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Ice Hockey: * NHL lockout for dummies *

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posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 01:36 PM
Well here we are almost two months past when the NHL season should've started and still no NHL. I have caught a few Phantoms (Flyers AHL affiliate) games and have enjoyed them but I really miss pro hockey. I've always enjoyed the NBA and am catching more of those games than usual but I really miss my hockey. I've been a very passionate hockey fan since before I could remember and am really angry that these two sides cant figure something out to get this ship going back in the right direction.

Most people know that the NHL owners have locked out the players because the CBA expired and that the two sides dont even seem close to a resolution. Here are the details of the current labor dispute from both sides, the owners (NHL) and the players (NHLPA). From ......

Key players

NHL: Commissioner Gary Bettman and its chief legal counsel, Bill Daly, lead the team. The executive committee of owners including chairman Harley Hotchkiss of Calgary, along with Boston's Jeremy Jacobs, Carolina's Peter Karmanos, Detroit's Mike Ilitch, and Nashville's Craig Leopold and Minnesota's Bob Naegele.

NHLPA: Executive director Bob Goodenow is the boss, while senior director of business affairs Ted Saskin is the lead negotiator. Members of the players' executive committee include president Trevor Linden, Daniel Alfredsson, Bob Boughner, Vincent Damphousse, Bill Guerin, Arturs Irbe and Trent Klatt.


NHL: The league wants to achieve what it describes as " cost certainty" with the players being guaranteed a fixed percentage of the revenues produced by the 30 teams. The NHL claims that the status quo threatens the viability of the league because 75 percent of its $2 billion in revenue goes to salaries, which produced a collective $273 million loss in 2002-03, and $224 million last season.

NHLPA: They argue the owners are only interested in a salary cap, which they insist they will never accept. The players question the owners' accounting, and claim with six teams producing the bulk of the losses. They want the market to determine what they will be paid, but has indicated the accept slight rollbacks on salaries and caps on rookies in exchange for a system featuring luxury tax and revenue sharing.



*A hard salary cap imposed on payrolls that teams would not be allowed to exceed.
*A performance-based salary system, in which a player's individual compensation would be based in part on negotiated objective criteria and in part on individual and team performance.
*A system in which teams could spend within a negotiated range of payrolls
*A system premised on the centralized negotiation of player contracts, where the NHL would negotiate individual player contracts, either with players and their agents or with the union directly.
*A player partnership payroll plan which would involve individual player compensation being individually negotiated on the basis of "units" allocated for regular-season payrolls, supplemented by lucrative bonuses for team playoff performance.
*A salary slotting system, which would contemplate each team being assigned a series of "salary slots" at various levels, each of which would be allocated among each team's


*Immediate salary roll back of 5 percent, generating $100 million in savings.
*Revision of the Entry Level system, generating $60 million in savings.
*A luxury tax generating $30-$35 million in savings.
*Revenue sharing by high-revenue teams to low ones, generating $80-$100 million in funds for distribution.

Work stoppage plans

NHL: They've prepared for a long fight by putting together a $300 million war chest to ride out the cost of day-to-day operations while the arenas remain dark.

NHLPA:Union officials have spent two years telling players to put something away, but some players are making contingency plans to play in Europe


The CBA governs all aspects of a player's rights and responsibilities related to his employment with an NHL club, covering matters such as entry-level compensation, free agency, waivers and grievances. It is now nearing the expiration of its sixth incarnation, setting the stage for what could be the most difficult period in the league's long history.

The official deal between the NHL and its players' association was negotiated in 1976 and remained in place until a new agreement was reached in August 1981. A third CBA took effect in 1984 and a fourth in 1988, marking the last time an NHL labor deal was reached without any contentious moments. By the time the fifth deal was due to be negotiated, in September 1991, Bob Goodenow had replaced the controversial Alan Eagleson as the head of the union.

