Ed Snider Speaks Out On CBA Impasse

Ed Snider Speaks Up About CBA

Flyers Chairman, Ed Snyder, spoke up today regarding the labor impasse with some of the most lucid comments regarding the riff between the NHL and NHLPA.

Snider said:


“When Bob Goodenow says he wants the free market, well, I’ll give him the free market,” Snider told reporters. “A free market is no union. That’s a free market. You don’t have guaranteed contracts, you don’t have arbitration, you don’t have anything. When I got into hockey, you signed a player for a year and when he came to training camp, you signed him for the next year. That’s a free market.”

Snider’s words should have clout considering he built one of the most successful teams in the NHL from the ground up. Gary Bettman could only hope that the franchises he opened could achieve 1/2 of what the Flyers have in their first 25 years. Another reason why Snider’s words should carry meaning is that the Flyers are one of the “Haves”. They have money and can survive and make the playoffs EVERY year PROFITABLY without a cap yet Snider supports a cost certainty to help other teams be financially healthy.

Snider went on to say:

“I don’t consider revenue sharing a salary cap. Say, we have a pie. The players will get X-percentage of the pie. I don’t consider that a salary cap. If (revenues) goes up, you get that much more.”

This is where the players show that they are truly greedy pigs. The issue shouldn’t be over a willingness to accept a cap – it should be over WHERE a cap is set and how as the game grows the players make more money.

I am a publisher by trade. If my publication sells more ads and makes more profit, I make a bigger bonus. Unlike an NHL hockey player in the union – NOTHING is guaranteed for me. I MUST perform to make my living. If I am injured or sick – I am screwed. I MUST perform. The same goes for many small business owners and employees who work their asses off to be able to afford tickets. A fundamental flaw in the NHLPA’s thinking is that they OWN the teams. They do NOT (with the exception of Mario) and are lucky to be paid what they get. Moreover – the longer the lockout goes on the SMALLER the revenue of the league will be thus GUARANTEEING them a smaller salary in the future. THE NHLPA better beware, the NHL is going to try to break their union if they don’t get back to work. As soon as the 2004-05 season is scuttled, you watch, Bob Goodenow will lose the ONLY venue willing to pay his players, guarantee their salaries, accept misguided arbitration settlements and beyond.

Jerry Del Colliano

Comments?


26 Responses to Ed Snider Speaks Out On CBA Impasse

  1. Tweek says:

    Now im not usually a fan of Ed Snider because at times he dosnt know when to keep his big fat mouth shut but i’ll have to agree with him and his well made points.

  2. Freeze says:

    At first, I agreed with the owners on the salary cap issue, mostly because the other major sports in the USA have a salary cap or a luxury tax. The number I came up with for a salary cap – $42 million, is pretty close to the 2003-04 average NHL team payroll of $44 million. What’s the point? Anyway, since then I have realized that the fallout from no salary cap will be several teams folding in the NHL. This is EXACTLY what the NHL needs.

    The NHL over expanded when it grew to 30 teams. The big payoff for expansion SHOULD have been a lucrative national TV contract. That hasn’t happened. It turns out that this year the NHL had to pay ESPN to televise its playoffs games. That’s pathetic. Now the owners are asking the players to accept reduced salaries to keep these inept franchises on life support. The owners are at the same time blaming the players for the contracts that the owners signed them to. It’s sort of like getting a gal pregnant and saying the entire thing was her fault.

    Hockey doesn’t sell in most of the southern tier of states in the USA, and even in portions of the northern USA. LET THE WEAK DIE FROM NATURAL CAUSES. It wasn’t meant to be. Go watch NASCAR, football, truck pulls, cow pie bingo…whatever. I don’t care.

    After 6 to 12 NHL franchises fold, the talent level will dramatically improve and real NHL cities will feature real NHL players. The owners can voluntarily practice fiscal restraint. Spending does not always mean success on the ice. Calgary and Tampa Bay did nicely with lower than average payrolls, although Tampa had to give away playoff tickets to entice fans to show up for games. How sad.

