Is the NHLPA losing the perception war because of Baseball?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by Jaded-Fan, Dec 22, 2004.

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  1. Jaded-Fan

    Jaded-Fan Registered User

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    Not so long ago we had vast promises of owners finally unting to get a new collective bargaining agreement that would fix the sport's myriad problems, regain competitive balance, and reign in the heavy spenders. Games were lost in this effort. Am I talking about hockey? No, I am talking about baseball. Vast numbers of new stadiums were built based on these promises, funded by the fans and non-fans who live in these communities and who will be paying for them for decades and decades to come. And what did we get? The Yankees especially, but the Red Sox (lovable under dogs? with that payroll?) and a very few other teams bloating their payroll to levels approaching ten times the lowest spending teams, spending more out of control than ever.

    So does this impact the hockey situation at all and hinder the NHLPA?

    In my opinion, it does. We were sold a bill of goods in baseball built on lies and empty promises. Small wonder so many fans remember that example and find themselves solidly behind the owners, even in traditional union towns like Pittsburgh.
     
  2. me2

    me2 Calling out the crap

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    Not a lot. If hockey was making money it wouldn't be raised at all. NHLPA v NHL is about hockey and hockey alone.
     
  3. Hawker14

    Hawker14 Registered User

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    actually, i think if it was about hockey there would be a serious dialogue about the obstruction that has taken the speed from the game at most levels.

    also, hockey in it's most pure form (kids playing...it's roots) is about fun, striving to reach your potential, and sportsmanship.

    (joke ... play on words !!)

    the NHL on the other hand, is about MONEY. and the NHL has no problem generating revenue. however the owners absolutely refuse to share money amongst themselves, so they're now trying to take it from the players.

    i expect the same reaction from NHL fans, as those exhibited by baseball fans after the '94 MLB lockout.

    the blue jays, after drawing over 4 million fans in '93 have never recovered. and neither will US markets where hockey isn't a staple.

    unless bettman has plans for players on steroids and a "juiced" puck, NHL teams in certain markets are as good as gone.
     
  4. Motown Beatdown

    Motown Beatdown Need a slump buster

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    But for years before the MLB CBA we heard baseball owners crying poor. Since they signed a CBA that pretty much did nothing no one is still crying poor. What changed??
     
  5. arnie

    arnie Registered User

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    You're dead on. But there is more than money. Society tells us to go to school, become educated and work hard. Then we see all that money go to illiterates who would be stealing hub caps if they didn't happen to be able to throw a baseball. It makes us feel like chumps. And then the jocks compound it all with their arrogant sense of etititlement.
     
  6. Personally I think the NHLPA is getting killed because the players don't know when to shut up. Their comments just make it so easy to side with the owners. Mike Modano wouldn't make enough to feed his dog working under a salary cap. Jarome Iginla is afraid that he won't be able to put food on the table for his family if a salary cap is brought in. These guys are making millions and will continue to make millions and they are talking about real world struggles that they will likely never have to face. And these are the likeable guys from the NHLPA! When you have players making these grandious statements that are so out of touch with reality they do more damage to their cause than anything the owners do or say against them. All the owners have to do is sit back and let the press interview the players. Let the players continue to burn bridges in Europe. Let the players continue to threaten to play for less elsewhere. The NHLPA is making the owners case for them and is making them look really good in the process. The players are making it personal while the owners continue to hammer on the business, where the conflict lay. It is hard to be sympathetic with the players when they continually do and say things that make you shake your head. The NHLPA's worst enemy in this dispute is the NHLPA itself.
     
  7. More reasons to side against the NHLPA.

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Ottawa/2004/12/23/795336.html


    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?ID=109041&hubName=nhl

    These guys just don't get it. The more they attack Bettman personally the more the fans are going to side against them. Bettman is representing the owners and the game. You attack him, you attack them and you attack the game. If they really wanted to help their case they would ether say something nice, or shut their mouths. They are out of touch with reality and it is evident to the fans every time they open their mouths.
     