Goodenow immediately changed the tone of the relations between the two sides, which had always been rather civil when Eagleson, who was later convicted of fraud and embezzlement in connection with his dealings as both a player agent and simultaneously as the head of the players union, and former NHL president John Ziegler ran the show. The two had a very chummy relationship and generally decided among themselves what was best for the game of hockey, making it rather simple to arrive at collective bargaining agreements.

The new union boss took a very different and aggressive approach to things in his first opportunity to iron out a deal in 1991. Goodenow agreed to continue playing the 1991-92 season under the expired deal as a new one was worked on, but called a players strike on April 1, 1992, to protest the stalled talks. That walkout lasted only a week as the two sides came to terms, saving the end of the season and the playoffs, but it resulted in the dismissal of Ziegler by the league's board of governors.

The new CBA lasted until September 1993, and again Goodenow and new NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who took office in Februrary of that year, agreed to let the season continue while they bargained for a new deal. But after 12 months of fruitless talks, the owners locked out the players in September 1994, an action which lasted until the following January and forced the reduction of the season to just 48 games.

The deal included several features which the owners presumed would help curtail the dramatic rise in salaries. Among them was the ability to prevent players from becoming unrestricted free agents until age 31, limits on entry-level contracts and the provision for teams to walk away from decisions of independent arbitrators. That CBA has been extended twice in order to accommodate the NHL's participation in the Olympics of 1998 and 2002, but it has not had the intended effect for owners.

In fact, during the life of the current agreement, average player salaries have tripled to about $1.8 million a year from about $750,000. Players salaries account for nearly 75 percent of the league's $2 billion in annual revenues.


Hopefully this cleared up what's going on a little better, I know it made more sense of it to me. What it really comes down to is greed. The owners gave in in January of '95 to get a new CBA and I think that maybe the players should back up a few steps this time. Players' salaries are absolutely ludicrous anymore and there has to be something done before teams are operating solely to pay players salaries. It seems to be a problem in all sports but I think the salary cap has worked well for the NFL.

Either way, these millionaires and billionaires need to kiss and make up and get the NHL back out on the ice before people stop caring whether they do or not. They have already done substantial, if not irreversible, damage to the fanbase of the NHL and it's getting worse everyday that goes by without a new deal.

Other views would be appreciated.

[Edited on 11-26-2004 by ProudAmerican]

[Edited on 12-10-2004 by ProudAmerican]


posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 06:21 PM
Not being a great lover of the Hockey, although i played in my youth. I don't understand greatly what has been going on and havn't been following it.

I hope for the fans and players sake they hurry up and get things sorted out.

BTW great post ProudAmerican!

posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 06:50 PM
Good explanation of the whole afair, but it all comes down to your statement that the millionaires adn the billionaires need to get this crap sorted out, so that us common folk can watch soemthing that makes them both money...

posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 08:06 PM
There won't be an NHL entry draft before a collective bargaining agreement is reached with the players' association, the director of the league's scouting department said.

The lockout has already wiped out over 240 games, plus the All-Star weekend, and it appears there won't be any NHL hockey before January -- if at all this season. The sides haven't met since Sept. 9 and no negotiations have been scheduled.

If the season goes by the boards, next June's draft -- scheduled for Ottawa -- would be the next major event to be lost. The draft can't legally take place without a collective bargaining agreement.

If the lockout continued into next season and was then settled, Central Scouting director Frank Bonello said there could be two drafts within a few months.

What would have to be hammered out as part of labor negotiations is the draft order. Normally teams own picks based on the previous season's standings and playoff results. The top picks are then determined by a weighted lottery.

This just isn't fair to all of the young guys who have worked their tails off to reach the professional level. Not to mention all of the jobs that people hold, ushers, concessions, tickets, etc, that are out of work, they dont make the money the players do to survive this stoppage.

posted on Nov, 27 2004 @ 08:43 AM
I have to say, though, I dn't ever feel bad for a professional athlete who is out of work. They have a chance to make a living for playing a game, something that the rest of us dont.

posted on Nov, 27 2004 @ 11:44 AM

Originally posted by Gibbs Baby!!!
I have to say, though, I dn't ever feel bad for a professional athlete who is out of work.

