Ten Points: The Barons, Sergei Makarov and the lockout

Jonathan Willis
November 15 2012 08:09AM

1. If the lockout continues, Justin Schultz could set the AHL record for scoring by a defenceman. The current AHL record for points in a season by a defenceman is 96, set by Chris Snell (34 career NHL games) back in 1993-94. Schultz is currently on pace for 105 points over an 80-game season. He’s also on pace to record the most goals ever scored by a defenceman (41), 11 ahead of the current record-holder, John Slaney (268 career NHL games). On the other hand, he's also played just over a dozen games so far and his scoring may slow.

2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle are delivering more or less as expected. Both players are currently on pace to record around 90 points, and the Oklahoma power play has been clicking of late and now sits second overall in the AHL.

3. Oklahoma City’s attendance woes are starting to be a major concern. Few people are benefitting from the lockout like fans in Oklahoma City, who get to watch NHL’ers like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall, but there is no sign that they are taking advantage of it. Just under 5,000 people – including tons of school kids – showed up for the Tuesday morning game, well north of the 3,402 fans the team has averaged to date. Attendance has been in decline since the Barons franchise started in Oklahoma: going from an average of 4,155 in 2010-11 to 3,684 in 2011-12 to this year’s 3,402. This is despite a reasonably successful team and plenty of high-profile prospects.

4. Yann Danis’ struggles this season are decidedly unusual. Goalies are the streakiest players in the game, and I’d argue it’s probably still too early to be unduly concerned about Yann Danis’ 4-4-1, 0.898 SV% performance this year (particularly given the defensive breakdowns in front of him). However, he never got this cold last year – his worst month in 2011-12 was March, when he went 4-2-1 with a 0.914 SV%. In fact, this is Danis’ worst save percentage run in any league since closing out the 2008-09 season with the woeful Islanders in the NHL.

5. The struggles of Olivier Roy and Tyler Bunz are less unusual. Both Roy (2-2-0, 0.898 SV% in the AHL) and Bunz (6-1-1, 0.906 SV% in the ECHL) are off to mediocre starts, but that isn’t unusual. Roy had some ugly streaks in the ECHL last year – including three where he posted four or more consecutive losses – while Bunz had a great WHL season with some really ineffective stretches last year.

6. Toni Rajala is off to a strong start. It is pretty difficult to muster much enthusiasm for Toni Rajala’s future with the Edmonton Oilers – not only is he in the ECHL, but he is a scoring forward listed at 5’10”, 163lbs. He spent the last two seasons in Finland after a single year with Brandon of the WHL. However, he’s been on fire in the early going – through 12 ECHL games he has recorded seven goals and 16 points, and is averaging more than four shots per game. If and when the lockout ends, he seems like a prime candidate to get a shot on a scoring line in Oklahoma.

7. On the other hand, Rajala’s hardly the only call-up option for Oklahoma… Philippe Cornet, a 24-goal scorer and AHL All-Star last year, has also started well for Stockton. He isn’t the shooter that Rajala is – he’s a hair under three shots per game – but he has 14 points over his first dozen contests in AA Hockey.

8. Tobias Rieder is slumping again. A year ago, Tobias Rieder established himself as a prospect to watch, simultaneously scoring 42 goals/84 points in the OHL and winning recognition for brilliant work on the penalty kill. Rieder’s been streaky this year – after starting with two goals and six points in his first seven contests, he picked up nine points in four games. Since then, he’s had just a goal and an assist over his last nine games. Injury may be a factor – he missed a game recently with back spasms.

9. Put me down for Sergei Makarov. Jason Gregor’s piece two days ago asked which players should make the Hockey Hall of Fame next year, and I’m really hoping that Sergei Makarov makes the cut. Over 10 seasons between 1979 and 1989 (after which he left for the NHL), Makarov led Russia’s top league in scoring nine times. He likely would have gone a perfect 10 for 10 had he not missed 14 games in 1982-83. Add in what he did internationally – he was well over a point-per-game at the Olympics, World Championships, Canada Cup and World Juniors, and the fact that he had a very respectable NHL career in his twilight years and I think the case for him is compelling.

