The NHLPA is a Joke!

This is a an article taken from the NY POST today…



February 22, 2005 — The ultimate record-holder wants to set the record straight. Who among us has more of a right to do that than Wayne Gretzky?

“People out there think I’m mad at one side or the other, or that I blame one side or the other for what happened in the meeting, but that isn’t the case at all,” The Great One told The Post by phone last night in explaining his unsuccessful attempt here on Saturday to help broker a deal between the NHL and NHLPA.

“Right now, I’m just completely disappointed that we’re in this situation and that we’ve been unable to come up with the solution that will get the game back on the ice. It’s just not healthy for our game or anyone in it, from players to owners to ushers to vendors to all the people who work in the team and league offices. It’s terrible.”

Gretzky confirmed that both he and Mario Lemieux had been invited to the meeting by the PA. Gretzky said that they — as well as Gary Bettman — expected the players to present a proposal that would include the hard cap number they’d be willing to accept.

“Mario and I believed our role was going to be to do what we could to help the players get to the number that was going to get a deal done,” Gretzky said. “Gary never told me or led me to believe [the NHL] was coming to the meeting with a new proposal, or had committed to raising the hard cap number from the previous $42.5 million. Gary never told me the league was prepared to go to $45M.

“I wasn’t there to negotiate, and neither was Mario. That wasn’t our role. You have to remember, this wasn’t the NHL’s meeting. If Gary had wanted to call another meeting, he would have done it Wednesday morning before he announced cancellation of the season.

“So when the meeting began, I took Trevor and Vincent aside and asked how they thought we could bridge the gap between $42.5M and [the PA’s last proposal of] $49M to make it work,” Gretzky said, referring to PA president Trevor Linden and VP Vincent Damphousse. “They told me they weren’t prepared to talk about a hard cap number until the other issues like arbitration, qualifiers and entry level were done.

“That’s when I told them that I didn’t have a role in that at all, that I wasn’t there for that. And that’s kind of the way it went. There never was real discussion about the cap number.”

Gretzky said that Bettman had told him and Lemieux both during a late Friday night dinner that even if the parties did succeed in reaching an agreement the following day, it was no sure thing the league would be able to resurrect 2004-05.

“Gary made that clear that there weren’t any promises about this year,” Gretzky said. “I know everything that was on television Friday and Saturday, but that just wasn’t so. I just think everybody was so excited they hoped it was so.”


I am not exactly sure what went on between the league and the players on Saturday but it seems to me that Gretzky was used as a pawn in this game of chicken between both sides. the players used Gretzky for purely PR purposes. that is a shame. from this article it seems to me that he just confirms Bettman’s comments on WFAN about how they were set up by the Union. There is no way in my mind that Gretzky would get involved in anything that was going to fail because he never wants to look bad. but that is exactly what happened. the PA used him to get everyone’s hopes up and pressure the league to do a deal because it would be them who looked bad saying no and embarrassing gretzky and lemieux. Gretzky said that he was invited on the impression that they just needed to find a cap number that works and that was that. but instead it appears the players were wanting to dictate other ideas and change things around, not even talking cap numbers.

It was bad enough hearing the Geurins and McCabes and Walkers of the world shrilling the union and Naslund with his stupid comments on Steve Moore, but this takes the cake. Gretzky is the icon who made the game, help make the players all this money they are making, and he and Mario brought the game to another level and gave them the star power which the league severely lacks. these ambassadors who have said and done nothing but good for both the league and union have been replaced by greedy and selfish players only out for the quick buck with no care if leagues or teams fold.

If players were working for sweatshop rates, had dangerous working conditions and used and abused by their bosses then yeah complaining about your employer is warranted. but pulling in 8 million dollar salaries WITHOUT performing at a high level and then complaining about things being unfair is just a joke.