I dont feel bad for the players one bit. I feel bad for the fans who have to do without hockey, I feel bad for the ushers, stadium workers, etc who dont make alot of money and are now out of work, I feel bad for the game of hockey because we're losing fans everyday that this continues. Heck, the players just started getting their 10k/month for being locked out.

posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 07:04 PM

posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 08:57 PM
Awesome PA.

I don't understand why players don't like the performance based salary system. The rest of us get payed based on how we perform, why should they be any different? Players would play a whole heck of a lot harder if their next goal, or next shutout gives them an extra 10 grand.

Oh wait, they like guaranteed money where they don't actually have to play to get payed.


posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 10:20 AM
After three months of dormancy, the NHL and the Players Association finally decided to resume talks to work out a new collective bargaining agreement. But while some players view the upcoming meeting as a chance to salvage the 2004-05 season, others are not as optimistic.

Rest Of Story Click Here!

posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 12:01 PM
A friend of mine mentioned last night that strange things are happening in regards to the NHL, St Paul and events. The Xcel Energy Center, where the Minnesota Wild play, was supposed to start up a Lacross league in January.

Rumor has it, all Lacross league games have been cancelled. If that were true, the only reason these games would be cancelled is if the NHL was going to resume play in Jan '05.

But, comparing the schedules between the Wild and the Swarm, there are no overlapping games. Only time will tell.

posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 10:24 AM
I grew up playing hockey with this kid... It pains me that right after he gets into the NHL this lockout has to happen.... I can only hope it doesn't damage his career in th NHL. He was one hell of a player back then and still is today....

Jed Ortmeyer was born September 3, 1978 in Omaha, Nebraska. A free-agent signing by the New York Rangers in the spring of 2003, Ortmeyer is a graduate of the USHLs Omaha Lancers.

After two seasons skating for the hometown Lancers, Ortmeyer enrolled at the University of Michigan in the fall of 1999. Throughout his four year collegiate career, he registered 118 points (52-66-118) and captured numerous honours including NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team honours, while leading the Wolverines to the 2002 NCAA Frozen Four, CCHA Super Six All-Tournament Team honours (2001-02) and received the Hal Downes Trophy for the first time, awarded to the teams most valuable player (2001-02) all in his Junior year.

In his Senior year at UM, the Omaha native helped the Wolverines advance to their second straight NCAA Frozen Four, and for the second consecutive season captured the Hal Downes Trophy as team MVP. Selected as the CCHAs Best Defensive Forward, Ortmeyer was named to the NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team and was awarded the Bill Beagan Trophy, given to the most valuable player of the CCHA Super Six.

Coming off a successful four year career at UM, Ortmeyer made his NHL debut with the New York Rangers in 2003-04, and spent the majority of the season with the parent club while seeing limited action with the teams AHL affiliate in Hartford.

posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 05:40 PM

NHL season could be in the hands of the players association

Any hope of saving the NHL season hinges on whether the next proposal by the players' association stirs serious negotiating.

All the last offer yielded was three months of silence and hundreds of canceled games.

When NHL officials and union leaders return to the bargaining table Thursday, it will mark their first talks since Sept. 9. That's when the players association put forth a luxury tax-based system that was rejected by the league because it didn't provide the cost certainty the NHL seeks.

Commissioner Gary Bettman imposed a lockout a week later that has already wiped out 382 games -- and forced the cancelation of the All-Star Game.

A two-day window is blocked out for talks, but if things don't go well Thursday, there will be no need for another session Friday.

With the season slipping away, the NHLPA invited the league back to the table and promised to be armed with a new proposal in an effort to keep the NHL from becoming the first major North American league to lose a full season.

Arenas have been given the go-ahead by the league to free up dates previously reserved for hockey on a 45-day rolling basis, which as of now means there won't be any NHL games before the middle of January.

Rest of story.........

posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 10:59 PM
Well, tomorrow is a big day in the life of the NHL.