10. Finally, a bit of clarification – there are no “good guys” here. Some people clearly took yesterday’s piece - where I argued that NHL players don’t simply need to roll over and take what the NHL is offering them – as a sign of a pro-player bent. While I do have some sympathy for the players – the NHL is imposing its will, and all the NHLPA can hope to do is limit the damage – I don’t see either side as the protagonists in this current dispute. I’ve been very clear on this point in the recent past:

There is no ‘right’ side in this dispute. It’s not a battle between good and evil, or even a shade of good versus a shade of evil. Both sides are fighting in the margins for small portions of huge chunks of money. Both parties are rich enough to ensure their interests are fairly represented. Both are within their rights to fight in the margins, even if and when the lockout strips away more revenue from both sides than the total figure they’re arguing over. Trying to make a case for one side or the other as the good guys is just a waste of everyone’s time.

However, not everyone feels that way. There are fans vocal in their support of one side or the other, and in Edmonton it seems like ownership gets most of the sympathy. I don’t understand it, personally: the league as a whole makes good money, and they’ll make better money once this is dispute is over. Revenue is up, franchise values are up, and even some teams that theoretically bleed red ink – like Florida – are profitable in a big picture view (Florida, the hockey team, loses money – but the Panthers are a cornerstone tenant of a profitable building, and the organization that operates the team and facility has long been highly profitable).

Ownership exercised their clout during the last lockout to cap the percentage of revenue that the NHLPA membership could receive. They’re using their clout again to make that cap smaller. They’re well within their legal rights to do so, just as the NHLPA is within their legal rights to hang on to every penny they can. Nothing in that arrangement makes either side martyrs or saints.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 TigerUnderGlass
November 15 2012, 03:06PM
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Truth wrote:

I agree completely with you. I would guess the NHLPA's argument is that the new CBA is for both current and future NHLers, most importantly the future NHLers. Fehr is essentially asking the current players in the NHL to take a hit for the betterment of players in the future.

I'm sure Nathan MacKinnon doesn't care that Hemsky is going to lose $5 million for missing this year, but MacKinnon will be happy to be making an extra X% throughout his career because Hemsky fought the good fight. In theory, of course.

The truth of the matter is that the NHLPA is the union for the current players and they should be looking out for the best interest of themselves. They are inevitably going to take a hit, and waiting longer in no ways guarantees the hit is going to be less in % points gained. The hit in salary lost is guaranteed and immediate.

This is false.

Current players are agreeing to let future players take a lower percentage as long as they get to keep what they earn now.

How is that a sacrifice for the future?

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#52 hags9k
November 15 2012, 03:22PM
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How is 6-1-1 a mediocre start?

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#53 book¡e
November 15 2012, 03:46PM
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Essentially, like most union actions, the individual players will never recoup the money they have given up. If they give up a whole season to get 1-2% more in the deal, it would take between 50 and 100 years of playing to make up what was lost.

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book¡e wrote:

Its like if you have 3 jobs making $6 an hour each, but get tips at one job making it work out to $7.25 an hour over the three jobs while also earning $100 a month collecting bottles and then also claiming your dead aunts social security checks because you buried her in the back yard instead of registering her death, cuz you know. Would you do that Mr. Willis? What if one of the jobs was blogging here on ON? What then?

~Now this is an analogy! Let's see Willis talk his way out of this one!~

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#55 Shredder
November 15 2012, 04:50PM
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It's been a while since I was on this site because there isn't much hockey going on...really if sports were stocks, I'd be selling everything in hockey right now. I see the entire sport as one on the decline economically. The revenues had grown since the last lockout, but so had the costs. There are no more profitable teams than there were before and that's what Bettman is trying to fix, mind you I don't know that what he's proposing really will fix the league.

What would I buy? Soccer. North American soccer, because it's a growth market. The buzz that surrounded my friends and colleagues around the Euro Cup earlier this year was much bigger than the Stanley Cup. What are the costs of maintaining the astro turf for soccer vs. the costs of flooding and freezing the ice? How much does it cost to maintain the temperatures in an indoor arena vs. letting the fans bundle up (I went to the grey cup last year, and while it's not soccer, it's an outdoor sport in the northernmost city in N. America at the end of November). You watch the Seattle Sounders games and it looks like it's the Seahawks.

It will take a long time, but I believe that soccer will overtake hockey in 10-15 years. Especially if the current CBA is only 7 years long and we deal with another spat down the road. And as of right now, it appears that the majority of the fan base is on side with the owners, and I might have a tough time cheering for Crosby ever again.

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#56 The Soup Fascist
November 15 2012, 05:06PM
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Shredder wrote:

It's been a while since I was on this site because there isn't much hockey going on...really if sports were stocks, I'd be selling everything in hockey right now. I see the entire sport as one on the decline economically. The revenues had grown since the last lockout, but so had the costs. There are no more profitable teams than there were before and that's what Bettman is trying to fix, mind you I don't know that what he's proposing really will fix the league.

