Bettman Files Complaint Over

Gary Bettman is not messing around after having mud thrown in his face by the NHLPA.

Two days ago, he canceled the most anticipated draft in NHL history because the NHLPA is dragging its feet in accepting the NHL’s latest and lower offer proposed earlier this month. Today the NHL has filed a compliant in the US with the National Labor Relations Board saying that the NHLPA is threatening to hold out the $10,000 stipend for players if they cross the picket line and play this fall (in the event there is no CBA by then). is reporting a player agent is also threatening to file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board over the NHLPA’s threats to decertify any agent that represents a replacment player.


Bettman is cranking up the heat on Bob Goodenow to BROIL. The two hate each other and for good reason. At this point, who can blame Bettman for wanting to force the union into a situation where they lose. Yes – it goes against most personal relation principals but Gary Bettman hasn’t ready How To Win Friends and Influence People in a while and he is justifiably angry about how the NHLPA has negotiated in bad faith years ago when he was begging for a new CBA. One can only imagine how angry he is over the NHLPA leadership making Mario and Wayne looking like fools after the season was canceled.

A past article looked at past decisions by labor boards like the National Labor Relations Board relating to sport. Baseball was handed a defeat years ago however baseball is a special case with special laws and exceptions that go along with being America’s past time. The NFL won their decision. I think the NHL will win as well and when they do – the owners might just have enough ammo to either force the NHLPA to accept whatever deal is on the table at the time OR reopen the league up with replacement players.

In the event of replacement players, I wouldn’t be shocked to see as many as 40 to 50 percent of the NHLPA players cross the line. I predict a good 10 percent will retire. Another 10 to 15 percent will stay in Europe and Russia. That’s a 25 percent attrition for the league. With significant rules changes in place to open up the game, look for NHL clubs to snipe the most offensive minded players from Europe who would LOVE to take the better paying NHL jobs away from the spoiled NHLPA players who came over and took their gigs this year. For a fraction of the price expect to see many new European pro players. For the rest of the players, expect to see AHL players. I would expect to see that be 10 to 12 percent of the overall players however. Those who suggest that an NHL with replacement players will be $100 tickets to see Jon Sim and Antero Nittymaki play with no stars, are mistaken.

I still think the NHLPA will fold. They are losing at each turn and Bettman is out for blood at this late date. The players can’t ride this ship to the bottom of the sea unless that want to watch Jeff Carter, Mike Cammerleri and Jason Spezza scoring 50 plus goals next year. Fans will forget the name of low scoring, non-impact players like Trevor Linden, Trent Klatt and Artrus Irbe VERY quickly. One could be much more critical of Bettman if he wasn’t addressing the sever problems with the NHL game as it is played. Right now, each of the 30 teams are working on their “homework assignment” to test potential changes to the game. I’d still like to see them make the ice bigger even if it means losing some of the expensive seats.

Rational thought would make the NHLPA want to ink a deal now before heading closer towards having their ailing union broken. Rational thought is NOT one of Bob Goodenow’s strong suits thus we should expect him to lead his players to the brink of the NHL announcing replacement players and the end to the existing contract.

33 Responses to Bettman Files Complaint Over

  1. NYRules says:

    question, has nothing to really do with this, but…..

    is the time on the players contracts going by, so if they only had one year left on their contract as of last season it is done this july, or does time on contracts only go by if the league is actually playing?

    I hope those years dont mean just playing time because i would love to see a huge amount of free agents whenever the league does start up again. Might help make the leagues start up a little more interesting if marquee players are going all over the place.

  2. ranger_fan says:


    Second, tickets will go down for replacements, but you will still see great young talent.

  3. 19Yzerman says:

    Is the NHL some how exempt from being prolonged by the usual throwing of paper work by attorneys. The Owners still need to sell those season tickets with questions pending as to who will be playing on each team. Buyers will want to know who is on the home teams roster let alone each and every team that will be coming in as the visiting team. If Bettman wasn’t in some sort of pressure situation to cause things to happen very soon he would simply set back if the pressure was on the NHPLA and let that pressure take its effect on the NHLPA. However the NHL is under the pressure of getting tickets sold and having a CBA deal pending does not help them right now. Right now you can research info on the levitt report and NHL’s URO but, try to find a chronological table of offers and counter offers between the NHL and the NHLPA. I am a Red Wings fan and I don’t care who makes who much. I do care what players are on the roster and if this lockout causes that roster to change by way of redraft or replacements. I will not patronize the NHL as a hockey fan. Oh I will watch wings games from time to time but, not every game as I did and certainly not pay 175.00 for a game ticket to see the AHL players who have moved into the roster in place of the team I saw lose to the Flames a year ago. I used to watch every game and I would go to 4 to 6 games a year including a high priced playoff game. I feel the owners have presented offer which they knew would not be accepted so they can claim they tried in good faith when what they really want is to break up the NHLPA.

