Update: Cole on talks breakdown; Markov clarifies

Canadiens forward Erik Cole, the team’s NHLPA rep, spoke at length about Thursday’s breakdown in CBA talks.
François Lacasse, NHLI via Getty Images

Andrei Markov clarifies KHL and his return to Habs post-lockout: Stubbs

Erik Cole, the Canadiens’ NHLPA rep, spoke to The Gazette and Hockey Inside/Out’s Dave Stubbs Thursday night following the NHL’s rejection of three NHLPA offers made earlier in the day. Below is a transcript of Cole’s comments:

From my perspective, I think this (rejection) is probably part of their script. I don’t think the league is going to make any decision or move or proposal that hasn’t been well thought out and well planned out. I think that’s probably a lot of the reason why I wasn’t showing too much optimism about their last proposal (made earlier this week).

I didn’t think it was a very good proposal, anyway. I mean, it was nice to see them want to come up from their percentage in terms of the players’ share, but at the same time they still want to make adjustments to HRR (hockey-related revenue), which they haven’t allowed any discussion on yet, so that’s an issue.

And the same for the revenue-sharing. The things we see as major talking points, they’re not really willing to give clarification on those aspects just yet. So I don’t think it’s really… especially with the article that came out on Deadspin this past week about the NHL having hired a PR firm, I think today just shows what I thought all along: (this week’s publicly released NHL proposal) was more a PR play to try to put some pressure on the guys and spin what’s really going on.

I think, as players, it gets everyone’s hopes up and kind of excited that we might get back to work in a more timely manner. But it’s just not the case. This is something that I’m certain has been… it’s not like the league came out in August and decided that they were going to lock us out if a new CBA was in place. I’m sure that it’s been well thought out and planned out. It’s another stepping-stone in the process is I guess the best way to say it.

I’ve never really thought that losing the season was out of the question. When you have that mindset, it doesn’t really faze you. I’ve been a player where we’ve lost a season before. It wouldn’t be out of the question, I think it would be a mistake for certain, but it’s always been my assumption that it’s going to be a shortened year.

And I think when you factor in all the components and wording that went into the league’s proposal that they made public, I just think it was, you know, a lot more for putting pressure on guys, getting them excited or a little antsy about getting back to work, to sway public opinion and less about wanting to sit down and negotiate. I feel like the three options that we gave them today, each one of them somewhere in there, there could be a solution that they could be sitting down, talking about now.

But they take 15 minutes in their little caucus and come back in the room and say that all three of our proposals have been rejected on all accounts … then Gary (Bettman) walks out and talks about how far apart we are.

I guess I don’t see it being too far apart when we’re willing to come down and have a 50/50 share of HRR. We just want that the contracts that they’ve already committed to us and they’ve signed and that they continued to sign throughout this summer to be honoured.

On who makes the next move: It falls into the same category from our perspective as it has from the get-go: it’s not about whose turn it is, who needs to make the next offer. If you feel like you have something that’s productive to gaining a solution to the problem and putting an end to this, then by all means you pick up the phone and make a call.

I don’t see us wanting to just turn off our phones and not have any conversations. There’s still lots of things that need to be talked about. Like I’ve commented on already, there was lots of skepticism in terms of how (the NHL) vaguely have said they want to clarify HRR. Well, what exactly does that mean? One can only assume they want to reduce it, but to what extent we have no idea as of now. I think it just goes to show it’s early in the process and I don’t think you can really look at it any other way.

On today’s (post-meeting) conference call, every team was represented, 55 guys were on the first call with another 18 or 19 guys in Toronto attending the meetings.

That’s something that the league has continually said it doesn’t want, the big group of guys going there to witness it, to see the reactions and have a sense or a feel of the mood or anything like that because they can come right back to us. Each one of those guys gets on the call and explains their take on the mood of the meeting, the demeanour of every individual. I think that’s very helpful for us as players: to hear it first-hand from guys you’ve played with or know, or played against, are in the room.

It’s a big difference, for sure. For us, we have that advantage, we’re allowed in the room. If any player wants to go, the PA welcomes you: ‘C’mon, let’s go. There’s another meeting going on, come on down.’ Whereas with the owners it’s just that little select group that gets to attend. It’s kind of a nice perk that we have in comparison to the other side.

On resolve of locked-out players this week: Like any fan, everyone (among players) was excited initially when they heard there was a proposal put out by the league and that they want to play games. But after you hear that and then you hear what the proposal consisted of, the way it was worded and laid out to the media, it really kind of became clear that there wasn’t a real need to get our hopes up too much.

I thought it was probably going to be something more for the media and fans to sway public opinion and put some pressure back on us. That’s one big difference – how many times do you see an owner at a hockey rink at his kids’ practice, or in the schoolyard picking up his kids? We’re much more accessible than the owners are.

For me, I feel that’s a good thing. If any parent has a question, I’m more than happy to explain things to them and answer their questions. There’s a lot of little things that come from the last CBA that are very easily overlooked. There’s just three or four bullet points being broadcast over the radio.

How the owners with their last proposal said, ‘Hey, 50/50, no rollback…’ It’s funny, I kind of giggle to hear talk like that because no one really understands the underbelly of it with the escrow. Of course they’re not talking about a rollback. We don’t need to. That’s what the escrow is.


  1. HFL says:

    The NHL is incorrect to expect players to reduce their previously agreed upon contracts. You cannot make a contract with someone, and then say you can’t afford it so the other party will need to reduce the amount they agreed to be paid. If the owners signing those contracts knew they couldn’t afford them, then they shouldn’t have signed them in the first place.

    In addition, I believe the reoccurring lockouts can be attributed to the successful market owners. Struggling teams cannot afford these lockouts. They are already struggling to make ends meet, thus a lockout which cuts off revenue stream will hurt them even more. I do understand that the lock out is to help struggling teams make ends meet, but why would these struggling teams be in favor of a CBA which would ultimately lead to another lockout.
    The system in place, does not allow for the league to operate properly in the long term, if the league were to grow. This is due to the fact that the struggling teams do not grow at the same rate that the NHL grows, thus revenue demanded by players is too large for struggling teams to afford.

