size the city or the market is. If there was a system like [the NBA salary cap], you'd see a lot of players would want to play in the smaller Canadian cities because those are the kinds of cities where they grew up." -- Mark Messier

    From page 36 in "Cracked Ice"...

    Following the 1992 strike settlement, both sides agreed to form a joint study committee to produce a restructuring of the business and avoid runaway inflation. Written into the collective bargaining agreement was a vital clause that should have been addressed head-on by Stein and his NHLPA counterpart, Bob Goodenow:
    Based on NHL economic studies and projections, the league and its member clubs believe that a continuation of the current system would have a serious negative impact on the business of hockey and hence the parties. Accordingly, the NHL clubs have expressed an intent to develop and submit to the NHLPA as promptly as possible a proposal for restructuring with a salary cap and a revenue-sharing concept... The NHLPA commits that, as soon as reasonably practicable after the joint study commitee report issues, it will begin bargaining in good faith with the clubs in an effort to reach agreement regarding restructuring by September 15, 1993.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2005
  2. FanSince2014

    FanSince2014 What'd He Say?

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    Why did that not happen?
     
  3. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    More From "Cracked Ice"

    "Hockey has the most growth potential of all the major sports. We believe players and owners can share in that growth in a way that is mutually beneficial." -- Doug Wilson, former President of the NHLPA.

    "Sometimes you have to have a strike because people's expectations are a little out of whack. And they need to be out of work to lower those expectations. Bob and I may not agree with everything, but that's what collective bargaining is all about." -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman

    "We'll have to see what the players want to do. If they want to get aggressive, that will be their call. I'm committed to getting a framework in place that will enable us to stabilize the sport and I'm always optimistic about everything." -- Bettman

    "Most important to me is to have a partnership between players and owners that makes sense in the long run. That would be instead of having a situation where all of a sudden the NHL makes a lot of money and the players get hurt; then the next minute the players are making a fortune and the owners are getting hurt. There has to be some system--if that includes free agency, if that includes a salary cap. Whatever that includes is fine with me as long as both sides understand it's a partnership that can work together moving forward." -- Former head of the NHL's Board of Governors & Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall. McNall eventually filed for bankruptcy, sold his share of the Kings and was convicted of committing fraud.
     
  4. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    Comments from the 1994 Lockout

    "The NHLPA refused to meet with us for five months, using the fictional salary cap demand as an excuse." -- Gary Bettman

    "I'm a deal maker. But when somebody doesn't want to make a deal, you've got to use all the resources that are available to you. My preference is to go quietly into a room and work things out. But that's not happening. You're as tough as you have to be. And Bob Goodenow isn't a pussycat." -- Bettman

    "He (Bob Goodenow) stared down the teamsters in a 1983 dispute between the union and a firefighting equipment manufacturer. Representing management, Goodenow kept the union out for 11 months before the teamsters gave in." -- Los Angeles Times report.

    "There's no doubt he [Goodenow] was a union buster. He's the most difficult man I ever dealt with." Teamsters' Official Frank Caputo of Pittsburgh.

    "The level of conflict [in a labor dispute] can get very high." -- Bob Goodenow

    "We're negotiating with a bit of a gun to our head." -- Former NHLPA President Mike Gartner

    "We need a salary cap." -- Former New Jersey Devils owner John McMullen

    "If we're put to the wall, you always know that the tiger is most dangerous when it is cornered." -- Marty McSorley

    "When I broke into the league, I made $60,000; now they [rookies] are making millions. I mean, what do they want? There are some guys coming in that are making millions of dollars a year and they haven't even proven themselves. You have to sympathize with the owners that it just might not be fair." -- Kelly Buchberger

    "A rookie cap is not in the cards." -- Bob Goodenow

    "The league collectively is losing money." -- Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs.