Before I wavered on both sides as equally they had their points that made sense, but this makes no sense at all. I believe more than ever that Goodenow is too egotistical to lose or cave in and will do everything (including embarrassing Gretzky) to win and beat Bettman. and I believe the players greed is what drives them and not winning cups, doing right for their teams and the cities they play for and doing right by the fans who look up to them.

I am ashamed at being a fan and cheering these greedy, selfish players all this time. These players don’t deserve mine or anyone else’s applause as they have done nothing but alienate us to no end, and to make the greatest player ever look like an idiot is unforgivable in my mind.

Shame on you NHLPA!!!!!

13 Responses to The NHLPA is a Joke!

  1. wingedim says:


    The question I pose though is how much of what is going on with the union acutally being and agreed upon by the masses and not just the executive or Goodenow himself?

    I keep seeing reports, either confirmed or unconfirmed, that most players are unaware of the details of the proposals or what was going on during the negotiation period. Other reports indicate that if some of the proposals had been put to a vote to the players, then we’d be gearing up for a sprint to the cup.

    Were the players themselves aware of (and agreed to) the ‘play’ that the PA was apparently using by asking to bring in Gretz and Mario?

    There are a number of questions that we may never know the answer to, but I hope for the sake of the players that this decision was made by a few ‘short sighted’ members of the executive and not the masses trying to find out where the FORMER players stand.

  2. Aetherial says:

    From what I have heard in the past 2 weeks…. I am no longer purely blaming all the players.

    Honestly, a lot of them have no idea why they are not accepting a cap… especially since they did at the 11th hour. A lot of them felt they should have accepted one earlier and negotiated the amount and the side issues. A lot of them simply have no idea what is going on. They seem to be a pretty confused and angry bunch.

    Someone, somewhere, Goodenow or the NHLPA executive is not, in my mind, serving their players properly. If I was a player I would be pretty upset at the moment.

    Melnyk was right, he had a reason to say what he did and, after what I have heard, I believe him. The results of a vote of the NHLPA would have been shocking. I am starting to believe it is a militant and foolish few led by Goodenow who are costing the NHL… mostly costing the players.

    I am also believing that the NHLPA did not ever intend to try to bridge the gap this weekend. They did d!ck around all afternoon on other issues they did not like. basically, they wanted everything else to go their way so the overall compensation, even under a cap as high as this one… would be the same.

    The wanted to pressure Bettman into a mistake and make him look bad along the way.

    … and everyone who says this is 8 owners causing all this is completely ignorant. We don’t know if it is 8. I highly doubt it. The other 22, no matter what the *agreement* between Bettman and the owners would not stand by and piss away a season over the wishes of 8 weak-sisters. My guess is that only 8 were in favor of even 42.5… those eight being the wealthiest teams.

    The NHLPA has underestimated the resolve of the owners and their animosity towards the players… which is getting worse.

  3. Aetherial says:

    Geeze after Gretzky and Lemieux confirmed that the NHLPA invited them and that they were tabling a proposal AND that Bettman was not promising a new deal or anything of the sort…

    It looks real bad on the NHLP right now. Bettman’s version is holding up and I am not prepared at this point to question the integrity of Gretzky or Lemieux on this matter.

  4. nonhl2005 says:

    This is sickening to read, you would hope over time the PA would wake up and either revolt against Goodenow or just step away and start over. But no, now they try to use the greatest player of all-time as a pawn in their twisted little war. Once again Wayne does the right thing and keeps his cool, most of us would not have been so kind. I am of the thinking now that I want the owners to bring in scrubs because I don’t know if I can cheer for these current players, no matter how talented they are. Granted they are not all to blame but you pay the fees to be in the union then you must take the bad with the good and right now that union is only giving bad, really bad stuff.

  5. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    remember it was Bill Daily who said – “once we get cost certainty, we can negotiate all the rest”. That was in december. What took the nHLPA?

    Goodenow took the players to a dark place with losses of 76% of 2.1 billion for this year and a likely impasse and loss of all exitisting contracts for next year and subsequent years. That is a multi-billion dollar loss for the players. And they are the ones who wouldn’t take a 42.5 million dollar cap when they wanted 45 million.

