And it’s official: NHL lockout begins

Gary Bettman

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the media this past Thursday, an almost certain lockout on the horizon.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

The National Hockey League has entered its third lockout under Commissioner Gary Bettman.

At 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday night, the NHL locked out its players as the current collective bargaining agreement between the two sides expired.

From Canadian Press reporter Chris Johnston in a story filed before the midnight padlocks were snapped shut: “And so the NHL heads into its fourth work stoppage in two decades. An 11-day strike in April 1992 caused 30 games to be postponed, while a 103-day lockout in 1994-95 forced the cancellation of 468 games and delayed the season’s start until Jan. 20. The 2004 lockout began Sept. 16 and wasn’t settled until July 13 — making the NHL the first North American sports league to ever cancel an entire season over a labour dispute.”

More to come in the hours – and days and perhaps weeks – ahead. For now, a platform to express your views.

Below: NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

282 Comments

  1. mrhabby says:

    On the good side , longer the strike goes the less we see of Don cherry.

  2. JF says:

    I wonder what percentage of the players will find work elsewhere. Obviously the league’s stars will have no trouble, but what about the far more numerous rank-and-file? I don’t see any reason for European or Russian teams to hire such players, especially on contracts the players can walk away from if the lockout ends. There must be plenty of comparable players in the European leagues and the KHL. Perhaps, if the majority of the players don’t find work, they will be willing to negotiate sooner rather than later.

    Which would be a good thing, because up to now no real negotiation has taken place. The two sides have each thrown down the gauntlet, so to speak, and spent the rest of the time telling the media how good their own proposal is. That’s what burns me up the most about this mess. Despite all the pious words about love for the game and wanting to play, no one seems in any hurry to get down to brass tacks.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Seems that if this thing gets resolved it will be the players who will need to blink first. Imo the owners are hell bent on saving the Columbus’s and Dallas’ of the league and an extreme cut of expenses in addition to a cap structure is their strategy to get this done. Since we hear roughly 1/3 of the franchises lose money consistently and 1/3 are around that break even point, there is less incentive for the owners to blink. That’s the way I see it anyway.

      ———————————–

      • JF says:

        Agreed. Enough of the owners are making money that they can afford a long standoff. For the players, even if they are more than comfortably off, losing salary will eventually start to hurt – even for those who are due to get huge signing bonuses whether they play or not.

        All we can hope is that the League is willing to accept only a certain amount of damage to its weaker franchises, and that this will eventually force them to negotiate. Not so much damage in terms of lost revenues as damage in terms of lost support – or at least the fear that teams in small markets will lose a significant portion of their fan-base in a long lockout. Or we can hope that if the lockout does drag on a long time, someone will actually start a rival league, as was suggested yesterday.

  3. Un Canadien errant says:

    .
    BOOK REVIEW

    “Playing with Fire” is the autobiography of Theoren Fleury, co-written with Kirsten McLellan Day. In it, Mr. Fleury tells how he grew up in a difficult circumstance with an alcoholic father and emotionally withdrawn mother. He explains how hockey becomes his escape, how it allows him to come in contact with coaches and families who are more stable and supportive, and nurture his talents. This reliance on external authority figures while salutary at first turns disastrous when he comes into the sphere of influence of hockey coach and convicted pedophile Graham James.

    This section of the book is difficult to read, but also fascinating and somewhat incomprehensible. The reader who hasn’t had the same background and thus doesn’t suffer from the same vulnerability is aghast that the author doesn’t speak out or talk to the police or have some other like reaction to his situation. Without making light of the circumstances, this reviewer found himself comparing the decision-making and turns of events to the protagonists in a horror movie, and asking himself: “Why doesn’t he do such and such, instead of that.” In this way, the book is enlightening and serves to make the reader understand what the assault victim is subjected to and how she/he responds differently than ‘common sense’ would seem to indicate they should.

    While the book is illuminating on this subject, it is not very insightful, and once again I have to lay the blame on the co-author. Ms. McLellan Day also worked with Bob Probert on his autobiography “Tough Guy”, and my suspicions at the time I read it that she’s at most a transcriber of words spoken into a voice recorder seem more founded after reading another book by her on hockey. She allows the subjects to recount their life and experiences with very little introspection or any questions to probe further or challenge them. As such, the books she co-writes are much less than they can be. The reader is left to wish that a capable author with knowledge of her subject matter, whether it be hockey or the pathology of sexual abuse, had been trusted with this project.

    Mr. Fleury eventually escapes the clutches of Graham James and plays in the AHL and NHL, but by this point the material in the book becomes less gripping, and repetitive. This may be because his career peaks very early, and then declines somewhat as he is stuck on mediocre teams. The seasons pass, and the anecdotes all sound similar, and most are unhappy ones.

    He is forthright about his alcohol and drug abuse, but also somewhat dismissive of their effects on his career and his team. He often describes a ‘party’ he participates in, which are invariably not so much festive as an opportunity to ingest great quantities of intoxicants, and then how well he performed the next day in a game, which is his ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card of preference. He seldom delves into the effect his behaviour has on his team and teammates, and how much better he might have performed without the deleterious effects it has on his health and conditioning. Of course, the reader is aware that a lot of the passion and intensity in Mr. Fleury’s play derives from his background and his battle with his demons; with players such as he you can’t really tease apart the good from the bad. Mr. Fleury is a person that needs to be taken as a whole, to selectively amputate certain aspects of his existence would yield a different person entirely, not merely a healthy and productive Theo.

    Graham James re-enters Mr. Fleury’s life later on in his career, incomprehensibly, but by this time the reader understands that he hasn’t ‘walked a mile in his shoes’, and can’t really understand the inner workings of his mind.

    The end of the book is unfortunate in that it follows Mr. Fleury’s career arc. Again, the reader is left to wish that things had turned out differently, although all is not lost. While Mr. Fleury isn’t as financially stable as he could have been, he has patched up a few relationships along the way and is struggling to find inner peace, and seems to have his substance abuse under control.

    This reviewer is not sure he can recommend this book to readers unless they are fans of Mr. Fleury or the Calgary Flames. Certainly, Canadiens fans will find it difficult to relive the loss in the 1989 Stanley Cup finals as seen from the other side.

    If anything, this book makes one wish that a talented biographer had taken on this project, and had had access to Mr. Fleury and his family and loved ones and teammates and opponents. There is no question that we would have had a much richer, fuller portrait of the man.

    ———————————————————————–
    This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    All players that are eligible will be sent to play back to their junior teams from their NHL teams. Junior league is going to be very strong this year.
    Great year to follow a junior team near you and discuss them on here with us.!

    • Ron says:

      Jonathan Huberdeau has been back here with the Sea Dogs but I fear it’ll take lots more than him to help this years team. They lost alot of players from last season to AHL contracts etc.

  5. Ian Cobb says:

    Here we go Boys and Girls. CHL President David Branch.
    and big George Laraque trying to start a union for the major junior leagues.
    How do you people feel about this one.
    For me, it is not necessary.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?featured&v=kY3yB5xXNJE#!

  6. Habilis says:

    The NHL has been very upfront about the fact that they want to spend less on salaries. They are the owners and this is what they want. Fehr has tried to dance his way around it all with revenue sharing and continued play under the current system, but in the end it’s all just window dressing. Billionaires will outwait millionaires every time.

    Until the players realize this, nothing will get done.

    This is not my opinion, it’s just fact. Don’t get mad at me for being pro-owner because I’m truly not. I’m not pro-anything, I’m just realistic.

    • ed lopaz says:

      you shouldn’t worry about people on this site disagreeing with you.

      everyone is entitled to an opinion.

      most (maybe all) of the same people posting that the owners are 100% wrong because its a “lock out”,

      would find a different reason for the players to be 100% right if they called a strike.

      you see people are blinded by their own bias and refuse to accept that there might be problems and solutions coming from both sides of this dispute.

      everything about Bettman is wrong, everything about Fehr is right.

      everything the players want is reasonable, everything the owners want is greed.

      • Habilis says:

        I don’t mind people disagreeing with me one bit. I was simply saying that I’m not “behind” the owners, I just know that they’re going to win. Personally I think most of them would probably sell their own mothers for a percentage point here or there.

    • Mark C says:

      If owners want to spend less on salaries then why are they giving $6M AAV to 60-point-a-year players? Or $5.375 AAV for 4 years to 35+ players like Doan? Talk about window dressing…

      • ed lopaz says:

        Doan is being paid by the league – so not a great example.

        • Mark C says:

          Shouldn’t that make it a better example? The league and by extension board of governors approved of that silly contract. Regardless, let’s not kidding ourselves that Jamison didn’t OK Doan’s deal.

      • Habilis says:

        I don’t get why people keep using contracts as an example… The owners want a league wide reduction, that’s not the same thing as giving out individual contracts. They had to sign players to remain competitive and they did so under the old CBA, what did you expect them to do?

  7. HabFab says:

    Another bloggers take, similar to that already mentioned by Ian; http://www.allhabs.net/feature/no-hockey-i-beg-to-differ/

  8. HardHabits says:

    For the players it’s principle. That principle being greed.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I also had to smile at the comment.

      There was no principle shown when the players folded their tent around Bob Goodenow. Even worse, the way they stabbed Paul Kelly in the back.

      As for the bumping of ‘fellow’ union members in Europe, there is no way in the world these two groups are even closely affliated. The only thing they have in common is a game played on ice. I also laugh out loud when I hear players say that it’s for the love of the game. That they just want to play hockey like they have since they were little boys. Please.

      I’m not blaming the players, or Bettman, for that matter.

      This is all on about a dirty dozen or so owners who rule the NHL roost. It’s all on them as far as I can see.

      • Ron says:

        I had a chuckle over the bumping union members comparison as well. Not quite how union bumping works. One union member with seniority at company A goes down the street to company B where he has no affiliation at all and walks in and tells the guy on the bottom of the line to go home he is taking his job.

    • habs11s says:

      Great video, I miss the NHL already…

      _____________________________________________________________

      “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  9. habsfan0 says:

    You mean there’s a lockout???

    But Ron MacLean said there wouldn’t be one!

    Sheesh…

  10. otisfxu says:

    What is so funny about the owner’s position is that they designed this system, of course not knowing the pot would get to 3.3Billion.
    But cutting back the players %, doesn’t fix anything if the same structure is in place for the future. So if revenues go to 4.5 Billion in 4 years, the cap is then 100 Million, are they then going to say players should only get 40%?
    It seems nothing here is going to get fixed by only cutting back the player’s %.

    The basic structure to revenues/salary cap max and min/revenue sharing with poor market teams seems to be flawed. I don’t see this work stoppage fixing anything.

    (is it just me, but is it funny to watch 150 players parade in behind Fehr to a 10 minute press conference, in there Sunday best shorts, sneaks, sandals. Like, do they fly in on a charter for this???)

  11. habs11s says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcP3LC1tH4g

    Unfortunately have to break this song out given the recent news…
    _____________________________________________________________

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  12. HabFab says:

    I hate the owners and the NHL!
    I hate the players and the NHLPA!
    I hate all the fans who support either of those sides…just saying!!!!