    If teams like Tampa Bay, Washington, Carolina, and Anaheim can make it to the Finals with average or below average payrolls, so can others. At the other end of the spectrum, we have the New York Ranger$. Enough said.

    The owners are in the driver’s seat – DON’T SIGN PLAYERS FOR MORE MONEY THAN THEY’RE WORTH OR FOR MORE MONEY THAN YOU CAN AFFORD TO PAY. If push comes to shove, be more creative and work harder. If that doesn’t work, buy an AHL franchise and try again.

    Done

  3. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    I see what you are saying but it is implausable.

    1. Harold Baldwin and another suitor who I know personally are looking to BUY an NHL franchise. That is 2 buyers and no real sellers. Maybe Pittsburgh or Anahiem but you don’t see those deals going down do you.

    2. If a team were to fold that was created recently, how would the owner get his $50,000,000 back? You fold, you take it on the chin. Why do that when you could sell for $35,000,000 (a fire sale considering teams like the Flyers are reportedly worth 300 mil) and cut your losses. Nevertheless – with people looking to buy teams, there will be no contraction.

    Moving teams might be a good idea. I am a fan of Winnepeg as a city for a team. Same with Quebec. They are not as big as some southern cities but they have educated hockey fans who are loyal. They will watch the games on TV and will support the teams.

    Contraction isn’t going to happen and the exodus (movement of jah people) of players to Europe will REALLY amplify the effect of the talent pool getting diluted. Moreover, look at what the new crop of young players NOT getting to play this year is doing to the future of the game. Ouch.

  4. IceyCup says:

    agreed

    some teams should fold

    darwinism

    paragraph 2 says a lot about bettman’s failure

  5. PayUpSucka says:

    Tampa, Carolina, Anaheim and Washington are very rare exceptions. Read on. I just copied and pasted these numbers so they’re not mine, but you should take a look or a read.

    COMPETITIVE IMBALANCE

    WHILE AN ABILITY TO SPEND ON PLAYERS DOES NOT NECESSARILY GUARANTEE COMPETITIVE SUCCESS, THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT AN ABILITY TO SPEND ON PLAYERS MATERIALLY ENHANCES A CLUB’S CHANCES FOR COMPETITIVE SUCCESS

    OVER 9 YEARS:

    PAYROLLS IN TOP HALF (1/2) OF LEAGUE

    9 OF 9 STANLEY CUPS

    15 OF 18 STANLEY CUP FINAL APPEARANCES

    29 OF 36 CONFERENCE FINAL APPEARANCES

    PAYROLLS IN TOP 10 OF LEAGUE

    7 OF 9 STANLEY CUPS

    11 OF 18 STANLEY CUP FINAL APPEARANCES

    24 OF 36 CONFERENCE FINAL APPEARANCES

    ONLY 5 TEAMS HAVE HAD 3 OR MORE APPEARANCES IN THE CONFERENCE FINALS DURING THE TERM OF THE CURRENT CBA (COLORADO, DETROIT, NEW JERSEY, DALLAS, AND PHILADELPHIA) AND ALL FIVE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HAD PAYROLLS RANKING IN THE TOP 10 OF THE LEAGUE

    MORE IMPORTANT, AN INABILITY TO SPEND COMPETITIVELY ON PLAYERS VIRTUALLY PRECLUDES A CLUB’S CHANCES FOR COMPETITIVE SUCCESS

    OVER 9 YEARS:

    PAYROLLS IN LOWER HALF (1/2) OF LEAGUE

    0 OF 9 STANLEY CUPS

    3 OF 18 STANLEY CUP FINAL APPEARANCES

    7 OF 36 CONFERENCE FINAL APPEARANCES

    PAYROLLS IN LOWER THIRD (1/3) OF LEAGUE

    0 OF 9 STANLEY CUPS

    2 OF 18 STANLEY CUP FINAL APPEARANCES

    4 OF 36 CONFERENCE FINAL APPEARANCES

    ISOLATED INSTANCES OF SUCCESS BY LOW-PAYROLL TEAMS GENERALLY HAVE NOT BEEN SUSTAINED OVER TIME

  6. werdo says:

    The ability to spend on players also impacts the marketing and persona of the team. The teams need to be able to hold on to their stars to keep the fans’ interest. When a team ends up in the position of being a talent feeder to the big money teams, the fans resent it and stop caring about the team. That then just further reduces their income and ability to spend.

