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 www.cbssportsline.com...
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Union officials have spent two years telling players to put something away, but some players are making contingency plans to play in
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]