  13. HabFab says:

    Pleks is the first to go elsewhere. He and Jagr will be playing for some team in Czech.
    Read an interesting tidbit earlier, Jagr is the only player to be involved in all 4 NHL labour disputes. You know you are old when….

  14. HardHabits says:

    Continuing on the train of thought set out by frontenac and mentioned on telios’ blog… if there is a salary cap and a salary floor there should also be a ticket price cap and ticket price floor. If Habs fans have to pay 200$ a ticket and more nobody in any NHL arena should be paying these throw away prices in hockey hotbeds as Phoenix and Tampa. If people in the Sun Belt are not willing to pay good money to see NHL hockey… move the franchises to locations where people will pay the money.

    Time to contract the league and dump Bettman.

    • New says:

      Fans aren’t a party to the negotiations.

      Next season, or the one after, when NHL hockey starts again TV networks will renew their contracts, sponsors will sponsor, companies will buy their boxes and hand out the party favors, and the vast unwashed will line up to buy the tickets, sweaters, and rush off to get them autographed.

      The only threat to the strike is a threat to televise KHL games with state of the art broadcast crews and commentary. That won’t happen.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Ah yes, I agree . We, the Proliteriat will return because hockey is our opiate.We are all doomed junkies. The pusher”s supply of good stuff has run dry but he has “other stuff” which he claims will make you feel just as good and he will let you have some for a better price.But you know deep down as you hand over the cash that it is crap, diluted and cut with who knows what and you do it anyway.You curse him and hate him but return again and again because next time it will be better, just a little more you think.,that’s all I need. But it doesn’t get better. You see, the Pusher knows the game better than the junkie.

  15. Timo says:

    Day one of the lockout and I still miss MAB.

  16. HabsFanMTL says:

    i’m not for the players at all……and don’t get me wrong i’m not for Bettman either but facts are facts as he stated the NBA and NFL have settled thier problems and the players there are making 45 %. we the fans are being Stiffed yet again by both sides……The players should be happy making the millions they have or better yet try doing a regular job and making 20,000 to 35,000 a year for a while……..hell they can play one contract out of thier whole career and retire……perhaps 2 or 3 years and 2.5 to 3 mil per season and they can retire…….F*** em

    • Bill says:

      Another deluded 99-per center who thinks all the players are millionaires who retire to live like Rockefellers in the Bahamas.

      The majority of the guys who make the NHL play a couple of seasons and they are not making Crosby money. They cannot retire. Why you think they should go f*** themselves for not wanting to take a massive paycut is beyond me. Would you?

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Dust says:

        Maybe the players should do some form of a salary sharing then. to even out their paychecks more across the board. kinda like the revenue sharing they want the owners to do

        • Bill says:

          They do. It’s called a pension plan.

          Who let all the Ayn Rand fans out?

          You say the owners aren’t greedy. Take a good look at Jeremy Jacobs and get back to me on that one.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • Dust says:

            They are both greedy that’s why we are having a lockout. Sorry my opinion on the lockout differs from your correct opinion

          • HardHabits says:

            Every living thing is greedy. Every plant fights for its place in the sun reaching out for more, even if the result is creating shade for another.

      • Timo says:

        Oh please tell me… if you were making the minimum which is about 500K/year… After all the deduction bullshit you probably clear half. You play 3-4 seasons, so if you are not a retard and don’t gamble your money away, but put it aside and lead a normal lifestyle, like paying mortgage, kids school, groceries and a kickass car, you should have enough to sustain you for a while. Not retire perhaps, but still… gives you a very very comfortable living for a long time.

        If players waste money away on hookers and blow, then it’s their problem. Point is, no one will ever feel sorry for anybody who makes 10 times the joe blow average while playing 5 minutes per game at best 82 times a year.

        So I am on “they can all go eff themselves” wagon.

      • HabsFanMTL says:

        yeah i would take a pay cut if i were making a couple of million a year and not everyone makes crosby money but crosby is way more than 2 or 3 mil a year the average player is making 2.5 mil a year they stated that so buzz off buddy……u can’t ask me to take a massive cut in pay cause i don’t make millions so if anyone is delusional its YOU ……wakey wakey…..

    • Welks says:

      I look at this from a different perspective. The owners and players agreed on the existing system that was in place. All the current contracts in the NHL are legally binding. All the contracts in the NHL were approved by 3 parties. The player, the owner and the league all approved the contracts. Now the owners want all the players across the board to reduce the amount on the agreed upon by a set percentage. Amounts of money aside this would be like hiring a contractor to do work for you have a contract established and then the you tell the contractor thanks for doing every thing I wanted but I want to pay you 25% less than what we agreed on. If they want to reduce the cap and everything else go right ahead but the teams should need to do so with the existing contracts in place they have. Send players down and do buyouts. It would be the only way that the owners and GM would learn to be responsible for the contracts that they sign.

    • rut1212 says:

      Most people are just workers. NHL players are the workers and the product itself. You also can’t compare leagues as if they are the same. As has been stated before, that revenue split is based on different definitions of what revenue they are splitting. They also don’t get the same vacation time everyone else does, they put in the work 12 months a year, keeping their bodies in the best possible shape.

  17. accp says:

    To sum it all up. Both sides. It’s all about GREED. The more you have. The more you want. If anyone see’s it different. Please explain …

    • The Cat says:

      For the owners, its about greed, for the players, its about principle

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

      • ed lopaz says:

        yes. the “principle” of going to europe, “bumping” a fellow hockey player, until they get called back to their NHL job.

        that’s the principle of “greed” by my standards.

        • New says:

          Bang on. Take away someone else’s job. Someone who actually relied on it and not endorsements.

          The NHLPA wants to fight back…fine start their own league, WHA style.

        • The Cat says:

          If it were a strike, Id get that, but its a lockout.

          [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

          • ed lopaz says:

            what’s the difference to the european player if its a lock out or a strike?

            none.

            morality is about considering the effect of your actions on others.

        • chemic says:

          unless the league has a policy about the sum of foreign players…..like switzerland. that means some less talented AHL-guy will lose his job or does not get one because some clubs will hire a elite guy.

          its really not a big deal!

  18. frontenac1 says:

    Revenue sharing, hockey related revenue, ticket prices ,TV contracts…
    Don’t buy the bullsh*t amigos. Owners want more revenue to prop up failed franchises in places where there is no fan loyalty and never will be. We see owners blowing their salary cap on these obscene contracts for one or two players in these lousey markets just to put some bums in the seats and not to build a winner. Teliopost had a great post yesterday on how Habs fans are getting reamed on tickets. At the same time Bluejacket fans are offered 6 games of their choosing for $99, Florida fans get $20 tickets Plus free food,etc AND they are still half sold! Pheonix,Columbus, Nashville etc. If they are in the playoffs, they can sell tickets but nowhere near prices we are used to. Regular season, forget it , No loyalty.. Bettman still believes in this failed adventure and will not change. He is a gunsel, a bully and a predadtory. shyster..

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    Is there a third option for the current poll question? One guy loves to lockout players and the other guy killed the Expos. I choose neither.

  20. I posted a great comic on my site about the lockout…I think you guys will like it…
    Cheers!
    Telio
    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site: http://teliopost.com/
    Twitter: @teliopost

  21. HankHardball says:

    The NHL owners position is as indefensible and hypocritical as Bell Media using TSN 690 airwaves to push it’s position on french media in Quebec.

  22. Ian Cobb says:

    It is the game we love! Not the name on your back!
    Lets get some other links up of real hockey being played, here on Hockey Inside Out!!!

    I am not going to be commenting on this dispute until it is over. It might take a very long time.
    So lets get off the subject and start to focus on our favorite US Collage, juniors or AHL clubs. We can have much more fun talking about these teams that are playing, and to hell with the rich wanting to get richer.

    I will be only commenting and be responding to posts that I read about QHL,OHL,WHL, AHL from now on to the end of this fiasco!

    Be nice if Mr. Stubbs and the rest of our HIO leaders on here would do the same. At least put up new pages with coverage of these other teams for us to discuss please.

  23. ed lopaz says:

    I am totally against a lock out,
    but I am not siding with the players either.

    I just finished reading the novels below about how stupid and ignorant some fans are for criticizing the players.

    I know some young players who have recently gone over to play in europe – they left major junior or finished their time there and could not get picked by an nhl franchise.

    so now these young players, making about 50-75 thousand are being told that their spots are no longer secure as the teams are calling NHL players to come over.

    so I ask for the 3rd time.

    why is it that us “stupid” fans should be expected to support an NHL player who makes about 200,000 per month on AVERAGE and goes overseas to STEAL A JOB AWAY from a guy MAKING A LIVING AND FEEDING HIS FAMILY.

    I would like to ask union member out there if they would go overseas and take a job away from someone if they were locked out??

    Its funny how guys making 40 or 50 grand for a union in north america have more class and more integrity then these clowns who make 2-10 million.

    RDS confirms this morning that Plekanec and Jagr playing together for Czech league team.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Playing the devil’s advocate a bit here…

      Cuts are made at every level of hockey. From minor atom to the NHL.

      If you are bubble player in a minor pro league making 10% of the average NHL player and get bumped off the team because someone out there is better than you, than it’s time to look for other work and think about the future.

      • ed lopaz says:

        that “someone” has a job and union back home waiting for him.
        there is supposed to be a loyalty shown to your fellow worker if you are truly a union member and supporter, is there not?

        • commandant says:

          loyalty in hockey unions is different from loyalty in a traditional union.

          Jobs are not protected based on seniority. They are protected based on your skill level and being good enough to make the team.

          This is the big thing that is missed when you criticize players for taking jobs in Europe.

          This is merely the common union practice known as “bumping”, something that happens in nearly every union in the world, every day of the year.

          The only difference is that the criteria for bumping has changed from seniority to talent.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • ed lopaz says:

            bumping, in this case, is greed.

            bumping in the normal situation is one man moving to europe and taking someone else’s job.

            in this case, its about “keeping their skills sharp” while they wait to get called back to their real job in the NHL.

            Greed.

          • ed lopaz says:

            thanks Gerald. I ask myself a simple question: would I go over there if I was independently wealthy?

            my answer is no way.

            but I guess everyone has a different value system.

            my folks taught me that this is inherently wrong and I stand by that.

  24. JohnBellyful says:

    If you were to throw a $3.7 billion pie in the face of the players and owners, would it be a 57/43 split, or would the owners get the share they deserve – 100 per cent?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Okay, when I throw this pie at the owners face, does all the excess whip cream on top count the same as the custard filling? Because I am definitely willing to allow the owners to receive all the whipping cream in their faces. :)

      I do feel it is important also that some of the pie hit the players also in the face, so perhaps what is needed is we have two complete different pies, so that each group can fell that they are receiving 100% of the Pie.

  25. HabinBurlington says:

    So yesterday I played in a Golf tournament at Lionhead and my buddy and I saw Tomas Kaberle in the parking lot at the course on our arrival. There is no excess pudge on Kaberle from what I could see. He appears to be in very good shape. My buddy is a big Leaf fan, and he commented to me that he hadn’t seen Kaberle look that lean since his early years with the Leafs. We had a brief discussion in which he gave the stand pat comment that he is hopeful they are playing soon.

