Friday, July 13, 2012

...And Here We Go......

1) As expected the CBA negotiations started out calmly and professionally.  Both sides didn't sound overly negative or positive.  'Bussiness like' was the term banded about. As we wrote a few weeks back, we anticipated things would start just like this; with both sides remaining cordial as they start the preliminaries.  What we figured would happen next is probably soon to occur. That is both sides will soon break off discussions, citing one side not bargaining in good faith/not being serious.  The first indication that we're fast approaching that inevitable stage was the leaked apparent NHL proposal to the players.

2) Its now being tweeted and soon published among a variety of well placed sources, so we believe its valid.  The proposal would:
  1. Reduce players share of revenue from 57% to 46%  Even less than we figured.  Additionally(and this would be huge) the owners want to reduce the amount that that would be considered 'Hockey related revenue', thus reducing the pie the players can slice off further
  2. Limit contracts to 5 years ( We might here about Shea Weber signing his 15 year deal any day now!)
  3. Increase Entry Level (rookie) contracts to 5 years from 3.  We bet the KHL is cheering that!  It would almost completely stop most Russians, likely a large number or Euros (and a smattering of North Americans) from playing in the NHL
  4. No Unrestricted free agency before 10 NHL seasons (its currently 7) or age 28, which ever comes first.
  5. Elimination of salary arbitration.  This clause actually helped both sides, but some owners apparently thought they were getting hurt by this
  6. No more signing bonuses, and all contract years would pay same salary
3) Now, the knee jerk reaction we are reading is that the owners/Bettman have gone too far and the players will never accept this, etc.  Yes, its absurd for a variety of reasons BUT it doesn't matter. The owners have ALL the leverage. They know the players won’t sit out a season. They caved last time and they will cave (eventually) again, The owners know this. Hell, I’m surprised they didn’t ask to eliminate guaranteed contracts.  The final proposal will be slightly less than this, but eventually the owners will get whatever they really want. They always have, and always will. Only unknown is how much of the season will be lost before the players give in. 

4) Get ready for a NHLPA rebuffing and posturing etc.  We're certain like last time they will correctly point out that its revenue sharing that needs to be changed.  That the low income franchises need to either be moved or aided by large income teams.  All this will be mute.  The NHL will get its way folks.  They already know what numbers they will accept.  They have ALL the cards.  As foot ball and basketball fans and players found out; Billionaires can always beat millionaires!


Lyle said...

I agree there will be a lock out, but I don't think it will be a long one


The lockout is a decision for the owners. How long it is is a decision for the players. I say ThanksGiving will be when things start to hit the fan and the season starts before the holidays

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