An offer the PA can and will refuse

GaryFather
Renaud Lavoie of RDS is reporting details of the NHL’s initial offer to the Players Association.
Fearless prediction: It ain’t gonna fly.
Now the fun begins …

Lavoie, on Twitter, writes the league is proposing:

• The players’ share of revenues drops from 57 per cent to 46 per cent of hockey-related revenues. The NHL also wants to redefine, and thereby reduce, HRR. What it boils don to is a 20 per cent salary cut for every player in the league.

• 10 seasons in the league before a player can become an Unrestricted Free Agent. It’s currently seven.

• Entry-level contracts run five years, up from three.

• Contracts are limited to five years. There is currently no limit.

• No salary arbitration.

This is, of course, ludicrous.

And because Donald Fehr’s mother didn’t raise any idiots, the executive director of the NHLPA will laugh off this absurdly lowball offer before serious negotiation begins.

Bruce Arthur of the National Post is not optimistic.

Arthur tweets: What that report basically means is that unless the NHL is bluffing its ass off, we’re heading for a lockout.

The NBA went from players getting 57% of revenues to about 50%. The NFL went from 53 to 48. Both required lockouts. Settle in.

So what will you be watching on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights this October … and November … and December …?

Here’s a good analysis of the proposals by Ben Kerr

More good stuff, from Nashville

164 Comments

  1. HankHardball says:

    This proposal is not serious negotiation. It’s an insult.
    What does Bettman think this is? Kiddie Garden?

    You’ve just lost the house, Gary. Public sentiment will now never be behind you like it was the last time.

    And hopefully, once it’s done, the Little General will be forced into exile.

  2. youngwun says:

    Imagine a lockout happens this year! What do we dooo??

  3. Habfan17 says:

    What I would like to see is that contracts not be guaranteed. I think the NHL should adopt the model used by the NFL. Modified slightly but where a team can release a player at season’s end or after training camp out right. Only a portion of their salary would be guaranteed, say 50%. Then change entry level to 4 years from 3 and qualifications for free agency to an age rather than a lenght of time. just say 28 years old. Then the college players aren’t hurt by staying in college until they complete their degree and the teams get back their investment on drafted players who do make the jump earlier. The players are still in the primes of their careers

    Habfan17

  4. rhino514 says:

    Does anyone find it strange that AK hasn´t found a team yet?
    Are teams staying away from simply because he made one error of judgement letting Radulov cajole him into going out for a couple of drinks? Or is there something else we don´t know? the guy is good for at least twenty goals…

  5. Heisenberg_ says:

    I’m no Vito Corleone…
    but wouldn’t Bettman make an awesome Fredo!

    __________________________________________________________________ “Never give up control. Live life on your own terms. Every life comes with a death sentence.”

    • HabFab says:

      As long as I can be Michael and slap him around.

    • bel33 says:

      sidenote: I just started watching Breaking Bad from the beginning with my wife… so I get your Avatar and Forum name now. GREAT SHOW!!! Cheers!

      • Heisenberg_ says:

        Cheers to you my friend. A little friendly advice, try to avoid AMC’s trailers for season 5, there are some spoilers in one of them.

        __________________________________________________________________ “Never give up control. Live life on your own terms. Every life comes with a death sentence.”

        • ZepFan2 says:

          Not only the trailers, the write ups. I started reading the write up on season 5 in the gazette when I saw they were about to spoil the ending of season 4. I’m 5 eps from season 4. No spoilers for me please!

          A little slow at the beginning, but wow, talk about acceleration.

          Also, no spoilers for the Wire.

          ———————————————————————-
          “Them summer days, those summer days” – Sly Stone

          Hot fun in the Summertime

          • Clay says:

            The Wire – another great show.
            My current favourite is ‘The Newsroom’ on HBO. Highly recommended!

            __________________________
            ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

        • ZepFan2 says:

          Clay,

          The Wire is excellent. I love Omar. I also love the fact the actor who plays Omar also plays one of my favs from Boardwalk Empire, Chalky White.

          I’m going to try and catch the Newsroom. I don’t know how many shows I’ve missed, so I’ll probably catch it in reruns. Looks good though.

          The best TV is on HBO and AMC.

          ———————————————————————-
          “Them summer days, those summer days” – Sly Stone

          Hot fun in the Summertime

      • Clay says:

        One of the best shows around.

        __________________________
        ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

  6. naweed235 says:

    so what do the players do if there is a lockout? will they all be in Hamilton?

  7. HabsDC says:

    Everyone should peruse the Forbes list (HabFab provided the link earlier: http://www.forbes.com/nhl-valuations/list).

    If you sort by operating income, the top six teams made a cumulative $228M in 2010/2011, and the remaining 24 teams lost a cumulative $101.5M. The current CBA, while worlds better than the pre-lockout agreement, still does not make business sense for the sport as a whole. The league’s opening offer may seem extreme at first glance, but my gut says it’s not that far off from where the final compromise needs to be for the long-term health of the NHL.

    • HabFab says:

      That is why the NHLPA has been talking greater Revenue sharing between the Teams.

      • Clay says:

        Seriously though – F*^K revenue sharing. I’m tired of Canadian teams with much higher tax rates having to prop up weak US teams, who then turn around and get better players than we can get because they don’t want to play here under our tax burden (and cold winters).

        __________________________
        ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

          • Clay says:

            BTW – I am a socialist. But that also means fairness, not what the conservatives tell people it means to scare them into giving more money to the rich and corporate elite.

            __________________________
            ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

          • OneTimer says:

            Clay: right on, brother.

