Stan Fischler: Goodenow to blame

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by Seachd, Nov 12, 2004.

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  1. Seachd

    Seachd Registered User

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    Article by Stan Fischler: http://msn.foxsports.com/story/3155786

    -"Needless to say, there are those pro-NHLPA critics in the audience — a distinct minority, I might add — who argue that the league is attempting to crush the Association of Millionaires.

    Well, think about it, for a moment. If the players should win this war, it will have crushed the league; so why wouldn't Bettman, Inc. want to defeat the enemy which seems hell-bent on destroying it?"


    -"...when the league asked the NHLPA to guarantee the savings it promised, the union declined. They know damn well, those so-called "savings" are as useful as Monopoly money."

    -"We checked the NHL numbers and they were awful. In fact, they were so bad right across the entire league spectrum that we decided that it was ridiculous to consider such a move. To an investor, hockey just doesn't work." - Marc Gold, part owner of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, giving his reason for backing out of buying an NHL team.
     
  2. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Registered User

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    This taking sides is getting rediculous. Both sides are to blame. Both sides signed a deal that didn't work. The owners couldn't control themselves and the players don't want to admit there's a problem. The Forbes report says(estimates) that the league lost almost $100B last year and some think this is a huge win for the PA. The league is in trouble, but all we as the fans get is a pissing contest and seemingly no interest in getting this fixed. You can argue the nuts and bolts of it all, but each side is taking a position that the other won't even entertain. I think this season will go down the drain just so each side can prove that they are willing to go through with it and not crack.
     
  3. djhn579

    djhn579 Registered User

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    Actually, the NHLPA can't accept a salary cap of any kind without losing face, even if they know their are serious problems. The NHL has to maintain the position that they are seriously trying to get an agreement with the union, but need cost certainty in some form. By this point, both sides know there will be some form of cost certainty. The NHL will wait a repectable period of time, then come out and say "we tried, but the NHLPA refused to bargain, regretfully, we must declare an impasse if this offer is not accepted by the NHLPA as our best and final offer..."

    The NHLPA will try to fight it, but in the end, they will have to accept it and then they will bargain a new CBA with the cost certainty the NHL put in their best and final offer.

    The NHLPA will say that "we didn't want a cap, but after impasse was declared and held up by the court, we had no choice but to bargain with the imposed cost certainty... "

    Just my opinion, but after impasse is declared, it only hurts the players more to play games like "rolling strikes" or "refuse to play in the playoffs". The NHLPA has little choice but to bargain. Yes, decertification is still an option, but then a lot of players that had not been making a lot of money may decide that the new CBA is okay and vote to not decertify.
     
  4. struckmatch

    struckmatch Registered User

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    Exactly. Thats why I've been saying all along that the players are basically fighting a losing battle. The owners are too strong to fold this time, and quite soon they will start thinking about an impasse, and replacement players, and basically the NHLPA will be forced into an economic system in which they had no say in, because it was implemented and agreed upon by the owners alone.

    The NHLPA would be doing themselves a huge favor by making some significant concessions, and trying to negotiate a salary cap right now. I'm not saying they should just fold, but I think they should make a proposal centered around a stiff luxury tax, a significant luxury tax that would get the owners thinking a bit. Who knows, maybe some owners will realise that a stiff luxury tax will be a good system for the league, and put some pressure on Bettman.

    Its hard to see the logic behind the PA's position, and unwillingness to make concessions, I have to ask myself everyday, does the PA think they will end up with a system that resembles anything like the current CBA, and the free market system in which they desire?

    I think the answer to that is no, the players need to come to terms with the fact that the economic landscape of the NHL will change drastically, and they should be trying to get the best deal out of it possible. If the players make some decent concessions and make a meaningful proposal, they may come out of these negotiations better off than the NFLPA, which says a lot since the NFL is the most successful sports league in North America, and if any professional athletes should be making the most, its them.
     
  5. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    They know they will.

    If they were going to do that, they would have done it before the season started. Goodenow told them they were probably going to lose at least a year and probably more. They are reconciled to it.