    Wish I had more of a scoop for you all, but thats all I got.

    • 24 Cups says:

      It’s not Kaberle’s physical fitness I’m worried about, it’s more a case of his heart and courage.

      He’s still a one dimensional player as far as I’m concerned.

      • ed lopaz says:

        you are bang on 24 Cups. Kaberle is easily neutralized with a tough, in your face forecheck, and then he becomes nothing more than a power play specialist with no shot.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I understand your point, unfortunately he didn’t want a pep talk from me on how to play the game. I was however, impressed that he took his off season conditioning much more serious than the previous offseason.

        • ed lopaz says:

          I have played a lot of golf in my 48 years, but never with a Leaf fan!!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            LOL, Ed you got me on that one. He is actually one of my best friends, and a couple years back I won a trip to Montreal for a Leaf/Habs game with train, hotel etc. all covered. I took my buddy and he just looked in awe after the game at how much more passionate the Hab fans were about their team. He turned to me and said, I am so close to jumping allegiances. Despite the Leafs thumping Montreal that night, he said he was jealous of me, because my team had fans at the game that cared about the team and were vocal about it.

            He also happens to be an excellent golfer, He and I shot a 64 (8 under) to win the tournament.

            I will pass on to him that I may not be allowed to play golf with him anymore!

            CHeers Ed.

      • commandant says:

        There are plenty of useful 1 dimensional players in the NHL, its all about the coaches ability to use him properly.

        Kaberle may be one dimensional, but his one dimension is to be an elite offensive defenceman.

        If he were an elite two-way player, he’d be getting Ryan Suter money and not what he is making.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Mark C says:

          Exactly, there is way too much focus placed on what Kaberle isn’t good at and not enough for what he can do well. People seem to forget a GM good enough to win a Cup traded a B-level prospect, a 1st rounder, and a conditional 2nd round pick for Kaberle two trade deadlines ago. A Kaberle playing at a slightly higher level than during his time in Montreal has value.

          Personally, I am not a big Kaberle fan, also don’t think he fits well in Montreal right now, given the current roster. That noted, here’s to hoping he plays well (if there is a season) and can be turned into a more valuable future assist as MB and his team rebuild.

          • 24 Cups says:

            - let’s be careful with the term ‘elite’. Kaberle is good on the PP, but he’s not elite.

            – as for accepting him as being one dimensional, I wonder at what point his disasterous play in his own end starts to negate or cancel out some of his value on the PP? You might be able to get away with it up front, but it’s not as easy on the D.

            – I live in Laff land so I’ve seen plenty of Kaberle. You have to ask yourself why this guy has been on four teams during the past two years. As for the Bruin trade, they overpaid for a guy who would/could basically only go to one place. Chalk one up for Brian Burke.

            – I’ve accepted the fact that Kaberle is here. He’s further proof of just how desperate Mr. Gauthier was near the end of his reign. He can play 3rd unit minutes with another overrated player, Bouillon. He’s great insurance just in case Markov gets hurt again. After all, this is a last place roster we’re looking at here. Kaberle is the placeholder for Beaulieu in 2014. If Kaberle brings a mid rounder at the deadline, all the better. Right now I’m happy to see the lockout eat a year of his (and Gomez’s) contracts.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      We talk about the lack of size on the Habs blue line but if Kaberle and Markov actually played the way they did 3 or 4 years ago we could have some strong offense on the back end with Subban as well.

      I just don’t see Markov regaining his form for whatever reason and Kaberle was just horrid in the Montreal end last year so I don’t know if he can turn it around either?

      • ed lopaz says:

        Markov was tentative when he returned for about 12 games. That was totally understandable.
        Until we see him next season there’s no way to know how well he can play.
        Even a player who has lost a step can still lead a power play on the blue line by making elite decisions, and that would make our power play much better.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I think both Markov and Kaberle will be good on the PP. It’s getting to loose pucks and being smoked into the boards in the Canadiens’ end that I’m worried about.

  26. Mondou6 says:

    I’m on the players side in this particular skirmish. I don’t pretend to know all the details of how much percent players should get, but this situation strikes as Bettman bargaining in bad faith, and just basically trying to bully the PA to submit to whatever the owners dictate.

    As someone mentioned yesterday, can you call it “bargaining” when the NHL is giving nothing in return to the players? And this on the heels of the last stoppage, in which everyone universally admits the PA got completely rolled by the NHL?

    The NHL has some financial problems, but Bettman has no interest in addressing the root causes, such as too many franchises in failed markets. His solution for his failed empire is to force the players to give back even more money to the NHL, because then maybe he can keep a franchise in Phoenix.

    Let’s face it, Bettman has gone mad with power. He’s more interested in winning battles against the union than he is in hockey. He’s the only commissioner to ever cancel an entire season, and he has to hold the record now for most work stoppages.

    I’m glad the players got Fehr, and I hope he steels the players’ resolve to drag this out as long as possible, if for no other reason, than to take Bettman down a peg. Otherwise, this will keep happening over and over.

    If the players cave, again, this lockout BS will happen every 4-5 years indefinitely. This time, the owners must suffer. Make them pay. Make Bettman look like the weasel he is. Public opinion will only continue to turn against him.

    I’m willing to sacrifice this season of hockey, and next, and next, if it means that Bettman’s power is greatly diminished. He has no interest or love of hockey; he’s a glorified ambulance chasing lawyer.

  27. Thomas Le Fan says:

    A plague on both their houses.

    A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
    The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
    Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things:
    Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished:
    For never was a story of more woe
    Than this of Buttman and his Fehrio.

  28. habstrinifan says:

    WHOA there folks hold them horses! Mosey up to the bar, spue that plug of lockout lividity into that thar spittoon and pour yourself some Taos Lightening. Do what Clint wudda done before he went senile and started talkin to empty chairs.

    Remember what Grum Gauthier used to say, “An onion can make you cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make you laugh!”

    Whad ya think of the pictures Dave Stubs chose for his article?

    There’s Bettman!!!! Looking like one of them wild-eyed tin horn lot. Looking as if he’s tearing up Jake cause he’s pissing pants angry that some freeloading cattle man is grazing on the acreage which he stole from the Indians in the first place.

    Then there’s the Donald!!!! Standing tall and resolute like a man you can tie to. Donald looks like he knows that you know that he’s got his talking irons under that coat. Trouble knows that there’s no pew for him in Donald’s church.

    So have some fun! Play along with me! Which one of these men would you be riding into Tombstone with?

    Bettman or Fehr?

    Remember folks frettin now is like diggin’ for water under the outhouse. You gonna end up with sh**t all over ya.

  29. avi says:

    This is all about greed. How can I have sympathy for the owners or players who are making way too much money. I feel sorry for the little guy who really will be hurt by this (concession stand workers, parking lot attendants, cab drivers, etc.

  30. 24 Cups says:

    The players will receive their escrow money from last season. They’re getting most of it back in early October, an average of about $200,000 each. They would clear around $120,000 which would give them 10 grand a month (for a year) to live on. I have no idea if there is a strike fund.

    Star players such as Skinner, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle are being sent to the minors. That’s quite the comedown, not to mention that some of the headhunters and hackers in the league will be out to get them. I wonder what would happen if they said no, I’m not going. What’s the worst that could happen, the team would suspend them? Or they would lose their AHL pay of around 75 grand?

    I’d take my escrow money and tell the team to shove it.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Buddy of mine told me that Fehr had instructed all players to put away 10% of their pay at least last season to help this year. Not sure if the NHLPA actually got involved and helped with this or just told them too.

  31. mrhabby says:

    september, october and some of november are ” waste of time months for the nhl”….with NCAA , NFL in full swing no to mention October with baseball. There are no pressure points until players start missing cheques in October so for me the ride will continue until some pain is inflicted on the players. regardless of our contempt the owners hold the strings.
    btw….if there out for a long, long time ..can the group fix the business model so we don’t have the same issue again.

  32. SmartDog says:

    Everyone – just unplug. The train’s not leaving the station. There’s no reason to be on it.

    See you folks in January – or next year.
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  33. 24 Cups says:

    I imagine that Gary Bettman is relieved that it is finally Sept 16th and the lockout has officially begun. Now he doesn’t have to worry any more about teams giving out ridiculous contracts like the ones that were handed out yesterday to Doan, Fowler and Kane. Not to mention the baker’s dozen that were signed during the past month.

    Memo to Bill Daly: Your job is to examine the final CBA when it is eventually settled. Look for any possible loopholes that owners and GMs can take advantage of to selfishly satisfy their own needs while totally screwing over the intent of the agreement as well as the other teams in the league. That’s what half this new fight is about – fixing and plugging the holes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10vU7Qo-NlU

  34. habs-hampton says:

    Yesterday, a bunch of you were talking about how we the fans can have an impact. Let’s face it, we’re all too addicted to just walk away from the NHL game. When this is over, we will still go to games and will still watch on TV. But, I vow that if the season is shortened by even 1 game, I will NEVER by another NHL endorsed product. I have enough hats, t-shirts, sweaters, etc. to last me a long time, and when they wear out, I will replace them with stuff from my local Junior team.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Like others, you have nailed the paradox. We will, like hopeless lovers treated like dirt by fickle partners, go back the second we’re invited.

      As for merchandise, I agree and will do the same. But it will only be symbolic, and the owners are impervious to poetry. If we all signed a binding agreement not to attend games or watch them on tv, I think we could get their attention.

  35. Ian Cobb says:

    HIO Men and Women,

    Ian Cobb

    I am not going to be commenting on this dispute until it is over. It might take a very long time.
    So lets get off the subject and start to focus on our favorite US Collage, juniors or AHL clubs. We can have much more fun talking about these teams that are playing, and to hell with the rich wanting to get richer.

    I will be only commenting and be responding to posts that I read about QHL,OHL,WHL, AHL from now on to the end of this fiasco!

    Be nice if Mr. Stubbs and the rest of our HIO leaders on here would do the same. At least put up new pages with coverage of these other teams for us to discuss please.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Great idea! I hope that TSN and CBC braodcast the AHL games. I would love to see the Bulldogs!

      Habfan17

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Excellent Ian.

      Although I won’t be able to maintain your silence, I think slaking our hockey thirsts elsewhere will help us survive, will be a great boon to non-NHL hockey, and could even have an oblique impact on the relationship between the NHL, the owners, players and fans.

      It could start with this site which, after all, is (recently and controversially) called HOCKEY Inside Out, and not NHL Inside Out.

      And a request for those of us living a long time outside Canada — information how how to follow the AHL and other leagues would be very welcome.

      Cheers

  36. BJ says:

    The Mayan calendar was only off by a few months. What is it, December 21, 2012? Maybe the end of the world for some is no Habs games. Having said that go 50-50 on the revenues, create a system where players stay with the same team longer (thats for us fans) and start the season.

