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Ice Hockey: * NHL lockout for dummies *

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posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 08:21 PM
Its the owners who are willing to spoil the children. They don't want to take the heat so they are asking for a salary cap.

How about if the owners go get some CPA's and learn how to budget their money?

I agree the players are overpaid, but its the owners who are willing to overpay the players.

I believe the players proposal was a good one. I would have upped the luxury tax though. Make it so damned expensive to go over $45 mil that it was not worth it. Maybe 75 cents on the dollar? That would make an owner think twice about signing a player for too much money.

posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 08:39 PM
The players proposal did look pretty good. But that 24% salary rollback looks fine and dandy right now, but there's nothing to say that the salaries wont just skyrocket back to the absurd numbers that they are now. Regardless of who is at fault, it's now perfectly clear that there will be no NHL hockey this year and to me that's just unacceptable. I wonder if the two sides realize the extent of the damage that they are creating themselves. They are in for a rude awakening if and when they get this thing settled and think that things are going to just go back to the way they were.

posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 08:44 PM
Good article by John Buccigross of ESPN.


posted on Dec, 29 2004 @ 02:21 PM
A look at the NHL lockout through Wednesday, Dec. 29:




TOTAL GAMES MISSED: 514 regular-season games plus the 2005 All-Star game.

NEGOTIATIONS: The NHL rejected a players' association proposal and had its own counteroffer turned down during a 3 1/2-hour session on Dec. 14. No new talks are scheduled but the NHL board of governors plan to meet on Jan. 14.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST CANCELED GAME: Columbus at Atlanta. A lost meeting between two up-and-coming teams, featuring several young stars.

ICE CHIP: Columbus' Rick Nash, 20, and Thrashers forward Ilya Kovalchuk, 21, tied for the NHL lead last season with 41 goals. Kovalchuk's 23-year-old teammate, Dany Heatley, has 80 goals, 101 assists, and an All-Star game MVP award in his three NHL seasons.

Source: Associated Press

posted on Jan, 3 2005 @ 12:54 AM
"Gretzky concerned two NHL seasons could be lost, not just one without deal"

Wayne Gretzky is concerned that if the NHL and the players' association don't agree to a new collective bargaining agreement soon, not just this season, but next season will also be lost.

"If this is not decided in the next few days, I'm scared we could be looking at a year, a year and a half, two years, not just three months like a lot of people thought in September, " Gretzky said Sunday during a news conference at the world junior hockey championship. "From April to October, the players don't get paid, so I can't see us coming to an agreement in August or September.

"If we don't find a way to make everyone who is part of this sort of happy and get a deal done, we could be looking at a long, long time before hockey is played in the NHL and that's very alarming too. I hope in the next couple weeks we can come to an agreement."

Gretzky also denied recent published reports that the Phoenix Coyotes franchise is for sale. Gretzky is a minority owner and a managing partner of the club.

Donna Spencer, Canadian Press

posted on Jan, 3 2005 @ 05:44 PM
That's pretty disappointing thoughts.

posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 06:52 PM
NHL cancels meeting with board of governors

By IRA PODELL, AP Sports Writer
January 6, 2005
NEW YORK (AP) -- The NHL canceled next week's meeting with its board of governors on Thursday because the league has nothing new to report in the stagnant collective bargaining process.

The board of governors, representing the 30 clubs, hadn't met since September when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman imposed the lockout that reached its 113th day on Thursday and has already forced the cancellation of 571 regular-season games and the 2005 All-Star game.

There was speculation that Bettman might emerge from next Friday's meeting either with an announcement that this season had been called off, or with a drop-dead date for saving the hockey year.

No North American sports league has lost an entire season to a labor dispute, but the NHL is moving dangerously close to becoming the first.

When the meeting was scheduled on Dec. 22, the NHL declined to reveal an agenda -- other than to say it would be used to update the board of governors on the status of collective bargaining.

Nothing has changed in the two weeks since the get-together was put in the books, so the timing of the cancellation is somewhat curious.

