Jump to content
The Official Site of the Montréal Canadiens
Canadiens de Montreal

Collective Bargaining Decision Coming Soon


Recommended Posts

NHL players this week are expected to inform the league if they prefer to keep the collective bargaining agreement intact or, if they think there is a better way to do business, kill the deal and head back to the bargaining table over the summer.

If the players choose a CBA do-over, a few of us, like maybe everyone who has gone to an NHL game or watched one on TV the last 30-40 years, will be tempted to file the NHL with our cherished memories of the XFL, the WHA, and that big brass NCR cash register that disappeared from our favorite neighborhood sundry store.

Honestly, another expired CBA? Possibly a lockout?

Months more of nauseating rhetoric with the potential that Mike Modano might say, "That wouldn't pay for my dog's food for a month," when posed with the prospect of earning $400 a week in the minors during a lockout? Woof.

Maybe Chris Chelios once more talking about, shall we say, his concern for commissioner Gary Bettman's health and welfare? We are not making up these memories. Who could?

"If I was Gary Bettman," Chelios said during the first lockout in 1994, "I'd be worried about my family, about my well-being right now. Some crazed fan or even a player, who knows, might take it into his own hands and figure that if they get him out of the way, this might get settled. You'd hate to see anything like that happen, but he took the job."

A few words of guidance and comfort here: not a chance the players kill the CBA.

Union boss Paul Kelly, reached Friday in Florida, where he and Bettman's top lieutenant, Bill Daly, attended a USA Hockey board meeting, continued to say the players have not made a decision pertaining to their CBA out clause. All the players have been polled, their votes tallied, but according to Kelly the decision has not been made to terminate or to keep on keepin' on with the deal in place since summer 2005.

A few weeks ago, however, Kelly said the Players Association intended to inform the league of its decision on or about the upcoming All-Star weekend in Montreal, and that remains the plan. Call me as crazy as Bob Goodenow, but if the players were on course to break the deal, I can't see the union cozy and comfortable with tossing that size of a rock through the picture window of All-Star weekend. Such a tactic would be so "old" PA.

On the job now for slightly more than a year, Kelly, Newton-raised and Boston College-educated, obviously must leave it to the players to decide. If they vote to kill the deal, as opposed to allowing it to run through at least 2010-11, he'll be tossed into the kind of mudhole that Goodenow, the union boss twice removed, reveled in during his tenure. I just don't see mudholes being Kelly's style, and with the cap standing at $56.7 million, I don't see or hear players angling toward confrontation and agonizing reappraisal.

To his credit, Goodenow produced tremendous salary gains for the players during his combative tenure, but when it came time to put labor peace, job security, and common sense ahead of an embarrassment of riches and ownership bludgeonings, he would not surrender the cudgel. The players ended up with the salary cap he said he would never abide by, and he almost immediately stood down from the job.

There likely are still some pro-Goodenow votes among the rank and file, dreamers who believe they can kill this deal and negotiate a new CBA that does not include a salary cap. If so, they are few, and they won't find it possible to turn back the clock, call for the agreement to be terminated, and induce the kind of management-labor strife sure to turn over the stomachs and seal the minds and wallets of fans and sponsors.

Despite the dunderheadedness that put the game in mothballs for the 2004-05 season, the business of the NHL is doing just fine these days. The $56.7 million cap carries a guarantee of at least $1.2 billion in total player payroll, and potential maximum of some $1.7 billion across the 30 teams. Back-to-back successes with the Jan. 1 Winter Classic have provided a unique marketing boost, one that could help entice ESPN back to the rink in some form.

Kill all that now in midstride? Not going to happen. By the time the All-Star show packs up in Montreal, look for the players and the owners to be high-fivin', huggin', and smackin' their respective xoxoxoxoxox's all over the current CBA. Game on, for at least two more years.

Now, if only we could have linesmen whistle icing calls during power plays.

Hartford wants back in

Hark, what's that . . . a chance that the NHL is coming back to Hartford? Please, say it's so, and turn up the volume on a rousing rendition of "Brass Bonanza."

Reports last week had Hartford's mayor, Eddie Perez, trying to convince the league that the onetime hometown of the Forever .500s would be the next best place for the NHL, be it through expansion or by relocation of a franchise.

"The meeting was to make sure we put Hartford on [commissioner Gary Bettman's] radar screen as a city that is bullish about bringing hockey back to Hartford," Perez said.

