This week’s HIO special-section stories

pksubban

The usual variety of insightful stuff from our hockey writers and Postmedia’s best columnists.

Here we go:

HIO fans weigh in on the latest developments, compiled by Brenda Branswell

Richard Sévigny is a Habs hero – without playing a game, by Dave Stubbs

Veteran Mike Commodore brings leadership to Bulldogs, by Pat Hickey

NHL’s Montreal labour board hearing postponed, by Brenda Branswell

Habs prospect Galchenyuk part of the new-look U.S. junior squad, by Pat Hickey

The beginning of the end may be in Boston, by Postmedia’s Cam Cole

RDS has a Plan B, by Postmedia’s Bob Duff

With time running out, the focus has returned, by Postmedia’s Bruce Arthur

223 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Responding to wjc’s comment from below (just chcecked in).

    Chris, You think the players got a bad deal last time?

    Actually, I don’t think they got a bad deal at all last time. On paper, they lost. But in reality they won because of massive growth in revenues.

    You think the players are not hawkish this time?

    Not particularly. I think they are wary because they know anything they give up this time will be the starting point in the next CBA negotiation. So they’re trying to maintain as much as they can. And understandably so.

    The players made out quite well before, and are making out like bandits now.. I get it the players are your hero’s, yes I get it. There is ZERO trust on either side, welcome to…..negotiation 101.

    No, the players are emphatically not my heroes. However, I have found the CBA proposals from the owners intentionally confrontational and ultimately unnecessary.

    Two things should have been on the table: 50/50 on revenue sharing (with how long it takes to get there being the negotiation point) and solving the loophole of contracts that can be buried in the minors or overseas or removed via retirement (such as Wade Redden, Mike Commodore, Cristobal Huet, Ilya Kovalchuk).

    Everything else is just noise and was absolutely not worth the hard-line stance the owners have taken until now. How a team spends its money is up to them…how they distribute the money between the 23 roster players and 50 contracted players is entirely their prerogative.

    This is what I don’t get about the NHL. They basically had what they needed over a month ago, yet we’re still here because they also wanted curtailed contract lengths (unnecessary if the contract can’t be removed from the books), increased UFA age (I have yet to hear a sensible argument on this one, and the NHL has finally found wisdom and abandoned it), and restrictions on salary arbitration and entry level contracts (now abandoned). With a hard salary cap and no loopholes, there really are no reasons for the rest of this. It was a complete waste of time, energy and, ultimately, fan goodwill.

    As for Negotiation 101, this is far from Negotiation 101. Negotiation involves give and take, proposal and counter-proposal. Everybody around this knew that the players were giving up something and so the only question was what they would be allowed to keep.

    This is more Preservation 101 than Negotiation 101.

    Grow up, with the good guys vrs. the bad guys garbage.

    I love when people tell me to grow up. It is such a nice way to finish a conversation.

  2. Timo says:

    Never liked Fleury that much as a player, but as an average joe I can’t help but agree with him.

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Former+star+Theo+Fleury+says+Canada+Disneyland+pedophiles/7661180/story.html

  3. Hobie Hansen says:

    As Timo mentioned below, this Jacobs influence over the owners and the talks makes me hate Boston that much more, if that’s even possible?

  4. Mike D says:

    From Twitter:

    “@ChrisBottaNHL: Player sources say there will be a deal and a season.” you better be right about this. #BecauseItsThePodium”

    Whether he means the current deal on the table or further negotiation, I have no idea.

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Unless there’s a date by which there will be no season, and that date is very soon then it doesn’t mean all that much. By February… it’ll be hard to care about a season even if there were one though I guess the Habs could tank in that time and it would be a short time to suffer for a good draft pick.

  5. Habfan10912 says:

    Report that Ryan Miller and Jacobs got into it last night.

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/06/ryan-miller-jeremy-jacobs-got-heated-wednesday-night-yet-cba-talks-continued/
    ———————————–

  6. Mike D says:

    Twitter has gotten rather quiet. Obviously the meeting hasn’t started yet. Make of that what you will.

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  7. commandant says:

    There is no reason to require a 5 year contract limit if you get the variance at 5%.

    The yearly variance at 5% means the huge backdiving deals loophole is not possible.

    Is it really so horrible if a player signs an 8 year contract and is paid approximately the same in each of those 8 years? How is this a circumvention of the cap that needs to be stopped?

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

    • Mike D says:

      I agree with your point, Ben. While I’m not necessarily opposed to a term limit of some kind, 5 years is very short, and I could easily live with no term limits.

      That said, it’s easy to see why the owners want it. It’s just another way to protect themselves from their own poor decisions and mitigate financial risks on those bad decisions as well…..or those of their GM’s.

      - Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • Cal says:

        The way franchises have been turned over, would you want the Lecavalier contract if you just bought the Lightning?

        • Mike D says:

          Definitely not – off the top of my head, his is the 3rd worst contract in the game after DiPietro and Yashin (way to go Islanders).

          That’s kind of my point though, Cal. Why should the players have to pay for the owners mistakes?

          - Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

          • Cal says:

            Signing a player long-term is a helluva risk (if I were an owner) I would NEVER take. 5 seasons is beyond plenty long enough, considering injury rates and performance drop-offs.
            Most forwards’ best seasons are when they are between 24 to 27 years old. Why pay a 32 year old big money when it’s a certainty they won’t live up to the contract?
            By the way, the players aren’t suffering if the contract is 5 years compared to 10. They will still get their money.

          • Mike D says:

            Cal, you actually answered your own questions. Owners shouldn’t give too much term to a player who isn’t worthy of it (whether due to age or talent). But they also shouldn’t need a rule in place to stop them. That’s what I mean by making players pay for an owners mistake.

            I also believe that’s why the owners proposal included a 7 year limit if the player is already on the team. That way a team can sign it’s own star players because they have an advantage in the contract they can offer over the 29 other teams when those players are UFA’s.

            - Honestly yours
            Twitter: @de_benny

          • commandant says:

            Sure its a risk

            A RISK OWNERS WILLINGLY TAKE

            No one forced Charles Wang to give DiPietro a 15 year contract, and no one forced the stupid tampa owners to give Lecavalier 10 years.

            As for the new owner buying the lightning… He’d have full access to the books and the liabilities and assets before buying the team. If the Lecavalier contract was such a liability, he should have asked for a discounted sale price.