      • bart says:

        Supposedly it’s for the general good of the sport. Right. Or, perhaps, Bettman and company have no business selling franchises to cities/areas that ultimately just aren’t viable…..like the south, perhaps? Further, revenue sharing takes from those who are doing a good job selling their product to reward those who are not, thereby penalizing these who have done a good job. Don’t get me wrong….I’m a democratic socialist, at heart. However, something about this just stinks!! Never mind that the NHL has been perpetuating a very poor business model, with the collusion of the NHLPA. A pox on both your houses!

        • bart says:

          You know, the more I think about this, the more disgusted I get!! A family of 4 cannot begin to afford to take in Canada’s national pasttime on a Saturday night. Think about it: at $200 a ticket, it would cost $800 + food + parking + souvenirs + whatever. That’s over $1000 for one game, on one night, for one family of 4. In other words, an average family cannot begin to enjoy this game. $1000+ is almost what i take home every other week, as a nurse!!! Does this make sense to anyone????? Hockey has become the pervue of the upper middle class, and damn the working man! Maybe what we need is for athletes to begin paying revenue sharing with the fans….oh wait, that’s called taxes. Silly me! Oops, crap! But we don’t see any of that! Thanks to the GW wannabe in Ottawa. Sorry….that’s another subject. Either way, it’s time the fans started boycotting professional sports to demand a return to sanity and fairness….for the average Joe trying to feed his family and provide some fun every half year or so. Players, owners….you’re all greedy capitalists, with no concern for the ones paying the bills. You just use us week in week out.And we’re stupid enough to let you do it!!

    • B says:

      How does the owners income compare to the players income? The average team payroll of those top 6 teams was probably over $60M last season. So players on the top six teams made at least a cumulative $360M (6×60) income compared to those 6 owners $228M? The players on the remaining teams averaged well over $50M per team in income compared to those other 24 owners loosing an average (by your numbers) $101.5M / 24 = $4.229M?

      This is just a simple rough estimate comparison, but it looks like a great situation for the players (not one of whom had a negative income last season). I must be missing something here.

  8. rhino514 says:

    So everyone here has been hoping for an amnesty buyout clause for months and instead of any mention of that it seems the cap will come down quite a bit due to changes in revenue sharing. This means that bad contracts are going to hurt alooooot more. We all know who I´m talking about, right?
    There is one sliver of hope, though, the teams and owners decide to start the season with the old CBA in place; this would make for a much smoother transition.

    But I don´t understand what happens to current contracts if the new CBA comes into being. The salary cap would go down, but teams are already stuck with big contracts some of which run for many years. There is no way they could get under the new cap, even if new contracts take a beating. Player´s contracts are guaranteed which means they cannot be affected by changes in the new CBA. And if that´s the case, how can teams afford to pay anything but chump change to entry level players and to players whose contracts will be finishing shortly?? Shouldn´t there be some mechanism for transition?

  9. bart says:

    Interesting comments all…..I agree that the initial offer fron owners is ridiculous; but, then, again, that’s typical of negotiations. Eventually, they’ll arrive at a mtually agreeable compromise. There are some interesting points to consider, however: maximum contract terms of 5 years? I agree. Anything more and a franchise can potentially hamstring itself – eg. New Jersey with their outrageous Kovalchuck contract, Pittsburgh with their Crosby contract…..Minnesota? They’re letting themselves in for a world of hurt where the league will eventually end up bailing them out. Greed? Darn right! By both sides. No player is worth what they are paying. It’s a damn game, for crying out loud! A high school grad hockey player makes $900,000 -mega millions. An ER nurse makes $75,000. Where the heck is our sense of values?! A hockey player gets 2.5 million to play a game, sit on a bench, whatever….an infantry soldier on the battlefield in Afghanistan gets $30,000 for the privilege of getting his leg blown off. Come on….get some perspective. No, I’m not on a politics kick here….just asking us to decide what and who really matters in life. Anyway, as for the $200 tickets and sellouts, supply and demand…the sad thing is, a normal family cannot afford to go out and take in a hockey game anymore. I know we can’t. And that’s just so sad. I remember going to Habs games, with a standing room ticket at $5.00! And it was fun. And, no, it wasn’t a hundred years ago! Lower ticket prices drastically, as well as salaries. Institute a maximum salary….$5 million, no more. I know, it’s just an arbitrary figure….but the point is there. You know, how many 21 year olds have the maturity to handle the fame, megabucks, and attention….think about that. There! I said my peace. Oh….before I forget, screw the signing bonuses — they’re just cynical greedy money grabs, another way to make sure you get what you want, even if the franchise goes belly up! Sheesh! Bloody nerve!!!

  10. HardHabits says:

    New poll question should be:

    Q: With the changes the NHL is proposing during the offseason, do you think they will make the playoffs next year?

  11. Strummer says:

    You won’t get us NHL!

    We’re part of the union!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iTE6c3ptK0

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  12. Old Bald Bird says:

    Folks are writing in that this is a standard opening salvo, but IMO it is bad faith bargaining. If you want to tick off the other side and make them dig their heels in right away, this is the perfect way to do it. This is ridiculous. Of course, that’s just what I think, and I seem to be in the minority.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think I am in agreement with you, I understand the concept of opening salvo, but these requests are so drastically different from the current agreement which most iinvolved felt the owners won. To now open with such dramatic changes only provides ammunition for Donald Fehr to do to hockey what he did to baseball. Bring it to a grinding halt. Not that he would be solely to blame, but Fehr is not someone to play poker with, Bettman and his band of owners/lawyers had better be careful how they proceed.

  13. Gumper Knows Best says:

    So here’s the bottom line.
    In a few weeks, this opening salvo will already be forgotten.