``People have to come from a far distance, so I'm sure the reason it was called off was there was no reason to have a meeting,'' said Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello, who represents New Jersey on the board of governors. ``Our commissioner never has a meeting just for the sake of having a meeting.

``Nothing has changed, but I don't know why (it was canceled) other than there was no reason to have it.''

If the idea was to pressure the players' association to come up with a new offer in a last-ditch effort to save the season, it didn't seem to work.

``The canceling of the board of governors meeting is a league matter and not something the NHLPA will comment on,'' NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin said in a statement.

Owners and players haven't sat down at the negotiating table since last month when the sides met twice within six days.

The players' association got talks restarted after three months of silence with a proposal centered around an immediate 24 percent salary rollback on all existing contracts. Owners rejected that plan and countered with a salary-cap structured offer.

The NHLPA quickly turned that down and remained adamant that it would never accept a salary cap. The union's offer featured a luxury-tax and revenue-sharing system.

Bettman said he has no interest in any kind of luxury tax proposed by the players.

Neither side appears ready to alter its previous offers and resume talking.

During the last lockout that disrupted the 1994-95 season, an agreement was reached on Jan. 11, 1995, allowing for a 48-game season that began nine days later.

If the season is wiped out, it would mark the first time in 86 years that the Stanley Cup wasn't awarded. A flu epidemic in 1919 canceled the final series between Montreal and Seattle.

posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 06:32 PM
Not looking good.

posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 07:34 PM
this is one of the best summations of the absurd state of the nhl that i have read

MICHAEL ROSENBERG: Boys, it's time to give up and play hockey


How bad is this hockey situation?

It's late in the third period, they've pulled the goalie, they're facing an odd-man rush, and most of America doesn't understand this sentence.

The United States has never fully embraced hockey. The sport survives on pockets of fanaticism, which is fine, but if this season is canceled, those pockets will get a lot smaller.

That's why this is one of the most important months in NHL history. And everybody involved is blowing it.

It's January, and nobody is playing hockey. What's worse is that nobody is even negotiating to play hockey.

The league locked out its players in September with hopes of getting a better collective bargaining agreement. Four months later, the league and players association make loud proposals in public and ignore each other in private.

That's not negotiating. It's posturing.

The league just canceled its Jan. 14 board of governors meeting because talks are at such a standstill that a meeting would be pointless.

The 2004-05 season is almost kaput. Everybody in the league knows it. The league has barely even discussed how to schedule games for a short season.

Unless there is a drastic change in the next two or three weeks, the season is dead. And if that happens, everybody loses, but the players lose most of all.

The players made $1.5 billion in salaries last season. The owners say they have about $2 billion in revenues. But if this season is canceled, that revenue figure goes out the window.

The season-ticket base will drop. A lot of corporate sponsors will bail because most of them have one-year contracts, and they won't be so happy with a league that held onto their money under the guise of waiting for the season to start.

The league's revenues could easily drop to $1.5 billion next season. After the 1994 World Series was canceled, baseball attendance dropped by 20 percent -- and hockey relies far more on ticket-sale revenue than baseball does.

And since owners don't want to pay the players much more than 54 percent of their revenues, the owners would want to pay players less than $900 million per season. That is a collective pay cut of at least 33 percent.

Last month, the players association submitted a proposal that would cut salaries across the board by 24 percent. Some players were stunned their union did that, but the owners quickly dismissed the offer. Owners saw it as a short-term fix to a long-term problem.

While players and owners squabble over how to split the pot, the pot is in danger of shrinking.

If this season is somehow saved, the effect of the lockout will be limited. If the season is lost, the league won't recover for years.

If the players don't like what they could get now, they need to understand it will only get worse next year. And they will each have lost at least a year's worth of salary they will never get back.

There is only one way to salvage this season: The players will have to fold like a newspaper.

The owners aren't going to fold. Commissioner Gary Bettman needs only eight votes among 30 owners to nix a deal. With at least half the teams losing money, by almost any calculation, Bettman can get those eight votes in less time than it takes him to twitch uncomfortably.

Bettman is adamant that he wants "cost certainty" -- a salary cap or its equivalent. The owners say they lost more money last season than they will if there is no hockey this season.

