What I Don't Understand.....

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by FlyersFan10*, Oct 18, 2004.

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  1. FlyersFan10*

    FlyersFan10* Guest

    This lockout should be over right now. Bettman just doesn't get it. The players union will never trust him. Ever. He's proven his inability to capitalize on the popularity of the sport in the U.S. When the first lockout took place, the New York Rangers had just won the Stanley Cup. The final was some of the best hockey we had seen in years. Ratings were high, interest was high and salaries weren't going through the roof. Yet, Bettman in all his infinite wisdom decided that a lockout was the way to go because things were getting out of hand. What happened? Hockey lost all it's momentum and any chance of getting that lucrative TV deal fell through. Bettman in his infinite wisdom once again thought that by expanding into non-traditional hockey markets, the league could generate interest in the game and the league would make money. Once again, Gary's infinite wisdom was proved wrong. On top of that, the new deal that owners negotiated with the players was one in which the players benefitted greatly. Remember, it was the owners who went to the union with the "final offer" as per Harry Sinden. How could Goodenow and the union not refuse the offer the owners put forward. And now, owners are crying poor because they negotiated their own bad deal and that they want the players to accept a salary cap so that owners can prevent themselves from making bad deals? Please. What I'll say in closing is this. If the owners want the lockout to be over and get games going again, it would take two central figures to get talks going. Those figures are Lemieux and Gretzky. Bettman and the rest of the negotiating committee know this. However, they refuse to ask Gretz and Lemieux be a part of the negotiating process. Do you think Goodenow would try to discredit Gretz and Lemieux to the union? I don't think Bob would simply because it would be career suicide. I think Gretz, Lemieux, and Goodenow could hammer out an agreement and get things looked after. However, Bettman and his ego seem to be the thing that is preventing this from happening. I don't know, but I think Gary's main M.O. is to break the union. What a dolt. What a complete and utter dolt.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Oct 18, 2004
  2. chriss_co

    chriss_co Registered User

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    I won't comment on what happened in 94 because that was then. Today's situation is completely different.

    Goodenow has said quite fowardly that he doesn't want a 3rd party involved either. That is what Greztky and Lemiuex would be. Another reason he would say no is cuz they are on management's side.

    Is Gary trying to break the union? I don't think so. The only reason they aren't negotiating is because its impossible to negotiate when one says only a salary cap will work while the other side says no salary cap.

    We both know that the union can be happy with a salary cap. (Ted Saskin revealed how salary caps work and that they already work in the previous CBA with the rookie entry cap but its just the union who "decides' that a cap isn't in their best interest... ie a cap is workable but they don't feel like talking about one)

    Also, we know that a creative and 'tough' luxory tax system could work in the NHL. But the league is salivating over the NFL owners and their system and wants a similar system.

    You can't negotiate when the two sides can't agree on the basic principle of a deal. So... no, Gary isn't trying to break the union. He's doing what Goodenow is doing. Nothing.

    You ask why Gary hasn't proposed a deal? Well.. what about Goodenow? What has he done?? Neither sides have given serious proposals. So blame both of them. Not just Gary.
     
  3. degroat*

    degroat* Guest

    Did you think that if you posted the same BS twice using different wording that it would accomplish something?
     
  4. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    I agree that Bettman is not trying to break the union because that involves breaking the NHL, too. But I do not believe this is the reason there is no negotiating now. The owners are determined to get a cap, the players determined not to have a cap. Bettman assumes - correctly, I think - is the only way the owners can get what they want is by breaking a strike with replacement players.

    This means they negotiate to an impasse, the owners implement their last offer, and lift the lockout. The players go on strike and the owners play with the players who are willing to play. The problems?

    1) The strategy of breaking the strike only works in training camp. Teams will invite tons of players. They can't get replacements in January. They don't want to be playing the Stanley Cup with strikebreakers. They want the strike to start in training camp.

    2) The owners could not drive this dispute to an impasse before this season started because the colloective agreement expired too close to the beginning of the season.

    3) Therefore 2004-05 is the warm up. Unless the players do the unexpected and give in, the war really starts in 2005-06.

    4) It is way too early to negotiate when the battle is so far away. The NHL can't even declare an impasse without tabling an offer that can be implemented. They have to have a real collective agreement ready to implement and they have to have failed negotiations around that real collective agreement. They haven't tabled anything but concepts.

    5) In December, the league will start tabling real proposals. To this point the NLRB would declare they have bargained in bad faith and they have nothing to implement. Real negotiations start in December. That will leave time for several months of fruitless (but good faith) negotiations before the real battle.

    While that apparently leaves us without hockey until next September and it leaves us with replacements when it does return, it doesn't necessarily have to be.