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

          • Cal says:

            @ commandant-
            I guess that’s why they sold for $86 mil, eh?

            @mike,
            The players are not “paying for owners mistakes.” They are negotiating a new agreement, and not doing a very good job of it. They keep insisting that the owners are trying to force them into a situation they don’t want. Seriously. They’re making a ton and should leave the working conditions issues to their agents.

          • scuba says:

            So smart owner A only wants to pay his player for 6 years. Idiot owner B offers him the same money but for 10 years. Owner A now has to either pay for 10 years or lose the player. According to you he should lose the player because it is the owners fault for signing these contracts. So by your logic the smart owner should not give out the stupid long contract but then when the player signs somehwere else it is the smart owner A who loses out on the player. That is why an agreement needs to be reached that all owners follow. If not the the idiot owners end up settting the perameteres that everyone must play by. The players under any agreement will take what they can get.

    • christophor says:

      Think of a 10 year contract structured as follows:

      Years 1 through 3: $7 million
      Then -5% in each year that follows.

      You end up with a cap hit of about 6 million, and you can’t shave off that much cap hit in 5 year terms. Even though it’s not as effective, shaving off a million or so here and there isn’t nothing, and getting that edge will push owners in this direction.

      More importantly, richer teams retain an advantage without a term limit because they can offer longer term. By giving a 7 year limit to contacts of players resigning with their original teams, these teams have a better chance of keeping drafted players in their market… and I suppose these two extra years were proposed with small markets in mind.

      Not saying I’m siding with the owners; I don’t have a side. It’s just that maybe you should give these businessmen a little more credit than just saying their ideas are stupid or don’t make sense together.

      Fools take sides in this dispute and it seems you’ll bend over backwards to make anything coming out of an owner’s mouth seem unreasonable.

      • myron.selby says:

        The way I read it is that the $amount can only vary 5% in any year from the annual average of the contract. So the least any year could pay in your scenario would be $6.65 million which would then have to be balanced by a year at $7.35 million (to keep the value at $7 million/year).

  8. Mavid says:

    I would love an all Canadian league….it would be perfect…

  9. habsfan0 says:

    What’s more likely to happen first?

    NHL hockey resumes.

    PQ minority government defeated, election called.

    I’m betting on the latter.

  10. Habfan10912 says:

    @secretdragonfly. I have a message for you from Lafleurguy. He wanted me to tell you that he, Dave Stubbs and you are only three of the people currently enjoying Todd Denault’s “A Season in Time.”

    ———————————–

  11. Ian Cobb says:

    Smartdog, With your smarts and my tenacity, we could take charge and would get our game back on track. We could bring in Timo and Johnbellyful as advisers my friend.!

  12. PrimeTime says:

    Longtime no talk. For all you hopefuls who hope a deal is done soon, don’t forget how pissed you were that a lockout was even required, and all the posturing bs from both sides that has extended it. But most of you still post here regularly so I’m sure you’ll all go crawling back with the enthusiasm the Owners expect of you. Some deterrent for them doing it again in 5 – 7 – 10 years….whatever! My youthful love for the NHL has been forever tarnished by the lack of appreciation to the fans by the owners and the selfish ego of Fehr. A CBA should have be done months ago if anyone involved showed a half ounce of loyalty that the fans show. F’em I say!! I will be a casual fan, watch and enjoy the game when with friends and few pops but it will never be the same to me as it once was. I won’t wait for the 3rd strike to be out.
    Sometimes a little less is more

  13. Ian Cobb says:

    This will not happen now!
    But it would be nice to bring the head office of our game back to this country, where we know how this game should be played.
    Expanding a winter game into the palm trees is cocoNUTS.

  14. SmartDog says:

    Re Ian’s post below, the SECOND REALLY crappy think about the lockout (besides no hockey) is that all this talk of money has overshadowed any talk about the game. The game needs some rule changes but all these guys are talking about his how much money they can take off each other’s plate. It’s a f-n shame. Like Shakespeare said (Henry the 6th) “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Mike D says:

      I don’t believe that rule changes to the game itself have to be part of the CBA. They can be implemented at any time as far as I know.

      I agree that the game could use some modifications though.

      - Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • SmartDog says:

        I agree they CAN be implemented anytime. But I would love to see the players put some new safety measures on the table as part of the bargaining. If I were a player, I would try to make this happen. No-touch icing, some equipment changes (softer elbow and sholder pads to reduce concussions), other things to allow the game to be played with less injury and more freedom.

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • Ian Cobb says:

          Any contact to the head is a trip off the ice!!

          • SmartDog says:

            Yah, good idea. YOu know that will come but it will take them 10 years to get there.

            ————————————-
            Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • Habfan10912 says:

            +1 and I’d add a much more progressive drug testing program. The bigger stronger player is too big and too strong.

            ———————————–

        • Mike D says:

          My hope is that changes to improve the game will take place AFTER the CBA is negotiated. The reason I say that is because this lockout wasn’t necessary in the first place and has dragged out far longer than was needed. Adding additional issues (albeit worthy ones) would only delay things further.

          Get the CBA done and then work on the actual game ASAP.

          - Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

  15. Ron says:

    John Shannon tweets that the league has yet to hear from the PA as to when meeting to start. PA having internal meeting. Makes you wonder if they will meet at all today.

    He almost sure PA would not do a vote of all players on the NHL proposal as it stands.

    • ed lopaz says:

      why not take it to a vote of the entire NHLPA?

      isn’t that what democracy is about?

      1 player. 1 vote. I say.

      can someone explain why it would NOT go to a vote at some point?

      • Ron says:

        My feeling and only mine is Fehr would not want this proposal to go now is the majority of the lesser rich ones ( the majority ) would vote to sign thus spoiling the Fehr plan.

  16. Hobie Hansen says:

    I’m hoping this positive to negative swing every hour or so is just the reporters and their sources covering their buts in order to avoid looking foolish if by a small chance, talks fail again.

  17. Mike D says:

    To take a page from our beloved Mike Boone, I’m going to make a BOLD PREDICTION:

    If things go off the rails today/tomorrow, this season will definitely be lost.

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    All the rule changes have had a different outcome than what was to be achieved.
    They change the game rules to open it up, but it has had a much different outcome.
    The trap and all defensive plays have been implemented to combat the faster more open play. Not many 3 way passing plays left in the game now!!
    Dump and chase is 40% of the game today. The fan count is down big time in the CHL and AHL. The only reason some markets are doing all right is because of the NHL lockout.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Think you’re right Ian. I can’t help but think that coaches have been playing for that overtime point instead of the win which leads to less open it up hockey. I hate the overtime but I hate the overtime shootout more.