    So why would the struggling teams be in favor of a flawed system? Quite simply put, they are not. The NHL’s successful organizations are the ones in favor of this flawed system. Think about it, the successful market teams are doing better financially than ever. These organizations are making record profits, while also being able to integrate a cap, thus allowing them to pocket additional revenue. Then the CBA agreement expires, and the struggling teams cannot compete with the higher revenue demands of the players, so the owners say okay lets decrease player salary by decreasing there revenue percentage. This way the rich owners can pocket the additional surplus from the players, while also having the excuse that the reason for the cut of player salaries is to help the struggling teams compete and succeed in unstable markets.
    The NHL could implement a system that would allow the struggling teams to compete long term, without having to negotiate new CBA’s which reduce player salaries; however, some of the NHL’s successful market teams prefer the lockout and cut player salary system, for the reasons stated above. It is unfortunate that the game I love so much is in the hands of those which have very little regard for it.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Actually you can and companies do it! In many cases when the employess refuse to take a reduced salary or wage, the companies shut down and declare bankruptcy.

      What is wrong here is if the owners gave out these big contracts knowing they never intended to pay them. Having said that, Fehr and the player agents probably recognized that when they were offered. It all stinks!


      • HFL says:

        Good point, you are right, they can, and it does happen. What I meant was that it is unfair for the NHL to offer contracts and not abide by them, especially when the league is doing so well. Then again the struggling teams cant afford the contracts, which brings you back to the flawed system, yada yada yada.

    • I agree with a lot of what you say — signing contracts you can’t afford is just plain dishonest. The bank wouldn’t stand for that — why should the players? Sure some of them are millionaires. That doesn’t make it okay to renege on your agreements.

      Re: the struggling teams though, the money-losing ones are actually coming out ahead here — their costs go down in the long term, and in the short term their money-losing operations are put on hold. It costs a lot of money to run a team for a season, and if those tickets and jerseys aren’t selling, some teams are better off not having a season to lose money on. (I’m looking at you, Phoenix.)

      All this begs the question though: if a town’s hockey team actually comes out ahead financially by not playing any hockey, maybe that town isn’t such a good place for a hockey team? (Cough. Coyotes. Cough.)

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

      • HFL says:

        Valid point in regards to money losing teams coming out ahead. It is probably true that some teams would lose more money if there was a season. Still, these money losing teams are likely not in favor of certain aspects in past CBA agreements. For instance why would a money losing team support a system which would lead to their organization not being able to succeed and compete in the long term, if the NHL were to grow.

    • Bartan76 says:

      I don’t know where your from but companies downsize contracts on a weekly basis….. Especially goverment job. They will bring in a contract and not be able to fund it and whipe the slate clean. These players are on contracts thus they can lower the wages. But also if they couldn’t afford the contracts anymore. Nobody twisted there arms to frontload a stupid contract. If there is any team to blame for all this start with NYI on DiPietro then move down the road to completely blame Lou Lamorriello. The Philly ect. ect. ect….

  2. Morenz7 says:

    One assist might not sound like much, but if you haven’t seen Galchenyuk’s helper from last night’s game, check it out. It was a dandy. The lad has great vision, great knack for spotting the open man. Play begins around the 1:35 mark.


    • neumann103 says:

      I don’t like to criticize a teenaged kid about whom I know nothing but that was some pretty weak goaltending for Sarnia. Sure some were flukey but it couldbe a long season if you can’t consistently stop weak wristers from the boards.

      “Et le but!”

  3. nunacanadien says:

    Gary Bettman and Fehr, you greedy bastards, settle this before someone is inspired to recreate the World Hockey Association…..maybe that is the way to go to bring real hockey back to Montreal. Not this made for profit team of washed up veterans and too skinny defense…..all Habs are signed just to help sell seat tickets, not to win. Screw you Molson for being so greedy that you refuse to sign real NHL players….nickle and dime the habs to death…..

    • Habfan17 says:

      Actually, if it weren’t for the fact that the arenas are owned by the teams, that is not a bad idea. The players could refuse to sign a new CBA and all go sign up for a new league. If it could be done, the threat to the owners may be enough to get them to negotiate ad get a deal done.


  4. Blondie says:

    About applying terms of any new CBA to current contracts: Why should it only apply to salary?

    Owners clamouring for reductions in salary in the new contract seem eerily silent on contract length. When they were running around offering crazy contracts just before the expiration of the CBA and offering money they knew was going to be reduced they also offered some crazy lengths they knew would be kept.

    If a new CBA reduces salary in current contracts then any term limits in the new CBA should also be imposed.

    The owners would never go for it of course but the thought makes me smile. 🙂

  5. Gerry H says:

    In my opinion, trust is the most critical element in a negotiating process. It’s probably also the most difficult thing to establish. When I look at this mess, I find it hard to escape the notion that the owners have the most to answer for on that count.

    Let’s begin with history. The players, perhaps rightly so, got their asses handed to them in 04/05. No one can deny that. The NHL got everything it sought on virtually every count, most importantly “cost certainty,” with players’ salaries tied to a fixed percentage of league revenues. Nobody would have guessed when that deal was signed that seven years later the league’s revenues would have jumped by 50%. So the owners won on structure and the business outperformed expectations. And, as a bonus, next season will see a significant new revenue source, with the new NBC TV deal kicking into gear. So, by every measure, the owners’ position at the end of this current CBA has to be far beyond any reasonable expectations they could have had at the end of the last one.

    In view of that, how should we interpret the leagues insistence, from the very outset, on pleading poverty and declaring that the 2012/13 season could not go forward until a new deal with significant new concessions from the players was signed? Should we conclude that this being the case despite having everything go their way for the last seven years, perhaps these guys are just plain incompetent?

    They’re billionaires. I doubt it.

    Instead, I think the only reasonable explanation is that they think they can stick their straws into the players’ milkshakes and start sucking. Just as they’ve been sticking (or attempting to stick) their straws into the milkshakes of the taxpayers of Edmonton and Phoenix and other jurisdictions, even after negotiating and committing to sweetheart deals over arenas in those places. “Thanks for that, but I’m still peckish. SLURP!

    And while we’re talking about commitments and contracts, wouldn’t it have been interesting to have had Parise and Suter in that room yesterday with Leipold and hearing the latter explain why he was not willing to fully honour the contracts he signed with them just a few weeks ago?

    “Trust me, we’ll work out the little details around HRR and so on. Let’s just get this deal done.”

    Sorry, not every story lends itself to “fair balance.” This mess is squarely on the owners. Not for what they want or deserve in terms of an outcome (to which there is no “right” answer”, but because of their consistent pattern of demonstrably untrustworthy behaviour that has made this process excruciatingly dysfunctional.

