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Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) 2012 Discussion


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I just downloaded the 2005 NHL CBA(Jul 22-05 to Sep 15-11) from Wikipedia. They must be under an extension if it technically ended Sep/11. I didn't know this was actually available. Probably good late night reading.

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So I had an idea that Im not sure would work. I call it the Wade Redden Clause. Not an amnesty buy out, but a clause in a players contract that allows teams to renegotiate the cap hit and salary in a players contract. A term part could be in there if the contract extends for lets say 3+years after a player is 35.

Meaning that if a team feels a players cap hit and salary are too large, they have the option of renegotiating with the player as opposed to him being sent to the minors/bought out. If the contract extends into the players late 30s they can also negotiate the term of the deal to be lowered to when a player completes a season at 35 years old. If the player chooses not to negotiate he can be bought out/amnesty bought out.

Its a long shot that the NHLPA agrees to it but they may seeing as it means no players will be riding the bus in the AHL.

Thoughts? improvements?

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There's no way to design a clause that wouldn't undermine the Salary Cap. And I highly doubt the NHLPA is going to look kindly on giving up guaranteed contracts.

Ulitmately? I'd perfer, and think the NHLPA would perfer, simply closing the loophole by making any player that's played X amount of games at the NHL level count against his signed team's cap regardless of which league he's in so long as he's not violating the terms of his contract (ie; playing elsewhere of the teams choosing). My wording is vague, but the spirit of the idea is that the ownerships handing out or acquiring such contracts shouldn't have an "out".

Lastly; If a player signs a deal and then over performs do they get the option to "renegotiate"? Doesn't that void the idea of a "contract"?

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There's no way to design a clause that wouldn't undermine the Salary Cap. And I highly doubt the NHLPA is going to look kindly on giving up guaranteed contracts.

Ulitmately? I'd perfer, and think the NHLPA would perfer, simply closing the loophole by making any player that's played X amount of games at the NHL level count against his signed team's cap regardless of which league he's in so long as he's not violating the terms of his contract (ie; playing elsewhere of the teams choosing). My wording is vague, but the spirit of the idea is that the ownerships handing out or acquiring such contracts shouldn't have an "out".

Lastly; If a player signs a deal and then over performs do they get the option to "renegotiate"? Doesn't that void the idea of a "contract"?

I'm with you on this one. It sounds like a good idea at first blush in a situation like Redden's because that situation didn't really turn out well for either the owner or for Wade. They still had to pay him his big contract but he didn't get to play competitive hockey. But as long as a player's cap hit is the average of his contract salaries I just can't see this kind of rule being put in place. Like you said, Litany, any kind of deal like this would undermine the system.

I also don't think that the players would really go for it. Since the salary cap came into being we've seen this happen what, like twice? I can remember Redden and Souray, are there any others? Mayb you could say Avery? In any case, it's such a low percentage of players that it's probably not high on their radar. Contrast that to the amount of headaches they'd get from fans/media under the new system if they weren't living up to their contracts and I don't think it's something that they'd be interested in as a group.

Interesting idea, though, HTB :)

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From H/IO

Renaud Lavoie of RDS is reporting details of the NHL’s initial offer to the Players Association.

Fearless prediction: It ain’t gonna fly.

Now the fun begins …

Lavoie, on Twitter, writes the league is proposing:

• The players’ share of revenues drops from 57 per cent to 46 per cent

• 10 seasons in the league before a player can become an Unrestricted Fre Agent. It’s currently seven.

• Entry-level contracts run five years, up from three.

• Contracts are limited to five years. There is currently no limit.

• No salary arbitration.

This is, of course, ludicrous.

And because Donal Fehr’s mother didn’t raise any idiots, the executive director of the NHLPA will laugh these proposals off before serious negotiation begins.

Bruce Arthur of the National Post is not optimistic.

It's going to be a longggggggggggg summer. :rolleyes:

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- With the drop in player revenues, the NHL is essentially asking that the salary cap be scaled back to about 56.7m. That's two star players' salaries less per team... I'm fine with scaling back salaries if it means ticket prices are reduced from the ridiculous charges some teams lay out now. Otherwise, I couldn't care less so long as hockey starts on time...

- I wouldn't mind seeing a limit on contracts, but I'd rather see that done by a player's age instead of an absolute length cut-off. If there's a 5-year limit on all deals, it's really going to limit teams' abilities to pitch a different-type offer to try and woo a free agent... everyone's going to have similar pitches, which will likely favor the teams like NY and Det and Phi. I'd rather have them just say you can't have a deal longer than 3-4 years if it takes a player past the age of 35. That would in itself get rid of the loophole deals we've seen now.

