Former Hab Campoli speaks for NHL players


Former Canadiens defenceman Chris Campoli, who is now a free agent, is a member of the NHLPA’s negotiating committee and was one of three players who took part in sub-committee meetings Thursday, one day after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said a “wide gap” remained in collective bargaining negotiations after dismissing the NHLPA’s proposal.  

“The industry’s grown a billion dollars since (the lockout) and basically they just want more money,” Campoli told The Canadian Press. 

“I thought in our proposal we made a step and considerable concessions to them. Frankly, it was a little disappointing to see the response yesterday and the view they have on it. 

“I just think they took such an aggressive stance with their first proposal. We could have taken an aggressive stance the other way and we didn’t. You know, we want to fix the systematic issues they have with the way things are run and I think we’re being more than fair.”

What do you think?

(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)


  1. chcsj says:

    Simple Fix
    Get it done or We, (nhl,owners, etc.) Will demand mandatory drug testing.
    That would be a good one???
    Let’s negotiate!

  2. PeterD says:

    I’m all for free enterprize capitalism but these owners are hypocritical pigs and the players should start planning to go on strike for the entire season.

    Here’s the thing, The owners keep demanding more and more money concessions from players and then they go out and sign players to insane, obscene money such as Weber, Suter, Parise and yes Gomez in his day. They work the system out of greed to sign what they think are top talent to win games and draw fans support, but then they whine about revenues and the high cost salaries…this is just too transparently hypocritical.
    Here’s a thought Owners, if you don’t want to pay the salaries, then don’t offer that much.
    The idea of players being tied to teams for longer and longer terms before they become UFA’s is akin to forced servitude. In our society workers in all other industries have the right to work for whom ever they chose and for whatever terms they chose…if they don’t like the terms of employment they are free to move elsewhere. Players should not be locked into any team as a RFA any longer than 5 years from first contract signing. After that, if the player and the team want to continue to work togther, then they will agree on acceptable terms for both sides. If they can’t come to terms then the player should have the inalienable right to take his talents elsewhere.
    This whole cycle of work action, labour unrest is bad for the game and for the fans… I say the two side either work this out fast or the players should just walk away and go play in Europe until the NHL Owners get realist about their expectations and their own behaviours.

    • B says:

      Forced servitude sounds way over the top, no one is forcing any player to work in the NHL. They don’t have to sign any contract they do not want to and they are free to leave the NHL when ever they want. Some players have even held out in the middle of contracts because they thought they deserved more (and got away with it). No team has ever withheld their end of a contract during that contract (even though there are cases where a team and/or it’s fans would like that to happen).

      • Timo says:

        I agree. I have hard time mastering any sympathy for the players, whether they are being treated “fairly” or not. I don’t give a flying f who’s who and what they do. All I want is hockey season to start on Oct 6.

    • savethepuck says:

      I think the point you may be missing is the members of the NHLPA work for the NHL Corporation. They don’t just work for the affiliates the Montreal Canadiens or the Toronto Maple Leafs for example. The NHL has every right to expect limitations on where the members choose to work. The draft is one example of this. If you are an executive for a major Corporation that has international offices, that Corporation has every right to tell you which city you will be working in. If the players don’t wish to play for a certain team in the NHL, they don’t have that right until they have payed their dues. They do have the right to play in another league. Saying players have the right to play wherever they want is eric Lindros all over again.

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

  3. HabFab says:

    Don Fehr to have a press conference at 3 pm.

  4. Timo says:

    “The industry’s grown a billion dollars since (the lockout) and basically they just want more money,”

    … and what do you want, Mr. Campoli? Lower ticket prices for an average Joe? STFU!

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      This doesn’t happen very often, but I agree with Timo

      • NCRhabsfan says:

        I think the only thing that the NHL and the NHLPA agree on is that they should extract more money from fans pockets. It’s kind of like two muggers arguing over who gets the wallet and who gets the watch while standing over the victim. The dispute is over who gets a bigger share of the heist. This is fat, greedy pig versus fat, greedy pig.

    • commandant says:

      Alll lower ticket prices do is put more money in scalper’s pockets.

      The demand for tickets and the price fans are willing to pay stays the same. So the cheaper tickets just makes the scalping industry more profitable.

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

      • Timo says:

        My point was that all players want is more $$$ as well and neither side gives a crap about the fans.

        • commandant says:

          The Players have no control over ticket prices. Ticket prices are set by the owners and based on supply/demand.

          Bettman promised reductions in ticket prices if they got a cap in 2004. Since that time the average NHL ticket has risen 39%.

