Monday, November 14, 2011

First Salvo in 2012 Labour War?

1) In what many are saying was a LONG overdue move, according to Larry Brooks of the NY Post the NHLPA requested and received forensic accounting report on a few 'select NHL franchises. In effect to see if the reported income matches with the actual income. Why? Simple, the players share is directly related to the overall NHL income. If teams under report it then the players get short changed, literally. According to Brooks several teams including Nashville and Washington were 'guilty' of under reporting income. To that we say, shocker!(not!) We say why hasn't this gone on since the last CBA was signed in 2005? And why only selected clubs? If I were the head of the NHLPA I'd demand ( as is their right under the CBA) a detailed/independent forensic accounting of EVERY team EVERY year! Geez, it makes too much sense to not!

2) Brooks goes on to mention that the discredited Ted Saskin made a secret side deal with the NHL that disallowed the NHLPA from looking at the books of teams after a season is completed. Which means if 1/2 the teams were 'skimming/hiding' money from 2005 to 2010 the NHLPA can't/would never find out about it! Dumb at the least, and probably one of the reasons Saskin was let go. Donald Fehr the NHLPA should respond to the findings with asking for the remaining teams to be audited as well. If, as we have LONG surmised in the next CBA the NHL will ask for further concessions from the players, the NHLPA best have ammunition to respond. We believe the NHL will have far less ability (but still try) to demonize the 'rich' players this time around. I'd advise our readers to follow the NBA labour problems as I'm sure the NHL is as well. If the players eventually cave in, it is all but assured that the NHL and especially its hard liners will feel emboldened to make significant demands. Our sources tell us that a reduction of the current 57% to 47-48% along with a 25% roll back across the board will be the minimum the league will demand. They may even try to reduce the guarantees on future contracts much like the NFL does. If the NBA owners get all they want their NHL counter parts will smell blood and go for the kill of what they already perceive as a weakened foe. It remains to be seen if this recent demand for auditing is an early sign that the players will fight, or just a PR move by Fehr to show he's trying to do something to his rank and file and for public consumption.

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