Flashback to the 2004-05 lockout


When the NHL and the NHLPA announced they had finally reached an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement back in July 2005, after a 309-day lockout wiped out an entire season, commissioner Gary Bettman and players’ association boss Bob Goodenow sat together at a press conference to announce the details.

Bettman said he was there “to congratulate … all the NHL players, the greatest athletes in the world, for the incredible job and effort that they put out to help achieve this result. We stand here at a point where we can now together look forward in partnership to take our great game to spectacular heights. We can do it for the good of the game, and most importantly for our fans.”

Seven years later, the NHL finds itself back in the same situation, but with Goodenow no longer in the picture for the NHLPA, replaced by Donald Fehr.

Below is a column The Gazette’s Red Fisher wrote about the 2005 press conference. It’s very interesting to read it again now:



So what else did you expect from the finale to this 309-day lockout, eh? Apologies to fans, maybe? Perhaps a tip of the cap (no pun intended) to the hundreds of people who lost jobs and to those many businesses that suffered terribly during the lockout? An admission that it should never, never, never have been allowed to happen? That both sides shared the blame for the first cancellation of a season in the history of pro sport?

Instead, there sat Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow yesterday, wearing their best suits and faces of stone, trying to convince their national television audience this new collective agreement was the start of something new and wonderful for a game that will bear the scars of this amateur hour for years to come. No smiles. No self-blame. Ain’t life grand?

“I’d like to thank all the members of the negotiating committee who are here today for their dedication and hard work,” said union chief Goodenow, reading from a prepared statement. “The process has been long and challenging, and I know that the membership appreciates the time and effort that has been put into the negotiation process.

“We’re fully committed to the new deal and we anticipate great success for the game as we go forward. Most importantly, I want to thank the fans for their patience through a winter with no hockey. We pledge our full commitment to you as we go forward.”

On his part, Gary Bettman said he was there “to congratulate … all the NHL players, the greatest athletes in the world, for the incredible job and effort that they put out to help achieve this result.

“We stand here at a point where we can now together look forward in partnership to take our great game to spectacular heights. We can do it for the good of the game, and most importantly for our fans.”


Do not, for even a minute, think that anything good has evolved from this comedy of errors, even though some players, who months ago vowed they had given up as much as they would, eventually caved in for much less. Now, they’ve taken a 180-degree turn with the explanation that the deal is much better. No matter what spin they now try to put on it, how can anybody believe them – from the top down? Don’t believe they care for the people they stabbed in the back. Don’t believe that a blizzard of new rules will make the game better when the players return to the ice. How can you think of accepting anything that was said and promised yesterday after being fed so many lies for nearly a year?

Shame on Bettman and Goodenow. Shame on the players.

Is this new deal the dawn of a great new era for the NHL?

Here are 700 players who will be going into a new season with with a deal calling for a salary cap, a 24-per-cent rollback in salaries and a near-certainty that money they will be putting into escrow will take another substantial bite out of their take-home pay.

They are being told that new rules will open up the game and, as Bettman put it, take it to “spectacular heights.” Bolshoi!

Am I the only one who feels the game started going south from the moment the two-referee rule was introduced? Remember the toe-in-the-crease rule dedicated to protecting goaltenders? How long did that last?

Now, as if goaltending isn’t difficult enough, the size of their equipment has been reduced to dangerous measurements. The red line is on the way out and if that doesn’t do it, is the blue line next to go?

This may come as news to the giant intellects who decided that these new rules are necessary, but I have it on good authority that for decades, The Game somehow managed to remain an exciting and entertaining spectacle working with the same set of rules. How did Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux manage to put all those numbers on the board under the old system? Bobby Orr? Maurice Richard? Jean Beliveau? Bobby Hull? Mike Bossy? Guy Lafleur? Phil Esposito? So many others?

“From our standpoint, we believe that the agreement will give 30 stable, healthy, competitive teams and that the fans in all of our markets will have every opporltunity to think they have a shot at winning the cup,” Bettman said yesterday, and you can take it to the bank he’ll be saying the same thing when the board of governors ratifies the agreement today.

There is no question the owners needed a new economic system, even though they have only themselves to blame for the one, which they renewed twice, that led to the loss of a season. Their problems were self-inflicted. You don’t have to be reminded that the last agreement included a salary cap for entry-level players, a small victory for the owners, yet it was they who agreed to an astonishing bonus system that provided rookies with many more millions almost without trying.

Know something? Even though the salary cap for rookies has been reduced, even though all of the players are going into 2005-06 with a salary cap and the rollback in player salaries, some of the owners will find a way to sweeten the pot. Bet on it.

Do not include me among those surprised that Goodenow and Bettman yesterday made it abundantly clear they plan to remain in their posts despite the thunderbolts they flung at one another for many months of the impasse. And you had to like the reply Bettman delivered when one of the media wretches suggested that the commish and Goodenow didn’t really get along.

“You know, I think there’s too much made about a fragmented relationship,” he said. “It tends to make interesting reading, but Bob and I have always had a professional relationship. On a personal level, we’ve never had a problem dealing with each other. There won’t be any change in that. I have no doubt labour and management can work together for the benefit of the game and the fans in an unprecedented way.”

I ask you: has Gary ever lied to before?

(Photo by Chris Young/Canadian Press)


  1. Brain of J says:

    If it works out that each team lost an average of 9 Million a year , why couldnt they lower the salary cap 9 million ???

    • commandant says:

      Do you believe that?

      Do you really think that is the average?

      Lets remember in 2004 there was something called the Levitt Report… that was supposed to be a full accounting of the NHL. After the lockout ended we learned it was “creative accounting”

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

      • Brain of J says:

        What do you believe is the average then ?

        • commandant says:

          I believe that if you did the average, the NHL is a profitable business.

          The Leafs alone are making money hand over fist.

          The problem is that you have a league full of haves and have nots…. so the solution is simple

          1) Get rid of the Have Nots that cause serious issues… ie Phoenix
          2) Fix revenue sharing.
          3) Lower the Cap Floor to a % of the cap ceiling.
          4) Drop the players from 57% to something around 52-54%

          Boom, done.

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

          • HabFab says:

            Ben, don’t think you will get #1 but the rest will probably be the basis of a new CBA. Just how long do we have to suffer until?

        • HabFab says:

          Where did you get that figure of $9M? According to the Forbes estimates which are the only figures we have to go with now. In 2011, 12 teams made a combined $252.6M while 18 teams lost a combined $126.1M. That would leave an overall profit of $126.5M (Montreal & Toronto’s profits or close to)

  2. SmartDog says:

    Bournival is looking better and better. Highlights of the report (below):
    – is exceptional in the face-off circle (YES!!)
    – plays the tough minutes against the Q’s best players
    – not afraid to work at either end of the rink
    – skating is strong
    – finding the net not a problem for him
    – very effective on special teams
    – seven power-play goals and three short-handed goals
    – shows exceptional leadership qualities

    Wow. That’s a pretty nice resume. As they say at 5’11” and 179 pounds he needs to bulk up. But if he does that, in a couple of years, it seems that he might be a legitimate 2nd line NHL center.
    Wow – then we’d have what, three 2nd line centers? four? five?

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • commandant says:

      I think its more likely he’s a really good third line center, but who knows…. the same was said by many about Plekanec at one point (though I was one who saw more than that in Pleks in Hamilton).

      Not that I’m perfect either, I liked Ben Maxwell when he was 20 and 21 years old too….

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

      • ed lopaz says:

        agreed. Bournival looks to top out as a 3rd line player. He will find the AHL way faster then the Q; and although he has been a great leader and a solid contributor in the Q, he was far from a super star.

        Evaluating a player starts with evaluating his speed. Especially at the center position. Plekanec is extremely fast; NHL fast. That’s a big reason why he moved up the ladder.

      • Ron says:

        Probably just the law of averages eh Ben. What looks good one time gets a bit older and not realily improves. I think Plex, if the season starts, will have one of his better years. I think this because of the better management foundation as well as coaching changes. Plex should be a happer camper.

  3. Max_a_million says:

    Tony Romo qb ranking –
    2006 – 5th
    2007 – 5th
    2008 – 8th
    2009 – 8th
    2010 – dnq injured
    2011 – 4th

    He has the 2nd highest rated all time qb rating at 96.9.
    He has the 4th highest win percentage over this time period at .679

    I have probably watched 2 CFL games in my life, and probably not the entire game. Tony Romo is a top 5 quaterback whether or not people want to give him credit for being such. He has had a train wreck of a roster, and a bad fumble that people remember. He is a great quarterback, don’t believe all of the weird hype.

  4. HabFanSince72 says:

    “AUSTIN, TX—Following cyclist Lance Armstrong’s announcement last night that he was dropping his opposition to charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs, a sense of profound disappointment reportedly settled over the single individual left on Earth who still believed he was innocent.”


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

  5. Bripro says:

    In agreement with Chester, this is my last friday comment before heading off for poker night, and chilled Guinness…

    Buttman’s face: Do you know what is says? I mean that image specifically, which is the same as every other image of the little dweeb.

    “Ah no, not another human being approaching me! I suppose I’m gonna have to stand here and listen to him dribble and ooze his verbal diarrhoea.
    Humans, such fragile, puny beings!
    And that smell! What is that smell?
    What language did my programmer design so that I can communicate properly?
    My knowledge predates their existence, so why must empathy be part of my makeup?
    Maybe if I flair my nostrils, they’ll all just go away.
    I must admit, having adopted Hitler’s posture, I am now more imposing, persuasive and amiable.
    I’m so clever….”

  6. Chester says:

    Is it me or is Buttman as annoying to look at as he is to listen to…

    • frontenac1 says:

      He is a Smarmy Little Gunsel. A real Dog Body.

