Fairness for the NHLPA

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by Crosbyfan, Dec 17, 2004.

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  1. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    Since everyone wants a competitive League with healthy franchises and feel the players should be the ones that subsidize the whole thing by agreeing to a Salary Cap heres an idea:

    The NHLPA agrees to a salary cap but they can sell new franchises as they see fit(even in the markets of the successful teams). That way they would receive the revenue from the sale of the franchise and at the same time retain some control of the "demand" side of their commodity (which is of course the players).

    I know the NHL would never agree to this because they want to want to control both the demand and supply of elite hockey while maximising profits (AND growth in value of their franchises) all while the players are subsidizing their mistakes (overexpansion, hiring of Bettman etc etc) but what the heck; it's not like the owners are ready to accept any other reasonable proposal at the moment.

    The NHLPA could start by putting their best players on two teams, say, the New York "Yorkies" and the Toronto "Toroes" and challenging for the Stanley Cup this spring. They could then (Stanley Cup in hand) continue to negotiate but add more teams in the fall if the NHL won't negotiate but only wants to continue painting the players as the "villains".

    Eventually, if the owners continue their "we're only going to pay you what the poorest team can afford" ways the "NEW HOCKEY LEAGUE" (NHL for short?) can add more teams and even invite some of the more reasonable old teams to join them. They could "break" the owners before the owners "break"them.



    Worth a try?
     
  2. Hockeyfan_86

    Hockeyfan_86 Registered User

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  3. chriss_co

    chriss_co Registered User

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    Crosbyfan, you and the players have forgotten what it means to be an NHL player. Just listening to the juniors in the CHL who can't wait to make the NHL reminds everyone how much the players have lost touch with reality. Those juniors would play for a dime just to hit the big ice. It is a privilige to make the NHL. It is a privilige to play the game and be paid for it extremely well. It is a privilige to put on an NHL jersey and skate with the best.

    You just listen to the kids who have yet to make the NHL and you wonder how the attitudes of present NHL'ers could change 180 degrees (they were once eager juniors too!).

    Your system is ridiculous. If the PA suddenly wants to start their own league, then go right ahead. Because in the end you will always have owners and players. And you'll end up right where we are right now.
     
  4. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    OK, fair enough, so is it a privelege to be an owner? They once were wet behind the ears as well. Or are they simply Entitled. My problem is with the rich, big market owners who have postured themselves onto the "Sainthood" side while painting the players as the "Villains"...and it only takes 8 of them to veto any proposal.
     
  5. dunwoody_joe

    dunwoody_joe Registered User

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    Alright group, humor me on this: Why can't the NHLPA start up their own league?

    It seemed absurd until I thought about it but the NHLPA has the marketable asset--the best players. I am certain that fans would pay to watch the Toronto Rotten Fish if it was stocked with NHLers. Probably more so than the Leafs stocked with scabs and AHL caliber talent.

    Just a thought, not any more absurd than the owners starting up an alternative league without the best talent.
     
  6. chriss_co

    chriss_co Registered User

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    Yes, it is a privilige to be an owner of an NHL franchise... or an owner of any sport franchise..

    but the difference is that owners are losing money in a system that is designed where many teams will lose money... how would the players feel if their paycheques had a big negative sign in front?

    plus, i dont think many of us grow up thinking that one day we want to own a sports team... its more likely that we want to grow up and play for a sports team so again its different

    i dont think the owners have ever said the players are greedy 'villains'... i think the PA has done that by itself.. especially by proposing 24% cutbacks but not preventing those rollbacks to escalate back to the present condition (which they obvsiouly are conceding to be disasterous for a league)
     
  7. chriss_co

    chriss_co Registered User

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    Because who would be the owners of the clubs??? would the players themselves own the team???

    And once u have owners, you'll have 2 sides created and it'll be the same as we have right now.

    Plus, just looking at the WHA plus all those other subsidiary leagues shows you how hard it is to start and sustain a hockey league.
     
  8. Accord

    Accord Registered User

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    No way.
     
  9. CarlRacki

    CarlRacki Registered User

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    Here's your first problem, the notion that the players are somehow subsidizing anything. Maybe your dictionary is different that mine, but in the English language, subsidize means for one party to give money to another for some greater purpose. Last I checked, the players give no money to the owners, it's the other way around.
     
  10. Holy Moly.
    Are you serious?
    Those juniors might suit up for a dime for 5-10 games. But you know what? People want to get paid.
    The want to get paid what they are worth.
    You and I might think it's awful damn silly to pay someone $10 Million to play hockey.
    But you know what? Several hockey team owners decided those players were worth it, for their business.

    So please, let's stop all this nonsense about comparing hockey salaries to doctors' salaries.
    OF COURSE it's ridiculous.
    It's been that way for years.
    But there's a lot of money in pro sports. And a select few are good enough at it to put fans in the seats and put fans in front of the television.
    Deal with it folks.
    I don't 20,000 people lining up to pay $60 to watch a surgeon do his thing, however important it is to our society.

    Are our priorities out of whack?
    You betcha.

