The NHLPA's proposition

By pushing for a hard salary cap and completly refusing the NHLPA’s proposition for a new CBA, the owners have shot themselves in the foot… again.

Recently the players association submitted a proposal to the league in regards to a new CBA. The deal allowed for an immediate 5% pay cut, a 850 000$ limit on entry level contracts, including bonus’, and revenue sharing. The owners refused, once again demanding a hard salary cap, which is reported to be around 35 million dollars.

Yet, to me, the deal sounds pretty good. No sense in letting things drag out further, come to a compromise in regards to the other disagreements and take the deal. The league has other buisness to attend to, such as obtaining a new US television deal, increasing attendance and improving the game’s sagging entertainement value.

The only thing the owners would need to do is add high team and player salary caps to ensure that wages don’t go to the heavens like in baseball. A 12 million dollar limit for individual players and a 90 million dollar cap for teams.

In spite of sometimes ridiculous salary demands, the owners and managers are the ones to blame for this mess. They’re the ones who players inordinate amounts of money for second class players such as Bobby Holik, Darius Kasparitis, Patrice Brisebois and others, after all.

14 Responses to The NHLPA's proposition

  1. habsoverserver says:

    Right now Cox cable is blaming ESPN and Fox Sports for the high cost of cable programming. They are telling ESPN to cut rates or they will pull them from their basic package. Why does this matter? If the cable companies get their way, ESPN will reduce what they pay leagues for programming. This means there will be less money for the NHL. The NHL owners are likely waiting until the fight between the cable providers and the programmers is resolved before making any concessions to the NHLPA.

  2. comrie44 says:

    A 5% cut does not help keep the Oilers and Flames in Canada.

    I wouldn’t say the owners are at fault here. The majority of them have little to do with the on ice product and just sign the cheques that their GM’s write. The players on the other hand, are the ones demanding ridiculous sums of money. I hear these guys say that they’re not holding guns to the owners heads.

    Paul Kariya sat out and DEMANDED to be paid 10 million dollars by the Ducks.

    What’s Micheal Eisner suppose to do? The fans are pissed and the teams losing games and already in the red.

    They may not be LITERALLY holding guns to the owners heads but figuratively thats exactly what they’re doing. Those who blame the owners for this problem are being very naive.

  3. Just-Checking-In says:

    The NHLPA is going to learn the hard way that with the economy the way it is, the players are going to be getting the short end of the stick when it comes to labor/management issues.

    The NBA has a cap, the NFL has a cap and MLB just accepted a luxury tax. All three of those leagues have much more television mony than does the NHL.

    Also, that 5% reduction is a joke. With an average NHL salary of around $1.6 million that is a savings of around $80,000. Not really a great amount.

    Also the player like to say it is the owners that are doing this, they are simply signing what they are offered. However, that is a great argument, however if the payment system in the NHL is changed with caps and/or luxury taxes added, the players would still be offered the contracts by the owners, however they would be a lot less.

    The players love the current CBA because their salaries keep going up-up-up. At some point they are going to realize that they are over paid, that ticket prices can’t keep supporting the salary structure and that change is going to happen.

  4. markjohnston says:

    they should just agree to get a board of like 12 people that they all agree on (courtroom style) to listen to both sides and decide.

    clearly, the best option is somewhere in the middle. a salary cap –IS– needed, but it should be more than 35 million – probably something like 45. it’s not fair to punish teams that have exciting teams. the reason NJ doesn’t have as much as other teams is because THEY ARE BORING AS SIN and they can’t even fill their arena to half when toronto is in town (I use toronto because usually they draw well in other cities).

    the players clearly need to accept less money too. yes, the reason they are so high is the STUPID owners and GM’s of the league, but arguing over how the problem came about isn’t going to fix it.

    also needed to be taken into account is…THE FANS. we shell out 100’s of dollars a year for merchandise and tickets (which are STUPID overpriced – and why I’ve been to about 4 games in the past 3 years – as apposed to about 4/year when I was younger and poorer)

    it’s not really all that hard to fix the current problems. put a REASONABLE cap in place, limit rookie contracts (actually this time), cut SPENDING by teams (maybe limit # of asst. coaches and scouts even).

    I promise you that even a reasonable cap of 45-50 million, you’d stop seeing retarded contracts for second-rate players like holik, kasparitis, brisebois, etc. the top guys might still get 6-8, and rightfully so.

  5. tmeyers says:

    Screw it…LOCKE EM OUT! Get some players that really want to play. Dont worry the old plyers will get nervous when they are down to there last 5 million in savings and come back.

  6. markjohnston says:

    oh ya, the salary cap needs to be implemented over the next 2-3 years to accomidate stupid teams.

    currently it’s infinite, next year it could be 70, year after 60, then set at whatever (I used 45 as an example)

    that way, you don’t get shot in the foot for having jagr at 11 million a year on your team for the next 2 years at least.

  7. PeterPuck says:

    I think it is the other way around, MAYBE the players shot themselves in the foot!!!!!