I really hope that the owners like the union's new proposal. This is most likely the last chance to salvage any part of this season. If they're not even close tomorrow, we'll be lucky to see hockey start on time in '05.

:loudhorn: ~ Approve the proposal!

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 10:28 AM
TORONTO -- The NHL players' association stunned the league and even its members with its latest effort to save the hockey season.

When the owners walked away Thursday after the first bargaining session in three months, they had a 236-page document to go through and an offer of a 24 percent rollback of all salaries to consider.

But like the Sept. 9 bargaining session that triggered the lockout a week later, the new offer doesn't provide the cost certainty that commissioner Gary Bettman is seeking for the 30 NHL clubs.

He noted that one aspect -- presumably the rollback -- was significant. But he still isn't in favor of a luxury-tax system, that players prefer, over a salary cap. A cap is an option the union says it will never accept.

By union estimates, the six-year, six-point proposal would save the NHL a total that exceeds $1 billion.

The union said all current contracts would be cut, a move that would save NHL teams $270 million in the first year and $528 million over three years. The players' association offer on Sept. 9 only included a 5 percent salary rollback.

Another key portion of the proposal is a luxury tax, but those numbers were similar to the previous offer. If a deal is there to be made, the payroll tax would likely be the area that provides the most room for negotiation.

Bettman said the NHL needed time to go through the offer. The sides agreed to postpone the next meeting from Friday until Tuesday, either in New York or Toronto.

At that time, Bettman said the league will likely make a counterproposal.

Well at least they plan to meet again, that has to mean some progress is being made. Just the fact that the owners didn't laugh at the proposal and intend to reconvene on Tuesday is great news IMO.

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 10:31 AM
NHLPA proposal

A look at key points of NHL Players' Association six-year proposal to the NHL:

SALARY ROLLBACK: Immediately cuts 24 percent off all existing contracts. NHLPA says that will save teams $270 million in the first year and $528 million over three years. The previous offer of Sept. 9 offered a 5 percent rollback.

SALARY RESTRAINTS: Would restrict rookie contracts to $850,000 a year for three years, down from last season's $1.2 million level. There would also be reductions in qualifying offers to restricted free agents, and would give clubs the chance to elect arbitration in a system similar to one used in baseball.

The union estimates clubs will save $400 million over the next six years and reduce the aggregate qualifying offers due to restricted free agents by $285 million over three years.

LUXURY TAX: Would penalize teams 20 cents for each dollar they spend between $45 million and $50 million. The penalty would increase to 25 percent the second year and 30 percent in the third.

Teams spending between $50 million and $60 million would be taxed 50 cents on the dollar the first year, 55 cents the second year and 60 cents the third. Those with payrolls above that would have to pay 60 cents for every dollar the first year, 65 cents the second, and 70 cents the third year on each dollar over the threshold.

Includes a revenue-sharing plan to bring the bottom 15 teams within 30 percent of the revenues of the top 15 teams.

JOINT PLAYER-CLUB COMMITTEES: Committees would be designed to ensure improvements in the game, its marketing and its revenues. The players proposed to play in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.

Looks good to me, lets PLAY HOCKEY!!

posted on Dec, 13 2004 @ 07:07 PM
Early reports state that the owners are going to reject the NHLPA's latest offer. No news on what they plan to counter with.

posted on Dec, 13 2004 @ 07:41 PM
Season hangs in balance as NHL owners prepare counteroffer to union

By IRA PODELL, AP Sports Writer
December 13, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) -- The NHL reportedly will reject the latest proposal from the players' union that was meant to end the lockout and salvage the season.

Canadian sports network TSN reported Monday that NHL executive vice president Bill Daly told the 30 team owners the league will turn down the union's offer made last week that included a 24 percent rollback in salaries. TSN cited a memo from Daly to the owners.

The sides return to the bargaining table Tuesday in Toronto for the second time in six days after three months of silence. The NHL is expected to provide a counteroffer to the 236-page proposal made by the players.

