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  1. Link to Download the current CBA http://www.nhlpa.com/inside-nhlpa/collective-bargaining-agreement
  2. Its time they did something about the size of these goalie pads. Its gotten crazy the size of them. How can you score if there is no room to shoot? They must go back to pads somewhere between now and the ones in the 70's. Remember when you used to see them measure the curves on sticks during a game and guys would go to the box for an illegal stick? I expect the same in goaltenders to take place at some point.
  3. Aside from when I was a young kid, most of my time as a fan has taken place during rough times for the sport of hockey. There's been two lockouts and when there isn't one there's always buzz about how another one is coming. Most of my time as a fan has also taken place in which the league has done a ton of differe things - most of which have failed - to generate more interest in the sport. Whether it's new teams in new markets, a change in the game to increase offense, or something along those lines, there's always talk about what the sport can do to generate more interest. I forget exact when, but I've actually seen it stated that hockey was no longer a top 4 sport. That was several years ago now and I jus thave to wonder at what point does the sport just not have the ability to bounce back from another problem? It's already lost popularity and another lockout is the last thing an unpopular sport needs. Even as someone who is a fan, I can say my tolerance is pretty low for this kind of stuff. I don't think I'm really in the mindset that I can say I'll miss the game if there is a stoppage, but more likely be annoyed it's happening yet again. Maybe it's just for me personally, but I don't think the NHL can handle much more of this.
  4. There are some NHL players who are an outright steal for their team. Others are like an anchor, And an anvil. And a piano that doesn't work, strapped onto the franchise's back. Here are some of the leagues best, and worst contracts at the forward position... (I'm not counting 4th liners who's job really isn't point production) Best Derek Stepan - unbelievable that the Rangers would actually have one of the best deals in the league, on one of the few teams who've been known to throw money around more foolishly than the Flyers. Stepan gets paid $875,000 and has 42 points or just over $20 k a point. Matt Read makes about $37,000 a point which is the 12th best deal in the league. Wayne Simmonds comes in around $54 k a point which along with his other intangibles is a pretty good deal. Worst David Booth will take home four and a quarter MILLION dollars this year, and has THREE points. That's over $1,400,000 a point!!. Our old pal Kris Versteeg comes in at #3 on this list at $1.1 mil a point. Another ex-Flyer Scottie Upshall rakes in $875 thou for every point. Briere is just over $400,000 per point. Hartnell 350. Malkin comes in at 290.
  5. I don't normally go to ESPN for my hockey news, but someone sent me this article. Reading this makes me even more pissed off at how this lockout was handled. This is infuriating to read! It's written by Scott Burnside. NEW YORK -- And so the National Hockey League will have hockey after all. Not sure whether to laugh, cry or just throw up at the absurdity of it all as the two sides emerged early Sunday morning from a 16-hour overnight bargaining session that yielded a tentative 10-year deal that will see players return for a 48- or 50-game schedule sometime in the next two weeks. This much we know: It's going to take a lot more than a couple of lame words of contrition painted on NHL rinks to get fans to forget this titanic display of greed and stubbornness. Unless the league is prepared to trot out something brutally honest like "Yes, We Are That Stupid, Thanks For Asking" or "Lockouts 'R' Us," the NHL is better served to simply leave their ice surfaces nice and pristine as though the new labor agreement is indeed a clean slate. Just give the fans their game back and get out of the way is the sentiment being echoed from many quarters of the hockey world. In the wake of a freshly minted labor agreement, one that in the end didn't cost an entire season but did cost almost half the 2012-13 season, the Winter Classic in Detroit and the All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio, not to mention a healthy dollop of credibility on both sides of the fence, no one knows just how significantly the game has been damaged. One long-time executive with a collection of personal and team awards under his belt suggested recently it would be "a battle" to bring the fans back. "Hope everyone knows how much we have in front of us when we get playing," he told ESPN.com recently. "We have a lot of goodwill to make up. People are really disappointed in us. We need some real good things to give them cause to come back in the arena." Paul Swangard, a marketing guru with the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, agrees that is a good strategy, especially with so much animosity directed at the league as a whole. "I think the let-them-play strategy is a good one," he said shortly before a deal was reached early Sunday morning. "I believe the league will let the teams drive the messaging strategy based on local markets. Fans will hopefully blame the league rather than their home team." It's all going to be a blur, of course, with the details still being worked through on when the deal will be ratified by the players and the league's board of governors, when exactly training camp will start and even when games will start -- either Jan. 15 or Jan. 19, depending on whether it's a 48- or 50-game schedule. And that blur might be a blessing in the short term as fans -- those who haven't been totally alienated by the labor stoppage -- will quickly be caught up in playoff races, trade deadlines and the like. Swangard said he thinks the league and its teams have to tread a fine line between being apologetic, which will only enrage already disenchanted fans, while at the same time being conciliatory, acknowledging the damage to the relationship. "Fans are smart enough and passionate enough to understand what's going on," he said. But assessing the damage is only part of the challenge that faces a game that simply can't stop shooting itself in the collective foot. Repairing it is going