  37. Habfan17 says:

    The players have nothing to complain about, From the time they are drafted they have access to the best trainers, doctors and nutritionists for free. They also get equipment and personal training supplied and they aren’t helping the team make money yet. Once they make the NHL club, they have to be put up in 5 star hotels when travelling and get a daily per dium. The lowest paid player makes what the average Canadian makes in 10 years. Sure they have risk of injury, so do fire fighters, police officers and our armed forces and they make no where near the coin these players do. By the way, we all make sacrifices to make it to the top of our respective professions. They know the risks and if they don’t like the pay, they can go find another career. There are some players who are great people and appreciate the life they have and the fans, but it is time to get real, 47% is fair. They talk about solidarity and then some of the rich superstars take someone elses job overseas and leave the rest of their union mates to take it on the chin and not have any income. Double talk. “We are ready to sit out as long as it takes to get a fair deal” Are you really sitting out? NO!! These players need to take an ethics and morals class! Fehr should not have allowed that and it should be in the NHLPA documents that in the event of a strike or lockout, players are not allowed to join other leagues. Let them get regular jobs if they need the coin. Both sides are just too greedy and unappreciative of the fans. They are both to blame!

    Habfan17

    • boing007 says:

      Good one.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbGthv-dJp4

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

    • neumann103 says:

      “The players have nothing to complain about”

      At 18 they are told that if they want to work in this industry, they can only work for this one company, under artificial terms limiting their compensation and freedom and their first freedom will come at 27. None of the other 29 employers in the industry will hire them because of oligopolistic collusion.

      I would say that is something to complain about.

      If you got rid of the draft, the salary cap, constraints on Free agency, then you would have a point. I would be fine with that, but most people seem to want these things in the interest of parity. If you want to constrain where players can work and how much they can make in the interest of competition then there are going to be costs to gain everybody’s consent to work under otherwise illegal restraints. That is what the CBA does.

      Again I would be philosophically fine with the New York Rangers paying Malkin and Weber and Yakupov and a bunch of others $20 million each just to win the Cup, but if you want the circumstances where more than half a dozen teams ever are competitive and you want to impose these artficial things then you get the flip side of that market distortion.

      “Et le but!”

      • Habfan17 says:

        I will diagree with you. They choose this career knowing the rules. They are treated far better than most “employees” in the regular job force. True they are under contract to a team once they sign, but contract prededence and desire to win dictate how much they can expect to make on their consequent contracts. Again they have options, just like Justin Shultz, don’t sign when you are drafted if you want to choose who you play for or refuse to sign like Lindross did.

        And, for the best players. signing a contract for $850,000/year for 3 years with a million signing bonus is more than adequate compensation for being locked into one team and paying their dues!!

        Habfan17

        • neumann103 says:

          I think you miss my point in several respects. But I probably should address the red herrings of Schultz and Lindros. The fact that what Schultz did is largely an option open to US College players and has been repeatedly discussed as a loophole likely to be closed in the next CBA puts it in context. The Lindros scenario hapens how often? To whom? The first overall pick. These are not serious counterpoints.

          And “They choose this career knowing the rules.” First, so what? That makes it right? Second, you mean the rules under the current CBA, which are so respected that the first thing the owners want to do is roll back compensation on existing in force contracts by over 24%?

          I am not contesting that Players are paid what in any reasonable view are enormous salaries to play a game that I pay several thousand dollars a year to be allowed to play (poorly).

          The point is that given the distorting effects of an oligopoly, the Draft, Free Agency rules, the salary cap and a host of other issues normal market forces which would ordinarily determine what is “more than adequate compensation” are defeated. These terms are not accidental. They are largely what the owners wanted (eg the 2004/2005CBA rout). You can add to this the fact that Owners are protected from normal market forces like competition to the ledger of deserved sympathy.

          Basically if you removed the Draft, restrictions on Free Agency, the Salary Cap, enforced measures against collusion among NHL owners, and removed barriers to entry of new teams (eg a Relegation process that allowed successful teams from lower leagues to displace unsuccessful teams in the NHL) then you would have open, fair conditions under which you could appropriately say that blame for these sorts of problems could be shared equally. But that is not the case.

          There is a formal system in which the players have collectively ceded certain rights to the owners so the owners can have their preferred set of circumstances to operate. Among the consequences of this are things like Crosby makes less than market wages, Nokalainen makes more than a 4th liner spending most of his time in the pressbox is worth, and Scott Gomez gets paid for his entire contract even if he should have been cut from an NHL roster half way through.

          But mainly the context is that in an environment which is about as far away from a free market as you can get, the notion of applying conventional business norms just don’t apply. The owners are “just trying to run a business” moans are empty. They want a free market? Take away the draft, cap, restrictions on free agency etc and see how much they like that (the ones who are bitching I mean. I have a feeling that the Rangers and Leafs would like that just fine.)

          “Et le but!”

          • Habfan17 says:

            So teams invest all this money developing a player so he can just leave and the team gets nothing for their investment. When a company in the real world pays for your professional development, it comes with rules, you must pass and if you leave within a certain period, you must pay the money back. On top of that it is an entertainement business, so let’s take the Habs for instance.

            Players don’t want to play in Montreal because of the taxes, the language, the rules regarding schooling. Managament can’t bring top end talent, how long do you think the team would last?

            There has to be some protection for the teams to allow them to be competative and see a return on the investment in the players.

            This is NOT the regular job market so you can’t apply all of the luxuries that some people have. With all due respect, you may want to work for the mopst prestigious law firm in Ottawa, but you need to have the goods to make them want you! That means that you also have to play by their rules so if you get in and you are the intern you work 90 hours a week, you don’t go to the hockey game with your friends, or you don’t work for them, take it or leave it.

            So having players locked in to a team for 3 to 8 years is not the end of the world. If they really don’t like it, they go to the general manager quietly and request a trade. It is done and for the most part, teams do their best to make it happen.

            Habfan17

  38. JohnBellyful says:

    Lockout Day One
    Woke up with a hangover – my stomach. I gotta lose weight!
    Checked the sports page. It wasn’t a nightmare. The lockout has begun.
    This is it. I’ve decided to kick the habit. Went out last night and bought myself an NHL patch – just in case idiocy prevailed. It’s supposed to wean fans off their favourite team so they can move on to other things in life. You affix it to the same spot where you’ve been wearing your heart on your sleeve for the last 10, 20, 30, 40 years.
    Wonder which one will work first, the patch or Patches?

  39. Xsteve50 says:

    Less we all forget, Hockey, is just another form of entertainment. The players are like the actors in a film. The better they are the more $$$ the film makes, and therefore the more $$$ the actors make. I don`t see any Commissioner of Film dictating how much a producer can pay his lead actor, or limiting what they choose to spend on any given project. Why is hockey different?

    Today I am pissed off and would love to boycott the NHL for the rest of my life but I know that will not happen. I am too much of a fan not to turn on the TV at the first sign of life. So, for now, I`ll spend more time at my local arena enjoying the game played for the fun of it, and smiling at all those parents that want they children to one day play in the NHL.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Well said in your 2nd para. You perfectly summarise the paradox most of us feel ourselves to be in.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yes they do have a budget, they don’t have unlimited coffers! Yes some actors command more money but then somtimes that puts thm out for the running of some films. The producers try to forecast what they think the returns. If they didn’t, there would be no hollywood, they would all go bankrupt. Let’s get real.

      Habfan17

      • neumann103 says:

        Yes but the MPAA does not run a draft where Paramount, Fox, Columbia, Universal etc pick the next George Clooney and get to sign him for peanuts for the next 3 to 9 years. They also don’t tell studios how much they are allowed to spend on films so that Sony can’t make an obscene free agent bid to lure Clint Eastwood away from Paramount.

        etc etc etc

        People the NHL is not a free market. The teams are not independent competitive enterprises. The players are not free to sell their services. There are all sorts of effects of these artificial factors that make things like budgeting, supply and demand and what is “fair” completely different than in a real market.

        “Et le but!”

    • neumann103 says:

      Good first paragraph. What we also don’t see in Hollywood is a draft when actors are 18 that locks them up to whatever studio deigns to pick them up until they are 27 under working conditions they are not free to negotiate. There was a version of this called the Studio System with studios controlling the careers of actors under contract. It died around the same time as the NHLPA emerged.

      The thing that I find strangest about people’s reactions to NHL disputes is that this is in no way a free market. Owners do not deserve the respect we might award to free market entrepreneurs because it is an oligoploy. The players do deserve some extra consideration of what is reasonable because of the unbelievably enormous restraint of trade factors imposed on them.

      The league wants parity, owners want cost certainty, so we have a Draft and a Cap. People accept these as facts on the ground, but they are not normal, nor even legal absent the consent of the players. They are enormous, unfair market distorters and one of the effects of imposing this kind of constraint is that some players may get paid more than they “deserve” for “playing a child’s game.”

      “Et le but!”

  40. English is not a Crime says:

    Fourth work stoppage in Bettman’s first 20 years, way to go Gary! Averaging every five years.
    Imagine if they lost the entire season and had to use last year’s standings for the next draft? The Oilers with yet ANOTHER consecutive first overall would be scary, the Habs with another top 3 would be pretty sweet though.

    The last several lockouts gave us glowpucks, points for losing in OT, shootouts, and various other nonsense to try distracting us from how badly Bettman’s messed everything else up by messing that up even worse. I wonder what distractions he’ll try to pawn off on us at the end of this fiasco? I have a suggestion that would summarize Bettman and would work great as every bit a ridiculous distraction as the others…. one word…. NERF!

  41. HabsPEI31 says:

    Well, guess it’s official. Might as well head to Future Shop to get my copy of NHL 13 and imagine what the season would be like in my dreams…

    “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

  42. rhino514 says:

    I see Bettman sundry times over the course of a season being asked about sundry hockey issues on how to make the game better.
    Then, we see him negotiating strictly on behalf of the owners and speaking down to the player´s association.
    Does anyone see an incongruence with this picture?
    Isn´t it obvious that the post of comissioner, while it brings back nice echoes from our Batman comic days, shouldn´t exist?
    The overseeing body should definitely not have this conflict of interest. We are talking about 4 work stoppages in the last 20 years; clearly the system doesn´t work. What exactly is a comissioner, anyway? Who came up with the role and duties of this office? Isn´t it a left over vestige of a time when authoritarian figures controlled working people who had no unions?

    Regarding the salary cap, I applaud the players for getting absolutely as much as they can with the current system and not backing down. However, I question wether a salary cap, as a concept, is the right way to go. I don´t wish for 3 or 4 teams to permamenently dominate the league, the way it happens with soccer leagues in Eruope, but consider the following; The salary cap is being used to artificially control revenue and maintain markets which simply aren´t good hockey markets. Are we better off for having hockey in places like Phoenix, Columbus, Dallas, Florida? Hasn´t hockey, as a symbol for us Canadians, lost much of its substance because it is played in half empty arenas whose spectators see it as nothing more than a nice way to idle away the evening? In a free market only true hockey markets would survive.

