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Lockout Inevitable With NHL Negligence

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  By Tony DeFrancesco

PHOTO / IHN
The CBA negotiations are going in all the wrong directions. What is the league thinking? Instead of acknowledging the solid proposal the NHLPA countered them with weeks ago, they decided to propose that the salary cap is lowered from $70.2 million to $58 million -- essentially having Bettman shit all over their ideas. Let's put this in perspective: if the salary cap is $58 million, then how do they expect the 16 teams over the salary cap to get under the it? Twelve of those teams are over by $4 million.

If I were a player sitting in these meetings I would straight up laugh in their faces. At this point the NHL sounds like a crying child who refuses to leave the store until they get every single piece of candy they want from the NHLPA.

Every passing week, the league looks dumber and greedier. No one, no team, no league is above the game. That was demonstrated decades ago when the WHA was formed and directly competed with the NHL for talent, succeeding in luring star players such as Bobby Hull, Andre Lacroix, Marc Tardif, Frank Mahovlich, and Gordie Howe, as well as developing their own talent in Mark Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Michel Goulet, and Rick Vaive. Of course eventually the WHA folded but to this day it remains the NHL's toughest competitor and there is no reason to believe it can't be successful if it's resurrected at the right time -- a time like this.

I can't imagine how frustrating this process has to be for the players... not to mention now the 16 general manager's that were told the cap would be as high as $70 million. The NHL very well knows the NHLPA will not allow a $12 million cap reduction per team, so why even propose it?

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At this point, a lockout is inevitable only due to the negligence of the NHL. The NHLPA has proposed many solid ideas including a plan where the players would forfeit as much as $465 million if the NHL continues to grow at an average rate over the next CBA and as much as $800 million if it grows at the same rate it has in the last two years. In addition to that, the NHLPA's proposal to the league includes a smaller percentage of revenues for players and an expanded revenue sharing program to help struggling teams -- essentially providing a plan to help stabilize the industry. Wait what? Isn't that something the league should already have in place? The fact is, they don't and refuse to seek help from the NHLPA regarding these matters.

So how does the NHL take the NHLPA's proposal this week? They wipe it with their asses and tell the players they must give up nearly $360 million this upcoming season and cut contracts by 11%. Great way to keep your employees happy, not to mention piss off your general managers.

There will be a conference call at 5:30 PM EST today, so we'll update this post as more information rears it's ugly head.


UPDATE 3:45 PM CT
  • NHL improves their initial offer of 43% HRR to 46%.
  • NHLPA projects escrow would go to 15%-20% under NHL's proposal.
  • NHLPA still hasn't received last season's specific club by club breakdowns on HRR.
  • NHLPA's original counter-offer proposed to reduce Players Share from 57% to 54% for 3 years to create an Industry Growth Fund with $100 million for small markets.
  • NHL's counter-offer proposed that the share of the players will go down 11.5% in the first year, 8.5% in the second year, and 5.5% in the third year.
But what does all of this mean?

The owners essentially proposed a creative way to pay the players less and masked the numbers through different forms of cutting back. Bettman stated that they moved more money but in reality where they moved 3% they gained 15-20% in escrow. How it works is that they'll take a portion of player salaries during the season (escrow) and once the season is completed all forms of league revenues are added up. Based on those HRR figures, the cash is then divided up and if there's enough, they send it back to the players.

In short, the NHL wants to change the definition of Hockey Related Revenue and Fehr says the players want it to stay the same. The NHL also wants a longer deal to be made while the NHLPA wants a shorter CBA. The players are willing to take a pay cut, but the owners want more through escrow funds and although they increased HRR to 46%, essentially more money could be lost through their new proposal.

Although the two sides are nearing closer to a revenue sharing plan (as the NHL is not only pushed by the NHLPA but small market teams as well) there is still a lot of work to be done regarding player contracts as well as smaller details. Don't expect hockey to start on time.
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155 Comments | Join the discussion

Ya know the NHLPA oughta call this what it is a farce and demand a cap of 1 billion dollars (pinky finger and all).
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Thanks Ton

I believe the deadline date is September 15th.

I can tell you this, a number of Blackhawks players assigned to the IceHogs including those with entry level contracts will be conditioning and training here in Rockford in the next few weeks. I have been told that a few Blackhawks players are eligible here and are planning on playing here if (when) there is a strike.

Does anyone know if the Blackhawks players are allowed to still train, condition and practice as a team at their arenas while a strike is imposed?
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It's not a strike, it's a lock out. NHLPA has said many times it's members are willing to proceed while the current CBA is negotiated. The NHL Owners have said, no, no deal by the 15th there will be a lockout.

Once the Lockout is imposed most players will go on their own to condition, play in Europe, ect ect.... I don't know that all eligable to go to Rockford will, as in a lock out and part of the NHLPA it will be their choice from my understanding. The only ones eligable are on two way or entry level contracts. I also believe it's their choice as well....

Toews, Kane, players not on entry level/two way contracts will NOT be allowed to use Team facilities.

Players are already preparing for the event of a lock out..