    The owners can't do any more. They've got their Levitt report and public opinion solidly on their side. The players have been painted as greedy pigs. Most of the players have accepted huge pay cuts to play elsewhere. The ones who haven't don't need the money. What else can the owners do? When the league is trotting out William Wirtz to warn the players, they have shot their bolt.

    Everything that happens from here until the beginning of next season is bad for the owners. The profitable half of the season is about to be lost.

    The players have finally started to fight back by pointing out that Gary Bettman is an incompetent who doesn't know the game of hockey. Forbes has Daly explaining that, yes, franchise values keep rising, but owners need a new economic system so they will rise faster. European hockey is benefiting so much that John Davidson wonders whether players can get good medical care in Europe - look at what happened to Zholtok! - and Pierre Maguire wonders why anyone isn't talking about terrorist threats in Russia. Sheesh.

    What do the owners do next? When? The players aren't going to do anything except go play somewhere else. It is not nearly as lucrative for most of them but they aren't starving and they are playing. Do they look like they are about to change their position? Not to me.

    Tom
     
  6. struckmatch

    struckmatch Registered User

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    Going to do what? Make a decent proposal that is actually geared towards the financial problems in this league? I don't want the players to fold, I want them to make a significant luxury tax proposal, because the owners aren't going to fold, so basically, its a matter of time before the NHLPA is going to have to make some significant concessions, all I want is for that length of time to be as short as possible.

    How is everything that can happen from now on until the end of the season bad for only the owners, the players have this these things called paycheques, in which they will continue losing for the remainder of the season. If you ask me, thats bad for the players.

    How have the players started to fight back? The players are being owned in the PR war, is Forbes magazine their defense now? So let me get this straight, the NHLPA won't hire their own personal auditor to look at the NHL's books, but they'll take Forbes magazine's word on everything, and act like its the tell all, end all? Thats quite stupid if you ask me.

    I never said they were going to change their position, I said they should think of making some significant concessions, because they aren't winning this fight. I can't see the owners crumbling until they get the system that they are 100 percent satisfied with. What happens when the owners declare an impasse, and the door is open for replacement players? If thats a or a year and a half down the road from now, with a hockey starved nation like Canada, replacement players on NHL teams will draw interest, obviously not the same interest that superstars will draw, but the attention will be there. Also, a number of PA members will jump ship and be replacement players, crumbling the NHLPA.

    Its inevitable for the PA to lose these negotiations, but they can limit their losses if they act in the near future, like I said, if they come out better than the NFLPA, that should be a moral victory for the NHLPA considering that the NFL makes a ton more money than the NHL, but pays its players a lot less on average, wow, that makes so much sense.
     
  7. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    And I'm saying the players aren't going to do it. If they were going to make more significant concessions than they have already made, they would have done it at the beginning of the year. What changed now? What changes in three months?

    Sure. And the players are mad about that. But fine, the season is cancelled. The players expect that now. They - realistically - expected it from the first game that was cancelled. It isn't like they haven't heard the threats. Now what?

    The owners have to do a lot before they get to this point. First they have to table an offer. When? Let's go. Bring it on. I don't think the players will cross and I don't think fans will get very excited about replacements. But we'll see. When? Bring it on. The ball is in the owner's court.

    A grand total of six Ottawa Senators are unemployed right now. Cancel the season and the number will drop to zero. This is it? The rinks stay dark, the players work in Europe and the minor leagues and the NHL is no more?

    Tom
     
  8. SwisshockeyAcademy

    SwisshockeyAcademy Registered User

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    More monster trucks, more John Buffett, more magic shows. Hopefully the players will enjoy Europe. Ain't nothing like the Russian League baby, ain't nothing like the Russian League.
     
  9. triggrman

    triggrman Registered User

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    Tom how many of those players are making more than 1.5M, one or two maybe? For the most part the players playing overseas are making considerably less than they would make over here, notice my quote from Modano below that was his reaction to going overseas where he could make up to $400 a night. Make no mistake, money trumps pride in the end.
     
  10. Seachd

    Seachd Registered User

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    Which is why the players are willing to give up one of their few chances at the Cup. Sad and disappointing if you ask me. I know I won't feel bad for someone like Pronger if he never wins a Cup.
     