    • Blondie says:

      Great post Gerry. Although I think Charles Wang may well be incompetent. Maybe he inherited his money.

    • Habfan17 says:

      You are so right and right now, the players obviously don’t trust the owners. They should have actual mediators who are professionals in negotiating deals instead of lawyers


    • danimal72 says:

      Great post Gerry, just one thing. These owners aren’t competent. They are greedy and think they are sneaky (or really are sneaky). That is how they got to be billionaires in a world of thousandaires. Thievery and lies.

  6. mark-ID says:

    I envision CBA meetings to look like the scene in Seinfeld where Kramer is giving Elaine the thumbs up or down for her ‘do not resuscitate’.
    Players show their offers, Bettman then looks over to his 10 lawyers….they give the thumbs down. Bettman asks….if we give in, can we still have a long wknd? Lawyers give thumbs down.Ten minutes later, the meeting is over.
    Everyone then proceeds to have a nice looong weekend. Yaaaaaaaayyy.

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  7. ths says:

    Gary Bettman walks into Hurleys Irish Pub and Brandon Prust is crying at the bar. “Whats the matter Brandon ? Worried about the 20% haircut I’m giving your contract ?” “No” says Brandon. “It’s my french Canadian girlfriend. Ever since I moved up here and am living with her she complains that my Sher-Woodie is too small and she’s not interested anymore”
    “Don’t worry Brandon” says Bettman “I used to have that problem”. “I used to have a small dick but now Im over all that and have a great sex life”
    “What? Screwing hockey players” say Prustie.” No screwing hot babes in Manhattan with my eleven inch composite that would make Chara blush”
    “But thats nearly as big as you. How did you do it?” says Prustie.
    “Every Night for the 93 lockout I took out my Giostyle and wacked it ten times on the bedpost until a year later I was the proud owner of a Chara- esque eleven inch python.”
    “Wow” says Prust. I gotta try that tonight.
    So he goes home to his ex stripper from Shawinigan and creeps in the garage cuz shes sleeping and gets a hammer and creeps upstairs and lays his mini stick on the bed post and whacks it three times… “Bang! Bang! Bang!” His girlfriend bolts out of bed and calls out. “Is that you Gary? ”

    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

  8. Morenz7 says:

    Hey, where’s the damn Lockout Diary?

    Don’t tell me Bellyful’s holding out for more HRR (Horsesh*t related revenue) ..

  9. shiram says:

    Something that annoys me in this CBA snafu is that even if the season is saved, nothing is being done to try to improve the game, safety or entertainment value of the NHL.

    • Ron says:

      It would appear you are correct. If the NHL and NHLPA had started the negotiations early they could have dwelled on some of these subjects at least and tried to fix the most blatant causes of injury etc. I don’t think they are in any hurry to do that and take the crap out of the league. Its all about the $$$$.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        To Shirams point though, it does seem that player safety in the game really doens’t matter to either side. During the year a guy will get hurt and we will get all kinds of lipservice from both sides about it, yet they refuse to do anything about it.

        Makes it harder to empathize with all these injured players. It shouldn’t, but it does.

  10. 44har48 says:

    While these guys bicker over who will be richer, I have adjusted nicely to no Hockey. You won’t find a bigger hockey or Habs fan than the one you are reading right now, but I’m tired of this %^&$. 4 times in 20 years is enough for me. I have kids at home, the NBA season is coming, and the NFL is getting into gear.

    I’m also not at all interested in watching the hockey that will come out of this bad decision to keep fighting over millions. The hockey will be crammed into a condensed schedule with guys that are out of shape and hurt all the time.

    Count me out, I’ll let the Habs have another year to get their shit together, save my money (spend it on the kids), and re-evaluate my love of the game next fall again.

    • Timo says:

      I agree. With all honesty I can say that I don’t miss NHL or hockey in general. Besides, as Shiram pointed above, there are no discussions about how to make the game better for the fans. The entire negotiations is about $$$.

  11. flowerpower_74 says:

    Does anyone know if the Bulldogs game tomorrow night will be on Sportsnet East?
    How about TVA or is TVA Sports a different channel than TVA?


  12. HabFanSince72 says:

    My but there are some prudes here.

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

  13. JF says:

    A very good piece by Renaud Lavoie outlining the PA’s three proposals and explaining why he thinks a settlement will be reached soon:


  14. HabFanSince72 says:

    A man walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says “Doc you’ve got to help me, I think I’m turning into a dog.”

    The shrink says, OK just get on the couch and we’ll talk about it.

    The man replies” “But I’m not allowed on the couch.”

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

  15. Phil C says:

    So Bettman has used the lockout effectively to get the players to 50-50. The owners must be happy with him as a result. Fehr is doing an amazing job getting the message to all the hockey players, keeping them well informed, unified and on message, which must not be an easy task considering the size of the union and the education level of many of these players.

    My question is: Why did they not do all of this in early September? Everyone knew from the beginning it was going to 50-50 with increased revenue sharing, and my guess is the players will win the no rollback obstacle that is holding things up. Is a lockout really necessary?

    I think much of this could have been done in September which is why I dislike Bettman. I think the owners unnecessarily over-played their hand. If they over-play their hand again this week, it could be lights out for the season. They are risking way too much for too little gain. Poor risk management in my opinion.

    Anyway, it will be nice to get back to talking hockey. Go Bulldogs!

  16. savethepuck says:

    Haven’t seen it mentioned by anyone on this thread, but thank you Mr. Stubbs for clearing up the Markov rumor from yesterday. It was what I expected.
    I also find it humorous that the latest poll results have shown that public opinion has swayed towards the owners side while in the past, the players had the majority of support from the fan base. I guess the new PR firm the NHL hired has done their job. all they had to say was 50/50 split and no roll back to sway public opinion, but they’re not pulling the wool over my eyes, the NHL is still trying to avoid paying full value on contracts they supposedly negotiated in good faith. I would love to see the proposals by the PA yesterday to try to figure out why they were dismissed so quickly. Hows does Lockout Bettman say “neither proposal came close to 50/50” and Mr Fehr say “one of our proposals came to 50/50 in 3 years as long as they honor current contracts”. Which one of these guys is full of $#it?

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  17. Hobie Hansen says:

    Look on the bright side folks, the Hamilton Bulldogs are in action the next two nights and the game is on the tube tomorrow night!

