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Washington Capitals player Alex Ovechkin
The past two years have been a time of many sports lockouts, and the most lockout prone of all, the National Hockey League, got into the game this week. The NHL locked out players in 1993 and in 2004-2005, when the league missed an entire season. This time, it's the same old story as in the recent National Football League and National Basketball Association lockouts—as in all lockouts, really. The owners think they can get more money by refusing to negotiate and not letting workers work:
Despite the N.H.L.’s record financial growth in recent years, which reached $3.3 billion in revenue last season, the dispute centers on the owners’ wish to reduce the amount they pay the players. Under the expiring contract, players received 57 percent of revenue. The owners’ latest offer would leave them with 47 percent at the end of a six-year agreement, the equivalent of a 17.5 percent pay cut. The players have offered to accept roughly 53 percent.
The players accepted a giant pay cut at the end of the 2004-2005 lockout, they're willing to take a significant pay cut this time, but it's not good enough for the owners. The owners have hugely valuable teams with huge revenues. But they want more. So screw the workers, screw the fans, they're going to take more, one way or another.

It's not just players and fans who are being hurt by this, either. At least one team has laid off staff, and the league is cutting its workers' hours and pay by 20 percent and isn't ruling out layoffs. Many players, meanwhile, are heading overseas to play in other leagues.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just guessing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, JohnnyAppleseed

    that most of these owners are Republicans, free market kind of people. Just get rid of revenue sharing and let the free market take over.

    Oh. right, Republicans only want a free market when they can screw labor.

    Adopt a homeless cat and have a friend for life

    by dave1042 on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 12:51:50 PM PDT

    •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JohnnyAppleseed, JGibson

      Most of the American owners are Republican. One even had Palin drop the puck in the last election.

      The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

      by Darkvisitor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 01:13:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They're "free market types" until... (6+ / 0-)

      they want a new arena and they want taxpayers to foot the bill for it.

      Now the NHL had a lock out 6 years ago and the owners cancelled the season, broke the players union and got everything they wanted. Now 6 years later they want to tear up that last collective bargaining agreement and stick it to the players again.

      What really pisses me off about the NHL owners - and sports franchise owners in general - is that they love free markets when they are going after free agents, but when they get in a room with their other owners, then its time to collude and say screw free markets - we want a cap on players salaries - we want a one way deal with the refs/umpires - we have deep pockets and we can outlast and crush the unions.

      Very few people have sympathy for athletes playing a game for millions, but I do. At the start of their career, these players are not free to chose where they want to play and how much they should be compensated - they give up this right as part of the collective bargaining agreements. Most leagues have rookie salary caps that control how much a player can be compensated for at least the first 3 or 4 years of their professional career. But the guys who get screwed the most are the guys who never get to the NHL (or the Major Leagues in baseball) - they are stuck under entry level or first contracts that severely limit their mobility and thus their chance for advancement.  There are more examples in baseball then there are in hockey because some guys in hockey simply say fuck you to the NHL and play in the KHL or one of the other European leagues.

      In general, the owners of profesional sports teams are just your run of the mill Republican pieces of shit like Mitt Romney. This is why I always support the players (and referee) unions in their struggles against the owners.

      With regards to the NHL specifically, the players agreed to abide by an arbitration decision, but the owners would not. The players currently get 57% of hockey related revenue, but the owners want to take that down to 43%. In the NFL and the NBA it is a 50-50 split which is what the players will end up agreeing to, but the NHL owners won't be happy there. They think they can break the NHL players union again. The NHL owners think that they are different from the NFL and the NBA because they have some very poor/weak franchises. But the reason they have poor/weak franchises is because they put franchises in Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta and other American cities that shouldn't have an NHL franchise - and they did it solely for the sky high league entry fees which they get to split amongst themselves. In summary, the owners approved of franchises in places that shouldn't have gotten franchises to get a payday, and now they want the players to pay for their mistake. At a minimum the Coyotes, Islanders and Panthers should be in Canada where the NHL has a lucrative TV deal.

      Anyway, I stand with all unions whether they be bus drivers, teachers, miners, hockey players or NFL referees, etc., because in general they are fighting against the Mitt Romney's of the world every single day.

      •  Good points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greengemini

        Very good point about the expansion fees.

        As for the bottom 3 or 4 teams moving to Canada? Well... There's room for a seconf team in Toronto. That market can sustain it, and Lord knows they would love to have a team with even the hope of making the playoffs.

        There is also the new rink going up in QC. That market could sustain a team, at least until the dollar tanks again. Then they (and the Jets, Flames, Sentors, and Oilers)  would be in serious trouble again. There is nowhere else to put any other teams in Canada.

        Moving teams to Canada affects American teams in a couple oif ways. First, they can stop dumping money into Phoenix and whatever other teams they move. Second, teams like Detroit and Buffalo will lose gate receipts. The Sabres in particular rely on cross border fans, and price their games accordingly.

        And don't forget that the NHL isn't going to move more than 1 more team to Canada. They want fat 600M$ expansion fees for either TO or QC and don't really want to relocate. Relocating also devalues any future US tv contracts. And, again, more reliance on the Canadian dollar intruduces more risk.

        There is also the cyclical aspect to NHL teams. Look at Dallas and Colorado. They were praised for being fanatastic markets when the teams were winning. Hell, the Avalanche in their first season there already had some of the best players of that generation. They won. Lots. That makes it easy to sustain a team there. Now? Both of those teams a struggling financially because the teams aren't winning. Could Colombus be a good market? Who knows. A decade of mismanagement only proves that non-traditional markets are unsustainable if they are fucking terrible on the ice.

        The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

        by Darkvisitor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 02:06:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about Halifax? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greengemini

          over 1 million people live on Nova Scotia, and over 2 million in the Atlantic Maritime provinces. Nearest franchise would be either Montreal or Boston 300 to 400 miles away. Urban area of Nova Scotia has maybe 1/2 a million people, but the TV market might well be whole of the maritime provinces which would place it in the middle range of NHL league TV audiences.

          With regards to a second Toronto or Hamilton franchise, I think the Maple Leafs have a veto power over that, don't they? Quebec City is a no brainer with the population growth since the Nordiques left and the new arena. Placing a third franchise would be problematic. But the Islanders need to be moved and soon since the Nassau Mausoleum is crumbling and since the tax payers rejected building a new arena. And obviously, the Phoenix situation needs to be resolved. Miami is a weak market even though they made the playoffs. And Columbus will be in trouble the moment that the sweetheart deal from the casino tax revenue isn't available any more. Maybe Seattle or Portland. Or maybe league contraction.

          •  On Halifax (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greengemini, Bronx59

            Don't forget that Halifax is having a hard time getting a CFL team together. The maritimes aren't exactly swimming in money. There's a reason there are more Maritimers in Alberta than there are Albertans.

            MLSE does have some sort of exclusive area. Buffalo and MLSE using that power is a good reason that Hamilton will never get a team unless they cut a seperate fee for those teams. Same thing with the new arena going up in Markam. MLSE will get looked after or there will be no new teams in the area.

            QC population growth is a good sign for team sustainability, but corporate support is what really makes the difference. I think Montreal has the HQs, potentially making it tough for QC to sell all those luxury boxes and platinum seats.

            I think a team in QC will do fine (finance-wise) as long as the arena is owned by whoever owns the team and the dollar is close to equal. On the ice depends on whether it's an expansion or a relocation (and which team). Financial sucess would be tied more closely to on ice sucess than the Habs or Leafs. Those two teams are cultural institutions.

            Phoenix is.... Just a fucking mess. Word is that they have never made money. Moving into an arena in Glendale that they don't own and that is not in Phoenix itself didn't help. Have Gretzky be a terrible coach didn't help. If they had had the sucess they have had over the last few seasons years earlier would have been a huge boost to that franchise. But like Columbus, running the team into the ground killed the team financially

            Because of the low level of revenue sharing, NHL teams are, in most markets, more dependant on a run a sucessful years to make a profit or break even.

            I wouldn't mind seeing the league drop to 28 teams. Losing the Panthers and the Jackets. Phoenix (since it has a history) should be relocated to QC or Portland. It would cost the players jobs, but the quality of play would be better. Right now each team probably has 4-5 glorified AHL players on the roster.