    They will get a deal done when both lawyers can tell their respective client bases they won most of the battles. No side can come out of this being projected a loser.

    They have established the end result, and now move backwards hashing out the details.

  14. novahab says:

    I don’t disagree with the NHL’s offer. It’s not like we will have to fund raise so the players can eat, Capitalistic greed is destroying the free world. It is us fans that should strike to teach both owners and players who really pays the shot.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Hear hear!!!!

      Habfan17

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Les! Lead the charge, I am with you!
      Not sure what Communism is all about, but just maybe!

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        The Black Book of Communism might be a good place to start. Maybe someone can tell us one place where it’s worked. And don’t anyone start the “that wasn’t real communism” meme. It’s what happens every time. The answer to the failure of communism isn’t better communists.

        http://www.amazon.com/The-Black-Book-Communism-Repression/dp/0674076087

        • Clay says:

          Social-Democratic countries – Scandinavian countries do it well. See Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands.

          __________________________
          ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

          • HabFab says:

            Canada doesn’t do it too bad either ;)

          • Thomas Le Fan says:

            Sweden, Norway and Denmark did not join the Eurozone. Finland is not a Scandinavian country and Canada has a conservative P.M. Facts are such pesky things, eh?

          • Clay says:

            I’m sorry Thomas – was I discussing the Eurozone at all, or claiming any countries were in it? Yes, technically Finland is a Nordic country, but that was hardly the point now, was it? You have a bone to pick, yet come out with an incredible weak argument. My point was to cite exmples of countries which are doing well practicing social democracy. What was yours?
            As for Canada – I would answer Frank’s post with this:
            We used to do not too bad, but the current far-right regime is doing a great job of dismantling our social democracy.

            __________________________
            ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

          • Thomas Le Fan says:

            Well Clay, what were we discussing? Were you not responding to my response to the inane comment that “Capitalistic greed is destroying the free world”? SOME social democratic countries do well, yes, and economically they are still capitalist in nature. Europe’s entire socialist model, however, is in imminent danger of collapse because of the likes of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. The so-called PIIGS. My main point, however, is ENOUGH politics …

            Go Habs!

        • boing007 says:

          The Hutterites are basically a religious, communist society:

          All members of the colony are provided for and nothing is kept for personal gain. Hutterites do not have personal bank accounts; rather, all earnings are held communally and funding for necessities is distributed according to one’s needs.

          So I guess it can, and does, work in parts of our world.

          Richard R
          Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • ont fan says:

      Supply and demand. They are just trying to find an amicable way to divy up our money. Relax, they aren’t going to kill the cash cow.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      “Capitalistic greed is destroying the free world”

      Wow. Let me get my head around that. And I guess “us fans” ought to occupy a park or two and demand world socialism, as well? Because we know how well that’s worked when and where it’s been tried. Greece anyone? Got a spare Euro? Pity we can’t talk hockey without inane political comments but I guess we can’t.

    • commandant says:

      Yeah, Go Billionaire Owners GO! Destroy those capitalistic greedy players!! WOO HOO Bell Media, Rogers, Molson, Comcast, etc…

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • boing007 says:

      That’s right.

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  15. HabFab says:

    For context, see Forbes NHL Team figures for 2010-2011 season.
    The last two columns are the important ones here:
    Revenue = monies made by the team.
    Operating Income = money left after expenses but before debt interest and taxes taken.
    http://www.forbes.com/nhl-valuations/list/#p_1_s_d5_

  16. punkster says:

    Great. More reasons for the commentariat to wring their hands and wail about the future.

    Neither Fehr nor Bettman are rookies at this game. They’ll resolve it sooner or later, both claim victory and the season will begin at some point. In the mean time everybody loses.

    Play some golf (or soccer or tennis), fire up the bbq, crank up the tunes and enjoy the summer…however long it lasts.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Okay fine, I will go golfing shorlty, thanks for the advice Punkster! In fact I will just go and golf again tomorrow, just as I did yesterday!

    • Clay says:

      I hate golf (*ducks*)
      Can I go to the beach instead?

      __________________________
      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

  17. jon514 says:

    Total gong show.

    “This Team is Less than the sum of it’s parts while Gomez is one of those parts.”

  18. Ian Cobb says:

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    For Summit tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  19. habsfan0 says:

    The NHL owners’ initial offer is a testament that they are prepared to play hardball; this round of labour negotiations will turn acrimonious and ugly in a hurry. I’ll be very surprised if the first NHL game played is prior to the New Year’s Day Winter Classic between the Leafs and Wings.

    Anybody see Donald Fehr’s latest presser,with PK Subban peeking over his right shoulder?

    • Habfan17 says:

      This is perfectly normal and I would not give much creedence to Renaud Lavoie. Both sides have said that the first two meetings went well. It is typical for the first list of wants to be unrealistic and that each side will ask for something they don’t really want, then “pretend” to give in on it and settle for something else, which is what they really wanted.

      Since this is the first time that the NHL os negotiating a CBA with Fehr, it makes sense that there would be a “feeling out” period. I am sure they have researched his negotiating style and are well aware of how he works and what he would be prepared to do. Fehr has said that the NHLPA is not looking for a work stoppage and the NHL probably wants to avoid one too. It is too risky that some fans would go away, especially in the states. Some fans, may just decide they are tired of multi millionaires fighting over the huge money and say take your league and shove it!

      I think it is just posturing and am not overly concerned. It is only July! They will work things out. Entry level contracts for 4 years, free agency eligibility remains at 7 years, revenue sharing drops to 54%, something along those lines. Maybe each team can designate one franchise player who would be exempt from the cap and who’s contract could exceed the 5 years proposed. I read that the NHLPA wants contracts for player2 over 40 exempt form the cap.
      These points need to be negotiated and part of the CBA due to the fact that if the teams started offering maximum contracts of 5 years, the players could claim collusion.