to be crucial. How do the league and its players chart a course back to the momentum that saw record revenues in each of the past five years? Is it even possible, or do the deep flaws in the league's labor strategies make that impossible? Seven years ago, there was an entire season to make up for at the end of the last lockout, but there was also a new game to trumpet, new rules, promises of a faster, more dynamic product on the ice, new players in Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin on whom to pin the hopes of a league fresh from another flirtation with self-destruction. This time around, the picture is a lot fuzzier, the fans' feelings significantly more mixed when it comes to the league, in large part because things on so many levels had been a success. National revenues for the league were projected at $600 million this season, up from $220 million in the first season after the last lockout, 2005-06. Operating profits were expected to rise to $470 million this season from $160 million in 2006. In a presentation made by league executives to both the owners and players on the eve of the lockout, a plan was laid out that explained how the league hoped to add $300 million in new revenues over the next three years. Initiatives like a stadium series of outdoor games would blend returns to traditional hockey markets such as Chicago and Boston while expanding outdoor opportunities to other markets, perhaps coinciding with a national hockey moment like Hockey Weekend Across America. Revenues were expected to grow thanks to international events like a revamped World Cup of Hockey schedule, European markets, digital media and so on. The message last summer was crystal clear: Things are pretty good, so don't screw it up. Shortly after that presentation, the league responded by locking out its players for the third time in commissioner Gary Bettman's tenure. Take a moment at this point to bang your head on a door frame in disgust and dismay. Now take two aspirin. The problem for the NHL is that this lockout, one of its own making and flawed strategically from the get-go, will make it difficult at best, impossible at worst, to repair relationships with those it needs most to continue to see revenue growth. As one person familiar with the league's financial picture explained, you can't kill the golden goose twice, and if the last lockout cooked that goose the first time, this one marked cooked goose No. 2. Take sponsors, who committed money and time to create strategies around the NHL and its marquee events, like the canceled Winter Classic and All-Star Game. What do you think those executives' bosses said to them when the league went dark in September and stayed dark through to the new year? "What were you thinking? Don't you know the league's labor history? Why did you waste our money?" The executives' response: "Well, we were told it wouldn't go down like this." And that's exactly what happened. Sponsors and partners, such as NBC Sports, were in fact told by league officials, including Bettman, that this negotiation would be a "tweak and a fix." Jon Miller, the head of NBC Sports, told The Boston Globe exactly that as the lockout extended through the end of the calendar year and the sports network languished without its key property. Never mind the rest of this season in terms of generating new ad money or sponsorships, most businesses have already moved into commitments for later in their fiscal years, which would coincide with the start of the 2013-14 NHL season. McDonald's (in the United States) was supposed to be a key NHL sponsor with an ad campaign tied to the Winter Classic, All-Star Game and other high-profile events, but it moved on and signed a two-year deal with the NFL after the lockout started. The lockout also has the potential to set the game back in terms of deals with cable providers and where the NHL Network is carried on their services (if it's carried at all). What makes this lockout even more mind-boggling is that in the presentation made to the players and to the NHL's owners before the lockout, they were shown the strides the league had taken in a range of areas, including recognition and relevance among sports fans. Various studies commissioned by the league found that the NHL had seen its relevance since the last lockout rise to be considered on a par with notable events such as the NCAA's March Madness and Final Four events. Another study of fan preference obtained by ESPN.com showed that compared to other sports fans in the United States, hockey fans believed fervently that the best days were ahead of the NHL. Among fans defined as "avid," 86 percent believed that to be true while 74 percent of fans designated as "casual" believed the future was bright for the league. By comparison, 77 percent of avid football fans felt that way about the NFL and only 25 percent of NBA fans felt that basketball's best days were ahead of it. A plan was laid out that would help improve the NHL's presence and profile in Canada as a whole, with the league acting as a unifying force within the game. Where are those plans now? And so the question becomes not just how to fix these many broken bridges but who, if anyone, should pay the price for what is an obviously flawed strategy on the part of the league in dealing with its players. Those questions aren't just being asked by Bettman's critics outside the game, they're being asked from within as well. In most corporations, if there is a calamitous event, top executives pay with their jobs. This is Bettman's third lockout. That suggests a failure in terms of strategy emanating from the top and/or a failure of the ownership group, who are essentially Bettman's bosses, to give the commissioner the correct mandate. Bettman supporters will suggest he has not had an easy time of it dealing with Bob Goodenow and then Donald Fehr as leaders of the players' union, but what about this: If the NHL's pattern of labor behavior wasn't so antagonistic, the players might not have felt the need to hire Fehr. There's a fresh sheet of ice awaiting the NHL, its players and fans. What will be written on that slate? Another story of redemption or a darker tale of the chickens finally coming home to roost after years of shortsightedness? On second thought, maybe there is a slogan the NHL could use on the ice of its arenas that might resonate. How about "Never Again"?