  8. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    They shouldn't be bad mouthing the commish, no. But, let's face it, some of them are right. It's not their fault Bettman is being completely unreasonable with them.
     
  9. Frenzy31

    Frenzy31 Registered User

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    I am a huge Anti-Union guy. Working in Administration in healthcare and you kind of become Anti-union.

    However, over the last month, I have changed sides a quite a bit, and now feel that Buttman is being unreasonable. The objective of negociation is give and take so that both leave (happy or unhappy) w. some kind of a medium reached. Watching the players cut salaries, across the board at 24%, and tossing on a luxury tax to boot... said that they were trying to get a deal done.

    But the owners, instead of negiciating in "good faith" took the rollback, modified it, and then tossed a cap on top of it. There is no negociating going on by the owners. They are mandating and really trying to break the union. If hockey teams were really losing as much money as they say they are, then teams would be folding. And before people bring up Pitts (who is actually making money), Ottawa - Canadians do get a raw deal in the exchange rate, and Buffalo - owned by a crook that may wind up in jail, other teams can't be doing as bad as they are, while still spending big $$$$s on players.

    This is the first time that I feel that a union is getting a raw deal. For the owners, this is about being selfish and greed. They don't want to share revenues they, don't want teams to be competitive. They want money and that is it. Short term gains, but may cost the league and individual owners far more over the long term.

    But I agree w/ some of the other fans, it will take a long time for teams to recover from this stupidity. When noone is paying attention (in the US), except for rabid fans, we have a problem.
     
  10. Egil

    Egil Registered User

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    The idea of negotiations is to "give and take", but NOT to the same degree (you want tot take more and give less).

    If you walk into a car dealership and offer 50% of the MSRP of the car, do you think the dealership will eventually meet you halfway and sell it to you for 75% of MSRP? Absolutely not, they may come down a bit, but they are not going to meet you halfway.

    And, the owners HAVE given stuff, which if you watched Bettman's press conference, he seriously hinted that they would go further on a few fronts (I suspect that if the players submitted a cap at say 57% of league revenue the owners would jump on it). The second the players propose a deal involving linkage, the lockout will end within 2 days, as the owners are willing to go much higher than their current offer in terms of the % of revenue the players recieve.

    In fact, I suspect that the players could offer a deal with no rollback, a 3 year phase in period, and linkage guaranteeing the players 58% of revenue, and the owners would take it. Now, obviously the players won't offer this right away, but they can certainly keep their current salaries, and phase in the linkage element, and get a higher % of revenue than the owners are currently proposing.
     
  11. Frenzy31

    Frenzy31 Registered User

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    I never said you need to meet half way, but I did say you have to give a little, which, IMO, the Owners did not do w/ the last proposal. The cap is still less then 40 Mill and they added on the roll back which the players offered to give. Where did they offer anything to the players that has not already been offered in a previous proposal? They didn't.
     
  12. Motown Beatdown

    Motown Beatdown Need a slump buster

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    What have they given, really tell me. From the previous CBA? The only thing they offered to do was lower UFA from 31 to 30, something the players aren't even asking for. The Players have offered up a roll back in salaries, a luxury tax, changes the entry level contracts, changes in arbitration with clubs being able to take players to arbitration. The owners haven't given at all, all they do is take the NHLPA ideas they like and add them into a hard cap.
     
  13. MarkZackKarl

    MarkZackKarl Registered User

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    .

    honestly Egil, what the hell have the owners given? Earlier UFA age? Thats not even a concession. The owners wnat that so the big stars get to the big markets, its not even a concession.

    Be realistic.
     
  14. hb6947

    hb6947 Hooked Since '78

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    The owners last proposal was in fact just a counter offer. The union should see that there is some flex in them and should try and find some variation of the cap they can work with and make its counter offer. Thats how this should be working, both sides should be making offer after offer keeping things they both can agree on along the way until they hammer something out.

    IMO the union is at fault b/c they are behind in the number of offers and the lack of urgency in the timing of their proposals. Everytime the union proposes a solution the league counters with the good points of the unions proposal, the union then says no, we read all the personal attacks by players and union officiers but no counter offers or conversation of possible positives in the lastest offer.