      ———————————–

      • Mike D says:

        I couldn’t agree more, Jim. I hate the overtime point and how some games are worth 3 points while others are only worth 2. It’s totally ridiculous and nonsensical. The shootout is a total sham. Sacrificing the true game for the purposes of entertainment, mostly to cater to casual hockey fans at the expense of true hockey fans.

        - Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Will not happen now! but it would be nice to bring our game back to this country where we know how this game should be played.
        Expanding a winter game into the palm trees is cocoNUTS.

    • commandant says:

      Its not the rule changes that are the problem.

      You don’t need rule changes.

      You just need refs who will call obstruction, hooking, holding, etc…

      They did it in 2005-06, but slowly but surely stopped calling it again.

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

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Ben, all referees are instructed as how to interpret the calls by the league each year.

        • commandant says:

          Yes, and the interpretation has clearly changed from 2005-06 to today.

          You don’t need new rules if you properly enforce the ones you have.

          The fact that the rules interpretations change in the third period of a close game, or that the playoffs are completely different rules interpretations than the regular season is a joke.

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

      • Mustang says:

        A bigger ice surface would completely change the way the game is played. Let’s face it, the present 200′ X 85′ rink was fine 30 or 40 years ago but the players today are so much bigger and so much faster. I would really have liked to see the NHL adopt the international size rink when many of the teams were building new arenas 10 or 15 years ago. There is no way that they will change now since so many of the teams already have new buildings.

        • Mike D says:

          Agreed Mustang. It’s not likely to happen due to the costs and possible logistical nightmares involved to make the conversions in the arenas, and it also means a reduction of seats which decreases the owners Gate profits.

          - Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

        • commandant says:

          Go watch a game from the Swedish League sometime. The bigger ice surface DOES NOT lead to more offence. Its a Jacques Lemaire/Jacques Martin style coach’s dream.

          Clog the middle, and leave more room on the outside for the other team to play at the perimeter and take bad angle shots at our goalie.

          The one thing it does do, is that more space might lead to less injuries, and less hitting, but it doesn’t create more offense. Just more opportunity for a stiffling coach.

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

  19. Bripro says:

    Frech off Bob McKenzie’s tweet:
    “Talk to some owners/NHL people, sense is this blows up today. Talk to other owners who say no way we lose season over these differences.”

    • Habilis says:

      “Bob McKenzie‏@TSNBobMcKenzie
      Many players here don’t like what’s on table – “what’s in it for us” mantra – but many others not here say this could be a workable deal.”

      Seems as though Bob is hedging his bets this morning.

      • Blondie says:

        I don’t know about “hedging his bets”. It seems the opinions he is soliciting are just all over the map.

        Perhaps there is less unanimity in both camps than we have been led to believe.

    • Propwash says:

      Seeing both Bettman and Feher are being brought back into the negotiations tells me that the whole thing is a write-off.

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

  20. Habilis says:

    So word is that the NHL wants a 10 year deal but the PA would prefer 5 years.

    Can anyone explain this to me? Why would the players want a shorter CBA? Every CBA to date has payed them more money in the later years, why wouldn’t they want those years extended? They wanted to keep playing under the old CBA this year, why do they think that next time will be different?

    • habs-hampton says:

      Maybe they enjoy having a year off every 5 years or so. Sort of like a teacher sabbatical.

    • Mike D says:

      You ask a couple good questions.

      I think the reason the PA wants a 5 year CBA is because that will be the NHL’s 100th anniversary. As you can imagine, that will be a huge marketing machine for the league and they expect it to bring in a lot of $$. By having the CBA end prior to that point, the players gain some leverage on the owners who will definitely be wanting to play that season. Therefore the players could hold the owners collective feet to the fire to get a better deal for themselves if they wish to. Not saying they definitely would, but it gives them the option. To a lesser extent, it’s said that Don Fehr wants the five years to mentor his younger brother who is expected to take over as the PA’s rep. after this CBA is completed.

      - Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • Ron says:

        Gee Mike before this is over the Fehr bros may need a new training ground. If the season is lost and part of next, will the players want them at the helm. Going to be some interesting changes in both camps I would think.

  21. Bripro says:

    Apparently, they’re meeting on a private floor, and the media are being kicked out of the building. So much for keeping the fans up to date.

  22. Mike D says:

    From Bob McKenzie about 20 minutes ago:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie

    I can tell you there’s a hugely negative vibe emanating from both sides right now. Keeping this process on rails today will be challenging.

    *Edit – apologies to Ron who already posted this below. Didn’t see it.

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  23. SmartDog says:

    Bob McKenzie also says:
    PA doesn’t like 5 yr term limits on contracts or 10 yr term of CBA or fact that Make Whole bump to $300M is tied to accepting 10 yr CBA.

    Now the players need to give. (The 5-year contract term limit BTW is now a 7-year limit when applied to your own UFAs.) These things are not unreasonable requests from the league and could be said to be positive changes to the game. These long crazy contracts ARE a problem.

    The players could surely make small changes but to reject this out of hand would be a huge gamble on their part and I don’t see that it’s worth it.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Bripro says:

      He also posted:

      I know PA doesn’t like 10 yr CBA – 8 if opt out exercised – but I personally think long term may be only “hook” to try to win back fans.

      • SmartDog says:

        The players don’t have a lot to lose by locking into 8 or 10 years. On the other hand – hey, let’s go through this all again in 5 years? Whaddya say?

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  24. Bripro says:

    In case it hasn’t been posted, here Bruce Arthur’s take on yesterday’s negotiations.

    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/12/05/nhl-players-finally-look-like-theyre-trying-to-make-a-deal/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    EDIT: Sorry. I see it was part of this page’s columns. My apologies.

  25. Ian Cobb says:

    Belleville Bulls are back in 1st place with overtime win over Peterborough Pete’s last night. But with Malcolm Subban gone to the national juniors camp today, will they be able to stay on top?.
    They have the best goals against in the league, but their Jacques Martin boring, defensive style of play, keeps them at the bottom with no fire power and a dead last power play!
    Winning hockey with this style of play does not bring fans into the rink, as is seen with so many empty seats.