  11. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    Okay, so when is the end? This season is cancelled so the players will go "Oh my gosh! We were being really foolish! I lost $1.3 million and the chance to play in a league designed by the little snot Gary Bettman! Let's give this up!"

    See any signs? Money is the only thing the owners have going for them. So far, it hasn't trumped anything.

    Tom
     
  12. thinkwild

    thinkwild Veni Vidi Toga

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    And what exactly is the prize the owners get for winning a PR war. An academy award?

    Oh spare me. Pretty stinging words from Mr Fischler. Goodenow is surely no saint in all this. He keeps using the line, the players just want to negotiate like they have done for decades now. Thats the words of a victim getting payback. For Goodenow to blame Bettman for expansion, I agree with Burke, we all wanted it. The primary complaint when there was a 21 team league and 16 made the playoffs was that the regular season was a farce. It was a standing joke. We needed more teams to give it meaning. Now we have more teams, and the complaint is that its too hard to make the playoffs.

    The players have to make some allowances for the expamsion too. But the owners should be held accountable too. They pocketed all that expansion money instead of using it for the good of the league.

    But the players are willing to make big concessions. Get off the stupid cap owners!
     
  13. Seachd

    Seachd Registered User

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    No, they're not. That's a major problem.
     
  14. Cully9

    Cully9 Registered User

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    If the owners "pocketed" all that expansion money, how does one explain the dramatic rise in player salaries? If they had pocketed the expansion money, wouldn't salaries have remained the same? Truth is, with the influx of cash, owners turned around and spent more on players, which is why there is appalling hypocrisy in the PA complaining about expansion (not to mention the additional jobs, and dues-paying members that the PA got because of it).

    Which proposal by the players indicates anything close to "big concessions"? Keep in mind, any luxury tax rates that are too steep for their liking automatically get deemed a cap, even when it's not (say, a dollar-for-dollar tax like the NBA has).

    There's no reason for the owners to get off the desire for a cap because they own the business. If the players are so opposed to the principle of a cap, they can feel free to play in other non-capped leagues for a fraction of what they'd get in the NHL.
     
  15. thinkwild

    thinkwild Veni Vidi Toga

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    Touché. But salaries wouldnt of remained the same. The dramatic rise in salaries came about because of the dramatic rise in revenues available to pay them, not just expanision revenue, and the fierce competition to get into the playoffs and win more of it. But OK, the owners didnt just pocket it, they helped drive up salaries with it. Now they dont have it. Who is forcing them to spend it now? The players arent asking for any money in the cba, they are asking for the right to negotiate with a team what that it is. No one is asking them to pay more than they can afford.


    The players have agreed to negotiate salary rollbacks, entry level rollbacks, bonus restructuring, revenue sharing, luxury taxes. They have maintained they are agreeable to helping out the owners in many ways. You seem to have it stuck it in your head that without a punitive tax, it wont work. I have no idea why you think that. If we use Forbes numbers (agreed not accurate), then take out the rich teams losing money because they chose too, the small teams losing money because they sell no tickets, and the accounting trickery designed to help tax shelters, the remaining valid losses can be easily generated with entry level cuts, and nominal taxation to help the other teams. I see no reason or advantage to a punitive taxation that only the few very rich can afford. A punitive tax will probably raise less money for teams that need it. The owners are even more against a luxury tax than the players

    If thats what you want, fine, bite off your nose to spite your face. The starving billionaires appreciate your support.
     
  16. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    Sure they can. They proposed one. They're calling it a luxury tax. It's nothing more than a cap with it's "hardness" determined by the tax rate. The owners are deadset against any proposal using the term "luxury tax" and the NHLPA feels the same about "salary cap". Negotiations are frozen due to semantics. There's a way out of this so both sides can claim victory. Call the damn thing a Payroll Tariff, so there's no offensive words, and structure the tax rate to achieve a reasonable degree of "cost certainty".
     
  17. thinkwild

    thinkwild Veni Vidi Toga

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    A salary toque. Or a salary tax. Payroll tariff not bad

    A payroll tax, is usually paid by the employer, like employment insurance. Not a bad idea, then the money collected can be redistributed in a fashion that no one goes bankrupt. And no salary cap required.
     