In the last few months, many players have lashed out at Bettman. They point out that Bettman was the one who approved franchises in non-traditional markets; that Bettman is barely budging on his demands; that Bettman has been in office for 12 years and must take responsibility for the state of the game.

In many respects, they are correct. For much of the last decade, hockey owners cashed in on big expansion fees with little thought about how it would affect the game in the long term. That's a big reason hockey is where it is.

But this is no longer a question of right and wrong. It's a question of hockey or no hockey, and the sand is piling up at the bottom of the hourglass

posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 12:44 PM
Union head tells players to look for new jobs news services

NHL players have been told not to expect the league to resume play this season, and possibly next season, according to a report in the Ottawa Sun.

Sources told the paper Friday that NHL Players' Association executive director Bob Goodenow told players they not only should accept any current job offers in Europe immediately, they should take offers for next season, as well. The message was delivered via an audio recording posted on the union's private Web site, which only members can access.

"I don't think we'll be playing," Eric Lindros told the Sun. "There's no communication ... I don't think we'll be playing this season at all.

"The bottom line for both sides is nobody should be worrying about public perception right now or who is right and who is wrong in all of this," he continued. "They should be putting their energy into trying to get a deal done. It's not going to matter who is winning the battle for public opinion if we don't get a deal done."

A source told the Sun that the NHL will make an offer next week, but no one is optimistic.

"I just don't think there's much reason for optimism with nothing happening right now," Lindros told the paper. "We offered them the 24 percent (salary) rollback and I thought that was a very good offer. They didn't want it. We know that hockey is going to be back. But I can't tell you when and in what form."

Kay Whitmore, a former NHL goalie, said players were galvanized by the league's rejection of the salary cut, but he wondered if the union can withstand a two-year work stoppage.

"The only way someone is going to win is if both sides find a compromise, sit down right now and get a deal done," Whitmore told the Sun. "If that happens, then maybe both sides would truly be happy with what's happened. But the players' chances of winning don't improve the longer this goes. The deadline for the players to get their best deal is right now. I'm sure if this year is lost, it will be a bit of a shock."

Kirk Muller, a 19-year NHL veteran, said the sides won't be able to reach an agreement until they can trust each other.

"I'd be very surprised if there is any hockey this year," he said.


posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 02:02 PM
Things just look bleaker and bleaker every day that goes by, heck they're not even talking.

This season has long been over and next one is looking pretty grim as well. I just cant believe they have let this come to the point it has. The NHL is in bad shape and it will probably never be the same.

posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 07:46 PM
could this be the meeting where they finally throw in the towel on the hockey season

NHL and NHLPA to meet Wednesday

By IRA PODELL, AP Sports Writer
January 17, 2005
NEW YORK (AP) -- For the first time in more than a month, a group of officials from the NHL and the players' association will meet Wednesday in what could be a last-ditch effort to save the hockey season.

``We think it is appropriate and hopefully useful to engage in these discussions at this time,'' Ted Saskin, the union's senior director, said Monday. ``We are not meeting to present a new proposal and remain committed to reaching a fair deal that does not include a salary cap.''

Monday marked the 124th day of the lockout. So far, the NHL has resisted announcing a drop-dead date in which a collective bargaining agreement must be made to save this season. But with 650 regular-season games plus this year's All-Star game, already canceled, it appears that time is short to make a deal.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and players' association executive director Bob Goodenow, who have butted heads throughout the process, are expected to sit out this session. The idea to meet in a smaller group was hatched by players' association president Trevor Linden.

Linden, Saskin and outside counsel John McCambridge will represent the players. Calgary Flames part owner Harley Hotchkiss, the chairman of the NHL's board of governors; Bill Daly, the NHL's chief legal officer; and outside counsel Bob Batterman, will be present for the owners.

The NHL is not expected to make a new proposal at the meeting, either.

The sides have not met since Dec. 14 when the NHL rejected the union's proposal -- made five days earlier. A counteroffer made by the league also was rejected by the players during that session in Toronto.

