Friday, November 16, 2012

C'mon, Gary. Really?

A two week "moratorium" on negotiating?

And just what, Mr. NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman, would that accomplish?

Exactly. Nothing.

'We are extremely disappointed in where we and the players find ourselves," deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Thursday evening. "And from our perspective, we have made repeated moves in the players' direction with absolutely no reciprocation.  Unfortunately, we have determined we are involved with union leadership that has no genuine interest in reaching an agreement. Regardless of what we propose, or how we suggest to compromise the answer is "no."  At some point you just have to say "enough is enough."'

Apparently, according to TSN, NHLPA director Donald Fehr called Bettman and said that, 'he didn't know how the sides could proceed from their current stalemate.'

Bettman's response? The two week "moratorium" which Fehr said he'll need to bounce off the membership.

And the posturing is on.

In response to Daly's quote above, NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said, "We believe that it is more likely that we will make progress if we meet than if we don't," he said in a statement. "So we are ready to meet. If indeed they do not want to meet, it will be at least the third time in the last three months that they have shut down the dialogue, saying they will not meet unless the players meet their preconditions.

"What does that tell you about their interest in resolving this?"

It's looks like more bullying tactics from the owners? And that they'll only negotiate on their terms.

Sounds like it to me.

The players have made considerable concessions on the overall split going from 57/43 in their favor to agreeing to a 50/50 in hockey related revenue.

Even with the issue not fully resolved, as they're trying to figure out in what year that will take place, the sides have moved to length of player contracts and salary-variance within the contract. Here's where the league stands on that issue:
  • the NHL wants to limit contracts to five years
  • make rules to prohibit back-diving contracts the league feels circumvent the salary cap,
  • keep players ineligible for unrestricted free agency until they are 28 or have eight years of professional service time
  • cut entry-level deals to two years, and make salary arbitration after five years.
It's pretty obvious that for the good of the league in general, that something needs to be done concerning cap-circumventing contracts. And we know the culprits:  Marian Hossa (CHI,) and Ilya Kovalchuk (NJD,) even Buffalo's Christian Ehrhoff.

The other points, not even including attempts to prevent teams from burying bad contracts in the minors--"The Wade Redden Rule"--are painting the players into a more restrictive corner.

This is the point of contention:  the players are collectively giving up a billion dollars with the 50/50 split and the league wants to them to pay for the egregious contracts signed this past off-season (the "make-whole" clause,) and they want to control how long they're signed for.

Anything else you want, Mr. Commish?

Theres to be no give on the part of the owners with the players saying, "are you kidding me?"

And it seems as if the owners are ready to lose the entire season in order to get what they want--again.


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