    • Rozz says:

      YES! he really, really, really is! At the club where I DJ we have about 25 large flat screen tvs set to TSN and other sport stations all day long but there is no sound due to the pumping music.. now needless to say in the last month or so I’ve seen his face yapping up on the screens a lot and even with out the sound I look up and instantly get the urge to b*tch slap him across his tiny smug face.. we almost lost a couple of the tvs because the of that urge! lol

      ..thank god I got other things to stare at around here 😀

      “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”

      Mark Twain.

  7. frontenac1 says:

    Oh Yeah! Habs jersey #1! So good the Junior A. Kingston Voyageurs use it too. My San Diego Chargers jersey is cool too. (The dark blue one). How about that puke colored Nashville Pred outfit for worst?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I wonder why the Chargers were ranked so low. Man, the electric blue or powder blue, the lightning bolts, that’s all that was needed to convince me as a young kid that these were the team to root for.

      I did prefer the blue helmets though, with the beefy bolt, instead of the current white ones. I wish they’d go back to those.

  8. AliHaba says:

    So let me get this straight…NHL fans are the best fans in the world (according to Bettman) so they can lock the players out and we’ll come running back when the owners decide that it’s time to play and…..the reason to lock out the players is because of their “ridiculous contracts” (another Bettman quote). Didn’t the owners offer those contracts to the players to begin with?
    I hate this labour crap and I find myself siding with the players more and more. It may be time to start bombarding the league office with comments. If only I had the e-mail address. Pass it on if any of you do please.

  9. frontenac1 says:

    The Pride of Smiths Falls Ont.,14yr.old Brooke Henderson at +5 after first round of LPGA Canadian Open in BC. Go Brooke!

  10. Bripro says:

    Under the category of legendary distinction, ESPN did an in-depth analysis of the best and worst sports uniforms in all North American sports.
    And as they report, although the Yankees, Red Sox, Cowboys, Steelers and Celtics all challenged for first, they all came up short.
    Yep, we’re no 1!
    Numero Uno!
    The Bruins came in at no. 5 and the original six all made the top 50.
    The Avalanche and Stars held the dubious distinction of coming in second and third to last, out of a total of 122 jerseys overall.

    • commandant says:

      Us at number 1 is good.

      Blackhawks at 49 is questionable.

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

    • habstrinifan says:

      Amazing.. how impressive the habs jersey is. Especially that CH crest.

      I think only Brazil’s yellow comes clse in all of sports.

    • Cal says:

      Yes! Habs logo IS THE BEST!

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      You mean number 1 as in the best?

      because I could totally see the barber shop uniform as being #1 on the worst list

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It is bizarre that the Celtics would be anywhere near the top. I don’t even know the parameters of the study, but I’m going to barge in anyway, all blowhardy, and say that basketball uniforms are awful to begin with. Swishy shiny shorts and tank tops? Come on. Those look like something a grade schooler would wear in the sandbox. Plus, there’s not enough material there to make a statement.

      Second, the Celtics has that cartoony leprechaun thing going on and has that unfortunate green colour. I don’t dislike the Celtics as an organization, but seeing Kevin McHale and Larry Bird in those was certainly not an inspiring sartorial statement.

      I’m surprised also that the Blackhawks wouldn’t be one of the top unis in the NHL, they’re generally given the nod as one of the best. The Bruins’ is ugly as sin, diarrhea-yellow and black, to resonate with their fans’ dark intentions and black hearts. What the logo means, that B with the spokes, is as inscrutable as the good in the soul of Brad Marchand.

      I don’t like the Stars’ jerseys but I don’t hate them. They’re nowhere near as nice as the old North Stars jerseys, so maybe that’s the karmic tradeoff there. Franchises that move away from their original city for greater profit elsewhere should go to reputation purgatory.

      Generally, hockey uniforms look great, the guys look like warriors from the future and action heroes, but they can be improved by the simple act of allowing the ‘Cooperall’ pants the Flyers used for a season. I don’t know why these are derided nowadays, they looked swish and modern. The hockey socks made sense in the olden days, but nowadays with better fabrics and technology, the Cooperall pants make more sense and would give designers more options when it came to the look of the players. More modern, attractive uniforms might help attract the elusive American Sunbelt casual fan.

      I know one problem with the Flyers unis was that their black pants made it hard to pick up the puck for the goalies, but mandating colour schemes would easily take care of this problem.

      And obviously, bleu-blanc-rouge is the best uniform in sport.

      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


      • Bripro says:

        “Swishy shiny shorts and tank tops”…. 😀

        As for the Cooperall pants, they look like their wearing PJs from the batcave.

        • shootdapuck says:

          More like a full body adult diaper!

          The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

          “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
          “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”
          ” I have a pet peeve”

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Couldn’t disagree more with you guys. Wearing a full lower-body padding girdle with a possibly cut resistant kevlar Cooperall would allow greater safety for the players, no more skate cuts as happened to Mike Cammalleri and Andrei Markov. The colour schemes could be improved as well.

  11. Stormin says:

    Anything is better than looking at Buttman’s face or listening to any of his bs,, well at least we top the power rankings in something,, number 1 in Espn power rankings of 122 pro uniforms of the four major sports..


  12. Bripro says:

    In case it hasn’t been posted.
    The Toe Blake golf tournament yesterday raised $90,000 for Alzheimer’s research.

    Congratulations to all who participated. Great job!

  13. ed lopaz says:

    so we convene a meeting between the big wigs and the question on the table should be:

    What can be done to avoid a work stoppage?

    Bettman suggested that the players were not sensitive enough to the modern economic realities of the Pro sports world – I read that as NBA and NFL labour disputes and results.

    So if I’m the players I agree to continue playing at 50% revenue – cut from 57%.

    This 7% hair cut should be met with an equal contribution in revenue sharing by the owners.

    The players take a 7% cut in revenue, the owners agree to equal dollars being distributed to the poorer teams via revenue sharing.

    That gets us far enough to start the season on time.

    The 2 parties then agree to certain timetables and agendas going forward.

    But the main issue is resolved and the games are played without a work stoppage.

    Please stand up and tell me why this won’t happen.

    Because if I’m Geoff Molson, I’m suggesting something along these lines to my fellow owners this week. And I think, in broad strokes, not exactly this plan but something similar, would be very acceptable to most of the owners.

    • Cal says:

      *Stands up slowly and takes a deep breath.*
      It’s because both sides are greedy a-holes, having a tug-of-war with our wallets.
      Fehr won’t back down because that’s why the players hired him. Bettman won’t back down because he scored a “victory” for the owners last time.
      Either way, we, the fans, lose.

      • ed lopaz says:

        its up to Molson and the other owners of profit making franchises to pressure Bettman to get the owners this kind of deal.

        if the owners are the ones threatening the lock out, Molson should be offering some kind of compromise position (behind the scenes and not in public) and see if it can fly.

        • Cal says:

          I am hopeful all the parties are working behind the scenes, arranging a new CBA away from all the hoopla. Based on our last experience, I highly doubt it. I hope I am wrong, but I figure it’s a January 1st or bust for the NHL this season.

    • commandant says:

      Remember that how you define HRR is a huge issue.

      If HRR is defined the same way the NBA and NFL define their revenues, and all the exclusions are added back in… the Players are currently at 51% of total league revenue… but 57% of HRR. The owners lop a significant percentage off the top before they even get into splitting the money.

      Its not as easy as saying…. but the NFL gets 50%, NHL should too…. because the definition of what is “hockey revenue” and what isn’t hockey revenue is different.

      For example… when you buy Habs tickets… there is the ticket price, and then the ticket surcharge paid to Evenco (a company also owned by the team).

      The ticket price is HRR… the surcharges are not.

      In the NFL, if you own both the team and the ticket company, you’d count both as Football revenue.

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

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      ed, that’s an eminently reasonable proposal, that both sides could work around and arrive at a solution if they bargain in good faith.

      It wouldn’t even take 7% from both sides either. If we use approximate figures, the NHL revenues are $3B/year, so every percentage point is worth $30M. If both sides chip in 2%, that’s $120M to equalize to the needy clubs. Adjust according to need. That buys a lot of hockey tape and keeps a lot of idiot stepsons employed in the ticket sales office.

      All the other issues are negotiable, things like contract lengths and tweaks to the cap language can be solved in a couple of horse-trading sessions.

      This really isn’t an impasse unless one party decides to make it one.

      • HabFab says:

        The NHL already has a Revenue Sharing plan which is around $150M or 4-5%. The NHLPA proposal had it going to $240M or 7-8%. The present NHL system needs some tweaking, as it was designed for small market Canadian teams who no longer need it.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Yes, and if the players and owners both chip in an additional percentage point or two, as in my example, that should patch up the holes and keep the league going for a while.

    • B says:

      Lowering the cap floor would be a huge help for poorer teams. When the current CBA was signed, the floor was set at $21.45M (55% of the $39M ceiling). The floor has now gone up more than 150% to $54.M ($70.2M Ceiling – $16M). If they went back to using 55%, the floor would be at $38.61M (a reduction of $15.39M). I think a percentage based floor makes more sense than using an arbitrary number of million dollars less than the ceiling. It doesn’t even have to be back to 55%, setting it at 60% would still give a poor team roughly an extra $12M break on required player salaries. That would be a big start to helping them out.

  14. The biggest victims of the lockout in my opinion:

    1.The low wage employees of the arena`s (there are thousands of them).
    2. the low wage employees of bars and restaurants that rely on hockey games to generate revenue.

    The players, owners and fans will all be fine, that is for sure. Those on minimum wage are already so poor to begin with a lockout will destroy some of them financially.

    Nobody seems to mention those hardest hit by this so i`ll do it.

