Detailed Bettman Talk in Calgary

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by gerbilanium, Dec 2, 2004.

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  1. gerbilanium

    gerbilanium Registered User

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    Here is a very detailed description of the Bettman talk (thanks picard) in Calgary yesterday. Gems include revenue sharing supported by all owners. Union likes the inflation they've had and the NHL doesn't begrudge the players the money they've made. He believes they are the best athletes and deserve to be well compensated.

    Began with flames video of cup run, followed by Ken King addressing around 500 people in the Avis & Young club at the dome. King acknowledged the fans, season tix holders and Harley & Bev Hotchkiss. Said Daryl is the architect of the turnaround here in Calgary and notes there is still much to do to repeat the success of 03/04. Notes #12 isn't signed and that Daryl wants to build the team right. He needs to be able to look 3 - 5 years into future. A new system will let them do this. Owners believe in Gary and want him to stay the course. It isn't about winning or losing but fixing the system. Mentioned that it was Hotchkiss and Bettman who were the architects of currency exchange programme.

    Enter Bettman for a 10+ minute speech. In it he says the NHL wants to get things right for places like Calgary where hockey is clearly important. He reflected on his Feb 26th visit to Cal. and the 9 months since then. Was very gracious about our successes. In Feb he pledged to create an economic system that allowed a competetive balance regardless of market or location. In feb he hoped the Union would be on side to craft a document that would allow this. Still believes they will get there.

    Said that the original mandate of the Flames ownership was that the team should make a difference to every Calgarian and not just hockey fans. To that end the team has contributed $24m to local charities and organizations. He says he misses the games and wants a new agreement to allow the NHL to begin playing again. But needs a partnership to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. Flames ownership & fans deserve to know that the new system means the team isn't continually developing players only to have to trade or lose to free agency when they can't afford them.

    Said they haven't met with the Union because the negotiating process creates its own time line and that there must be an acknowledgement by both parties that there is something fundamentally wrong with the system.

    Union likes the inflation they've had and the NHL doesn't begrudge the players the money they've made. He believes they are the best athletes and deserve to be well compensated. But the current model cannot be sustained and they have had $2 Billion in losses during the term of the contract. 75% going to salaries.

    Says this union exec and leadership bargains through confrontation and that the NHL has been trying to engage them in negotiations since 1999. The six proposals still assured them of more than 50% revenue, all had guaranteed contracts and agents continued their role except in one where central negotiation was done. Only in one proposal was a Hard Cap suggested and they make no appologies for it. He mentioned that he had heard on the radio that morning that the Union said that any link between revenue and salaries was a Cap.

    Said a Luxury Tax won't work because it has no guarantees. It allows teams to fuel the inflationary salary escalation on a league wide basis. Mentioned MLB where a 120m payroll played a 180m payroll for the right to compete in world series. They have a luxury tax. L/T won't work and future of Flames and sport is too important to risk with speculative results.

    Q&A session followed:

    Believes union will make it personal in next 2-3 weeks and attack Bettman personally.

    Will he resign if season is cancelled admitting failure? Failure is when the NHL doesn't restructure and fix the current situation.

    8 of 30 owners make decisions? Voted that themselves, in most cases a majority vote is required.

    Gag Order? Owners voted that on themselves, they wanted a single voice to give a consistent message.

    If there is no hockey by December 2005 will you consider replacement players? Not considering this at this time. The NHL wants a partnership with players. Ultimately they won't rule anything in or out but aren't looking at this as an option right now.

    Lowering ticket prices? He hopes so but really doesn't know. This is because each team sets up its own pricing structure. What he could say is that with a new deal the inflationary pressures will be less so increases should slow.

    Todd Bertuzzi suspension in light of recent NBA incident? Still suspended and will be revisiting the case once play resumes. He noted that the NBA incident was involving a fan where he didn't belong.

    Fan Representation at the table? Accountability rests with the owners. No one knows this business better than themselves. Believes they are completely transparent with their info to the fans. Uses the CBA website as example. NHLPA has theirs hidden from public and an agent was fired for passing on to media.

    What about Revenue Sharing? Believes this is critical to the resolution. Owners across the league are committed to it. NHL needs system where all the teams are viable and from there the league would share revenue rather than using the rich teams to prop up the poor.

    Renewal of the CBA in 2000? Done in june of 1997 before the Joe Sakic offersheet. At the time it was working realatively well but in retrospect it was a mistake and they would have done it. The system is the most restrictive of all systems out there but it hasn't worked because revenues aren't tied to salaries.

    What revenues are included or not that the PA believes should be? Says revenue isn't complicated like the PA always says. In 99 he sent books of all teams to the NHLPA and invited them to be audited and has done same every year since. The Union won't, they are stonewalling because they believe the Owners will cave. They've bet the farm on the cave. They've got it wrong.

    NHL back in Winnepeg? Didn't like moving them or QC. but before that could be entertained they need 30 healthy franchises in their current markets.

    Minimum Games or Drop dead date? Haven't got one because it is about fixing the system not a date at which the season is gone.

    How are the inflationary effects be lowered by not playing? Over time contracts are elapsing. By next year there many more players not under contract. They will then sign when a new deal is in place.

    Believes the union is looking for a deadline. So we have to let time pass and then the Union will focus.