      That would also change the cap hit if a player signs a contact where the last year or two would be when they are over 40, so owners may not like it. They would not be able to use it as a tool to reduce the cap hit, which would mean the owners would only offer contracts that would end before their 40th birthday. This poses a risk the players would not get another contract.

      Habfan17

  20. commandant says:

    @Bobinsask

    Remember in 2004? The owners hired a guy named Arthur Levitt to write a report on how much money they were “losing”. This report supposedly looked at all the owners books and figured out what there revenues were. It came out that 21 teams were “losing money”.

    Then the lockout happened and when everything was settled, the players took a 24% paycut, and the cap was set at 39 million based on the revenues the owners reported in the Levitt report.

    After that first season, when the players were allowed to look at the books, and HRR was taken into account, the cap rose nearly 25% because the actual revenues were way higher than what Levitt had reported.

    History repeats itself. Don’t buy into the crap about all these owners losing money. Its all part of the negotiation strategy.

    The difference this time is that the players have the owners books for the last six years and things aren’t as secretive as they were in 2004. They can pull the wool over the fans eyes, but not over the PA’s.

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • 44har48 says:

      Thank you…this boils my blood, and I thought I would have to say what you just did and well….arrrrghhhhhhh.

      Here is the data to prove our point:

      2005-06 NHL season – 39.0 million
      2006-07 NHL season – 44.0 million
      2007-08 NHL season – 50.3 million
      2008-09 NHL season – 56.7 million
      2009-10 NHL season – 56.8 million
      2010-11 NHL season – 59.4 million
      2011-12 NHL season – 64.3 million
      2012-13 NHL season – 70.2 million

      Cry me a river with your cooked books. Show the auditors the real books and stop your blatassing.

  21. JUST ME says:

    Any first offer will always be turned down and renegociated. This is the usual path any negociation takes. First offer makes no sense,you gain something and give up ground on other points.

    Anyway this is according to Renaud Lavoie wich already should tell you something…

    The only chance we have to be able to see the season start on time is for both sides to admit that a strike makes no sense.

    Donald Fehr is on his ground now…

    Although i find that the athletes are all way overpaid i doubt that this work conflict will change anything about it.
    I tend to be on the player`s side even though things need to change in so many ways. I find that the owners dig their own graves and are not credible when we know that they are the first ones to go overboard with those stupid 13 year deals they give away.
    How can they pretend that business is tough when they always find a way to give more money,sign longer deals ?
    In some markets tickets are way overpriced ans the fans takes the bill but in others ,if you want to sell tickets it has to be cheap with parking ,hot,dogs and beer included so how can they manage with the same rules ? It is not fair that the bigger markets have to compensate the smaller ones indefinitely.

    There has to be a common ground on wich both sides could reach an agreement cause some owners do make tons of profits and some athletes benefit from it.

    Cause the sad part is always the same. The fans pays for it ,nobody else. They are on another planet ,unreachable for us…

    • commandant says:

      The fans in the big markets would be paying big prices even if the players were only making $100,000 per year each.

      The price of tickets is set by supply/demand in the market and not by the player’s salaries. In fact with the way the cap is set up (dependent on revenue), ticket prices help to set player salaries and not the other way around.

      Don’t kid yourself, even if the players share drops by 20%+ again, Geoff Molson won’t lower ticket prices anytime soon. In fact he’ll probably raise them again.

      Which is fine with me… the supply/demand curve says people are willing to pay those prices. So better the money in his pockets than in the scalper’s

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • boing007 says:

        How about keeping some of that money in your pocket, rather than giving it to multi-millionaire Geoff Molson and all the millionaire players?

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      JUST ME, the thing about this initial offer is that it is a crappy way to treat another party that you claimed were your partners after the previous lockout ended.

      Renaud Lavoie is a respected journalist, his sources are solid. Don’t know why you’re demeaning him, if you were familiar with his work you wouldn’t be saying that.

      Finally, no one is talking about a strike. Get that out of your head, your vocabulary. The players aren’t going to strike. The owners will lock them out. Big difference. The players aren’t the ones who opted out of the current CBA, the owners did. The players have offered to start the new season under the terms of the current CBA, while negotiations continue. So don’t put the blame on the players, it’s the owners who will deprive you of hockey in the fall. For greed’s sake.

    • Habfan17 says:

      This is perfectly normal and I would not give much credence to Renaud Lavoie. Both sides have said that the first two meetings went well. It is typical for the first list of wants to be unrealistic and that each side will ask for something they don’t really want, then “pretend” to give in on it and settle for something else, which is what they really wanted.

      Since this is the first time that the NHL os negotiating a CBA with Fehr, it makes sense that there would be a “feeling out” period. I am sure they have reserched his negoatitating style and are well aware of how he works and what he would be prepared to do. Fehr has said that the NHLPA is not looking for a work stoppage and the NHL probaly wants to avoid one too. It is too risky that some fans would go away, especially in the states. Some fans, may just decide they are tired of multi millionaires fighting over the huge money and say take your league and shove it!

      I think it is just posturing and am not overly concerned. It is only July! They will work things out. Entry level contracts for 4 years, free agency eligibility remains at 7 years, revenue sharing drops to 54%, something along those lines. Maybe each team can designate one franchise player who would be exempt from the cap and who’s contract could exceed the 5 years proposed. I read that the NHLPA wants any the contracts for any player over 40 exempt form the cap.
      These points need to be negoatiated and part of the CBA due to the fact that if the teams started offering maximum contracts of 5 years, the players could claim collusion.