    Long live the NHLPA. Hang in there BOYS. Your cause is just and the rewards are monumental.

  4. Phenom3150 says:

    I’m pretty sure the contracts are running out, as planned…..meaning this summer’s free agent list is a mile long. Should be interesting.

  5. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    It is a Republican who can’t catch a 6 foot 5 mulsum terrorist connected to a kidney dialisys machine and hiding in a hole near Pakastan.

  6. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    I hope they do what you say and hang on. It is going to be so much fun to watch them come crawling back.

    Mike Modano will be struggling to pay for dog food when he goes from 9 million to 2 million per season.

    Trent Klatt, Atrus Irbe and the rest of the NHLPA who are fighting for principal will be fighting to even have a spot on an NHL team. and the fans wont care one bit. BUT they will have their principal even if it cost the monetary legacy left by Mario and Wayne.

    You never ansered an earlier question Mr. Union – what do you do for a living? I am interested to see what angle you come from

  7. IceyCup says:

    You just can’t stomach the thought that someone might disagree with you or won’t see things your way.

    How boring.


    Please work “Spago” into your response somehow.


  8. Scoot says:

    I agree that some players have said things that have hurt their cause (Modano, Guerin, McCabe, et al), but do you seriously think that the league using replacement players will hurt the union and force the players to “come crawling back”?

    The NHLPA members who cross the line (there will be some) will undoubtably be mediocre players at best. The AHL players who decide to play in the “NHL” will also be of the mediocre range, i.e. career minor leaguers.

    No AHL player worth anything to their parent club would want to play in a replacement league. No owner from a REAL hockey market would want their prospects playing in a replacement league because it would undoubtably affect team chemistry of the real club in a negative manor once (if) the lockout ends.

    Would fans want to see a crappy version of the NHL with fringe players and no stars? I think not. Maybe a few in markets that shouldn’t exist, where fans won’t be able to tell the difference between minor and major pro levels, there will be some turnout.

    If I lived in Detroit, I wouldn’t go and watch the Wings playing with replacements, I’d go watch the Griffins in Grand Rapids. If I lived in Toronto, I wouldn’t watch the Leafs using replacement players, I’d watch the (newly named) Marlies.

    Across Canada at least there are tons of CHL teams and some AHL teams definately worth more for your buck than watching washed up players in a replacement league. At least by watching CHL, AHL etc. you have the chance of watching players who might one day be stars. With replacements you are guaranteed sub-par players with no hope of ever truly doing anything special.

    The majority of owners know that they could have easily functioned (and profited) under the player’s last proposal, and using replacement players will prove that unless the NHL has the best players in the world, the majority of fans will simply stay away. I’ll give the hard-line owners 2 months of replacement players before Bettman resigns and they are forced to join the land of the conscious.


  9. ranger_fan says:

    India, Pakastan and Afganastan is one big hole. Kinda hard to find one individual. We aren’t in a world where if we have DNA, some space satalite gps that will pinpoint him, or are we?

  10. ranger_fan says:

    I am pro-owner, without a doubt, but a cap just won’t do it. There has to be a guarantee about just how much profit can be made, and the rest given to union, and needs to be some sharing.

  11. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Dear Icey,

    I spend a lot of time puting thoughtful and hopefully insightful articles on HTR. If the only comment you have about them is to bring up an out of context quote about Spago from something I said month’s ago – I will let that be your problem. If you would like to REALLY impress us – why don’t you post a feature and get it approved.

    As for Bin Laden – we HAD HIM in Tora BORA and Bush and Rumsfield send in a bunch of Afganistani (sp?) warriors with sharpened sticks and sling shots to capture him. He, of course, escaped.

    As for a “big hole” have you seen ground zero? Want to envision an even deeper hole? Think about what $280,000,000,000 per YEAR fighting a war we can not win in Iraq is costing us while India and China are cranking out pHd’s at a record pace.