    "He [Goodenow] didn't come to the table until Mr. Bettman had implemented his 19 points. And Mr. Bettman had notified him of the rollbacks a month earlier and Mr. Goodenow still didn't respond." -- Former Winnipeg Jets President Barry Shenkarow

    "The enemy is the same as it is for the players; as it is for the owners; as it is for the fans; as it is for the great sport of hockey." -- Former Boston Bruins G.M. Harry Sinden on Bob Goodenow

    "We received the league's system proposals on January 12 [1994]. The proposals contained, in black and white, salary cap proposals relative to an NBA format, an NFL format, or a salary-pyramid format. We told them, repeatedly after that time, that we would not negotiate a cap on salaries. I told Gary that as long as this is your initial point to begin with, that I didn't see how fruitful negotations can be conducted. Clearly we've always said all along, we are not prepared to negotiate a cap." -- Bob Goodenow

    "Goodenow has told me time and time again, if teams in Canada can't survive, they should move. That has bothered me from the first time he said it. I'm sure he regrets saying it, but I've never forgotten it." -- Glen Sather, former G.M. of the Edmonton Oilers and current G.M. of the New York Rangers

    "Goodenow also told me that he was the guy who negotiated Brett Hull's first contract in St. Louis and he [boasted] that all he did was keep saying no, and he kept getting better and better offers. Those two situations seem to say a lot about what's going on in hockey now-- players laughing at the owners' stupidity, and the owners continuing to be stupid." -- Glen Sather
     
  5. vanlady

    vanlady Registered User

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    Because the players discovered that the owners had skimmed off 42 million from there pension fund around this time.
     
  6. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    More Comments from the 1994 Lockout

    "If I was Gary Bettman, I'd be worried about my family, about my well-being right now. Some crazed fan or even a player, who knows, might take it into his own hands..." -- Chris Chelios

    "From what I understand, his wife doesn't enjoy the games anyway, at least not Ranger games. Maybe she should take the opportunity to go shopping." -- Glenn Healy commenting on Gary Bettman's wife.

    "He [Bettman] will get his someday. Some punk [Bettman] comes in who never played the game a day in his life, probably never sweated a day in his life, trying to revamp the league." -- Jay Wells

    "I learned my lesson form baseball. We can't let happen to hockey what's happened to baseball. And if we have to kill the season, so be it." -- Former Devils Owner John McMullen, who also owned the Houston Astros.

    "If the players are guaranteed the same money is being spent, and the benefits are the same, I'm back working. The players seem extremely hung up on the doctrine involved. I spouted the same stuff when the average salary was $60,000, not $600,000. Guys have to realize they are never going to make this money up. Some guys are blowing $80,000 checks each month. The owners will pay whatever the total payrolls are, plus a cost of living, and that's the floor. If I were the Bruins in the union, I'd be beating down the door to play. If you're a 32-year-old guy and you give up the money now, you're never going to get it back. You need that for your future." -- Mike Milbury

    "The owners are having serious problems. A majority of teams are losing money, and when that's true, you're in trouble. Based on their actions, the owners are giving a significant signal they need help. They're not trying to fight with the players; they're trying to tell them something. If the players have to slow down and suck it up for a couple of years at what they've been getting paid, that's not so bad. Even if they have to take a 5 percent pay cut, no one is saying this is forever. I don't think Gary Bettman is trying to stiff players. How could you say that when you look where salaries have gone? If I was playing and I knew the same general revenues would be going out to pay players, I'd find it damn tough not to go back. When you talk about principles, people get stubborn, but the practicalities of the situation don't merit their stance." -- Mike Milbury
     
  7. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    1994 Lockout Comments Continued...

    "There is no question now we should be looking for common ground and not pointing fingers and not throwing grenades. On that one issue, the pace of bargaining, the intesity of bargaining, the frequency of bargaining, what the union has done in my mind is indefensible. It's very frustrating to me personally because we're not playing, in my opinion, in large part because the union has not bargained. They have not made the proper commitment to this. I've said it before, lock the doors; let's make a deal.

