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Canada, ON • Canada • 50 Years Old • Male
Whether many read this blog or not I felt compelled to put my 2 cents out into the Blogging Universe regarding the collective bargaining situation between the NHL and the PA.

First of all, I believe anyone deserves to get paid when they put in the effort and make the sacrifice to succeed. I believe in fairness and goodwill. I don't believe people should be punished for being successful and I don't believe being successful is a license to dictate any policy.

That being said I always find myself siding with the owners. Simply for that one single word: Owners. Owners ultimately take the biggest financial risks. Owners have to take the good with the bad. Owners have the right to run their businesses as they see fit within the structures set out to manage fair play and good will in the league.

I hate when I hear the players union say they want to be "Partners". Partners. Really? Partners? It sounds good in the papers. Oh look! The players are so fair. They want to be partners! Gotta luv'em! Last I checked, in the business world, partners share relative risk and gain accordingly. You've got skin in the game? Ride the roller coaster then. Players are NOT partners. They are very well paid employees backed by a very powerful and rich association. Union is the wrong word for employees who make more than most CEOs. Yes, some are born with some special skills and commit to a risky profession. But don't discount the costs to owners who have to foot the bill for all development costs on EVERY prospect they draft. Very few of them pan out. The owners provide the facilities, the coaches, the trainers and even the equipment. There are doctors, psychologists, cooks and couriers. What part of this so called partnership dictates the players have to offset some of these costs? The answer? None!

Owners want some cost certainty. And they obviously need some protection from each other. I mean they can't just agree to spend less. That would be collusion. So a CBA that provides cost certainty is a must to run their businesses. They played hardball last time and sacrificed a season to turn the ship. They gave the deal 7 years and players have benefited enormously. Can someone say 14 mil for Weber? But a 57% slice for labour when you are carrying costs on top is an enormous pill to swallow. And hard for some markets to compete. Nothing makes me angrier than some of the fat cat, floaters in the league. Can someone say Gomez? Hey partner, you're not bringing it! How about some of that contract back?

So maybe owners will make some more money if they get the CBA they want. They are owners! However, I see this as a benefit to the fans because cost certainty means more opportunity for more teams. Especially the financially challenged teams. And that is just good for everyone.

So the next time you hear a loud groan when a player mentions the word "partnership" it's probably just me having another CBA induced seizure.