  6. Major Points of the New CBA by Alan Bass The last statement is interesting......all non playoff clubs will have a chance to gain the #1 spot. I'll assume there is a greater chance for the teams who finish next to the bottom to win the lottery.
  7. I saw rumors on Facebook (which came from Twitter) just a few days ago that a deal was virtually done. It had said that games could start as soon as January 19. So I get up this morhing and turn on Good Day Philadelphia (How hot is Kacie McDonnell btw?) and it says the two sides did not even meet yesterday. How the **** does this happen? It's January for Christ's sake, how the **** are you doing anything other than locking yourselves in a room and ordering takeout until the issue is resolved? That's a disgrace that they can't even meet in person. This isn't just a Gary Bettman problem either, so don't bother posting any of that ****, I have no time or interest in it. This is a league-wide communication (and greed) problem. None of them care about anyone but themselves.
  8. By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com Now after getting our hands on more details of the agreement from a source, we bring you more: RETAINING SALARY IN TRADES This was Brian Burke’s baby, an idea he pushed for years at GM meetings. Under the old CBA, teams could not absorb any part of a salary from a player they were trading -- unlike baseball for example. But in this new agreement, teams will be able to do that. Here are the main parameters of the rule: a club cannot absorb more than 50 percent of the players’ annual cap hit/salary in any trade. Any NHL club can only have up to three contracts on their payroll where the contract was traded away under the retaining salary proviso. Also, only up to 15 percent of your upper limit cap amount can be used up by the money you have retained in trades. For example, let’s say the Maple Leafs want to trade little-used blueliner Mike Komisarekand his $4.5-million cap hit ($3.5 million salary this year) to the New York Islanders(hypothetically). The Leafs could retain half the cap hit -- $2.25 million -- and half the salary -- $1.75 million -- in order to facilitate the deal. The Islanders would pay him the other half. This should facilitate more trades around the league, no question. THE LUONGO RULE This is another rule from the league aimed at hammering current back-diving deals (front-loaded, "cheat deals." However, this has changed from its original form when the NHL first proposed it in October. In the original formula, if a player like Roberto Luongo was traded and retired before the end of his deal, the Canucks (the team who signed him to the contract) would assume his remaining $5.33-million cap early hit in retirement. The new rule in this tentative agreement is different. Now, for any contract in excess of six years, both teams involved in a trade on a contract like Luongo’s would be penalized if he retired before the end of his deal. To wit: let’s say the Canucks trade Luongo soon. Luongo has played two years of his 12-year contract, the Canucks paying him $16.716 million in salary but only absorbing a $5.33 million cap hit each year. That’s a cap savings of $6.056 million over two years so far for Vancouver. Under this new rule, should the Canucks trade him now and he retires with three years left on his contract, Vancouver would be charged that $6.056 million in cap savings over the final three years left on his deal from 2019 to 2022. However, let’s say for argument’s sake Luongo gets traded to Toronto, the Maple Leafs also would be subject to cap penalties if Luongo retires before the end of his deal. To wit, part 2: If Luongo were to play the next seven years of his deal in Toronto before retiring, the Leafs would be paying him $43.666 million in salary but only counting $37.31 million against the cap over those seven years, a cap savings of $6.356 million. So if Luongo retires with three years left on his deal (because his salary falls to $1.618 million in the 10th year and then $1 million in the last two years of the deal), the Leafs would get charged that $6.356 million on their cap spread evenly over the remaining three years of his deal. And obviously, if players under these back-diving deals are never traded, but retire before the end of their deals (Marian Hossa in Chicago), their current teams get charged the cap savings spread evenly over the remaining years of the deal. COMPLIANCE BUYOUTS Teams will be allowed up to two buyouts over the next two summers -- 2013 and 2014 -- either one in each summer or two in one summer and none in the other. The new detail here that I found interesting is that any player bought out under these circumstances CANNOT be re-acquired by that same team during the upcoming season, not by waivers, not by trade and not by free-agent signing. Obvious reason here: league doesn’t want teams to cheat the system and get a player back under a cheaper salary (since the buyout doesn’t count against the salary cap). PLAYERS’ PENSIONS The pension plan shall be frozen at the termination of this CBA, whether that’s in eight years or 10 years. The NHL and the NHLPA will have to either agree to continue the pension under similar guidelines in the next CBA, or renegotiate new terms for it. No small detail there, given the acrimony over this pension negotiation, which was only resolved at the 11th hour Sunday morning. UFA FREE AGENCY INTERVIEW PERIOD Similar to the NBA, the NHL has instituted a free-agency interview period prior to the actual signing period. UFAs will be able to meet and interview with potential clubs from the day after the NHL draft until June 30, prior to the July 1 opening of free agency. What’s interesting about this is that I don’t think you’ll have a Parise/Suter situation where you wait all the way to July 4 to sign with a team. Instead, their decisions will be made by June 30 for the most part, you would have to assume.