Aug 29, 2012 - With pessimism surrounding the NHL labor negotiations and a lockout looming, star Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has indicated he'll play overseas in Russia if there is a work stoppage. Malkin, the 2012 Art Ross Trophy winner and Hart Trophy winner, told Pavel Lysenkov of Sovietsky Sport in Russia that he would play for Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the KHL if a lockout occurs. Malkin played with Metallurg for three seasons prior to joining the Penguins. Both sides have reportedly already engaged in discussions about a potential week-to-week contract in the event of a lockout.
Malkin also dished an update on his superstar teammate, Sidney Crosby. The Russian said Crosby may play in the KHL in the event of a lockout., but he would not play there in 2012. Malkin told Lynsenkov that Crosby wouldn't come over to Russia unless the entire season was canceled, and that the Pens captain would wait until after Christmas to make that move
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Toews, Kane, players not on entry level/two way contracts will NOT be allowed to use Team facilities.

Players are already preparing for the event of a lock out..


Thanks for answering.
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Tony DeFrancesco
Aug 29 2012 08:03 PM
For the record, I'm not suggesting the NHLPA's plan is perfect, but AT LEAST it's something to build off.
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For the record, I'm not suggesting the NHLPA's plan is perfect, but AT LEAST it's something to build off.


the NHL plan going back is fucked. Specially when you read the break down. So they give all these guys HUGE, LONG contracts, then say lets roll back the Cap so that 16 teams are currently over and 2 are 10 mil over....

Fuck the NHL and their owners!
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the NHL plan going back is fucked. Specially when you read the break down. So they give all these guys HUGE, LONG contracts, then say lets roll back the Cap so that 16 teams are currently over and 2 are 10 mil over....

Fuck the NHL and their owners!


Fixed for emphasis.
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It's not a strike, it's a lock out. NHLPA has said many times it's members are willing to proceed while the current CBA is negotiated. The NHL Owners have said, no, no deal by the 15th there will be a lockout.

Once the Lockout is imposed most players will go on their own to condition, play in Europe, ect ect.... I don't know that all eligable to go to Rockford will, as in a lock out and part of the NHLPA it will be their choice from my understanding. The only ones eligable are on two way or entry level contracts. I also believe it's their choice as well....

Toews, Kane, players not on entry level/two way contracts will NOT be allowed to use Team facilities.

Players are already preparing for the event of a lock out..

Aug 29, 2012 - With pessimism surrounding the NHL labor negotiations and a lockout looming, star Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has indicated he'll play overseas in Russia if there is a work stoppage. Malkin, the 2012 Art Ross Trophy winner and Hart Trophy winner, told Pavel Lysenkov of Sovietsky Sport in Russia that he would play for Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the KHL if a lockout occurs. Malkin played with Metallurg for three seasons prior to joining the Penguins. Both sides have reportedly already engaged in discussions about a potential week-to-week contract in the event of a lockout.
Malkin also dished an update on his superstar teammate, Sidney Crosby. The Russian said Crosby may play in the KHL in the event of a lockout., but he would not play there in 2012. Malkin told Lynsenkov that Crosby wouldn't come over to Russia unless the entire season was canceled, and that the Pens captain would wait until after Christmas to make that move

That is a very scary excerpt.
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the NHL plan going back is fucked. Specially when you read the break down. So they give all these guys HUGE, LONG contracts, then say lets roll back the Cap so that 16 teams are currently over and 2 are 10 mil over....

Fuck the NHL and their owners and McDonough!

Fixed for emphasis.



Fixed for accuracy.
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Tony DeFrancesco
Aug 29 2012 08:45 PM
UPDATE 3:45 PM CT
  • Fehr states that NHL improves their initial offer of 43% HRR to 46%.
  • Fehr hopes to respond with counter-offer as early as tomorrow but Friday is more likely.
  • The NHLPA projects escrow would go to 15 to 20 percent under NHL's proposal.
  • NHLPA still hasn't received last season's specific club by club breakdowns on HRR.
  • Bettman said it was a brief session with the NHLPA and responded to 5 or 6 questions regarding the proposal.
In short, the NHL wants to change the definition of Hockey Related Revenue and Fehr says the players want it to stay the same. The NHL also wants a longer deal to be made while the NHLPA wants a shorter CBA.
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Tony DeFrancesco
Aug 29 2012 08:51 PM
This statement confuses me:

Gary Bettman: "You need to consider what's fair because we run the league at 43% of the revenues."

#1 - Who's fault is that?

#2 - How is it fair to reverse the numbers? "Fair" would be 50-50.
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The Canadian Dreamalchuk
Aug 29 2012 08:56 PM
guess we fans brace for a long lock out.

going to be a boring long winter. maybe good as i can get some shit done for once. nhl is starting to lose me a little bit more day by day. not sure if i will invest the same amount of passion in it as i once did. ill watch hawk games but probably won't give as much attention to other games as i used to. not sure what the point is anymore. time to move on to other interests more.
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I was told today there is some controversy between the owners. They are not as solid as Bettman would tend to make believe. The profitable owners are not quite in agreement with those franchises that are not.
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Tony DeFrancesco
Aug 29 2012 08:58 PM

I was told today there is some controversy between the owners. They are not as solid as Bettman would tend to make believe. The profitable owners are not quite in agreement with those franchises that are not.


