The Evil Player's Union or The Wicked Owners

Ok, I’m sure everyone has their opinion on the CBA. I’m sure some of you are cursing the players (I am) and some of you are cursing the owners.

What I found interesting and disturbing while reading an article on the official CBA site was some people actually agree that the NHL is in a healthy economic state! Up to 30%!?




This article is simple and straight forward. My question to HTR readers is……..

How do YOU feel? I would really like to know how REAL hockey fans feel about this whole scenario. Please specify if you are Canadian or American…since the survey is broken down that way.


26 Responses to The Evil Player's Union or The Wicked Owners

  1. hockeyhead says:


    blame the players because they just seem to want and want.

    blame bettman because of expansion because the league is way watered down. expansion teams were created with the waste of each team.

    blame the trap for making hockey intolerable for non hockey fans and hockey fans alike.

    i will miss hockey because i have loved watching for more than 25 years.

    i boycotted going to bruins games last year because i don’t want to spend 85 bucks to watch neutral zone traps and sub par players.

    i am pi$$ed. what the hell is the good of waiting to read my hockeynews? might as well cancel it after 20 years of subscribtion.

  2. NYRebuild27 says:


    essentially i blame the union simply because it comes down to greed. i understand the owners make the offers and all the players do is accept it, but then that raises the bar for everyone… hence the reason 2nd or 3rd line players (cough, cough mike keane, brian skrudland) got paid between 2 and 3.5 million (cough, cough neil smith). and i am a rangers fan. but then it comes down to how much the fans love the game. we need a cap, or cost certainty or whatever would fix this mess. its not fair to the fans to have to pay $85 for second tier sitting. its not fair to the fans to have to pay $160 for a jersey. if this problem doesnt get resolved fast, hockey will disappear – and its starting to: the other day i heard on the radio that you could win tickets to any of the MAJOR FOUR sports finals of your choice; Football, Baseball, Basketball and NASCAR. i dont care about how much it costs to build scott niedermayers new house, all i care about is hockey.

  3. dave1979 says:


    i dont agree with either side. these are the people who supposedly “love” the game. if they truly did they would hold a meeting every day or two, with a serious committment to hammering out a deal. if all of these a$$holes really loved the game the way we fans do than they would each make some concessions to get something done, because they wouldnt want to hurt this game any further than they are. they say that they are doing this to fix the game for the long term, while i feel this is true they are also damaging it more and more as every day goes by.

    me: dont you guys make enough money?

    player: do you have any idea how much insurance costs on a ferrari motherfu(ker?

  4. PayUpSucka says:


    I’m hands down with the owners. The owners gave up alot in the last CBA, it’s time for the players to give a little back.

    I mean c’mon, these owners didn’t buy into the league to lose money. They own the team, they have a right to rake in enough profit to keep each individual organization strong.

  5. UsedandAbused says:

    I am American: I think the NHL is in real trouble. I think the player union is completely wrong. They need to put in a salary cap the way the NFL has done so. The NFL has proven that it works. Not only that but teams in the NFL are more balanced out.

    First off I don’t think Bettman is very smart and is def NOT a good business man. He is BAD for hockey. He doesn’t know how to market the sport. How he got this job is BEYOND me. He needs to go…. I don’t think a 30 million dollar cap is high enough as Bettman suggested. I think they need about 40-45 million dollars. They also need profit sharing. Also I don’t think they should penalyze teams right off the bat for being over the cap. Give them 2 years to get it down. As for there being to many teams in the NHL… I don’t agree with that. I don’t think they should expand anymore for a while, but give these teams a chance.

    Hell they don’t even have NHL tonight on espn anymore. Why because Americans have lost interest in the NHL all together (not hockey). Why because it is widely agreed that the officiating in the NHL is by far the worst among every sport, even basketball. The liberal media here doesn’t do the NHL any favors either… All they do is whine about how bad and evil fighting is in the NHL. As Arnold would say, “they are girlymen”. Personally I don’t think fans relate to Melrose either, which is why NHL tonight has lower ratings that girls basketball.