``We believe the union's Dec. 9 CBA proposal, while offering necessary and significant short-term financial relief, falls well short of providing the fundamental systemic changes that are required to ensure that overall league economics remain in sync on a going-forward basis,'' Daly said in the letter dated Sunday, TSN reported Monday.

``While the immediate 'rollback' of 24 percent offered by the union would materially improve league economics for the 2004-05 season, there is virtually nothing in the union's proposal that would prevent the dollars 'saved' from being redirected right back into the player compensation system, such that the league's overall financial losses would approach current levels in only a matter of a couple of years.''

Daly declined comment on the memo, and wouldn't confirm its existence.

Lou Lamoriello, the New Jersey Devils general manager who is on the NHL's negotiating committee, had no comment other than to say ``I'd rather just let things be and then wait until tomorrow.''

Players and owners stayed apart from early September until last Thursday.

When the owners present their latest solution to end the 90-day old lockout it could determine whether the NHL will become the first North American league to lose an entire season due to a labor dispute.

Ted Saskin, the NHLPA senior director, wouldn't respond to the TSN report.

``It would not assist the collective bargaining process to comment on excerpts from a leaked league document,'' Saskin said. ``We will comment on the NHL's response to our proposal when it is finally delivered to us.''

The NHL hasn't given the players' association an offer since July 21 when it presented six possible concepts to provide a framework for the league's first new collective bargaining agreement in a decade.

All six were formally rejected by the players on Aug. 17, and negotiations that followed over the next month failed to move the sides any closer to resolving philosophical differences.

Talks broke off Sept. 9 when owners turned down an offer, and the lockout was imposed a week later by commissioner Gary Bettman.

The league wants cost certainty, a system that will provide a direct link between revenues and player costs. The players' association says that is tantamount to a salary cap and unacceptable.

The union held that position in its offer made a week after it invited owners back to the table. The NHLPA's newest six-year proposal was built on six points, but none provided a connection between income and player salaries.

Even an immediate rollback of salaries for each year of every existing player contract might not entice Bettman and some hard-line owners to cut a deal without cost certainty.

``If they want to make general managers powerless to set a budget and decide what they want to do, and just have a budget set in New York that is supposed to apply to Toronto, Nashville etc., that's not going to fly with the players,'' Saskin said. ``I know that's not a recipe for a solution.''

The proposal also contained a luxury tax, a revenue sharing plan, a lower cap on entry-level contracts and bonuses, and an offer to allow teams to take players to arbitration.

If Tuesday's offer by owners features a salary cap, the season could be beyond salvaging.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk reportedly told Bettman that the salary rollback offered by players isn't enough to end the lockout.

``It's not a solution,'' Melnyk, who pulled the Senators out of bankruptcy, told The Ottawa Sun. ``It's a one-shot deal that doesn't work.''

posted on Dec, 13 2004 @ 11:44 PM

I had HIGH hopes for tomorow's meetings. I dont feel so positive after reading crayon and tj's posts. It looks like the salary cap is the big rock. The owners said it's imperative that a salary cap be put in place and the players assoc. has said they will not accept ANY offer that includes a salary cap. I cant see any way around this issue other than one side budging and both sides seem very firm on not budging.

If they dont find a way to save this season, it will take a long, long time to get NHL hockey back to where it had gotten if and when they ever start playing again.

This sucks.

posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 06:40 PM
i looks like the hockey season may well be done for the year, you have to wonder if they will get teams on the ice next year now

NHL and union reject new proposals

By ROB GILLIES, For The Associated Press
December 14, 2004

TORONTO (AP) -- The NHL rejected last week's proposal by the players' association and then had its own counteroffer turned down Tuesday during a 3 1/2 -hour negotiating session.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the offer made by the union last Thursday, which featured a 24-percent salary rollback, was a ``big-time, significant and meaningful move'' but was a short-term fix that wouldn't cure the league's financial troubles in the long run.

