Friday, August 31, 2012

$hit Hits The Fan!

1) With today's NHLPA retort to the NHL in their negotiations finally given we finally  heard what we have been expecting for the past couple of months. Talks have hit the inevitable impasse position. Although the talks weren't ended acrimoniously in public, we're told that in  the board room things weren't quite so rosy.  Evidently from what sources on both sides have told Fauxrumors, the players retort only was a slight revision from their earlier 4 year proposal. They only were willing to eliminate the final 4th year option of reverting to the current CBA provisions.  Bettman was none too happy with Fehr and told him hat further talks were pointless until the NHLPA was "prepared to negotiate seriously"

2) We're told the NHL was expecting a more significant concession laden offer from the NHLPA. Hoping to then have a back and forth that ultimately would see the players share stay at around 47-48%.  The players quite understandably are not wanting to (again) give in, knowing that in 5-6 years time another 3-5% will again be asked for in the next CBA, and so on down the line until the players will be in the upper 30's within the next 15 or so years

3) So where do we go now?  Likely we'll hear from Gary Bettman that its up to the players to bring a real response so jump start the negotiations.  Its very possible, we're told that Fehr will again refine the players proposal, but will be unwilling to change its underlying framework. Meanwhile neither will the NHL propose any further changes to their last proposal as long as the players refuse to alter their's. So finally after nearly 2 months of negotiations the $hit has finally hit the fan and we're right where we have been saying we'd be for years now. In for another lockout!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pointless to Complain

1) Many are coming to the correct conclusion that there simply is nothing they can do or say that will have ANY effect what so ever on the current CBA negotiations.  There is a definite difference this time around.  Last Bettman lockout the NHL was heavily trying to persuade the public that the players were overpaid, the balance of power among teams was out of whack, and ticket prices were going higher due to uncontrolled salaries, etc

2) We were given the discredited Levitt report, which if it was true would have meant all 30 teams were close to Chapter 11.  Of course that was never the case and clearly while there were several teams in desperate financial straits, it was NO a league wide issue and more importantly the players salaries were NOT the cause.  Then as now its financial/team mismanagement that causes financial distress. Despite that the NHL was very successful in demonizing the players

3)  Fast forward to now and the NHL Bettman isn't even going to try to make believe that the current CBA is about ticket prices.  They are making little effort either to try to persuade the public that the league as a whole's financial health is in the balance.  Instead taking their lead from the NFL, which despite making record profits, wanted to decrease the players % because, well, they could (and did).  Therefore when Bettman was recently pressed why they gave the proposal they did he responded that they wanted to decrease the players share.  Simple as that.

4) I don't care what fan union you may want to form. They are all well and good, but will have ZERO impact on the proceedings.  The ONLY thing the owners will EVER "listen" to is the fans NOT buying tickets/merchandise, etc.  They look to the last lockout when an entire season  was lost only to see fans return in droves to feel invulnerable.  Therefore despite the players bluster that hey are not afraid of another lockout, the owners WILL get what they want in time, and we can belly ache all we want about it while there is no hockey.  Its Pointless to Complain!

Monday, August 27, 2012

"New" NHL Offer to Be Tabled Tomorrow!

1) We italicized the word 'new' in the title because although it will be technically a new proposal, insiders tell Fauxrumors exclusively to NOT expect any major concessions in the NHL offer. In fact one person who knows what will be offered tells fauxrumors that its very likely that the players will walk away from the table tomorrow, look at the 'new' proposal and wonder what the hell the difference is?  "They might as well have just changed the font on the lettering" is how our source describes the NHL's proposal.