    I was neutral before, my feeling is both sides were at fault, but now I am hole heartedly with the league.
     
  15. Kaiped Krusader

    Kaiped Krusader Registered User

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    They offered higher minimum salaries and a lower UFA age. Those aren't the big-ticket items in these negotiations, but you can't say they haven't offered anything. And as others have pointed out, on the linkage issue they're offering compromise - as long as there's linkage. They've offered 54% of revenues or whatever; they'll negotiate on that figure.

    The fact is it's the owners who are hurting and the players who have made out like bandits over the last CBA. It's going to have to be the players who will need to make the lion's share of concessions if there is to be NHL hockey any time soon. You can't say that both sides have to give and take in all negotiations. That's only true when both sides have been dealt an even hand and both sides are relatively content with the status quo. If the league were profitable at the moment and growth prospects looked good, the players would have a heck of a lot more leverage.
     
  16. Egil

    Egil Registered User

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    First of all, you need to compare each sides offers to their previous offers, not to what we currently have. Doing this results in the following concesions from each side:

    Owners gave:

    Higher minimum wage
    Lowered UFA age
    Upped the % of revenue the players would get
    Guaranteed a minimum % of revenue the players would get

    Whereas the players gave:

    24% rollback
    Minor change to qualifying offers
    1 time chance for team to take a player to arbitration
    Slightly steeper luxury tax

    The players (and they KNOW THIS) still havn't offered a true solution to the problem. They have acknowledged that things are currently our of whack, and they have, IMHO, hit upon 2 of the larger inflationary aspects of the current CBA. But their changes were, unfortunately, cosmetic at best. If the players are SERIOUS in their want of a non-linkage system, then they better put their best cards on the table. So far, they have not even come close to doing so.

    See, the time a player is a RFA, they are supposed to be underpaid. This is the design on the current system, and it is what allows for reasonable competitive balance. Unfortunately, their is only 1 tool that a onwer has to reduce the salary of a RFA, which is to not tender him a QO and lose him for nothing. BUT, the problem is that if a player is making 95% of what he would as a UFA, but this is noticably more than other RFA's of his ilk, what do you do? The player is overpaid, but you can't reduce his salary, and your stuck paying this player more than he should be paid.

    Now, under the CBA proposed by the players, they gave the owners only 1 other tool to reduce a players salary. They will allow owners to take a player to arbitration ONCE in their career (as opposed to unlimited arbitration for players after 5 years of service), AND they will limit how often the owners can use this (in addition to the 1 time in a players career). This is the ONLY change the players have made that allows for the deflation of a players salary while a RFA. And lets be honest, this isn't enough.

    UNless the PA gets serious about adding techniques to allow a players salary to be reduced as a RFA, the league will not even bat an eye in rejecting it. Throw in 50% QO for players who are elegible for arbitration, and put in a guaranteed exit clause if player salaries exceed 63% of league revnues, and you might have a chance at a deal. But, if the players goal is to wait for the owners to make a non-linkage proposal, then we are in a ton of trouble. The players better realize that if they want a non-linkage CBA, that they better a) guarantee their numbers to a certain extent and b) put in easy to use salary delfators for underperforming RFA's. As it stands, the players have not done this, and as such, the owners have no choice but to reject it out of hand.

    Now, a similar argument can be made in reverse (with the league needing to put forth a "kinder" linkage proposal than what they have done). However, I think that the players are FARRRR more likely to present a linkage proposal than the owners are of presenting a no-linkage proposal.
     
  17. CarlRacki

    CarlRacki Registered User

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    For the (insert large number here)th time, Gary Bettman is doing the owner's bidding. The stance of the PA (and their supporters) that Bettman is running this on his own and without full support of ownership is far out of touch with reality and another reason the players continue to fare poorly in the realm of public opinion. Insulting/threatening a guy who's heeding his bosses' directions is just silly. Then again, if you read Steve Moore's statement in the Bertuzzi case, threatening people is a way of life for some of these guys.
     