    But seriously. What do you intend to do about it?
     
  11. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    If your market valoe is $20/hr but you agree to work for $5/hr for the "stability" of the industry you are in, so that the industry will thrive where (or ln circumstances) it otherwise would not, then you are "subsidizing" the industry and creating an excess of profits where the $20/hr rate was sustainable on it's own.

    Now if I pay you more than the $20/hr then I would be subsidizing your wage.
     
  12. cws

    cws ...in the drink

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    You've hit part of the story on the head. Not the doctor analogy, but an issue with some teeth.

    This particular market is based upon a limited number of entities in direct competition with each other. An inherent part of each individual stragegy is based upon the presumption of what your competitors may or may not do, or what they have already done. Strategic decisions before and/or after the fact, game theory; etc. There is obviously more to it than that, though it will do for now. (As I've said many times before, don't believe me. Consult a respected professional and/or a professional text).

    Even though this may be a tangent from the original thread, I thought it was worth saying. The idea of keeping to a "budget" makes little sense if you want to survive in this very particular marketplace.
     
  13. chriss_co

    chriss_co Registered User

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    Yea, and now those owners are deciding that what they did was wrong and they want to correct it.

    So how come an owner is allowed to raise a player's salary without discourse whereas lowering their salary is virtually impossible?
     
  14. You just don't understand, do you?

    We've got three leagues in the NHL

    We've got the real major league teams. (Detroit, Rangers, Philly, Colorado, etc)

    We've got a bunch of teams that could be major league teams, with decent ownership and talented management (St. Louis, LA, Vancouver, Montreal)


    ANd then we've got a whole slew of teams that have no business in a major league (Carolina, Edmonton, Calgary, Nashville etc.)

    You can bet that the top tier teams won't go home crying if the CBA is settled without a salary cap.
    They are along for the ride. They'll take the automatic $20 Million in profits a cap delivers. But they also have fun trying to compete for the cup, every single season.

    The middle teams would probably settle for a luxury tax and a salary rollback.

    The bottom teams are losing their shirts.

    It wasn't the bottom teams that raised salaries like crazy. (Although Karmanos probably made the bonehead move of the 90s when he tried to sign RFA Fedorov to a contract that was wholly ridiculous. So, he's getting what he deserved)
    It was the top teams, and the middle teams trying to act like top teams.

    The top teams haven't changed their minds about much, IMO.
     
  15. misterjaggers

    misterjaggers Registered User

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    And I thought the owners had millions of dollars invested and at risk. What was I thinking?
     
  16. SuperUnknown

    SuperUnknown Registered User

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    Your argument here is clearly flawed though. The players market value outside of the NHL is a lot lower than their current salary. As to the NHL, their market value is what the owners are willing to pay them. And the owners have all the right in the world to negociate a CBA where they will pay the players what they see fit.
     
  17. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    Apparently you were thinking an investment and a subsidy were the same thing.
     
  18. struckmatch

    struckmatch Registered User

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    The notion of players starting their own leagues is a pipedream. How long does it take to organize, and set up a league? It does not happen overnight, especially considering that hockey is already a lost sport in the United States, and thats the NHL, do you think some new league which came out of nowhere would be even remotely popular?

    It would take at least 2 - 3 years before the league got off the ground, and thats assuming that there were no roadblocks, and its also assuming that this league doesn't fold like the OSHL, and the WHA.

    The best league in the world for professional hockey is the NHL, and it will remain the NHL, the players need to realize that a salary cap system is not the end of the world, and that this is a battle they cannot win. Goodenow has lost this war, and he needs to go to the players and tell them that a salary cap with other concessions from the league is the best he can get them.

    EDIT: Another issue with this is, the NHL's expansion to 30 teams has provided numerous jobs for over 200 players that weren't around when the league was only 24 - 26 teams large, therefore, does this new playes league plan to have 10 teams? or 16 teams? or even less? Because how many PA supporters that are on the bottom rung of the payscale would support these leagues, they wouldn't have jobs in these new players leagues. They would much rather work in the NHL.

    PIPEDREAM.
     
  19. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    2-3 years would be my guess as well. I would say they should start it conservatively with just two teams to challenge for the Stanley Cup and go from there. They should use it as a bargaining tool and collapse it if they get an acceptable offer from the present league. As it is they are talking about 2 years worth of strike pay available. They could have an asset building up while the clock is winding down.
     
  20. djhn579

    djhn579 Registered User

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    How would those NHLPA teams be able to compete for the Stanley Cup? Do you think the NHL is just going to be sitting back waiting for the NHLPA league to get off the ground? If the players do try to form their own league, the NHL will be up and running in some form or another. How many teams is the players league going to start with? I doubt they will be able to start with more than 10. That would leave a lot of players without jobs. How many budding superstars are going to want to play in the players league when the NHL will be able to pay at least twice as much as the players league and be a lot more dependable for getting out the pay checks?

    The NHL will still control the Stanley Cup. The trustees are not going to give it up to a start up league. I think the players league would have a hard time establishing itself as the best in North America.