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- With the drop in player revenues, the NHL is essentially asking that the salary cap be scaled back to about 56.7m. That's two star players' salaries less per team... I'm fine with scaling back salaries if it means ticket prices are reduced from the ridiculous charges some teams lay out now. Otherwise, I couldn't care less so long as hockey starts on time...

The only reason ticket prices would drop is if there was less demand. They'll charge what they think they can, regardless of player salaries. Also, on the cap going down to 56.7, I understand it would be less then that because the NHL also wants to change what is considered HRR, so the pool would be smaller and the % of the pool would also be smaller. It's ridiculous. Since the last lockout revenue is up 50% and player salaries are up 15%, there's no need to scale back salaries. The only real issue is the NHL probably needs a better revenue sharing plan. I also understand a limit (preferably 7 years) on contracts.

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From H/IO

Renaud Lavoie of RDS is reporting details of the NHL’s initial offer to the Players Association.

Fearless prediction: It ain’t gonna fly.

Now the fun begins …

Lavoie, on Twitter, writes the league is proposing:

• The players’ share of revenues drops from 57 per cent to 46 per cent

• 10 seasons in the league before a player can become an Unrestricted Fre Agent. It’s currently seven.

• Entry-level contracts run five years, up from three.

• Contracts are limited to five years. There is currently no limit.

• No salary arbitration.

This is, of course, ludicrous.

And because Donal Fehr’s mother didn’t raise any idiots, the executive director of the NHLPA will laugh these proposals off before serious negotiation begins.

Bruce Arthur of the National Post is not optimistic.

It's going to be a longggggggggggg summer. :rolleyes:

If this is more than posturing then it will be a long battle.

I expect some drop but 11% is brutal which comes to a 20+% drop in revenue for players.

Ten years may be reasonable for some teams but they should have figured that out last contract.

KHL is very much in favour of 5 year entry contracts.

I can live with 5 year contracts. I suspect contract length will dovetail with UFA elligibility.

Got to have some kind of salary arbitration.

This may seem harsh but keep everything the same but no gauranteed contracts. Seems to work with NFL as in general I think if you are cut, income stops.

As a sidebar in the Globe and Mail Katz in Edmonton likes gov't handouts. Start-up cash is $450M to build arena is public money that Katz will pay back 1/2 over 30 years and he gets full control of arena. Vancouver, Toronto and Habs used their own money to build there arenas.

I am totally against public money to finance private business. If it is good business private $ will be there.

So compare what Katz wants from the city on the one side and the players on the other side.

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Guest habs1952

- With the drop in player revenues, the NHL is essentially asking that the salary cap be scaled back to about 56.7m.

I'm not so sure about such a drastic drop. I don't know the figures but if league revenues have gone up, 46% of those revenues may keep the salary cap where it is or close to it. Regardless, 46% is the starting point but the owners would probably settle that issue for 50 - 52%. Maybe the players should negotiate an annual salary cap of 70 mil/yr. for the length of the agreement.

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I know what will happen is the public will be upset with the players: "These greedy millionaire players wanting more millions". I'd rather have Sidney Crosby getting his payday than having a billionaire owner leech money from the players. Players are shopped around by the owners (GM's) like a used car, and they want to take even more money from them.

The whole concept of limited contracts is ridiculous IMO. The owners want to stop the owners from being idiots.

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It's an obvious negotiation strategy to present extreme demands. No doubt the NHLPA will counter with demands every bit as unrealistic. I half expected this to happen, but hoped the middle ground would be possible. If the players come back with a counter just as ridiculous,,,they may as well be on different planets.

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It's an obvious negotiation strategy to present extreme demands. No doubt the NHLPA will counter with demands every bit as unrealistic. I half expected this to happen, but hoped the middle ground would be possible. If the players come back with a counter just as ridiculous,,,they may as well be on different planets.

The owners are there to make money just like any business. Take it away from the players and maybe get these salaries back down where an ordinary person can afford to go and watch a hockey game with there son/daughter. Let the player walk (nhl starts with different players) see what happens then.

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The owners are there to make money just like any business. Take it away from the players and maybe get these salaries back down where an ordinary person can afford to go and watch a hockey game with there son/daughter. Let the player walk (nhl starts with different players) see what happens then.

It doesn't really work that way. The NHL's product is player-driven. The NHL can't afford to lose Crosby, Malkin, etc because there'll be a smart businessman (or businessmen) who makes his own league (remember, a lot of the owners don't own the buildings), and nobody will watch the NHL.

I also think you're a tad offbase with where your anger is being directed. Player salaries aren't why ticket costs are high, it's all about supply and demand. The owners will set ticket prices at wherever creates the most revenue, it has little to do with player salaries.

Yeah, I agree that the money in pro sports is silly, and when players make 10-20 times more than brain surgeons, it seems unfair, but it really is just simple economics. The stupid money is caused by the demand for the product. Owners will charge as much as the market will bear, and that's ok.

