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 BOSTON (March 3, 2007) - Capt. Todd A. Zecchin, commanding officer of USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), drops the ceremonial puck at the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadians game at the TD Bank North Garden. Kennedy and her crew are in Boston for a five-day port visit to the home city of her namesake prior to decommissioning March 23rd, 2007, in Mayport, Fla.
While the National Football League lockout of its referees is making headlines for egregious, game-changing bad calls, the National Hockey League may be headed toward having no 2012-2013 season at all, thanks to its owners having locked out their players. That lockout is in day 10, and there's no bargaining going on right now. Some players say they see it going on for a year or even more.

Sarah Jaffe explains that the NHL as a whole is profitable, and owners who aren't making enough money have other owners to blame—they're just finding the players an easier target:

Mirtle notes that the bottom 10 teams in the league (in such notorious hockey cities as Phoenix) aren't making enough money to cover expenses, while the rich teams have little interest in sharing revenue the way, say, the NFL or Major League Baseball do.

“It’s an owner versus owner problem more than it is an owner versus player one,” Mirtle writes, but as a player agent tells him, “Owners would rather try to pound on players than pound on each other.”

For some owners greed is a simple answer, or an unwillingness to pick on people their own size leading them to go after their employees. But for some, the lockout fits in a hardline ideology:
Take Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider. He's the chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, which is partially owned by Comcast—yes, the media conglomerate that pays the NHL's TV contract. Snider was one of the founders of the Ayn Rand Institute in 1985; after a split within the “movement,” he became a supporter of the Atlas Society, the same place where Paul Ryan gave his speech calling for the  end of Medicare. He was the executive producer of the  Atlas Shrugged film and has publicly stated that “Capitalists build up business so that they can give weaker members of society jobs.”
Note that "weaker members of society" here means less-wealthy ones; I'm pretty sure professional hockey players are physically stronger than this guy.

A fair day's wage

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Comment Preferences

  •  Greedy owners are doing to sports what they did (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KroneckerD, Mannie

    to American manufacturing.

    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 09:35:28 AM PDT

  •  Almost all the labor news is (7+ / 0-)

    management screwing the employees. Musicians on strike, but all the others are lockouts or lawsuits.

    It's pretty hard for Ayn Randians to point at labor and say it's all their fault here, when all these actions are management-organized.

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

    My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 09:36:53 AM PDT

    •  I'd like to see NHL and NFL owners go galt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lorinda Pike, Mannie

      Let them play the games and ref the games.  See if anyone pays to watch.  Whether they like it or not, they need fans more than fans need them.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 09:53:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Problem is, w/ NFL, there's no effect (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The average football fan doesn't care about the ref strike, ratings aren't down and stadium revenue is as well.  There's no empty seats at the games. The fans are willing to put up with a crappy product.

        In the NHL, I suspect that if this strike goes into the regular season, especially if there's a season lost like last time, it will be the end of several teams.  Phoenix, Florida, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Nashville, Carolina, Buffalo and maybe even Washington would be gone - they are already losing money and have low franchise value, with a weak fan base.

        Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

        by absdoggy on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 10:41:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  First of all, it's not a strike (0+ / 0-)

          And Washington is doing fine, thank you very much. Mostly sellouts for the last four years or so. Atlanta is in the worst shape, as they moved to Winnipeg before last season ;-). Buffalo has a billionaire owner who loves hockey and is committed to the team. The other teams mentioned should be fine with a few tweaks (revenue sharing).

          The owners signed hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts right before the lockout (including Nashville, Minnesota, Dallas (not mentioned above, but in rough shape). If they are losing money it's either an accounting scheme or a failure of the owners/Bettman to properly take care of them.

          After the last lockout the owners got a 24% rollback on player salaries, and a hard cap based on revenue IE everything they wanted. Now, they want further rollbacks on contracts they already signed, redefine HRR (Hockey Related Revenue), reduce the % of HRR earmarked for player salaries going forward, and substantially modify free agency rules to extend a teams control of drafted players. All of this comes after years of unprecedented growth following a fairly recent work stoppage.

          There's a fair deal to be made but if the owners are gonna play hardball, it'll be by themselves for awhile.

          Oh, and I've had this sig since before the last lockout.

          Impeach Gary Bettman

          by Edanger6 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 12:50:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP continues to be hideous Hypocrites... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KroneckerD, Mannie

    As always, they want what they want or have (whether it is the regular refs, healthcare for them, tax breaks for them, etc.) and fuck anyone else.