    • wjc says:

      Ian, your only alternative is to play a more open style of play and lose. Have you ever coached?

      You do realize that first place is an accomplishment. We had Neilson in Peterborough for a number of years. He played a boring style and it is where Martin learned the style. What is the attendance like on average.

      I finally stopped going to games because other teams would play the same style and it made it impossible for me to enjoy the game.

      wjc

      • Ian Cobb says:

        They change the game rules to open it up, but it has had a much different outcome. Trap and all defensive to combat the faster open play. Not many 3 way passing plays left in the game now!!

    • B says:

      London, Owen Sound and Kitchener all have less goals against than Belleville. Perhaps you were looking at goals for column (no team in the league has less goals for than Belleville)?

      –Go Habs Go!–

  26. Mavid says:

    I read Ed Lopez comments on Ottawa fans and just about fell off my chair…tickets to Sens games including season ones can be had anytime…they don’t buy them because they are lame or fans of other teams, mostly Montreal or Toronto….and even then I know lots of fans who buy season tickets and then sell them all off except for the ones they want (Habs/Leafs) I will save you the rest of my rant on Senaturd fans…as I am sure you have all heard it many times…

    • ed lopaz says:

      I appreciate your input. I assumed there was a great demand because I have met so many huge hockey fans from the area. I could be wrong.

      I believe that comparing saving the Senators to saving the Coyotes was not a fair comparison – that was the principle point I was trying to make.

  27. Ron says:

    MacKenzie tweets that there is a very negative vibe coming from both sides today. Thinks it will be hard to keep process on rails today.

    • Propwash says:

      Arbitration time methinks.

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

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Ron, there are a hundred bridges to cross for them yet. Maybe by the summer they might be able to hammer out a deal. But with what I hear, this season is dead meat , and next year is in jeopardy as well.
      But talking is always good for something!

  28. Mike D says:

    Pretty good piece by Kevin Allen outlining the current deal on the table:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/allen/2012/12/06/nhl-nhlpa-owners-proposal/1750611/

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  29. Stormin says:

    I guess the players and owners are not caukissing anymore

  30. Mattyleg says:

    I wonder if Stubbs got any of the ‘Peace Pizza’ yesterday.
    Did you hear about that?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  31. commandant says:

    @JF

    From a post further down

    “They aren’t being screwed as badly as the NHL proposed to screw them in July”

    WHAT?

    The league made a totally ridiculous opening offer in July with a 24% rollback and ridiculous contract terms, and because they’ve moved from that, you call it a concession on the part of the owners?

    Thats not a concession… thats not “give” in a “give and take” relationship. Thats just agreeing to Take Less.

    The original proposal was a joke and moving off of it, doesn’t mean they’ve given up anything at all.

    Its like if i said to you, “Give me a million dollars right now.”
    And you said “No. for what?”
    And then I said to you fine, “Give me half a million right now”
    And you said, “No”

    I’d say… look, I’m negotiating, I made concessions of half a million dollars, and JF here, he’s not negotiating at all. He won’t move off his stance.

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

    • Bripro says:

      Bang on Ben!
      It’s easy to come out with the guns all ‘a blazin’, then backing off to make it look like they’re reasonable pacifists.

    • Cal says:

      The original “offer” in July was a demo of what the owners were getting under the old CBA. Why is that so draconian to the players and such a big joke? It was a starting point in the process of negotiations. Did you think they’d start at 50-50?
      By the way, Fehr still hasn’t negotiated. He’s just sat on his ass playing rope-a-dope and hoping the owners would cave. They won’t.

      • commandant says:

        A 24% clawback, plus killing free agency, plus killing arbitration, plus 5 year ELCs, plus re-writing the definition of HRR in the owners favour was what the owners got in the last deal? Not exactly.

        What a load of crap that explanation is, and you’re buying it from the NHL PR firm hook, line and sinker.

        As for Fehr not negotiating…. he’s gone down to 50/50… and moved significantly on make whole. Tell me ONE THING… just ONE THING the owners have given the players.

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

        • Bripro says:

          The one big bone I have to pick with Fehr is…
          Why it took so long to get going. They hired him over a year ago, and correct me if I’m wrong, but there were not negotiations prior to the end of the season.
          Then meeting once, twice per week, and sometimes not at all.
          Where was this sense of urgency prior to this week?

        • Cal says:

          The one thing, commandant, is a great pay scale that players can get nowhere else.

        • scuba says:

          Owners said teams must get to the salary floor with actual salary rather than bonuses. I know this is minor but I could list lots more and you only asked for one.

          • commandant says:

            A floor that is significantly lower than it was before, offers no real tangible benefit.

            As well bonuses that are not earned do not count towards player share of HRR. They will get their 50% no matter what. So these not being counted towards the salary floor is essentially meaningless.

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

          • scuba says:

            unearned bonuses do count against a teams cap. Do they not count against the HRR calculation?

    • wjc says:

      The last CBA was so bad, concessions were a no brainer.

      The first proposal was a starting point, aiming at 50/50.

      Lockout starts as a lockout. It becomes an impasse, that players can end as well as owners.

      Players made out like bandits last CBA. Revenue’s skyrocketed.

      Adjustments had to be made. Players have to realize that they do very, very well in anybodies world.

      Concessions were necessary, that was obvious, in my opinion.

      wjc

      • commandant says:

        Revenues skyrocketed = players made out like bandits?

        You realize the owners got their share of those revenues too, right?

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

        • B says:

          Since the last CBA, the % growth in salaries has outpaced the exceptional % growth in revenues. The players did better than the owners under the last CBA, despite all the whining and rhetoric to the contrary from the players and PA (as well as some media folks and fans).

          –Go Habs Go!–

    • JF says:

      I don’t disagree with you at all. The July offer was an insult, and I did not say that the present offer makes concessions; it just isn’t the insult the first one was. The players are still getting screwed, just not as much. My point is that the players were always going to get screwed; the question was by how much. The League was never going to give them more money or better contract conditions than under the last CBA. For them, the negotiations were about getting the best – i.e., least bad – deal possible.