  9. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=412383 The following is the highlights of the latest proposal from the NHL to the NHL Players' Association: - Ten-Year Agreement (through 2021/22 season); Parties have mutual opt-out right after 8 years. - 50-50 Revenue Split between Clubs and Players with current HRR Accounting. - $300 million in "Make-Whole" payments (outside the system) to compensate Players for the reduced value of Player contracts in the early years of the new CBA. - No contractual "roll backs" of Player Salaries. - Clubs can operate with an effective Upper Limit of $70.2 million in 2012/13; must come into compliance with $60 million Upper Limit for the start of the 2013/14 season. - Each Club will be entitled to execute up to one "Compliance Buy-Out" prior to the 2013/14 season pursuant to which payments made to the Player will not be charged against the team's Cap, but will be charged against the Players' Share. - Establishment of a Defined Benefit Pension Plan that will provide maximum permissible benefits to Players upon retirement. The Plan will be funded with contributions out of Players' Share and $50 million of the "Make-Whole" payment amount of $300 million will be allocated and set aside to fund potential underfunding liabilities of the Plan at end of CBA. - Rules for Entry Level System, Salary Arbitration and Group 3 Unrestricted Free Agency will remain unchanged. - Maximum contract length of 6 years subject to a Club's ability to re-sign its own Player for a term of up to 7 years (provided the Player played his last full season with the re-signing Club). In addition, year-to-year Salary variability will be limited (up or down) to no more than 10% of the value of the first year of a multi-year SPC. - Money paid (above a defined threshold) to Players on NHL SPCs in another professional league (e.g., the AHL or a European league) will be charged against the NHL team's Cap, but not against the Players' Share. - "Cap Advantage Recapture" formula applicable to existing long-term contracts (in excess of 6 years) for years in which Player is retired or fails/refuses to perform under his NHL SPC. - Ability for Clubs to retain/allocate Salary and Cap Charges in the context of Player Trades within specified parameters. - More robust League-wide Revenue Sharing Program (increased pool from approximately $150 million to $200 million) with creation of Industry Growth Fund to improve the long-term revenue generating potential of the League and low-grossing Clubs. Formation of active Revenue Sharing Oversight Committee on which NHLPA will participate. - New Player Discipline procedures and protocol incorporating Player appeal rights to a neutral third-party arbitrator for both on-ice and off-ice discipline. - Flexibility-related adjustments to Payroll Range System, including (in addition to Salary/Cap Charge allocation in Player trades): 1. Lower Limit obligation without performance bonuses; 2. Elimination of Re-Entry Waivers; 3. Creation of Salary Cap exceptions for emergency roster situations/goaltender injuries; 4. Waiver exemptions for mid-season signings of Club's own European Players; 5. Availability of Performance Bonus Cushion in every year of the CBA; and 6. Creation of "interview period" for Unrestricted Free Agents. - Various Player contract enhancements and protections, including: 1. Early activation of "No Move/No Trade" clauses in contract extensions; 2. Additional restrictions on Club "buy-out" rights of Player contracts; 3. Modified Waiver obligations for Clubs / enhanced Waiver opportunities for Players; 4. Standardization of reimbursements and benefits related to Player assignments (trades, loans, recalls, etc.); 5. Continued increases in League Minimum Salary and Per Diem; 6. Playoff Pool increased from $6.5 million to $13 million in Year 1; additional regular increases over the balance of the CBA term; 7. All minor league salary paid in USD; 8. Liberalized "Cap treatment" standards for Club initiatives benefitting Players, such as "parent-son" road trips; milestone awards/gifts; parental travel and lodging for attendance at EL Player games, Club provision of various types of "professional development"-type services for Players, etc. - Player "Working Condition" improvements, including: 1. Ice-time restrictions and mandatory "days off" requirements during Training Camp; 2. Club practice schedule and "days off" requirements during the Regular Season; 3. Extended "Christmas Break" (i.e., December 24-26 "days off" for all purposes); 4. Mandatory facility standards for Visiting Teams relating to training/medical supplies, workout equipment and dressing room standards/supplies; 5. Implementation of "best practices" and continued League initiatives to ensure