    On another aside, I don´t wish for 3 or 4 teams to permanently dominate the league, the way it happens with soccer leagues in Europe. But don´t we in essence have too much parity right now?
    Parity might sound great, but there has never been great parity in sports. If there were, there would never have been dynasties.
    If everyone has a hard salary cap, everyone can buy the same amount of talent on their rosters. The teams who aren´t as successful are the ones who have the greatest number of bad contracts, (or the most injuries.), or who cannot spend to the cap. So it becomes largely a game of contracts. Even then, one can hide a bad contract down in the minors in an extreme situation and replace it with another player.
    To add to all of this, we still have the draft. There really isn´t much difference between the top teams and most of the bottom-feeders. The draft already ensures a good deal of parity. If a team tanks, they get a future star at the end of the year. And the difference today between the top tier teams and the bottom feeders is just that; one or two really good players.
    Put the draft and the equal amount of monopoly money to play with together, and you get extreme parity. This is also why it is moot to talk of rebuilding in this day and age.
    A team can literally rebuid from one year to the next, maybe two at the most, in this scenario.
    I think we need to be progressive and think out of the box for the game to be healthy in future. If the KHL and other leagues become semi-successful, this will do away with a hard cap as players will be allowed to jump ship the way they do in soccer, if they aren´t happy. This may not be what we are used to, it may not even be fair, but in the end, one has yet to come up with a system that imrpoves on the free market. Any time there is an attempt to regulate revenues, a myriad of problems set in which is what we have today in the NHand NHL. It may look like the players make tons of money, but they we forget how short their careers are, how much risk they incur, escrow, and other hidden costs they must fork out. It may not be fair, but who said democracy was perfect?
    I don´t expect many to agree with me regarding the cap, but please, just please, do away with the comissioner. Just look at the way he talks to people versus the way Fehr habdles himself, and that is enough to understand that something is wrong.

  43. geo_habsgo says:

    I was talking to a friend about the whole lockout situation yesterday evening and I was complaining about how I didn’t understand why the owners waited so long to begin talks when they knew that they were not happy with the way the current CBA was structured. He answered me with something I thought was interesting.

    He asked he if when I got an assignment at school if I would always complete the assignment the day I got it. I said no of course. He asked me when the bulk of my work would get done then. I said usually a day or two before the assignment is due. People always leave things until the last minute. To us, the world is always at our fingertips and time is always on our side. Until it isn’t anymore. Just because the owners are billionaires doesn’t give them foresight or incredible wisdom. They did what most of us would have done in their situation.

    And we all pay the price for it.

    • Time, and the lack of it, is the most commonly used negotiation tactic known to man. Think of the trade deadline. Why do most teams wait until that date to make trades? Because the pressure of time running out causes irrational thinking.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Up already? Saw your comment below. Answered (long-windedly). Cheers

    • JF says:

      I think the League planned the lockout last fall, when they informed the NHLPA that they wouldn’t be willing to play without a new contract. A lockout is the best way to ensure that the players accept the owners’ demands and also to undermine the players’ union. The owners know that they can hold out longer than the players. In the end, the players will have to capitulate, and the owners’ goal is precisely that. They don’t want a negotiated settlement with concessions on both sides; they want to force the players to accept their demands, and they want to divide the union. A lockout creates a lot of bitterness, as we saw last time.

      The players talk about the NHL being some kind of partnership between owners and players. It isn’t. It’s a business, and it belongs to the owners. In the end, the owners will dictate the terms.

      A couple of days ago, someone posted a link to an article about Bill Guerin’s take on the NBA lockout last fall. Guerin was involved in negotiations in 2004 and was fully committed to the players’ cause. But with hindsight, he now says it wasn’t worth it. The owners will get what they want. The players should take whatever they can and play hockey. It’s not worth losing a single game, let alone an entire season, to try to fight the owners. Much as I hate Bettman and feel that the players’ proposal was reasonable, I’m coming round to that view.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I believe everything you said is true and accurate, and that everybody, including all us posters, is wasting their time.

        Players are impotent. The only force that could stop the owners is the public, via government (cf laws that ensure safety measures in car manufacturing) or consumer movement (NHL boycott).

        Both of those are logical possibilities but neither has any probability at all. So, alas, unless there’s a surprise factor no one’s thought of, I think your conclusion are spot-on, well supported by Bill Guerin’s observations.

  44. HabsFanMTL says:

    well ta hell with this bullcrap………i say lets start an original six hockey league of our own…….but this time an all CANADIAN league with our Six teams……..habs oilers flames canucks leafs senators and jets……our very own league here in canada without BUTTMAN trying to steal our game from us and make it an all american sport by unsuccessfully closing down our teams and opening them up in non supportive american markets. Canadians are the best hockey fans in the world would we not support an all canadian hockey league with our 6 and maybe 7 teams if Quebec joins and perhaps 8 if Hamilton joins? Hell i’d be happy with it.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      No one enjoys a big slice of pie-in-the-sky more than I do, bro, so I’m with you all the way. But I do believe that there are very dull but concrete and real reasons why it’s not possible, and that elsewhere on these threads the idea has been shot down more than once by people who eat in a different diner from you and me.

      But just for fun, let me raise the bulls-eye one more time: surely, for a modest and uniform contribution from each player, the costs of practising and playing (accomodation, travel, etc) could almost be met. If you throw in some help from those who stand to lose much money from a long lock-out — advertisers, networks, breweries and food franchises — maybe it would be at least a logical possibility. It would win over fans who are blaming players, keep the players fresh, and provide what most of us want — the chance to watch our favourite players playing hockey.

      It might also undermine the confidence of the owners.

      Ok, undo those safety catches!

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Don,t forget Saskatoon

  45. Marc10 says:

    If any of you would like to voice your concerns to an owner directly, Ted Leonis, owner of the Caps, has a blog. (As blogs by Billionaire owners go, it’s quit good…)

    http://www.tedstake.com/

    I’m going to drop in and ask Ted why he thinks it’s wise to lock the fans out yet again.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Please ask him why he’s not scared of the consequences. Why are they so confident that it will be business — and profits — as usual after the resumption?

  46. Hobie Hansen says:

    I definitely side with the players. These guys were just like you and I were when we were kids. Waking up at 5:30 A.M. to practice before school, with their parents making all kinds of sacrifices and figuring out ways to buy $800 goalie pads…

    So when one of these kids, one in a thousand, makes the NHL and makes humongous money it’s fantastic! I couldn’t be happier.

    If you work for IBM or TD Bank or any company you basically bend over take what’s given to you. Outside work you’ve got cell phone bills, car insurance, car payments, mortgage and so much more. You are a prisoner to your job and your bills.

    So when I see a group of hockey players who would be in the same boat as everyone else if they didn’t make the NHL, tell their billionaire owner to go F*&k themselves, I think it’s great.

    The players are who fans want to see, period. They deserve as big of a piece of pie as they can get. I hope they stay over 50%.

    • showey47 says:

      I agree. Even though i hate what is going on right now,i will always side with the players. They are they ones who have made the sacrifices. You talk about 5 am practices and the money spent by parents which is a very good point. Then add to it alot of these players leave family and friends as early as 16 to pursue hockey careers and spend pretty much all of their off season training.

      The average nhl career lasts 3 to 4 years,owners can own for pretty much as long as they feel like it. So in the end who gets the bigger piece of the pie? The players are the product so they do have a right to say they deserve a larger chunck of the revenue.

      The players earn their money from personal sacrifice and hard work while the owners,for all we know,are wealthy from previous generations money who never had to do anything in their lives other then be born in the right family. Considering what kind of coin gets tossed around in free agency and long term contracts i will never feel sorry for the owners.

  47. I thought hockey was part of our rich culture. The more I read about this matter (lockout), the more it felt like I was reading about today’s stock market. Hockey is a fun affair, a privilege for us all. So sad to see its value being determined by businessmen that have never played the game. You know what the true value of hockey is in our lives? One single goal makes thousands of us stand on our feet at once. We sit within in a room for hours to see who signed where on Canada day. Many teenagers like me save up money for over months, just to buy the jersey of our favourite player. Tears roll down our eyes when we see former hockey players dying too soon. Give us all of these moments back and you shall have our consent to estimate the value of hockey in terms of dollars.

  48. Un Canadien errant says:

    It’s started already. Fans are blaming the players for the current NHL lockout. A lockout imposed by the owners. Maybe they need to review the definition of a lockout.

    From http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lockout

    Definition of LOCKOUT
    : the withholding of employment by an employer and the whole or partial closing of the business establishment in order to gain concessions from or resist demands of employees

    It astounds me that anyone even thinks of siding with the owners, and their facile 50-50 split. The players are who we pay to see, not the owners. I don’t care about Jeremy Jacobs and Charles Wang, they’re all crooks and monopolists and fraudsters. Why they get half the money they declare, plus all that they embezzle is inexplicable.

    The 50-50 split sounds reasonable to simpletons, since it harkens back to kindergarden, when we were taught to share and share alike. It does not apply to this situation however. The owners recklessly cancelled a season, locking out the players and depriving fans of the game they love, in order to obtain ‘cost certainty’, which was a hard salary cap. The players’ share of revenue was rolled back from more than 60% down to 55% at that point, accomplished by the players taking a 24% pay cut. Eight years later the owners come back and ask for more cuts? To support hockey in moribund locales like Phoenix and Uniondale? So that more of the inflated ticket prices and jersey sales end up in their pockets? How exactly will you benefit personally from another lockout to prop up those franchises? Wouldn’t you be better off with fewer hockey teams, with less diluted talent, with more franchises in Canada, where they will draw fans?

    Give your head a serious shake. The only reason there won’t be hockey in the fall is because of owner greed. They’re the ones who opted out of the current CBA, and they’re the ones who will lock out the players. The players would gladly continue to play under the current conditions, but Gary Bettman won’t, so that Phoenix doesn’t have to meet a salary floor that he agreed to less than a decade ago.

    If there is no hockey, it’s not the players’ fault. They are not going on strike. The owners are the ones who opted out of the current CBA, the one during which revenues grew and they signed the biggest broadcast deal ever with NBC. The owners are preparing to lock out the players. So the owners are the ones who will deprive you of the game you love, in the name of greed. They got everything they wanted last time they tried to kill hockey, a salary cap and 24% wage rollback, but they’re coming back to strangle it a little more.

    And for those of you who say that players come and go, but that doesn’t matter, since you’re only really a fan of the team, think again. You had no attachment to Jean Béliveau, Guy Lafleur, Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy, Saku Koivu? These guys were just interchangeable cogs? Their personality had nothing to do with your love of the Canadiens?

    The game is what it is because of the players. They’re paid very well to play a game they love, but that’s not an excuse to rob them of some of the ticket revenue to give it to Francesco Aquilini and Ed Snyder.

    Also, if the owners operated as pure businessmen, I’d give them credit for what they do, but they rely on exemption from anti-trust legislation and taxpayer subsidies for their operations. If Pierre Karl Péladeau built the Colisée, then the beatification of owners would make sense. Rather, he’s going to let the citizens of Québec assume all the costs and risks, and then turn around and gouge them as much as he can with ticket prices and cable bills. So give me a break with the owners being responsible for the league’s existence.