And this is exactly why the NHLPA's plan would go a long way towards solving that. Unfortunately the higher market teams won't like it, but as a whole the league would benefit.
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Tony DeFrancesco
Aug 29 2012 09:06 PM
  • NHLPA original counter-offer proposed to reduce Players Share from 57% to 54% for 3 years to create an Industry Growth Fund with $100 million for small markets
  • The NHL's counter-offer proposed that the share of the players will go down 11.5% in the first year, 8.5% in the second year, and 5.5% in the third year.
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At least they are all talking.....for now....
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Tony DeFrancesco
Aug 29 2012 09:20 PM
@reporterchris Gary Bettman says players should have no "entitlement" to 57 percent of revenues.

Wow this is getting messy! What an asshole. While I agree 57% is high, that is an extremely poor choice of words.

EDIT: Parise fires back: "We’re ready to play. We want to play. But Gary'’s pretty adamant about his third lockout of his tenure.”
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Eh, I think today was some measure of progress. Ultimately I think it's gonna wind up being the $63-64 mil that was long speculated at the start of summer and not the $58 mil currently on the table. A fair amount of GMs seemed to have kept this or were ordered to keep this at the forefront of their practices this offseason and will be sitting relatively pretty if it winds up being $63-64ish mil.

In any event, someone at HF Boards thankfully did the drudgery mathwork in terms of speculating what $58 mil could wind up doing.

Posted Image


^ Ahahaha! Let them feel what some damn roster purge feels like as a punishment for just trying to build a good contending club (Flames notwithstanding of course as they've just been building crap, heh).
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Tony DeFrancesco
Aug 29 2012 10:40 PM
Those GM's will be pissed... some people just aren't going to be happy whatever the outcome.

Also, from the sounds of things, not only will the cap be effected, but players will actually have to "pay back" their contracts that they have ALREADY signed due to the NHL's proposed escrow agreement. So if that works out, teams like Boston and Minnesota might be fine if they rollback the cap hits.
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Those GM's will be pissed... some people just aren't going to be happy whatever the outcome.

Also, from the sounds of things, not only will the cap be effected, but players will actually have to "pay back" their contracts that they have ALREADY signed due to the NHL's proposed escrow agreement. So if that works out, teams like Boston and Minnesota might be fine if they rollback the cap hits.

Which is precisely why Minnesota did what they did. Sign 2 deals at old value to see if they aren't grandfathered into the new CBA (someone correct me if there's a clause preventing this).
Any free agent that hasn't signed a la Doan should just sit this out until the lockout is finished.
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Those GM's will be pissed... some people just aren't going to be happy whatever the outcome.

Also, from the sounds of things, not only will the cap be effected, but players will actually have to "pay back" their contracts that they have ALREADY signed due to the NHL's proposed escrow agreement. So if that works out, teams like Boston and Minnesota might be fine if they rollback the cap hits.


Yup. Everyone and every team is gonna feel a bite out of their ass on one front or another.

Things are certainly going to get fucking interesting! Besides the revenue sharing numbers and the cap numbers all these other little details have to be hammered out. It would actually be petty hysterical to see the simple majority that's needed for passing the CBA go all commando, "Fuck you!" LOL Why should Burke or Tallon care about helping San Jose and Minny and Boston?
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Tony DeFrancesco
Aug 29 2012 10:49 PM
The funny part of all this, Bettman is literally bragging that the NHL's 2nd proposal moved more money than the NHLPA's.

Hey dipshit... the NHLPA didn't demand a 14% increase off the bat! By that logic, the NHLPA could have demanded 71% HRR and then dropped to 65% and bragged that they in fact moved more money than 43% to 46%!
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Tony DeFrancesco
Aug 29 2012 10:50 PM

Yup. Everyone and every team is gonna feel a bite out of their ass on one front or another.

Things are certainly going to get fucking interesting! Besides the revenue sharing numbers and the cap numbers all these other little details have to be hammered out. It would actually be petty hysterical to see the simple majority that's needed for passing the CBA go all commando, "Fuck you!" LOL Why should Burke or Tallon care about helping San Jose and Minny and Boston?


To be honest it seems more like the NHLPA + 10 or more NHL teams vs the rest.
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To be honest it seems more like the NHLPA + 10 or more NHL teams vs the rest.


Where the Profitable teams are on the outside.

There is no way they come to a resolution with this shit going back and forth. Players are solid and are already preparing to play elsewhere..
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Here is a link to Chris Pronger's salary history.
http://www.hockeyzon...m/salaries/3152
What is telling is his salary before the lockout of 04-05, and what a player of his caliber gave up as a result of the 2005 CBA. Note that (if we excuse diminishing returns on players) his salary ma have to go a full decade before hitting the 9.5 million tag for the 2012-13 season. The question remains, why should the players need to rollback a second time. The first reason made a bit of sense in 2004, but the owners got what they wanted. This is their deal.
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