            The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

            by Darkvisitor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 02:55:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fire the owners. The HeyMikey plan. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Justus, daddybunny, salmo

              Why do the players need owners again?

              Here's the HeyMikey plan:

              1. Players form a new league--owned by the players.

              2. The league divvies up the players in such a way to make every team competitive. Players have to go where they're assigned. There should be a procedure for players to appeal assignments. Emphasis should be on keeping players in one place as long as possible, to build fan loyalty.

              3. The league administrative staff are, of course, ultimately employees of the players.

              The tough part will be figuring out the pay scale, since this ultimately pits the stars against the journeymen. Maybe the simplest thing to do would be to have a minimum salary; teams get bonuses at the end of the year based on league profits and how far the team got in the playoffs; and let the players on each team vote on how to divvy up the team's bonus. Thus a star gets rewarded for helping his team win, not by padding his own stats. Maybe let the fans vote for MVP and award bonuses to the nominees and top finishers.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:52:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is really just a time of... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HeyMikey

                unprecedented greed.  I differentiate this from the middle ages feudalism, mainly because of religion, even though the income disparities are similar.

                "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

                by Candide08 on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 05:47:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I am an Islanders fan and wholeheartedly (0+ / 0-)

            disagree with your notion that the Islanders need to be moved.  The sole basis of you argument is likely predicated on the fact that the team has performed well on the ice and has not been able to sell tickets.  I will grant you those things are true.  However, you did not provide any reasoning behind those arguments.

            First off, the Islanders routinely sold out their building from the mid-70s to the early 90's during which time they were perennial Cup contenders and was the only American hockey team to win four Cups in a row.  Thus, the team has a large fan base available to them to this day that has been sorely neglected by forces outside of their control.

            Most, if not all, of the major faults in the Islanders organization an be attributed to horrible ownership, sometimes pushed on to them by the League itself (John Spano), and awful GM, who rarely if ever, had the teams best interest at heart.  The current owner, Charles Wang, has repeatedly over the last few seasons done his best to circumvent the salary cap floor by using rookies on entry-level contract laden with huge bonuses, 35+ year-old veterans (who can also get contract bonuses) no longer able to play effective in addition to buyouts and a goaltender on a 15 yr contract, who has little hope of ever playing effectively again.  He also has cut his front office staff to the absolute minimum necessary to run an organization.  While we don't know for sure because contract terms are not available, Wang likely employs the lowest paid and most ineffective coaching staff in the league.

            In comparison, the Devils are a perennial top tier team that rarely is able to sell well except when playing rivals like the Ranger or the Flyers.  Even many of their playoff games are no more than 3/4 full.  It is so bad they have been financial trouble for the last two years even with a brand-new state-of-the-art building.  If any team is ripe for relocation, it is them.

            We Islanders bitch about our team to no end, but we know the realities.  Put in an owner who wants to spend the money to ice an actual NHL rather than a glorified AHL team and the fans will return.  Hell, why doesn't the NHL just allow us fans to buy the team and run it like the Packers.

            •  On the NYI (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bronx59, cohenzee

              As I comment below, the NYI under Wong have been brutally mismananged. The capfloor shenanigans, bad teams, DiPietro, and Mad Mike....

               I don't see the Islanders moving any further than Brooklyn. The arena problem isn't entirely of his own making though.

              As for the Devils, I don't see them going anywhere either. While they might have some problems drawing fans to some games, and rely on opposing fans for sellouts, they aren't alone in that. The Senators rely on Maple Leafs fans, the Sabres and Red Wings rely on Canadian fans crossing the border, the Southern teams were sold on the idea of snowbird fans, etc....

              Columbus, Florida and Phoenix are the only teams that I can see moving further than down the block.

              Realignment and increased revenue sharing should go a long way to stabilizing most of the shakier teams.

              The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

              by Darkvisitor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 04:38:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't notice your original comment (0+ / 0-)

                when I posted this.  I just get my ears up when people make comments about the Isles without giving proper context.

                I agree a move to Brooklyn is highly likely.  My preferred outcome is Wang gone and a new or refurbished arena in Uniondale.  With Bettman refusing to step in regarding a clear violation of at least the spirit of the last CBA and likely a similar one to come, I feel that nothing will change, even with a move to Brooklyn, should Wang stay in charge.

                I don't see the Devils moving either nor do I want to see them move.  However the three teams you mentioned having the same issue, do not have problems selling out playoff games.  That to me shows a large structural issue the Devils may not be able to fix.  Also, the Devils, unlike the Sens and Sabres, play within walking distance from a major public transportation hub that links NYC and Philly plus all of NJ.

                "Realignment and increased revenue sharing should go a long way to stabilizing most of the shakier teams."

                This definitely needs to happen and will go a long way.  The League just needs to make sure they don't screw over the Islanders in regards to revenue sharing like they did in the last CBA.

                •  Revenue Sharing (0+ / 0-)

                  The Islanders don't qualify for revenue sharing, correct? Because they are in the largest American market?

                  I can see the reasoning behind that decision. If a team in New York (!) needed revenue sharing, then there's less in the kitty for locales that actually needed that money. New expansion teams that still needed time to get established. Teams like Nashville that spent the time putting together a team (Suter leaving isn't the end of the world), building a fanbase, and building an identity (smashville). That was revenue sharing well worth it.

                  And besides, a team in New York shouldn't need revenue sharing. If consecutive owners hadn't shit all over the legacy of that team, they wouldn't need it. Should they qualify for current revenue sharing? Not in my opinion. Under expanded sharing? Sure. I'm sure the Rangers could peel off a few bills to make those matchups entertaining and meaningful again.

                  Don't forget to look at ticket prices and give aways when you talk about attendance. The attendance numbers less reliable than hit stats.

                  The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

                  by Darkvisitor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 05:55:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  As for revenue sharing (0+ / 0-)

                    I know the Islanders are in the largest media market in the country.  However they also have one of the smallest, if not the second smallest (I believe Winnipeg is the smallest), building capacities in the league.  Plus they have the fewest club seats available of any team which is where a significant amount of corporate revenue comes into play. To equal just the ticket revenue of a team with an average sized NHL building, the Isles would have to make their average tickets prices closer to what Toronto or Montreal charges and possibly even higher than that.  Even the plan Wang drew up to refurbish the arena would have only added about 1000 extra seats which still would keep them in the bottom third of the league.  The upside is that most of these new seats would be club seats just above the lower bowl which would have the highest ticket prices.  And moving to Brooklyn may not abate the seating issue as that arena is set up to hold only 14,500 for hockey, the lowest for the NHL.  

                    Ticket numbers are vastly inflated for the Islanders, I know.  I go to almost all the home games.  And many of the tickets sold that are reported are either heavily discounted or given away free.  And yes, that is very much due to the product they put on the ice.  However my point about ticket revenue potential still stands.

                    Also, no matter how well the Islanders perform on the ice, the bulk of the corporate revenue will continue to go to the Rangers.  They are the big team in the area.  While the team does have a very lucrative cable contract, the channel they play on is controlled by the Dolan family, who own the Rangers.  

                    So yes, I do believe they should be considered a team eligible for revenue sharing.  

                    Would better ownership lead to more revenue, most likely yes.  But it will never be enough to allow them to spend near the top of the salary cap without putting them on shaky financial ground especially if they spent a more reasonable amount on the front office, coaching, player and customer support and overhead.

                    As for expansion teams needing revenue sharing to get established, of course they do.  But it has been ten years since the last expansion.  All the teams should be past the early growing stages at this point.  That said, revenue sharing is still worthwhile.  These cities have teams and those teams are a part of the fabric of those cities.  I will never advocate relocation of any hockey team.  Revenue sharing is sports equivalent of progressive taxation.  The owners chose to allow expansion to those cities so they should fund a support system to keep those teams viable.

                    •  Nasau (0+ / 0-)

                      I didn't think the NC was that small. I also didn't hear that the Brooklyn arena would be 14.5k for hockey. That's just too small. What was the seating capacity for his Lighthouse project?

                      Teams like Nashville are always going to need revenue sharing to keep up. There is no way they could have matched Weber without it, and probably more in the future.