The players' association got talks restarted in December, after three months of silence, with a proposal centered on an immediate 24-percent salary rollback on all existing contracts. Owners rejected that plan and countered with a salary-cap structured offer.

The NHLPA is adamant that it will never accept a salary cap. The union's offer featured a luxury-tax and revenue-sharing system. Bettman has said that he has no interest in a luxury tax.

During the 103-day lockout that disrupted the 1994-95 season, an agreement was reached on Jan. 11, 1995, allowing for a 48-game season that began nine days later.

If the season is wiped out, it would mark the first time in 86 years that the Stanley Cup wasn't awarded. A flu epidemic canceled the 1919 final series between Montreal and Seattle. No North American sports league has lost an entire season due to a labor dispute


posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 10:48 AM
if the lockout does end with this meeting, what does that mean? we are going to have a 50 game hockey season?

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 11:25 AM
i dont know much about hockey, but how are contracts done? am thinking the season if and when it starts will finish later than the other seasons so what if players contracts expire before the season ends. do much moves happen?

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 07:40 PM
No deal yet, but labor talks will produce another meeting

There is no secret that time is running out to save the hockey season. How the NHL and the players association are working to prevent that has become a very big mystery.

Representatives from both sides met in small groups for the third time in a week Wednesday. All that is known about the meeting is that it took place somewhere in Toronto. The location was kept secret, and neither side would reveal what was discussed or if any progress was made.

The only news that came out was that more talks will take place soon.

"We will meet again this week," NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly said. "We have no further comment at this time."

Daly told the Associated Press on Tuesday that discussions were at a critical stage and that only days remained to reach a deal that would save the season. The fact that more talks have been set up provided at least a glimmer of hope that the NHL won't become the first North American sports league to lose an entire season to a labor dispute.

The lockout reached its 133rd day Wednesday and has wiped out 713 of the 1,230 regular-season games, plus the 2005 All-Star Game.

The small-group format began last week with the hope that the sides could find common ground that would lead to a new collective bargaining agreement. All three sessions took place without commissioner Gary Bettman and union chief Bob Goodenow.

During a two-day meeting last week in Chicago and Toronto, the sides tried to get together in secrecy but were unsuccessful. Both parties think they will have a better chance of getting something accomplished if they can talk out of the public eye.

"After meeting today, we have agreed to continue discussions and will not be making any further comment at this time," players association senior director Ted Saskin said.

Although no details were immediately available, neither side planned to make a new proposal Wednesday because the participants wanted to generate ideas through an open dialogue instead of working on a formal proposal.

"I think the setup of these meetings is what's important in terms of the small-group dynamic, the open discussion and dialogue," Daly told the AP on Tuesday night. "It's less formal or structured than the meetings we've had in the past, and I think that's helpful to the process."

But time is running short to make a deal and save the season.

"We're in a critical stage, and that means we're down to days," Daly said. "We'll try to move the process forward and try to get a resolution."

It was Vancouver center Trevor Linden who came up with the idea last week to talk with just six people in the room. Linden, the NHLPA president, invited Harley Hotchkiss -- the chairman of the board of governors.

The structure was successful in producing discussion, but it did nothing to close the gap in the philosophical differences.

The NHL still wants cost certainty, a link between player costs and team revenues. The players' association wants a free-market system.

The same group that met last week gathered again: Linden, Saskin and outside counsel John McCambridge as well as Daly, Hotchkiss -- a part-owner of the Calgary Flames -- and outside counsel Bob Batterman.

No proposals have been made since early December, when the players offered a 24 percent rollback on existing contracts as part of a luxury-tax and revenue-sharing system. The NHL turned that down and made a counterproposal five days later that was rejected in a matter of hours.



posted on Feb, 3 2005 @ 01:31 PM
things are starting to look pretty bleak. right now they're in the hands of bettmen and goodenow. that's trouble for the nhl i think. i just think the players are afraid of a salary cap. if we could somehow disguise the cap and call it something else, maybe we could get it to work! maybe we could put a cap on the base salaries, and then give them additional money if the nhl makes a lot of money. or we could just pay them based on performance. pay them for the amount of minutes they play or something, just like normal people, you know, start payin jagr 10/hr to play hockey! haha. it's worth a shot. right now i think anything is worth a shot, i just want to see some hockey. do you think espn will start showing ahl games?