Filed Under:   nhl   nhlpa   CBA   partnership   negotiation   Bettman   Fehr  
September 14, 2012 10:53 AM ET | Delete
well put
September 14, 2012 11:48 AM ET | Delete
Really? It's the players fault the owners sign them to these seizure inducing contracts? Why should the players have to shoulder the load of making teams in non-hockey markets? I'm not saying that the players shouldn't be giving some concessions, but really, the owners got what they wanted last time, then couldn't help themselves and now it's their fault we're in this mess.
September 14, 2012 12:32 PM ET | Delete
Sure the owners got what they wanted in '05. But since then expenses have gone through the roof. Travel, Lodging, Medical, Insurance, you name it. Not unreasonable in any business to want a better profit margin.
September 14, 2012 12:43 PM ET | Delete
September 14, 2012 1:59 PM ET | Delete
Happy happy joy joy
September 14, 2012 2:00 PM ET | Delete
I say screw the teams like Phoenix and Columbus, a smaller league wouldn't hurt my feelings.
September 14, 2012 2:06 PM ET | Delete
@DariusKnight. There is a Cap/Floor system. GMs work within these guidelines. The pie is sliced wrong. Labour at 57% is crazy. What business in the real world could sustain with these inflated labour costs?
September 14, 2012 2:46 PM ET | Delete
@FuzE_gus This ISN'T the real world, it's sports, you can't compare a Fortune 500 company where the average prime earning years for an employee is 20-30 years to the career of an athlete who's prime earning years are less than 8 depending on injuries/declining production/etc. More in next comment.
September 14, 2012 2:56 PM ET | Delete
@DariusKnight 98% of the population doesn't make in 20 years what average players make in their first contract. If a player does 8 years they are more than set for life. They are compensated far beyond the comprehension of most fans. And they don't give a cent back if they tank after signing a contract. It's just bad business for the owners and I won't blame them for the lock out.
September 14, 2012 3:26 PM ET | Delete
September 14, 2012 3:31 PM ET | Delete
@FuzE_gus Yet the rich owners are asking for even more profit when they aren't willing to share anything with the less fortunate teams. Even the NFL which has a 50/50 revenue split shares it's revenue equally among all the teams, only the NHL doesn't.
September 14, 2012 6:34 PM ET | Delete
@DariusKnight You say "Rich" owners like it's a negative. They are Rich. They buy teams. Some of them win and some of them lose (See Phoenix) Making money in this league is not guaranteed unless you are a big market team. There should be no penalty for being rich. A 50/50 split with a more robust revenue share makes more sense but the players claim they don't want to give anymore. At 57% that still requires a major concession and players are talking tough now.
September 14, 2012 6:39 PM ET | Delete
The financial risk is so great for owners that a guy is buying a team that reportedly bleeds money and is owned by the rest of the NHL for $160mm. Most team owners either will make profit from running the team or will recoup their losses and profit when they sell the team. If that's a risk, sign me up. Also, the players are why people come to the games. Would anyone pay $100 for tickets to see OHL or AHL level hockey? Yet thousands of fans do that for NHL hockey. I'm not there to see an owner.
September 15, 2012 10:49 AM ET | Delete
September 15, 2012 1:27 PM ET | Delete
@ Jsaquella Most players don't just appear from thin air and become stars in the league. They go through extensive training and development through the ranks until they get a chance at the NHL level where they are supported by incredible trainers and coaches. None of this is free and most of the players wouldn't nearly be as good without all the training that is provided for them. Not discounting the players hard work of course. The cream rises to the top but they don't just magically become stars.
September 15, 2012 6:27 PM ET | Delete
September 15, 2012 7:13 PM ET | Delete
Well.....I hate agreeing with a Habs fan, but great blog. Very well said and presented. And on top of that, great job of managing the responses. Responding to everyone? Doing it in a respectful way? You're setting a dangerous precedent!! lol
September 16, 2012 9:11 AM ET | Delete
@bullethead7 Wow. A Leafs fan agreeing with me ;-). Maybe the lockout is unifying us onto the same team of jilted hockey fans. Let's enjoy the peace until we're back at each other's throats once hockey is back on...whenever that may be.
September 16, 2012 12:22 PM ET | Delete
What can I say? I am a Leafs fan, but you have to be a hockey fan first. I've been thinking US Thanksgiving weekend all along for hockey to start up, but who really knows? I guess I will do hitting a lot of Marlie games again in the next couple of months.
September 16, 2012 4:39 PM ET | Delete
I can see Ricoh Coliseum from my place...yes transplanted Montrealer in T.O. Maybe a visit when the Bulldogs are in town....Yeah who knows how long this will go. A lot of young players were sent down to the AHL before yesterday. If we see a lot of players heading to Europe then it may be a sign the Union is digging in and we are going for a long ride. Sad.
September 16, 2012 9:21 PM ET | Delete
Well written. Totally agree. And yes, great job being polite and stuff. Not enough of that these days. "Clap clap clap."
September 17, 2012 4:50 PM ET | Delete
@ kingrichard500 Thanks! I took my hostility out elsewhere and remained constructive here :-)
September 20, 2012 2:55 PM ET | Delete
@ Jsaquella Without an owner there would be nothing there for you to see. @ FuzE_gus Completely agree. The one argument I here most often for the ridiculous player salaries is that they're the ones with the physical risk, so therefore they should be compensated in case of career-ending injury. Maybe it's just me, but if they're really so concerned about potential injury, shouldn't they find another job?
September 21, 2012 4:48 PM ET | Delete
@ PancakesPenner Nicely put. How about construction workers, police and firemen....They all take risks and their yearly compensation is probably 1/4 what some players make a game. The risk factor is a lame argument. It's a shame. A lot of players lose touch with reality once they hit the big time. It is what it is unfortunately.
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