    Read “Net Worth”, you’ll see what the NHL owners did for the league, they almost killed it, only used it to fill dates in their arenas between wrestling and boxing matches. They defrauded generations of players. The owners are never the heroes.

    We’d actually be way better off if we didn’t have owners and instead ran NHL teams as public trusts or utilities. Do you really think that if the NHL was a league with 12 or 20 community-owned teams like the Green Bay Packers, with revenue sharing to even out the bumps in the road, and salaries reflective of the consummate skill of the players but not necessarily inflated by the current monopoly which charges you $100 for a ticket and $200 for a jersey, that you’d enjoy the games less? What value does Boots Del Baggio bring to the equation?

    Owners didn’t create the NHL, they didn’t invent hockey, they almost killed it. And they’re killing it to this day, by focusing on ways to raise the price of beer to $10 instead of trying to improve the product on the ice. Now they’re shutting it down on the fans who paid for these teams ten times over.

    We love hockey. The players love hockey. The owners love the money they wring out of hockey.

    ———————————————————————–
    This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • HabFab says:

      Listen UCe, I’m already pissed off enough about this without you forcing me to defend the owners. Both sides are to fault here so please don’t make me more pissed!
      Good morning Canada, how is your favorite NHL doing this season!!!!!!!!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      UCE, I took 10 years out of my teaching career to write for a living, and I’m wondering, did you write this in a spontaneous stream of thinking and anger? It’s wonderful (and in your second language? If so, it re-opens a 40+ year regret: why didn’t I go to Royal Vale and do it right first time…!).

      Money is not my forte, so I make do with trying to understand disputes or negotiations like this in terms of dynamic tension. Both sides know separately what they want, what their bottom line is, what they can sacrifice, what their bluffs are, and what methods they’re prepared to use to achieve their objectives. Then it’s a matter of pull and resistance. It can be like an evenly-matched tug-of-war in a nice garden — eventually one side wins, possibly marginally, because one foot has crossed over the middle line, and the contest is over. But meantime there’s been a lot of collateral damage to lawns and flowerbeds, as well as the atmosphere.

      For example here, the Irish puppet government (we are actually now ruled by Brussels and the European Central Bank) is pulling to extract tens of billions of euros in savings (and think of how small an economy it is compared to Canada’s), most drastically from the three biggest spenders, Health, Education and Social Security. They will get that money, because the resistance to that pull is poorly organised, not united, not likely to mobilise effectively. The serious suffering and problems this will create at a human level — both immediately and long-term — make no difference: our well-marshalled government desperately needs that money right now and will get it. It’s a tension with most of the pull on one side.

      And so, in terms of how much strength they can bring to bear on the tug-of-war, they are kind of like the NHL owners. But what I don’t understand is this — the Irish government/Brussels can pursue this strategy because their fundamentalist belief in the all-healing power of economic growth (as well as the need to keep certain powerful interests happy) makes them capable of ignoring the suffering of 1000s and 1000s of people/voters/citizens (among the sick on trolleys in hospital corridors, the long-term, futureless poor, in over-crowded, under-resourced schools) under the pretext of the interests of collective gain. The government can brazen out this policy because it doesn’t really pose any electoral fears to them — the people they are currently destroying are among those traditionally least likely to vote anyway. So they’re not scared.

      Why aren’t the NHL owners?

      Perhaps, this being the fourth major industrial action in 20 years, the owners’ experience tells them that the public’s adoration of teams, players and traditions will always ensure that the income flow resumes as soon as play does. So presumably the owners’ pockets are deep enough to waste a season.

      Don’t players have pretty deep pockets, too? Plus, the prospect of picking up a salary somewhere else.

      And what if the public doesn’t behave the way experience suggests it will? Didn’t baseball suffer massively for its strike year? Analysts are paid well and are good at projections: but they told us VHS/Beta would close every cinema, and they’ve been predicting the imminent extinction of the print media since the mid-90s.

      In short, the public doesn’t always behave in expected ways and is therefore a variable, an x-factor. Why aren’t the owners scared?

      Sorry to be so long-winded and circuitous! All written here in GMT while Normand you’re still tucked up in bed in Pacific, dreaming of the 1970s!

    • Cal says:

      So, it’s okay to you that Fehr pissed away a year by not negotiating at all? And that he continues to try to tell business owners how to run their businesses?
      Look, I’m not defending the owners but negotiating is a two way street. The owners started with 43% of the pie to the players along with a new definition of HRR. Instead of coming down to 55% of HRR and keeping the old definition what did Fehr do? He tried to impose his vision of how the NHL should be run. Employees NEVER do that. That is the owners’ turf.
      We can bitch and moan about “bargaining in good faith” here, and about how people hate Bettman, but the moment the players hired Fehr I knew this would happen. I also know we’re going to lose at least 3 months of hockey due to Fehr sticking to his proposal. The ownership group has zero impetus to change their stance now that the lockout has begun.
      Artificial deadlines like the one imposed by the NHL do have meaning, and when the paycheques don’t arrive we all know who is going to hurt most.
      It’s us the fans.

      Oh yeah, don’t believe for a second that the players LOVE hockey. It’s the only career pursuit they can have while being paid ridiculous amounts of money. They make the equivalent (and I am talking 4th liners here) in 4 seasons what most people make in 25 to 30 years. Forget about what the stars make. There are no comparisons besides film stars.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        “Oh yeah, don’t believe for a second that the players LOVE hockey. It’s the only career pursuit they can have while being paid ridiculous amounts of money. They make the equivalent (and I am talking 4th liners here) in 4 seasons what most people make in 25 to 30 years. Forget about what the stars make. There are no comparisons besides film stars.”

        Often thought the same, but eventually came to reckon we have to get past that. Otherwise there’s all kinds of outrage that we’d have to walk around with all day every day. For example, cars are an important necessity, but is it morally right — and your points here are all moral ones — that the manager of the local Ford dealer has more take-home pay than a (good) kindergarten teacher (or maybe three of them!)? I don’t believe it is. But it’s not going to change.

        Same with hockey players. They have great gifts (ok, 80% of them have, arguments for reducing the league but for another day!) and we love watching them, thus providing access for them to serious money (most of it ours). We can rail against calculations to figure out how many kindergarten teachers’ entire careers Sidney’s salary could pay for, but that’s how it is. I think we have to look at the issue on its own terms because it’s a wholly different world. If we introduce yours or my income to the discussion, no one will care.

        And come on. A lot of them love hockey. Who has said he doesn’t? Do you remember an English boxer called Chris Eubank in the 1990s? He declared openly that boxing was “a mug’s game” and that he hated it and did it only for gainful employment. Headline-grabbing no doubt (he was a talented self-marketer), but after he very nearly killed Michael Watson in the ring, I don’t doubt he believed what he said.

        But has any hockey player ever said it?

  49. holypricehabsman says:

    Sorry, meant when the lockout is over, not strike

  50. holypricehabsman says:

    Sorry, meant when the lockout is over, not strike.

  51. holypricehabsman says:

    We need to “strike” against bettman. When the strike is over, as fans we vow not to watch the games until buttman is relieved of his duties. You know, at the centennial game, by luck I was within 5 feet of him for about a minute, and for some reason, I didn’t throw my drink at him. I think at the time I thought it was a waste of beer!

  52. Habitant in Surrey says:

    @MfDx

    …was reading Your comment respectfully, until You came to Subban traded for either of Lecavalier, Parenteau or Marleau

    …Your credibility came to a screeching halt at that point :)

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      And those are fresh and interesting comments. I wonder what the source is? TV deals represent big bucks and are therefore game-changers. Such a confident assertion of Oct 1 — how so?

      As for the PK comment, HiS, would you agree that if you divide it into 2 pieces, one has real credibility (however improbable) — blockbuster trade involving PK to secure a new kind of captain for Montreal’s new kind of team — while the second piece, the players he suggests, has not?

      (Ha! How about your friend Lucic?!)

  53. axxerd says:

    Ok guys, let’s all decide on a KHL team to throw our collective support behind

    —-
    Newfoundland’s biggest Habs fan. Hands down.

  54. mfDx says:

    The lockout will end Oct 1. Allowing the teams a week before the season starts.
    Owners and players will get 48% each. With 4% going toward “Brand Development” (supporting poor-a$$ broke teams)
    Bettman is close to signing two overseas TV deal. Increasing league revenues to almost $4.5billion by 2014. The owners don’t want the players getting as big a piece of THAT pie. (especially if 4th liners start getting $4million contracts.)
    As soon as the lockout ends. PK +2 will be traded for the next Captain of the Canadiens. (lecavalier? Parenteau? Marleau?)

    Sent from my CHphone

    • Rad says:

      How can P.K. be traded for the next Captain of the Canadiens when the next Captain is already wearing #26 for the Habs? Ain’t no outsider coming in to take THAT job, tank you berry much.

    • Nitroslices says:

      PK for Lecavalier again. Wasn’t there rumours of an earlier trade involving PK, Price & Gorges for Lecavalier which was obviously rejected by the League.

  55. Timo says:

    Just logged in to Bell and cancelled my RDS HD.
    That;s the $5 these #$%ers in NHL will not see.

    • Chuck says:

      That’s $5 that Bell won’t see. The NHL gets their RDS money whether you’re subscribed or not.

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

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Timo, make sure you send them an email telling them you cancelled because of the lockout. Then tell them you may reconsider if they show Bulldogs games.

      Their address: info@rds.ca

      ———————————————————————–
      This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  56. Chuck says:

    This will be the legacy of Gary Bettman.

    1728 regular-seaspn games (and counting) lost to labour dispute.
    Five teams (North Stars, Jets, Nordiques, Whalers and Thrashers) moving due to dire financial straits… and only one of those relocated teams is currently making money. Only 25% of the current teams on solid financial ground. Insistence on hockey teams being forced to play–and lose a lot of money–in non-hockey markets. Countless people in secondary and service industries that rely on NHL hockey for at least part of their income laid off… and never mind the whole concussion thing.

    But hey, hockey’s never been better, right Gary?

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

    • Nitroslices says:

      Bettman’s Legacy can be a weekly TV show called “Lockout King”; there is enough material for a season. It should be right up there with American Hoggers, Duck Dynasty, American (Noise) Pickers, Storage Wars, etc.

    • English is not a Crime says:

      you forgot the glow puck, OTL points, shootouts, back and forth on offsides, Winnipeg in the South East while Nashville stays in the West, “We need a salary cap to make the game more affordable for the fans”, more teams in California (3) than Ontario (2), or Florida (2) than in Quebec (1) and arguing that Ontario couldn’t possibly support a third the way Arizona apparently can….. I am sure they just got lost in all his other brilliant innovations to sell the game to us.

  57. BKAK72 says:

    Most will agree that the bulk of NHL fan interest is between Windsor ON and Quebec City QC, approximately 10 million people right?

    What exactly was there to look forward to between the HABS, LEAFS and SENS? If the answer is “make it to the playoffs” then chances are you have never seen a (real) Canadiens roster. There was a time when HABS fans discussed whether the team would win the Cup (or not) b/c playoffs were a given.