    Honestly, who wouldn’t rather watch Gallagher, Tinordi and Beaulieu than a 14th place Canadiens team?

    • nunacanadien says:

      Sad but true, either way we have a sh*tty year with the likes of Gomez and Prust as the tiny tykes…..wonder all we need is an even smaller midget to complete the sideshow that the habs have become!

    • wjc says:

      Hobie, in the first place, the habs would no longer be in 14th place. Just as the Bull dogs are not in last place. You see each season they start again. I would rather watch Eller, Markov and Cole.


    • shiram says:

      Someone hopeful about the Habs, someone like me who thinks they could have improved this season. That said, in the meantime I’ll be glad to watch the Bulldogs.

  18. JF says:

    I still think a deal will get done, maybe not in time to save an 82-game season, but sometime in November. Both sides simply have too much to lose for it not to happen. Also, despite the negative spin Bettman and Fehr (especially Bettman) put on yesterday’s meeting, the two sides are not really very far apart. The players are basically accepting a 50/50 split; it’s a question of how that split is reached and how existing contracts can be honoured in their entirety without making the players lose through escrow or some other mechanism. I think these things can be hammered out once the two sides actually start talking in terms of a 50/50 split.

    What we are seeing right now is a media show. “Disappointment,” “a step backwards,” “nothing to talk about,” this is just posturing. There is plenty in the PA’s proposals, especially the third, for the League to focus on. They will do that, there will be more talks, and eventually – and I think sooner rather than later (i.e., November rather than January or next season) a settlement will be reached.

  19. HabFanSince72 says:

    The problem with revenue sharing is it essentially means Canadian hockey fans subsidizing American billionaires.

    Why as a Canadian should part of my hockey dollar go to propping up teams in the sunbelt? I don’t care if the league goes down to 24 teams.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Amen! Especially considering the owners of COlorado and Minnesota are two of the wealthiest owners in all the League.

      Edit: Perhaps at the risk of overstepping boundaries, Revenue Sharing in the NHL could be renamed Fan Whoring. Since it is essentially taking the Crazed Canadian Fans ticket money and handing it to teams who don’t have the same fan base.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Home run!
      Plus the mouthy marginal players like Darche will not have a job in a retracted league.

      • nunacanadien says:

        I wonder what the share split is from Canadian fans vs American cities? There are only a few Canadian teams. Surely the large American share contributes a good portion of ticket sales, television revenues, there must be a reason why a big rat like Bettman thinks the American way is the way to go.

    • commandant says:

      Without teams in the sunbelt you don’t have a US TV deal.

      The US TV Deal is worth 200 million dollars per season.

      Which means that The Montreal Canadiens get 6.66 million per season because of a US TV deal.

      Ask yourself what is better if you are Geoff Molson
      1) I collect 6.66 million from a US TV Deal and and throw 5 million more into the pot to prop up the Southern US franchises to ensure the deal continues.

      2) We lose the US deal because too many southern franchises fold. I don’t get my 6.66 million, but hey look at this, I’m not subsidizing the US teams for 5 million.

      Seems a pretty simple equation to me… I’d take option 1.

      There are a number of areas where having a 30 team league helps… (increased franchise costs, diversity of scheduling, etc….)

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • Habfan10912 says:

        With all due respect (and I really mean that) I find it difficult to believe that without the 3 fans watching hockey in Arizona, NBCsports would no longer be interested in televising hockey.


        • commandant says:

          The NBC deal has a clause that if there are less than 21 American teams (there are currently 23). That the deal can be cancelled.

          So Phoenix could move to Quebec City. Another team could move or fold. But once you get rid of 3 teams…. bye bye tv deal.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • Cal says:

        Do you really believe Molson is forking over only $5mil?

        • commandant says:

          The NHL Proposal is 200 million in Revenue Sharing.
          The NHLPA Proposal is 250 million in Revenue Sharing.

          The increased 50 million comes from the top 10 revenue generating teams in the NHL.

          Seems to me, I’m getting an increase in 5 million to keep those franchises afloat.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • frontenac1 says:

        @commandant. I follow the logic,but do you not think there will be some TV deal albeit not the $200 million? (ie,smaller league,smaller deal but more healthy franchises)

        • Ron says:

          That would make sense front but I think for arguments or debates to continue your logic will be over looked. lol

        • commandant says:

          In 2005 the TV deal coming out of the last lockout was $0 guaranteed. NBC was splitting the advertising money – costs of production with the NHL.

          The history of US TV deals is that they have been very small, and virtually pocket change to NHL teams up until our most recent contract. The new deal is a major breakthrough for the NHL. Why the league would jeopardize that, I don’t know.

          Major US networks are all about market penetration. They are all about shows that appeal coast to coast. They dont’ want regional representation, they want to be national networks.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • 24 Cups says:

      H72 – That could change overnight if the dollar was to drop to 75 cents. Ottawa and Winnipeg would be toast and Quebec City would probably not even get off the ground. Every Canadian team would be in crisis except Toronto.

      As for 24 teams, I thnk there is a much better chance that the league will expand to 32 teams by the end of the decade.

      Having said that, your point is well taken. The NHL would be away to the races if the owners would embrace true revenue sharing and the players accepted the fact that they are getting the same 50/50 split as the NFL/NBA did.

    • wjc says:

      Habfansince72, in my opinion you are looking at this the wrong way.

      There are 30 teams in the NHL. You as a Canadian fan are not subsidizing anybody. When you hand your money over it becomes the property of the Canadiens/league. It is set up so that once you make your huge profit you send the extra to the league.

      This helps the league, help the lessor fortunate teams that form the league. If you are to have a “true” National hockey league you need teams from all over North America. The league is trying to grow these teams to become viable contributors. As new fans are developed the thinking is they will become self sustaining.

      With pay-per-view and NBC contracts happening it will not be that long before the southern teams catch on. In the meantime the richer franchises will help these teams to be competive.

      Ticket prices are based on SUPPLY AND DEMAND if you have one million fans wanting tickets for 22,000 seats the price goes higher and higher. If there were 50,000 fans wanting these seats the damand would be lower and you would have lower prices for seats.

      It is whatever the market will allow. Anything that is hard to get the price is higher. If the league goes to 24 teams that is 150 player jobs lost and the P.A. would not go for that. Price for players would probably lower.