    We've begged for a quicker timetable. We've said 'Bob, what do you mean you'll call us? Why can't we meet tomorrow?' He'll say, 'We'll call you.' SO why don't we meet the next day? So, on that one issue, the players and union have absolutely no defense to the fans' question: 'Why aren't you meeting?' We're not meeting because the union won't meet." -- Brian Burke

    "I assume there is a plan. Bob Goodenow is not a stupid individual. I assume there's a plan, but we can't discern what it is. He's bragged that he is a last-minute negotiator. He's bragged he'll make the best deal at the 11th hour now." -- Brian Burke

    "One agent told me about a month ago that when he heard the reaction to the tax: no tax, no tax, no tax. And, how is it possible to have a philosophical objection to a system without evaluating the merits of that system? It doesn't make sense at this point in time. It's easy to confuse the players, when you distort the facts." -- Brian Burke

    "I think they're afraid to look. We've offered not only to show them the information we've assembled, but we've offered to submit this to a "Big Six" accounting firm for audit purposes. We are fearless when it comes to the numbers. We're not worried about turning these numbers over to an accounting firm and demonstrating that this is an industry that's in grave danger. Why has the union refused to look at the data? In my opinion, it is because they are afraid of the results. They've afraid the owners are telling the truth. They think if they look at the numbers they're going to see an industry on life support." -- Brian Burke

    "We don't have a plan B. We have one plan, which is to negotiate a deal with our players and take this sport to where it should be in the United States. Grow it. Make it bigger, better. Gary Bettman has demonstrated he has the ability to do that. But we need a partner. You can't dance by yourself. We need someone who wants to dance. We think we can make a deal with the players and grow the sport, start making up ground and catching up to some of the other sports going by, making a better sport for the year 2000 and beyond." -- Brian Burke

    "We didn't meet for almost five months... We have missed days and hours and weeks. We have had huge breaks in the negotiation. We're not meeting today. We have no scheduled meetings. I'm really frustrated by that. On that one issue alone, as I said before, has no defense, to us, to our fans, to sponsor-members. The lack of pace, intensity, and commitment to this negotiation is shocking. There is no other word for it. There has not been the proper attention paid to this negotiation. From an intensity standpoint, from a time commitment, or peperation, it's bizzare." -- Brian Burke

    "I feel for the owners now because they aren't making any money. I'm not taking anything away from the players, but I think now it's too much, the salaries are high enough." -- Former Boston Bruins player Fred Stanfield

    "Hey, I own a business and it's no one's business what I make. I put up the initial investment, start up the business, and do it. These guys are asking for the world here. Okay, so an owner put sup $50 million or $100 million to buy a team. He has to make a percentage on his investment, right? So what if he makes 30 percent or 40 percent? He's the guy who stuck his neck out in the first place. If he makes money, good for him. He has all the employees, the's the guy paying everybody, and as a player, all you should care about is, 'Am I being paid a fair salary?' Now they want us to understand when they say, 'We have principles, and we aren't going to back down.' Come on, something's wrong." -- Former Boston Bruins player Don Awrey
     
  8. mudcrutch79

    mudcrutch79 Registered User

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    This is an absolutely brilliant series of posts Ziggy. I'm enjoying it a great deal.
     
  9. eye

    eye Registered User

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    I loved these two and both comments speak volumes and explain why were at, where we are!

    "The enemy is the same as it is for the players; as it is for the owners; as it is for the fans; as it is for the great sport of hockey." -- Former Boston Bruins G.M. Harry Sinden on Bob Goodenow

    "We have to come up with a plan that makes it more attractive for players to play for smaller-market teams, so that it doesn't matter what size the city or the market is. If there was a system like [the NBA salary cap], you'd see a lot of players would want to play in the smaller Canadian cities because those are the kinds of cities where they grew up." -- Mark Messier

    Now everyone please repeat - Bob GoodEGOnow Enemy of the game, the players he supposedly represents, the fans, the employees and related business's of hockey and last but not least - the owners!!!!!

    :madfire: :madfire: :madfire:
     
  10. Benji Frank

    Benji Frank Registered User

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    I second that. Thanks for reviewing and posting this Ziggy.....
     
  11. hockeytown9321

    hockeytown9321 Registered User

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    Here are some interesting comments previous and current owners have made to each other, from Gil Stein's book, Powerplays.