  32. Bripro says:

    I was able to log on for a few minutes twice yesterday.
    When the Bell network went down again (funny…. I overpaid, just like last month, and the one before that, and… I digress), I went back upstairs to plant my butt in front of a no-content TV (No hockey, no Wee Hee!).
    Gasp! My wife was watching some Tattoo show.
    “What?” she said with a grin. “Your hockey blog buddies all gone to bed?” No I said, they’ll post until 2 am.
    She says that’s because we’re divided into two groups:
    1. The geriatric group of early boys : Up at 5 am, in bed by 8 am and
    2. The geriatric group that can’t sleep (my category) : Up at 6 am and awake until 2 am.
    Imagine, the nerve…

  33. Hobie Hansen says:

    I say there’s a decent chance this thing will end today. I wouldn’t bet my life on it but I’d say they get something done either late tonight or within the next 24hrs.

    I can see them announcing a “tentative” agreement has been reached and the lawyers will now be spending a couple days combing through it.

    I think both sides are finished using time as a weapon and they’re going to sit in front of each other and wheel and deal their way to whatever they can grab for their respective sides until it’s settled.

    It is possible one side might play hardball and storm off again but I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance it’s done in the next 24hrs.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      honestly Hobie, I am not putting much faith in either party. This should have happened before the season was locked out. There has been really no sense of urgency until now….this I really don’t understand. Why did it take so long for them to wake up?

      Until the actual deal is done it isn’t done. Sounds like they are still arguing certain issues that may still pose a problem.

      Time will tell but here is hoping

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Ron says:

      The PA is now insisting that the Donald return to the meetings. Hope this means now they can negotiate what has been hashed out the last 2 days and get it done.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I would imagine they want Don Fehr back today because the NHLPA is ready to make some concessions and they don’t want to get completely stepped on. The want the big guy overlooking the final hours of this thing to make sure no mistakes are made.

        • Luke says:

          Damn. I suppose the owners will now insist on Bettman being there…. and now we are back to the ‘pizza scenario’ i descibed so eloquently earlier.

          I feel happier with Daly and S Fehr being the go to guys.

      • wjc says:

        Players might be starting to realize how confusing and hard negotiations are. They are probably tongue tied on some issues, and looking, feeling foolish without the right comeback. Need Donald the professional word smith that can think fast on his feet.

        Fehr and Bettman are not the problem here, just very difficult with so much at stake.

        Lockout is not even 2 months old. Even though the owners used the lockout, the players have been holding out as well. They could have ended the impasse just as easily as the owners.

        The players made out very well last CBA and it impowered them to hold the line. Who is to say they are wrong, it is their careers and they want to be fabulously rich, like us all.

        wjc

    • SmartDog says:

      Bettman must know that if this thing blows up now he’s going to get crucified in the press. Regardless of who he’s the mouthpiece for, for him to preside over so many lost games and then to see him enter a positive and promising round of negotiations just as it f-ks up will make him look like a wrecking ball. He needs this to work out.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  34. SmartDog says:

    I just want to say this about the lock-out.

    What’s REALLY frustrating is that it sounds like this group of non-professional negotiators is actually – gasp! – talking to each other. They go in a room, they have different points of view and they share their reasoning, they discuss…

    There’s no ‘perfect’ deal to be had. What you want is a deal everyone feels fairly comfortable with. And you get to that point, not be digging in your heels and saying f-u to the other guy. You get there by old fashioned talking. Give and take. Here’s my situation, here’s my view, can you understand that? Can we reach a compromise here? What are you willing to budge on if we move on this issue?

    I don’t know if Fehr was the right choice or not. But I do know this: this is Bettman’s lockout because under Bettman there was no discussion, no give-and-take. How can a guy read proposals and then 30 minutes later come back and say “sorry – that’s ridiculous”, and claim he’s negotiating. How can someone so condescending ever negotiate a complex deal? Bettman’s style is the key sticking point, and has been all along. This lockout didn’t have to happen. He’s just such a shotty communicator he makes the situation worse not better. The object in deal-making is to create, if not a win-win, a satisfactory compromise. There’s no satisfaction here thanks to Bettman. Regardless of whether the lock-out ends, the guy really needs to go before he does more damage. I only hope that after all this, this is as clear to the majority of owners as it is to the players and fans.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • ed lopaz says:

      Bettman’s presence here is ALL on the owners.

      it is the owners who hired Bettman; the owners who know exactly what kind of negotiator Bettman is, was, and will always be; the owners who RECENTLY upped Bettman’s contract to 8 frikin million per season.

      Bettman is exactly the type of negotiator the owners agreed to have represent them in their CBA negotiations.

      This is ENTIRELY the owners who have screwed this up by hiring the wrong man, and then extending his contract.

      Don’t blame Bettman. Bettman just wakes up every morning and behaves the same way, every day, in every situation, like the tool that he has been trained to be.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        But there has been a huge turnover of owners since Bettman received his pay raise and the 8vote rule that relates to owner decisions. I don’t disagree with you Ed, but have to wonder what many of these “newer” owners think of Gary.

        • ed lopaz says:

          I think most of the “newer” owners think Bettman’s approach is flawed.

          But many of them were disappointed that Fehr stepped in to the picture as well.

          Both sides need a different approach – and it starts by re-defining the type of person they want representing them.

      • HabFab says:

        I was challenged at a party to name one redeeming characteristic of Bettman a couple weeks past and I came up with one.

        He doesn’t pretend to be anything other then the piece of #*@& he is. And that I say without being sarcastic or facetious.

        • Luke says:

          How about: Persistence.

          He work very hard to keep Canadian teams afloat when they were struggling at the gates & with the dollar. Teams like Ottawa & Calgary. He supported the true hockey marklets like Pittsburgh and Buffalo and prevented a wildcard owner from scooping up and moving the Penguins.

          No one crapped on him while he was doing all of that, but they crap on him for Phoenix. Well, its the same mind set that is keeping the Coyotes in Arizona that kept the Bankrupt Senators in Ottawa.

          • ed lopaz says:

            Luke, there isn’t a person who lives within a 3 hour drive of Ottawa, who wouldn’t trade their 1st born for season tickets to see the Senators. The Ottawa region is one of the great hockey regions in the whole country.

            Please don’t compare the nonsense in Phoenix to the situation in Ottawa.

          • Luke says:

            2002-2003, the team was bankrupt and required emergency financing to complete the season. Sound familar?

            Plus I wasn’t comapring their situations directly. I was commenting on the Bettman’s refusal to just pull up shop and move the Sens when times were tough for them.

          • commandant says:

            Luke

            What did he do for Quebec City, Winnipeg (1996), and Hartford?