  20. Habfan17 says:

    I would like to see the NHL’s propossal broken down in plain English. It seems to me when I read what was released that the players would receive thier full contracts and that although the cap would be lowered, the league would play with the original cap for this season . What that seems to mean is that there would be an escrow account again to protect the league if revenues take a hit, which is fair and both sides would be affected, and it also means that for next season, some players may get traded to balance the cap for each team. In the end, it would hurt mid to lower level players since there would be less money for them from teams.

    I also read that the NHL propossal held the same definitions for HHR as was in the last CBA so why are the players now saying, they don’t know what the owners definition is?

    We all know you can skew numbers to represent pretty much anything you want, both sides are guilty of this. Put it in plain English and be fair. A lot of the growth has to do with the strengthening of the CDN dollar, that is false revenue and could change, The US eceonomy is still shaky. If the CDN dollar were to drop by 10% and the US economy remains stagnant, players would still get their guaranteed contracts but owners would lose money. It has been that way so the players still have it great with all their perks.

    I am tired of hearing how players have sacrificed so much to be players. Well, that is the reality for most people in life. If you strive to reach a certain level, there are sacrifices to be made. Problem is in real life, there are no guarantees that you will get paid or even have a job when the economy suffers a down turn. Get the damn CBA signed and both sides come back to reality!!!

    And for those players that say that it isn’t fair to be told you will be making X dollars and then to have the owners say that sorry, we now need to pay you this, take another reality check and read the newspapers. When employees are told take a 20% cut or we need to close down and you won’t have a job, then either you take it, or look for other work. Just ask the folks who worked for Maple Leaf foods in Burlington or the people who worked for Greyhound in Montreal. They were told by their union that the company was bluffing, guess what they weren’t and instead of a reduction in salary, they all lost their jobs!


    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think you make very good points 17. However, I suspect a big part of the current stalemate is the apparant recent signings made by NHL teams. It appears multiple teams/owners were being disingenuous when making those signings.

      Each and every one of those teams knew the NHL wanted to have a change in contracts, term limits, amounts, etc… These teams went out and signed players until the last hour of old CBA and now immediately want to reduce the value of those very contracts.

      I believe Bettman’s biggest mistake was not reigning in his cowboy owners as they went hogwild this past summer.

      Both sides currently make sensible offers and explanations in their current proposals. But, the NHL side is covered with egg on their face.

      I think Erik Cole has spoken very well in this article and articulates things very well. Having said that, Mr. Cole also is receiving a $2million paycheque this year regardless of hockey played. I believe it is much easier for a veteran in that position to have such a grounded perspective in this fight versus a 3rd or 4th liner who is now making little (NHLPA Stipend) and wil have a much more difficult time going without pay.

      I believe a deal will be found, just not sure how soon obviously.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Thanks Habinburlington,

        You make good points too. I would guess it is easier for the vets especially if you are Shea Weber and others who received hefty signing bonuses.

        I agree, Bettman should have told the owners to use retsraint this summer resigning guys.

        I hope you are right and they find common ground and get a deal done.

        How are things in Burlington, I lived there for 2 years and loved it! Go Bulldogs!!


        • HabinBurlington says:

          Going okay man thanks. Really like Burlington been here about 15 years now. Heading to the Dogs home opener tonight, apparantly a sellout, hopefully more Habs/Dogs shirts than Leaf/Marlie shirts.

          Have a good one.

      • wjc says:

        How do you know that the possibility of a correction was not factored in. If there was a player vote now if would go in at 70%.


    • commandant says:

      A few things

      1) The NHL and NHLPA are currently in arbitration on a few issues relating to HRR from the last CBA. There are things the union thinks should be included, and there are things the league thinks should not. One of those is the $25 million subsidy from the city of Glendale to the Phoenix Coyotes.

      The union thinks this should count as hockey revenue. Their argument is look, the city is giving you a subsidy so you won’t move the team. If it wasn’t there, you’d move the team to a real hockey market, and we’d have a lot more hockey revenue, so it should count. The league thinks that because its a government subsidy, it doesn’t count as HRR. There are some other issues like that.

      So the league’s position is “we aren’t changing HRR”, but what they actually are doing is asking that on these disputed issues from the last CBA, they write a new definition in the new CBA where it is clear that they are not HRR and that the players get no cut of them.

      The League says they aren’t changing anything… just clarifying the rules. The NHLPA says wait just a second… you are doing so.

      2nd) Yes there are certainly a number of industries where times are tough and people take pay cuts. However those industries usually haven’t shown a 50% increase in revenues in the last 7 years, and continued growth.

      Yes, you make sacrifices when the economy takes a down turn, but the reality is that the hockey business has not taken a down turn, in fact things are up across the board.

      3) The NHL is claiming that the reason they need the pay cuts is that expenses are up. This doesn’t make any sense.

      Revenues are up 50%. Meanwhile the single biggest cost that NHL has claimes has gone up and is hurting thtem… Bettman said it was fuel prices. Guess what? Fuel Prices are up 37.6% since 2005.

      Any way you slice it…. If Revenues have gone up 50% and your biggest cost increase is 37.6%, the league is more profitable today than it was when you signed the last CBA.

      The NHL’s problem is, and continues to be that some teams make a disproportionate share of those revenues and profits… leaving little to none for the other teams. This is a problem that will continue, even if the league goes to a 50/50 split with players. Revenue sharing should be Part of the solution here, and its not a big enough part right now. Even at 200 million per season, and a 50/50 split, we might solve this issue for a couple years, but in 5-7 years with continued growth in the big markets, we’ll be right back in the same position, a salary floor that is two high for the southern teams to reach, and X number of teams calling for cuts to player salary because they aren’t making money.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • Habfan17 says:

        You make some good points, but most of what they are calling revenue growth is still due to the strengthening of the CDN dollar and that is not revenue growth. Ask the folks in Detroit how things are going!

        I am not buying the rise of expenses either, although they have gone up. I listen to the team 1200 and even th ex players on the show say that players today have it better. When they played only Detroit had a charter, the rest used commercial flights. now they all charter. That is a big difference in cost.

        If the players want to include evrything in HHR, then they also need to include all costs of doing business too, like the billion dollars to reverbish Madison Square Garden so the team could make all that extra reveue to give both the players and owners.I would hazard a guess, this is very hard to nail down.

        Sure revenues are up and the league has taken it on the chin, Forbes says that at least 18 teams lost money. Just because in the past owners bought the teams for ego, not to make money, who says they aren’t allowed to decide to run them like a real business?Revenue and profits are not the same thing. I have seen first hand companies with double digit growth go bankrupt within a year of this because they did not reign in spending.