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

  15. commandant says:

    Instead of all the lockout crap, today Mike Kovacs brings you his story about Family and the Real Roots of Hockey


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

  16. --Habs-- says:

    Maybe a lawsuit against the NHL and NHLPA…When both teams and players ask for tax payers money I don’t think it says in the fine print “In case we feel like going on strike or locking out players we hold the right to tax payers money to maintain bank payments for empty rinks” Maybe its a lawsuit against individual teams as well who borrow from cities, provinces and states…..Maybe a lawsuit against the Coyotes and the NHL for using our money to finance a team without owners who aren’t playing.

    Go HABS Go

  17. New says:

    Somebody should approach BGL and ask him if he would form a league of their own (LOTO). Georges could be the big idea guy, sort of commish without having to do the work deal. They could like pay him $3.5 million a year to start and he could attend those LOTO things he felt met his attendance code, and all the hot dogs could be veggie, except for him.

    • Cal says:

      The one major obstacle to that is the venues are controlled by the….NHL club owners. Unless you’re talking local rinks…. at $5K a ticket, that may just work….

      • commandant says:

        You couldn’t do a 30 team league, but you could probably find enough rinks to do 10.

        Hamilton, Quebec City, the new Arena in Brooklyn, Seattle, a number of rinks that are NBA only right now, etc….

        Even a bunch of 10,000-12,000 seat junior rinks.

        Not a long term plan, but one that would mitigate the lost paycheques during a lockout.

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

  18. joeybarrie says:

    So the Players don’t get paid if there is a lockout.
    The owners don’t have a revenue, hockey wise.
    The fans lose out on a season.
    Does Bettman get paid?
    Does Bettman lose anything?
    Does anything happen to him other than an extended vacation?

    • Cal says:

      Bettman will get paid up to and until the ownership group pulls the plug on him.

      • Propwash says:

        To the tune of 8 some odd million dollars I believe.

        “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
        Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

        • savethepuck says:

          For the reminder of his recent contract extension

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

          • Propwash says:

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but lockout or no lockout, he still gets it.

            “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
            Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

    • shiram says:

      I think he’ll probably have to work harder hammering out the CBA deal than just overseeing a normal season.

      • Bripro says:

        Which means he might actually have to work 5 days/week, like the rest of us poor saps!

        • shiram says:

          Still would not take his job, even knowing his pay.

          • Cal says:

            I’d take it for 1 year and retire to my cabin in the woods with the sattelite dish. 🙂

          • Bripro says:

            You can’t be serious.
            $8MM/year, and you think you’d turn it down?
            Remembering that I was either tapping a molten steel furnace or shlepping boxes way back when while I was in university, how much harder can a job like that be.
            I can just as easily lie and tell everybody that “we have the greatest fans in the world” which in my case would be telling the truth, unlike that little dweeb!

          • shiram says:

            My job isn’t awesome or super exciting, but it’s something I’m good at and am comfortable with, pays the bills and leaves me plenty to have some fun and save. Bettman is a public figure lawyer, not only would I be extremely unqualified for the post I’d most likely hate it from day one, and sure it’s alot of money, but money isn’t worth my happiness/sanity.
            Plus I’d have to get a haircut, shave daily and say goodbye to my beard.

          • Bripro says:

            I hear you. I have to shave my head every 4-5 days so that I don’t have this rogue star formation growing on the top of my head!
            But for that much money, I’m willing to forego my previous qualifications and pretend to be a lawyer.
            Besides, I’m excellent at arguing, can slither and lie as good as the next guy, and if I slouch my shoulders and offer a sheepish grin, I might even be able to pull it off!
            And if the ambulance is going slow enough, I’m sure I’d be able to catch it!

    • habsfan0 says:

      My understanding is that Bettman will not be paid during a work stoppage which explains why he was recently seen at a MacDonald’s applying to be a cashier,just in case. Apparently, he was turned down,as he didn’t meet the minimum height requirement.

  19. frontenac1 says:

    Love the CFL,what a great game last night in MTL! Down to the last second! AC is something else eh? And on his 40th birthday? AC= All Class! Hola!

  20. HardHabits says:

    Dear Optimist, Pessimist and Realist,

    While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it!


    The Opportunist

  21. accp says:

    It’s not hurting Bettman’s pocket. why should he care and it ain’t hurting the players pockets either. if you were making millions a year would you care if your summer vacation was a little longer or even the year off for that matter. if you feel bad for any of these guy’s. you gotta get yourself a better paying job. most of you don’t make a 1/3 of what some of these guys make. sit back and relax. if they play good . if they don’t. who cares … money in your pocket instead of theirs.

  22. Steeltown Hab says:

    Hey NHL, get a commish who actually cares about hockey. Like this tard gets a contract extension last yr for doing his job horribly. Ya let’s wait till the last minute to get serious about the CBA negotiations. I never thought I’d see a lockout this year but it’s actually starting to look like we’re guaranteed to at least miss part of the season and that alone is ridiculous


    Lars, PK, Pac, Emelin, LL – @J_Perez22

    • shiram says:

      Players waited, owners wanted to make a deal sooner than later. Also, from most of the owners perspective, Bettman is doing a great job, extending hockey coverage and increasing revenue.

      • commandant says:

        Don’t buy everything Bettman says.

        if they were so keen to start negotiating early they could have sent part of the 75,000 pages of financial disclosure to the union before August 1st. Sure maybe the final numbers for 2012 weren’t in, but the numbers before that could have been released.

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

  23. mrhabby says:

    bettman is a smart man..useing ” we have the worlds greatest fans”. talk about leverage.

    can’t wait for next spring when he hands the cup to the winning team…he will be mercifully boooed off the ice. Hope a canadian team wins.

  24. shiram says:

    All talk about the CBA is depressing. That said, it provides ample example of how astute and well learned some of the posters on here are.

    As for myself, well I got some classic fart jokes.

  25. fastfreddy says:

    Just a thought. If the owners are going to play hardball and are willing to leave the players locked out, could the players resort to play in the KHL? After all, they aren’t striking, they are being locked out. How many NHL teams would go under if that were to happen? Players need money,the KHL I’m sure would take on the players, especially if some star players went?!?!?!?!

    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

    • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

      This raises the interesting question of whether the players need the owners more than the reverse.

      The owners have:

      1. Deep pockets
      2. The Stanley Cup, which everyone wants to see played for
      3. Mystique-filled brands like The Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, etc.

      The players have:

      1. The talent that people actually want to pay big money to see.

      I’ll bet that if (2) or (3) were not in place, a player-owned league wouldn’t be entirely out of the realm of possibility. As it is, the players and owners need each other, but the owners have deeper pockets and can wait a lot longer than players, whose clock is ticking due to a limited career window. If the players were able to survive a long lock-out by going to the KHL that would certainly help create a more balanced bargaining environment.

  26. New says:

    Funny. The face of the NHL is Bettman and no one likes him. Obviously 30 owners do and he buffers them from criticism. The face of the NHL is the players. They are trotted out to lend creds to Fehr. We like the players. We cheer for the players. So it becomes a Bettman and “Players with Fehr” thing.

    I don’t know how long this labor discussion will last or if it will effect the season but I can be sure of one thing. Neither talking head intends to make less money regardless of the outcome.

    Oh and the money comes out of your pocket, not theirs.

    Red called it.

  27. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    “Those who do not learn from History are doomed to repeat it”
    – Edmund Burke

    • frontenac1 says:

      EOHF. Amen Amigo! “In a Nation ruled by Swine,all Pigs are upward mobile and the rest of us are screwed until we get our act together. Not necessarily to Win,but to keep from losing completely” Hunter S Thompson.

  28. RobertAlanFord says:

    Every time we hear about these talks its always next week this and next week that. Lets no longer hold these meeting in New York and head up to Toronto, eh.

    Seriously? Now guys! Today! The deadline is right around the corner. Bettman makes just under $8 million a year and so far he hasn’t shown it. There’s doesn’t seem to be even a hint of desperation to get things resolved in time from his side whatsoever. I cant believe the owners are behind the idea of having no revenue as opposed to operating under the same terms as last year until an agreement is reached. And what about the small market teams that he fights to keep in the desert or planted down in the middle of NASCAR country? If even half a season is lost it may be financially devastating to these teams and could possibly force an owner to sell. Just because there’s no season doesn’t mean the tax man stops coming around. Good for Quebec City I suppose but that’s not the point.

    My question is this: Can the owners go over Bettman’s head and start the season as scheduled under the old CBA if an agreement isn’t reached?
    Personally, I’d like to think they can in order to protect their investments but that’s probably not the case.

    They should’ve been at this months ago


  29. adamkennelly says:

    I am not stupid – but..how the hell can the owners ask for terms going forward, while in parallel, in real time, they are signing players to contracts that would not be allowed should their terms be agreed to…WTF?????

    • Max_a_million says:

      It’s generally referred to as having your cake, and eating it too.

      Heck they will probably get a haircut off the legally binding documents they signed called ‘contracts’ to boot.

    • Cal says:

      It’s the old rules vs new rules bag of tricks. These newly-signed players only think they’ve signed for the full amount of the contract. The owners are attempting to claw back a percentage of it. From the reports, that’s about 24% of it. In other words, if you’re signed for 10 years at $100mil, the owners want $24 mil of that back. Sneaky, eh?

  30. SmartDog says:

    Unless something is resolved soon, I hope that the players accept the lock-out and vow to stay out until Bettman is gone. For all their bravado (and – paradoxically – whining), the wealthy owners won’t risk losing TWO seasons of revenues. The players, if united, can make this moron pay for the damage he’s done to the game, it’s reputation, and the goodwill it used to have.

    Bettman gone. To me that’s the only positive justification of a season with no hockey for the players, the support workers, the industry of hundreds of thousands of workers who rely on the NHL and are getting screwed by Bettman’s arrogance and gloating. Two lockouts under one watch is two too many. This guy is all about ego. They need someone in there who gives a crap about hockey.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I can’t stand Bettman either, but asking a player to give up 15% – 40% of his career earning just to get rid of Bettman is a huge sacrifice.

      Only the top players get a 15 year NHL career and many of those already gave up a full year of earning.