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

        • wjc says:

          Habfab, you could have said intelligent, rich, well spoken, able to speak to large amounts of people intelligently (press). You could have said great negotiator, NBC deal, Merchandising and Sponsor deals.

          You could have said moving NHL in to pay to watch, better known as pay-per-view, loyal, takes criticism well, works well under pressure.
          He is persistent and will be proven right about 80% of the time.

          You could have said articulate, and able to understand complex information quickly and accurately. He is highly educated and financially secure and mysterious. He is mysterious in many ways, for example does he have a family, where does he live etc.

          You could have said, he is a true leader of wealthy and independent men (30 owners). You could have said my intellect is no match for his intellect. As a matter of fact he does not know I exists nor does he care.

          wjc

      • Cal says:

        The owners didn’t hire the wrong man. Under his tenure, the NHL has made huge strides in revenue. To owners, that is all that matters. Thus far, as far as the owners are concerened, Bettman has delivered. Not so much for the fans, though, eh?

        • ed lopaz says:

          that’s the “old school” approach Cal. The owners who are younger (Molson for example) understand the value the players bring to the game and generally are easier to deal with.

          • Cal says:

            People like Bettman and the owners didn’t get there by playing nice. They are sharks, just like players when they are on the ice. The “take no prisoners” approach is used by both sides. This “easier to deal with” mentality may be New Age thinking, but it has no place in the business world yet.

          • Luke says:

            @ Cal,

            Great comparison & kind of funny. We want the players to be all tough, never quit, NAG etc etc, but when the Bettman and the owners play that way it’s not cool!

        • Chris says:

          This is a bit of a Catch-22, isn’t it? The whole reason for this lockout is because the owners aren’t making money, or at least this is the claim.

          So if they aren’t making money, despite record revenues, could you not make an argument that they hired the wrong man?

          • Cal says:

            It’s Bettman’s job to increase revenues for the owners, not to tell them how to spend it.

          • commandant says:

            Bettman was the author of the last CBA 7 years ago. A CBA he now calls “flawed”.

            In any other business, if a lawyer wrote a contract that is “flawed” and causes the client to lose lots of money over 7 years despite record revenues, they usually hire a new lawyer to write the next contract.

            Of course…. the amount of money the NHL teams are losing is in dispute here… and the overall profitability of the league is extremely good. So maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t as “flawed” as Bettman stated.

            The guy is a weasel and a rat, but he’s good at what he does.

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

          • wjc says:

            Bravo Cal, wish I could come up with explainations in so few words…..well done

            wjc

        • wjc says:

          Cal, I mostly agree with you, he made them the dough, and that is what it is all about. This is about money. He made them about a billion dollars…..do a happy dance owners, throw Bettman a few million of it. There is still about 950 million left.

          To the owners revenue are all that matters. To the players big contracts, lots of money, is all that matters.

          Fans pay the money, or keep it in your pocket. How do they get your money without your consent. They have so many ways of getting it, you should know them by now.

          You want to watch….pay. You want to wear junk…pay! The fans are the cash cows…..by choice.

          Take it or leave it…..it is reality.

          wjc

    • Dust says:

      I agree with what you say about Bettman. However, its not like Fehr is any better. Instead of taking 30 min to reject a deal, Fehr takes a couple of days. If he does do a counter proposal it is the same as the PA’s original offer with different language. No Give and take.

      Both Fehr and Bettman were the problem. Not one or the other….BOTH.

      • wjc says:

        To take 30 minutes to reject a deal, it must have been one CRAPPY deal. I am sure he reviewed with the owners later. It was so bad he said, “piss off”. The lawyers and advisors probably reviewed it and discarded it as just a piece of paper that did not come close to any compomise.

        This baloney of a quick rejection meant Bettman is unyielding is poppycock.

        wjc

    • HabFab says:

      Sorry bud but all of the owners would be used to negotiating.
      I was reading from some writer that Bettman’s job was to play bad cop until December. If he got a deal, then it was to be to the owners advantage, after December 1st it was to be make a deal that all could live with.
      You have to realize law firms were hired to strategist how to counter Don Fehr. I’m beginning to believe they may have out “passive aggressive” negotiated Fehr.

    • Luke says:

      Sorry Dog, this is not Bettman’s lockout anymore than it is Fehr’s. In fact I’d suggest Fehr and the PA side has more to do with the current situation.

      Fehr and the PA decline to being negotiations in 2011. He throws out the ‘we’ll play under the current CBA’ red herring (Strike!), Fehr & the PA were the guys showing up to meetings 90minutes late, and presenting the proposals that were rejected in 30minutes. How can you reject them in under 30minutes? Easy. (as Bob McKenzie reported) There were 2 point form pages of notes. Not an actual proposal. The third was presented verbally. And in all three cases, no numbers were run through. That reeks of either: Gamesmanship or a lack of professionalism.

      I don’t think you become the head of a pro sports union by lacking professionalism.

      We’ve heard Crosby and the other players say that they want to negotiate and all they want is a willing negotiating partner. Then they quietly said they were unwilling to negotiate on contracting rights. So which is it?

      Look Bettman is a Shark. An absolutely brillant man who is brutally efficient at his job, and he does it very well. The problem is, Fehr is the same guy. They are both playing their roles exactly as they are supposed to. This isn’t about getting the game back on the ice, this is about negotiating a collective bargaining agreement.

      Here’s the one funny thing though: When this is all over… Bettman will be watching hockey. Fehr won’t be.

      • wjc says:

        Well said Luke, I concur. Excellent analysis, so rare for this place.

        wjc

      • commandant says:

        The NHL didn’t deliver financial disclosure until August 2012. To say they wanted to negotiate in 2011 is PR spin and hogwash. If you want to negotiate, there is a simple thing you do… drop off the books and an offer on the NHLPA’s door in 2011 and then you’ve begun negotiations. Funny thing though, when the NHL made their July offer, they didn’t even have the disclosure ready at that point. Which means they were NEVER ready to negotiate early.

        On Professionalism: No ONE rights out a full CBA, as their offer, the offers are always done as point form notes. I guess you’ve never negotiated a contract, because you don’t make 60-100 page contract offers only for the other side to reject them. And then have to write the thing all over again. You write a two-three page point form proposal and then when the points are agreed upon, you type up the full 60-100 page document.