      Habfan17

    • wjc says:

      If they can have sellouts with $200.00 tickets, then they could be under priced.

      When there is a waiting list for tickets when they are $200.00 then they are NOT over priced.

      When people don’t fill the arena when tickets are $50.00 then incentives have to be added.

      Remember pay-per-view is where the real money is. Center ice packages as well.

      Revenue sharing keeps the partners and big net works happy. You need hockey in the deep south to bring out new fans. The 30 owners all understand how it has to work.

      The paying fans are for atmosphere.

      wjc

      • boing007 says:

        Yeah, let’s all stay home and shell out $50 dollars on pay per view to watch hockey players play in an empty rink with canned cheering. The paying public, after all, is just window dressing.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  22. habsfan0 says:

    8 weeks to the start of hockey training camps!

    Yeah, right.

    8 weeks to the start of the NFL season!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Guess i was in denial habsfan0 but this news slapped me in the face. I just am amazed that these owners would allow another work stoppage. Are there franchises that won’t be able to survive a prolonged stoppage? Probably. Always a big surprise for me to see how rich people can be so friggin greedy. I don’t hate many people, or at least i try not to but this Bettman……..

      ———————————–

    • wjc says:

      There will be a season, to early to draw any conclusions. Just a bunch of saber rattling.

      wjc

  23. Chris says:

    That is one of the more ludicrous starting points in recent memory.

    Even if you factor in that the player’s share would drop to the lowest of any of the professional sports from their current position as the highest, the other proposals are just out of left field.

    The number of years a player must play before unrestricted free agency has been inching downwards in every CBA. Suddenly they want to return to the number closer to what it was in the 1980’s? Riiight.

    And the five year entry contract one is absolutely absurd.

    Any PA that accepted that contract would be setting the stage for a player revolt. The NHL is just begging somebody to start a rival league if they insist on playing hardball with a starting point that absurd.

    Now would be a really, really good time for the European leagues to get together and come up with a superleague. Because the NHL isn’t playing any games this Fall if this offer is to be believed.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      It is disgusting Chris.

      ———————————–

      • wjc says:

        Look on the bright side, you “Gomez” haters can watch his contract slowly expire. You are getting your wish, he will then only have one more year for people to fret about. No hockey= no Gomez…it is a win.

        wjc

    • Cal says:

      The owners are doing the “ask for the moon and stars” routine. They will settle for the 50/50 split and not gain any more years of restriction on players. That will remain as it is. It is the money that is the sticking point. You can tell it’s a middle of July “offer.”
      The problem with having a short summer to renegotiate the CBA is exactly that. Stupid, outlandish offers are made and rejected out of hand. Negotiators become entrenched because time is their only leverage.
      The CBA should always be in the process of being negotiated so as to better satisfy both sides. As usual, it will be a juvenile pissing contest. You figure that these rich idiots on both sides can find a way to never have this kind of problem, but noooooooooo.

  24. HabFanSince72 says:

    After player salaries, what are a team’s biggest expenditures? You would think that retaining 43% of revenues would make it impossible to not to make money.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Gumper Knows Best says:

      Other player costs besides salary.
      Chartered Aircraft travel, Pension Fund Payment, Equipment, Health Insurance, Worker’s Compensation, Lodging, Per Diem, Ground Transportation…

      Then you have the facility operations, maintenance or rent + personnel. Then management, coach staff, scouting costs, medical people, along with general and hockey administration.
      Then you have the 2 way contract costs in the AHL

    • wjc says:

      It is not “making money”…..it is maximizing profits. This is not a Mom and Pop operation, this is about real wealth and ego.

      This is about return on Investment. Businesses everywhere cut people, wages, outsource etc. to maximize profit. There is no ceiling.

      If they get more, then they want more…when they get more, then they want more….more….more…..more…..more….get it!

      Same for the players…..loyalty….ha ha…I want more. Agent says “how much do you want”, player says, “I want the most you can get me”…..it is the way of the world.

      wjc

  25. Captain aHab says:

    Lessee now, which player could have leaked this? Mathieu Darche is on the negotiating committee without a contract and likely looking at a spot on the RDS crew. Think it might be him getting brownie points from his future employers? :-p

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  26. Chuck says:

    Standard negotiating tactics. The owners ask for a number lower that they’d be happy with, the players’ association counters, and the league comes off looking like they’ve made concessions, even though they got the number that they wanted all along.

    Problem is, if you low ball by too much you run the risk of insulting your opposition, and they won’t take your offer seriously,,, which I’m afraid is what the owners did here.

    ___________________________________________________
    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

    • Marc10 says:

      If you’re going to get something, you might as well start by lowering expectations. Thus the lowball offer. I wouldn’t read anything more into it. It’s a negotiation as Chuck says.

      Also starting the season late works for many US owners whose crowds don’t really begin to roll in until December. So no surprises so far.

      This is going to go on for a while. In the end, they’ll split things 50-50 and probably put some caps on contract lengths in place. It will just take us a couple of months to get there.

      So RDS better start showing some AHL games and maybe some Sarnia Sting games. :)

  27. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …is that slushy sound the sound of the oligarch owners of the KHL drooling ???

    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

  28. H.Upmann says:

    So sick of Bettman… Can we get a new f’n commish?? One who actually loves the integrity of the game?

    • slapshot777 says:

      In these negotiation preceedings there are two people who will run this for their own greed rather than the good of the game, and they are Gary Bettman and Jeremy Jacobs ( Boston Owner). They are two individuals who don’t care about anything else only their own pockets.

      This is how Bettman got his last contract , under cloak and dagger by Jacobs and then Bettman returned the favor to Jacobs last season. This is how these two work. Greed my friends.