Howard Baldwin, long a mover and shaker in all things Hartford hockey, made it clear Friday that he ardently hopes the NHL returns to the Nutmeg State, but he and Perez have different visions of how to accomplish it.

The mayor, said Baldwin, wants to build a state-of-the-art rink (possibly costing $350 million or more) as the centerpiece of the city's stated desire.

Baldwin, reached by telephone in Los Angeles, figures it would be better first to prove that the city can fully support AHL hockey, and if so, perhaps get the NHL started back in the old Civic Center (now the XL Center) before spending megamillions on a new rink as a teaser to court an NHL club.

"I have no doubt that Hartford is a viable market," said Baldwin. "But I think it's important first to prove that support is there for the AHL, and right now that franchise [Wolf Pack] is averaging about 1,500 per game. If it was, say, in the top 3-4 in AHL attendance, then that would be a different story. I love Hartford. But I think the key here is not to treat it as a real estate play, but treat it as what it is - a hockey business."

According to the Wolf Pack, average attendance in Hartford this season is 3,709, which ranks 21st in the 29-team AHL.

Putting their heads together

The players, said union boss Paul Kelly, remain eager to work with league officials on adding penalties for those who target opponents' heads with checks. "The trick is to do that without reducing the amount of contact that is part of what makes this such a great sport," he said.

The five players on the Competition Committee: Jason Spezza, Mathieu Schneider, Brian Campbell, Jeff Halpern, and Ryan Miller. To sum up their dislikes: 1. whistles (needless stops in play) and 2. defensive, trapping hockey. Sounds like a group that gets it . . . Headed into yesterday's play, Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik (170) had a healthy lead in the hits department, ahead of LA's Dustin Brown (159), Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke (158), and the recently sidelined Milan Lucic (154). The hit stat that warms my heart: Ovechkin, No. 6 overall with 142. A.O. smacks bodies, takes numbers, and scores more goals than anyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There won't be a lockout. It's unlikely the players open the deal up, and even if they do, the owners would have no reason to lock them up: they like the status quo for the most part. A strike would be a more realistic scenerio, but even this is incredibly doubtful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only possible concession I can think of that would "possibly" improve upon the current CBA, is to allow a team to go over the cap if they are willing and able to contribute to the fund in place to keep struggling teams afloat. Say, dollar for dollar to a 10-20% increase of the current cap for the season.

If a team like Montreal or NYR are making enough to profit that they are contributing dollars to another team's situation, they should be able to spend at least that much money on themselves as well. Why should my team pay for poor expansion or relocation decisions, without seeing some kind of reward for doing so?

As has been stated repeatedly by both sides, hockey is a business. Why are some teams expected to offer charity?

The teams that keep the other teams afloat actually have a reverse situation. They are forced to spend to the cap or see some excess funds go to another team anyway, which leaves them with less maneuvering room in terms of player transactions.

Sorry, but it has always bothered me that transactions are so prohibited by the cap. While you shouldn't be able to acquire a $10M player in exchange for a $2M player anyway, you also shouldn't have a situation where players are being relocated simply to accommodate a larger salary either, aka salary dump. If you are willing to exchange a lower salary for a higher one, there should be a mechanism in place where you can still come to an agreement with a team that will promote a better quality roster for both sides.

A secondary consideration may be to have a salary cap arbitration board. The board would have the power to adjust the cap hit for a respective player downwards at the request of the player's team or the player themselves. There should be strict limitations involved and that player's cap hit should be reviewed on an annual basis, but a team should not be saddled with an excessive cap hit for a player who is not performing at full value. Not because they do not deserve to be responsible. Adjusting a player's cap hit would not affect the actual pay of that player's salary, it would simply be a means of a team remaining competitive in spite of a situation where they have a large amount invested in a player who is not performing up to the standards for which they were signed. It would simply be beneficial in encouraging a competitive environment.

Using Gaborik or Avery as extreme examples.

Gaborik is a UFA at the end of the season, but ties up a large amount of salary for the Wild, despite not having played for the majority of the season. In this case the Wild would request a cap adjustment in order to sign a replacement player, at which point the board decides to alter Gaborik's cap hit to $4M, allowing the Wild to acquire a free agent to replace his hole on their roster.