          Tickets are more expensive in Montreal than they are in Boston and both teams spend to the same cap. Why is that? Cause supply/demand is greater in Montreal. Its not the salaries setting the price, in fact with the current CBA you could make the opposite inference. Ticket prices are the thing driving higher salaries.

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

          • NCRhabsfan says:

            The players may not have control over ticket prices, but they certainly have an influence on them.

          • commandant says:

            How? How do the players influence ticket prices?

            If the players made less money, the owners wouldn’t drop the ticket prices a penny… in fact they’d still raise them at the same rates as before.

            The salaries aren’t what raise prices, its the demand of the fans that raises prices. Less demand would mean lower prices.

            If Salaries were lower, we’d just see owners make even more in profits, they arent going to say… oh salaries are lower, we are making too much money now, lets lower the price.

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

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        maybe so… but it also makes the scalped tickets more affordable, no? at least in theory

        • commandant says:

          No because it doesn’t change the supply/demand curve. The Scalpers will always charge the top price that someone is willing to pay, and the amount people are willing to pay is based on supply and demand.

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

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            What’s the demand for pre-season games?

          • bleedhabs81 says:

            I did think about that, but I also figured peoples acceptance of markup might slide if the actual price slid too.

            I understand supply and demand, but as a consumer I also look at markup on value (maybe I am one of the few)… so if something is grossly overpriced I will not buy it.

            For example a $100 ticket marked up to $150… meh
            the same ticket but for $50 marked up to $150… f! no!

          • commandant says:

            The Demand for preseason games is that most are sold as part of the season tickets package… or the 5 packs… or the 10 packs, so that You can’t get tickets to the games you want without buying them.

            The remainder are sold to those of us who are desperate for any live hockey and got shutout of regular tickets.

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

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            “Alll lower ticket prices do is put more money in scalper’s pockets.

            The demand for tickets and the price fans are willing to pay stays the same. So the cheaper tickets just makes the scalping industry more profitable.”

            Compare this statement to the one immediately above.

  5. Propwash says:

    I wonder what’s going on in Molson’s head throughout all this.

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

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      na naa naa naa naa naa naa naaaaa… hey… naa na na na naaa

      Sorry, simpsons reference… I forget the context but someone is talking and homer is supposed to be paying attention but he is singing this in his head.

  6. slamtherimtim says:

    this players against the managers is the same as employees who are part of any union against managment , the reason more people side with the players is because there are always more employees than manager or owners in this case , Former NHLer as someone below put it should not be part of this process until he has a job himself in the same field , he is currently unemployes , he has no rights , take a trip to the unemployment line and see how hard the real world is


  7. Some Habs news:
    – Contract extension for Canadiens Director of Amateur Scouting Trevor Timmins.
    – Canadiens hire Donald Audette as amateur scout in Quebec.
    – Mark Mowers named as pro scout (Eastern Conference).

  8. HabFanSince72 says:

    Today we’re all Pussy Riot!

    Well, not really.

    But here’s what I’d like to see. The NHL decides to skip Sochi (not for ethical reasons mind you – I’m not a fantasist). Putin is humiliated so he decides to extract his special brand of revenge on Gary Bettman and a few key owbers – say Ed Snider and Jeremy Jacobs.

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

  9. Mattyleg says:

    People are saying that the players make too much money anyway and should just shut up and play.

    Exploitation doesn’t only exist with low-wage employment. It’s about what kind of percentage bosses make on the work of their employees. This is why investment bankers make so much money; it’s directly their work which makes the banks their huge profits.

    The NHL owners make tons of money from the play and the fame of their players. Without them, they’d have nothing. So even if they are making millions while the owners are making billions, it’s still unfair, and can result in exploitation.

    The players aren’t necessarily talking about wages, either, more about working conditions, if I’m not mistaken…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • bwoar says:

      If you are implying that NHL players are being exploited, I can’t disagree more. The idea that labour is explioted because their superiors are making orders of magnitude more money than they are is ludicrous.

      “The NHL owners make tons of money from the play and the fame of their players. Without them, they’d have nothing.”

      The second statement there is way, way into the blue sky, and discounts that the NHL could ever be anything other than what it is currently. Show me a hockey fan who wouldn’t cheer for scab players, and I’ll show you someone who just isn’t that into hockey.