    I think the surprise this season will be that the owners lift the lockout for the second half of the season without an agreement. There is a benefit to locking out the players in the first half of the year - save salary, send a message, bleed time off bad contracts - but there is no benefit to continuing it so far that the season is lost. Lifting the lockout puts the profitable half of the season in the owner's pocket and it minimises damage to the league, particularly in the newer markets.

    Tom
     
  5. mr gib

    mr gib Registered User

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    i agree tom - i can't see the owners kissing goodbye the 100 mil in the playoffs -
     
  6. Refuter

    Refuter Registered User

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    A very plausible theory Tom. If I hear the owners lift the lockout without reaching a deal, I'm going to remember where I heard it first.

    The only problem I see with that strategy is that it runs the risk of obliterating the fanbase, even in Canada. Even though it's amazing, polls tell us that the fans are firmly behind the owners. But shut down our hockey twice in less than a year?.....they're playing with fire.

    I'm kind of shocked that many fans are willing to shut it down for a year. But if they teased us by starting it, then stopping it again, I can't see that support holding up. It's a nuclear solution, a heck of a gamble.
     
  7. thinkwild

    thinkwild Veni Vidi Toga

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    But doesnt the players giving it to them, leave them in a worse spot later? Or at least as bad a spot as the owners in the fall. Wouldnt the optimal time for equal leverage be this January
     
  8. mr gib

    mr gib Registered User

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    us canadians are like the brits - we love the underdog - as soon as our underdog is in the gravy - wack em down - hockey players making 1.8 - holy jesus - government money for hockey teams - oh my god no - 100 million to quebec ad agencies - no problem - man
     
  9. chriss_co

    chriss_co Registered User

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    I'm shocked that I agree with most of your post.

    I, however, think that the owners are willing to forfeit that $100 million in playoff money, or whatever the figure is, if they can get a system which guarantees them more than that every year for another 10 years.
     
  10. Tom_Benjamin

    Tom_Benjamin Registered User

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    I don't think so, Doc. They can't win the dispute until the middle of the 2005-06 season anyway. Would the fans prefer to miss two season starts and no Stanley Cups or 1.5 seasons and a Stanley Cup? Most fans would opt for the former. It is the least disruption. They come back to play just when the casual fan gets interested. The diehards will be there and those on the owner's side will swallow any excuse.

    The NHL may declare an impasse and implement something they aren't allowed to implement and end the lockout. A couple of weeks later training camps are coming to an end and the big, bad, NLRB restores the old CBA. "We disagree with the decision," Gary will say. "We think we are bargaining in good faith, but we accept the decision. To show our good faith, we will table new proposals and play while we are negotiating. We can't take a Cup away from the fans."

    It shows good faith, and they have to show good faith by next September. That's the impasse dispute they have to win. If they do nothing but table salary cap systems they may lose anyway, but they have to win next September and lifting the lockout would help in that regard. Even if they don't try for an impasse that they will lose, they can lift the lockout as part of a new bargaining strategy released concurrently with a new offer.

    Plus, as long as they can get an impasse declared and their best offer implemented next September, it won't be the owners who shut down the game. It will be the players.

    Suppose the owners lift the lockout in December and increase their offer to $35 million a team. The players reject it. The season starts. The owners offer free agency at age 29. Players reject it. Season continues. Owners offer arbitration after three years instead of five, plus a $38 million cap. And so on until there is a complete, coherent CBA on the table, one that is resolutely rejected by the players.

    The final offer in September is a complete package, $45 million cap, free agency at 29, arbitration after rookie contract, a definition of hockey revenues that pushes the number up to $2.5 billion... As long as the NLRB agrees the negotiations are at impasse, where will the players be? They vote to strike and the fans will absolutely go ballistic. They will watch replacements out of spite.

    The strike will be broken next fall or the owners cave. Either way, we have a new deal in January 2006 and not before. Why wouldn't the owners want to play the second half of the season?

    Thinkwild is right. The players - if they want to exercise all their leverage - should strike if the lockout is lifted. Or come back to work and strike just before the playoffs. That's how the World Series was cancelled in 1994. The players faced the choice of striking when they had the leverage or going up against replacements in the spring of 1995. The owners wanted to play out the season. The players chose strike. Will the NHLPA go the same route?

    I don't know, but I'm pretty sure the owners intend to give them the choice. I can't think of another plan that makes sense. The owners can't just lay out concepts. They have to lay a specific CBA on the table before they can win a ruling there is an impasse. If they planned to declare impasse sometime this season, they'd better get cracking. They can't do nothing.

    If they want an impasse declared next September they have to do hard bargaining for months. Does it matter whether they play or not while that charade continues? Not to the owners. Just like the baseball owners it is better for them if they do play until the NHL is ready to use replacements.

    Tom
     
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