    If I were to interview Bob Goodenow I would ask him how if an impasse is granted he could show his players this deal was worth it? How can they recoup the money? I would love to hear that one.

    The issue that kills me is the small market teams had to take a salary MINIMUM in this proposed deal of 42.5 million. They player complain about expansion but it is the expansion that offers HUNDREDS of new jobs in the NHL for their rank and file at an average of 1.83 million dollars. Now it is these same expansion teams that have to go from their 15 and 20 million dollar salaries to 32 million dollar increases BY LEAGUE RULES. How could this hurt the overall rank and file? The NHL is forcing the smallest teams to increase their spending by as much as 100% (in the case of the Pens who reportedly spend 14.9 mill last year)

  6. 19Yzerman says:

    Your answer to Goodenows question lies in the future which cannot be seen to be believed. They have no intentions of recouping anything risked as the owners locked them out. The 76% 0f 2.1 billion you speak of are numbers that never were in the first place as the owners claimed to have been losing money.

    The NHL is playing games with the players and I am not buying the smoke screen ,cloke and dager hog wash about the 42.5 million Cap and the 45 million Cap difference being the grounds for the owners to continue to hold the players in a state of lockout. Agree to 45 and don’t write checks that will exceed 42.5

    How easy would that be?

    No the real question should directed to Bettman and it is

    Who are telling your season ticket buyers for the 2005-2006 season will be playing on the ice for you? Will it be the NHLers we all know and have come to expect to see or do you plan on bringing in a bunch of players and tell season ticket buyers ” TRUST us we have some dandys for you to see” Since we screwed the ones in the NHLPA.

  7. Rico420 says:

    I’ve personally since last Wednesday taken it upon myself to be the flag waiver for Gary Bettman, he’s a smart, smart man and he will win this battle with the NHLPA, the union is already in the state that it is crumbling (guys like Barnaby speaking out).

    At 40 million the players would accept the cap, just because the people they pick to talk to (Ryan Smyth surprised me) say the pro-union propoganda that Bobbert Goodenow tells them to say.

    Talk to the Dagenais’s, the Commodore’s, the Ribeiro’s (yeah even Mike Ribeiro) and they’ll say that they’re well taken care of.

    I suggest each NHL player take one job at a McDonalds or something for a week, see how it feels to be paid like crap and treated like it.

  8. Aetherial says:

    Your solution depends on something that simply will not happen.

    The owners are not in a position to control themselves without

    1) arbitration killing them anyway

    2) collusion always looming.

    Furthermore, Like I always point out…

    Lets say the owners DO control themselves… they all become like Boston and Chicago…

    How long til the players strike AND sue?

  9. GilaMonster says:

    WE all know the owners can’t control their spending. at least the ones that want to win. if they feel they’re missing a piece and some free agent is available they will OVERPAY to get him. like i’ve been saying it is not the top players salaries (jagr,yashin,etc.)(even though i know they are overpaid) that are killing the league it is the people in the middle (marchant,LAPOINTE,etc.)

  10. 19Yzerman says:

    In the new CBA arbitration should be a 2 way street.

    collusion would be very hard to prove at 45 mil since only 3 teams had exceeded that amount last season anyhow.

    If the players give in on a CAP, get 45 mil and then want to strike.

    They will lose the one and only player defender on HTR. ME! I hope that will spook them!LOL

  11. kicksave856 says:

    Get up

    A get get get down

  12. Aetherial says:

    ANY arbitration, will always favor the players. I firmly believe that is true.

  13. 19Yzerman says:

    As much as I defend the players. I must tell you that my opinion of arbitration is that if a player scores 50 goals and goes to arbitration where he is awarded X amount due to others in the league of equal scoring and pay.

    Then the owners should be able to take a player to arbitration to get a players contract amount droped on the same basis.

    You are most likely right about it always favoring the player since the players are likely not to ever agree to one like that.

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