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It doesn't really work that way. The NHL's product is player-driven. The NHL can't afford to lose Crosby, Malkin, etc because there'll be a smart businessman (or businessmen) who makes his own league (remember, a lot of the owners don't own the buildings), and nobody will watch the NHL.

I also think you're a tad offbase with where your anger is being directed. Player salaries aren't why ticket costs are high, it's all about supply and demand. The owners will set ticket prices at wherever creates the most revenue, it has little to do with player salaries.

Yeah, I agree that the money in pro sports is silly, and when players make 10-20 times more than brain surgeons, it seems unfair, but it really is just simple economics. The stupid money is caused by the demand for the product. Owners will charge as much as the market will bear, and that's ok.

No anger just comments. Thanks for your response and I do want to watch Montreal play hockey what else would I do? Have been watching for almost 55 years.

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I agree that ticket prices are insane, but lay the blame on Geoff Molson, not Carey Price. But I really do hope I'm wrong, I hope there's not a lockout, but it's really looking to me like we'll at least have a couple months of a lockout.

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It doesn't really work that way. The NHL's product is player-driven. The NHL can't afford to lose Crosby, Malkin, etc because there'll be a smart businessman (or businessmen) who makes his own league (remember, a lot of the owners don't own the buildings), and nobody will watch the NHL.

I also think you're a tad offbase with where your anger is being directed. Player salaries aren't why ticket costs are high, it's all about supply and demand. The owners will set ticket prices at wherever creates the most revenue, it has little to do with player salaries.

Yeah, I agree that the money in pro sports is silly, and when players make 10-20 times more than brain surgeons, it seems unfair, but it really is just simple economics. The stupid money is caused by the demand for the product. Owners will charge as much as the market will bear, and that's ok.

The money in pro sports is no more crazy than the money actors get($1M an episode) business executives who get $8M to ten times that, even if company is losing money and people on Wall St investment houses that get bonuses in the millions.

Top hockey players get less than top players in international football, NBA, NFL and MLB.

Doesn't matter if players get $1000 a game, if team can sell tickets for $150 each and a beer for $8, they will.

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The money in pro sports is no more crazy than the money actors get($1M an episode) business executives who get $8M to ten times that, even if company is losing money and people on Wall St investment houses that get bonuses in the millions.

Top hockey players get less than top players in international football, NBA, NFL and MLB.

Doesn't matter if players get $1000 a game, if team can sell tickets for $150 each and a beer for $8, they will.

Bingo, the owners will charge as much as they think they can, if the money doesn't go to the players it will just line their pockets.

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Guest archey

i have to admit i have seen stocks drop their dividend this much, but the rest of it isn't in line--the length of contracts and rights that is, and the point about the dividend drop is that economically we are that bad off, but that's for today. put three more years on and things won't be nearly this bad.

now i'm no economist for the NHL or the players and i don't know who buys the tickets or even who is expected to buy the tickets or where the advertisers come from for media, but am i wrong to say that there shouldn't be a huge drop off in fans? still a good game except for the few dealing out concussions, but just on that score how much can the NHL expect to drop? 4%? maybe? and THAT certainly has nothing to do with rights.

there will be a work stoppage though. if rene is correct. and he might be, but the whole thing seems pretty sordid at this point. hard to believe.

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Bingo, the owners will charge as much as they think they can, if the money doesn't go to the players it will just line their pockets.

And this is why I couldn't care less whether it's a 48-52 or 50-50 or 53-47 split in revenues between players and owners. Because at the end of the day, unless the cutbacks get filtered down to the fans, then it's all just about greed. Clearly, most owners are doing well enough to be able to support their franchises; those that aren't exist in cities that probably shouldn't have hockey teams anyways, and it's unlikely that a change in revenue will alter much for them long-term.

As a fan, there are only two possible winning scenarios:

1. The seasons starts on time.

2. The season starts a bit late, but ticket/concession prices go down 10% or more.

Barring either one of those, the situation is a lose-lose for us, and that's really all that matters. If the league and the players cause the season to start late, then frankly, they deserve to have fans desert the game for a while.

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IMO the NHL will go for no guaranteed contracts as in the NFL. askthecommish.com has a FAQ that explains NFL contracts. Basically it works this way.

You get cut contract ends.

Some caveats. Bonus money is gauranteed.

EX: player signs 4 year contract for $2M a year as base salary. Also gets $1M bonus money over 4 years, so basically getting $2.25M a year. If cut after 2 years team owes him the final 2 years bonus money. Player free to sign elsewhere.

Bonus money counts against the cap in year paid unless player cut, then counts in next 2 years.

Some contracts are bonus money up front and low salary with large money at end of contract.