What would I buy? Soccer. North American soccer, because it's a growth market. The buzz that surrounded my friends and colleagues around the Euro Cup earlier this year was much bigger than the Stanley Cup. What are the costs of maintaining the astro turf for soccer vs. the costs of flooding and freezing the ice? How much does it cost to maintain the temperatures in an indoor arena vs. letting the fans bundle up (I went to the grey cup last year, and while it's not soccer, it's an outdoor sport in the northernmost city in N. America at the end of November). You watch the Seattle Sounders games and it looks like it's the Seahawks.

It will take a long time, but I believe that soccer will overtake hockey in 10-15 years. Especially if the current CBA is only 7 years long and we deal with another spat down the road. And as of right now, it appears that the majority of the fan base is on side with the owners, and I might have a tough time cheering for Crosby ever again.

I apologize for not knowing how to actually hyperlink. I am not as good on these new fangled gadgets as you kids.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYf2h6OU2xc

That will cover the topic of soccer. But you are right, Shredder. The NHL is doing everything they can to shoot themselves in the foot .... er .... skate.

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#57 The Soup Fascist
November 15 2012, 05:09PM
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Shredder wrote:

It's been a while since I was on this site because there isn't much hockey going on...really if sports were stocks, I'd be selling everything in hockey right now. I see the entire sport as one on the decline economically. The revenues had grown since the last lockout, but so had the costs. There are no more profitable teams than there were before and that's what Bettman is trying to fix, mind you I don't know that what he's proposing really will fix the league.

What would I buy? Soccer. North American soccer, because it's a growth market. The buzz that surrounded my friends and colleagues around the Euro Cup earlier this year was much bigger than the Stanley Cup. What are the costs of maintaining the astro turf for soccer vs. the costs of flooding and freezing the ice? How much does it cost to maintain the temperatures in an indoor arena vs. letting the fans bundle up (I went to the grey cup last year, and while it's not soccer, it's an outdoor sport in the northernmost city in N. America at the end of November). You watch the Seattle Sounders games and it looks like it's the Seahawks.

It will take a long time, but I believe that soccer will overtake hockey in 10-15 years. Especially if the current CBA is only 7 years long and we deal with another spat down the road. And as of right now, it appears that the majority of the fan base is on side with the owners, and I might have a tough time cheering for Crosby ever again.

Darn! Double post! Now all the soccer toughs are going to tease me.

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#60 Sanaa Montana
November 15 2012, 05:31PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Darn! Double post! Now all the soccer toughs are going to tease me.

Why would they? I believe soccer fans are smart enough to let the rednecks be.

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#61 The Soup Fascist
November 15 2012, 05:38PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Nope, I don't disagree with any of that. I've actually repeatedly argued that the best thing the players can do is cave quickly. Careers are short, and even half a season lost represents a significant chunk of career earnings for a lot of guys.

So what I don't get is: why no hue and cry from the ranks, to Fehr and company?

If I am looking to miss a years worth of cheques I know I am never - EVER - getting back, trust me, I will be whining. Especially if I am say a Shawn Horcoff. I am not picking on Horcoff - there are 100 other guys in the same boat.

How do I begin to think I will ever get back the $6 million I am going to lose with a missed season? Call me selfish, but with six large on the line, I would be phoning my rep, Dubie and the Fehr brothers every day saying, "make a deal, NOW".

I have no idea how Fehr is keeping these guys happy as they start to miss cheque after cheque, for what will amount to small potatoes - gained (maybe??) by holding out longer. Either the players are all dumb as posts, they all are lemmings or Fehr is selling them a bill of goods. And I do not think the players are all dumb as posts (Krys Barch, excluded).

Maybe the season has to be on the line before the players themselves voice their discontent to the Fehrs. Tick Tick Tick.

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#62 The Soup Fascist
November 15 2012, 05:41PM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

Why would they? I believe soccer fans are smart enough to let the rednecks be.

And I am a redneck, because .....?

Nice Avatar by the way Heir Freud ..... exactly what shortcoming are you compensating for, hmmm?

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#64 The Soup Fascist
November 15 2012, 06:38PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I just don't know.

I'm hesitant to suggest that Fehr's steering the players on an idiotic course - he's a very, very smart man and he's been doing this a long time. His early handling of the NHL - when they were offering 43% and then 47% and saying that the offer would get worse - has been completely vindicated by the league's last offer. They were bluffing, he knew it, and he called them on it.