Gaborik again, only this time Gaborik requests the adjustment, as he wishes to make it easier for the Wild to trade him in hopes that he will be able to return in time to play in the playoffs, but he is uncertain of his recovery time or his ability to perform after his surgery. His cap hit is adjusted to $4M, which makes it easier for another team to accommodate him should they wish to take a risk on his ability to contribute this season where perhaps the Wild are not.

Dallas requests an adjustment in Avery's case or Avery requests the adjustment in light of his suspension. The salary cap arbitration board determines that the Stars should not be on the hook for a player who acted out in this extreme as teams expect that the players they hire will behave in a professional manner. The board determines Dallas suffers no cap hit from Avery's contract. Avery himself may request the adjustment in order to attend rehabilitation and allow his team some flexibility in finding a suitable replacement. The board determines that the Stars are willing to wait for Avery to "recover" and bring him back to the team and they adjust his cap hit to $1.5M for the remainder of the season, which is a compromise that allows the team and the player to stay on good terms and prevents Dallas from suffering a greater impact than is necessary from the situation.

Just some mechanisms to ensure some flexibility, which in turn would promote better relationships and levels of competition for teams that enables recovery from a handicapped situation.

I am not in favor of re-negotiating the current CBA, as I am terrified by the prospect of a lockout or strike, but I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of adjustments that were agreed upon by both sides as an addition to the current CBA without nullifying the original agreement.

The cap itself works a lot better than I thought it would and I am now in favor of a cap, but it also has some substantial negative impacts that I wouldn't mind being addressed. Again, not at the expense of the original agreement or the prospect of another impending blockage of play.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There won't be a lockout. It's unlikely the players open the deal up, and even if they do, the owners would have no reason to lock them up: they like the status quo for the most part. A strike would be a more realistic scenerio, but even this is incredibly doubtful.

I really do not see a lockout happening also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NHL Players Association will not reopen CBA

"The League and its players will continue to operate under the current CBA, agreed to in 2005, until its expiration in 2011."

Source: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=405957

Well I guess that is it until 2011. :D

Awesome news. Another work stoppage would have killed the league. I'm honestly surprised the NHL survived the 2004-05 Lockout, which I'm sure we can all agree, was THE WORST WINTER OF ALL TIME! <_< Thank god we don't have to worry about this for 3 or 4 years!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome news. Another work stoppage would have killed the league. I'm honestly surprised the NHL survived the 2004-05 Lockout, which I'm sure we can all agree, was THE WORST WINTER OF ALL TIME! <_< Thank god we don't have to worry about this for 3 or 4 years!

Yes,thank god is right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NHL players this week are expected to inform the league if they prefer to keep the collective bargaining agreement intact or, if they think there is a better way to do business, kill the deal and head back to the bargaining table over the summer.

If the players choose a CBA do-over, a few of us, like maybe everyone who has gone to an NHL game or watched one on TV the last 30-40 years, will be tempted to file the NHL with our cherished memories of the XFL, the WHA, and that big brass NCR cash register that disappeared from our favorite neighborhood sundry store.

Honestly, another expired CBA? Possibly a lockout?

Months more of nauseating rhetoric with the potential that Mike Modano might say, "That wouldn't pay for my dog's food for a month," when posed with the prospect of earning $400 a week in the minors during a lockout? Woof.

Maybe Chris Chelios once more talking about, shall we say, his concern for commissioner Gary Bettman's health and welfare? We are not making up these memories. Who could?

"If I was Gary Bettman," Chelios said during the first lockout in 1994, "I'd be worried about my family, about my well-being right now. Some crazed fan or even a player, who knows, might take it into his own hands and figure that if they get him out of the way, this might get settled. You'd hate to see anything like that happen, but he took the job."

A few words of guidance and comfort here: not a chance the players kill the CBA.

Union boss Paul Kelly, reached Friday in Florida, where he and Bettman's top lieutenant, Bill Daly, attended a USA Hockey board meeting, continued to say the players have not made a decision pertaining to their CBA out clause. All the players have been polled, their votes tallied, but according to Kelly the decision has not been made to terminate or to keep on keepin' on with the deal in place since summer 2005.

A few weeks ago, however, Kelly said the Players Association intended to inform the league of its decision on or about the upcoming All-Star weekend in Montreal, and that remains the plan. Call me as crazy as Bob Goodenow, but if the players were on course to break the deal, I can't see the union cozy and comfortable with tossing that size of a rock through the picture window of All-Star weekend. Such a tactic would be so "old" PA.