optimal ice conditions; 6. Tighter restrictions/regulation of Club off-season conditioning requirements and Club Conditioning Camp; and 7. Establishment of annual Orientation and Development Program for Rookies/First Year Players. - New CBA Article devoted exclusively to Player Health and Safety measures and covering such matters as: 1. The establishment of a Joint NHL/NHLPA Health and Safety Committee with equal representation from the NHL and the NHLPA; 2. The establishment of "Standard of Care" and "Professional Duty" obligations owing from team health care professionals to Players; 3. The establishment of minimum requirements for "health management" staffing and resources; 4. The establishment of standards for the creation, updating and maintenance of Electronic Medical Records for Players; 5. Improvements to Second Medical Opinion procedures and protocol and Fitness to Play determinations; and 6. Implementation of additional steps and safeguards to monitor the use (and possible misuse) of prescription medication by Players. 7. Increased flexibility for Players for rehabilitation of injuries during the offseason. - Elimination of NHLPA "Guarantee" of Escrow shortfall and increased NHLPA discretion to determine in-season Escrow Rates. - Completion of expert third-party review of SABH Program and commitment to make recommended modifications and improvements, as appropriate. - Improvements to existing Performance Enhancing Substances Program, including: 1. Expansion of Prohibited Substances List to include illegal stimulants; 2. The establishment of testing protocol for HGH; 3. Varied forms and times of testing throughout the year; 4. The establishment of protocol for "reasonable cause testing"; 5. Incorporation of agreed-upon appeal procedures from "positive" test results; and 6. Commitment to work with the AHL and the PHPA to expand Program to cover AHL Players. - Joint (NHL/NHLPA) Committees: 1. Formation of new "Owner-Player Relations Committee," with broad-based participation from Owners and Players intended to foster and establish better understanding and stronger working relationships. 2. Formation of new "Revenue Sharing Oversight Committee" to oversee the operation of the Revenue Sharing System. 3. Formation of new "Joint Health and Safety Committee" to make recommendations to the NHL and the NHLPA on Player Health and Safety matters. 4. Formation of new "NHL/NHLPA Equipment Working Group" to study, promulgate and enforce minimum standards for protective equipment utilized by NHL Players. 5. Refined and enhanced role for "Player/Club Competition Committee" (CBA Article 22) with greater consultation and interaction with the NHL General Managers' Committee. 6. The "NHL/NHLPA Joint Owner-Player Broadcasting/Marketing Committee" (CBA Article 32) will be reconstituted to consult and establish policy on League broadcasting and marketing matters, as well as other League business functions and initiatives. 7. The NHL/NHLPA International Committee (CBA Article 24) will be charged with jointly identifying, creating, exploiting and managing new international business opportunities involving NHL Players, in which the NHL and NHLPA will participate as 50-50 partners. The NHL/NHLPA International Committee shall also have an advisory role in planning and executing NHL events conducted outside of North America. - Players provided access to NHL.com platform for their individual Player websites and social media. - Implementation of a weighted Draft Lottery in which all non-Playoff teams compete for opportunity to choose first overall in the annual Draft. - Exclusive negotiating rights window for European Draftees extended to one period covering four years, instead of two periods covering two years each. - Modification to "Four-Recall Rule" to remove limitation on "number of transactions" following the Trade Deadline; replace with limitations on the total number of Recalls on roster at any one time after the Trade Deadline. - Updated and improved Grievance Arbitration process and procedure. - Enhanced access to Game Tickets for Visiting Team Players and NHLPA. - NHLPA representatives to be provided reasonable access to Club facilities and Players at reasonable times.
  10. This is actually an interesting blog. http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5134 The author Tyler Dellow believes that the actual deadline to cancel the season is not for another month and a half. I'm not sure if this means the players only receive one or two payments for the season. But if you take at least 28 games.....make plans to extend the number of teams making the playoffs..... it could work.
  11. http://business.time...he-nhl-lockout/ A business analysis of the "business" of professional sports - NHL division.