        The one thing I haven’t seen the players ask for and I think they should, is a relocation plan for teams that lose money for 3 straight years following the league policies. That would help revenues overall. The NHLPA should ask for representation on that board.

        Nice debating with you!


        • commandant says:

          1) If the Canadian Dollar drops, the 50/50 splits with future escrow take this into account and the owners are already protected against it. Why make the cuts now? Making a cut on something you assume is going to happen, but doesn’t is B/S. If there is an actual drop due to a drop in the Canadian Dollar, then deal with it then. With the way the US economy is sucking right now, a big drop in the Canadian Dollar is probably not happening in at least the foreseeable future. It would take a massive US turnaround for our dollar to drop relative to theirs.

          Further only about 11% of the Revenue growth can be attributed to the Canadian Dollar. The other 39% is attributable to rises in ticket prices, rises in TV Contracts, moving Atlanta to Winnipeg, more merchandise sales, and a number of other factors.

          There is dispute between the league and the NHLPA on what expected growth will be in coming years… the League feels it will be 5% per year. The NHLPA thinks it will be 7% per year. Regardless of who turns out to be correct… both sides believe that revenues and the business is still growing. Neither side is making this deal forecasting a downturn.

          2) Teams were all using charters by the mid 90s. There were no teams taking commercial flights in 2005. The expenses from changing from commercial to charter were factored in long ago and are not part of the expenses that increased in the last CBA. Revenues in this last CBA are still up 50% while expenses are not reaching near that amount. Tell any business owner his revenues will rise faster than his expenses and he’d be giddy over the thing.

          The NHL will never give the NHLPA the power to move teams, or even a vote in the process. Maybe it should happen, but there is no way ti will.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • Habfan17 says:

            I was not suggesting that the NHLPA be given power to move teams, just to have representation on a board, just like with the health related issues.

            I guess the real issue is, do you wait until you are bankrupt to make changes that are necessary now and the answer is no. Yes ticket prices are up but then why are the majority of teams losing money?

            The TV contracts do not bring in enough. The system is flawed. I understand that teams were placed in large television markets to tty to accomplish 2 things, grow the popularity of the sport, but for the most part, to obtain that big tv contract.

            I will side with the players that if the owners thought they were being very clever getting players signed to big contracts, knowing they were going to go for paying them at a 10 to 20% reduction with the new CBa, then that was wrong. Having said that, you don’t think that Fehr and the player agents didn’t see that. I am sure they did and took advantage of it too.

            All in all, I can see it is hard to decide what is HHR? If the owners need to throw everything that is generated from the league and their individual teams, then they need to be allowed to also take all related costs into account and then calculate what is to be shared 50/50. That is hard when you are looking at a 5 year contract and in year 3, an owner may need to renovate and add more luxury boxes that was not in the initial numbers. If the owners need to pony up ALL revenues realting to hockey period, then the players should have to to and the onwers should get to share 50/50 in any revenues the players receive as a result of hockey!

            What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

            Bottom line, be fair, the players are well taken care fo and the owners should be able to turn a profit. I think what is needed is for an independant mediator to handle the negotiation and have the ability to use an independant auditor to revue all the books and present the findings.

            No doubt some owners are in it for the glitz of owning a team, but if teams are losing money then team values willl go down and it will be harder to find new owners. Look how hard it was for the group buying the coyotes to come up with the money and that last investor, and that team was already devalued!


      • Habfan10912 says:

        I probably am over simplifying this as I am bored by the whole CBA debate but isn’t the fact that a few of the teams represent the :increased revenues and many US franchises continue to bleed money the essence of the leagues woes? Even Boston was hurting a few years back before Jacobs yield his power and the league switched from a speed and skill game to goonism to sell the game to American non fans.
        Like the Housing bubble, once the value of these franchises no longer exceeds the notes used to finance them the bubble will burst and union jobs will be lost. That’s the real hammer the league has.


        • commandant says:

          Is it really a hammer though.

          The league doesn’t want the bubble to burst either.

          You can’t run a 20 team league… you are going to lose your tv contracts, lose your market penetration, lose a bunch of things you’ve built up.

          Why do you think the NHL won’t move out of Phoenix? Its not just stubbornness, they still see long term potential in the southern US.

          Well unless the league is prepared to give back the 1 billion dollar NBC tv deal, they won’t be folding shop on a big number of US franchises any time soon.

          The league needs a sustainable revenue sharing model. No doubt about that.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  21. Cal says:

    Ok, JB. I could have done “The Bettman of Seville.” But then, Bripro and Punkster raised the ante, so I decided to go big or go home.


  22. Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

    What the owners seem to be forgetting is that the best 600 hockey players in the world will land on their feet and still get paid to play hockey somewhere. I don’t plan to drop a dime on replacements or a watered down (any more than it already is) league. Seems to me like the players and the fans really have the power.

    Hockey won’t die, but with any luck this league might. Fresh start with a clean slate in real markets with good ownership is what’s needed.

    Lost a bottle of Kraken during this debacle of a season. Better gettem next year.


    cole nailed it!

  24. Dulljerk says:

    Greedy owners and their expensive brandy and trophy wives vs. greedy players with their beer and whiskey and airhead trophy wives. I despise both these groups.

    No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

  25. port elgin says:

    Remember what Fehr did to the expos? he doesn”t care, he WILL get his way, it’s all about him, if the owners don’t cave then renew your subscription to netflix this winter.

    • commandant says:

      Fehr didn’t kill the expos.

      Fehr killed one season where the Expos might have won.

      However, that doesn’t change the fact that the team never got a new stadium, and for the 9 seasons between when the game was back on the field and when the team moved, there were some very good teams… (Competitive and down to the wire for playoff spots)… where fans just didn’t support them.

      It took 9 whole years between the 94 strike and when the team moved. Plenty of time for fans to return to the ballpark to save the team. They never did.

      The 94 strike may have cost the expos a playoff spot, maybe even a championship. But it did not force the team to move. There was more than enough time for fans to return to the seats. They didn’t (for whatever reason).

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • Cal says:

        The team never got that stadium precisely because of no World Series appearances. So, yes, Fehr helped kill the Expos.