    What needs to happen? This….

    1) Gary Bettman needs to be replaced by a capable businessman that has a clue when it comes to marketing.

    2) The players union needs to be *****slapped by the fans. They are completely WRONG and it frustrates they hell out of me. They need to accept a salary cap.

    3) All this holding bullshit needs to be taken out of the game. And these stupid announcers need to stop protecting the officials when they make a bad call. Holding and grabbing can go if the NHL really decides to let it go.

    4) The instigator penalty has to go…. Cmon this isn’t softball… More fights bring in more fans… It is that simple.

  6. Tweek says:


    The players and owens are both at fault in many ways. The owners blame the players for wanting too much and the players blame the owners for ruining the system and puting salaries out of control in the first place. The players union is right in that respect but to have Bob go on the CBC and say 1.3 million isnt enough to support players is rediculous. Bob stated that players need doctors and trainers, blah, blah, blah. The union is snuffing the fans just as bad a the owners are but in different ways. PLAYERS in the NHL continually hold out for more money which is abusing the system. Both sides are at fauly and both should be punished and both will. Teams will lose tonnes of money after a year and players will need money sooner of later so they can pay off those 1,000,000 3rd homes. Both are at fault and only one can really win it seems.

  7. titans says:


    I think they’re both at fault. The owners gotta learn to control themselves, and the players gotta realize that without hockey (which there won’t be any of without a cap) they’ll be driving cab’s in Ottawa!

  8. Treva says:

    It’s clear that both sides are at fault.

    I want to complain about the NHL’s CBA website. It is horribly owner/league biased. All the reports are in favour of Bettman and his antics. Conversely the NHLPA has done nothing to create a similar website. I think a lot of the information we are getting (over the web – I live in japan and can’t watch canadian tv) is one sided. If anyone knows a decent unbiased site, let me know.

  9. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:


    Bettman has done a poor job of promoting the game. He has expanded to markets that will take a generation at the soonest to make hockey matter. A lockout only delays that more. Bettman was the leader who got the deal done in 1994 that the league has suffered under. Bettman is the guy in charge of making sure the game was exciting to watch and that TV revenue poured in. His deal with NBC should be grounds for his dismissal.

    With that said – the greed of the NHL players union is disgusting. Their average salaries are up from $733,000 to 1.8 million in just a few short years. They make far too much of the overall revenue that comes in the front door of the NHL. The older players seem the most entitled. The damage they are doing to the game by rejecting a cap system will cost the young stars of the league MILLIONS EACH.

    The NFL is the model and that is a caped system. The NHLPA will need to understand this.

    If I was Bettman, I would wait a few more weeks and start considering ways to break the union. There are minor leaguers looking for a chance. There are players from the union who will want to play. And as soon as that happens – the lockout is over. The players will be back.

    it is simply a shame it has to come to this. You read all of this BS about Bettman and Goodenow playing golf together and going to dinner. They are not friends. No friend would do this much damage to another friend. Let alone the damage done to the game these two numbnutz are supposed to be in charge of.

  10. the_expert_44 says:

    american- kind of

    blame money. its become the center of the US. everything is done in order to make more money. there is no “love of the game”, this is a greedy country (nothing against the US in particular, all countries are greedy).

    do you really for one second believe that the lockout is happening because the players and owners think its best for the sport? or are they doing it to make more MONEY?

    the answer is obvious and has been for a while– everything comes down to money

  11. leafstopgun says:

    The players want there due but the owners want cutbacks what else can be said i belive the players have gotten greedy but this is to blame on certain owners inflating salerys this is not basketball with huge american tv deals the league needs a system put in place where everyone can be happy when this will happen im not sure but i think i speak for most when i say get it done soon

  12. 7thWoman says:

    No news site is UNbiased. Every writer’s opionion comes through. But, there’s quite a few sites out there to look at. MSG, ESPN, The Hockey News and even some of the small market newspaper sites. But…the news is all the same. The fans are the only ones who seem to be very passionate about what’s happening.