      To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

      • wjc says:

        Why don’t the other owners rise up and slew these trouble makers.

        Sorry son, Mr. Bettman is just doing his job. The owners (30 of them) are his boss, he is the front man. You give him too much credit.

        With failing hands we throw our wallets, for you to spend/invest wisely.

        wjc

  29. Steven says:

    This might be a silly question, but I’ve been wondering…

    With all this talk of the players’ share of the revenues dropping, does that mean the Salary Cap drops with it? Considering the players’ own revenues are counted on the Salary Cap somewhat, and all.

    • Clay says:

      Players’ share of revenue and the salary cap go hand in hand. So yes, it will drop, unless revenue increases dramatically and quickly.

      __________________________
      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

  30. Habilis says:

    Sooooo is RDS gonna televise the Bulldogs games or what?

    I get that this is a first offer and all, but it’s so low-ball that it makes me wonder just what these guys have been talking about up till now.

    Friggin posturing is going to cost us games once again and this is something I’ve never understood. They’re going to sign a deal eventually, why do they have to spend months puffing out their chests at each other just to get to a point where revenue is actually being lost before signing? Is splitting up 3.3 billion really that difficult??

  31. boonie says:

    commandant, thanks for digging up great analysis of the NHL’s opening offer to the PA.

    The specifics make it unacceptable and a non-starter starter. However, consider the implications of the offer on the salary of broad groups of players.

    The average player has a five year career. Under this proposal, a little less than half the team would be on ELCs – that could be $1m plus bonuses. That accounts for (let’s say) $15m of the reported $58m cap. Waiting 10 years for UFA means that most UFAs would be over 30. Some of those are stars who would cash in. However the dollar value of those contracts would be impaired by a five year limit (again, this offer will not fly, but keep reading). Other longer playing journeymen would get lower contracts (think guys like Halpern). That leaves a big chunk of the cap available for the team’s players aged 25-30.

    So, I think the NHL’s pitch to the PA is: (1) stars will be paid. They always are. (2) Young players will have to earn their money. Consider the relative absurdity of money paid to high NFL draft picks and the time young MLB players have to put in before hitting big pay days. Fehr is a baseball guy. Unions favour incumbent members over people who will become members down the road. (3) The real rank and file, NHL players who make it past five years but fall below the star level will have more access to a (n admittedly smaller) pie. to get paid. Those players represent the majority of PA votes.

    I see that as the NHL’s strategy. Win some economic relief by appealing to the majority of the PA’s members. There are few stars and young players don’t have the gravitas to sway the votes. The NHL could focus on ever-improving versions of this to find the middle group that (very hopefully) avoids a strike/lock out.

    I welcome feedback on this and would be happy to run some numbers to clarify if someone has the time to get the aggregate details of average age/NHL tenure; or knows where it’s available.

  32. bobinsask says:

    I am curious to know why so many think this offer is ludicrous. It is the last CBA that was ludicrous with $98 million dollar 13 year contracts and 57% of revenues. At 46% of revenues players are still making tons of money, more than they could hope to make doing anything else and a few franchises might even become profitable. Sure, it is an entertainment business but it is still a business and it can’t succeed if franchise owners are consistently losing money.

    Personally I hope some sanity returns to professional sports and this proposal looks like a good start.

    • commandant says:

      No one held a gun to Leopold’s head and forced him to give out those contracts.

      Do you really believe the owners are losing so much money, yet they still make these 98 million dollar offers? And it wasn’t just one team, multiple teams were making 90 plus million dollar offers for Parise and Suter.

      I don’t buy their claims of how much money they are losing. Yeah a couple franchises might lose money, but on a 3.3 billion dollar business where player costs are limited to exactly 57% of that, all owners could make a healthy profit with a good revenue sharing system.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • Habilis says:

        +1

        Edit: Just read your analysis on lastword, great stuff. I agree 100%.

      • nickster13 says:

        Yet by trying to disprove his point, you actually proved his point.
        Yeah no one forced Leipold to give out 98 million, butas you mentioned, someone else would have. And as of right now, the Wild are a much better hockey club, and the fans are buying up more season tickets than ever because of it. So to get to this position, the extremely high sum of money had to be spent to make the club better.
        Fact of the matter is, these salaries are way too high, and only getting higher, and more than a “few” franchises are losing money. So for this to change, salaries have to go down, and fan spending has to go up.
        “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

        • Clay says:

          Or – and hear me out here – they could stop putting teams in markets that can’t support them.

          Just a thought…

          __________________________
          ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

          • nickster13 says:

            Well that goes without saying! We could easily knock off about 4 teams and few people will care. Phoenix, Florida, Nashville and Anaheim. Florida and Anaheim because there is another team nearby, and southern markets do NOT need 2 teams close-by. Nashville yeah they do okay now, but those free tickets help and so does making the playoffs. Phoenix? Goes without saying.

            “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

        • commandant says:

          In any business, you have to spend money to make money.

          If the Wild saw these contracts as the means to sell more tickets and make a profit, than all it shows is how valuable the players are.

          The fans are buying tickets to see the players… not because Leopold owns the team.

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

  33. kempie says:

    I hope this all blows up in Bettman’s smarmy little weasel face and he goes down in flames. I hope Fehr gives him a backhand pimpslap and the GMs eat the little **** alive.

    • bobinsask says:

      Why do you hope that? Why would you not hope for this issue to be resolved?

      • kempie says:

        Or yeah, that too. That would be good too I guess – swift and amicable resolution to the dispute. But seriously, my favourite sport has been turned into a WWF presents Nascar on ice, elbow to the head throwdown debacle in the desert. And it has all happened on his watch.