                      Like I said, the new CBA should have more sharing and the Rangers should peel off a few bills to help make the Islanders viable again. The Islanders, Rangers, and Devils all need each other. That should be 16 don't miss games for each team. Rivalries are only great when the teams don't suck. Just ask the Leafs.

                      P.S I was think more of the Panthers and Coyotes when I made that comment about attendance. Show a Florida driver's and get a free ticket? Yikes.

                      The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

                      by Darkvisitor on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 05:55:43 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The Lighthouse project (0+ / 0-)

                        would have brought the seating capacity up to 17,500.  The proposed project would have lowered the ice by approx 5-10ft to keep the sightlines similar.  Also there would be two concourses rather than one and more restaurants and bars than currently are in the building.  And, as I said before, there would be an additional ring of club sections.  My understanding, based on the designs I saw, was that there would be additional sky boxes beyond the approximately 20-25 they have now.  The additional revenue brought in by all of these improvements would likely make revenue sharing less necessary rather than a lifeline.  Oh and yeah, I am not a fan of Brooklyn per se due to the capacity.  I was set to go to the pre-season game to see what it would look like, but that seems moot now.

                        To all of your other points, I agree 100%.  

                        While I still enjoy going to Isles/Rangers games, it is not the same.  So many memories going with my dad both to the Coliseum and the Garden.

            •  Factually wrong (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Darkvisitor, MrJersey

              Devils have sold out every playoff game since building their new arena.  Even before then, if they failed to sell out the playoffs, it was by a few thousand, not by 1/4

              Devils financial problems are because they financed the arena at the height of the housing bubble an are drowning in doubt.  Considering their owner is a former Lehman Brothers exec, I don't exactly feel sorry for him

        •  Wasn't the Goldwater institute suing (0+ / 0-)

          Then city of Glendale over their financial support of the Coyotes?

          •  Yup (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NeverThere

            I'm not entirely sure how that worked out.

            I do know that the Jamison (sp?) group is holding out on buying the team because they want to re-negotiate the lease agreement.

            Glendale has been taken advantage in almost everyway when it come to the NHL. The league should pay back the extortion money, settle on the cost of the rink, and move the team.

            Not going to happen, but that would be half-fair at least.

            The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

            by Darkvisitor on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 11:14:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Coyotes will be the last team to move (0+ / 0-)

              if only for one reason in the mind of Bettman. That is to keep  Bettman from looking like an idiot.

              If the Coyotes move now, then people will say why couldn't they have moved back to Winnipeg. Bettman was/is so determined about to prevent this from happening, that they won't move.

              Winnipeg did get a team, but they got the Trashers from Atlanta. A team without any history or ties to Winnipeg.

        •  Sorry, but you're off base with Dallas (0+ / 0-)

          We had the worst owner in the league (by many estimations) for years.  Ticket prices were outrageous, we couldn't sign good free agents, bankruptcy was looming, etc.  I live in Dallas and learned to play hockey as an adult.  We have lots of rinks, and I play in four different leagues around town.  There are a ton of transplants from detroit, the NE, lots of canadians down here.  Hell, my beer league coach played for the Wheat Kings, and one of my buddies plays with Ed Belfour in an A-League.  Dallas is a great sports town, and was and can be again, a great hockey town.  There are reasons beyond fickle fans bailing on losing teams.  We've been a game out of the playoffs for the last few seasons.  We're not a losing team, just a group of fans that grew tired of being taken for granted.  

          New owner, new players...hell, Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney signed up for at least a year...that will get some butts in the seats and help us give the young guys some time to mature.  Dallas isn't giving up our team just yet.  Look elsewhere.

          "Kindly go render the fat in your head in a large kettle of boiling water. Thank you." - Bumblebums -7.38, -6.46

          by balancedscales on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:00:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Stars (0+ / 0-)

            Are you saying that the team wasn't succesful when they won the Cup? That was the era I was talking about in my comment.

            The point was that it is far easier to support a winning team. Dallas with Modano at his prime and a Cup. Colorado with Sakic, Roy, etc... and winning a Cup (the Red Wings blood feud helped sell tickets as well).

            Then the teams stop being top tier teams. It gets harder to maintain sucess in some markets when you aren't at the top.

            That isn't a judgement. It's a fact. I'm not a Dallas fan, or even located within 1000 miles, but the cyclical nature of success dogs some teams more than others.

            I also never said that Dallas should relocate or fold. As I said elsewhere, I only see one of Columbus, Florida, or Phoenix moving anytime soon. For a variety of reason, mostly money related. Plus, Gary is a stubborn man.

            Teams bottom out. For how long depends on the team. Then young new talent comes in to be exciting. Some teams are just better able to withstand the downturn than others. The Leafs have made money for decades and haven't won a Cup since '67.

            And for the record, Harold Ballard was the worst, most evil, owner in the history of the NHL.

            The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

            by Darkvisitor on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 11:27:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  So are most of the players (0+ / 0-)

      They are millionaires, most of whom aren't extremely educated.  You think they are democrats?  I love hockey, but professional sports aren't exactly known for liberalism

      •  Many are Candians and Europeans so the specters (0+ / 0-)

        of socialized medicine do not scare them, and some are players from elite universities that are not exactly bastions of conservative thought.  Others, like Boston's goaler Tim Thomas, who refused to attend the team invite to the Obama White House, attended universities and apparently did not learn much there.

        And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

        by MrJersey on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 10:11:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bettman looks like Count Chocula (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Without the whimsy.

    In any event, this sucks for all concerned. Well, except the 'risk-taking' owners.

    And as a Ranger fan, as we prepare for the 2013 Cup, it's even worse.

  •  Sport team owners suck nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, Bronx59

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 12:58:39 PM PDT

  •  Almost all of these teams play in arenas .... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    ... costing several hundred million dollars, almost all paid for by taxpayer dollars from taxpayers of whom the overwhelming majority will never set foot in the arenas.

  •  We Breathe Hockey Up Here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Railfan, JohnnyAppleseed, greengemini

    The NHL had only six teams until 1967 - my second last year of high school. Now there's 30 - many in places that can't, or won't, sustain them. The league and its headquarters are now American-based. The owners are generally idiots and follow that little shit Bettman slavishly. Bettman shut down the league just four years ago until the players gave him a cap. Revenue has risen over 2 billion since then, but now Little Gary wants more.

    I measure the seasons of my life by the seasons my Habs play, but I fear we'll see nothing until just after Christmas - and all because of the greed of these sad owners.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 01:08:47 PM PDT

    •  Do you know... (0+ / 0-)

      that the Flyers currently have more French Canadians on their team (Giroux, Briere, Talbot, Couturier, Bordon) then the Canadians. That's got to hurt, especially not drafting Giroux even though he played his junior hockey in Gatineau. How is that American (David Fischer) you picked two spots in front of Giroux working out for the Habs?

      Just a little friendly prod by a Flyer fan here. At least we can find a little common ground, I think, in our mutual distain for the Bruins. Can we not?

      •  Do you know... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnnyAppleseed

        Having the B's draft Malcom Subban has got to make family gatherings REALLY akward at the Subban house.

        All the winning teams of the last several years have had more Canadian players on them. Meanwhile, the Leafs are bassically an NCAA team.

        And don't forget that the Flyers weren't going to draft Giroux and they forget his name at the podium. You can thank Hextall for taking the Flyers draft list with him to LA, leaving Girous to the Flyers.

        The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

        by Darkvisitor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 02:23:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Clarke forgetting Giroux's name was priceless (0+ / 0-)
          And don't forget that the Flyers weren't going to draft Giroux and they forget his name at the podium. You can thank Hextall for taking the Flyers draft list with him to LA, leaving Girous to the Flyers.
          I'm a firm believer of its better to be lucky than good.
  •  Pucklady is mad. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misslegalbeagle, Bronx59

    >:E

    I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. - Kos

    My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 01:09:34 PM PDT

  •  This post misses some points (5+ / 0-)

    There are many issues being debated in this round of CBA talks.

    1- While the league has seen revenue growth record 3.3B$ in revenue, a large part of this comes from the Canadian dollar reaching par (or better). In the 90's, the League had a Canadian assistance plan to help Canadian teams pay contracts due in American dollars with Canadian dollars that were worth 60%. That means that a large part of that growth is not hockey related growth.