      While the players are currently united, taking away some journeyman players final big contract etc… can quickly fracture that group and the owners bank on it.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I like the thought, SD, but the players won’t stay locked out for that long. As united as they are, they need the money more than most of the owners do. Granted, I assume that a great deal of the players have saved money and should be fine for quite a long while, I still think they need/want the money more than most of the owners. Many of the owners have other businesses bringing them in a nice income.
      The players, at the end of the day, want to play. My feeling is the players can’t win, but they can do a bit better than the owners are offering them so far.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Cal says:

      LMAO! You really think Bettman will be booted out for following the directives he was given? Fehr will be gone sooner.
      That would be like the owners saying, “No deal unless Fehr is gone.” Isn’t going to happen. SmartDog, the JAck Todd of HIO. 😉

      • SmartDog says:

        That’s a really low blow!

        I wasn’t saying it would happen… I said it would be the only justification for a complete lost year. If I’m the NHLPA I either get a decent deal from the owners or I thumb my nose at Bettman and let the owners know he’s the obstacle to my cooperation.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      He’s using the lockout as a bargaining chip. He thinks its the ace up his sleeve. This man lives in a tiny box and all he sees is numbers, paper, planes, hotel rooms and boardrooms. Everything else on this planet is foreign and therefore irrelevant to him. He may talk positively about the fans here and there, but fans are a digit in his ledger, nothing more.

      And the owners are clients.


    • mrhabby says:

      sd..if you were a player ..would you really give up the large pay cheques until bettman is gone. something tells me..no.

    • jon514 says:

      It’s the fans who really hate Bettman. I’m not convinced the players hate him, even now. They have done pretty well with him at the helm. The fans in Canada hate him because he steals our teams and moves the to the middle of nowhere. He’s also a snooty jerk with a major Napoleon complex.

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

    • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

      The issue is not Bettman, it’s the owners.

      The owners scored a massive win over the union last time, and – in my opinion – justifiably so, bringing in a salary cap that has benefited the fans by allowing all teams to be competitive in keeping their own stars and in signing UFAs.

      But the owners, of course, don’t care a lick about the fans; they just want to gouge the players as much as they can, so as to max out their own profits. In their minds, the equation goes like this: we proved last time we can outlast the players in a lockout. So let’s do it again, screw the players even more, and make more money!

      And, when the NEW CBA expires, they will do exactly the same thing, rolling back more and more players’ salary and gains each time.

      It’s therefore important that the NHLPA does as SmartDog advises, but not because of the need to eliminate Bettman. Rather they need to teach the owners that there are consequences to bargaining in bad faith. At that point we might begin to see labour sanity dawning in the NHL.

  31. NL Hab says:

    I’m gonna miss Red’s stories. Man, he was an awesome journalist.

    Et Le But

  32. HabinBurlington says:

    Given we have little Pro Hockey to discuss, here is ESPN’s ranking of the NFL QB’s, my issue is seeing Tony Romo in the 8th spot. I don’t think he is a top 10 qb and would take Matthew Stafford in Detroit ahead of him.


    • Max_a_million says:

      I would take Tony Romo top 5. The guy plays! Very seldom injured, completion percentage in mid to high 60’s year after year, career qb rating 97, he has been 3 to 1 on td to int ratio … he gets a bad rap on one fumble and a mess of a team. This guy is awesome, and if anything underrated.

    • Willy says:

      The biggest joke on that list is having Big Ben above Eli. Ben won that 1st superbowl despite his best efforts to blow that game while Eli made clutch play after clutch play to get the G-men’s 2 superbowls. Ben is a very good QB but him and Eli should be flipped at the very least.

      Hate the Cowboys but Romo is definitely a top 10 QB as he has virtually no running game or O-line during his entire time in Dallas. I think there is a fair argument that he should be ahead of Rivers.

      Also Flacco and Schaub in the Elite category??? Yeah, ok…… 2 names for you, Ray Rice and Arian Foster. Take them away and the Ravens and Texans probably don’t make the playoffs

    • habstrinifan says:

      Nice link.. thanks! I liked the discussion they had. No shouting and well presented arguments. I agree with their views with the ranking flips of Manning/Payton/Roethberger.

    • Bripro says:

      Aaron Rogers…. blah blah.
      Who’s at number two???? Yeah baby!
      And which rapist is at number four? Oh… hey, wait a minute, isn’t that your favourite team? hmmmm
      Time to change allegiances, my friend!

  33. RetroMikey says:

    There will be no NHL hockey this season.
    Sad but true.
    The quote by Gordon Gekko in the old retro movie Wall Street….
    “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, …..”
    I guess the owners and players learned a thing or two from this movie.
    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • savethepuck says:

      Mikey, Carey signed a 6 year contract this summer. Do you ever think of maybe changing you signature? Six years is definitely in our window considering the young core and prospects we have.

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

  34. habs-hampton says:

    Does anyone else get offended when Bettman keeps repeating “we have the greatest fans”?

    Sorry, Gary, but YOU have NO fans. Neither does Jeremy Jacobs, Geoff Molson, Don Fehr, Bill Daly, etc.

    PK Subban has fans. Carey Price has fans. The Habs have fans. Even Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand have fans.

    You, Gary, just have an $8M salary that is made up of handouts from the fans. I may pay too much to watch my team, but at least they’re entertaining me. You’re doing nothing for your $8M except threatening to take away my entertainment (and you’ll still get your handout).

  35. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Great column from the redhead! If fans don’t tell these clowns, both Capulets and Montagues, where they can shove this season and maybe next, if there’s a labour stoppage, we deserve another such snow job. WHAT WILL WE DO ?

  36. Ian Cobb says:

    Good morning boys and girls! No hockey news, so!

    As a real estate building inspector for the past 2&half years, I do not have to go to work everyday. Today is one of those days that I have a choice this morning, weather to go out fishing on my boat or head out on my bike, or just stay soaking in my pool as it is going to be a scorcher today.

    Decisions decisions decisions! Only in Canada.

    • savethepuck says:

      I’m a Realtor in Saint John N.B Ian ( 17 years and counting ). With the market right now, my schedule is probably as flexible as yours. It’s probably why I can spend so much time on this site while I’m on my home computor doing work research instead of being out in my car every day making money.

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

    • habstrinifan says:


  37. habstrinifan says:


    Man you are on today! I love the idea of a Burlington/Hamilton summit and would jump at the chance to see one or two Bulldogs games in the company of some of the reprobates here on HIO.

    Please see what you can do to get it going. Try and organize it on a weekend where we can take in at least two games, Friday thru Sunday matinee.

    I will keep tuned for more news on this. And it is a great idea even if there is NHL hockey. Bulldogs will have a roster of exciting prospects… including, even, some of the ‘future considerations’ we get when MB trades P.K.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The key to this success however, would be if Scott Gomez was reassigned to Hamilton, In case he is reassigned his agent already contacted me to find him a nice little spread here in Burlington for his winter residence. It will be big enough to house all of us for a weekend. Scotty has also agreed to get us some ice time with him so we can help him with his shooting and going to the dirty areas of the ice. Bellyfull is going to be waiting for Scotty in the corners and perhaps you could provide the dirty in front of the net for him.

      Stop your Trade PK talk right now in order to get an invitation however! 🙂

      • 123456 says:

        Why hasn’t anyone thopught of this before? If the biggest issue with Gomez is getting him to go to the dirty ares, put some dirt on the ice and hand him a broom – you think he will get the hint?

    • savethepuck says:

      My reference yesterday “can anyone actually read this” in no way was referring to the content of the article, I respect Red. It referred to the fact that on my computer the entire article is not legible at all. Way too small and compressed to see.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I don’t know about you guys but the tour of the steel mill will go a long way in forgetting the angst of the potential lockout.


  38. HabinBurlington says:

    An interesting read from Bruce Dowbiggin from the Globe and Mail regarding Bettman his perception of the fans.


    • athanor says:

      I have problems with his turning a Bettman quote into something altogether different and then cutting the straw man down.

      Bettman may well not care a whit about the fans, but Dowbiggin can’t jump to that conclusion from the quote he cites. Doing so is just tawdry.

  39. HabFab says:

    From reading some of the articles below not sure all realized that the Red Fisher story was written after the lock out was over in 2005. A sad commentary on this whole business.

  40. JohnBellyful says:

    Take this quiz to find out where your sympathies lie in the contract dispute between Owners and Players:

    1.) Fire is tearing through a building and you can only rescue one of two people still left inside, who would you save:

    a.) Jeremy Jacobs
    b.) Brad Marchand

    (And how concerned are you that authorities will find out you set the fire?)

    2.) You’re told you have a rare blood type but only time enough to give a life-saving transfusion to just one of two people involved in a horrific car crash. Whose life would you save:

    a.) Milan Lucic
    b.) Ed Snider

    (And, yes, they were in the same car, don’t ask me why.)

    3.) Off the top of your head, name five overpaid Players and five greedy Owners.

    4.) Who would you prefer to represent you in small claims court:

    a.) Don Fehr
    b.) Gary Bettman

    (And who would you have as an envoy charged with bringing peace to the Middle East?)

    5.) Say three good things about Players and three good things about Owners, and identify which one was harder to do.

    (Yes, I said three.)

    If your score – you figure it out, I can’t think of everything – is more than 27, see a doctor. If less than 16, wear plaid today.
    As a follow-up to today’s quiz, visit your local library and check out Life Without Hockey: A Fan’s Guide to Achieving a Balanced Life and Opening Up the Lines of Communication to Loved Ones Without Resorting to Addictive Substances

    • HabinBurlington says:

      #1 – I found a stray cat in the building which I saved instead.
      #2 – I am very afraid of needles?
      #3 – Snider, Jacobs, Gomez, Luongo, Komisarek, okay I am tired now.
      4 – Fehr
      5 – This quiz is getting difficult.