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 10:07 AM
No progress made in NHL talks; hockey season still hangs in balance

By IRA PODELL, AP Sports Writer
February 5, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) -- Even if the negotiating has stopped yet again, the clock on the hockey season keeps ticking.

After 13 hours of talks between representatives of the NHL and the players' association over two days, the sides broke off discussions Friday with no plans to meet again.

Though popular opinion held that this was the last chance to save the season, apparently there's still time to make a deal.

But only if the NHL can live without a salary cap, or the players' association agrees to accept one. Neither side has shown any willingness to change its position.

``We had extensive and constructive talks over the past two days,'' NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly said. ``While there are no future meetings scheduled, we have agreed to keep the lines of communication open.''

The talking stopped Friday afternoon after a four-hour meeting.

``We met the last couple of days, tried to cover some issues and maybe a few new issues to see if there was a possibility of some common ground and some traction, but that isn't the case,'' players' association executive director Bob Goodenow said before returning to Toronto. ``The parties agreed to stay in touch, but there's really no progress to report of any type. That's the reality.''

Representatives met for the third straight day, but weren't able to get over the major stumbling block: a salary cap. The NHL has insisted on a link between league revenues and player costs, and the players' association has steadfastly refused that as a solution.

Goodenow and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman rejoined the discussions Thursday, and were at the table for Friday's session.

The 4 1/2 -month lockout reached its 142nd day Friday and has wiped out 775 regular-season games and the All-Star game. The remainder of the 1,230-game schedule could be called off within days.

``Despite several media reports to the contrary, we have no intention of making any further announcement relating to collective bargaining or the status of the season at this time,'' Daly said.

On Wednesday, the players' association quickly rejected the league's latest proposal because it included a salary cap. That session was the fifth in a two-week span that Bettman and Goodenow didn't attend. But right after that meeting, the union invited the league back to the table and wanted the leaders there.

``I think we have to rely on the two people that are in the room with the others,'' said New Jersey Devils president Lou Lamoriello, who took part in earlier negotiations. ``You can't go any higher than Bob Goodenow and commissioner Gary Bettman. It's in their hands and we have to respect that, and I believe that's where it should be.

``We have to have some patience.''

No major league in North America has lost an entire season to a labor dispute.

``They're trying to do everything humanly possible to try to get the game back on the ice,'' Lamoriello said. ``If there is reason to believe that there is hope and a chance, then I think you use that time.''

NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin and outside counsel John McCambridge also took part in the negotiations on the union side, while Daly and attorney Bob Batterman represented the league. Those four were the only participants in Wednesday's session.

The NHL proposed a six-year deal Wednesday that contained a cap that would force teams to spend at least $32 million on player costs, but no more than $42 million, including benefits. The union needed only a few hours to turn it down.

``Right now, it isn't a good enough offer to place a vote on,'' Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said. ``I trust our committee, the players involved and the guys that are negotiating for us.''

There were other components to the offer, such as a profit-sharing plan, reduced age for unrestricted free agency and a raise in the minimum salary, but the sticking point remains the salary cap.

``I never want to get discouraged or have any type of that attitude,'' Lamoriello said. ``I think that we have to respect the people that are in that room, allow them to do what they're doing and just support the results that come out.''

Bettman has said that teams lost a total of more than $1.8 billion over 10 years, and management will not agree to a deal without a defined relationship between revenue and salaries.

Last season's average salary was $1.8 million, and the NHL wants to push that back with a salary cap. The latest offer would give players between 53 percent and 55 percent of league revenues.

An economic study commissioned by the NHL found that players got 75 percent of revenues, but the union has challenged many of the league's findings.

The NHL has been operating under the same collective bargaining agreement since 1995, when the last lockout went 103 days before a 48-game season began in January.

The Stanley Cup has been awarded every year since 1919, when a flu epidemic wiped out the final series between Montreal and Seattle.


posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 02:10 PM
With just a little bit of hedging, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman all but issued a drop-dead date for saving what's left of the season: this weekend.