        So that’s why my second choice, after your suggestion, would be Bettman’s banishment from not just the NHL but from the entire planet. Maybe we could strap him to a rocket and fire him into the sun.

  34. commandant says:

    Larry Brooks is reporting that also included in the reduction to 46% of HRR (Hockey related revenue) was a redefinition of what exactly was to be included as Hockey revenue, and what was exempt and would be revenue to owners, but not included in calculating the cap.

    Depending on what categories they want to remove from the calculation of HRR, this can be an even bigger hit to the players than any of us realize.

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  35. habstrinifan says:

    In one corner we have Kansan Donald Fehr and in the other corner New Yorker Gary Bettman… and in the middle we have Canada’s game.

    When they are finished the hockey landscape may be as irrecoverable as Alberta’s tar sands pits.

    • Clay says:

      In this corner
      Weighing in at almost every weight imaginable…
      Life, and all that surrounds it
      And in this corner
      Weighing in at well, not really very much of anything;
      A very sound and user friendly idea
      On finally bringing that pesky mountain to Mohammed
      Gentlemen at the sound of the harmonica solo you may come out fighting”

      (Blues Traveler – “Whoops”)

      __________________________
      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

  36. Sean Bonjovi says:

    The obvious solution to all the NHL’s financial problems is to re-locate a couple of team and fold about a half-a-dozen others.

    • bobinsask says:

      Yes, I am sure that would look good on Fehr’s resume if a bunch of players lost their jobs because franchises folded.

      • boing007 says:

        There are mediocre players on almost every team in the present NHL that could be easily replaced, or become redundant, and we wouldn’t miss them at all. It would leave more above average players to distribute to the remaining teams.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • The Jackal says:

      Agreed, and you can certainly quote yourself on that!

      Not all oysters produce pearls, thankfully, Price is a pearl producing oyster.

  37. Lizardking89 says:

    I like the 5 year contract length limit but all the rest of those demands are just laughable.

    Bettman is going to try and play board room rough guy and Fehr is going to laugh in his face. I’d be shocked if the season started on time.

  38. habstrinifan says:

    HIO is lucky to have HabinBurlington ready to convert his home to a bread and breakfast for hockey mad slavering Habs fans as we converge on Hamilton/Wentworth to see the next generation of HABS.

    Get your Bulldogs tickets now folks.

    • smiler2729 says:

      HabsInBurlington is just good people… cheers buddy

      _______________________________________
      Calling it like it is:
      Jack Edwards is a clam.
      Tim Thomas is a Nugentian lunatic.
      Boston Bruins, gutless diving weasel pukes.

    • Clay says:

      I would be more impressed if he converted it to a brothel…but I guess you can’t have everything ;)

      __________________________
      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

  39. aj says:

    I’m guessing that what boils down to this new CBA is a probable 51-49 or a 52-48 split, take it or leave it. I don’t believe the league will be taking the 57% the players will be fighting to retain. I’m with the league that the reduction of the revenue will be down to at least 53%. But, to get a high share is to me, not realistic in terms of the economic landscape right now.

    The world is still in recession mode. Regardless of the revenues increase of 3.3 Billion, that money can be used if possible expansion or any more funding for projects to promote the sport in some parts of North America. I think the players will have to bite their pride and go for a much lesser percentage than the current one that they’re desperately trying to retain.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I don’t understand how the economy is used as a reason to lower the players’ expectations, but not the owners’.

      Would you pay money to see Ed Snider and Jeremy Jacobs and Gary Bettman play hockey? Why do you think they should get a greater share of the revenue created by Claude Giroux or Patrice Bergeron?

      Since the most recent recession, the billionaires are doing even better than before, they don’t need our charity. Stop drinking their Kool-Aid.

      ———————————————————————–
      June 22: Alex Galchenyuk [x]
      June 23: Stefan Matteau, Mike Matheson, Martin Frk, Brandon Whitney
      June 2429: Travis Moen [x]
      June 2627: Mathieu Darche
      June 26: Ryan White
      June 30: Alexei Emelin
      July 1: P.A. Parenteau, Taylor Pyatt
      July 3: Shane O’Brien
      July 52: Carey Price [x]
      July 6: Lars Eller
      July 9: P.K. Subban
      Sept. 15: Training camps open
      Oct. 11: Puck drop, Canadiens vs. Senators

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • bobinsask says:

        Ummmm…. because many of the owners are losing money. I don’t think you grasp the concept of return on investment. The owners don’t operate these teams simply for your enjoyment and to make players wealthy… there has to be an opportunity for them to make some money at it as well

        • Mark C says:

          Which ones are losing money?

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          List the many owners who are losing money when they are guaranteed 43% of leaguewide revenues? Please, I’d like an itemized list. When you do provide that list, we’ll go over how few actually can trump up a claim to be losing money, and then we’ll factor in issues like the definition of revenues, franchise value appreciation, taxpayer-borne costs, and equalization payments within the league.

  40. HardHabits says:

    This a Tankers market proposal.

  41. Un Canadien errant says:

    Nice non-starter of an initial offer. If the owners have 46% as their cynical opening bid for splitting revenues, it’s an indication of how much they’ll fight to get 50% or under. The players will be in a fight to stay anywhere near 57%. We’ll have our lockout yet, and burn off a year of Scott Gomez’ contract the easy way.

    5 year entry-level contracts and no arbitration are another ridiculous opening position. They know that can’t stand, players like Steve Stamkos and Drew Doughty would be underpaid for years in that system. It would probably open them up to legal challenges too. They’ll probably yield on that in a last-minute deal. pretend to give up on something they don’t believe they’ll get anyway. The system works fine now, rookies have to earn their big second contracts and beyond, and owners aren’t on the hook for first-round busts.