  7. Rysto says:

    The problem is that all owners must hold the line on salaries under the current system. If just one owner overpays for a player, the arbitration system guarantees that all comparable players will get similar raises. Worse, under the current system, its impossible to reduce a player’s salary in the next contract even if their production declines, thanks to the arbitration system.

    That’s why a salary cap is necessary. It prevents teams from making stupid decisions that raise the salary level across the league. A luxury tax cannot guarantee that.

  8. PayUpSucka says:

    Exactly!!

  9. PayUpSucka says:

    This is an another example of why the majority of fans side with the owners. The owners gave up alot in the last CBA, and have realized the drastic errors of their ways, it’s time the players give a little back.

  10. 19Yzerman says:

    Revenue sharing is a form of Robin Hood. The only thing about it is that that lower teams that get money in revenue sharing often don’t use those funds to obtain more skill. Simply put its HUSH MONEY.

    Bettman has made it very clear he wants to draw the line at 930 million for the players.He is calling this his plan of “Cost Certainty”. Perhaps both sides should be discussing what X should be in terms of % of that pie Snider is talking about.

    I agree that all players should be paid based on performance as an individual and as part of a team. Guaranteed contracts can go. Arbitration would be OK I mean if Holik was trying to get a raise instead of being an NHL owner auction item he would not have been signed for 9 MIL.

    I do have a problem with the league telling its owners that in order to level things. From now on the profitable teams shall be limited to the spending levels of those that lose money. What kind of economic system does that?

  11. cgolding says:

    it was only a matter of time before snider spouted off…

    he said at the end of the Flyers season that he wanted a NBA type system in the NHL…

  12. Rysto says:

    The league cannot survive on big-market teams alone. Small market teams are crucial to the success of the league — the big-market teams have to have somebody to play against. The goal is to put teams like Edmonton and Calgary on par with the big spenders. I’d hope that you’d agree that losing teams like that would be very bad for the league, and it will happen unless they can compete.

  13. 19Yzerman says:

    Not only has there been expansion of teams but, also divisions. Now that The leafs are in a different Division and Conference for that matter now we are reduced to a Red Wings vs Leafs match up of only twice per season if that.

    There is a popular misconception that the league is in a state of lockout in attempt to establish a salary cap to help the small market teams. This came about when Bettman stated he want a CBA that will restrict the players from collectively making more than 930 MIL. Then some presumptuous individuals took out calculators and divided the 930 mil by the 30 teams and poof they think Bettman said he wanted a 31 million per team cap.

    To answer your question about losing teams. I don’t think it would a major catastrophie to lose a few. I mean they expanded like crazy and look at the current state of the league.

  14. Freeze says:

    And over the past 9 years, how many new teams have been added to the NHL? Did these new owners know what the going rate was for top flight players? Hell yes. They miscalculated and now they’re losing money.

    They never should have been allowed to buy a franchise in the first place. How much market and demographic research did these owners do before they bought their teams? Were they counting on a large national TV contract for revenue? Probably.

    They rolled the dice and lost. It happens. These are opportunities for tax write-offs.

    Isn’t it amazing how the players need to fix all these problems created by the owners?

    “ONLY 5 TEAMS HAVE HAD 3 OR MORE APPEARANCES IN THE CONFERENCE FINALS DURING THE TERM OF THE CURRENT CBA (COLORADO, DETROIT, NEW JERSEY, DALLAS, AND PHILADELPHIA) AND ALL FIVE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HAD PAYROLLS RANKING IN THE TOP 10 OF THE LEAGUE”

    These are all very well-run franchises where a lot of money is spent on scouting and drafting good, young, cheap talent. Young talent becomes older talent that requires a higher salary in order to retain their services. All of these teams were built primarily through the draft and trades, not free agency.