        Also the numbers were run on both proposal 1 and proposal 2, you are gonna need to check your facts on that.

        For Contracting rights, The NHL wants to “take, take, take” on contracting rights. Everything they have proposed is a downgrade from the current CBA. They haven’t offered a single thing to the players. And yet you want the players to negotiate? Negotiate what? Negotiate their current rights away while the owners give nothing in return???? Does that make any sense?

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

    • New says:

      Look, Bettman is what he is. I am tired of saying it myself. Anything goes better without him involved. He is a distraction. That said the owners pay him to do the job. They have other things to do. They can’t just drop everything and sit around a 30 seat table working on a project. They hire people to do that. They hired Bettman. But they certainly can’t intercede unless all hope of reasonable agreement is stifled and they recognize it. Bettman better wish that this owner/player initiative dies a slow withering death or he will be availing himself of other career and personal opportunities in short order. So look for him to meddle as the next step.

      • Luke says:

        “Bettman better wish that this owner/player initiative dies a slow withering death or he will be availing himself of other career and personal opportunities in short order. So look for him to meddle as the next step.”

        It was his idea. If it works, it’s all him. Creative problem solving. Understanding that Fehr wouldn’t negotiate with him, Bettman removed the biggest hurdle in the negotiations and presented an alternative that seems to have traction.

        Win for Bettman.

        I think they (Fehr and Bettman) had basically gotten to the point of just disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing. Being basically the same person, If one said “let’s get pizza for lunch!” the other, longing for pizza, hoping for pizza, wearing his ‘pizza suit’ & planning on suggesting pizza, would say: “Thai curry!!”

      • wjc says:

        New, you have to realize that the next step is the hardest.

        The “good” cop “bad cop theory is a good one. Bettman plays bad cop, then owners come in a play “good” cop.

        Bettman is fully informed and is advising as well, take that to the bank. Now put Fehr in the same position. It is all a game, that has to be played out.

        Another thing Lock out is on owners, the impasse is on both of them. Players are in effect holding out and have been since September. They could have compromised and stopped holding out and stopped the impasse.

        Didn’t happen….still no good guys or bad guys, just negotiations.

        wjc

    • wjc says:

      Smart dog: Lock out was necessary. No sense going over why? You don’t get it and probably never will.

      You talk about give and take and compromise, but you do not realize you have come to conclusions based on very little or no facts.

      You did not read proposals given to Bettman and company to be able to state with confidence wheather it was ridiculous or not.

      You absolve players and Fehr with no blame, and assume it is Bettman 100%. Fehr and Bettman are still involved just not in spotlight.

      You base your arguments on things you could not possibly know. The blame game is your “game”. You are not interested in “truth” I get that. The owners are all on the same page as Bettman, regardless of perceptions.

      This is clear only to this guy who calls himself “TOP DOG”. You cannot pretend to be a spokesman for “fans”.

      That is just plain dishonest, you speak for yourself alone, please understand that. Express your opinion as an uninformed opinion, please and not as fact.

      wjc

      • SmartDog says:

        LMAO For a guy who is accusing me of jumping to conclusions and making pronouncements, you’re practically leaving orbit. Truly funny. Thanks.

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • SmartDog says:

        Thanks to those who replied with reasoned arguments to my comment below.

        But I want to point out that many of you accused me of saying things I didn’t. My core point wasn’t that Bettman is a bad commissioner. And of course there were many different ways to avoid the lock-out obviously. My point was that negotiation has no ‘right’ result but there IS a right attitude that makes the other guy feel listened to and keeps negotiation moving, even if you’re being tough at the same time. I’m saying Bettman’s not the right guy to create a win-win because he doesn’t let the other guy feel like he’s heard or that there’s a win to be had And that’s just poor negotiating. So yes, he’s had success in growing the league (though at a cost), and he obviously has won over the owners he represents. But whatever his positives I’m just saying his style is not well matched to being a successful and effective negotiator – and his tenure full of work stoppages is pretty good evidence of that. And you can’t blame that on Fehr. It could also be said (and has been) that it’s Bettman’s style that made the players think they needed a big gun like Fehr. And I think that’s a pretty easy argument to make. So Gary Bettman, effective dictator? Sure. As far as that takes you. Good salesman? Sure – at least when he wants to be. But great negotiator? Nope – not by a million miles.

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • wjc says:

          Bad commissioner?

          Avoid a lock out, how? To drag along and play and strike later.

          Players could have ended impasse as well, but didn’t.

          Each lockout has to be judged on its own merit.

          You give the owners very little credit. You think they are dictated to by Gary Bettman, a man they could swat away if they wanted to.

          They would have to find another commissioner to do the dirty work.

          They could hire Fehr, he understands negotiations and could easily move his arguments to the other side of the table.

          Gary Bettman is their guy and they have never spoken against him.
          He takes the heat and the hate.

          You act like you know Bettman personally. You have seen him answering questions, being cussed at by pampered over paid players. Everyone has an opinion but very little facts.
          wjc

  35. Cal says:

    Anyone using Internet Explorer being bopped over to IP address ID when trying to log in?

  36. 24 Cups says:

    Before the new agreement is signed, the owners might want to have Paul Holmgren proof-read the fine print. That way he can advise them on any loopholes that GMs will be able to take advantage of to screw up the entire intent of the deal.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      That is exactly the crux of the situation Steve. The previous CBA probably works much better if the long term back loaded deals are avoided. Have to believe/hope that the NHL is actually thorough in their research of what they are offering this time. The owners have used up their mulligan on this CBA from the last one.

    • Greg says:

      My question is if Glen Sather signs Redden/Gomez/etc for a billion dollars, and there’s no CBA around to see it, does it make a contract?

  37. JF says:

    According to Pierre LeBrun, the sticking points for the players are the five-year contract term and the duration of the CBA. I don’t understand their objections to either of these demands. Most players don’t get contracts of more than five years anyway; and in any case, the League makes an exception for teams signing their own free agents, when the contract can be seven years. As for the duration of the CBA, which the players want to be only five years, what more do they think they could get in five years than they’re being offered now? On percentage of HRR, the bar is set at 50/50; they’re never going to get more. Nor do I believe the League will relax on contract rules. And why would the players want to go through this all over again in five years?

    • 24 Cups says:

      Jane – The five year rule would only impact about 5-10% of the player population. I don’t see it as being a key element or dealbreaker.