  •  This is much more a labor issue than the NFL refs (5+ / 0-)
    NHL players have one full-time job and it's playing hockey.  It's by far the most grueling job in big-time professional sports, and it's got the most specialized underlying skill.  And the players already gave up, gave back, quite a bit to settle the last strike.  Owners engineer the sport to lose money in artificial ways, through conscious decisions to do ridiculous things, so they can take back more from the players.  They hardly bother disguising it anymore, though at least for now they'll still fine any underlings who tell it like it is because the reality is too damning to put out there.

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 09:44:42 AM PDT

  •  I've given up on the NHL (4+ / 0-)

    I enjoyed it when I still lived in Canada, but the owners and their constant disruption of the game with lockouts has pretty much ended my interest in their version of hockey.  And when I read stuff like this diary contains, I see no reason to ever support them again.

    I'm also highly irritated that the Edmonton Oilers ownership came here to Seattle to investigate the new arena proposal that's going on...all they're doing is trying to use Seattle as leverage to fleece Edmonton's taxpayers.  I truly do not want an NHL team if it means stealing one from Canada.  It's just wrong.

  •  NHL (0+ / 0-)

    I know way more about hockey than other sports, so I don't even know if this is possible in other leagues, but...

    The players should just start a player-owned league. I said this during the 92 lockout, during the 95 lockout, and during the 05 lockout.

    Replacement NHL players won't cut it. Why? Even with the existing 30 teams, there is not enough talent to fill up those rosters. The next 700 best players, assuming that's what you would get (probably not), would not be able to put a product on the ice that wouldn't end up costing the owners way, way more.

    Maybe in other sports, the replacement players wouldn't be so bad. Not in hockey. It would be awful.

    The players should pool together some money, get investors who don't get control, and lease some arenas and put on some games.

    A co-op league wouldn't have this kind of labor strife, would be more responsive to the fans, and wouldn't overexpand.

    GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

    by Attorney at Arms on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 10:09:56 AM PDT

  •  Sport team owners (0+ / 0-)

    in general are among the worst people in the world. I had not known that the Flyers owner was a Randian shit-for-brains, but neither am I surprised. As for the NHL, if they ended the gladiatorial element and focused on skating, passing, and putting the puck through the net, I might consider giving a flying flip about whether they play or not. I couldn't even consider taking my young son to a game where we would be exposed to a bunch of petulant drunks looking for a fight and chanting like lemmings to create a false sense of community and power. Yeah I'm looking at you Rangers/Devils fans.

    Also wondering if the NHL has any plans to segregate any time soon. Thanks for your time.

    •  WTF? (0+ / 0-)
      Also wondering if the NHL has any plans to segregate any time soon. Thanks for your time.
      I hope you mean by splitting from the owners or having a gladiator league and pansy league or something, because that kinda sounds bad.

      Impeach Gary Bettman

      by Edanger6 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 01:02:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Argh. (0+ / 0-)

    The NHL lockout is a perfect example of owner stupidity. After the last lockout, players agreed to restructuring of contracts to help reduce costs. Now the owners are doing the same thing again. I saw players getting re-signed to contracts this off-season to over-the-top salaries by rich teams, with the owners knowing the teams would never have to pay those amounts. The owners know the players will restructure because it happened before. The owners cause this.
    If I'm hurting economically, I don't go on a buying spree. I have to hold down costs.
    If the owners wouldn't overspend, this lockout wouldn't happen. I don't think anything will change though, the owners have proven they lockout the players for as long as it takes.

    What are their names and on what street do they live-David Crosby-"If I Could Only Remember My Name"

    by IB JOHN on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 10:24:38 AM PDT

  •  Brooks Laich, Capitals Union rep. (0+ / 0-)
    “We believe in our cause,” Laich said. “Any conversation starting with a rollback of player salary is the end of the conversation. When they start with that that’s the end of the conversation. That’s why we are where we are.”
    “The second part of it, which maybe goes overlooked, is that every contract ends with a handshake. Every single contract,” Laich continued. “Where I come from, you honor your handshakes and you have your word. If you don’t have that you have nothing. If I make a bad deal, sign a bad contract that’s my fault. And I accept that, I’m a man and I work through that. That’s something I deal with. I don’t go crying foul and looking for somebody to fix my mistakes. I accept that as a man, that I made a bad decision. I think that hockey players are pretty honest people and they don’t like it when it’s coming back the other way.”
    From the WaPo Link

    Impeach Gary Bettman

    by Edanger6 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 01:07:35 PM PDT

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