      I will just wear plaid on the golf course today instead. Any marks for a partially completed quiz John?

    • Cal says:

      1. Let them burn .
      2. Save my blood for another day.
      3. The NHL and the NHLPA.
      4. A live rat. An envoy to the Middle East? My cat.
      5. Players provide entertainment. Many are charitable. Some sign autographs even when they aren’t being paid.
      Owners provide a venue for the players to earn big bucks. Some are nice to their moms (though I don’t know which). Leonsis seems like a positive guy.

      Damn! Looks like I wear plaid today.
      Funny as usual, JB. 🙂

      • 123456 says:

        “some sign autographs even when they aren’t getting paid”

        so much sad truth behind that – they should never get paid (i do realize many use it as a vehicle for charitable donation but a lot do not)

    • HabFab says:

      What does scoring 0 represent?

    • habstrinifan says:

      1)Rescue Jacobs. Isnt Marchand just one of those tangential species found in evolution.I am taking a fifth on the unimportant question question of who set the fire.
      2)Milan Lucic.. I am still convinced he is Bigfoot’s kid.
      3)Owners :Him/Her/Them/That one/He. Players:Kaberle;Gomez; Kaberle;Gomez;Gomez.
      4)Why? Aren’t you available?
      5)Players: Canonnading shot; Savardian spinorama; Thunderous hit.
      Onwers:They have gorgeous wives; They have gorgeous
      mistresses; They have gorgeous cars.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        You, sir, get a %%%++ .
        See you at the Bulldog Apex (I believe Ian has copyrighted and perfected the Summit and I don’t think we should confuse the two or have them in competition; in an ideal world, both will proceed. I’m looking forward to the pick-up game. What’s your favourite pick-up line?
        Sheesh, here we go again with line combinations)

  41. HabFanSince72 says:

    A hypocrite and a liar to the end.

    Lance Armstrong doesn’t say: “It’s all true, you got me.”

    Rather he still implies that it’s all lies but he’d rather spend time fighting cancer with his foundation (another lie by the way) than fight the vile calumny of the USADA.

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

    • Curtis O Habs says:

      A lie he had cancer, his foundation fights cancer, or both?

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        His foundation doesn’t “fight cancer”. They stopped funding cancer research 7 years ago. What they do now is “cancer awareness”, which in reality means promoting the foundation, which means promoting Lance Armstrong.

        Money donated to Livestrong was actually used to lobby congress to stop the USADA investigation.

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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Paul, are you going to be at the SUmmit (providing there is one)? I have an interesting Armstrong story I would share with you, but don’t prefer to type it out on this forum.

          • JohnBellyful says:

            And if there is no Summit, is there a place we can meet in downtown Burlington? I wanna hear this story.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Hey, there are a few of us making some rumblings about a Burlington/Hamilton summit with the Bulldogs being the centrepiece of the evening Sat. night. On Saturday afternoon we are going to get a tour of the Dofasco steel plant, and do some kayaking around the Hamilton Harbour.

            You could be our guest speaker John!

          • JohnBellyful says:

            I’ll have my agent get in touch.

          • neumann103 says:

            While I am not adept at suburban navigation I would love to join the Hamilton/Burlington crowd for a mini-summit. Many of my favorite HIO posters appear to originate from the nexus of steel mills and strip malls I occasionally see from the highway.

            Most recent years I have bought tickets for all of the Habs games in Buffalo and driven down from Toronto. Prior to that I had seen more Bulldog games, and as Sabres ticket prices have risen and Customs delays increased the Hamilton option sounds even more appealing – moreso when there is no NHL season.

            “Et le but!”

    • Newf_Habster says:

      Lance Armstrong and Ben Johnson are two of the biggest cheaters and fraudsters in our sports history!

  42. Un Canadien errant says:

    Some thoughts as I catch up on the conversations:

    1) HabinBurlington has a good point when he brings up the different taxation levels between teams. If we have to overpay a player to match the offer he got from another team in a lower-taxed area, do we get to bump up our salary cap? Also, does the revenue sharing occur after comparing revenues, EBIDTA, or after-tax profits? Because Geoff Molson has a good argument to use with his fellow owners. He bought high, and expects the revenues generated by the team to pay down the debt his group incurred. Now if the rules are changed on him, his investment in the Canadiens doesn’t look so good.

    These very complicated negotiations between owners could take years, which is probably a reason they’ve come up with a plan to not bother and hammer the players again and shake them down. They were successful last go-round, they figure they’ll take another poke at this tomato can.

    2) I appreciate Commandant’s point about hockey in the US being a regionalized sport, that fans will watch their own teams but not the NBC Game of the Week between the Rangers and the Red Wings (sigh… not those teams again). Which highlights the absolute idiocy of the powers that be, and the special brand of craziness of having Colin Campbell having anything to do with the quality of the show being presented by the league.

    If Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin and Claude Giroux were allowed to fly and attain the heights of artistry and production we say in the 70’s and 80’s, if the game was fast-moving and featured an offensive brand of hockey where skill and scoring touch were paramount, the game would be eminently more watchable to the casual fans and would take off, and people in neutral markets would tune in, as we do for Monday Night Football and other big NFL games, even if our favourite team isn’t playing.

    If we could teleport Wayne Gretzky’s Oilers to today and watch them take on Mario Lemieux Penguins with Jaromir Jagr and Alex Kovalev, don’t you think that the sports talk shows and SportsCentres would hype the game to death and everyone would watch? No, instead we watch Nick Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg be hammered and slashed down to size and be prevented from reaching the mythical status of our heroes of yesteryear.

    One thing I regret about seeing Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux play, and Guy Lafleur and Larry Robinson and all the other greats of my formative youth, is that while I knew I was watching all-time greats at play, I always thought that someone else would come along and be just as good, in their own way at least. So Walter Payton would give way to Eric Dickerson to Barry Sanders, and Joe Montana would be replaced by John Elway and he would be replaced by Brett Favre, so would someone come along and replace Wayne and Mario and the world would keep turning.

    Except that no. Colin Campbell and Gary Bettman and Don Cherry and Mike Milbury shape the zeitgeist of our sport, and it’s all about finishing your checks and picking up your man after the faceoff and honour and sacrifice, instead of Guy Lafleur flying down the wing with his hair trailing behind him, or Wayne Gretzky behind the net driving opposing goaltenders and defencemen crazy. And I understand why the average fan won’t tune in to a Columbus vs. Carolina game, and why fans cheer when a fight comes on, since nothing much interesting happens during a game.

    3) Good point by Commandant about revenue sharing being more popular when the Canadian teams were benefiting. A fundamental difference back then though was that Canadian fans were still buying tickets at high prices to fill coffers of their teams, except it was in a lower-exchange Canadian dollar. That was the problem, the exchange rate, not the health of the individual teams and the fanbase’s interest and willingness to pay. The Canadian franchises were worth saving at the time, and history shows the wisdom of doing so. It also shows the lunacy of allowing teams to leave the Winnipegs and Québecs for sunnier climes. These new franchises with their half-full arenas of patrons who got $15 ‘all you can eat hot dogs’ tickets are probably not worth saving.

    4) Richrebellion, that’s pretty harsh comment about Red Fisher not knowing hockey. You obviously don’t know about Red Fisher to make a claim like that. You should probably edit that and apologize to a titan of hockey reporting who covered the Canadiens from Maurice Richard to Mathieu Darche.

    And on the actual claims and predictions he makes about this agreement, his main point remains, which is that the whole ordeal was unnecessary, and that he doesn’t trust the league to come up with rules to improve the game, which is proving prescient as the league backslides into holding and goonery, and Colin Campbell is in charge of finding solutions. He’s also right on the money when he discounts the ‘bonne entente’ between Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow, and how theirs will be a fruitful partnership to the benefit of the fans.

    5) I see a lot of people saying the players are doing well enough, they’re not poor, they should be satisfied with what they have. Unfortunately, that attitude is irrelevant to this situation. The players are not asking for more, they’ve even offered concessions in their initial offer. The idea that because they’re financially comfortable compared to most and therefore shouldn’t complain about being asked to take a pay cut when they themselves are creating increased revenues is far-fetched.

    This attitude is also what the auto companies are now using in their negotiations with their unions. Their workers took massive cuts to their wages and benefits, but now that the companies are successful, they don’t want to share in that success and point to the unemployed and say to their workforce they should be thankful they have a stable well-paid job. That’s how the BC Government worked up the nerve to break the contracts it signed with its own nurses and teachers, by playing up public sentiment against these essential workers. The average Joe who worked part-time at low wages bought in to the hype that the people who take care of our children and our sick are greedy and shouldn’t get what they had bargained for.

    6) SmartDog knows his poop. Gary Bettman and the owners are not fans of hockey, they don’t love the game. IF they did, they’d nurture it and feed it. They’d follow what the NFL has done to make its game more exciting and fan-friendly. They’d look at the changes the International Rugby Board has made in the last twenty years to prevent the stifling of the game by proponents of the kicking game (England, gag), changes like increasing the value of a try from four points to five, and ensuring that the team which is on the attack during a scrum, ruck or maul gets the ball when the defending team fouls up the play. Instead, hockey owners hire Jack Edwards and Mike Milbury to set the agenda for the game, and then lock it out periodically.

    7) I think I have carpal tunnel syndrome.

    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


    • Marc10 says:

      Now that’s a recap/op-ed. This is why I come to this site.

      I would recommend we all find ourselves a good hobby to replace hockey for a while. I’m going to take up surfing. Been meaning to give that a try for a while (sharks be dammed…)

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Well said, UCE.

      Very well said.

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

    • Habfan17 says:

      Soemthing else to consider. Although owners keep shelling out huge long term contracts and they do continually shoot themselves in the foot going too far, they also cannot just start limiting offers to 5 years, or some other length. They have a CBA and as soon as players started receiving offers capped at a certain length, they would claim collusion. Each club wants to ice a competative team so they compete for players.