  12. Posted by Justin Bourne under Cats, CBA, Lockout News, One Man's Opinion, Updates on Dec 18, 2012 What would Tampa Bay's future look like without a salary cap? What it’s also done, is aggregate a news feed in which I get the impression that everyone feels as I do – “man,everyone totally agrees with me on this!” – is something I probably think way too often. In the case of the NHL lockout, I strongly get the impression that everyone – my Twitter everyone, of course – is in favour of the NHLPA decertifying and letting the “free market” dictate what it will. (I suppose the free market concept is not entirely left-leaning, so maybe my feed isn’t all that one-sided.) Oddly, on this particular topic, I feel differently. This week the players that <nobr>make up</nobr> the NHLPA are holding a vote to decide whether they should give the PA’s executive board the power to decertify (or more accurately, file a disclaimer of interest). If they get two-thirds of the vote in favour, it could conceivably strengthen the players’ hand in a potential court battle, where a judge could ultimately rule the lockout and all player restrictions null and void, which would trigger mass chaos league-wide. The NHL has even argued that existing player contracts would be torn up in this scenario. No salary cap, no CBA, no draft, just a <nobr>complete</nobr> cluster**** that would allow the richest teams to sign the best players to the most money, and bury the poor teams that wouldn’t be able to financially compete. They’d fold like cheap tents. A decent portion of the league (no exact figure of course. Two teams? Six? Ten?) could find themselves six feet under if this mass chaos were to ensue, yet from what I’ve seen, folks still seem eager to prune the NHL’s branches, assuming things will grow back healthier and generally better. It’s a flowery concept, but I don’t want to see contraction happen. I don’t want mass chaos where all your team’s favourite players are suddenly uprooted and belong to the Rangers and Leafs. I don’t argue that less teams = stronger talent level = better hockey (by how much we don’t really know). I just don’t want it. Before I get further into why, here’s a chunk of an excellent article written by Cam Cole of the <nobr>Vancouver Sun</nobr> onhow a PA disclaimer of interest would result in chaos (and why the league never had any innocence left to lose). After contemplating what would happen if the union dissolved and contracts were voided: But what glorious chaos it would be. It won’t happen, of course, because the two sides in the ongoing labour war would never give the media a gift so sensational. Still, think of the stories: A frantic orgy of free-agent madness, rich teams stockpiling talent with no salary caps, mid-market teams scrambling to keep some semblance of what they have, deep-pocketed competitive failures seeing a chance to hit a sudden home run, a few other franchises utterly driven out of business … the competition and carnage would be more interesting than a lot of NHL playoff series. The league would definitely lose some teams, which admittedly makes it worth fantasizing about. Interesting, I mean, **** yes. Worth fantasizing about, no doubt. But better for hockey fans? Not for me, anyway. For my money, hockey fans have become too caught up in the finances of their teams. The salary cap forced us into that, admittedly, because we like to know if our team has the money to sign another player. But it really shouldn’t be our problem. Fans who want the Coyotes to go down in a desert wildfire make you wonder – why not let the league and ownership worry about the business side of hockey and just enjoy their team? Do you worry about the finances of In-N-Out Burger when eating a double-double animal style (I’m hungry)? That stuff shouldn’t mean **** to us. The ‘Yotes put a great product on the ice last year, and played admirably despite often being out-matched talent-wise. They defended well, got great coaching and fantastic goaltending. They finished third in the Western Conference and won the division. They were a fun surprising story. A hockey story. And fans want them torched because their not impressed with their books. …Que? Another obvious negative is that contraction would affect a huge number of hockey fans personally. Hearing co-workers list off the teams they’d like to see disappear in a puff of smoke leaves a half-dozen fanbases unable to watch NHL hockey live. It’s romantic to think all Atlanta Thrashers fans still follow the game, but we know better than that. You take a fan’s team, and the NHL suddenly has less people to market to, to sell to, to include. They go away, and we dig deeper into the “niché” hole that some of us find frustrating. As a hockey player, there’s also the simple fact that less teams equals less jobs, so I’d feel for up-and-comers in that regard. The main argument for contraction, then, is that the hockey would be better with 24 (or whatever) teams. Sure. But was the pace not good enough for fans last season? I mean holy hell, was hockey too slow? If it’d be faster with 24, it’d be faster than that with 18, and it’d be faster than that with 12, 6, 2, etc. We pick a cutoff that we think can support good hockey and make money, and we’re at 30. Not 36 or 44, we’re at a pretty good number where the hockey is still excellent and as many fans as possible are engaged. And for fans who like that it’d “cut down on goons and grinders,” I say you’re vastly underestimating how many fans like hits and fighting. I don’t believe that as many teams are losing money as the league and owners would have us believe, either.Friend of the blog @67sound, who