    When deciding on expansion in 1989, the league agreed three points needed to be satisfied before adding any new teams:

    "First, all present teams should be healthy, second, the league should define its markets, and third, the league should make a commitment to growth." (pp 69-70)

    Fast forward one year, when the BOG were asked their thoughts on expanding soon: "Minnesota (Gordon Gund, North Stars owner and governor) 'No. Its premature. Primarily because condition number one is not in place today. All franchises are not healthy.'" (p 72)

    And the BOG's reaction to Gund's statement:
    Abe Pollin: "The NBA has a salary cap. Its a good thing to limit salaries. But where are our revenues going to come from? There is a definite problem with certain markets in all leagues. There are inequities in the size of the markets...and...in the way people run their franchises...I would suggest that a committee made up of big and small markets be formed by John Ziegler to look into this problem. But that should not stand in the way of moving ahead with expansion, because the timing is right now for expansion" (p. 74)

    John McMullen: "There's no question that players' salaries is the major problem and we don't need a salary cap to maintain salaries at a decent level. But Gordon has a unique problem. And I am against revenue sharing." (p. 74)

    John Pickett: "Its unfortunate that Gordon's situation is brought up at the same time as expansion. The issues do not relate...I'd support any help for Gordon, other than revenue sharing, whether in conjunction with expansion or otherwise, but it should not interfere with going ahead with expansion." (p. 74)

    Dick Evans: " I am also on the planning committee of the NBA and I can tell you the salary cap does not help the small market versus big market problem. We're recognizing that there may be certain markets that will not support a franchise." (p. 74)

    The BOG meeting discussing Tampa Bay and Ottawa's expansion teams:

    John Ziegler: "What about thinking in terms of Ottawa for 1992 and granting Tampa a franchise today for 1993? And then we could give authority to the expansion committee to work on bringing in Houston, Miami, San Diego, and others." (p. 89)

    Mixed Chorus response: "No." "Do the both now." Take the money now." "Deal with the future later" (p. 89)

    In dealing with Minneosta's problems years later:
    "In its lengthy report to the governors on the effort to relocate the Blues, the Advisory committee had made some pronouncements which were now coming back to haunt Gordon, including: 'Every governor knows that (1) no NHL franchise is awarded with a guarantee that it will not lose money; (2) some hockey clubs have been more prudently managed than others; and (3) even with prudent management a number of members have experienced significant losses in the operation of their hockey clubs" (p. 130)

    So you have the owners ignoring an agreement they made, pretending that agreement didn't say what it said, refusing to help Gordon Gund, refusing to help any owner through revenue sharing, an owner advocating collusion, admittance that a salary cap does not help small markets, admittance that no team should be guaranteed a profit, and the selling out of the future of the NHL for quick expansion money.

    Yup, they were definitely looking out for the best interests of hockey fans everywhere. Why does anybody think the current group of owners is any different? :shakehead
     
  12. SuperUnknown

    SuperUnknown Registered User

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    The situation is a lot different than back then...

    1- In 1994, hockey was a growing sport.
    2- There was back then a lot of untapped revenue.
    3- Franchises values were increasing year after year.
    4- Local buyers were lining up for any franchise for sale.
    5- Teams weren't making $300M in losses year after year.
    6- Pittsburgh was a big market... :lol

    Now all of this has changed. Add to this player salaries that are higher relative to the revenues than any other sports league.
     
  13. looks like hockey town just got burned!, anyways, good read ziggy keep it up
     
  14. hockeytown9321

    hockeytown9321 Registered User

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    how so? was it when smail refuted the quote from Dick Evans saying a cap does not help small markets? Or John McMullen advocating collusion? Or Abe Pollin wondering where revenue is going to come from, regardless of if there's a cap? Or the league telling Gund to go **** himself when trying to hold the owners to a commitment they made a year earlier, or telling him to go **** himself because no team is guaranteed a profit? Or the "take the money and worry about the future later" statement? I guess they're dealing with that future now, huh?

    Nope, he refuted nothing, just wrote some statements that were either factually wrong (where'd he get 1994 from anyway, all this happend before 1991) or had nothing to do with any of the statements I quoted.
     
  15. grego

    grego Registered User

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    One difference from then to now.