    2 - Depending on how much you believe their acounting, there is 1/3 of the league that makes money (the Canadian teams, NYR, PHI, etc), 1/3 that loses money unless they get a playoff run, and the final 1/3 that lose money every year. NYI owner Charles Wong has talked about losing 200M$ since he purchased the team. While his teams has been horribly mismanaged over the years, his is not a unique situation.

    3 - With point 2 in mind, there is a fight amongst the owners over revenue sharing, and a fight between the players and the owners.

    4 - The owners are also going after contract terms. They want to increase the length of ELC contracts to 5 years and push free agency back a few more years as well. This reduces the bargaining power of the individual players.

    5 - After some teams spent fortunes this summer (including the Wild spending 200M$ on 2 players), they then turned around and tried to cut the value of those contracts by reducing share of hockey related revenue (HRR). They are trying to cut thta share by claiming that they can't sustain player salary inflation (that they caused by using loopholes in the previous CBA, the one where they crushed the NHLPA).

    6 - The owners also want to reclassify revenue streams away from counting as HRR. This means less money going into the kitty that the owners want to cut the player's share of.

    While the essence of the diary is accurate, the owners are arguing that the league isn't healthy. This is true, as can be seen by the fact that the league has owned the Phoenix Coyotes for 2 years and has extorted 50M$ from the city of Glendale.

    What they are trying to do to fix that problem is take away from the players. The top 1/3 of the league will make even more money, while every other team still struggles to get by. Especially if the Canadian dollar does down again. Before Atlanta moved to Canada, the six (out of 30) Canadian teams brough in more than 30% of league revenues. This is highly dependent on the value of the Canadian dollar.

    The players have agreed to a healthy cut in their share of HRR, but they want their cut to be tied to an increase in revenue sharing between the teams. Their arguement is that this is the best way to avoid future lockouts, increase competitive balance, and make the league as a whole healthier.

    Another aspect of this whole situation is that owning a sports franchise is about cashing out large when you sell. Franchise values have risen considerably. That is how most of the leagues owners make money from owning a team. Buy, hold and write some checks in the meantime, then sell the team when the franchise value is high.

    There are some legitimate points to be made for a reduction in player salaries, as a share of HRR on a go-forward basis, but the idea that owners will sign players and then use the CBA to immeadiately devalue those contracts is...a pretty shitty move.

    Yes, the owners (especially of the rich teams) are making an naked cash grab, but there are very real issues that have to be worked out to keep the League healthy. One side tabled a useful starting point, and th other side tabled an FU and the locked the doors.

    The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

    by Darkvisitor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 01:47:08 PM PDT

    •  Deserves its own diary (0+ / 0-)

      Better job at explaining the lockout than post. Don't forget the argument over rule changes as well.

      Sucks there is gonna be no hockey this year.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 01:56:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the Olympics issue (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JGibson, greengemini

        The players want to go.

        The league doesn't want to risk player injury (with valid insurance issues as well).

        They also don't want to lose the all-star game in Olympic years. The all-star games are a boon to struggling markets (the soon-to-be cancelled one this year is supposed to be in Columbus I think). They also don't like losing the fact that the all-star game is a strokefest for sponsors.

        The way I see it, the owners are looking after their  own immediate bottom line, without taking into account that the Olypmics help grow the sport. They should be praying that the US team medals every time.

        The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

        by Darkvisitor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 02:31:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Rec'ed for deep content analysis, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bronx59

      We have no way of knowing whether the owners or the NHL are/is making or losing money.  Like Mitt they won't open their books. And like Mitt they cry wolf of "poor me" while saying the workers are making too much. Never mind that they bid for and signed the workers contracts.

      So the premise of your argument that the NHL is losing money is unproven and unfounded.  Open the books and let's see. Until then all the NHL owner's financial claims are nothing more than empty PR claims.

      Note I don't mean to disparage your cogent and well taken points about the state of NHL economics.  I really hope some of these things you state are indeed the true economics of the NHL and that it gives rise to the parties finding common ground to settle their differences.  

      •  On Financial docs. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bronx59

        At the beginning of serious CBA talks, the teams dumped some 6000 pages of financial documents on the NHLPA, so the union does have some idea of what's going on here.

        Not all teams are created equal though. Philly is owned by comcast, so I believe that a lot of that teams financial sucess goes to the parent company in terms of TV rights, and don't go to the team where it would be counted as HRR. Don't quote me on that because I'm 100% sure on this example.

        What I'm saying is that while the teams see what the teams have, parent companies can and have redirected some revenue so it isn't at play in the CBA talks.

        The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

        by Darkvisitor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 02:15:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  DV, agreed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cohenzee

          It is very tough to untangle and determine the actual accounted HRR generation, expenses and profitability of a major sports franchise.  Apples-to-apples it ain't. Especially across 30 NHL franchises.

          By the way since you quote Charles Wong crying about $200MM in loses, many years ago I sold my company to him. It was quite an eye opening experience when the legal, finance and deal negotiation troops arrive from NYC and state their terms to you. Let's just say the deal was on his terms and as close to a mafia deal that, "You can't say no to" as I ever want to be.

          So I don't have too much sympathy for the Charles Wongs of the world.  

          •  Me neither (0+ / 0-)

            Though obviously not for the personal reasons you have.

            Part of the problem with the NYI is their arena. When the lease is up, we'll see how that sorts itself out.

            The biggest part is that he is just a terrible owner. He has a rep as a real meddler. As a result, the team has been terrible for years and lost a ton of money.

            The same goes for several of the owners. Pushing/Forcing GM's to exploit every possible CBA loophole and then crying poor is BS.

            The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

            by Darkvisitor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 03:09:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

          It was 76,000 pages, according to some articles I've read.

          My bad. I was off by orders of magnitude, but the point remains the same.

          The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

          by Darkvisitor on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:14:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Devils Are A Good Example (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      They have won three Stanley Cups and were in the finals last year yet they are not only losing money they are unable to pay their bills. I have done subcontracting work for them for years and they have never not paid until the last couple of years. I am still waiting for 2010-11 season money let alone last season. If they play at all, I refuse to do a damned thing for them and they can go find another dupe.

      If a team can be as consistently good as the Devils and not make money, there is something seriously wrong with the sport itself and the ownership of these teams.

      This head movie makes my eyes rain.

      by The Lone Apple on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:36:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and they are in the largest market in the country (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Lone Apple

        Bad is never good until worse happens

        by dark daze on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:43:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but they share it with two other teams (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MrJersey

          The Rangers have been here since the 1920s and have a large & loyal fan base. The Isles had their glorious era but have fallen on hard times.

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 05:36:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not sure that the NYI have the corporate fan base (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse

            out there on the island to keep a team financially healthy.  Those extraordinarily expensive tickets are largely bought as corporate entertainment expenses, and when the corporate base is smaller, them have trouble selling them to ordinary people who cannot write off the expense.  

            And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

            by MrJersey on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 10:16:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Devils (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Lone Apple, mightymouse, MrJersey

        It is my undertanding that the Devils have had troubles because:

        1- They sucked for most of the 2010-2011 season
        2- They moved to an arena away from their fanbase (ala Phoenix)
        3- Issues with buying out a minority partner

        Sure ther Devs can sometimes have a problem with the finances, but it isn't because the fan support isn't there enough to support them. Owning an NHL franchise doesn't grant you the right to make money. It grants you the chance to make money in what is supposed to be a level playing field.

        There is also the equity aspect to owning a franchise that lets owners cash out in to long run. Players don't see dime one from that.

        The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

        by Darkvisitor on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:18:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Although they sell out during the playoffs, who (0+ / 0-)

          wants to go to downtown Newark during a winter weeknight.  People in Jersey do not use public transportation unless they are poor or commute to NYC during regular hours.  Reliance on the unreliable NJ Transit to get you our of Newark late on a winter weeknight is just not something that Jersey people do, yet they will sit in traffic jams on Rt 3 getting out of the old Meadowlands Arena because they can drive.  

          Locating the franchise in downtown Newark was just not smart for hockey.

          And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

          by MrJersey on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 10:20:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I love the occasional trip to Newark (0+ / 0-)

            Great Portuguese, Spanish, and Brazilian food in the Ironbound, and an up and coming bar scene centered around the arena.  