  18. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    I wish I could agree. They are fundamentally different unless the tax rate is so high that it works like a defacto cap. The players don't mind it if it merely represents a drag on salaries, if big revenue teams are still willing to spend. The result for them will be pretty much the same. It will reduce spending by the big boys, but that is offset because the proceeds of the luxury tax ending up in the pockets of low revenue teams. What the big teams don't spend on their own players, the small teams will spend on theirs.

    A properly designed luxury tax would leave overall spending about the same. It would, however, reduce the disparity between payrolls. That disparity was a specific problem the NHL raised about the existing CBA and a luxury tax solves it.

    It doesn't work for the owners because payroll disparity is really a competitive balance issue and the competitive balance issue is a fraud. When the players say "luxury tax" the owners correctly hear "revenue sharing" and revenue sharing is not a solution the owners are willing to talk about.

    Tom
     
  19. djhn579

    djhn579 Registered User

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    Your right. I should have said "any deal linking salaries to revenues"
     
  20. thinkwild

    thinkwild Veni Vidi Toga

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    And the owners refuse or are unable to link their salaries to their revenues because otherwise they will lose money?
     
  21. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    i think you should pay attention before you speak.

    the PA has made major concessions and they already acknolowedge the NHL is not a free market.

    dr
     
  22. Jussi

    Jussi Registered User

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    Finnish player agent and former NHL player Petteri Lehto writes in the latest issue of Finnish hockey mag Jääkiekkolehti (loose translation):

    "Even though the lock out has imposed by the players and they're primarily responsible for the league running and guidelines when thinking of the future, the players have to think quickly how long a system based on a free market is a better system than a 31 million dollar salary cap.

    If the 2,3 billion dollar income is reduced to 1,5 billion, market econmy will quickly drive the salaries lower than the offered 31 million level."

    Included were comments about the lack of intrest in the lock out and the declining interest in hockey in general.
     
  23. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    Have the players acknowledged this? I wouldn't. The NHL argument splits semantical hairs with all the sound bites. As soon as the players started talking about a free market system, the owners countered with "There isn't a free market now and there never has been a free market" talking point.

    This is important because the best player argument is that free markets work best, and if for one reason or another you can't make them free, there should be as few restrictions as possible. That principle underlies our way of life. To suggest otherwise is frankly Unamerican and Uncanadian. In what other industry are the businesses so rabidly socialist?

    Anyway, so what do you discover if you stop and think about the soundbite instead of mindlessly repeating it? You discover that every restriction to a free market disadvantages the players and advantages the owners. The regulation that exists favours the owners!

    They exist for one reason and one reason only: competitive balance. But let's not kid ourselves about who pays the price for that competitive balance. The players do. The best system for the owners was when players were never free. The best system for the players would be a completely free market. There might be fewer jobs but the average salary would probably be a lot higher.

    There is not a free market for the best prospects because the best prospects can't negotiate with the richest teams, and because even the richest teams can't pay him more than a salary maximum. There is not a free market for restricted free agents because they are restricted to one team and if they sign with a different employer there is onerous compensation.

    There is a free market for unrestricted free agents and not surprisingly, these players are the highest paid by far. Only the very best restricted free agents come close to what a good player who is truly free can get.

    When the players say they want a free market, they mean they do not want artificial restrictions placed on what teams can spend. They actually expect teams to compete over them. Gasp. The owners want to render that competition meaningless.

    Right now the system works for the player because restrictions for rookies and restricted free agents free up more money for unrestricted free agents. If the team sets their player budget at $40 million and a rookie making $700,000 wins a top line job, the team has more money to spend elsewhere. As long as the teams can spend whatever they want in total, the players will get their fair share.

    That's a free market.

    Tom
     
  24. SuperUnknown

    SuperUnknown Registered User

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    That's not true, in a true free system, the owners can make any offer to the players, they don't have to match or anything else. Also, they can include non competing agreements that could force players into signing somewhere else than the NHL if they decided not to continue playing for their current team. They wouldn't need to have the current benefits the players have (injury insurance and so on).

    As soon as there are regulations one way or another, it ain't a free market anymore.
     
  25. struckmatch

    struckmatch Registered User

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    I think you should show me the major concessions the PA has made.
     
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