        • commandant says:

          The team didn’t get the stadium because the government and Expos ownership, and other private enterprises refused to pony up the cash. Why? Because a blind man could see the attendance problems the Expos were having and that attendance had been on a gradual decline since the mid 80s. The numbers just didn’t support it

          No “world series appearances” was a smoke screen. An excuse by the owners and by government officials to take the blame off themselves. For the politicians they didnt want to lose voter support so they passed the buck. But even with a world series appearance, they would have made another excuse.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  26. SmartDog says:

    Cole is right – and very articulate – about the leagues process, and intention. I mean, to take the NHLPA proposal, flip through it in 15 minutes and then tell the media how horrible everything is.

    Is Bettman the very definition of a-hole or what? I blame the owners in this – and not because THEY are causing this but because they extended the contract of this bozo. They accepted his very controlling terms to lead the league. And EVERYONE who LOVES hockey – HATES HIM. The owners should have given the fans opinion of Bettman a little weight before they gave this guy the reigns one more time. He’s a fractious control freak who is pretty much the very picture of how to ruin good faith and good will.

    I was starting to see the owners side a bit before this last round but the whole PROCESS of how the league does things and how they talk is so negative and contrived, it disgusts me. I hope the players stay out as long as it takes to get whatever the hell they want.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  27. frontenac1 says:

    6-3 Seahawks in the 3rd! What’s the over/under?

  28. jols101 says:

    Just a heads up to anyone wanting to watch our prospects go to atdhenet.tv, they have live streams for a lot of the junior games.

    Galchenyuk with just a single helper tonight in a 5-3 loss but it was a beauty and he was all over the place. He looked great. I’m sure he wishes he would have capitalized on a few more chances because Bergevin et al where there to watch him tonight. Regardless, the points will come and he is looking good. He is fun to watch.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Hopefully the highlights will show some of his plays.

    • Rad says:

      I read somewhere that he didn’t look very good early on. Perhaps he picked it up later on in the game.

      • jols101 says:

        He had a real good 1st period. Disappeared a bit in the 2nd, and noticeably quite on a back check which allowed the opponents to score. In the 3rd he picked it up a lot and was buzzing around trying to get Sarnia back in the game. Overall, he looked good but like most young prospects he needs to work on being more consistent.

  29. TSN 690 spared for now…great news for all of us. Bell’s merger with Astral has been rejected by the CRTC.
    Bell is appealing the decision to the federal cabinet.

    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site: http://teliopost.com/
    Twitter: @teliopost

  30. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Repost from previous thread:

    …I’m not a calculating lawyer, only an air-headed architect …but in My messy little World a ‘contract’ is a contract is a …contract
    …once You, or I, do not meet the written-terms of Our agreement, the contract no longer exists, and/or You, or I, have the legal right to sue the $hite out of Me, or You

    …am I close to being right ?

    …if the owners are saying to the Ovechkins, Kovalchuks, Luongos, Gomezs, Suters, Parises, Lecavaliers or any other less remunerated ‘sluggos’ (as Don Cherry calls them) we intend to pay You less than we mutually agreed, does that not mean ‘the contract’ is no longer, legally, in-effect ?

    …doesn’t this give Me ‘a right’ to consider ‘the contract’ null and void ? …doesn’t said owner’s non-compliance of the effect of the contract, mean that, at My option, I am back on the market for My services to the highest bidder ? …in other words, am I not now, at My option, a Free Agent ???

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

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

    Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

    …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

    • commandant says:


      Players contracts are subject to the terms of the CBA.

      If the CBA says “all contracts signed before “x date” get a y% roll back, thats what happens.

      If the CBA says “all players are subject to Escrow, which ensures that the total players share does not go above z%” all contracts are subject to it.

      All players are members of the NHLPA. All contracts are subject to CBA terms agreed by the PA and NHL. The PA will vote on whether to accept/reject an offer once Fehr thinks its ready for a vote.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  31. commandant says:

    Galchenyuk 1 assist in a 5-3 Sarnia loss to Mississauga.

    Vail 1 assist in a 2-1 Windsor win over Erie.

    Archambault, 1 goal in third period.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  32. twilighthours says:

    I just got back from my high school hockey game. These are the kids I teach. Fast hockey, up and down, huge hits, rocket shots, lots of dangles, and a big win for the good guys. Strangely, not a single mention of HRR, 50/50, honoring contracts, lost seasons. It was awesome.

    There’s good hockey out there people. Go watch some.

    In all honesty, I don’t miss the NHL one bit.

  33. piper says:

    I think this lockout wont be over until the owners get their way.
    Someone said a couple of weeks ago that this could be a two year lockout. I’m starting to think maybe that guy was right.
    Oh well….. Go Rangers Go.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Piper, I notice you are in Stratford, has there been any trickle down of players to the Culltons? Wonder if some players that may have been ECHL or AHL have ended up there.

      Rangers? Glasgow?

      • piper says:

        HIB, No the Cullys are jr.b. They usually get one or two sent back from the OHL early in the season if they don’t get the ice time in the O.
        The Kitchener Rangers. Used to cheer for Glasgow Rangers when I was a wee laddie though.

  34. Phil C says:

    So it sounds like the owners are stilling pressing the 50-50 split right away and that the “no salary rollback” talk from the NHL’s last proposal was just pure BS. I don’t see how they can honor current contracts without a gradual reduction in HRR, but the owners want it to snap back to 50-50 immediately, which I think is unreasonable and the cause of this continued labor dispute.

    When the owners were signing Weber, Parise and Suter’s huge deals, they must have known that their plan was to ask for 7% of it back immediately, which is borderline failing to negotiate in good faith, borderline fraud. In the words of Jackie Chiles, it’s outrageous, egregious, preposterous!

    The greed of these owners sickens me. It is clear that they have won the big concession of getting to 50-50, but that is not good enough for the billionaires. If I was a player, I would be digging in my heels as well. It is no longer about money, it has become about fairness and respect.

    From Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, one of the principles is that it is often wise to give your enemy an escape path, otherwise they will turn and fight more ferociously to the death. Someone should send Bettman a copy because he needs to figure how to get to 50-50 in away that the players can accept or we will be talking about this the same time next year.

    • commandant says:

      Its more than 7%.

      A cut of 7% in HRR = a ~12 % cut in salaries

      7/57 = ~12%

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • Phil C says:

        Good point. It would also be fair to say that the longer the contract is, the more likely it would not result in a rollback in future years. Next year would likely be the full 12% hit, but in subsequent years it becomes more likely that the full contract value for that year is honoured as teams adapt to the new cap and as HRRs grow. They really only have to fix the next couple of years which I don’t think should be a big deal.