      An 8-10 year agreement would take the next set of negotiations past the Bettman regime. He would be retired by then. It would also give the league some time to build it’s markets and expand by two more teams during a time of peace and productivity.

    • Chris says:

      The players are being asked to make all the concessions. There are no carrots in this CBA, only a series of sticks of varying sizes.

      With this in mind, I can only think that the players are taking the stance that they will agree to a short CBA to verify that the league wasn’t just gouging them to line their pockets. If the league’s owners are suddenly flush with cash because of the rather massive concession (57% – 50% is huge, and it was 66% in 2004, meaning the players will have given back 16% of the revenues in 8 years), you can bet that the players will be VERY hawkish on the next CBA negotiation.

      There is quite simply zero trust on the players side for anything that comes out of the NHL’s or the owners’ mouths. They think they are being screwed over on this contract.

      • JF says:

        Chris – They are being screwed over in the sense that they’re never going to get the percentages of HRR that they once got, but they’re not being screwed as badly as the League proposed to screw them back in July. And they continue to think they were screwed in 2005, despite the fact that salaries have risen to ridiculous levels since then.

        The players were never going to “win” this negotiation – they were never going to get more out of the owners than they got under the last CBA. But if revenues continue to grow, their salaries will rise despite the smaller percentage of HRR.

      • Cal says:

        In the end, players are making gobs of money playing a game. In the real world, very few would make even a quarter of what they get in the NHL. The carrot is their giant pay checks. The sticks become irrelevant next to a swollen bank account.
        If the players really despise the NHL so much, how about they try their luck in Europe, where the KHL plays to “massive” crowds of 2500 to 5000 fans. When the lockout ends later today or tomorrow, they will scurry from Europe like rats escaping a sinking ship.

        • Chris says:

          Tell that to anybody making more than the average salary in Canada. There are tons of us making more than our fair share (with professional athletes obviously being at the extreme end of the spectrum based on their extreme rarity).

          Very few think of their pay cheque within societal context, only within the context of their own professional community. You and I are not part of the professional athlete’s community, and they quite frankly couldn’t care less what you or I think in terms of whether they are fairly paid or not. This sounds and probably is greedy, but it is no different for lawyers, doctors, teachers, professors, bankers, CEO’s, and countless other professions that are compensated at levels higher than average, all of whom couldn’t care less what your or I think about their relative rate of compensation.

          The “average” hockey player will earn $1-3 M in career earning, as 50% of them will never play 50 games in the NHL. Is that an egregiously high career compensation for a guy that has attained one of the rarest professions in the world? That is comparable, if not significantly less, than the career earning of university professors, doctors and many lawyers. All of whom are FAR more common than a professional athlete. 900-1000 guys play in the NHL each year. The University of Toronto alone lists its current faculty at 5,553.

          I’m not even going to try to claim hockey players aren’t overpaid. They are, and by a gross amount. But our society puts some strange values on things (as so eloquently described by Warren Buffet in his Giving Pledge declaration), so the players are content to live in a bubble so long as the fans are willing to shell out big bucks. The salary is set by how much fans are willing to pay. I stopped going to NHL games a decade ago because I felt paying in excess of $100 for a ticket is madness. But those tickets sell out and have a ridiculous waiting list.

          • Cal says:

            NHL players just have to show up and all their needs regarding the game are taken care of by trainers and equipment managers. How onerous.
            The relative rate of compensation DOES matter. If it doesn’t, wtf are they arguing about?
            EDIT- Earning that 1-3mill takes way less time, compared to people who have planned on a long term career.

          • Chris says:

            Maintain the fitness level of a modern athlete and tell me that they aren’t working hard. I’m not talking Crosby or Datsyuk, who are there both because of their conditioning and their other-worldly skill. But a guy like Mathieu Darche has one job…work your tail off and earn a job every year, because you are a journeyman. That is the average NHL player.

            Again, I’m not claiming that they aren’t grossly overpaid from an ethical point of view. But professional athletes are not overpaid within the societal context of supply and demand and the amount of money that exists within the sport.

            Coincidentally, you could make a strong argument that making $1 M in one season versus over 30 years is not an advantage. You have to give a significant amount of it back through taxes, and there are expectations for professional athletes to spread their wealth around a little that other lucrative professions don’t share.

      • wjc says:

        Chris, You think the players got a bad deal last time?

        You think the players are not hawkish this time?

        The players made out quite well before, and are making out like bandits now.. I get it the players are your hero’s, yes I get it. There is ZERO trust on either side, welcome to…..negotiation 101.

        Realize it takes TWO to make a deal……two….no good guys or bad guys, just two sides with tons of legal and financial advice for short term and long term

        Grow up, with the good guys vrs. the bad guys garbage.

        wjc

  38. Cal says:

    I was going to wait for the 21st and World’s End, but the situation has changed. This is for those who believe it all ends today.
    http://calsnhllockout2012songparodies.weebly.com/

  39. AllHailTheFlower says:

    Really, Colby? I guess Armstrong got tired of cooling his heels…

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=411041

  40. Stormin says:

    As NHLPA and Owners agree on some issues of the CBA or Collective Bathing Agreement, according to James Duthie of TSN this is leading to much more Caucissing in the same boardroom among the owners and players.

  41. The Dude says:

    Another poster I wonder about from way back is Forfactsakes,he or she was a hoot.

  42. 100HABS says:

    I don’t understand why Montreal, the winningest franchise in the NHL, has no representatives either on the owner’s side or the player’s side in these direct labour negotiations. Am I the only one who has a problem with that?

    • The Dude says:

      Stinking up the joint for 20 years and taking on “THE GOMEZ FACTOR” may have cost us any credibility at any hockey pow wow.

    • Lizardking89 says:

      What ticks me off even more is that the owner of the Bruins has that much power. Makes me wonder if he was the real power behind the decision not to punish Chara when he nearly decapitated Pacioretty. I don’t think it really matters that the team has sucked for such a long time I think it might have more to do with the fact that Molson is a fairly new owner. It still ticks me off that he hasn’t been more vocal in this mess. I guess he’s busy planning the construction of the condos near the bell center.

  43. Say Ash says:

    I miss Bugsey’s rants. What happened to that guy?

  44. Fake says:

    Can’t wait to wake up tomorrow to hear “no progress was made”.

  45. JohnBellyful says:

    Good night, Mrs. Calabash … wherever you are.


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