2) We're told the NHL was almost forced to do this perfunctory retort to the players proposal in order to avoid any possibility that they could be challenged in court to not negotiating in good faith.  This way, we're told, the NHL can say that they not only made an initial proposal, but also responded to the players "incomplete" document with yet another comprehensive CBA offer.  "Its a total joke" is how our source describes this. " Everyone from the players to the owners know whats happening here, but its all about PR and legal maneuvering right now".  We discern from that, that things are going to go from bad to worse (as we expected all along).  Its just a matter of time until the inevitable 'impasse is declared and the work stoppage commences right on schedule.  WE hate to sound like broken records here, but we can't change what we are seeing and hearing here.  Sorry folks.  Find alternative entertainment options for the fall.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Canadiens Diss PK?

1) In what has to be a bit surprising the Montreal Canadiens, through the new GM Marc Bergevin seem to have disrespected (dissed) their budding star defensemen P.K. Subban. Having locked up goalie Carey Price and forward  Max Pacioretty the Canadiens appear ready to lock up their 'core'. However when asked about PK (Pernell Karl- his mom evidently loved the TV show Bonanza) Bergevin wouldn't put Subban into the category of or part of the Hab's 'core'.

2) That raised many eye brows, including ours at Fauxrumors. The kid may not have had the greatest season last year but neither did Price and he got top dollar in a long term deal. It should have been included as one of the  dumb-contracts we discussed early last month.  You would have thought that with all the silly long term deals being given for players in the early 20's that PK would have been included in that group. Reports that he was offered a 2 year 5.5 mil deal were denied by Subban's agent Don Meehan. So what gives?

3) There are (currently subtle) rumblings from the Subban camp that race is part of the equation.  They did not want to discuss this with us when we called, but from talking with folks who refused to go on the record did say that P.K. was infuriated with how he has been treated both by the team's management and the press corps. He believes that if he were a Caucasian Frano-phone instead of a African-Canadian English speaker he'd of been given a long term deal at season's end. Instead they are low balling him with a 2 year 4.8 mil offer.

4) To be fair neither Price nor Pacioretty are fluent French speakers (Pacioretty is an American and Price a native Canadian) so the only other differentiation is skin colour, no?  The Habs know after the Weber incident that they have virtually no worries about an offer sheet.  As we wrote earlier this month in our post rip-offer-sheets we've seen the last of any big offers for RFA's.  Any team making P.K. an offer would only be doing the Canadiens a favour, for they would match anything another club would come up with.

5) The only other possible remedy would be a trade. Now, we haven't heard any specifics BUT Bergevin, we're told, would be open to a deal IF they got another young defensemen back in any trade involving Subban.  Interestingly the DC Capitals have a similar situation developing with RFA John Carlson. 'JC' also is coming off his entry level deal, is highly regarded, but didn't have a great 3rd season, but is asking for a nice raise and management is balking.  A deal could be had BUT GM'GM'(McPhee) would have to ante up much more than a 1 for 1 swap to attain PK.  However it could happen. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

As We Were saying......

1) While many bloggers/sports writers are wringing their collective hands at the now clear impasse that exists between the NHL and NHLPA, we at Fauxrumors simply say, See we told ya so!  Almost universally everyone (including us) who read the players' proposal set forth yesterday said it was a significant step forward.  It was visionary, had very significant concessions, as well as laid the ground work to help make the lower revenue teams more solvent over time. Something the last CBA evidently did not do.

2) However where we at Fauxrumors and the rest (almost all) of the blogosphere differed significantly was what we predicted would come of the proposal.  They believed it would be met with surprise by the owners and it would spurn continued productive discussions ultimately toward a new CBA agreement and a saved season. Optimism abounded yesterday at this time. Meanwhile we said 'not so fast'! No way does the NHL agree to de-link revenue from players salaries. We believed that there was about a ZERO % chance the NHL would agree to anything but a plan that works off the existing system.