            But them I'm not terrified of seeing black faces like so many suburban New Jerseyites are

    •  NHL seems unsustainable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrJersey

      There are too many teams, basically. As you say, a lot of them are money-losers. I don't see how places like Nashville, Phoenix, Carolina can ever support a high-$ team.

      It's emblematic that there are three teams in the NY metro area. All the other major sports - which have bigger natural fan bases - have two.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 05:34:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Carolina and Buffalo (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        Carolina and Buffalo are owned by very wealthy men who are hockey fans.

        Carolina is owned by Peter Karmanos. He owns himself an entire hockey program: The Florida Everblades, The Plymouth Whalers, and the Canes. He sponsors a bunch of youth hockey programs. The guy is outside wealthy and just loves hockey.

        Buffalo is now owned by Terry Pegula. Oil Billionaire. When he bought the team, he said at a press conference that he didn't buy the team to make money. "I'll drill another oil well if I want to do that."

        A lot of these guys are in it for the prestige and the love of the game. That doesn't necesarily make them great owners, and it doesn't mean that they should be part of the group trying to bend over the players, but there is a reason Bain couldn't get these guys to buy out for way more than their teams were worth.

        The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

        by Darkvisitor on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:56:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  so hockey is a money-loser? (0+ / 0-)

          I don't get it ... it doesn't seem workable.  Kind of like symphony orchestras.

          do other major sports operate like this?

          how much prestige do you get for owning the Buffalo Sabres?

          Also it's hypocritical for owners on one hand to say "we don't care about losing money" on then on the other "we are losing money and it's a problem."

          Finally very interesting that he is an oil guy ... I heard the that several of the KHL owners are in the same business (Russia being a top producer) ....

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:13:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  And the thing about laying off staff is a PR move (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bronx59

    just another dirty fucking trick by the owners trying to drum up pressure against the players in the media and the public. The franchises still get their share of the TV deals, so none of them are close to going under. The move is a ploy to try to get the public to think that the players are putting these front office types out of work.

    •  yes, season tickets have already been purchased (0+ / 0-)

      Years ago as a long suffering season ticket holding Sharks fan, I always thought it took a lot of brass for the team to demand payment of playoff tickets in mid February for a last place team. Sure, if they didn't make the playoffs, the payment could go towards next season's season tickets. Those payments were typically due months in advance.


      i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

      by bobinson on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:23:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I posted this over at my fav sports blogs and (4+ / 0-)

    whoo boy, did I get attacked.  Really fun to inject a little politics into a sports blog.

    "Welcome to Mitt Romney’s America. Where the .001%, “Has theirs and wants yours. And will make the rules to get yours.”

    Think it ain’t so?

    As a caddy at Cypress Point Golf Club I have toted bags for most of the NHL owners. To a man (no women allowed) they see owning sports teams as a game of power, possessions and ego. The players are spoiling their private ownership club, their game, by wanting a share of the game. They hate sharing. They hate the union for making them share. They don’t want partners, they want it all to themselves.

    Think it ain’t true?

    I hear the conversations on the golf course every day. You think the owners “earned” their billions by sharing? You think they want to open their books and show the world their Swiss bank accounts and offshore Cayman Islands tax havens? They want to break the union and realized they didn’t go far enough last time around. This is a game to them – they own it, they make the rules, and they always win.

    Note I also caddy for many hockey players. Hockey players are THE most down to earth players from any sport. They have truly earned their rich contracts on the open market with their own hard work and skill. The players didn’t cheat, bribe, scam, bully or inherit their wealth. To resent the players’ success is to resent your fellow man the right to become rich through his or her own skill and honest labor. Just like you would do if you could play hockey in the NHL.

    Felling screwed by the coming lockout? I hope so. I sure am. The fans, especially the STHs, are just the public who pays the bills. No playing at Cypress Point for you riff-raf. And no hockey for you either, until those insolent players learn their place in the back of the bus."

    NOTE: In light of the recent tapes I can only say that what Romney said in his $50k/plate fundraiser was EXACTLY what I hear when caddying.
  •  Oh, THAT 47%? nt (0+ / 0-)

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:03:19 PM PDT

  •  No hockey = me haz a sad. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hastur, Danno11, arabian

    To the degree I've followed this and understand the issues, I am 100% behind the players on this one.  I'll give up a season if that's what it takes to get a fair deal.

    The thing is, you see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear. Dig? - The Rock Man

    by BalanceSeeker on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:03:57 PM PDT

  •  the owners and commissioner (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hastur, lostboyjim

    have taken a great sport and forced it into second class status because of selfish greed, they obviously don't care about the support workers or the fans only themselves, the sport is secondary to their financial interests.

  •  I want my Caps! (5+ / 0-)

    Props to the Ovechkin pic, by the way, heh.

    53% seems eminently fair as a compromise.  The fact that the owners aren't even willing to meet the NHLPA halfway just seems greedy.  I mean really now, the NHL has the largest number of affluent season ticket owners, and the top 10-grossing teams routinely sell out games (including my Capitals).  Not to mention the NHL and NHLPA official bri-a-brac is maybe the most expensive in any organized sport.

    Frankly, I think the owners are just being dicks.  Most of them, like the Caps owner, are already very independently rich, and the profitable NHL teams are basically guaranteed income unless the GM makes a very stupid trade or contract.  Some teams aren't doing as well, I admit, but no amount of player pay cuts are going to make hockey popular in Nashville or Phoenix.

    All your vote are belong to us.

    by Harkov311 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:12:52 PM PDT

  •   Jean Beliveau shrugged (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

        People up here in the Great White North are surprisingly indifferent to this lockout.... For the most part, we have had enough of millionaire players bitching against billionaire owners, parasitic 1% plutocrats gorging at the public trough to build giant arenas in cities that are not even interested in hockey, clutch and grab obstruction, neanderthals gooning the best and brightest players, insane ticket prices, 10 dollar warm beer, a regular season way too long, and the Cup being handed out in June....

        As far as many of us are concerned, they can stay out forever and we could care less....  

         Former Hab fan.....

    •  Say what? (7+ / 0-)

      Speak only for yourself here sir/madam.

      There are problems with the sport to be sure, but the Cup is still the greatest trophy in all of sports. And the on ice product (minus the TB/PHI rag the puck mess) is better than it's been in years.

      There are a bunch of young exciting stars to watch, and many more on the way.There are grizzled vets teaching the kids and taking on last shot at a ring. There are rivalries and feuds.

      And of course, there is Bryz.

      The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

      by Darkvisitor on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:30:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not negotiating in good faith (6+ / 0-)

    Want to know what state of mind the owners are operating on?

    "I will tell you this," said Detroit's senior vice president Devellano. "The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle. The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That's the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren't going to let a union push them around. It's not going to happen."
    It's incredibly hard to feel sympathy for millionaires in a lockout but the owners are actively using a lockout as leverage in order to demand more money from the players.

    It's pretty blatant and despicable and is driving coverage of the sport into the stone age.  Profits are up 60% from the last lockout yet they still demand more.  This is the second lockout in 8 years and the 4th work stoppage in 20.

    •  Totally agree (0+ / 0-)

      last time the players seemed equally at fault.  This time it is the owners plain and simple...

      The players aren't striking -- they are locked out!

      Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

      by lostboyjim on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:59:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The NHL fined him $250K.... (0+ / 0-)

      ...for revealing what management and owners thought of labor.  
      http://espn.go.com/...

      I firmly believe that the NHL, at least as much as the NBA, intentionally keeps franchises in unviable cities so that their bad bottom lines can be used to reduce labor's share of the revenue pool.

      Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

      by Rich in PA on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:03:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  not a sports fan, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yg17, Justus

    one of my clients is a player with St Louis.

    I really never thought about how much this stuff screws with their life. He's got no idea when he'll go back to work, or when the family moves back to St Louis.

  •  The RMoney class extracting more wealth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hastur

    from the workers (players). Because they can.

  •  the one thing both have in common ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hastur, mightymouse

    is that they will lose even more audience and revenues if they don't come to an agreement soon.   They've barely recovered from the last lockout.    When was the last time ESPN promoted the NHL?

    They had better come to a comprimise, soon.. and fast before the NHL becomes irrelevant in the u.s.