    Ticket prices, fan support, and corporate sponsorship all play a role in a team’s revenues. When I see NHL teams with a lot of empty seats in cities that are strong economically, I can only wonder why these cities have franchises. The NHL cities with the strong fan support are now expected to pay for the empty seats of others.

    Will the underprivledged owners be buying more hockey talent with the luxury tax money, or just buying a new vacation home or two in the Carrabean?

  15. aafiv says:

    With all due respect to a fellow Flyers fan, your argument about the players not working their asses off to get paid is, of course, totally ludicrous. The idea that this whole thing is due to the players’ greed is also ludicrous.

    You and others seem to think that the NHLPA has a gun pointed at the likes of the Dolan Family (NY Rangers), Ted Leonsis (WSH Capitals), and Charles Wang (NY Islanders). That, somehow, these frivolous morons have no power against the awesome and unyielding Player’s Union.

    Wake up.

    The players are very lucky to get what they get for playing a child’s game and no one disputes that. If, however, you believe that spiraling player salaries have more to do with the players’ greed than the owners’ stupidity, you’re fooling yourself.

    The salary market in the NHL is what it is because Ted Leonsis (who is now crying poor-mouth) willingly signed Jaromir Jagr to the ridiculous money he gets. Wang signed Yashin to the ridiculous money he gets. The Dolans signed Holik for the truly undefendable salary he gets. and Jeremy Jakob, perhaps the biggest dumbass (and pernnial poor-mouth crier) in the sport, signed Martin Lapointe to the money he gets.

    These players didn’t suc*****b to greed. They didn’t hold hockey hostage until they got their way like the owners are now. Someone threw stupid money at them and they took it…

    JUST LIKE YOU WOULD HAVE!!!!!

    The salary cap is an attempt by the owners to put into place an arbitrary control ON THEIR OWN STUPID BEHAVIOR. Why would, in fact, why should the players agree to it? This whole issue is not the fault of the players… notice how the absence of hockey was engineered by the owners and not the players?

    If this was player-driven it would be a strike instead of a lockout.

  16. hockeyhead says:

    yes, they are locked out.

    but, they could of resolved this for months and months and months and they did not want to work it out. they did not want to meet common ground thus forcing the owners to lock them out. they want to put some pressure on the owners.

    the only losers are us. as we continue to debate this.

    THE NEW BANNER SHOULD READ…………..R.I.P. HOCKEY RUMORS.COM with a picture of bettman biting a hockey stick like the sharks logo.

  17. 19Yzerman says:

    They also could have continued under the terms and conditions of the old CBA until a new CBA could be agreed upon. Instead the owners opted for the lockout. This was premeditated by the owners who created a slush fund so that they will be able to draw funds from in light of this immanent lockout.

    I am telling you that they all are drawing unemployment not only because its there but, in the owners case its profit for 19 teams that were losing money.

    Stanley Cup History

    1919–No Decision due to Flu epidemic

    2005–No Decision due to Greed epidemic

    You know what hurts me the most is not knowing when I will see Karen Newman once again.

  18. werdo says:

    C’mon now there’s lots of stupidity to spread around. The players do force the issue when several of them hold out every September trying to get a bigger contract. The problem with the system is that these inflated salaries recieved from hold outs and moronic free agent signings inflate the salaries for every other player/team trying to negotiate a deal. I love Burke’s suggestion of the either/or arbitration system and suspension/loss of service for the year for players who aren’t signed by training camp.

  19. Aetherial says:

    I don’t think that you can blame the owners just because this is technically a lockout rather than a strike.

    The truth is that the players wanted this to happen. They look at history and they see that they will win. The owners almost never win. The players are playing the odds.

    They have not come up with credible solutions nor initiated any negotiating process.

    They refuse to discuss ANY proposal tied to revenue in ANY way. They do not want to be partners in the *business* they want to be overpaid employees and let the owners take the huge financial fall as the game staggers in the U.S.

    It is sooooo self-serving of the players to point out this is a lockout. It is sooo easy for them to say everything is fine when they are experiencing ridiculous salary increases in the face of declining or stagnant league revenues!