``In short, the league took what they liked from our proposal, made major changes and slapped a salary cap on top of it,'' union head Bob Goodenow said. ``Put simply, our proposal provides the basis for a negotiated agreement. The NHL's does not.''

The major difference in the dispute remains the salary-cap roadblock. The NHL wants one to achieve what it calls cost certainty. The players' association says it will never accept that as a solution.

``(Bettman) knows full well that a salary cap is a nonstarter for this organization,'' Goodenow said. ``He remains fixated on the salary-cap solution. And as long as that's the case, there's going to be problems.''

Bettman said no new negotiating sessions have been scheduled, moving the NHL closer to becoming the first North American sports league to lose an entire season to a labor dispute.

There might be a month left to salvage the season. The last NHL lockout ended with a deal on Jan. 11, 1995, allowing for a 48-game season to be played.

The lockout reached its 90th day Tuesday and has already forced the cancelation of 414 regular-season games and the 2005 All-Star game.

``As I've said all along, it's about getting the right deal,'' Bettman said. ``I would hope at some point it gets to where it's relevant. If not, we'll start up whenever we have a new deal.

``We haven't focused on what a semblance of a season would be. We're serious about fixing this the right way.''

After consulting with the 30 team owners, Bettman said the union's offer that didn't contain a direct link between revenues and player costs was rejected.

``The rollback is, in and of itself, not a system and we have had a full decade as to how the old system operates,'' Bettman said. ``Our unanimous conclusion was that the union proposal does not work. It is fatally flawed as a system going forward.''

Bettman said the NHL's counteroffer was then rejected.

The league proposal contained a salary cap, which, based on last year's economics, would see team player costs between $38.6 million and $34.6 million.

The NHL also revamped the players' association rollback offer, proposing a graduated scale. Players making less than $800,000 would not have their salary diminished. Those making $5 million or more would have 35 percent taken away from their existing contract.

``My hope is that the union leadership recognizes that the owners' resolve is great,'' Bettman said. ``We only know of really one approach to meaningfully address and fix our problems. And unless somebody can miraculously come up with another approach, which I am highly skeptical of but always anxious to listen, we're committed to fixing this the right way.''

The union's proposal also contained a luxury tax, a revenue sharing plan, a lower cap on entry-level contracts and bonuses, and an offer to allow teams to take players to arbitration.

But because it doesn't guarantee what each team will be required to pay its players, it didn't meet the solution the owners are seeking.

``You either know your costs or you don't,'' Bettman said.

The Canadian sports television network TSN reported Monday that NHL executive vice president Bill Daly sent a memo to team owners that said the league would turn down the union's offer.

Bettman has placed a gag order on team executives, and has already handed out significant fines to those who speak out of turn. Steve Belkin, one of the Atlanta Thrashers' owners, was ordered to pay $250,000 for saying the league would use replacement players next year if a new collective bargaining agreement isn't reached.

The punishment will be much harsher if the source of the leaked memo is revealed.

``If I find out, there won't be much reason for you to be talking to them because their career in the NHL will end abruptly,'' Bettman said. ``I think it's about the most irresponsible thing that could be done. I would really like to know who did it.''

The NHL hadn't given the players' association an offer since July 21, when it presented six possible concepts to provide a framework for the league's first new collective bargaining agreement in a decade.

All six were formally rejected by the players on Aug. 17, and negotiations that followed over the next month failed to move the sides any closer to resolving the philosophical difference of a salary cap.

Talks broke off Sept. 9 when owners turned down an offer, and the lockout was imposed a week later by Bettman. Players and owners stayed apart from early September until last Thursday.

posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 07:10 PM

NHL owners, dont budge on the salary cap one bit. Pretty soon these overpaid crybabies will be pumping my gas!

I've had it. I can see why the owners need something similar to a salary cap because these damn spoiled players make way too much and it has to stop. No wonder half the teams reported losses last season. And all the players care is that there is no salary cap so they can make more and more money. As much as I love hockey and miss it, my anger over this is prevailing and I'm starting to hope a new league forms and flourishes.

Screw the NHL!!!!

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