  18. ceber

    ceber Registered User

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    It's in the best interest of the players and owners if each side blames the lawyers (Goodenow and Bettman) personally. That's part of what those guys are there to do... They can take all the personal attacks and heat, and when everything's said and done you don't have a situation where players and owners have attacked each other directly, since they're hopefully going to end up working together again. No emotional baggage.
     
  19. sabresfan65

    sabresfan65 Vegas HAS Hockey!! Sponsor

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    I agree with you. The one thing you miss though is that the owners aren't bashing BG. That the reason is a gag order is meaningless. The players lose every time they personally attack the leagues representative while the opposition sits and says nothing. The players are the ones looking worse and worse.
     
  20. joeminus

    joeminus Registered User

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    Strongly disagree.

    I happen to know for a fact that there are NHL owners who are completely opposed to the idea of a salary cap. Not many, but some. Bettman IS, to a certain degree, a bit of a lone ranger on this.

    But my question is this: Why is that a problem?

    The reason the NHL is in trouble right now is because while the players have been collectively looking out for their best interests, each of the 30 individual owners has been personally looking out for his own best interests.

    Meanwhile, who's putting the league first? Who's looking out for the sport of professional hockey?

    Until now, nobody.

    Now, don't get me wrong. Gary Bettman certainly wouldn't have been my first choice as the man to come to hockey's rescue. But then nobody asked my opinion. So we're stuck with him.

    At the end of the day, Bettman and the NHL will settle only for a CBA that absolutely, positively, 100%, without question ensures the financial stability of the NHL. This is because (1) the players and their agents are too self-interested to be trusted, and (2) the owners are too self-interested to be trusted.

    So, no, Bettman is not doing the owners' bidding, because the owners are not a collective. (Can you say "collusion"?) The owners can't agree on where to order lunch, let alone on how many of their billions to spend on hockey players. There are several current NHL owners who would gladly continue giving outrageous contracts to UFAs to tilt the competitive balance in their favor. Many of them would have jumped at the recent NHLPA proposal of a 24% rollback and a luxury tax. But they weren't allowed to, because it's not in the best interest of the league as a whole.

    When all is said and done, this standoff is every bit as much a battle between Big Market Owners and Small Market Owners as it is between managment (NHL) and labor (NHLPA). If not moreso.
     
  21. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    Interesting post.

    Can you give some hint to your source for this "insider" knowledge of conflict in the owners camp?
     
  22. joeminus

    joeminus Registered User

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    Unfortunately, no.

    But I can tell you that I'm not the only one hearing this:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slug=knight-onthenhlleagueshareslittl&prov=knight&type=lgns

    (Pannacio misses the whole point of the lockout, so his commentary is useless, but the few facts he manages to throw in there are worth reading.)
     
  23. PecaFan

    PecaFan Registered User

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    Just because a few owners don't agree doesn't make Bettman a lone ranger. That makes the *few* lone rangers.

    The score is around 25 - 5 supporting Bettman.
     
  24. SENSible1*

    SENSible1* Guest

    Unless I'm mistaken, Pannacio offered his opinion of what the Flyers owner thought. By contrast, these are the owners actual qoutes.
    Fromlink

    Now, I'm not naive enough to suggest that the owners are above taking a public position contrary to their private beliefs, but I think Pannacio and you are both guilty of assuming that the big market owners are willing to put a moderate competitive edge above the massive profits they can reap under Bettman's plan. I doubt that any owners would be out of step right now. They simply have too much to lose by caving and too much to win by holding the party line.
     
  25. joeminus

    joeminus Registered User

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    Fair points.

    However, the fact remains there is dissent among the owners. (Although, like someone else mentioned, it is most certainly a minority.)

    In any case, Bettman and the league are leading this charge without regard to the thoughts/feelings/opinions of their owners. Even if a majority of owners didn't like it, he'd be doing the same for the very reasons I outlined above. In that sense, he is definitely NOT doing the owners' bidding, even if many/most of them support his plan.
     
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