  13. nhand says:


    Both are to blame for the current state of the NHL. Owners gave out ridiculous contracts under the previous CBA, escalating salaries to a point that the league could not support given the revenues they were taking in. Now that the players have gotten a taste, they don’t want to give anything back and refuse to negotiate even though most reports have the NHL’s offer still maintaining an average salary of 1.3 million. Not too shabby in my book.

    Whatever happens, I’m sure I’ll be back to watch the game. However, I will not be purchasing any more tickets for quite some time. I’ve paid my fair share in support of the Flyers. I think I’ll just watch them on the NHL Center Ice package for a bit and save my bucks. I wish more fans would send this message to the NHL and NHLPA when they come back. Just think what a scene it would be if on opening night the NHL played to a total of 0 fans. That would just be a friendly reminder that without the fans, the sport becomes a bit meaningless.

    Let’s hope good sense overtakes the NHL and NHLPA soon. Time’s a wastin’

  14. Enigma says:

    Love the new markus Naslund thing at the top, way better then the McCabe one.

    P.s. Anyone see “your turn” on cbc last night ? I don’t know about you, but bob Goodenow swaded my opinion a little bit to be on his side.

  15. Freeze says:


    It’s a fine balance we are trying to achieve here: The owners’ thirst for winning now versus the owners’ need for greed. The owners can’t control these urges. They need the players to set the stage for the owners’ rehabilitation.

    The players never forced the owners to pay sky high salaries in their thirst for success. This came naturally to the owners. Now the owners have told the players, “I won’t let you play hockey anymore because of the contracts that I dangled in front of your faces. I paid you too much. Enough of you dogs and your evil union. Things are going to change around here.”

    The players would prefer that the owners seek professional help and that they play hockey again. If necessary, let the weak teams fold and make the remaining NHL teams that much stronger talent wise and financially. Let the remaining marginal players hit the highway. The players didn’t push for expansion. Gary Bettman did. Look at how many minor league quality players are playing in the NHL as a result of the failed expansion experiment. Look at how many minor league quality cities ended up with an NHL franchise. Where’s the big national TV contract that expansion was supposed to generate?

    This lockout will drag out for a very long time – long enough for the fans to find other source of entertainment in the absence of NHL hockey – long enough for the NHL to permanently lose much of the fan base that took decades to build.

    So what’s the answer?

    Form a new 16 team league to replace the NHL. Having 30 franchises in the NHL is way too much to begin with. At least a dozen teams needed to fold to make the NHL profitable. That won’t happen as long as Gary Bettman is in charge, and that in a nut shell is the problem.

    Imagine Mike Illitch owning a franchise that was worth $200 million and now it’s worth next to nothing. His franchise isn’t in the new league and most Red Wing stars have defected to the new league. Illitch has few quality players under contract because there is no CBA and most of his stars have signed elsewhere. Illitch is smart enough to see this could happen. Could Gary Bettman’s job be in jeopardy if the lockout lasts for a year or more and a rival league is formed? Would Gary Bettman even care? I think Bettman, like the players, made his haul in the NHL. Retirement must look pretty attractive to Bettman right about now.

    New League:



    New York







    St. Louis



    Los Angeles




    Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Good Bye…

  16. rojoke says:

    Could Gary Bettman’s job be in jeopardy if the lockout lasts for a year or more and a rival league is formed?

    Didn’t someone already try to form a rival league? No, wait, they said they weren’t really a rival league, but an “alternative” to the NHL. Yeah they held a draft and everything, held a few press conferences, named some teams, even named an owner or two. Now they only have one thing left to do. They have to ACTUALLY PLAY A DAMNED GAME!!! Jeez the OSHL organized in three weeks, and they’ve played three more games than the WHA, who’ve been planning this ‘league’ for about a year.