He's also been excellent, at least from our vantage point, at handling the union's internal politics. He's constantly surrounded himself with players, referred to the players as the people actually making the decisions, and deemphasized himself publicly. I don't buy that this public persona accurately reflects what's happening behind closed doors, but it's a good way to play things in a fractious union.

On the other hand: I don't see how the NHLPA gets its money's worth out of fighting any longer. Maybe Fehr's got a persuasive line he's selling behind the scenes, but I haven't heard it publicly and I have trouble making the math work.

Exactly, the math does not work.

If the number is 50% the rest of the details (max term, entry level, free agency age, arbitration, etc) just determines how the players divvy up their share among the rank and file.

Months ago, DSF suggested that Fehr's end play would be to take the hard cap off the table. I thought he was crazy because the obvious move for Bettman is countering with guaranteed contracts. Now, who knows??

I just do not know where Fehr goes from here, if / when the season is done, without totally pi$$ing off and frankly, "screwing" the bulk of the NHLPA members.

You are right, Fehr is a bright man and experienced negotiator. I don't get it. We will see.

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#65 DSF
November 15 2012, 09:22PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Exactly, the math does not work.

If the number is 50% the rest of the details (max term, entry level, free agency age, arbitration, etc) just determines how the players divvy up their share among the rank and file.

Months ago, DSF suggested that Fehr's end play would be to take the hard cap off the table. I thought he was crazy because the obvious move for Bettman is countering with guaranteed contracts. Now, who knows??

I just do not know where Fehr goes from here, if / when the season is done, without totally pi$$ing off and frankly, "screwing" the bulk of the NHLPA members.

You are right, Fehr is a bright man and experienced negotiator. I don't get it. We will see.

If we reach nuclear winter...and we might...we would see true free market for players.

While guaranteed contracts woul vanish along with the cap, agents would negotiate huge signing bonuses that would make it tough for owners to cut players.

Any attempt to restrain that activity woul be seen as collusion so, in the end, the players would win.

However, the lack of collective agreement would likely results in more than a few franchises failing costing dozens of players their jobs.

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#66 SB
November 15 2012, 10:20PM
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@SB

Forgot the best one of all

When your are angry at your boss for asking for about 10% back after giving you a 100% raise over the term of your last contract. Then you truly have lost touch with reality!

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#68 The Soup Fascist
November 15 2012, 10:31PM
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DSF wrote:

If we reach nuclear winter...and we might...we would see true free market for players.

While guaranteed contracts woul vanish along with the cap, agents would negotiate huge signing bonuses that would make it tough for owners to cut players.

Any attempt to restrain that activity woul be seen as collusion so, in the end, the players would win.

However, the lack of collective agreement would likely results in more than a few franchises failing costing dozens of players their jobs.

Possibly. But how could the NHLPA be strategizing to lose 75 to 100 jobs and have universal buy in from the members?

How do you keep the rank and file happy? The Crosby's make 20 million a year and the 4th line on every team gets vaporized.

My own theory - and it is flawed - is that Fehr overestimated the pressure sponsors and owners making some nice profits would have on the rest of the league. As well the January 1st game was viewed as leverage. I think he is now painted in the corner.

Why it is flawed is you would think that Fehr would have an "out" other than blowing it up. But I can't see it. He is playing a game of brinkmanship where his members have way more to lose than the other side in terms of affect on % of net worth.

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#69 SB
November 15 2012, 10:45PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I could go line by line through your faulty assumptions, poor conclusions and fallacious reasoning, but it would likely be a waste of time to do so because you're clearly going to believe what you're going to believe.

Weak!

At least I took the time to respond to what I though was your lack of logic and common sense. And I type with one finger.

On this point I find your arguments much like the players, pretentious, you also strike me as being rather a fastidious... lol . See I know big words too

Cheers!

P.s to bad about not responding I had rather looking forward to blowing your pro player rational out of the sky!

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#70 DSF
November 15 2012, 10:48PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Possibly. But how could the NHLPA be strategizing to lose 75 to 100 jobs and have universal buy in from the members?

How do you keep the rank and file happy? The Crosby's make 20 million a year and the 4th line on every team gets vaporized.

My own theory - and it is flawed - is that Fehr overestimated the pressure sponsors and owners making some nice profits would have on the rest of the league. As well the January 1st game was viewed as leverage. I think he is now painted in the corner.