    Why Not #99 or #66? W & M might get involved if they can be of benefit but at the present time there isn't any point. And he doesn't want legends of the game to be treated poorly or get mixed up in something that isn't becomming of their stature in the game.

    Reporting for CP - Picard
     
  2. thinkwild

    thinkwild Veni Vidi Toga

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    And what exactly is that again Gary. What exactly are we fixing? Just final budget number in general?

    Isnt he a clever lawyer?

    He cant possibly be comparing these 2 things can he? Would one, with a just cause, resort to such blatant spin?

    Can someone clarify this for me? If all teams are making money, then they will share revenues?

    It was working until the offer sheet? After that it didnt? They no longer do that. Now they need revenues tied to salaries. ??? The logic is so difficult to follow. Didnt he just say the problem was something they dont do anymore?

    They were allowed to see all the teams books? The ones the owners are looking at when they decide to allocate their team its revenues and expenses?

    Well the union seems pretty focused to me. Good job Gary. Poke a stick at them to focus them. Doesnt look like a promising possibility for negotiating.
     
  3. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    Interesting spin, especially with the players crawling back with a better offer for the NHL to consider.

    Seems Gary knows exactly what he doing with his stick.
     
  4. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    that sure makes you happy doesnt it ? what would you prefer, the players tell the owners to shove it and that they wont play until its a complete 100 % unrestricted free market ?

    every offer the owners make, the players should say no ? no matter how logical or negotiation centered the owners offer may be, the players should have one position and one position only and only if the owners want to negotiate based on that position they (players) shouldnt attemtpt to compromise ?

    is that what you would prefer ? i think you could care less about seeing hockey, you are taking great pleasure in supporting weasels and fraudsters instead.

    dr
     
  5. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    Feel better now that you've gotten that little rant off your chest?

    The PA is going to lose this battle. Deal with it.
     
  6. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    well, frankly if you have been following anything i have said on this, i feel the players already lost this along time ago. even if the owners took their first offer, it would be considered a major victory for the owners. anything more from the players is just a further win for the owners.

    so, what do i care ? what do i care if CGY losesJarome Iginla go as UFA because the owners have to negotiate that point to the players. what do i care if OTT cant resign HOssa because they are capped out, but the Rangers who do a piss poor job of developing players have enough cap room to sign one of Iginla or Hossa. what do i care if DET tells Shanahan they wont sign him, but instead signs JEff Oneill who left CRL as UFA. Hey, now CRL can sign a crappy Shanahan at a cut rate. What a great system for CRL !!! Wouldnt they be better off letting DET pay Shanny a stupid amount of money and keeping O Neill restricted to their team ?

    dr
     
  7. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    I always find the NHLPA apologist so humorous when they get out their doomsday crystal ball.

    How can you possibly fortell the effects of a cap when you have no clue as to its terms?
     
  8. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    its called "quid pro quo".

    something for something. if the owners get their cap, the players wont demand something for them equally as big ?

    why would Jeff ONeill sign in CRL, if he was free to sign anywhere ? how will CRL keep players without the restriction of 31 years old ?

    dr
     
  9. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    The players are in too weak a position to make any serious demands. There will be very little "quid pro quo". Haven't you figured that out yet?

    The NHL will throw them a bone to allow them to save face IF the NHLPA plays nice and gives them just about everything they want.


    As for your crystal ball:

    What if the system is a soft cap with only a % of players salaries counting toward the cap if they were developed by the team or have X number of years of service?
    What does your crystal ball tell you then?

    There are a million way to draft "cost certainty" and each contains some predictable results and, even more importantly, some entirely unexpected consequences once agents/lawyers get their grubby little paws on it.

    To pretend that you can tell what will happen is the height of arrogance and stupidity.
     
  10. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    how do you figure the players are in a week position ? just because joe public supports the nHL position ? big deal.

    if you think the fans would be happy to watch Lonny Bohonos and not Jarome Iginla, why do you also think that if the owners told Iginla at contract time to accept x amoiunt or not play that the fans would revolt ?

    if CGY must sign Iginla for 7m because they would piss off their fans if they dont, why would the fans then support them locking Iginla out ?

    so many contradicitons from the ownership side.

    dr
     
  11. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    Let's for a moment assume that the rumours are true and the players latest offer contains:
    10% rollback--up from 5%
    $.75 tax over 44M--up from .15
    changes to arbitration
    throwing the rookies under the bus.

    Stop for a minute and think about the dynamics of this situation.

    The PA presented their first deal as fair and significant concession.
    They said no further deal would be forthcoming until they had a counter offer from the league.
    They then present a new deal, without getting ANY CONCESSIONS from the league in return.
    The new deal contains HUGE concessions.

    Yet you still niavely believe the players are dealing from an equal position and that this negotiation will contain a great deal of "quid pro quo"?

    The owners have even gotten to the table yet and they've already won this thing hands down.

    If you seriously think these parties are negotiating from an equal power base, please explain the players tactics.
     
  12. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    i agree the owners have won, i have said it since day one of the 1st proposal.

    so why do you continue to support the owners quest to shut down hockey when they already have won and refuse to take or negotiate it ?

    dr
     
  13. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    Psst....In case you missed it, the players and owners will be doing just that next Thursday and Frinday. Unlike you, I'm just not niave enough to think the negotiations will be anything but one-sided.
     
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