  17. dave1979 says:

    if u are talking about the WHA and i assume that u are, i agree rojoke. i actually emailed their site the other day saying basically that if they want anyone to begin taking the league seriously and pay attention, a good start would be to UPDATE THEIR WEBSITE! it is unbelievable…if anyone else here has been checking it as i have u will know what im talking about. funny thing is, i got an email back the next day saying the site couldnt support the mail or receive it or something….anyways long story short….if these fu(ks cant even keep up the site for their “fans” or future fans i guess, then how do they expect to run a successful league.

  18. hockeyhead says:

    good point about lost interest in nhl and not hockey.

    i know a lot of fellow americans that watch their kids, college and ahl hockey.

    i love field hockey.

  19. hockeyhead says:

    freeze, i agree. i would get rid of dallas before the islanders tho. (i assume that is the ny team you cut)

  20. Rico420 says:


    Obviously both sides need to shoulder some of the blame for the lockout, especially the Rangers and Flyers (1997 Contract Offer sheets to Joe Sakic and Chris Gratton).

    The players on the other hand say a Salary Cap kills the game for the fans, and could result in the players having to take up to a 30% pay cut! Wow I’m sorry to hear that you may have to make 7.5 million a season instead of 10 million a season..hurts my heart.

    The previous CBA would have worked had the Rangers, Flyers, Leafs and Kings ran up the Salary scale (and slimy agents hadn’t made what we call the “Model” Rookie Contract..I mean how is it that Illya Kovalchuk can make well over 14 million a season under a rookie contract?

  21. Tweek says:

    he is bullshited a bit of his info too though, he spoke well but in my mind acted like a stubborn child when fans asked him questions

  22. BADBANNER says:

    I think everyone has missed the people who are most at fault for salary increases. The players agents should be the ones to blame. There the ones who demand the high salaries because the more money they can get for the player, equals a bigger slice in thier pockets. There are players in this league that don’t even get a say in their contracts(obviosly not all), because the agents try to get the most they can get for the players worth. Im pretty sure that alot of players in this league would play for not even a fifth of thier current contracts just for thier love of the game.

  23. Freeze says:

    I hear you. The WHA is a joke. I’m talking about a REAL, top-tier, pro hockey league that employs the best players in the world. The longer the lockout continues, the more realistic is the possibility of a new rival league. So far, the WHA is only someone’s psychotic pipe dream.

  24. Freeze says:

    I agree. I know about the WHA. I know what the WHA isn’t – it isn’t what I had in mind. I’m talking about a real league to lure the top talent in the world at likely reduced salaries, but they only have teams in markets that can really support top-tier pro hockey talent. That’s where they have an edge over the NHL from the get go.

    The longer this lockout drags out, the greater the chance of a new league.

    Time will tell.

  25. Malurous says:

    That league would need a better system than the NHL CBA anyway, so the NHLPA wouldn’t be happy anyway… Because if Edmonton and Calgary are struggling payroll-wise now, they would still be. If any of those teams in places that can support a team had an owner like Jacobs or Wirtz a good city wouldn’t matter at all. If only half of the teams existed, what would happen to half the players? You just talk about “minor league quality” players, but who are those? The young fourth liners, the grinders and enforcers, character players. Also, you think someone like, say, Miroslav Satan would just go “hum, I just lost my job, and with so few teams I’m now a 2nd liner. I’ll be paid one-third of my former salary. Cheers, NHLPA!” The players wouldn’t be satisfied with getting a lot less money. That’s how supply and demand works.

    So, this league could run essentially based on finding suitable owners. That is, 16 Dolans. 16 guys who are willing to throw money to players all the time. Otherwise, no-one would be satisfied.

    Too many IFs. Additionally, a superior ice hockey league would be a huge organization. Creating one would be very difficult, thus leaving room for “going WHA”.

  26. Malurous says:


    I think the NHL has handled this thing better. They have that CBA News page, everyone knows it’s a CBA page run by the NHL. They have their logo all over the place so mistaking it for an unbiased site is impossible. Also, you can get your NHL news without them throwing CBA at your face unless you go to the separate page. Meanwhile, on, they just stuff CBA in all their reports and interviews. I find that very much more fishy.

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