    I don’t see anything all that exciting to make me believe the HABS will win a cup this year and one must be out of their mind to think anything will work out for the LEAFS or SENS.

    The conclusion? Please remain locked out for two/three seasons, allow the HABS to draft and work of some dumb contracts (think GOMEZ).

    Go Bull Dogs Go!!!

    — HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –

  58. Habs_4_ever says:

    T – minus 20 minutes…

    ————————
    “Can we lose the parade float?…..Thank you!”
    -This Old House, GMC commercial-

  59. commandant says:

    An Update to my column earlier today

    The Jets with a 6 year deal now for Evander Kane.

    Thats 12 NHL teams including quite a few small market teams, and some of the most vocal of the NHL owners (Jacobs & Snider) who have given out 6 or more year deals since July 1st.

    Owners say that 5 year max deals are ncessary.

    Hypocrisy or good business?

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  60. Ron says:

    The pic of Bettman looks like Monica Lewinsky just showed up under the podium.

  61. Ron says:

    Martin of the Isles and Kane of the Peggs sign last min contracts. PK and Del Zotto ( Don Meehans ) boys not signed.

  62. Dr.Rex says:

    Bettman managed to give the press conference the other day without directly answering any of the questions. All he did was repeat the question while altering a few key words and then relate his answer to a completely irrelevant topic. Classic avoidance tactic and by excelling at this he has made himself a rich little weasel.

  63. EricInStL says:

    Well good luck NHL, you’ll do it without me. No more spending ANY $$$ on anything relating to NHL stuff. So much so that I will call videotron and get rid of RDS. No use for that network if I ain’t watching hockey. What did it for me was the hubris of the owners of signing players to contracts right before locking them out. Big ass contracts in fact. Way to go, btw we’re not dumb at least not me. So bye bye, and good luck, you’ll need it.

    • boing007 says:

      If you cancel RDS you will miss World Championship Table Hockey with Instant Replays and countless other scintillating sporting events.

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

  64. 9the rocket says:

    revenues increased from just over 2.1 billion to over 3 billion which sounds great and every one is jumping on the owners cause they are so greedy. Here is the problem 57% of that revenue increase went to the players and 43% to the owners. there are very few businesses that can survive with 57% employee costs. None of my businesses can. And believe me that if my employees came to me and said hey you make too much money we want more it would be a short conversation. 2 words. Get lost. The owners did screw up it seems now in hind sight on the last cba. So that’s it? no chance to rectify? Yes the owners have a lot to answer for but the players are no better. They have stalled negotiating continuously and have really offered nothing that would even remotely be of interest to the owners. They are playing the public sympathy card, which is not going to get a deal done. I have no sympathy for either side. They are both grubbing in the dirt for the most money they can get. Lets get to the 50/50 split sign a permanent deal and get on with it. This show boating is very boring.

    I am a habs fan, players will come and go but the habs are forever.

    • howardshabs says:

      Well said

      The old CBA was not working anymore and I don’t know why the players feel entitled to it still. You had it for 7 good years, now move on.

      57% of revenues is WAY too much. You cannot run a successful business on that unless you’re in a heavily concentrated target market (like Toronto or Costco).

      I dont care if you’re talking about 57% of $3.3 billion or $3.3 hundred), it’s all relative to the risk and cost associated with running the business and providing the service.

      The owners deserve the bigger piece of the pie

      The players deserve a comfy seat on a plane, smart support staff, and fresh stick tape.

    • 9the Rocket, in how many of your businesses are your employees the actual product?

      The NHL is healthy as can be. Anyone siding with the owners is plain stupid. or just plain greedy themselves.

      • commandant says:

        Exactly.

        Product costs + Employee Costs = 57% of revenue?

        Sounds like a great business model to me.

        The NHL is very profitable. The problem is that it is a few teams that are very profitable and they refuse revenue sharing to the teams that need help. And they refuse to move teams like Phoenix that are beyond help.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Chuck says:

          That’s why it must be frustrating to be a player. I don’t blame them for wanting as much as they can get; they’re the ones that the fans pay to see. The NHL wants to address their financial woes off the backs of the players without first getting their own house in order… which after a long, hard look in the mirror should include setting adrift a bunch of dead wood.

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

          • The players only want what they have had over the past seven years. In fact, to be accurate, they are willing to go from a 57% share to a 50% split to get the game’s going.

            How many employees in a profitable business enterprise are willing to roll back their salaries?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      9the rocket, where to begin? You’re so lost I don’t know if I can guide you back in from the weeds.

      You’re struggling with the 57-43% split, but Robert and commandant do a good job of explaining that situation to you. Yes, if your business spends over 57% of its revenue on labour costs, it would be a singular business. As is, incidentally, the NHL. The NHL is hard to compare to your numerous businesses.

      I’ll focus on your inapt analogy of your employee coming into your office and telling you “hey you make too much money we want more”. While you seem like a tough hombre, and I applaud your Donald Trump management style, it has nothing to do with the current situation.

      The players aren’t telling the League it makes too much money. The players aren’t asking for more. You and all the corporate stooges on this site need to get this through your thick skulls. The players aren’t on strike for better conditions.

      The owners are asking for more money. The owners, in the face of ever-increasing revenues, are crying poor and want a significant change to the CBA.

      The owners are locking the players out. They are the ones who are going to deprive you of your Canadiens. The team you paid for ten times over with your beer purchases, cable subscriptions, Habs pajamas for your nephews, maybe even game tickets if you were lucky enough to find some.

      You may not spend a lot of time reading up on what’s going on. If you did, you’d find that every journalist who has any credibility or standing puts the blame for this work stoppage not on the players, not on both sides, but on the owners.

      http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/09/15/gary-bettman-sends-mixed-messages-in-nhl-lockout-talks/

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/measuring-the-nhl-nhlpa-divide-oh-about-1-billion/article4541634/?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=Referrer:+Social+Network+/+Media&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links

      Think back to how Maurice Richard was treated, how much he earned for himself while making a fortune for NHL owners. Ask yourself what side he’d be on?

      ———————————————————————–
      This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  65. joeybarrie says:

    So lets say the greediest owners are only interested in money.
    they are unwilling to lose 4-5 percent of profits. So lets say the annual revenue of the nhl is 3.3 billion. After the the salary, lets say the teams revenue is 40 million on average each. (3.3 billion divided by 30 minus the cap, give or take)
    5% of this 40 million is 2 million.
    This is before they pay any overhead for running the team, utilities, salary for non player, etc, etc…
    So 2 million a year is what they are squabbling over.
    How much are teams gonna lose in a lockout?
    Do you think it would be on average anywhere near a 5-6 year average of this 2 million?
    Does it make any sense to risk the entire season and an average of 40 million over 2 million a season? Or FIVE PERCENT???
    everyone loses. Players, owners and more so FANS.
    Honestly the more I think about it, the more I am starting to realize they are all stupid asses screwing with my favorite sport and time of year.
    They need to BOTH stop being so greedy and do something for the fans of the game.
    Cause honestly. What the F are we going to do with no NHL hockey???
    Neither of them make any money without us. So start thinking about where they get any of this from.
    BASTARDS

  66. JohnBellyful says:

    New thread – okay.
    So as I was saying, how’s that fairy tale go, at the stroke of midnight the pumpkins turn into rats?

  67. Kooch7800 says:

    So is Lars Eller still on his entry level deal? Can he play for the bulldogs? I know some players of other teams have been sent down the AHL today….when will the habs be sending their players down?

    • Ron says:

      I believe Blunden was the only player sent down a few days ago. He was the only one able to come back up on re-entry without having to clear wavers.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Thanks Ron. That sucks. I was hoping to see Eller with the bulldogs. Does LL have to get sent down or is it just assumed that he is going to be on the bulldogs?

        • Ron says:

          Not sure on LL but it was pointed out here a day ago that aside from Blunden players like DD and LL would have to clear wavers to be brought back up whenever the league starts up. So I am assuming all other players are considered as on the Habs roster and would need to clear coming up if sent down now. Absolute shame that their contracts are as such.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Louis Leblanc hasn’t played enough games/seasons to be eligible for waivers. He’s exempt, so he will be sent down to Hamilton.

            Bookmark this site, it has a lot of info on the Canadiens that you can browse at your leisure.

            http://habsprospects.hockeyhq.net/waivers.html

            ———————————————————————–
            This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  68. cunningdave says:

    The moment I saw Donald Fehr’s name attached to the NHLPA, I knew it was GAME OVER for the season.

    We here in Montreal remember, always remember the Expos of ’94.

    • Dr.Rex says:

      I have since convinced myself that we won it all in 1994. I was at the final game where Alou doubled into the gap to score Grissom in the bottom of the 12th to win it. IT was fantastic!

  69. geo_habsgo says:

    @Dunboyne Mike

    Don’t know if you’ll see this but to answer you from the previous thread, journalism and news writing have always been my first love. Turned away from it for a career in education but something about the unpredictable nature of the job and the constant writing against a deadline keeps me wanting to get back into it seriously. For now, I slum it as an arts reporter for my university paper :p

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Spotted it Geo!

      Well good luck to you, it’s not a bad combo. I’m a teacher, qualified possibly before you were born, took ten years out to work as a freelance journalist and radio broadcaster, loved it, but pay bad, and the unpredictable nature you describe, PLUS I genuinely missed the classroom. Back teaching full-time since 2003, and still write small pieces, but regularly, for two big papers. Just to keep the hand in. Haven’t written/presented anything for radio since 03, but may do programmes for Jean-Baptiste and Canada Day next summer. Pay will still be terrible, but I’ll be doing it because I enjoy it (and it fuels my expat patriotic longing!). Hopefully you can find a balance that works for you. Sounds like what you have is pretty good. Still smirking here at your post-game dash for the midday deadline!

      Meantime, it’ll have to be old recorded games (eg. the Halak playoffs, the Tampa-Calgary finals, box-set of 1972 — I think I even downloaded, for sentimental reasons — a playoff game I went to in 1977 which I stumbled upon in its entirety on Youtube!).

      Cheers. Happy lockout…

  70. scavanau says:

    Dammit I’m pissed and not sure where to direct my anger. I’m gonna just drink until its settled…

    • Psycho29 says:

      Direct your anger at the Billionaire Owners and the Millionaire Players. Both parties are guilty in this.
      They should have started meeting once the playoffs ended, not waited until the last minute.
      I’ve been a rabid hockey fan for almost 50 years, and as far as I’m concerned, they can sit out a season….sit out two. Let ‘em both lose tons of money….

      Ok I feel better now! ;-)

  71. joeybarrie says:

    February 1, 1993, Bettman’s tenure as the first commissioner of the National Hockey League began, replacing Gil Stein, who served as the NHL’s final president. The owners hired Bettman with the mandate of selling the game in the U.S. market, end labor unrest, complete expansion plans, and modernize the views of the “old-guard” within the ownership ranks.
    HOW HAS HE DONE????

    • howardshabs says:

      Prett-yyyy…. prett-yyyyy…..prettt-yyyyyy good actually

      I know this isnt a popular stance to take, but Bettman has done a damn good job growing and improving the game.