    10 years to free agency is an honest opening position, in that an 18 year old phenom is a free agent at 28, at the height of his earning powers. Problem is the majority of players or college players who make it at 22 or 23 years old, and would probably never have a shot at free agency. A compromise can be worked out there.

    ———————————————————————–
    June 22: Alex Galchenyuk [x]
    June 23: Stefan Matteau, Mike Matheson, Martin Frk, Brandon Whitney
    June 2429: Travis Moen [x]
    June 2627: Mathieu Darche
    June 26: Ryan White
    June 30: Alexei Emelin
    July 1: P.A. Parenteau, Taylor Pyatt
    July 3: Shane O’Brien
    July 52: Carey Price [x]
    July 6: Lars Eller
    July 9: P.K. Subban

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • habstrinifan says:

      I think it’s time that you add “2012-2013″ season or part thereof to your wish list.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Great suggestion Trini. I have amended as you proposed.

        ———————————————————————–
        June 22: Alex Galchenyuk [x]
        June 23: Stefan Matteau, Mike Matheson, Martin Frk, Brandon Whitney
        June 2429: Travis Moen [x]
        June 2627: Mathieu Darche
        June 26: Ryan White
        June 30: Alexei Emelin
        July 1: P.A. Parenteau, Taylor Pyatt
        July 3: Shane O’Brien
        July 52: Carey Price [x]
        July 6: Lars Eller
        July 9: P.K. Subban
        Sept. 15: Training camps open
        Oct. 11: Puck drop, Canadiens vs. Senators

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • bobinsask says:

      In the case of Stamkos and Doughty, what do you consider underpaid. Some fans have become so desensitized to multi-million dollar contracts that they consider $4 million to $5 million per year as underpaid.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        A general point that while it makes some sense to have entry-level contracts with salaries ‘locked in’ so that rookies actually ‘earn’ a great raise in pay on their second contract, to extend these contracts to five years would handcuff players like Mr. Stamkos and Mr. Doughty who are star players by their second season, and significant contributors to their team and league revenues. It is not unreasonable for a player like these two to have an opportunity to greatly improve his salary to reflect his play, while others like Lars Eller have more modest gains while they work to find their game. So the current length of entry level contracts works, five years is excessive and wouldn’t be acceptable to the players, the courts or logic.

        The logic of entry-level contracts is to prevent holdouts by draftees, and to ensure that the veterans aren’t squeezed out of the salary scale by high-priced rookies, as was the case in the NFL a couple seasons back. So the system works well, but you can’t dictate those terms for a period of five years, that won’t fly.

  42. LA Loyalist says:

    this is not going to fly at all. It’s just a chess move.

    As for #4, they have to have a dispute mechanism, call it what they will, or they risk drawing the civil courts into the NHL’s business, which they can’t possibly want. So that clause alone proves it’s a joke.

  43. frankcasting says:

    Well on the bright side, by the time this is settled, Galchenyuk and Collberg will be fully ready for the NHL, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Gallagher, Ellis, Bournival will also be ready, Gomez & Kabarle will be another year or two removed from their contracts, Armstrong will have years between concussions, Markov’s knees will be *that much* stronger, and PK will have signed a contract.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  44. boing007 says:

    I’m on neither side. They’re both greedy S.O.B.’s. Soon you’ll have to have a six figure salary to afford to pay for a ticket to a regular season game.

    Richard R
    Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  45. aj says:

    “The players’ share of revenues drops from 57 per cent to 46 per cent”

    – At first thought, the NHL will offer a 50-50 split in the revenue earnings within the new CBA that’s suppose to be tabled. I don’t understand as to why ‘Buttman’ and the League are trying to play this poker game with the Player’s association? For sure, the players are definitely insulted by this offer! Its a significant drop down to 11%. The player’s are not going to take that. So I’m thinking the NHLPA will probably make an offer as well with the League.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      aj, read Commandant’s analysis carefully. What the owners are proposing doesn’t mean the players will take an 11% paycut, but that amount less of the total pie. It in effect means an actual pay cut of 19%, after they suffered a 24% cut in the last round of bargaining, after which revenues have skyrocketed.

  46. petefleet says:

    I’m sitting here watching the 2010 QF between Habs and WAS. That team had depth. That team was almost there. I still can’t get my head around getting rid of Moore. He was an excellent Hab and deserved another contract. So did Metro. It’s insane that they let Hammer walk too. I also managed to forget just how crafty Markov was (is) with the puck. Halak was amazing as well….but we all remember that….right?
    It’s self torture but I like it.

    ******************************************

    “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

    RGM
    ***Habs Forever***

  47. boing007 says:

    This news seems to have left everybody speechless, dumbfounded, in a state of shock, or disbelief.

    Richard R
    Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  48. commandant says:

    I just wrote a full examination of the terms of this proposal, and why its a ridiculous way to start a CBA negotiation.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/07/13/nhl-cba-leagues-first-offer-to-the-players-is-an-insult/

    Yes, you ask for the moon to start, and then settle for lower amounts later in any negotiation. But this is an extreme lowball, and the type of offer is concerning for all fans who hope to see the season start on time.

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  49. otter649 says:

    How does a reporter get information like this ?

  50. HabFanSince72 says:

    This is all happening so there can be hockey in the sun belt.

    It’s preposterous but Canada’s national game is being held hostage by American lawyers and businessmen.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  51. habsfan0 says:

    I think Fehr will fold and accept this agreement as is.

    Maybe not.

  52. Un Canadien errant says:

    I’ve bought my ticket for the Summit. It was the triumph of hope over reason.


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