Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just Make A Deal

Sorry if this comes across as throwing water on the NHL/NHLPA "labor talks" but really both sides are doing a very good job of doing NOTHING. That is right nothing as in not making any real kind of serious effort towards coming to a new collective bargaining agreement.

For starters, how can one consider anyone making any kind of significant progress when the bargaining is limited to Don Fehr and Steve Fehr for the NHLPA and Gary Bettman and Bill Daly for the NHL. Scary that the fate of the National Hockey League is being decided by 4 individuals who have zero background in the sport.

And while every time either side makes some kind of offer to the other; it is greeted by the hockey media as "positive news" until the details are leaked out and it turns out that the offer was just another scam designed to make that side look good to the fans and media.

On Tuesday it was the same story as the NHL's "counter-proposal" was seen as a "significant" and "meaningful" step by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. The NHLPA wasn't sounding as enthusiastic and one can see why once details started leaking out.

From the Globe and Mail:

According to a source, Tuesday’s proposal from the NHL called for a six-year deal — the first three delinked from hockey-related revenues and the last three coming with a 50-50 split (when factoring in a redefinition of HRR). As a result, the salary cap would climb from $58 million in 2012-13 to approximately $71 million in 2017-18, the last season of the contract.

It would be nice if someone would translate these "offers" into English but what is not shown is whether or not the players would still be required to have salary deducted for escrow as they have in the current CBA.

See that is important and should be out in the open because while you are talking about salary rollbacks or not; money collected via escrow is a double loss for the players.

From "The Fourth Period":

Throughout the season, a piece of player salaries is put into a big pot (escrow). Once the season is completed (the process can take a few months), all of the ticket revenue, merchandise sales, broadcast money and other revenues is totaled. Based on those HRR figures, the cash are divided up and sent to the owners and back into the players' pockets.

The NHL proposed a large jump in that percentage figure today. Undoubtedly, this doesn't sit well with the NHLPA.

In 2008-09, 18 per cent was initially deducted from the players salaries -- that was the highest figure to date.-- but a portion of that figure was paid back. The following season, the players ended up losing 9.4 per cent of their salaries, and then 2.3 per cent in 2010-11. This past season's figures are still being tallied.

(S/T to angelzeyes2521 and The New York Ranger's Blog)

Wednesday when the 2 sides sit down for another brief meeting, the NHLPA will reject the NHL's offer and once again the countdown towards a lockout will resume.

Here is the question I want to have answered why aren't those who understand the most about hockey and the revenue issues involved with the talks? The Fehrs along with Bettman and Daly don't know the sport no matter how hard they try.

Why aren't some of the player agents and team owners sitting down at the table? I admit I totally dislike Gary Bettman and Bill Daly but if someone can show me that either of them know how to operate a business correctly I will gladly retract my words.

I know this much, on Gary Bettman's watch there have been 2 labor stoppages including one that shut the NHL for an entire season. No other sport has seen more teams in financial difficulty than the NHL so how does Gary Bettman keep his job?

If you really truly want to avoid a labor stoppage then get the bean counters and actual hockey people at the bargaining table instead of these 4. I am totally dumbfounded as to how the real hockey people in the NHL like Sather and Brian Burke have not convinced their bosses how Bettman is the number one obstacle to the NHL as a whole making money.

I can understand the NHLPA's logic behind having the Fehrs leading their union after the total surrender by the previous NHLPA's mismanagement. But cmon NHL owners, how can you still be losing money after all the givebacks you got in 2005?

I would love to know how the Dolans can be sitting there pouring their own money into fixing up Madison Square Garden and letting Gary Bettman give away their revenue? And even worse is Gary Bettman is wanting (or willing) to make the Dolans share still even more of their revenue as part of a new collective bargaining agreement.

If I am either Dolan then I want my accountants and lawyers sitting at that bargaining table not Gary Bettman and Bill Daly. My orders would be to work out a deal or don't leave the table.

If I am either Dolan then I am looking at 41 open dates at my arena not even counting what I was hoping would be at least another 10-14 home playoff games. It is not even a secret that the owners when it comes to playoff games make their profit for the season,

Still even more insane is who exactly does Gary Bettman work for? It can't be for the Rangers (or Maple Leafs, Canadians and Red Wings all the top revenue producers in the NHL) because from here Gary Bettman is costing the Rangers big bucks.

So on Wednesday, the NHL and NHLPA are going to what meet for another 60 minutes; take a 3 hour break and come back to talk for 45 minutes? That is not working out a labor deal; it is slapping the faces of every single NHL fan out there.

Someone show some guts and bring in a mediator and let us get a deal already.

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