3) It was clear as crystal to us. Gary Bettman is so predictable. He also was a bit hypocritical in his assessment of the players proposal. Yesterday his gave is a backhanded compliment that it was clear the players didn't put this together in an hour or two. Then today he retorts that it was disappointing to see at this late stage that the players have yet to produce a comprehensive proposal.  What???  Sounds like Gary is talking out of both sides of his mouth (again)

4) Bettman stated publicly for the first time that the past deals from the NBA and NFL were what the NHL wanted. That anything other than a huge concession with respect to % of revenue is a non starter. Exactly what we at Fauxrumors have been saying since this whole charade of a process started last month.  There is now an impasse.  It will likely descend and begin to get testy/nasty. I don't think the owners care if they are winning the PR battle or not. They took the lead from the NBA where the players ostensibly have a better bargaining position and still lost and feel they are going to instill their will on the players one way or the other. Either take the 43%( they'll probably settle for 46% ultimately) and start playing/getting paid now, or get the same % in 2,4, 6,12 months from now and lose a season of your short careers.  The owners can NOT be split. The players can and will be.  We stick with our original prediction. Lockout till about Thanksgiving. Fehr is fired or resigns and play resumes around X-mas. Until then get ready for more days like today(as we have been saying)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bettman Full of Poop!

1) The NHLPA presentation just finished up a couple of minutes ago and Gary Bettman then held a brief press conference afterwards to (not) discuss the meeting. In it he mentioned that it appeared that "the NHLPA proposal wasn't made in an hour or two" .(In other words, it was complicated/well thought out/was going to be hard to demonize without further study?

2) The part that pissed me off was that when asked when the NHL would be able to respond to it he said tomorrow.  What the FIts so complicated that they will be able to have a cogent response in a few hours(assuming they sleep)?  It doesn't pass the sniff test. Its quite evident its simply a PR move to appear to be mulling the players proposal before the inevitable......

3) " The NHL has reviewed the players well meaning proposal but it does not address the major concerns the NHL has so we have to reject it based upon the flawed principals on which its based. From there its the unknown (well, not really).  What/who will take the next step from there?  At that point both sides will have made their positions known. Where will they go from there?  Posturing no doubt.  Both sides will publicly say that they are willing to be flexible without being, well flexible.  Then in a week or so of further posturing/discussions we will hear we are at an impasse, and talks will probably break down and the finger pointing/public out-cries will (finally) start. In the mean time Mr. Bettman can you stop bull shitting us?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hyprocrisy Of The CBA Discussion!

1) Thus far I have allowed my good buddy Fauxrumors do most if not all the posting concerning the CBA crap. He does an excellent job spelling out what we both are hearing from sources within both camps, and telling what we believe will happen.  What I will outline here is the clear and total hypocrisy of the narrative.  Many of you fans and most of the media buy right into this NHL/Bettman spewed narrative. That is, the players are totally the ones responsible for all financial issues within the league.  (Ignoring the blight of Phoenix and other financially bleeding franchises brought on by poor location, and mismanagement.

2) Now, last go around in 2004 the NHL fiercely had a PR campaign against the players. Making the dupes in the public, and many of the sycophant media types Stan Fischler, etc go after the players as greedy bastards who were ruinng the game, destroying their (small revenue) teams' chances of competing  and causing ticket prices to get out of control. So the league reduced the players' % from a reported 73% (we dispute the number!) to 54% (now 57 as per the CBA).  To get to that players agreed to a 24% roll back of their existing contracts!  Imagine that. A player negotiated his contract in good faith and over night he had to take .75 cents on the dollar. In the end apparently the poor revenue teams are STILL struggling, and ticket prices have never been higher

3) Which brings us to the present.  Again the league's poor teams are crying  poverty. The league according to Bettman on Friday, believes its players compensation driving this and again the league is asking for ANOTHER 24% reduction.  Now, for a moment, can anyone imagine if the players had come to these CBA discussions and said, "since the NHL is enjoying record profits we want to across the board INCREASE all existing contracts by 24%?  The public/media outcry would be insane, yet this is exactly what the league is asking of the players, not once, but a second time. All the while ignoring the REAL underlying issue causing financial distress; No meaningful revenue sharing.