      I like the first point that Habinburlington made. As much as it shouldn’t be that complicated to come to an agreement, there are some complicated issues within, like the taxation issue. Maybe it is as simple as allowing a team in a high personal income tax situation to be able to receive an allowance of some sort.


    • HabinBurlington says:

      UCe, what you have done here is actually written an “About Last Night” recap of yesterdays Commentariat discussion.

      Very well done, Boone should be shaking in his boots!

    • habstrinifan says:

      Very good post.

      I like the segmentation and in-depth coverage you gave to each ‘problem’ that you were trying to identify. It helped me return to individual paragraphs to get your compete arguments on a problem.

      You kept and increased my focus despite the length. That also helped me form my own arguments ….. so much so that I, once or twice, said “No way he’s out to lunch on this”. (What you didnt expect a bit of sh%$#t disturbing??)

      I enjoyed the read and found it thought provoking.
      I will have something to bristle over while I prep my paint job.

      Ok dont tell me you didnt get the ‘bristle over’. See I told you your article got the juices flowing.

    • Bripro says:

      How you can remain that focused at 1:45 in the morning is beyond me.
      Good job Norm!

  43. RobertAlanFord says:

    This is totally off topic but I’m lmfao at this guy @hockeyyinsiderr. Dude throws up the most ridiculous rumours…oh sorry..”rumours” and they not once have ever materialized into anything. According to this “insider” the Habs are in negotiations for Havlat and the “rumour” is Eller and Leblanc are involved. Eller, sure whatever, good luck with that. But Leblanc ….. a local boy picked in the first round…. I’m seriously starting to think that the word “rumour” is twitter talk for the effects of some serious hallucinogenics.


    • Newf_Habster says:

      Last night he claimed that the Habs were after Evander Kane when he asked a trade. Darren Dreger and Gary Lawless said it was not true and Dreger kind of went after HI on Twitter.

      Not a long time ago, I was told that he bought a bulk of fake Twitter accounts to boost his reputation.

  44. Boomer says:

    This week sucks. Speeding ticket, collection agency calling, flat tire, and now probably no hockey. can’t a hobo catch a break?
    P.S. will work for food and/or hockey

    Occupation: Professional Hedonist… aiming low and exceeding expectations 😉
    Hobo with a laptop

  45. habstrinifan says:

    @savethepuck who writes “Can anyone actually read this article?”, presumably about Red Fisher’s piece and @richrebellion who writes
    “That articles shows me how little Red Fisher knows about hockey,

    I think Fisher’s article was a masterpiece by an experienced journalist on the effrontery of two mouth-pieces for their constituents, who stood like benevolent benefactors of hockey.

    Each, in fact, had just perpetrated a flim-flam on the game and had really just cozened to his side of the ledger, the last penny that the fandom had made available to the game through their love for the game.

    Look at all the articles by posters here who write about the current manufactured problem and its potential disaster and who look ahead to the wintry months with waspish irritability at the prospects of no-hockey.

    Then consider that Red Fisher wrote that article amidst the euphoria of glad-handing that prevailed as Bettman and Goodenow strutted before the genuflecting media and pronounced the dandy denouement from their oh so grand efforts.

    Now we stand incredulous on the sidelines and wonder what the hell is happening here and why? Fisher’s skepticism in 2005, that Bettman and Goodenow, and the constituents they represented, had achieved the ultimate financial structure for peace and prosperity of the game seems absolutely appropriate then and applicable now.

    @savethepuck everyone should actually read the article, and @richrebellion that articles shows me how much Red Fisher knew about and loved hockey.

  46. showey47 says:

    Does this mean we have another winter of every sports channel airing poker to look forward to?

    • Chuck says:

      Replace ‘poker’ with ‘women’s beach volleyball’ and they might actually keep my interest this time around.

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

  47. commandant says:

    Lance Armstrong’s legacy is coming crashing down


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

    • habstrinifan says:

      I remember when Andy Bennet on TSN990 lamented why cant Tiger Woods be as honourable as Lance Armstrong.

      Interesting to find out her reaction.

    • Cal says:

      No one comes back from cancer physically stronger and more able. His “Tour de Cheats” titles should be in the trash bin, along with all those article extolling Armstrong’s “greatness.”

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Actually that’s not true. All cancers are different (Cancer isn’t a disease it’s a biological process), and some are curable.

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

        • Cal says:

          My point was that he was a middling cyclist prior to his testicular cancer and came back able to ride a lot faster for longer periods, “winning” the Tour de Cheats 7 times.

          • boing007 says:

            Why isn’t that stuff available over the counter? Beats Geritol by a mile.

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

  48. HabinBurlington says:

    Heck of a CFL game on.

  49. SnowManHabs85 says:

    I don’t know about you guys but here’s something interesting;

    John Carlson has 17goals 75 pts +17 in 186 career NHL games

    Michael Del Zotto has 21goals 89pts -5 in 204 career NHL games

    While our boy Subban has 21goals 76pts +2 in 160 career NHL games

    Carlson has 0.40 PtsPG
    De Zotto has 0.44 PtsPG
    Subban has….wait for it…..0.48 PtsPG on a team many assume won’t make the playoffs this season.

    “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

  50. I assume that when people are hating on Bettman they mean ‘owners’ and that everyone realizes that Bettman is just a tool of the owners.

    His job is to ensure that instead of hating on Molson and Bell Canada and all the other corporations that stand 100% behind Bettman, you hate Bettman instead.

    i see that this strategy has worked perfectly, you have fallen for the trap.

    That is why I admire Bettman, he does his job so well.
    (and that doesn’t for a second mean that he knows what is good for hockey or how to run the NHL properly…it only means he does his ‘job’ of covering for the owners greed very well).

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

    • commandant says:

      This is very true.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      In theory I agree, but am not convinced owners are united, especially Molson being supportive of Bettman.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Saying that you admire Gary Bettman is like saying you admire Benito Mussolini because he made the trains run on time, and it robs you of a lot of credibility as a poster.

      Gary Bettman is a reprehensible toad, and he does serve the owners, but he doesn’t have to be. He could be a Bart Giammatti or a Pete Rozelle, a far-sighted commissioner who genuinely loves the sport and the league he heads, and who knows what is in the best interests of the owners isn’t necessarily short-term solutions, and he approaches, cajoles and convinces his constituents to come around to his point of view.

      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


      • Cal says:

        Do you honestly believe that a commissioner like the one you just described would even be considered by Snider and Jacobs for the job? Telio is right that Bettman uses the Tortorella approach: watch and talk to me and not my players. Just substitute “owners” for “players.”
        It’s why Bettman gets the big $8 mil/year deal. He’s willing to be despised.

  51. commandant says:

    Today I looked at the Tampa Lightning


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

  52. patrone says:

    It boggles the mind how greedy and hypocritical owners can be. They establish caps for a reason, yet quickly find loopholes around when they want to sign a player they seek at free agency time. Settle this now if you truly care about the fans…

    The Patrone

  53. SmartDog says:

    FROM gmur BELOW:

    “….proves that Bettman is incompetent and the owners do not act together. Bettman had the players where he wanted them and didn’t set things up properly, so now he has to drag the NHL, the players and the fans through this s**t again.”

    Exactly right. What really bugs me about this is what Fisher says in his article. There is no acknowledgement of responsibility (by Bettman). No admission that hey, this is NOT the way things should go or have to go. The guy’s a psychopath. It also really shows that the owners care more about revenues than about hockey that they gave this guy a big raise and extension. Does the end really justify the means if the means involve shutting off hockey for another year. Really? Apparently a lot of NHL owners think so. And I have a problem with that.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  54. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    No idea why it posted twice

  55. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    Doesn’t Markov have enough $$$$$ as it is???

    Seriously WTF???!!!??!

  56. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    Doesn’t Markov have enough $$$$$ as it is???

    Seriously WTF???!!!??!

  57. SmartDog says:

    To get more money, Governments usually find new things to tax, because it’s easier than looking for ways to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of what they’re doing – even though everyone knows that could be done.

    The owners are doing the same thing: let’s just tax the players, rather than
    a) face the fact that there are markets we shouldn’t be in and more profitable markets (mostly north of the border) where we should; and,
    b) find ways to share the load of struggling but decent small market teams between the owners (who are the major beneficiaries of the tv revenues).

    Consider this: because of the growth in hockey revenues some guys are making 6 or 7 million a year – even 8! How much profit does Molson take in a year? The Ranger’s owner? How about even the Canucks? Or the Pens?

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Clay says:

      governments also give tax breaks to the rich, and then claim they need austerity from the poor. Again, same thing the owners are doing.

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

    • B says:

      TV revenues are included in HRR (Hockey Related Revenue). 43% does not sound like a majority to me.

      I would be very interested to know just how much profit the teams you mentioned actually made. I am not just talking about their 43% of revenues or whatever, I mean the real profit after all expenses. Do you actually have this information to share? If so, please post it as I would be very interested in knowing.

  58. Bripro says:

    @commandant – In response to your comparisons of professionals vs factory workers:


    Ben, I’m an engineer. And I left to start my own company because having worked for two multi-nationals, I can tell you that no matter what I designed, for which they benefited, I never saw my income increase exponentially.
    Christmas bonus, and a decent raise, and that was it.
    The salaries paid to professional athletes… I can somewhat undertand, given that they’re entertainers, but when you see people slaving 10-12 hours/day, for minimum wage….
    In my case, it makes me stop and be thankful for what I have, which is a fraction of what an athlete turns down (i.e. PK).

    • commandant says:

      The raises are all relative.

      a 1.1 billion dollar increase in revenue for the NHL has lead to an increase in salaries (from 2004 pre lockout NHL) of much less than that. Relatively speaking your christmas bonus and small raise are relative to the revenue increases. If you cause a 50% increase in revenue, the increase in pay is gonna be closer to 20% or less.