    Honestly guys – I am sick of all of this. I just want some GOD DAMN hockey. As a card carrying Democrat – I am offended at the way the NHLPA has behaved. The Dems used to win the white house on the power of the unions. Thanks to the actions of unions and how irrelevant they have become – the Dems have lost their base. Howard Dean will rally the southwestern states where everyone is leaving after their Spago reservations (see I did it for you) in LA to move because the cost of living is so low in AZ, NM and NV. Even CO could turn blue. Right now, I don’t give a crap. I want to know where Croby is going. I want to know when the season starts. I want to know where my Kings tickets will be. I want to know who is crossing the line.

  12. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Scoot –

    I think there will be more players willing to cross than you might think. For now, it is OK to stand with the NHLPA but if you are say Keith Priemau and you have 3 years of a 16 million dollar contract left on the team you are the leader of YOU are coming back.

    If you are Jason Spezza and you are on the verge of breaking through and know EVEN with a $32,000,000 cap (it wont be that low – I am just making a point) you will make more money than you did while the NHLPA fat cats racked up $9,000,000 per year.

    If you are John LeClair or Alexi Yashin – you are GUARANTEED to be coming back if you can save even one year on your old contract. Hell you’ll do it just to get bought out – which is what is going to happen with LeClair.

    If you are a TOP European player and you saw the greedy NHLPA players come over and WOO your owner’s attention from you – maybe you might be motivated to play in a more open NHL? I bet there will be a good 10% of the new NHL that comes from that world.

    And lastly – the AHL – these players might NEVER get another chance. If they can show they can play and at a low price – they can earn a spot on the big club. I mean you think Mike Cammeleri can beat out some other forward on the Kings for less money? Jeff Carter for a rookie salary isn’t a better value than JR? If JR doesn’t want to cross the line – sign Kariay for WAY less than the 7 mill JR makes and move on. BTW – JR is playing next year I am once again making an example. You could easily plug in Zhamnov if you like.

    My point is – this isn’t going to be like watching the Hartford Wolfpack vs. the Phantoms for $100 per ticket. That wont sell and the owners know it.

    I still think the union is going to break. They have NOTHING left to win. The package gets less and less. If I am right about my predictions and there are only 300 or 400 NHLPA sitting out and the game is fixed – why should Bettman even take a phone call from Goodenow? Let the players come back begging.

  13. nordiques100 says:

    It isnt about the money all the time. Right now it has to do with principle. and the principle is the players never ever back down from a fight and will go to the end win or lose. They simply wont come crawling back as you say just because they make X millions of dollars. They are going to fight tooth and nail with this because they were threatened by the NHL. they were given ultimatiums and all or nothing offers. you simply dont do that to hockey players. And simply put, the owners refuse to share even amongst themselves and the players see that hence why they will want to get into any sort of deal with the owners under the owners terms.

    are you sure you see the whole picture? the owners are as greedy and selfish as the players. the owners wanted to cancel hockey this year and they accomplished that. the players simply wanted to play. sure they make too much money and need to give some back, but certainly they will. the next CBA will certainly not be as sweet for the players as the last one. there will be restraints on spending. but think about it, will all these restraints and sanctions on spending make the league and all 30 teams healthy? there are teams spending nothing and still losing big dollars. and there will be teams making tons of money with low costs and getting to keep everything while other teams continue to suffer. that certainly isnt competitive balance the league is preaching. there will be no trades, hardly any player movement which in the past has brought plenty of excitement because strict budget concerns come first. teams many not be able to build a winner and keep it together because costs will eventually go beyond the strict thresholds the owners are demanding. dont you get excited when your team picks up a few players or makes some key moves at the trade deadline? i mean there would be no need for a HTR sight without many or any trade movement going on.

    the owners way is not going to fix anything. you have to see that. the two guys in charge are trying to destroy eachother and their battle goes beyond the good of the game. nothing fair or equal is going to come of it and to think the owners plan to lower player costs is going to fix everything is wrong. a 31 million dollar cap or lower will not fill seats in nashville or florida….and why by the way is there a team in nashville? go ask the owners.

  14. ranger_fan says:

    We all miss hockey way too much. I started watching college hoops. Yes, I know, I watched 90 seconds or so. For hockey sake, I hope he goes to a team that can help him, and hopefully a team with heritage.