4) The sad thing for the players is, that much like they did in 2004 when their proposal actually would have improved that situation and were rejected out of hand, they will again come to the table(tomorrow) with a similar proposal (cure). As Faux tells us all the time. "Learn from history"!  The players proposal will again be rejected. Players will be labeled 'gready'. They will be locked out September 15th, and by years end they will accept the reduction, play will resume for a few more years until the next inevitable across the board reduction. All the while the underlying problems will continue.

Friday, August 10, 2012

CBA Dance Continues

1) Wow, hell is about to freeze over!  We read a Damian Cox article an agree totally with his opinion! the-beginning-of-the-long-slow-march  To refresh the memories of some, we don't agree/like Mr. Cox very much. We have said so quite vividly in the past. Here: why-damien-cox-is-douche-bag in 2007, and then again last year: damian-cox-continues-to-be-douche.  In his story he agrees with the perspective we at fauxrumors have been espousing about the CBA discussions.

2) As the talks between the NHL and the NHLPA continue we see these initial cordial discussions as an obvious tactic by both sides to appear to be trying to be fair, etc.  Talks started off on a positive note with both sides complimenting the other. Then the NHL lowered the first hammer with its proposal that would, among other things reduce salaries 24%, and severely limit free agency. The NHLPA did not take the NHLs bait. However instead of reacting publicly angrily about the immense take back of shared profits by the owners, the NHLPA instead went about their business saying all the right things and keeping things on a positive note. Stating that while they are not happy with the proposal they are busy going through dissecting it, and will have their counter proposal when they are ready and have all the requisite information

3) The NHL's attack dog, Bill Daly initially almost too took the bait as well when he (the NHL) believed that the players were stalling. Perhaps trying to test the resolve of the owners by making them look like the bad guys by (again) locking them out, while the players would be willing to play while still negotiating?  He got a bit flustered when the NHLPA asked for additional information (eventually 76,000 pages worth were delivered!) and it appeared they weren't going to be ready to respond the the NHL's proposal, submitted last month right, away.  As we wrote in June, we are hearing that there is ZERO chance the NHL will allow the season to start without a new CBA.  Mr. Bettman confirmed that yesterday. What we find amazing is that some were actually surprised to hear it!

4) What we at Fauxrumors also know is that the NHL even now, is formulating its response to the NHLPA's counter proposal. How? Ofcourse we already told our readers last month how the NHL is always one step ahead of the players.  The NHL we're told knows the players proposal will largely reject any reductions in percentage, and instead try toroll back the clock, sort of speak, and by and large eliminate the salary cap all together in favour of a soft cap with very significant revenue sharing/luxury taxes. This in an effort to blunt the NHL's assertion that the players need to take a pay cut due to teams losing money. The NHLPAwill assert that the current system is broken. All that happened is that "The rich got richer, and poor, poorer!" 

5) AS we have said ad-nauseum by now, and will continue to say until we are proven wrong, is that it doesn't matter a wit what the players via Donald Fehr propose. In Bettman's and the big revenue owners eyes, its their way or the highway (lockout). To respond to some who persistently like to have a fantasy that the owners can be split, sorry it will NEVER happen. You can continue to hope/pray/cross your fingers/legs, but Bettman we're told has a very tight grip on things and none of the 29 owners will fracture from the unified stance the NHL has, and will continue to take. Instead it will be the players who will ultimately fracture. Yes, as Cox correctly wrote in his article, and we have written countless times as well, the players will initially hang tough until about the 20 game mark (Thanks Giving). It is then that the negotiations will begin again (probably absent a resigned or fired Donald Fehr) and the 2012-2013 season resumes on or about the holidays.  Until then all the talk and discussion is merely another song in this dance.

Monday, August 6, 2012

RIP: Offer Sheets!

1) The Weber offer sheet matching is still reverberating throughout the NHL. As we wrote last week, really only surprise in this issue is how many bloggers and journalists were surprised by Nashville matching this. Most assumed the price was too steep to pay. However, what they failed to realize the price to pay to NOT match the offer would have been steeper! For IF Nashville allowed their captain to walk they would in our opinion cease to exist as a legitimate NHL franchise and their days in The Music City would be numbered. After losing Suter, they simply couldn’t lose Weber too.

