Lets first take a look at Larry Brooks' weekly Slap Shots column, where he talks about commissioner Gary Bettman playing dirty with this labor deal. He poses a Devil's advocate scenario with the NHLPA had they used the tactics the owners have done so far.
Imagine if the NHLPA had come to the NHL a month ago and said the players would go on strike unless all existing contracts immediately were increased by 24 percent. Imagine if Zach Parise had used his union to indirectly tell Wild owner Craig Leipold the $98 million sounded good at the time he signed as a free agent, but the winger would now require the deal be bumped to $121.52 million before he would put on a Minnesota uniform.
Imagine the outrage in all quarters if players were using this round of collective bargaining as a mechanism to engage in a mass breach of promise with the owners. No one would be pretending the responsibility lay on both sides if the NHLPA acted so unethically in the guise of labor negotiations.
It's one thing to negotiate and drive a hard stance, it's quite another to try and rip off the other party you're dealing with. Brooks surmises with a great point.
There is good faith and there is legalized extortion. There are problem-solvers and there are shell-game operators. There is collective bargaining, and there is the NHL on the verge of another owners’ lockout.
- Had the NHLPA done what the League has done, Bettman would shut down hockey for the next decade and threaten to sue them in court. The owners do not look good in this case, but clearly this isn't about image or perception. Just the almighty dollar. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun informs the masses about just how big the disparity is between the League and PA in regards to revenue sharing, and the number is alarming.
The current agreement succeeded in levelling the playing field and brought some semblance of parity. But the financial gulf between the big-market and small-market teams widened. This was mainly because NHL teams shared less than 6% of revenue. By contrast, NFL clubs share more than 60%.
In the last seven years, the NHL has increased its revenues by more than $3.2 billion.
- To be fair, you can't use the NFL's revenue-sharing model and compare it to any other sport. It generates BILLIONS of dollars a season, no sport can match that. However, for the NHL to share less than SIX percent of revenue to small-market teams is a joke. Donald Fehr will fight to his death to increase that number to a fairer value.
Lundqvist's statement is sport on. If they don't play, wouldn't they lose more money than if they proceeded with the current deal until a new one was made?
@NHNYR88 The only people losing money would be the teams actually making money. Also, owners that are just eeking by can take their cash and invest it in something more lucrative. Heck, some might be happier to earn .25% interest on their operating costs in a money market account then risking a loss for a little more if they have a season.
Nothing is going to change unless the players stage a serious and prolonged walkout. As long as they have the perception that the owners have them by the short and curlies, the players will never have the leverage. There needs to be a paradigm shift.
It's odd, really. Of all of the major sports, NHL players have, I think, the most options in terms of playing outside the NHL (KHL, European leagues.) It would stand to reason that the players could use this to strengthen their stance against the league. Yet, the NHLPA is maybe the weakest union in major sports.
Conversley, The MLB PA is probably the most powerful union in sports, Yet, where would MLB players play in the event of a lockout? Venezuela?
Whatever, it's all just an intellectual exercise. At the end of it all, regardless of the outcome, any cost or added expense that the owner's may incur out of this will be shifted to the consumer in the form of increased tix prices, $12 16oz beers, $10 hotdogs, etc. After all, it's the backs of the fans on which both the players and owners stand.
The NHL can not withstand another lockout right now. If Bettman wants to be a dick, he needs to go. PERIOD!!!