Why it is flawed is you would think that Fehr would have an "out" other than blowing it up. But I can't see it. He is playing a game of brinkmanship where his members have way more to lose than the other side in terms of affect on % of net worth.

The market would normalize eventually.

The players who lose their NHL jobs would find employment in the AHL and Europe.

I certainly don't think that is Fehr,s prime directive but you have to remember he is philosophically opposed to salary caps.

There might be an argument that hockey would adopt the same system Fehr hammered out in MLB.

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#71 The Soup Fascist
November 15 2012, 11:06PM
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DSF wrote:

The market would normalize eventually.

The players who lose their NHL jobs would find employment in the AHL and Europe.

I certainly don't think that is Fehr,s prime directive but you have to remember he is philosophically opposed to salary caps.

There might be an argument that hockey would adopt the same system Fehr hammered out in MLB.

God help us. Gate driven league. Full free enterprise would kill off six markets, minimum. Likely more. Tell me how the Jets compete in that bandbox with limited luxury suites?

Funny. Even with a hundred and twenty million to spend, Leafs would still mess it up. That might just be worth all this crap.

Wonder if Fehr buys the whole Mayan calendar thing and plans to go out Dec 21 with guns blazing? Makes as much sense as anything else these guys have done to date.

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#72 DSF
November 15 2012, 11:09PM
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SB wrote:

Weak!

At least I took the time to respond to what I though was your lack of logic and common sense. And I type with one finger.

On this point I find your arguments much like the players, pretentious, you also strike me as being rather a fastidious... lol . See I know big words too

Cheers!

P.s to bad about not responding I had rather looking forward to blowing your pro player rational out of the sky!

Typing with one finger and firing on only one cylinder seem to go hand in glove.

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#74 SB
November 16 2012, 12:38AM
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DSF wrote:

Typing with one finger and firing on only one cylinder seem to go hand in glove.

Considering how much your opinion is respected here, I will consider that a compliment!

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#75 VMR
November 16 2012, 07:02AM
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The players and the league are both fighting not just for this CBA but as the starting point for the one beyond that. The contract restrictions when taken as a whole are designed to keep the younger players making less money, forcing the return of cheaper second contracts, allowing teams to hold onto their drafted talent longer for cheaper. If the league gets those restrictions now then the next negotiation will start from that point and get worse.

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#76 Hair bag
November 17 2012, 07:10PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I could go line by line through your faulty assumptions, poor conclusions and fallacious reasoning, but it would likely be a waste of time to do so because you're clearly going to believe what you're going to believe.

I think sb is bang on. Come on Willis lets see your counter points, don't shy away! Also maybe you can enlighten us on where you get your Florida is actually making money from the building facts from?

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#77 Hair bag
November 17 2012, 07:13PM
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My bad, I replied without reading the rest of the responses...

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#78 SB
November 18 2012, 02:40AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ SB:

Fine, if that's the way you want it.

Sure fight for what ever you can get, but when you are willing to loose a entire years salary of 1,000,000 or more just to prove that you are ENTITLED to make that much, you have lost touch with reality!

Nobody has lost an entire year's salary, yet. If there was a negotiations breakthrough this week, there could still be a 70 game season.

They did lose a year in 2004-05 and lost the battle anyway; pretty much every player involved admits that the NHLPA blundered that year.

When you are insulted by 47% of HR, but expect your bosses to live with that, you have lost touch with reality.

The fundamental issue here, as I see it, is that the players simply don't trust the owners numbers. For instance - the Florida Panthers supposedly lose ~$7.5 million per season, yet according to the Broward County auditor the team made ~$9 million less during the 2004-05 lockout than they averaged over the 5 year periods on either side of it. (Panthers LLLP is profitable, according to the same auditor). Another for instance: broadcast revenues can have up to 100% of their total value deducted before being reported as HRR, to allow for direct costs.

In other words, the players' angle is less "we expect to get more than 50% of the pot" and more "we think the NHL is lying through its teeth and already gets way more than they say they do."

When you expect the profitable franchises to share their profits with the other franchises so you can earn more millions than you have lost touch.....

This has been a recent push by the NHLPA.

In previous years, they've actually pushed hard for poor teams to be relocated to better markets - like the Atlanta to Winnipeg move. Basically, their problem is that poor teams act as a drag on player salaries league-wide - Toronto makes a mint but is limited in what it can spend because the Coyotes are bleeding red.