      No he’s not a typical die hard hockey fan, but if a die hard fan was at the head of the NHL, then we wouldn’t have the progress that has been made. A die hard fan running the NHL would have settled in 2004 before a lockout, and the NHL would not be where it is today (the Cap System is a large part of it)

      The NHL just started a 10 year – $2 billion deal with NBC (the largest ever for the NHL). That is proof in the pudding that the game has grown in the US.

      Bettman has done a good job opening new markets with the expansion plans. Sure he’s allowed the NHL to keep teams in struggling markets, but if he moved teams once they hit tough times then the NHL would be no better then the NBA (with Vancouver) or the MLB (with the Expos). Where is there more NEW revenue available, Markham Ontario or Phoenix Arizona? Another team in Canada would be an instant success, however how much of that money would be NEW? Probably 80% (pure guess) of it would be money that is redirected from other NHL ventures. ie buying Hamilton tickets instead of Buffalo, or a Nordiques jersey instead of a Habs sweater (heaven forbid).

      He has also lead to a modernizing of the game. Bettman brought hockey minds on board and put the final hockey related decisions in the hands of the brightest hockey minds in the business…. and the game has never been better

      Now ending labour unrest. That has not happened…

      …however you can’t end labour unrest AND complete the other (much more profitable) goals.

      I blame the players for not allowing the negotiations to start earlier and clearly wanting to take this to a lockout (to put another ‘blemish’ on Bettman’s record)

      I blame the owners for trying to rollback player salaries (you signed them to the damn contract, now pay them the full rate).

      I think the way to settle it is to have a salary rollback for the cap hit only. The players still earn the full amount of the contract, but the caphit gets rolled back 24% and subsequently the cap is given a more effective ceiling (using 48 to 50% of the Hockey Related Revenues)

      • joeybarrie says:

        Good points. However instill see it as a fail.
        How has the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc grown in revenue in the same given time?
        Bettman has opened new markets, but most of the teams still lose a considerable amount of money, and tend to be a financial burden on the city and owners. Look at Pheonix, which is one of the most populous cities in North America (top ten).
        Atlanta was a bust. Columbus, etc etc.
        I’m not convinced.

        • howardshabs says:

          You need to do your own research… how HAVE they done?

          I would bet that the NHL has grown stronger than the NBA (which is a more accurate league comparison)

          Carolina is thriving, Nashville has a rowdy following, San Jose has one of the most dedicated fan bases.

          So Atlanta didn’t work….I’m over it.

          I would trade a run for an out all day.

          btw, the Columbus market isn’t dead. It is a strong hockey state and full of potential…. if only it had a competent GM

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        All major pro sports leagues are experiencing explosive growth, due to the introduction of the PVR, social media, and fantasy sports among other factors. That the NHL grew under Gary Bettman’s aegis isn’t an accomplishment he can claim. I suspect a trained monkey would have done just as well.

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2012/08/how-did-bettman-get-his-job-how-does-he.html

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2012/07/gary-bettman-should-do-his-friggin-job.html

        ———————————————————————–
        This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          The point is well made, however I’d maybe temper it to say that the reason he deserves little credit is because he is mediocre and ordinary, a businessman but a limited and rather visionless one. Someone exceptional would still have upset fans and players from time to time but would have accomplished a great deal more.

          If he were actually entirely incompetent, as you suggest, I think the league would actually have lost out on the growth that the rest of major sports enjoyed.

          (And how come you’re not getting ripped for introducing primate metaphors? If this was yesterday, you’re banned from the site!!).

          Cheers

  72. ProHabs says:

    Fehr and Bettman should have a duel to the death. Winner gets to decide on the terms of the new contract.

  73. joeybarrie says:

    Hopefully they will come to an agreement this week. Astonishing that one man has been in charge and we have seen 3 lock outs in his tenure, or about to. AND he is still around.
    Pathetic.

    • JF says:

      He’s still around because he is an expert at protecting the owners’ interests and limiting the power of the players, which is what this lockout is all about. Bettman doesn’t give a rat’s a$$ about hockey, and I suspect the greediest owners don’t either. The NHL is a business, it’s about making money. Hockey is almost incidental to this; and as soon as the owners feel their interests are threatened in any way, hockey becomes a casualty. Profits keep growing, the owners keep making money, and that’s basically why Bettman is still here, and likely to be for a lot longer – no matter how often he locks the players out.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Good point re making money, but I can’t tell if you’re saying it neutrally or with a sense of outrage. I believe we need to avoid feeling outrage if we’re to understand what’s going on and be rational about it. I mean, there are few businesses as big as professional sports that care about what they pretend to care about. The bottom line, as you say, is about making money. You mention rat’s asses: insurance companies don’t give them (rat’s asses) for our piece of mind, pension fund managers don’t give them for our quality of life post-work, food manufacturers don’t give them for our health and well-being, air-bag makers don’t give them for your protection or mine. It’s only about selling a product, keeping a company going, keeping the jobs, turning a profit. They pay well-qualified (often psychology grads) experts to enchant us consumers with seductive advertising and marketing, and we are as gullible as the avatars in the Matrix, almost choosing to ignore reality.

        But the business comparisons fall a little short because, as many have pointed out here, in hockey the product and the employees are the same thing. I can’t go with those who say the players are as bad as the owners in their greed. Yes, these negotiations are about money, and maybe some players have no real interest in hockey except for its earning power (really??).

        But where owners are interested solely in profit, players want at least two things: yes, incomes, but also, they love the game. We all love doing stuff we’re really good at. And players form bonds, they buy into a powerful and all-consuming team mentality (or soon get found out). Read hockey biographies and see how earning-potential is only one of many privileges to which elite players are entitled and which make them love the game. And look at the losing bench in the final minutes of a playoff series — does that visible despondency have a single thing to do with money?

        I like UCE’s arguments for being on the players’ side. And to those I’d add that, with respect to Hab in Surrey and others, that expressing anger to the league and to owners might temporarily feel good but will achieve nothing. I doubt if anything would. It would have to be something that jeopardised owners’ profits. If it can’t do that, owners simply pay no heed.

        Hey, not too many suggestions about best hockey movies! And any greater than The Rocket?

        Happy lockout, one and all…

  74. Un Canadien errant says:

    So as a fan, long-term contracts are not preferable. And it will help owners to have an imposed five-year limit on contract length.

    In a way that’s true, it will allow owners to say to players “Jeez, I wish I could give you a ten-year deal, I really do, but my hands are tied by the CBA…”

    I’m not sure it will help competitive balance though.

    Thought experiment: Seth Jones has just reached free agency after playing All-Star quality defence for the Calgary Flames for ten years. He signed two five-year contracts, an entry-level deal as prescribed by the CBA, and then a generous but sub-maximal second contract, also as prescribed by the CBA. He’s now unfettered and evaluating his options.

    The Flames have offered him the maximum dollar amount five-year deal they are allowed to offer given the strictures of the CBA and the salary cap. So have twenty other teams. The only reason the other nine teams didn’t is because they’re at the cap limit and can’t clear the room, otherwise they would have offered the Norris Trophy candidate the same deal.

    So now Seth thinks. “Calgary is kind of a nice town, I love how they made me the Parade Marshall the past couple of years. I have lots of friends here. Cowboys was fun while I was still single. But I can make the same money and not be so much in the public eye if I go home to the States. It would be neat to go home to Dallas. I could go to New York or L.A. or Anaheim and rake in endorsement cash. I could go to a Florida team and golf whenever I want, the wife really hates the snow.”

    Calgary would have a tough time retaining him. They can’t ‘renegotiate’ his contract, only extend a current deal in the last year of the contract. It would have to appeal to his ‘loyalty’ after he’d played there nine years, but how loyal does the kid need to be to a team when the league has depressed his earning capacity to a level far below market value? He didn’t ask to be drafted by the Flames, they just happened to suck the season that he reached his draft year.

    Remember how Erik Cole was about to re-sign with Carolina last July, since the offer he got from them was about the same as that offered by the Canadiens, and maybe a couple of other teams if I remember correctly. Pierre Gauthier then raised his offer, tacking on an extra year and a No Trade Clause, and that won the auction. The Canadiens only got Erik Cole because they were ‘allowed’ to make him a better offer.

    In this same situation, where a lot of teams were trying to entice a free agent to their team, but can’t separate from the pack because they’re all offering the max for a single player and a five-year term, the Cinderella teams will never find Prince Charming. If there’s an(other) artificial brake or ceiling on salaries, a lot of players might just say “Screw it, for the same money I’m going to be a King and meet starlets.” The Rangers and Kings will be the big winners.

    ———————————————————————–
    This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  75. Ian Cobb says:

    Obviously you know nothing about Major junior hockey my friend.

    Fantastic to follow a development team’s progress.

  76. Habfan17 says:

    I find junior hockey fun to watch. I love the fact I don’t have to apply for a small loan to go to a game and for the most part, the players actually try hard. Sure it isn’t as crisp a game as the NHL, but even when the teams don’t bring their A game, I don’t feel like I’ve been robbed!

    Habfan17

  77. Habfan17 says:

    The players are also greedy, refer to my comment below please. They are both to blame

    Habfan17

  78. neumann103 says:

    I’m sorry, but that is just silly. Saying that some illiterate running back or point guard who was insulated his entire scholastic career and spent 1-4 years at a University not studying but playing essentially an unpaid professional sport has an intellectual advantage over hockey players because they have been “educated” by technically being enrolled in a university? Taking easy credit courses in Communications or Basket Weaving and probably not even showing up for those?

    In general people whose focus at 19 is on one sport are not going to be the most rounded individuals. While real student athletes do exist and good for them if they get a free education out of it – those people are not the volume those who end up in the NBA or NFL.

    If we are tossing around anecdotals, I don’t know who are these erudite Renaissance Men of the NBA of whom you speak. I haven’t seen them. And I would be interested in seeing NFL players who don’t begin every sentences with “I’ll tell you what…”

    As to how other sports have “solved” their labour issues? The NFL has a much higher percentage of their revenues derived from a huge National TV deal which can be split evenly among clubs, addressing that nasty viable small market issue. Plus they broke the union. Hello? Non guaranteed contracts?

    The NHL does not have the former (which really is the heart of the problems in “solving” the NHL issues). No NHL player in his right mind would want the latter.

    “Et le but!”

  79. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Careful EastOnt! IQ and education are very different things. I’m sure you know intelligent people who dropped out, and complete eejits who have Masters!

  80. Dunboyne Mike says:

    You and UCE need to play Showdown!

  81. Dunboyne Mike says:

    I hear you!

  82. HabinBurlington says:

    COmpletely agree with your post Neumann.

  83. Habfan10912 says:

    Silver linings. :)

    ———————————–

  84. showey47 says:

    lmao,class envy?? Yes,thats exactly it,i state i support one side showing some valid reasons in the process but i clearly suffer from class envy. Since both groups live well above the means of the average person you would need to dislike both sides to be considered as class envy.Your user name changes,but the stupidity stays the same.


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