        • commandant says:

          Which is why I don’t think they are that far apart.

          With revenue growth, they are already down to 54% in year 1, and will be at 50% by year 3.

          Its basically 2 years of salary…. so not that huge, when you look at the big picture that once you get an agreement at 50/50 in this CBA, its not likely that the players would be able to increase their share in future CBAs. Long term the owners would be in a good position.

          The loss of revenues by cancelling this season for the owners.
          The loss of salary (12% vs 100%) by cancelling the season for the players?

          Both of those things are a lot bigger than just meeting the others demands.

          So a deal gets done.

          Its just a question of who blinks here… as both want to squeeze as many millions out of that 12% as possible and they have a week to do so.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  35. Mondou6 says:

    Great article, very interesting to hear a player intelligently and accurately discuss what’s going on.

    Bettman rolled the PA last time around, and he just assumed he could do it again. Sounds from Cole’s comments like he grossly miscalculated.

    Bettman’s new PR firm can try to blame the players, but I don’t see that working.

  36. Haborama says:

    This Machine kills Bruins

    • The Dude says:

      Do we have to honor the Gomez contract……where is Gomez’s honor of playing like a top 20 NHL’er?

      • pottymonster says:

        i hate the gomez contract as much as the next guy, but the owners need to realize that signing a guy entails potential pitfalls. they know they’re signing guys to guaranteed money, they need to make smart business moves.

        i mean come on, gomez got his money from new york. nobody else was offering him that much money, so for sure he jumped at it. this isnt his fault. its one owners fault for offering it to him when by concesus, none of the owners thought he was worth that much.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Ya we do have to honor his contract just like the owners in places like Minnesota and Nashville have to honor the mind blowing contracts they handed out.

        The players Minnesota and Nashville signed are 10x better than Gomez but that’s not the point ;-).

      • Haborama says:

        That’s what the minors are for, but for some reason Geoff Molson lacks the balls to exercise that option (any other owner would have had gomer in Hamilton in 2011)

  37. Haborama says:

    I am disgusted to say the least with both sides, especially the NHLPA, they should have taken the offer in a heartbeat, all they are demonstrating is their greed, stupidity, and selfishness. Even if it means that little twerp Bettman getting his way I would still pay to watch Fehr and his ungrateful minions get whipped.
    This Machine kills Bruins

    • pottymonster says:

      the players were told to make all the concessions in the the owners offer. did you read what cole said? look at the last paragraph.

      the players offer about accepting 50/50 but all existing contracts need to be honoured is the fair offer. the owners don’t want to honour the contracts that they already negotiated. how is this fair? this isnt the NFL: NHL contracts are 100% guaranteed.

      imagine this scenario:
      you hire a contractor to do repairs on your roof. you hire the best in the business. you set a fixed price at the start. the day he is supposed to start work, you dont let him on your roof and that you need to renegotiate the deal you signed with him, and until he accepts less money, he cant go to work. the contractor will look at you funny, and then tell you no. he’ll proceed to leave and go do someone elses roof. if you want him to come back and do yours, you better pay him what you agreed, otherwise you’re going to need to find a second rate contractor.

      this is what has happened. in our fictional situation, the home owner (employer) is being a total douche. the contractor (players) are only being reasonable: expecting to be paid what they already agreed to.

    • English is not a Crime says:

      All you really demonstrated with that comment is ignorance to the facts. Don’t judge people if you don’t at the very least understand the facts you’re trying to judge them on first.

  38. showey47 says:

    Let me get this straight.In proposal #3 the players were willing to go 50/50 as long as current contracts were honoured 100%,which were negotiated by the same owners who now don’t want to honour them 100% as part of a new cba? Did i get it wrong?

    • pottymonster says:

      yes. interesting how the owners rejected it, no?

    • Lafrich says:

      I said this verbatim in the last thread.

      On the flip side, the thing that irks me most is that the players get paid what most of us would feel is pretty arbitrary in tems of actual numbers. If a player gets signed to a 5 year 28 million dillar contract or 5 year 24 million dollar contract it really means almost nothing, becaus either way they will get at least 24 MILLION DOLLARS!!! Well, that would be a 14% reduction. Think about that folks.

  39. Ali says:

    If I was Zach Parise or Ryan Suter or any other player who signed a deal with an owner on that negotiating committee I’d say they can have their 50/50 share immediately, except every contract longer then their 5 year limit is void, and all those players become free agents. Then Gm’s can figure out how to sign guys like Suter and Parise to 5 year deals where the cap hit is 15 million a year.

    I would absolutely refuse to play for an owner that signed me to a deal in bad faith (looking at you Jacobs, Leipold, and Snyder)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I have to wonder if perhaps behind closed doors Bettman hasn’t ripped those owners a new one. The crazy signings done this past off season are a huge wart perhaps boil right on the ownerships sides nose as they now negotiate.

      I still also believe Fehr is more concerned with how he is perceived to win or lose this negotiation more than he is the players. Not a good situation.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        All those monster deals thrown out there by the owners prior to the lockout makes me want to see those same owners have to honor those contracts to their entirety.

        If the cap was actually lowered to $59 million a season, I think that’s what the owners suggested, teams like Minnesota would be pretty handcuffed with the gigantic contracts and salaries of Pairse, Suter and Heatley.

      • Mondou6 says:

        Cole says flat out that players are encouraged to attend any and all meetings. So it’s not like Fehr is doing anything behind the players’ backs. Cole sounds very knowledgeable about what’s going on.

  40. Dennis says:

    My sky-high optimism lasted less than a day, and now I think things are bleaker than ever. I can’t even decide what side I’m on anymore. All I know is my urge to give Gary Bettman a wedgie has never faded.
    Now I can’t wait for the World Junior Championships which is so great at the best of times, but should be unreal this time around.


    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good point Dennis, the beneficiaries of this are the World Juniors, The entire CHL league and perhaps most importantly the AHL.

      Players who may have been rushed get to stay in either CHL or spend a full year in AHL depending on their situation.

      I personally am going to try and attend as many Bulldog games as possible. I think I will also make the effort to attend some OHL games this season.

      At least we can try and find a positive in this otherwise bleak story.

    • Danno says:

      On the bright side, maybe this is the beginning of the end for Buttman. If the season is a write-off the owners will fire him and replace him with somebody who actually understands and appreciates the game of hockey.


      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

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