    You are also wrong about nature of the *blame* put on the owners. There are a few examples of ridiculous contracts but the problem is, in large part, due to the arbitration process.

    If the players want a free market economy then they should also be subject to the owner’s desires for arbitration AND they should be subject to the owner’s whims if the owner simply decides not to pay them and sits them out! (just like players decide to just *sit out* when then want their existing contract re-negotiated.)

    Total free agency… but NO guaranteed contracts and an arbitration system that can be initiated by ether side and is simply a your number vs. my number all-or-nothing game.

    The player’s position is BS… they don’t want a free market system… they want a free market system with guarantees that their salaries will continue to escalate and one good season automatically nets them a multi-year, multi-million contract through arbitration.

  20. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    The owners are to blame to a certain extent however it is the players and their agents that drive prices up on players. If the owners got together and decided to NOT pay players more (and there was any proof) that would be collusion and their would be FEDERAL action against the NHL. Add in an arbitration system that once a level is set for a player then all other players basically get paid at that level. Owners needed to start REJECTING these decision however that would cost MILLIONS in fan support and ticket sales.

    If I was an owner like Dolan or Snider I would have spent like a madman because that is an advantage that I had.

    The owners spend on players especially towards the end of the year to protect their investment in what could potentially be a championship caliber team that could go deep in the playoffs thus creating extra ticket sales and TV $$$. If you had the money, the picks and the prospects and your top 2 centers went down in a Feb. game within 42 seconds wouldn’t you trade a prospect for Zhamnov? Damn right you would.

    The issue is more about getting the OVER EXPEANDED teams healthy. Snider is saying he is willing to give up his advatage of having more money than most in order to see the game grow. How many players are talking like that? 5% roll back – BIG deal.

    The players should be on commission. They are skilled and should be paid for how well the sport does. the rules should be changed to promote more scoring and EVERYTHING should be done to get TV ratings in the US sky high. A lockout DOESN’T HELP THIS!

    What Snider is suggesting is revenue sharing NOT a CAP. If the NBC deal becomes profitable then the players make MORE millions of dollars. If not – they simply aren’t worth it.

  21. aafiv says:

    on a different note… why is the word I used that essentially means “given in to” blocked out???

  22. goodfela26 says:

    The NHLPA also set aside a slush fund to get itself and it’s players through the lockout as well.

    A salary cap is necessary for the survival of the league. At the rate that the salaries are climbing, hockey will slowly die. As salaries increase, so will ticket prices. The ticket prices will eventually get to a level where arenas will become less and less filled. It’s a domino effect. The final domino in that scenario is the NHL folding.

    The NFL is the most successful pro sport in North America right now. The parity across that league right now is awesome, and it makes for a much more competitive league. They instituted a salary cap and the league is as successful as they ever were.

    If the NHL is going to be successful in the future, both the league and it’s union need to find some middle ground and get control over the skyrocketing salaries.

  23. goodfela26 says:

    Just look at the 3 letters it filtered. I don’t know why it filtered in the middle of a word though.

  24. 19Yzerman says:

    You missed my point about the owners and yes the players will be drawing from a slush fund that they pay into through the union. The difference is that the owners just started paying in a few years ago in light of a potential lockout and the players have always being paying into its stike fund. This validates that the owners prepaired themselve for a lockout and that it was premeditated.

  25. Phillyfanatic says:

    I agree with you to a certain extent, however the cure to the NHL’s woes is not to cut the cancerous teams off of the NHL body to make it a more viable entity. The whole point of this ridiculous and gruelling experience known as the lockout is to manage where the game is heading. You are right at the fact that numerous teams are on insecure financial footing at best, but both sides have to agree on the percentage of the pie that the players will get. The owners have stated that the number will be greater than 50%, and to me that shows that the players have almost no case when it comes to helping the game develop and prosper. Perhaps the best example of a player who recently signed a contract is Keith Primeau who signed for less money just to play in Philly. It has to stop being about how much a player and his agent can make right now, and both sides have to think about the betterment of the game.

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