I believe is pro-contraction, is on the same page as me in that regard: on top of the teams who don’t show their books or receive public subsidies are the owners who receive the “psychic benefit” of being an owner. Which is to say, some aren’t in it to make money, they’re already loaded, they’re in it for the upper hand in the ****-measuring contest that some rich people like to participate in. CHECK OUT THE STUFF I OWN, IT INCLUDES THOSE HUMANS ON THE ICE AND THE PERSONAL ENJOYMENT OF ALL THOSE FANS. These guys are not hurting as bad as they’d have the public believe. The NHL isn’t perfect, but no league is. If a team or two has to fold or relocate, I can live with that. But if the system is blown up and we suddenly have the “frantic orgy” of chaos that Cam Cole described, I won’t be too thrilled about it. Every moment will have me rapt, of course, but I’d prefer things stay the way they are. If the two pig-headed sides of this CBA negotiation can agree on a couple terms, be reasonable here and there, give and take a little, we can have things back to where they were, if not better. I don’t normally fear change, but I do fear the uncertainty of an entirely new NHL. <iframe allowtransparency="true" class="twitter-follow-button" data-twttr-rendered="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/follow_button.1355514129.html#_=1355846662501&id=twitter-widget-2&lang=en&screen_name=jtbourne&show_count=false&show_screen_name=true&size=m" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; font: inherit; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(72, 72, 72); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 19px; width: 121px; height: 20px;" title="Twitter Follow Button"></iframe>
  13. NHL will seek to cancel contracts if NHLPA dissolves Fantasy Hockey at its very best. " With the Flyers' first pick .......they choose ??? Jonathan Quick If a few teams are eliminated.....wow, ........ *this could really be fun. You would think they would have to do a complete lottery with the entire NHL for draft order......but then if they were all Free Agents ??..... oh, crazy stuff. I'll assume all players on Entry level contracts playing in the AHL would still count as part of a teams resources. I actually wouldn't mind missing the rest of the season just to witness *this.
  14. By Travis Hughes Drafted in 2003, traded away in 2011, on the payroll in 2019? It's possible. Remember back in mid-October, when instead of writing about the first week of the NHL season, we wrote this? On the downright awful side, this part of the league's Tuesday proposal isn't targeted at players. It's targeted at their own clubs that have been cheating the system for the last seven years, like the Flyers. All the talk about how Ed Snider, Peter Luukko and the Flyers are at the head of the NHL owners table? And how they always get the best part of the meal, leaving the rest of the family to fend for table scraps? It looks like the family just revolted. We were talking about the NHL's planned proposal to punish clubs -- like your Philadelphia Flyers -- that had handed out back-diving or front-loaded contracts in an attempt to circumvent the salary cap. Retirement wouldn't matter, nor would a trade of a player to a different team. If the deal was longer than five years long, you'd be on the hook for that cap hit if the player were to retire. Even if you traded that player, and yes, even if that deal was signed before the new CBA went into effect. Jeff Carter? Mike Richards? James van Riemsdyk andScott Hartnell? Yep. If they were to retire early, the Flyers would be on the hook for their cap hit. We tried to hold back the fear a bit back in October by noting that the CBA was far from its final form and that much could change before the pens finally hit the dotted lines. But now, three months (!) later, we're much closer to an ultimate deal, and ... yep, this is all still on the table. Via James Mirtle in The Globe & Mail on Wednesday: In response to the league's call for such an alteration, the NHLPA devised something called a "cap benefit recapture formula," which would punish teams with players who retired early on long-term deals by putting the money they saved over the term of the deal on their cap after they've retired. This notion has been around for a while, but the change that came last week was that the PA offered to apply this formula to any new contracts that are seven years or longer ORexisting deals with seven years or more remaining. In short, that means slight alterations to what the NHL proposed back in October. Instead of five years, this would apply to deals seven years or longer. That's a good thing, as it would remove James van Riemsdyk, Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds from the gray area. All three are on six-year deals, with Simmonds and Hartnell's deals beginning in 2013. It wouldn't exempt Ilya Bryzgalov if he were to retire before the end of his contract in 2020, but there's at least some comfort in knowing that the Flyers have control over him. He's in their organization. It gets disconcerting when it comes to players outside the organization, and both Carter (10 years left on his contract) and Richards (eight years left) could leave and impact. If those guys were to retire before their contracts end, something completely out of the Flyers' hands, the team would be on the hook for a penalty. How much? Back to Mirtle: Another change to the PA's previous proposal is that instead of allowing the post-retirement cap penalty to be spread over twice the length remaining on the deal it can only be spread over the number of years that the player didn't