    Democrats v republicans, well this isn’t really the place. Yes Bush is the goofiest figure head ever. That’s My Bush was a great show, and the one who impersonated Bush at the Foxworthy roast was great. (Anyone know who that was?) Being in California, of course you are democrat. I hope you didn’t vote for Arnold… I don’t like the Democrats stance on almost everything. Welfare, Univ. Health Care (is it worth it Canadians?) prescription drugs, its all skewed. One last political comment, Why is Howard Dean the leader? With the conservative networks, they will bring back the “crazed man” incident.

  15. ranger_fan says:

    Why is there a team in Nashville? To try and get a bigger audience. How many rednecks in Tennessee, has actually watched hockey? Its just like why did major league baseball expand to Montreal? poor montreal, its either NHL or CFL, no MLB

  16. ericthered1961 says:

    The onwers whole approach to this has been a sham…..shame on them and shame on you Gary….Goodnow is no angel be he has handled this as well as expected seeing that the NHL has been dictatorial in its approach to this whole thing.

  17. cr9204 says:

    It was the Democrats that didn’t even TRY!!!! Please!

  18. cr9204 says:

    I’m not sure if this has been discussed our not but I thought I would bring it up. If the League decides to use Replacement players will there be some kind of draft or possibly a lottery? Or maybe each club gets to choose who they want from their respective farm teams first then a lottery or “Draft” of some sort? This is an interresting subject to me just wondering if anyone knows, or has any other ideas of how they will get it done “DROP THE PUCK”!

  19. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    What you describe is one of the most interesting possble points.

    Bettman may offer all NHLPA players the chance to keep their curent NHL contracts if they cross the line. In that case, they may go into a pool where teams can pick from them. Likely excluded from this pool would be prospects and players on 2 way contracts…


  20. Scoot says:

    Flyers Fan-

    You make good points. Some top European players will undoubtably come to the “new” NHL, just like some North American players will. I can definately see guys like LeClair or Yashin becoming replacement players…even for a single year so they can get bought out. Older guys who are in the twilight of their careers or guys with huge contracts (or both) may become replacements.

    But I really don’t see a stand-up guy with tons of character like Primeau becoming a replacement player no matter how much cash he is slated to earn, or how much loyalty he has to the Flyers as an organization. Its probably more important to him to stand with his teamates through the whole ordeal. Most of the budding stars will also stay clear of becoming replacements for the same reason.

    The big question is the AHL players. You’re totally right that many of those players might not get another chance, and it’s always nice to see players giving their all, balls to the wall, in order to stay with an NHL club. There is nothing worse than an overpriced “superstar” who slacks off when the going gets tough. It could be very refreshing to see some true heart all of the time. But we can’t forget the reason why many of these replacements ARE replacements: They simply aren’t good enough for the NHL when all the best players in the world are playing in the NHL. Otherwise, they would be locked-out NHLPA union members and would be standing up for their cause.

    I just hope it all gets sorted out soon and we have a “real” NHL next year.



  21. CalgarySUCKS says:

    For all of the so called “FANS” who are on the players side.

    I have been an Edmonton fan since my Dad laced up my first pair of skates in thier initial N.H.L. campaign at the age of 3. I remember the pride in my dads eyes when he talked about how wonderful it was to take me to a game so we could watch (argueably)the greatest sports team ever assembled. He coached my teams and never gave up an opportunity to let me know how lucky I was to be able to watch a player like Greztky flourish in our back yard.

    I didn’t care though.I cant tell you how many times I got into arguements with anyone who would dare say Gretzky was better than Messier. (Hey….I was 8)

    But I still remember!

    My dad refuses to watch the watered down teams with spoiled players that think we are there to serve them.

    To me that explains the sorry state of our game.

    My son has gone through 4 favorite players in the last 4 years. Weight, Guerin, Comrie, and Salo.(Isn’t it funny that Comrie screwed Salo’s wife like the team with my kids emotions)

    He has now settled on Laraque. Maybe he’ll stick around for a couple more years. My only wish is that I can give him some memories of heroes that are more than borderline AHL players.

    I am sick and tired of a system that allows 6-8 teams use Edmonton and other cities like it as farm teams. We had a chance to fix things in 94′ but the Snyder’s and Illitch’s caved in. I don’t blame them. They are guarenteed a playoff contender with the status quo. No wonder you guys are fans.

    The best I can hope for is a great stretch run for 7th or 8th, a 7th game in the first round, or heaven for bid a cinderella run like Calgayuteifwrufurwu.( I still dont like to acknowledge that happened) I know that the big market teams should be able to spend what they wish but you must remember this is not a 8 team league.If it was you probably wouldn’t watch.