      When you can get 20,000 people to pay to watch you work, in person…. and can get millions to watch you work on TV, perhaps you’ll be able to charge more for your services.

      Remember that every time we think these millionaire players are overpaid, every decrease in salary doesnt’ go to cheaper prices, it goes straing to the billionaire owners wallet.

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

      • commandant says:

        Remember too Bri that this is an industry where

        – the players took a 24% paycut 7 years ago.
        – revenues rose 50% over the 7 years
        – owners came and are asking for another 24% paycut

        Show me one company in the entire world where owners have done something like this.

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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          DIdn’t the players wages also increase every year after the cut? I recognize the owners screwed up the last CBA and hurt themselves by creating and finding loopholes to circumvent the very agreement they fought to institute. But to paint the players as hard done by i find a stretch. If my company decides to rollback my pay by 24% (which has happened to me as a result of being a 100% commission paid salesperson, and the credit crunch destroyed my industry for a number of years) I have the choice to work for another industry. No one has forced me or the players to remain in my industry if I dont like how the economic conditions have changed within that industry.

          • commandant says:

            Sure, but the economic conditions in this industry haven’t changed for the worse….. they are asking for a rollback after growing the industry 50% in the last 7 years.

            In fact the league is making more money than they ever have.

            Your company didn’t come to you and ask you to take a 24% paycut when sales were up 50%

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

          • boing007 says:

            How many times over the last twenty years or so have companies announced a good profit and at the same time reduced their workforce? Thousands. They call it downsizing. I call it throwing people on the dole.

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

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      If I may ask, what type of engineer?

      (I just graduated from McGill with a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering.)

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Congrats. Me too. In ’83.

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

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          Nice, have yet to experience the work world as an engineer though, as I will be doing more schooling.

          • Bripro says:

            Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering. 1984

            Just remember when you go out into the engineering world that you will learn as much doing hands-on as you have in school.
            The mistake I made was thinking I knew everything before I started, and that set me back at many levels.

            Good luck!

  59. HardHabits says:

    I have only seen mention of it in the French press but apparently Markov has been scammed by a Canadian insurance company to the tune of 1.2 million dollars.

    • Clay says:

      Allegedly 😉
      But insurance companies are scum of the earth, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s true.

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

      • The Dude says:

        So when the world is in a long term recession and crops are failing cause of drought and most everyone is in hock PAST THEIR EYEBROWS too their home loans and credit cards and interest rates are bout to go crazy horse uphill, we the NHL fans have to put up with multimillionaires arguing about money with the threat of No Hockey season….thanks a lot FOR NOTHING aholes!

  60. HabinBurlington says:

    So evidently Ted Leonsis was recently in Toronto, and discovered what it is like to be in a hockey city. This has nothing to do with Leafs, but rather how NHL hockey drives so many of us Cdns.


    • Cal says:

      Are the caps heading to Markham? 😉

      What he wouldn’t do to be in a truly hockey-oriented market. Still, nice to see a “scumbag owner” actually communicating with Caps fans.

  61. Richrebellion says:

    That articles shows me how little Red Fisher knows about hockey, the rules set in place actually did make the game more exciting. How did all those stars before score goals, well the league wasn’t near as competitive in those days and the average player was further away from the stars of that time compared to today. That rant about the rule changes was completely ignorant or Fisher and as we now know the rules set in place has made for a more exciting game and did help raise revenue by $1 billion in 7 years. Not only that with the salary cap we have seen more parity and teams who would of stood no chance have won the cup (Carolina, Anaheim and LA)

    Now I do see how Bettman has gone back on his word to the fans and how in reality the last CBA wasn’t that great. I like the idea of the NHLPA to change the way revenue is distributed and the potential of trading cap to another team. I also believe that the wealthier teams should share revenue with the poor teams. I get that they are still businesses but to put their product on the ice they need to have another team to play against. So teams like Florida and Carolina do in fact help Montreal make so much money. I’m not saying split revenue up evenly but giving a couple million to help out struggling teams won’t hurt the rich as much as it will help the poor.

    The NHL needs to realize they should act more as one business rather than 30 separate businesses. I would also like to see a reduction in length of contracts and potentially adding an extra year to entry level deals. Both sides should realize they have to give a little to get a little.

    • commandant says:

      14 different teams made the NHL’s conference finals in the 4 years pre lockout… out of a possible total of 16.

      But it was the cap that made parity happen?

      Parity seemed to be a bigger issue in the 70s and 80s when the Canadiens, Islanders and Oilers dominated the league.

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

    • ed lopaz says:

      `that article shows me how little Red Fisher knows about hockey“ .

      man. that might be the stupidest comment I have read on here the whole summer.

  62. Habziefan09 says:

    The more I read/watch what is going on over the NHL V NHLPA negotiations, I am more and more convinced that the players are 100% in the right in this round. Sure, I agree that some of the contracts we have seen during this CBA period have been down right disgusting. But I put this to you. New Jersey did not have to offer Kovalchuk that 100 Million dollar contract Minnesota did not have to sign the bookends to 100 million dollar contracts. New York didn’t have to sign a 3rd line centre, Gomez, to all that money.

    In a cap situation, the owners/Gms could have just said no and not signed or entertained these offers.

    Now I do realize living in hindsight is ridiculous.. “What ifs” really do not do any justice however the league fails to realize that although they do hold keys to the “Vault”, the players actually have the upper hand here. While the NHL is the best league in the world to play in, they do have options if the league wants to lock them out.

    If Bettman and the owners want to play hardball, the players should join them. Lock out the players and all they have to do is go to Europe/KHL and wait it out. With the league now being supported essentially by 9 out of 30 teams (1/3), they may be able to holdout for 1 season but there is no way they would be able to go any longer.

    This past season we learned that the Isles and Devils have been added to the long list of teams in financial perrils. The NHL already owns the Coyotes. I doubt if they can support any other teams that will fold as a result of a lockout.

    Fans of the Original 6 teams and the other canadian teams will be back.. It’s our sport… we are born with skates on our feet. The teams in the US that battle to stay ahead of Golf, Bowling and Poker tours do not have a chance at surviving another lockout.

    This lockout talk by Bettman is what it is… a bluff… Fehr and company need to call them on it. Players.. go play in Europe and the KHL.. show them you mean business.

    Twitter: Habziefan09

    Confucius says: “Baseball has it all wrong, Man with 4 balls cannot walk!”


    • HabinBurlington says:

      Safe to assume that the players who go to KHL or Europe have first ensured that the owners are not getting more than 43% of the revenues for those clubs right?

    • gmur says:

      Here’s a rant: I agree about the owners being at fault this round. I also think that the CBA passed to end the last lockout proves that Bettman is incompetent and the owners do not act together. Bettman had the players where he wanted them and didn’t set things up properly, so now he has to drag the NHL, the players and the fans through this s**t again. Never two without three? Somebody get him a good lawyer or twenty so he can try to get it done right this time and the owners can pad their pockets…

      His vision of having teams in the freaking desert – and other sterile hockey towns in the States – is a bomb. And everyone is paying for it. He’s a vindictive little dictator and he’s going to wind up discouraging the fans.

    • SmartDog says:

      The owners have caused the problems they have now. The rich market owners don’t give a crap about the poor market owners. If the poor markets are necessary to make it a national attraction in the US (and attract network TV contracts), the wealthier teams need to do more to help the poorer teams. AND they need to stop doing everything they can to bend the rules that they make to keep themselves in check.

      The players gave in last time. They’re being asked to give in MORE this time. Not going to happen. Bettman and his idiot billionaire mob will smartly start to work with the NHLPA, or it’s going to bite everyone in the ass big time. The owners, the players, the people whose families depend on the jobs the industry creates (oh yeah that’s right – it’s about more than just you and your penthouse condos Gary) – and of course the fans. I’m fully with the players. These owners are aholes if they stand behind Bettman, his self-congratulatory smugness in the face of creating the second impending disaster in the league’s history. Not to mention his truly epic level of shamelessness. You’re one nasty little piece of work Gary. I wouldn’t want you running my kids peewee team, let alone the NHL.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  63. If I dared to negotiate in such bad faith as Bettman does, I’d be fired in an instant. I don’t buy Fehr’s characterization that it is better to reflect than meet face to face. 1 and a half hours today is an insult. Unfortunately, the fans won’t be able to muster any meaningful voice, just as voters don’t turf the garbage politicians in the US or Canada.

    Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

    • SmartDog says:

      Good post. It’s astonishing how much bullshit Bettman gets away with slinging. He’s an embarrassment to professionalism, not to mention humanity

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  64. HabFab says:

    Off topic but Happy B-day to AC, who is 40 years young today.
    Go Als! Sorry JB…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Just don’t remind JB that the Cats had AC on their team and got rid of him. 😉

      • JohnBellyful says:

        And Hal Patterson ended up in Hamilton.
        Look that up, you young whipper snapper!
        (Come to think of it, I’ve never met an old whipper snapper. But when you’re old, why would you want your snap whipped anyway? Or whipper snapped? …
        What are we talking about anyway/?)

        — “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” —

    • JohnBellyful says:

      13-8 at the half. Go, Cats, Go.
      (Can we just skip the third quarter, they play terrible right after half-time.)