    To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

    by soros on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:28:39 PM PDT

    •  ESPN (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hastur, MrJersey

      ESPN doesn't care about the NHL and the NHL doesn't care about ESPN.

      The NHL has done a pretty good job of building media support. Starting from the Outdoor network, they created and nurtured network partner into becoming Versus. They got a big deal with NBC and NBC sports. Sure, American coverage is never going to be TSN, HNIC, Sportsnet, The Score, etc... that you get in Canada, but there is some very high quality coverage in the US.

       John Collins is the man behind Road to the Winter Classic HBO series. That series and the Winter Classic itself has brought the NHL back out of the wilderness of the last lockout.

      How will this lockout affect that coverage? Hard to say. In the event of canceling a season during the 10 year deal with NBC, the NHL will owe NBC a free season at the end of it's deal. The coverage will be there, but momentum is a funny animal.

      There are many people saying that there are basically two views about the length of the lockout. One is that the NHL doesn't really want to risk the DET/TOR Winter Classic at the Big House in Michigan and lose out on 110k tickets to that event alone (220k to all events associated with the game), and will strike a deal in mid-November to keep the HBO series and the buildup going.

      The other side says that the League is fully prepared to torpedo a full season to get what it wants.

      Either way, it pisses me off.

      On an aside, the league (as a whole) deserves a ton of credit for the You Can Play initiative.

      Link

      Link

      Link (Bain Capital Edition)

      Link

      The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

      by Darkvisitor on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:00:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Silver lining: there will never be scab players (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bill warnick, Hastur, Justus

    In years past, there were replacement players during work stoppages in football and baseball. Currently the NFL is using replacement refs.

    IMHO, there will never be replacement hokey players in the NHL. For one thing, these guys grew up through the junior minor league system in Canada. They all know and respect each other to some extent. The other obvious glaring reason is that these guys carry sticks and are allowed to air their differences with bare fists.


    i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

    by bobinson on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:31:49 PM PDT

  •  Hope the league folds.. (0+ / 0-)

    It can go away and no one will notice. They lost me the last lockout.

    •  ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thor Heyerdahl

      At least is would free the Stanley Cup from the NHL.

      I hate the way the trustees are ex-nhl execs.

      The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

      by Darkvisitor on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:20:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No one will notice? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arabian

      A league that almost doubled its revenues over the last seven years...

      yeah, no one will notice.

      I love proclamations of personal opinion that have no basis in fact.

      so do you, obviously.

      "Kindly go render the fat in your head in a large kettle of boiling water. Thank you." - Bumblebums -7.38, -6.46

      by balancedscales on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:06:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doubled from nothing to double nothing..n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  Wait ... what?! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          daemonw

          Over 3 BILLION is nothing?  Is this a joke?  Really?

          We all made this journey for a reason. -- President Barack Obama (February 10, 2007)

          by arabian on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 02:11:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  3 billion.. (0+ / 0-)

            seems like a lot until you spread it out over 30 teams and then it is only a $100 million a team..

            It is not a joke but the league is..If they were on such solid footing why would we have yet another lock out after missing the entire year last time?

            I followed the Dallas Stars and went to a many a game and then the lockout and I am out. Again, I don't care if the league folds and neither do most sports fans.

            There are a few, like you, who carry on..good for you but don't come down on me because the league is a joke. Or are you in favor of 13 year guaranteed contracts?

            •  I'm not coming down on you, (0+ / 0-)

              you have a right to your opinion, but I was truly mind-boggled that anyone could claim 3 billion dollars was nothing.  And even your breakdown (100 million a team) described as 'nothing' just does not compute for me.  I'd love to have even a 10th of that nothing personally.

              We all made this journey for a reason. -- President Barack Obama (February 10, 2007)

              by arabian on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 10:14:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Someone enlighten me on rival leagues (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    I've seen rumors that players are talking to the KHL or other Eastern leagues about playing there (and possibly staying there).  Is there another league in the world that can match the sheer ridiculous level of compensation that the NHL can?  I can't imagine the NHL being bigger than MLS if they lose the players, but I didn't think there was anywhere else the players could go that would pay them as well.  

    As always on sports union issues, I feel the owners have more time they can afford to spend not putting on games than the players, but I'd LOVE to see the players say "screw you, hippie" and start playing elsewhere.  

    War doesn't determine who is right, only who is left. Better be left so you can determine later if you were right.

    by Cendojr on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:41:22 PM PDT

    •  Other leagues (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justus, balancedscales, mightymouse

      Some players have already signed with teams in Europe. Ovechkin, for example, thinks the lockout will wipe out the whole season and has already gone to play with the Dynamo in Russia (which was his team before he was drafted by the NHL).

      From what I've read, some players can actually make more money overseas.

      No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. -- Voltaire

      by Hastur on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:07:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  KHL (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justus, balancedscales, mightymouse

      A number of KHL teams a bankrolled by Russian Oligarchs.

      And there is the issue of taxation on contracts. Also escrow.

      Ovechkin and a few other top tier players can make more bank in the KHL than they could here.

      The NHL has taxation to contract issues. Florida has, what?, no state income tax, while players in Quebec have to pay among the highest taxes around. There is an inflationary mechanism at work when Montreak has to pay 5M$ for a 4M$ player (because of after-tax compensation levels) that another player can point to that contract to justify his 5M$ contract in arbitration.

      I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that that's how things are right now.

      The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

      by Darkvisitor on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:25:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those KHL guys have to ride on Russian aircraft, (0+ / 0-)

        however, and after the entire team was wiped out in a crash of that aging Russian airliner last year, some players are having second thoughts about entrusting their lives to the chancy Russian aviation infrastructure that exists in Russia today.

        And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

        by MrJersey on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 10:31:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  NHL > KHL (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MrJersey

          I would in no way say that the KHL is equal with the NHL in any respect except for compensation levels.

          The loss of Lokomotiv was a tragedy, but it was only the largest in a string of player safety incidents.

          The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

          by Darkvisitor on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 11:42:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  No hockey makes me sad (5+ / 0-)

    I always knew that when the baseball season ended in October, hockey would be right there waiting for me. There is nothing I love more than a good hockey game, even when it's not my team (GO BLUES!) playing, I can still watch a game and enjoy it. I'd rather watch paint dry than watch football, so it will be a long winter without hockey.

    Hell, I was seriously considering going up to Vancouver with some family or friends to scratch "Watch the Blues play in Vancouver" off my bucket list, since they're playing the Canucks on New Years Eve. Seemed perfect since I have almost 2 weeks of vacation to use by the end of the year. Granted, I still want to go to Vancouver, hockey or no hockey, but if I'm going to spend over a grand on flights and hotels, I might as well make the most of it, right? Suppose I'll try again next season.

    Which, of course, brings up the greater impact outside of hockey by a lockout - lost revenue for hotels, bars, restaurants, etc, near an arena. The economic impact of a lockout is going to be felt by more than just the players and NHL staff.

    "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

    by yg17 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:46:06 PM PDT

    •  You absolutely should go to Vancouver - it's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      one of the most beautiful cities in the world (even if it does tend to be somewhat rainy and dreary in mid-winter).  

      You're absolutely right that amenities around the rink suffer terribly from the strike - especially in cities like Vancouver that have been sold out for years and years.  Many restaurants and bars have sprung up because the guaranteed crowds ensure a healthy clientele.  It's not only around the arenas.  I live in a city 400 miles from Vancouver and the Canucks are so popular right across the province that the strike is going to do serious damage to a lot of businesses around here too.

      "When life kicks you, let it kick you forward." Kay Yow

      by vernonbc on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 01:43:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  1 percenter's fighting over money. Funny. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo

    Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:48:31 PM PDT

    •  labor is labor, no matter the rate of pay. (0+ / 0-)

      without labor there is no product.  

      Principles matter...to most of us.

      "Kindly go render the fat in your head in a large kettle of boiling water. Thank you." - Bumblebums -7.38, -6.46

      by balancedscales on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:07:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What if your boss said... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arabian, Hastur

      "hey, i know that our company almost doubled its revenues over the last seven years, and your efforts were the main reason for that...but, I'm going to ask you to take a pay cut, for no other reason than I want more money"....

      How would you react?  Just because you don't earn their money, doesn't devalue their efforts and their labor.

      again, principles matter.