The lockout reached its 147th day Wednesday. If a deal is reached, Bettman said, there would be a 28-game regular season and the 16-team playoff structure would be preserved.

"It is clear to me that if we're not working on a written document by this weekend, I don't see how we can play any semblance of a season," Bettman said. "Obviously we will listen to everything the union has to say, but we've given all we can give and gone as far as we can go."

Hours earlier, the players' association rejected what was described by the league as a compromise proposal during a secret meeting in Toronto, NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly said.


posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 08:20 AM
Time running out to save season

NEW YORK (AP) -- Instead of celebrating All-Star weekend in Atlanta, the NHL is staring at a deadline that will spell doom for the season.

If there's no agreement between the league and the players' associations before the end of the weekend, commissioner Gary Bettman is expected to cancel a season that never started -- a season that would be at the All-Star by now if it had.

``I don't know what he's waiting for,'' Los Angeles center Sean Avery said.

Both the league and the players' association kept to their word Friday and didn't reach out to the other side.

Representatives from several teams told The Associated Press on Friday they had not yet been given word or warning from the NHL to get ready for the cancellation of the season. They do expect notification before such action is taken.

Bettman already has the authority to cancel the season. He hoped to make a deal this weekend that would allow for a 28-game schedule and a full 16-team postseason.

So the hockey world keeps waiting -- nothing new at all in the five-month lockout that so far has wiped out 824 of the 1,230 regular-season games. That number won't officially grow before Tuesday because of the All-Star break.

But this weekend will be anything but joyous. Barring a radical change in the philosophical positions of the sides regarding a salary cap, no deal will be reached and no hockey will be played.

The NHL then would gain the distinction of being the first major North American sports league to miss an entire season because of a labor dispute.

And if the atmosphere doesn't improve, the stalemate could stretch well into next season -- that is, if the NHL doesn't impose its salary-cap system through the courts.

If that course is taken, then this season's lockout likely would turn into next season's strike while the NHL tries to reopen with replacement players.

``Our position has been very consistent throughout that the possibility of unilateral implementation and the use of replacement players, potentially, next season, was not something that we were planning and not something that we were focused on,'' NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly said Thursday. ``Our 100 percent focus was on negotiating a new agreement.''

But Daly said many options would have to be considered if a negotiated deal can't be reached.

Players' association senior director Ted Saskin declined to comment on potential legal issues.

More than half of the 700-plus NHL players have spent at least part of this season in European leagues, but they could have several options next season -- go overseas or possibly elect to cross the line to play in the new-look NHL, which would have a link between league revenues and player costs.

With no season or playoffs to save, the next deadline would be in June when the NHL usually holds its entry draft. If there isn't a collective bargaining agreement in place, there can't be a draft.

Since the prospect of losing an entire season wasn't enough to force anyone to give in on the critical issue of cost certainty, then it's hard to imagine the draft would push the NHL or the players' association over the edge, either.

The way things ended Thursday -- the second straight day of talks in Toronto -- it appeared neither side was ready to get back to the table anytime soon.

That round of discussions started Wednesday when Bettman and Daly asked players' association executive director Bob Goodenow and Saskin to meet with them.

The league then offered what it called a ``compromise proposal'' and laid out a deadline to save the season.

Neither action was effective.

The plan set forth was quickly rejected by the union because it presented a way for the league to get its hard salary cap in very short order.

All that had to happen was for one of four financial limits to be exceeded, and the league's operating system would transfer from the union's luxury-tax offer to the NHL's cost-certainty proposal that was rejected twice before.

Of the four ways the cap could be triggered, Goodenow said one would kick in immediately and another was virtually certain. The other two wouldn't be hard to reach either, he said, especially if the owners who want the cap could manipulate their payrolls to get it.

Once that offer was turned down and not revisited Thursday, both sides dug in their heels and said they would not contact the other side this weekend.

They were done, and the season seemed likely to follow.

posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 09:21 AM
Does anyone even want a season at this point?

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