    Back then there were only a few teams losing money, and some of them had only been losing money for a short time. Now the number of teams has grown that are losing money.

    Even if you don't believe every number the NHL gives you, if you look at how salaries have gone up from the early 90s you can tell they are definately feeling a squeeze.
     
  16. Winger98

    Winger98 powers combined

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    remove the names and dates and those quotes could all have came from within the past few months. The only thing that seems to have changed has been the league adopting Goodenow's "don't negotiate until the last second" tactic. A few things do stand out, though.

    One is that the league appeared to be crying "financial trouble" just as much then as now. As Smail points out, the league was actually on quite the upward trend at the time, so how do the owners financial worries then make much sense? I'm not saying there weren't problems then and I'm not saying there may not be problems now, but it's a chorus that's been used before and I think it lends into the PA's distrust of the claim.

    Another is that the owners were entirely against revenue sharing then, just as they are now. IMO, if you really want the league to be healthy and the franchises to be equal, hefty revenue sharing has to be a part of the bargain, whether there is a cap, tax or whatever.

    Third, the players were just as against the cap then as now.The rhetoric is almost identical. Also, it seems retired players are always the first to speak out about salaries being high enough as they are. It seems to be true with those couple of quotes when the salaries were averaging $600,000 and it also seems to be true today with it averaging over $1.5 million.

    Lastly, Bob Goodenow is a knob.
     
  17. hockeytown9321

    hockeytown9321 Registered User

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    No, they were all pretty much losing money even then. Even Bill Wirtz in the book says the owners should expect and be happy to lose a certain amount on their teams. Regardless, it doesn't answer the question as to why the leauge agreed in 1989 not to expand until all franchises were healthy, then ignore that agreement a year later.
     
  18. Sammy*

    Sammy* Guest

    I'm tired of your lies.You continually lie , are called out on it & then you dont have the balls to own up.
    This in particular is an outright lie, as you have been told before. It was an issue as to who was entitled to excess pension contributions & had nothing to do with theft.Furthurmore, the case was in litigation long before the quote was made.
     
  19. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    Why not simply refute the point (as you started to do) instead of making personal attacks? :dunno:
     
  20. Sammy*

    Sammy* Guest

    Because sahe does it time & time & time again, & many times on the same issue where she has been "corrected" more than once.
    Its not a difference of opinion, its outright mischaracterizations & lies.
     
  21. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    I'm just trying to help you not get snagged for personal attacks here, nothing more. Seemed to me that your last sentences in that post were making a clear persuasive case in opposition of what was previously stated by the poster.
     
  22. mudcrutch79

    mudcrutch79 Registered User

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    It's an old saying but people are entitled to their own opinions, not their own facts. I'm vaguely aware of similar arguments over who is entitled to money in pension funds not needed to meet the company's commitments. It seems highly plausible to me that this could be similar. Perhaps vanlady should get off it, if it's been corrected time and time again.
     
  23. Sammy*

    Sammy* Guest

    I know that & its appreciated.
     
  24. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    Dude, is this so hard to understand? I am not taking any sides here. If a person's facts are faulty, challenge them, vigorously! Who is suggesting otherwise? That's part of what this board is about.

    HF, however, does have rules about personal attacks (going after posters, naming names). Not my rules, the board's. That was all I was pointing out. If one wishes to attack another poster, feel free. Just trying to save one the hassle that will follow.
     
  25. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Master Debater

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    Article on Bob Goodenow

    http://www.detnews.com/2004/wings/0411/09/d01-329029.htm

    * "There is not one person in the organization who doesn't respect Bob (Goodenow) and back what Bob wants to do. With everything he's done for us, you just don't doubt him."
    -- Bill Guerin, Dallas Stars forward and vice president of the NHLPA

    * "I sold (the Hartford Whalers) when I met Bob Goodenow. I was convinced he would destroy the league."
    -- Richard Gordon, former NHL owner

    * "Some people have the need to be loved. That's not Bob's nature. He wants to be respected."
    -- Ted Saskin, senior director of the NHLPA

    * "I get the feeling that the owners, at the end of the day, want this guy's head on a stake."
    Bill Watters, former agent and Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager
     
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