  8. Kyleton says:

    I like the Rookie entrance salary idea of $850,000 which includes bonuses and the like. A $35 million salary cap would not be enough. A 50 million dollar cap I would see as good. But I prefer idea of the luxury tax. It would work alot better in the NHL as teams would not go over the limit because they are already losing money. And no ownership has the pockets or fan dedication like the Yankee’s do in baseball to afford to pay the extra money. And Revenue Sharing is a must. The NFL has the best system and each year there is a different set of teams that are a force.

    One last thing. That 5% is the biggest load of crap

  9. PeterPuck says:

    Now why wouldn’t 35 – 40 million be enough of a salary cap? think about it, That’s 1.5 to 1.7 million per year on the average per player. I honestly do not think that players should be paid more. Should the owners make the money? Why not, they take all the risk. Name me one player that has a contract where if they do not perform they will take less of a salary. Ever notice that alot of players who sign big contracts stumble out of the gate, some for seasons until they are in the last of there contract then they perform. The game suffers when that happens. It is time that the league stand up and be accountable.

  10. cwthrash says:

    Remember, labor fights are bloody. No matter what the industry is, they are bloody. No reason to think either side will make nice until the time constraint begins to bear down on them.

    While I have little doubt these new proposals are really what both sides would like, it looks more like negotiating tactics right now. Using the media, putting as much pressure on the other side as possible. Both sides doing their usual song and dance.

    Despite all the evidence to the contrary, neither side is stupid. They both have a pretty good idea of the economics of the game and the outside economic factors that impact the league. Each side has had to run dozens of sets of numbers by now. I guess it just depends on how stubborn each side is willing to be.

  11. Zamboni says:

    Both sides are making ridiculous proposals.

    PLAYERS: 5%? Who do you think you’re kidding? Come back to the table when you’re ready to talk 20-25%.

    OWNERS: $35 million? Who do you think you’re kidding? Come back to the table when you’re ready to talk $45-50 million.

    Quit dicking around, get this figured out, or you’ll all be shooting yourselves in the foot. A strike/lockout will kill any and all momentum this sport has gained of late. Teams will fold. Roster places will be harder to come by, hundreds of players will lose their jobs. Owners will go bankrupt. You’re all going to lose if you can’t pull your heads out of you know where real soon.

  12. Casey1908 says:

    $90M team cap is more than double what most teams can afford now, that is rediculous and what player needs $12M a year. Look at how over paid Jagr is.

    The players are to blame by asking for high salaries and the owners are to blame by giving it to them. Hockey is following the exact same path as baseball. There are only a couple of teams, Detroit, Rangers, Kings, Leafs and Stars who are always rumoured when big named players are available.

    The owners have been fighting off the urge to spend on high priced free agents this year, but that will not last. Look for Jagr to end up a Ranger.

    The only way to save the NHL is some form of salary cap. It will have to be the players that bend on this one, not the owners, becasue they won’t. The owners have been preparing for this for a long time.

    Expect no hockey in 04. The only way it will happen is if the NHLPA wisens up and realizes, for the good of the game they have to play. If there is no hockey for one or two years, expect fewer teams. Teams like Anaheim, Nashville, Carolina, Islanders might have trouble surriving an extended period of time off.

  13. rojoke says:

    The Hockey News reported last week that the owners countered with a salary cap of $31 million. A lowball offer if ever there was one. Their target is, by most reports, in the $40 to $50 million range.

    As for the across-the-board pay cut of 5%, it means nothing. There was a post here earlier that broke down the number. But the key to that proposal was the cut was on existing contracts. What about the free agents? Do teams negotiate with them and then ask for 5% back afterwards? Jagr gives back $500,000 a year over the rest of his deal. Then what?

    The two things that really need to change are arbitration and rookie salaries. Rookie salaries should be a percentage of the league average (less than half, say 40%). Arbitration should be an either or, not something off the top of the arbitrator’s head.

  14. Aetherial says:

    The best part about this whole thing is the stupidity of the stance of the NHLPA…

    I love when punks like Daniel Alfredsson come out and say that the players will *never* accept a salary cap.

    Hahahahahaha, Pardon me?

    Yes they will. It won’t be a ridiculous low-ball like 35 million. I am guessing 45 million sounds about right.

    Sorry Daniel, the players are talking tough about being willing to sit but you and the other players will start thinking twice when you face the prospect of a year or two taken away from your prime earning periods in relatively short careers.

    It is not just the loss of salary, it is the loss of time on a short career.

    The players have been enjoying salaries escalating well beyond talent and well beyond the means of the NHL.

    A cap is needed, as much as anything, it is needed to keep idiot owners (Colorado, Detroit, New York, Toronto etc.) from spending too damn much.

    A cap would also go a long way towards parity in the league. That is a BIG selling point of the NFL.

    After they get a cap in place, it will happen, then they can see about fixing the rules to beat the trap, which really is killing the NHL.

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