  65. JF says:

    In 2004-5, the NHL demanded and extracted huge concessions from the players. Now they are demanding even bigger concessions even though profits have increased by 50%. This looks like nothing but greed, and no one in their right mind would agree to it. I don’t see the NHLPA caving in, and I hope that when the owners realize they won’t, they’ll think seriously about the effects of a lockout and decide to avoid one. A lockout is in no one’s interests. Wealthy owners will lose millions for each cancelled game, while poor owners will see their fragile and painfully-built up fan base eroded. Star players will get jobs in Europe at comparable salaries, but the grinders and fourth-liners, the aging veterans and marginal players will suffer. Fans will obviously suffer. And the people who work at low salaries for the teams, for the arenas, and for the concessions will suffer the most. A lockout is unnecessary, and I actually think the owners will suffer more than the players. I also don’t think their position is as strong as it was in 2004. They implemented the system which they now declare does not work. It’s up to them to change the system and institute more equitable revenue-sharing, not simply claw back a lot of money from the players and then continue operating the same system. If they do that, we’ll be facing the same situation in another seven to eight years.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      How was that deal bad for the players when one looks at all 7 years since the lockout/strike/stoppage. Correct me if I am wrong but players salaries have gone up every consecutive year and players are earning more now than ever before.

      Don’t get me wrong, I actually understand the players perspective, but look at the salaries, they are not getting worse.

      And the star players that go to Europe will essentially be screwing alot of other players out of their paycheques, how is that positive?

      • JF says:

        Yes, players’ salaries have gone up – by about 15%, as opposed to the 50% for profits. I’m not saying players don’t earn outrageous amounts, but decreasing salaries is not going to solve the problem in the long term. There are rich teams and poor teams. There needs to be a proper system of revenue-sharing to prop up the poor teams, otherwise the problem will simply be perpetuated however much money the league claws back from the players.

        As for star players taking paycheques from European players, of course that’s not positive. None of this is positive. But it doesn’t need to happen; and I guess that’s my point. The NHL needs to fix what’s actually wrong. So far they show no sign of doing that.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I just find myself getting angry at both sides. And we the consumer will pay for it, be it through cable fees, merchandise sales or ticket prices.

          Very very frustrating.

        • HabFab says:

          Players wages have gone from $1,188,000,000 to $1,881,000,000 during this CBA which equals a 58.33% increase. This compares to 50% increase in Revenues. Sorry but recheck your figures.

  66. savethepuck says:

    Can anyone actually read this article?

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

  67. Trisdin says:

    So, in November when the Player’s (and fans) are locked out, both sides will say things like “we are close to a deal, we just need more time”. I will be thinking about this month (August) and how they meet for 1 1/2 hours total for a whole week. Shame on you both, there is a whole week here to nogotiate in the off season, and you will be taking away game days a 2 months from now. The fans deserve better, you both owe every one of your summer minutes at the table. Shame on you.

    • commandant says:

      Neither side is going to blink now… its a war of attrition. Always is.

      No one will give an inch until lease payments at arenas are due, and players start missing paycheques.

      No different from every industry that settles in the last week or later. There is no pressure on them right now to give in to the other side’s demands.

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

    • Curtis O Habs says:

      Maybe they will be legislated back to work, like most other unions, due to the ‘ adverse effect on the economy ‘, and forced into binding arbitration.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If indeed the NHLPA’s offer is considered as it relates to revenue sharing, then I would hope/expect that the Canadian teams and specifically the Habs included localized taxation costs into this formula.

      I absolutely hate the idea that Montreal or other great Hockey cities have to subsidize cities where no one outside out season ticket holders give a rats ass about hockey. If Montreal has to bail out some rich owner who happens to own a hockey team in Nashville because few like hockey there, then that same rich owner should subsidize Geoff Molson because of all the extra taxes he pays.

      Too me it is a near identical issue, and if those wealthy owners who chose to buy a Dairy Queen franchise in Northern Greenland don’t like the idea of subsidizing the tax costs for Montreal, then they can also refuse revenue sharing.

      • commandant says:

        Here’s the problem… you don’t have a league with 6 teams anymore… You can’t run a league with 6 teams anymore.

        The NHL has an American TV contract of upwards of 200 million per year specifically because they have coverage of the entire United States.

        Thats over $6.6 million per team, per year.

        If Molson has to give $5 million up in revenue sharing, to ensure we keep a team in Florida, Anaheim, Nashville, and Carolina… then so be it. He’s still making 1.6 million on the deal because the NHL TV contract would not exist if those teams folded.

        Now teams like Phoenix, they may go beyond saving. But for the others… it makes sense to prop them up while they build a fanbase that can support them long term.

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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Okay, so then lets also talk about the Cdn. TV contract, when you divide that contract by the 7 hockey teams it is higher I believe, so again Canadians are paying more.

          The NBC contract and the CBC are peanuts compared to the gate revenue in this league. It is still a gate driven and merchandise driven league.

          I respect your point, but sorry, these owners were not forced in any way to purchase franchises. In my opinion they made a poor choice in picking a franchise. Perhaps they should instead have purchased a baseball or football franchise. Why should a Canadian or Original Six owner pay because someone is trying to stick a square peg in a round hole. Doesn’t work, no matter how many times you hammer the peg.

          Edit: As for the contract not existing unless those teams existed, I don’t buy that. If that were the case, then the CBC or TSN shouldn’t want a national deal unless a team were in Regina, Halifax, and St. John’s.

          • commandant says:

            Hockey in the US is a regionalized sport. Ratings patterns show that fans in Boston don’t tune in, in any appreciable numbers, for a game between Detroit and New York. Same for New York people not tuning in to see Chicago vs LA, and so on and so on. You get the market of the teams playing, but outside that market the numbers are small. So its a lot different from Canada

            As for Canadian vs US TV deals… apples to oranges. Yes the Canadian deal might be worth more per team but its not going anywhere.

            In addition there are many markets in the south that just needed time and are now working. San Jose gets great attendance, so does Carolina, Nashville numbers are up.. .these teams are growing, but they aren’t gonna be good over night. They need time.

            Funny thing though, as Canadians we are so upset about revenue sharing today. We werent ten years ago when Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton were all teams pulling from the Revenue Sharing pot. Things were great about revenue sharing then.

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

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Yes attendance is up in those markets, and what are they paying for a ticket compared to the average Cdn fan? So doesn’t the Cdn. fan paying a far higher price deserve to have his/her team reap the benefits? While extremely limited revenue sharing helped the Cdn franchises during a low dollar the NHL and Bettman specifically did not fight nearly as hard for Wpg and Quebec as he has for Nashville and Phoenix.

            When Cdn teams were operating at a 30% lower dollar which they had to pay salaries in, how is that comparable to a U.S. team not having enough fan interest to pay for tickets? Seems you are comparing Apples to Oranges using that as a comparison to fans not caring about hockey versus fans that do, whether it is regional or not.

            Appreciate the dialogue Commandent, but I will be honest, I would be happy to see a 18 team league again. Heck, while I really enjoy the NFL I also enjoy the CFL. NHL will never be the big three in pro sports, so why try have an equal number of franchises. To me the gross expansion and owners lining their pockets with expansion fees is the crux of the NHL problem. They artificially grew the sport with short term money. But now the players feel they should be paid on equal footing with the other Big 3.

        • HabFab says:

          Gerald this is almost universally disliked by Canadian fans but remember it was originally conceived to protect the small market Canadian teams from a weak Canadian dollar. Now that the shoe is on the other foot we hate it.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So you are saying I can’t have my cake and eat it too? 🙂 Thanks alot!

          • HabFab says:

            It was the death of the Jets and Nordiques… “lest we forget” 😉

          • HabinBurlington says:

            On that point I disagree, Barry Shenkarow was a smaller version of the idiot in Florida who stole the Expos. Add to that the City of Wpg. owned the decrepid arena which the Jets leased and gave them a BS rental agreement even though no other tenant was around.

            The dollar hurt, but the owner was an absolute jerk who saw the opportunity to move his franchise for more money. Funny Bettman let him move the franchise no problem, but wouldn’t let Moyes do the same thing in Phoenix.

            I don’t dispute the dollar kicked the Sh*t out of small market Cdn teams, but end of day owners are critical to a franchises success just as having loyal fans are critical. Why the league now should prop up franchises with few loyal fans is my issue!

      • Curtis O Habs says:

        Nice point, HIB.

      • HabFab says:

        Revenue sharing will be an issue but they don’t seem that far apart.
        NHL plan calls for $150 ml and NHLPA call for $240 ml. According to the Forbes figures, you have Toronto receiving 6.4% of league revenue while the Islanders receive 2.1%. A 30 team average would be 3.33%
        Perhaps another partial help here, would be to increase the amount between the ceiling and floor of the Salary Cap from the present $16 million.

    • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

      What people fail to graps is that the big market teams are making artificially inflated profits. Courtesy of the salary cap, their salary structure is well below what it would otherwise be; and they happily pocket the difference. It only makes sense that they return the favour and redistribute some of those artificial profits into the smaller market franchises. The owners have no case – they’re just exploitative greedbags trying to gouge their labour force for all they can, is all.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Thankfully we have all those good samaritan players who in turn donate all earning to goodwill. 🙂 It is great to know the players are free of all greed.

        • The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

          A lame rebuttal because it has nothing to do with what I wrote. If the NHL is so all-fired concerned about supporting weak franchises, owners who are making *artificially high* profits from the cap can reasonably be asked to siphon some of those profits to the poor teams. This is manifestly more fair than squeezing it out of player salaries, which are already held artifically low by the cap.

          The issue isn’t about players being saints, or being millionaires. It’s a question of fairness in collective bargaining. Why should the NHL’s ‘fix’ come on the backs of players who have already accepted a cap that pays them far less than their value would be in a free market, rather than on the backs of teams who are making inflated profits as a direct result on that artifically low salary system? Like I say, the NHL’s position makes zero sense to anybody who thinks about it for five seconds.

  68. commandant says:

    What a crappy year that was.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think I managed to actually believe that year never happened. I have zero recollection of anything I did that winter. If we lose hockey again, I may actually have to affirm my fandom to the NFL and the Steelers ahead of the Habs. I don’t want to do that but hockey needs to smarten up.

  69. Un Canadien errant says:

    I don’t want to flash back to then. We had no NHL hockey, and no snow in Whistler, horrible conditions, ice, cold. Brutal.

    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


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