When you say it's the owners fault for signing these contracts and not controlling themselves, and then scream body murder when they use the CBA negotiation to try and reign in there spending, which is really the only legal and viable method of controlling salary. Then you....

I'm pretty sure hte NHLPA has never screamed bloody murder about the owner's inability to curtail their own spending. The NHLPA doesn't mind that lack of self-control one bit.

If you're referring to me, I have no problem with the owners trying to institute a harsher cap. I'd do the same myself, because like everybody else I like to make money. I just don't think there's anything especially noble about it: it's just self-interest.

When your agent uses comparables to leverage your salary to they max and then whine about the NHL using the NFL and NBA as league comparables you have lost touch.....

In arbitration, an entire field of comparables are used. Agents present favourable comparables; the team presents unfavourable comparables.

This is exactly what has happened in these negotiations. MLB is a favourable comparable for the NHLPA, so they use it. NBA and NFL are favourable comparables for the league, so they use them instead.

I have no idea where your issue lies here.

When you whine that the owners should honour the contracts they have signed, yet you know full well that all contracts are legally linked to the CBA then you.....

The league's coming off seven years of record revenue. The players' perspective is that there's no need for the kind of rollbacks that came about last time - the system isn't so out of whack that it needs huge rollbacks to correct problems.

It's also, in my view, entirely fair to be miffed when a rollback is proposed in September on a contract you signed in June. I know I would be. I'd do everything I could to stop it. If I couldn't stop it, I'd live with it, but I'd grumble. I think pretty much anybody would feel the same.

When you whine about honouring contracts knowing full well that many of your brethren have demanded trades or found loop holes, or not lived up to their responsibilities, then you have lost....

I see your point, but it doesn't make sense to me. If, for example, I'm Jarome Iginla why should I be blamed for Chris Pronger demanding a trade? For that matter, what's wrong with making a trade request if you're unhappy with where you are? The team can always refuse, and suspend you if you decline to report (at which point you start losing money).

When you call a team that makes 15 million in a boom year which is less then a 10% return on investment a "have" team that should share its wealth then you have lost......

I think you're referring to the Oilers here. If so:

- They've been profitable every year since the lockout, according to the best publicly available data.

- I'd love to see all these investments you people find that are returning more than 10%. Seriously. Where did this idea come from?

- Given that the Oilers collected revenue sharing when they were struggling to stay afloat, why is it immoral for them to share revenue when they're doing well?

When the players refuse to realize the owners and GM's are just as competitive as the players and they will always look for that competitive edge ( CBA loopholes) just as the players see what they can get away with inside a hockey game, yet the players will still point the finger, showing once again that they have .........

What are you talking about? Can you cite one instance of the players complaining about NHL G.M.'s circumventing the CBA?

When you feel that if you play well your salary should go up, but if you play poorly your salary should stay the same, then you.......

Ummm.... what? What are you talking about? Of course, every player wants the best contract that he can get. But when players have bad years, their next contracts reflect that. When they have good years their next contracts reflect that, too.

When the players constantly hold the fans and management hostage, by stating or inferring that if they are not treated like royalty in every possible way, that they will not only leave at the first opportunity, but also spread the word that because you did not meet their financial demands that your "organization is not committed to winning" . This often forces ownership to cave or face a angry and depleting fan base, thus the owner has to realize that the CBA is the only ray of light, and once again showing that the players have truly have lost all touch with reality

You need to give some examples here. I have yet to see an 'I wasn't treated like royalty, so Team X isn't committed to winning and I want a trade' press conference. Pretty sure it's never happened.

When your are angry at your boss for asking for about 10% back after giving you a 100% raise over the term of your last contract. Then you truly have lost touch with reality!

I'm not sure if you've ever received a 100% raise before, but I have. Over five years at my first professional job, my pay more than doubled. And yes, I would have been miffed if my employer demanded an immediate 10% deduction in my salary - particularly if he was coming off record profits for seven straight years.

EXPOSED ! Mission accomplished...congratulations, you are officially now a player groupie, which is fine, but please quit hiding behind this fake vail of objectivity.

I started to chew through most of your replies but then realized it would be like telling a rock star groupie that the bulge was just a sock. I don't want to wreck the dream just yet.

P.s Thanks for the replies however some of them... I don't even think you really read what I wrote ...oh we'll, one final irony I came across. The players gave up an entire years salary fighting against a system they seem willing to loose another years salary to keep, but ya they have not lost touch with reality

Sorry for late reply,I was out of touch, much like the players

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