      "Kindly go render the fat in your head in a large kettle of boiling water. Thank you." - Bumblebums -7.38, -6.46

      by balancedscales on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:09:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  On Hockey (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrJersey, Hastur

      Don't forget that these guys have spent almost their entire lives training for the few years they get.

      Most players aren't Crosby or Ovie. Most guys are in the league for a year or two. Some guys are up for a cup of coffee.

      They ride the buses, sacrifice almost all other aspects of thier lives and they live away from home starting at young ages.

      The risk of career ending injury is around every corner. Colby Armstrong of the Leafs was caught puking his guts up in the dressing room. He was hiding a bad concussion from the team because he knew that that would fuck up his career.

      Boogard, Belak, and Rypien all died last summer from hockey related causes. Head injury, pill addiction, etc....

      10% of these guys have a small window to reward them for a life of dedication and heartbreak. 90% will never really get that chance.

      The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

      by Darkvisitor on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 11:43:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey - leave Rypien out of your conjecture (0+ / 0-)

        about causes of death.  Rick died because he suffered from depression which he would have had whether or not he played hockey.  His hockey brothers and the hockey fraternity tried very hard to help him but as sadly happens to many others with mental illness, they lost him.  RIP Ryp.

        "When life kicks you, let it kick you forward." Kay Yow

        by vernonbc on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 01:46:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rick Rypien (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Damnit Janet, Hastur

          A lot of people thought at the time, and some still do, that the concussive nature of his role in hockey was a factor in his mental illness.

          I wasn't judging him or the other guys. If I was completely off base, then I apologize.

          The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

          by Darkvisitor on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:07:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is different from the last lockout (5+ / 0-)

    Last time it was, as thestructureguy above indicates, a bunch of rich guys arguing with a bunch of rich guys while Rome (er, hockey) burned.

    This is a bit different.  The players have been doing revenue SHARING.  So they are making more as revenue increases..but now that owners are once again making money, they want to cut the players out.    You remember the players, the one who do the thing that makes all the money?

    This time around, it is (rightly) seen as a money grab by the owners, and the players are more victims than just a "greedy 1 percenter".   Just because someone makes a lot of money doesn't mean their position is wrong.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:57:40 PM PDT

  •  It would have been nice, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justus, Damnit Janet, Hastur

    as well as help the NHL players cause (IMO), to see members of the Chicago Blackhawks on the Chicago Public School's picket line.  That said, 'f' the owners.

  •  Why do the players need the owners? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BDA in VA, chipoliwog

    Couldn't the players play in their own player-owned league (the "PHL")?

  •  None of the big market teams want to share revenue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justus, Hastur

    The league that has become the most stable, despite declining popularity is baseball, and baseball has revenue sharing. In recent years the NHL has experienced record growth, but they claim teams are losing money. This might be partially true, but it is also due to the NHL stupidly trying to expand into quite a few markets where hockey doesn't work.

    The owners know that making a player with an average career of 3-5 years miss out on a full season will result in a 20-33% career pay cut when they are making a salary they will probably never match again, so they have locked the players out. They know that most likely the players will not think about future players who will lose a lot of money if they agree to a 10% pay cut now instead of missing out on a full season's salary. It's simple greed by the owners.

    If the NHL union would agree to set up a decent pension or revenue sharing deal just for the players in the league now so that the top stars would contribute to making up the salary lost for the lower-tiered players they could beat the owners. The NHL union appears to be much stronger than unions for the NFL or NBA, but I don't think they are as strong as MLB's union which has been united through their labor struggles. The NHL players I have heard locally seem very angry at the owners though, so I would not be surprised if they held strong, especially since so many of  them can go to Europe.

    •  Soccer seems to becoming big (0+ / 0-)

      It certainly is in my city. The Seattle Sounders FC is pulling in massive crowds. They don't seem to have the labor problems the NHL has.  

      Speaking of which, Seattle and Martin Luther King County  just agreed to use their public credit to finance $290 Million of a Basketball/NHL arena on behalf of an owners group that has a combined net worth of over $26 BILLION.  Chris Hanson, Steve Ballmer, Bruce Nordstrom.

      So much for the "You didn't build that"...

      --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

      by chipoliwog on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:24:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But its something like ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... 1/20th the flow of money that the NHL has. It may be growing, but its growing from a much smaller base, and there's widespread awareness in the league that a season lost to labor strife could kill five year's worth of growth.

        MLS owners, IOW, are in the business of growing the pie as fast as they can, in which situation arguments about how to slice up the pie get put on the back burner.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:09:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't support (professional) sport (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    (Apologies for the singular Willardism, just too fond of the rhyme)

    It's just handing over your hard earned dollars to Republicans,
    Rmoney's friends, the owners, for their various and sundry evil doings.

    Play sports instead, it's better for ya.
    Besides the main ones, bike, run, walk,
    watch an old or indie film if you wanna sit down.
    Read a book, play a tune, macrame for X-sake.

    Me, I like to swim a lot. I'm no good at it, but it's still fun.

    I just flushed my Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. Whaddya know, trickle down theory actually works somewhere.

    by cal2010 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:10:25 PM PDT

  •  I may be in the minority on this one (0+ / 0-)

    as I'm leaning with the owners. I'm not 100% with everything on the owners side.

    Outside of hockey, I have a decades long history of being pro union including serving on an union executive as a VP.  Professionally now, I do some M&A work and provide management consulting services usually directed at  bottom lines.

    As a Canadian kid I was a hockey bum - playing it every day as much as possible. It's been my favorite sport. Among pro athletes, I think hockey players are generally first class, very decent people.

    I have tracked this player owner relationship for decades. Historically, until more recent times, the players were treated poorly and cheated.

    I have read the current and previous NHL CBAs. I have looked very closely at the numbers and written about this on hockey sites many, many times over the last ten years.

    The bottom line is the bottom line for me on this one. Over the last couple of decades, owning a hockey team has not been a profitable adventure for the majority of owners. In the current CBA, each year, more than half the players made more money than the team they played for. For the health of the sport that has some history with franchise bankruptcy, there has to be some give by the players. The players have offered some roll back to their salaries in recognition of this obvious problem. More revenue sharing and other concessions from the owners have been offered and are required. A good deal is a fair deal for both parties.

    As some have appropriately raised above, this dispute is among the 1% about pretty big money that most can't even dream of attaining in their lifetime. I sincerely doubt it will last long like it did the last time.

    When I compare what is involved in this dispute with the issues this site is usually concerned with, it's almost embarrassing to see this issue on the same page. People unable to keep their homes, unable to find jobs, unable to get the health care they should have, voting rights, civil rights, collective bargaining rights, climate change, etc, etc, this issue strikes me as being well beyond a Rasmussen outlier in comparison.

    As a kid, my Dad would build a rink in our back yard. Because of climate change, I couldn't do that for my kids. We don't get enough snow any more.

    If we don't address those issues,  the hockey players in the 1% won't be able to find any ice to play on in a warmer planet and a bunch in the 53% won't be able to afford hockey tickets to watch the 1% play NHL hockey in a decimated economy.

    So this issue reminded me of the great, great work this site does on behalf of those more serious important issues. I thank you all for that.

    •  CBA (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vernonbc, mightymouse, Hastur

      This lockout isn't solely about money.

      The CBA is where a lot of safety issues can get fixed.

      The CBA is where the rights of players are determined. The owners are going after contract length, arbitration rights, and (rumours are) guaranteed contracts. The right not to be used and discarded is important to the players.

      The CBA is where the viability of the league as a whole is determined.

      Ticket prices have nothing to do with the players. Remember when Bettman said that the cap would lower prices for fans during the last lockout? Ticket prices are what the market will bear. Prices in Canada are higher because we are addicts. Prices in Florida are sometimes "show me a driver's liscence" because that's what that market will bear.

      The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

      by Darkvisitor on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 11:51:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The CBA isn't solely about money (0+ / 0-)

        But this certainly isn't a case of the owners locking out the players because they won't play the game more safely.

        The primary argument that dwarfs all others is money.

        The rights you mention like "contract length, arbitration rights, and (rumours are) guaranteed contracts. The right not to be used and discarded is important to the players." - there are all related to money.

        The "the viability of the league" issue you raise is all about money.