      IMO, NHL GMs need to have a CBA in place that protects them from themselves, and the NHLPA must swallow it. Any talk of “for the good of the league” needs to start there. In return, the BoG needs to internally solve the problem of failing franchises vs. the need/desire for a national TV contract that makes those franchises necessary. Don’t want to turn some of those big bucks over to Phoenix, etc. to save them each year? Then let go of your NBC money and deal with the real distribution of hockey-fandom. Grow that base as you can, and don’t overreach.

      • J Dub says:

        “The idea that labour is explioted (sic) because their superiors are making orders of magnitude more money than they are is ludicrous.”

        This is actually the definition of exploitation. Not only is it not ludicrous, it’s the very meaning of the word. If you’re going to disagree, you’re going to have to do it in a way that doesn’t change the definitions of words. Just a small point.

    • B says:

      “they are making millions while the owners are making billions”

      Of the reported $3.3 Billion in revenue last season, the players got $1.881 Billion (57%) while the teams/owners got $1.419 Billion (43%).

      So the “exploited” players get 14% more of the revenue than the “unfair” owners. The players share none of the risk, take no part in paying for or financing infrastructure and they pay none of the expenses. How many players lost or failed to make any money? It does not sound to me like the players are being exploited, in fact they are doing remarkably well. How many other industries in the world pay 57% of revenues to employees salaries? Do any banks (as per your example) pay anywhere near that % of revenue out in salaries?

      I think you are also way off base suggesting that NHL players work under exploitative working conditions. Forgive me if have no sympathy for either side in this negotiation.

      • ZepFan2 says:

        How many owners are there compared to the number of players?

        Looks like the pie sharing is much better for the owners, no?!

        “Maybe I’m a Leo but I ain’t a lion” – Deep Purple

        Maybe I’m a Leo

        • B says:

          Owners have to pay for and finance all the infrastructure and all the operating expenses. Owners bear all the financial risk. Many owners lost money last season. No players failed to make very good money last season. Do you actually think the average single owner should get the same % of revenue as an average single player? I just don’t think that makes sense. There are many business related expenses that come off of the owners “slice of the pie”, but aside from taxes (which everyone including players and owners have to pay), there are no such expenses that come off the players “slice of the pie”.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            All business people take financial risks. It’s part of the game.

            Do the players get a share of all concession sales? How about from tickets and souvenirs? That all brings in a pretty penny.

            I ask because I’m not sure.

            “Maybe I’m a Leo but I ain’t a lion” – Deep Purple

            Maybe I’m a Leo

  10. HabFanSince72 says:

    You mean “Former NHLer Campoli …”

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

  11. Max says:

    No pity for any of them.Billionaires fighting with millionaires over money. The players should be happy that they earn more in a year than an average worker would in two lifetimes. You play hockey dudes and we watch you.It’s not all that important in the big scheme of things.

    The NHL is becoming tiring like most pro sports. Money rules again.

  12. Cal says:

    Campoli and the NHLPA are going to be squeezed. Campoli probably will not be signed and the NHLPA’s proposal will continue to be ignored. Unions don’t get to tell business owners how their business is to be run. At the end of the day, the one doling out the pay is in charge. It’s not the other way round.
    The “greedy pig” comes into play, but then again that’s the reason people go into business, don’t they? They want to make as much money as possible. Everything else, like championships and awards, is just gravy.

  13. ProHabs says:

    What is the big deal with Hockeyyinsiderr. Most of these guys are just regular joes like the rest of us who like to think of possible trades that may go down. MOst of these guys have absolutely no connections in the NHL and thus most of their shat is useless.

    Even someone who gets paid to talk about trade rumour like Darren Dreiger is useless. All he does it state the obvious “Vancouver is talking with several teams including the Leafs about a possible Luongo trade. Nothing is imminent and it could take a while before a deal happens”. Good insider Dreiger, like most hockey fans wouldn’t be able to guess something like this.

    Excellent work on the team prospect reports Commandant. I have been enjoying reading them. Please tell me you no longer follow Berkshire on Twitter though.

  14. habsfan0 says:

    The key issue is to lower expenses. Solution:Retract 6 franchises. Islanders,Devils,Coyotes,Panthers,Blue Jackets,Predators. Of course, the likelihood of this happening is about on par with the chances of Quebec becoming unlingualy English next month. On second thought, the latter scenario has a much better chance of occurring than the former.

    • commandant says:

      According to Forbes (whose numbers are dubious, but at the end of the day are the best guess we have)…. The only 2 teams in big trouble in terms of profit/loss are Columbus and Phoenix. Thats it.

      When you include the fact that the average NHL team has a capital gain in value on average of 5% per year, this gain wipes out any relatively minor operating income losses.