2) The  real reverberations of this will be that this will probably be the last BIG offer sheet we will see. For if the Flyers were unable to pry Weber away with such an enormous sum (27 million in 1 year) from a low budget team, then it would appear impossible for a team to succeed in that endeavor. Sure (assuming offer sheets are part of the new CBA) we will probably  still see smaller offer sheets from time to time, but the big named RFA's will forever more be "free agents" in name only. Additionally, if contracts are term limited to 5 years, and bonuses/front loading are made illegal, then the big money teams will have lost their advantage and all teams will generally be on equal footing with regard to keeping their stars until they are UFA's.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Happy Birthday To Us!!

1 ) WE NEVER thought we would still be here to go into year 7! Yes, this blog is now SIX years old! Its amazing that we have reached this milestone. When we made our first post (inspired by the late summer drivel/rumours of the time) we never in our wildest dreams believed this would become what it has. We especially didn't think we'd still be at this when the dark days when our now vanquished blog enemy hacked and stole the original FAUXRUMORS blog. Though its still is out there for his sick amusement, its of little consequence to us now. We have long since moved on when we restarted things again in March 2007. In retrospect he did us a favour, as we feel this forced us to improve/upgrade the blog in many ways since then.

2) With over 1200+ original FAUX posts and growing to our credit since that first fateful blog entry, and hundreds of  thousand hits (and growing fast) we are proud of what we have grown here the past 6 years. As we were then, (and always will be) we are a totally FREE site/blog. We decline all advertising offers. For one, honestly we don't need the income, but more importantly, we feel that accepting money would be the wrong perception. We don't want to become Eklund. Selling nonsense/made up crap to sad/loser people. We look forward to the beginning of our SEVENTH year! Thanks to all of you!

As always, keep it here for the latest!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Coyote Deal Sinking In Quick Sand?

1) That's what one insider told Fauxrumors late yesterday when rumours crept up that prospective owner Jamison was rumored to NOT have the money/financial backing to buy the team.  What has to be asked at this point,  Who in their right mind would buy this team?? Even it were for free, it would be a bum deal! There is NO model that has them being profitable regardless what Glendale gives in breaks/compensation.  One would have to wonder what Jamison was promised by Bettman. ‘Stick it out for a year or two then move to Seattle when that arena is ready’?? Jamison has not yet disclosed who his financial partners are or how he is coming up with the money. Jamison is the former CEO of the San Jose Sharks and he quietly became co-owner of a minor league hockey team, the Bay Area Seals, in June.

2) The sports executive has experience managing and running arenas, but he needs investment money to buy the team. That has proven complicated with Jamison relying on multiple investors, and perhaps financing avenues, to try to close the deal. The ominous potential issue here is also that some of that includes international and Middle Eastern money. There have been discussions with a Saudi investment group about a stake in the Coyotes. Perhaps the Saudis' have so much cash that throwing some away in a distant desert doesn't mater to them?  I would be shocked if they had any clue what NHL hockey was all about, let alone what a sink-hole the Phoenix franchise is

3) Its simply too long to still be discussing this.  Its become more than a scar/joke of the NHL. Its too bad too as Don Maloney has done an admirable job assembling a decent team on the cheap and with little future to promise any Free agents to come to Arizona.  I mean who would willingly go to a place. Drag their family along, only to have to uproot everyone the next season?  The financial pitfalls will ALWAYS plague the franchise while it stays in Phoenix (Glendale). There is no miracle cure other than an owner who has enough money that losing a few million(or much more) doesn't mean anything. Thus far that fantasy scenario has evaded the Phoenix situation and no one should expect that the Jamison group (if there ever was/is one?) will be that money bags group to make this situation work. (Or Move!) Until then the franchise will continue to sink in financial quicksand 

Contact the Media