    Finally the owners have given Bettman the power to correct the 10 years of decay that has plagued the sport.

    I could talk for hours of every single reason, point by point ,(and I have) why you shouldn’t be on the nhlpa side but I won’t.

    Instead I will leave you with this.

    The NHL can not try to break the union because it isn’t a union. I am in a union and if I tried to hire an agent to negotiate a better deal for myself I would be strung up by my genitals.

    The players have been having thier cake while eating it too for much too long. The well is dry! They used to need better conditions 30 years ago so the nhlpa did serve a pupose. It has now outlived its usefulness.

    Lets get some sanity back.

  22. Aetherial says:

    Rewards are monumental?

    Hahahahahah! At the very best, they might somehow get the deal the NHL offered before they canned the season.

    You are still on this replacement kick.

    I don’t know who is going to be on the team even with the NHLPA in the game.

    You are also way overestimating the union’s ability to stay intact.

    The players still in their prime will still make MUCH more in the NHL and they will cross, at the very least, by Christmas.

  23. 19Yzerman says:

    If you can show me some relevance as to what I do for a living and this debate. Then I might be willing to share with you what it is that I do for a living. I am quite sure your intentions are to figure a way to put things into a pro owner perspective based on my occupation.

  24. 19Yzerman says:

    Your laughing??????

    You don’t thinnk the NHL will make a BIG come back and the amounts of revenue will be great or MONUMENTAL????

    You say ,”You are also way overestimating the union’s ability to stay intact”

    I am I???

    MAYBE!!! MAYBE NOT!!!!!!

    only time will tell.

  25. 19Yzerman says:

    If Bettman wasn’t in some sort of pressure situation to cause things to happen very soon he would simply set back if the pressure was on the NHPLA and let that pressure take its effect on the NHLPA. However the NHL is under the pressure of getting tickets sold and having a CBA deal pending does not help them right now.

  26. SabresAreCool says:

    couldn’t agree with you more

  27. SabresAreCool says:

    In the event of replacement players I would assume players would be treated like restricted free-agents. That the team they played for would own their rights and would have the first chance to sign or renegotiate with them….and players on ahl 2 way contracts would also be obligated to their respective teams…..

    I don’t like the idea of a full player draft lottery. Although I would love to get a franchise player like Iginla I like my team the way it is. Take a team like the Sabres which has been thinking of the upcoming cba with every decision they’ve made over the last 3 seasons…..every trade brought in a younger (cheaper) player for an older (expensive) player. every move has been made with the future in mind. So i have sat by and watched the sabres miss the playoffs 3 years in a row so they could finally “BUILD” a good team and do some damage in the playoffs, and now i might have to wait again. This opinion is why I think the nhl will try to have those players crossing the lines return to their respective teams unless they were UFA’s at the end of last season………Replacement players or union, just give me the Sabres i Know, back

  28. 19Yzerman says:

    You are looking up at teams above and wondering why you are below? Being used as a farm team? Why your son can’t find a player who will be around long enough for him to out grow the jersey before the player bolts. Well the problem is the same everywhere. Strong markets and weak markets. It took the Flames to be in the finals for them to sell out the arena and a bunch of jerseys. This is not the fault of those teams above nor should it be their responcabilty to support those weak markets. If you are sell HOT cocoa on south beach in maimi and your not doing so well shut it down and try some thing else somewhere else. Evevn Star bucks and Tim Horton’s can’t help sell things to people who don’t want to buy.

  29. 19Yzerman says:

    Can you say, “Wag the Dog”????????

  30. Aetherial says:

    Only a couple things I really disagree on here.

    It IS about the money that is all it is about and all it has ever been about.

    The owner’s solution will go a ways towards solving the financial and competitive problems. As far as selling the game… there is a lot of work to be done and changes that will have to be made and, even then I dunno if it can be sold in the U.S.

    The fact is, the majority of the U.S. has no interest in something it is not the best in the world at.

  31. cr9204 says:

    Yes, this could turn out to be very interesting in deed!

  32. cr9204 says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I am a Caps fan and I know what they did last season was not favorable by this i mean dumping most of the roster, putting in an ECHL goalie in the later games and hoping for the chance that they would get the frist pick which they did. Anyway The team is young now thats great but who are they? Man I wish this whole thing never happened I feel nothing good is to come out of this, I am holding out for the best anyway. Please somebody drop the puck, any puck just drop one!

  33. CalgarySUCKS says:

    Spoken like a true American! lol

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