On the job now for slightly more than a year, Kelly, Newton-raised and Boston College-educated, obviously must leave it to the players to decide. If they vote to kill the deal, as opposed to allowing it to run through at least 2010-11, he'll be tossed into the kind of mudhole that Goodenow, the union boss twice removed, reveled in during his tenure. I just don't see mudholes being Kelly's style, and with the cap standing at $56.7 million, I don't see or hear players angling toward confrontation and agonizing reappraisal.

To his credit, Goodenow produced tremendous salary gains for the players during his combative tenure, but when it came time to put labor peace, job security, and common sense ahead of an embarrassment of riches and ownership bludgeonings, he would not surrender the cudgel. The players ended up with the salary cap he said he would never abide by, and he almost immediately stood down from the job.

There likely are still some pro-Goodenow votes among the rank and file, dreamers who believe they can kill this deal and negotiate a new CBA that does not include a salary cap. If so, they are few, and they won't find it possible to turn back the clock, call for the agreement to be terminated, and induce the kind of management-labor strife sure to turn over the stomachs and seal the minds and wallets of fans and sponsors.

Despite the dunderheadedness that put the game in mothballs for the 2004-05 season, the business of the NHL is doing just fine these days. The $56.7 million cap carries a guarantee of at least $1.2 billion in total player payroll, and potential maximum of some $1.7 billion across the 30 teams. Back-to-back successes with the Jan. 1 Winter Classic have provided a unique marketing boost, one that could help entice ESPN back to the rink in some form.

Kill all that now in midstride? Not going to happen. By the time the All-Star show packs up in Montreal, look for the players and the owners to be high-fivin', huggin', and smackin' their respective xoxoxoxoxox's all over the current CBA. Game on, for at least two more years.

Now, if only we could have linesmen whistle icing calls during power plays.

Hartford wants back in

Hark, what's that . . . a chance that the NHL is coming back to Hartford? Please, say it's so, and turn up the volume on a rousing rendition of "Brass Bonanza."

Reports last week had Hartford's mayor, Eddie Perez, trying to convince the league that the onetime hometown of the Forever .500s would be the next best place for the NHL, be it through expansion or by relocation of a franchise.

"The meeting was to make sure we put Hartford on [commissioner Gary Bettman's] radar screen as a city that is bullish about bringing hockey back to Hartford," Perez said.

Howard Baldwin, long a mover and shaker in all things Hartford hockey, made it clear Friday that he ardently hopes the NHL returns to the Nutmeg State, but he and Perez have different visions of how to accomplish it.

The mayor, said Baldwin, wants to build a state-of-the-art rink (possibly costing $350 million or more) as the centerpiece of the city's stated desire.

Baldwin, reached by telephone in Los Angeles, figures it would be better first to prove that the city can fully support AHL hockey, and if so, perhaps get the NHL started back in the old Civic Center (now the XL Center) before spending megamillions on a new rink as a teaser to court an NHL club.

"I have no doubt that Hartford is a viable market," said Baldwin. "But I think it's important first to prove that support is there for the AHL, and right now that franchise [Wolf Pack] is averaging about 1,500 per game. If it was, say, in the top 3-4 in AHL attendance, then that would be a different story. I love Hartford. But I think the key here is not to treat it as a real estate play, but treat it as what it is - a hockey business."

According to the Wolf Pack, average attendance in Hartford this season is 3,709, which ranks 21st in the 29-team AHL.

Putting their heads together

The players, said union boss Paul Kelly, remain eager to work with league officials on adding penalties for those who target opponents' heads with checks. "The trick is to do that without reducing the amount of contact that is part of what makes this such a great sport," he said.

The five players on the Competition Committee: Jason Spezza, Mathieu Schneider, Brian Campbell, Jeff Halpern, and Ryan Miller. To sum up their dislikes: 1. whistles (needless stops in play) and 2. defensive, trapping hockey. Sounds like a group that gets it . . . Headed into yesterday's play, Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik (170) had a healthy lead in the hits department, ahead of LA's Dustin Brown (159), Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke (158), and the recently sidelined Milan Lucic (154). The hit stat that warms my heart: Ovechkin, No. 6 overall with 142. A.O. smacks bodies, takes numbers, and scores more goals than anyone.

Great insite there sportsfreak,good read

Wow,did chelios really make those remarks towards bettman," his famiy's wellfar may be in jeapody "and all. That chelios holds nothing back,lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...