        To help, the owners should lower the cap floor that raised disproportionately to revenues during the last CBA. They can sacrifice some competitive balance and yet probably wind up pretty close to where they are. The owners can also increase revenue sharing ... but only if the players give up some salary because most teams are not making enough profit to go around.

        Ticket prices aren't in the CBA. They are market driven. But going to a hockey game is an entertainment luxury. It is not an essential expense for a family. Therefore, if the economy gets worse with a second recession (that I think is still likely), it's one of the first luxuries people will cut out. It costs an average family of four $320 to see one NHL hockey game. If the choice is paying the heating bill or going to the game, my guess is the heating bill is the one that gets paid.

    •  It's not profitable because the NHL foolishly... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hastur

      ...expanded into places that weren't viable.  They did this out of foolishness and they stick with it because it gets otherwise sensible people like you to invoke bad bottom lines in support of the owners' position.  

      Players could start a league, but owners can't play hockey.  Personally I think the players should consider that option.

      Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

      by Rich in PA on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:10:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just got into Hockey this year (0+ / 0-)

    Hey Ovie! (Pic above).  I'm a Caps fans, and I ADORE Braden Holtby and Ovechkin is fabulous, as are a bunch of the players and I was really looking forward to watching it this season.

    Those owners are greedy bastards!

    We all made this journey for a reason. -- President Barack Obama (February 10, 2007)

    by arabian on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:41:39 PM PDT

  •  I feel the player's pain, but not much (0+ / 0-)

    The average NHL player's annual salary last year was $2.4 million, according to a Yahoo Sports story I just found by Googling.  People with that level of income are hardly in need of sympathy from commoners.  

    Unions and strikes serve a noble purpose, when you're talking sweatshops and abusive employers.  But, c'mon, when the employees are multi-millionaires?  Maybe management and players can agree to meet in the middle, with the players accepting a cut in pay, and management increasing the pay of the supporting staff.  That would seem to me an honorable solution.

    •  NHLPA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hastur

      These are contracts agreed to by the owners. And a bunch of those contracts were pushed by owners. Long-term CBA loophole abusing contracts that they then turned around and cried poor over. They agreed to this CBA.  Don't forget that players pay into escrow to meet the HRR cap targets. The inflationary pressure on player contracts has been the owners/GMs themselves.

      They want to sign players and then turn around and immediateley devalue those contracts.

      We already know that there is collusion amongst the owners in not violating 'unwritten' rules regarding RFAs. We know that the use of predatory offer sheets had been used as a weapon between owners. That has nothing to do with the players. Why should they pay for dick waving contests between owners?

      And they want to take away players rights while they are at it.

      I'd be pissed too.

      The world is full of Kings and Queens who'll blind your eyes and steal your dreams. - RJD(RIP)

      by Darkvisitor on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 11:59:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not sympathy I'm feeling here, though (0+ / 0-)

      It's not solidarity, either, for the reason you've mentioned.  I see it more as a generic negotiation and clearly one side is much more abusive.  I have plenty of opinions and preferences that aren't based on class solidarity!

      Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

      by Rich in PA on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:08:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Multi millionaires for a very short career in the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hastur

      NHL.  The days of Gordie Howe are over.  Ten, maybe 15 years are all you get these days in today's game, with the risk of a career ending injury every time you step on the ice.  Yes, they get paid alot, but they are not the only one's making money off the NHL.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 10:26:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  60 years since the first TV Hockey Broadcast (4+ / 0-)

    Oct. 11, 1952

    Tabernac Bettmann, two lockouts in less than a decade!  There's an Ogie Oglethorpe waiting to meet you at your office...

    "now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

    by Thor Heyerdahl on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 11:22:07 PM PDT

  •  All municipalities should... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, Hastur

    ... terminate their arena contracts the moment a game is missed.

    Let the NHL either pay the true cost of leasing taxpayer funded arenas, or they can figure out how to build their own.

    If the owners won't fairly share revenues with the workers creating said revenues, then I don't see why taxpayers should have anything to do with these greedy crooks.

    "We see things not as they are, but as we are." - John Milton

    by Jasonhouse on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 11:32:27 PM PDT

    •  I imagine contracts are written with that... (0+ / 0-)

      ...eventuality in mind, and I further imagine they're written in the owners' favor.

      Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

      by Rich in PA on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:06:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My guess is the next time such contracts... (0+ / 0-)

        ...come up for renewal in the coming years, they're not going to be written as a taxpayer giveaway to a multi-billion dollar industry anymore.

        We reformed welfare for the poor. Now it's time to reform welfare for the rich and actually start saving taxpayers some real money.

        "We see things not as they are, but as we are." - John Milton

        by Jasonhouse on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 12:33:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The lust for power. (0+ / 0-)

    It is never satisfied. Behind the shield of money, it doesn't look like power is the issue, but it is.
    Power, to be felt, has to hurt. Which is why the lust for power and deprivation go hand in hand.
    Whence does the lust for power grow? I suspects it grows out frustration at not being able to accomplish what others can. I think jealousy led Cain to murder his brother and it prompts the "owners" of sports teams to deprive their players and, in the process, get some notoriety for themselves. Which, if it is true, means that the "owners" need to be roundly chastised for their mean-spirited, ungenerous attitude.
    When authority stands silent in the face of abuse, it becomes complicity. Coerced compliance is still abuse, even if the victims consent. Coerced consent is not the same as informed consent.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 02:18:32 AM PDT

  •  There won't be any money to grab, if there is a... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, cactusflinthead, Hastur

    lockout and a canceled season.  Seriously, has there ever been a canceled season, in any sport, that was worth it?

    •  An NHL lockout will certainly be worth it ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... to the NBA.

      Oh, you mean worth it to the owners doing the lockout? It requires a counter-factual to judge ~ what would labor peace have cost the owners? And the problem with counter-factuals is what it actually would have cost and what the owners imagine it would have cost can be a long distance apart. Its a fairly selective, closed social circle that includes league owners, and the risk of group-think that is quite substantially detached from reality is quite high.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:19:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As an Avalanche fan... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cactusflinthead, Hastur

    I am really bummed. I'm not sure why the owners want to kill the NHL. The last lockout did enough damage. sigh

  •  Nobody owns an NHL franchise... (0+ / 0-)

    ...as their primary business, I suspect, so they can afford what would otherwise be a lousy gamble.  Too many of their players have other options in Europe, and genuine NHL talent is so scarce (it's the hardest sport since the underlying activity, skating, is itself hard) that replacement players would absolutely suck and they'd be unwatchable.  

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:06:06 AM PDT

  •  As a Southern Fan of a Northern Sport (0+ / 0-)

    Not all of the 30 teams go without support of their local communities. Dallas has a solid fan base and good support of local advertisers, good arena and that in a town that sometimes barely acknowledges the existence of teams other than the Cowboys. They weathered the auction of the team away from Hicks. They returned after last lock-out. I do not agree that teams should be taken away from areas that are supporting them. Neither the owners or the players really want to see contraction. Both sides see contraction as taking away revenue rather than improving the product.

    I am fully on the side of the players. l would like to see Fehr and the players hold out for a 50/50 split and stick to their guns, but I wonder if they have the staying power. I hope if they are playing around Christmas or any time this or next year that it is because the owners stopped being so greedy and not because the players caved.

    Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

    by cactusflinthead on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:24:10 AM PDT

  •  Hockey fan here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, Hastur

    Gary Bettman is the Rommey of the NHL.  Can't stand that little bastard.  It's just a damn money grab.  From the fans and the players.

    I side with the players.  Fuck the NHL's money grab!  

    The NHL things we fans are nothing but ATMs.  

    We still have some hockey here in Portland. We're supporting the local team and this year we bought season tickets.  

    And PS - Fuck you Gary Bettman fuck you to hell.   The owners are just doing a 1%er.

    Hockey is not about money, it's about the moments that last a life time.

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 09:15:08 AM PDT

  •  The NHLPA should shame the NHL (0+ / 0-)

    The players - who haven't left to overseas leagues - could be holding hockey clinics, stopping by local rinks...

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 09:29:15 AM PDT

  •  47%??? You're kidding, right??? (0+ / 0-)

    So I guess the players would end up all voting for the president and thus being dependent on government. Oh wait! The owners might actually like that!

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