Ex;year 1-$5M bonus and $2M salary

year 2-$5M bonus and $2M salary

year 3-0 bonus and $7M salary

year 4-0 bonus and $7M salary

year 5-0 bonus and $7M salary

On surface it is a 5 year/$35M contract, but:

if cut after 1 year player gets total $12M

if cut after 2 years player gets total $19M

if cut after 3 years player gets total $21M

Is this clear as mud? So if NHL had this format, Habs cut Gomez and Kaberla and their cap hit goes away.

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IMO the NHL will go for no guaranteed contracts as in the NFL. askthecommish.com has a FAQ that explains NFL contracts. Basically it works this way.

You get cut contract ends.

Some caveats. Bonus money is gauranteed.

EX: player signs 4 year contract for $2M a year as base salary. Also gets $1M bonus money over 4 years, so basically getting $2.25M a year. If cut after 2 years team owes him the final 2 years bonus money. Player free to sign elsewhere.

Bonus money counts against the cap in year paid unless player cut, then counts in next 2 years.

Some contracts are bonus money up front and low salary with large money at end of contract.

Ex;year 1-$5M bonus and $2M salary

year 2-$5M bonus and $2M salary

year 3-0 bonus and $7M salary

year 4-0 bonus and $7M salary

year 5-0 bonus and $7M salary

On surface it is a 5 year/$35M contract, but:

if cut after 1 year player gets total $12M

if cut after 2 years player gets total $19M

if cut after 3 years player gets total $21M

Is this clear as mud? So if NHL had this format, Habs cut Gomez and Kaberla and their cap hit goes away.

would like to add that NFL players tend to play like every game could be their last.

Also a player who wants to leave can play to get cut.

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As with all negotiations both sides start off by presenting their "wish list" knowing that they are not going to achieve it. Then they negotiate to meet in the middle.

The key difference between this negotiation and the last one is Donald Fehr will not blink like Bob Goodenow did. If Gary Bettman is unaware of this fact he is in for a shock.

So, there will be give and take and there will not be any fundamental changes like the last time. There will be tweaks.

On the share of the revenues the league wants to bring it in line with the NFL and NBA, ie., 50/50. The players are saying no and any weak team should be helped by a better revenue sharing agreement between the teams. In order for the owners to get their way they would have to bring the salary cap down to under $60 million, which would screw just about every team. The only way to square that circle would be for the players to take another pay cut and I just cannot see them agreeing to that again.

So, in the end we will see a more modest reduction in the player's share of revenues and its implementation will be spread out over the length of the contract. To implement it I suspect we could see the freezing of the current salary cap at its current level, the gap between the salary cap and the salary floor could be widened and the age when a player becomes a UFA could be increased from the current 27 to 29 or even 30.

In exchange for these concessions the league would have to sweeten the revenue sharing pot.

The owners want a way to get out from under bad contracts and the players want to prevent teams from burying players in the minors. I suspect the new contract will allow owners an "amnesty buyout" each year where they will be able to buyout any player without having them on their books for the purposes the salary cap. I suspect they would only be able to do this once or twice a year. In exchange the teams would no longer be able to bury bad contracts in the minors.

On the length of contract front I do not see a real incentive from either side to significantly change how things are currently done. Players want security and teams want to lock up their star players for the long term. Except for some very minor tweaking I suspect it will be status quo on this issue.

There are other issues of course but those are the show stoppers. We will probably see some tweaks here and there on these issue but we will probably not see any major changes.

Considering the personalities involved I do not believe the process that leads to the above will be smooth or very cordial. I highly doubt we will see NHL hockey in October but I would be surprised if we are not seeing it by December.

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I read an interesting proposal regarding contract term.

All contracts are limited to whatever both parties agree to (let's say 5 years). The only exception would be that a player can sign a longer term deal with the team that originally drafted him.

If the home team get's the opportunity to offer a (let's say) 7 year deal,,, it could be incentive for a player to stay put. Player's still have the option of signing elsewhere, but the idea of that extra 2 years of security could be a dangling carrot to remain. Could be called a loyalty contract.

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As with all negotiations both sides start off by presenting their "wish list" knowing that they are not going to achieve it. Then they negotiate to meet in the middle.

The key difference between this negotiation and the last one is Donald Fehr will not blink like Bob Goodenow did. If Gary Bettman is unaware of this fact he is in for a shock.

That was a good presentation. My comment is about Goodenow and Fehr. Goodenow was made to look like an idiot but in hindsight it is Bettman who looked like the idiot. As for Fehr I think that Bettman is in for an epic battle. The last contract, it was the players who were seen to have caved and I'm not sure they have the fortitude to strike for long.

In the best interests of both sides they should quit the posturing and start laying their cards down.

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