October 5th 2012 – Every day it seems like we are learning something new about the lockout whether it be from the NHLPA side or the Owners but a lot of people don’t fully understand every aspect of information that is thrown at them so here are a few confusing details explained.
NHL’ers playing in the KHL aren’t taking money from KHLers just ice time
“Our clubs have been granted the opportunity to enter into contracts and place on their main rosters no more than three NHL players, and the previously established limit of 25 players per team may be exceeded by the addition of these players” – Vladamir Shalaev KHL VP of Hockey Ops.
There has been alot of negative talks about Russian players going back home and taking jobs from guys who are trying to make a living doing what they love. The KHL roster is allowed to be exceeded by the normal 25 man limit for the 3 NHL players on each team so players for the KHL may be a healthy scratch but sitting in the press box watching and collecting your FULL paycheque is a hell of a lot better than being bumped down to the 2nd tier Russian league and being paid a fraction of your contract.
Don’t forgot that this is hockey and all those North American players who couldn’t make the NHL and went over to Europe to continue their careers took a roster spot and job from a European hopeful. So complaining of NHL players bumping guys from teams is stupid. Hockey is a sport and in any sport there is always someone trying to take your spot and it (usually) goes to the best player.
NHLPA have time on their side
Last lockout the NHLPA held out for an entire year lost salary for a whole season and eventually caved and accepted salary rollbacks, a salary cap and numerous other Bettman demands. The reason? Because the NHL Owners back in 2004-05 didnt care if they missed a whole season or longer. The NHL was losing money in its last season before the lockout so cancelling a season was not a big deal for Bettman and the owners. This time the NHL has been raking in record growths and money and while yes players do eat a loss of a year’s salary the NHL owners are the ones who are really losing big. The longer this lockout goes into the regular season the more the NHL owners start feeling the heat. Plus now over 100 of 700 NHLers are playing in Europe and those are mostly the big name stars so it is clear players can find work a hell of a lot easier than owners during a lockout.
The Owners are united…Right?
The last lockout the Owners were 100% united getting a salary cap and rollback would help every team in the league and it did help grow the game to record highs these past few years. But now though the owners put on a happy face and say they are united there are a clear sign that is not true. The “Bettman Franchises” of Florida, Phoenix and Columbus are eating up every other owner’s hard work just to stay afloat. These franchises lose money every year and don’t even belong in the NHL. You think the owner’s in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit and all Canadian Team owners are happy that their revenue generated goes to places like Florida and Columbus just so they can stay open and play to an arena only 12,000 strong?
This time it is personal for the NHLPA
Read any interview with an NHL player and there is one thing you will always hear and that is resentment for Gary Bettman. Adrian Dater of the Denver Post interviewed a few players on Bettman and this was his findings:
“No way in hell is the short, old guy with the New York accent who never played the game going to push them around this time. They have their rallying cry this time, and his name is Gary Bettman and anything short of total victory over this man won’t be acceptable to the rank-and-file of the NHL players union this time around” – Adrian Dater on NHL Players view of Bettman, Denver Post
Another player was anonymously interviewed and said they would be united as long as it took just to wipe the smirk off Bettman’s face.
Sure I guess it would be easy for the NHL players to be blamed as much as the owners are but if the NHL Owners really think they can hand out these contracts season after season (even right before the CBA expired) and then just complain to Bettman so he locks the players out until they agree to rollback their salaries 24% from an AGREED and SIGNED contract, then what is to stop the NHL owners from doing this again every couple of years that they are unhappy with something?
If the NHLPA stays strong this time, it is for the greater good though in the battle between Billionaires and Millionaires its always the fan who loses the most.
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