      When you also consider that the only reason the Devils are having cash issues is because their arena has 1 main tenant and was built with private funds and carries a huge debt load and interest payment, and then consider that the Islanders are losing money because the arena they play in is so outdated… and you realize they are just a twenty minute subway ride apart. Its easy to see a solution for the problems of these two teams as well. Just have the Isles pay rent to the Devils and operate out of the Newark arena, and boom, you’ve solved two problems, and still get to keep the huge local tv deals that both of these teams have.

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

      • Cal says:

        What? Change their names to the Rangers? 😉
        EDIT- Dammit, commandant, you aren’t supposed to edit your post like that!
        Islanders will never pay rent to the Devils, by the way. Neither will a Long Island team move elsewhere.

      • ed lopaz says:

        commandant, along with Phoenix and Columbus, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Florida and the Devils are incapable of turning a reasonable profit.

        Even the NHLPA will freely admit to the trouble some of the teams are facing; its not a conspiracy.

        Also, please explain to me if YOU would like to own a business that sucks 20 or 25 million of cash year after year?

        I know you could find somewhere better to invest your money and so would I.

        To deny that there are at least 4 or 5 very troubled franchises, after Atlanta just moved, really takes away from the credibility of your position in this dispute.

        The issue is NOT that the franchises are in trouble.

        Even the NHLPA has accepted that in its first offer.

        The issue is who pays to correct this problem??

        The players through lowering their share of revenue, or the league by forcing more revenue sharing.

        Clearly it should be some acceptable combination of both – with the proviso that the 4 or 5 dead end franchises be moved or contracted in the next 5 years.

        • commandant says:

          How are New Jersey and Florida losing 25 million a year?

          Do you have a source for that?

          Forbes has the Panthers -7 million and Jersey at -6.1 million in operating income (and that was based on these two teams that didn’t make the playoffs in 2010-11).

          Remember thats operating income, and does not factor in the capital gains enjoyed here. (5% per year on average on the purchase price).

          Add a little revenue sharing (fix a system that does not allow either of these teams to qualify). Fix the problem the devils have with owning a building with no other tenant and a huge debt load, and they are both fine. Its not the crisis the NHL makes it out to be.

          Just like the Levitt report has been proven to have been pure Bullshit 8 years ago… the owners crying poor today should be taken with a grain of salt.

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

          • HabFab says:

            I appreciate your point on Capital gains but that is only realized upon the sale of the team.
            And the owners should not be expected to operate at a loss until such time as they sell.

          • commandant says:

            You act as though these are the owners only businesses… they are not.

            The owners became rich enough to buy these teams through there success in other endeavors. Any small operating loss is usually used as a tax deduction against their other business anyway.

            Remember these NHL teams do not operate in a vacuum, and if losing a couple million on them was so unpalatable, we would see a lot more sports teams fold. But we don’t, there is a reason for that.

            Its only in the most extreme of cases, like Phoenix, where an owner has to leave and put the team in the hands of the league.

            Phoenix might be unsaveable, heck there’s no real “might” about it… but that doesn’t mean there are as many teams in dire straights as you think. A small change to revenue sharing, and 28 of the 30 teams are profitable on the operating income level… they might lose a couple million in non-playoff years, but will net more than that in playoff years, and over half the teams in the league make the playoffs.

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

  15. commandant says:

    The Phoenix Coyotes are quietly building up a nice young blue line in the desert. I review their prospects today.

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

  16. ThatOldChestnut says:

    Can some generous wealthy folks start a new, North American league while these two groups of money-grubbers work their sh-t out? One with no instigator rule, no hits to the head, maybe with a reduced number of shifts so that the emphasis is no longer on coaches’ “systems,” but rather on players’ creativity and ability?

    Hey, a guy can dream.

  17. Newf_Habster says:

    Let me move away from this topic for a minute.

    @Hockeyyinsiderr has lost alot of followers on Twitter after he has been exposed. He had about 50K followers last Sunday evening and now it is nearly 32,000 followers.

    Last night Blackhawks insider jumped on him after HI claimed that the Blackhawks and Sabres were working on a Kane for Miller trade.

  18. frontenac1 says:

    Rock On Pussy Riot!

  19. JoeC says:

    Both sides are just money hungry , Campoli might want to see if the NHLPA will hire him since no one is gonna want him on there blue line, i heard the KHL might need him!

    The owners want the players to take a HUGE reduction and the players dont want to lose much at all. The only NHL to be played in 2013 is EA;s verson

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