    As for which league will have the best palyers, the start up league will have many of the top older players just because they are fighting for the principle of not playing under a cap. What about the young players that have never been part of the NHLPA? Do you think they will turn down NHL money?

    EDIT: Aside from the above, what would be the legal ramifications of the NHLPA setting up their own league? Would the NHLPA still be able to represent NHL players? This would seem to be a major conflict of interest. Would the NHLPA need to decertify? Would a new players union need to be created? Any ideas?
     
  21. struckmatch

    struckmatch Registered User

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    Like I said above, if the players start their own league with less than 10 teams, more than half of the PA would be UNEMPLOYED. So how much support from the PA would this new league actually have?
     
  22. CarlRacki

    CarlRacki Registered User

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    So, the NHL is going to allow this upstart league to play for its championship trophy? Uh-hum.
     
  23. CarlRacki

    CarlRacki Registered User

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    Thank you.
     
  24. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    These are all good points but the NHLPA is posturing itself as ready to hold out for 2 years. The NHL likewise.

    The NHLPA is getting a bad rap partly because they are seen as the weaker of the 2 and should be sensible and cave in for the sake of the game and even for the sake of the weaker teams that the rich owners refuse to support.

    Combine that with the fact that it only takes 8 teams to refuse any deal that the NHLPA comes up with and you will realize the richer teams/owners have postured themselves to control the game, a virtual monopoly situation. These owners barely care about half the teams.

    If the NHLPA wishes to go head to head with this they need options. They cannot simply wait the owners out. If they hurt some of the weaker franchises and the game they hurt themselves.

    That said if the players would stick together while forming a competitive league and if the owners try replacements who would you put your money on? The players are the ones with the talent.

    10 teams may be possible next year but it may be too ambitious. The main thrust of this should be to increase the bargaining power of the NHLPA. After all this is a very serious game of high stakes poker (or "chicken").

    This should be started the minute the NHL cancels the season. Possibly 4 teams rather than 2 could be formed to challenge for the Stanley Cup this spring (may I suggest Quebec and Winnepeg added to my original two?) They don't need to worry (for now) about the legal details (Lord Stanleys intentions, the fact that the NHL has no players, never mind that they no longer are the elite of North American Hockey as required by the post 1940's trustee guidelines etc etc). All they need to do is start a 4 team challenge series stating that the top 2 will offer a challenge for the Cup. Don't tell me you wouldn't watch.

    Yes, this will leave a lot of unemployed NHLPA players but if the season is cancelled that would be 4 more teams playing than not. The schedule would have to be minimal for this year to allow things to be run professionally but if it was the top players available playing on the 4 teams the hockey would be incredible.

    If there was still no deal starting October '05 they could run a 6-8 team league. More teams would be problematic and the smaller group would build a following more quickly with fans. Something like a 40 game schedule for each team would be feasible.

    Each NHLPA player would receive one "share" in the new league (with the provision that the league would collapse if a new CBA could be reached at the NHLPA discretion). Players could buy additional shares, up to 1 per year of NHLPA membership (money would be refunded when available if the league was collapsed by the NHLPA).

    The teams would play with a salary cap in the range of one third offered by the present league, say 12 million. (this is not being hypocritical as they have potential to gain in other ways: sale of franchises if the league suceeds, temporary employment as the strike continues, and above all improved bargaining power in negotiations with the NHL owners that are hell bent on breaking their Union)

    The remaining players could do what they would be doing otherwise, playing in Europe or the AHL etc but would be discouraged from becoming replacements for the NHL as they would lose any shares in the new league.

    The main thing is opening up a second front. More bargaining power, more options, more hope. What other choices do they have. IF the new league succeeded they could write their own CBA and if they want to subsidize weak markets/teams they can do it on their own terms.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2004
  25. djhn579

    djhn579 Registered User

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    Who is going to finance this new league? The WHA can't even get stable financing.

    A big problem I see is that if the NHLPA tries to set up it's own league, I don't believe it can still represent players in the NHL. As I said earlier it would be a serious conflict of interest. So, now the NHL can do what they want because the NHLPA took themselves out of the fight.

    You're also making a big assumption that all the top talent will play in the new players league. As soon as the players try to do this, those that can't get on a team will go for the NHL. In fact, many of the top players will go to the NHL because they want the money.

    With only 4 teams, how many of the best young players in the world are going to get a chance to play on these new teams? You already have 700 players in the NHLPA going after less than 100 jobs. That leaves the NHL for the young players. Do you think those players are going to switch leagues when they are probably going to get more money from the NHL?

    Again, competeing for the cup is a dream. The players league would have to get off the ground and prove it was better than the NHL over a period of years before anything concerning the cup will change. If they try to force it through the courts, it will be locked up for years also.

    Starting a new league would not be opening a new front by the players, it would be abandoning the fight and the players would lose. Billionaire owners can pay players more and charge less for tickets long enough to put the players out of business.

    On a side note, if players are not considered to be part of the NHLPA when they get sent down to the minors, are they still members of the NHLPA if they are playing in another league? :dunno:
     
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