play. This is bad. Using Mirtle's explanation and Carter's contract as an example, let's assume he retires with three years remaining on his contract at age 34 -- a plausible possibility. Carter would earn $59 million over the first eight years before retirement, an average of $6.375 million per year. But thanks to the structure of the contract, his cap hit is only $5,272,727 per season over the life of the deal. Take the total cap savings earned across those first eight years of the contract -- $6.375 million minus $5.272 million multiplied by eight -- and you get the cap penalty the Flyers would be forced to pay. It's $8.818 million, and they'd have to pay it over those final three years. In a nutshell, a retired Carter could hit the Flyers cap for just under $3 million per season under this example, and it could happen nine years after he last pulled on a Philadelphia uniform. And for what? The Flyers experienced utterly zero cap savings themselves on this deal since they traded him to Columbus before this contract went into effect. They'd be paying the penalty simply for signing him to this contract in the first place. *** There are two frustrating parts about this. For one, it's clear that the NHL is dead set on punishing teams that signed players to these types of contracts. The Flyers are certainly one of them, and we've laughed all along as they've used loophole after loophole to do this type of stuff. But if you think back to the 2004-05 lockout, while the league won the salary cap and the CBA negotiation as a whole over the players, they rushed through some of the smaller details, which was a (very minor) victory for the NHLPA. They forgot to close these sort of loopholes, and now they're set on making sure smart player agents and smart general managers don't exploit them again. And they'll give 'em a little payback -- or a lot of payback, potentially -- in the process. Secondly, it's that the proposal completely takes the power out of the Flyers' hands. They can control to a certain extent whether or not Chris Pronger or Mike Rathje or Ian Laperriere or Ilya Bryzgalov officially "retires," but when it comes to Mike Richards and Jeff Carter? Hell, you never know how much those guys might want to stick it to the organization that tossed them aside, even if those wounds are nearly a decade old at that point. It puts the Flyers, their cap situation and ultimately their team at the mercy of two long-since-gone players. And unlike three months ago when we last talked about this, we're even closer now to a collective bargaining agreement that will almost certainly include a stipulation like this. Drafted in 2003, traded in 2011, on the payroll in 2019? It's possible.
  15. Jason Brough Dec 11, 2012, 12:27 PM EST The NHL has reportedly proposed a salary cap of $60 million for the 2013-14 season. If that’s where it ends up (down from the $70.2 million mark for 2012-13) and there are no amnesty buyouts, scalpels will need to be taken to a number of rosters. Here are 10 teams that may need serious surgery (numbers via CapGeek.com): Vancouver Canucks ($55.4 million, 13): They won’t have Roberto Luongo’s $5.3 million hit, but signing Alex Edler could be interesting. Keith Ballard and David Booth, two Mike Gillis acquisitions, stand out in the underachiever category. Montreal Canadiens ($60.2 million, 16): And PK Subban still doesn’t have a contract. Habs fans don’t need to be told that Scott Gomez and Tomas Kaberle account for more than $11 million of cap space. Philadelphia Flyers ($57.5 million, 16): Will get some relief if Chris Pronger remains on IR, but then they won’t have Pronger. Bit of a double-edged sword there. Boston Bruins ($57.4 million, 16 players): Marc Savard will likely remain on LTIR, but Tuukka Rask is a pending RFA. Tampa Bay Lightning ($57.4 million, 15): Vincent LeCavalier, signed through 2019-20 with a $7.7 million cap hit. Not getting any younger either. Turned 32 in April. Pittsburgh Penguins ($52.6 million, 15): Fortunately Evgeni Malkin isn’t UFA until 2014-15. San Jose Sharks ($54.3 million, 14): Patrick Marleau’s $6.9 million hit stands out. It’s not like there haven’t been trade rumors. Chicago Blackhawks ($57.2 million, 17): If Corey Crawford doesn’t bounce back, upgrading the goaltending could be a challenge. Minnesota Wild ($51.1 million, 16): Dany Heatley is signed through 2013-14 for a $7.5 million hit. Any takers? Los Angeles Kings ($49.4 million, 13): Most of their key guys are locked up, though Rob Scuderi may have to move on. We can’t help but think there will be some sort of amnesty provision put into place that will soften the transition, but it won’t alleviate the pain altogether.
  16. So now we've had the owners and the players meet in a room, say how great it is that one side is paying the other millions and the other side is making the first side tens of millions and wouldn't it be great to get back to that whole making millions thing again? So they leave and they tell everyone how great it was to be talking about making millions of dollars instead of not making millions of dollars and that it would be great if we could all just get back to that whole making millions of dollars thing and we're just gosh darn sure that we'll agree to be making millions of dollars again soon so you all better be ready to spend thousands of dollars on us again. That's what it's all about.
  17. So I stumbled across this article while on TSN this morning looking for any "late-breaking" tweets from the likes of burnside and McKenzie.....There was a lot fo tweeting over a report ouit of boston saying there was a "secret" meeting yesterday unannounced where MAJOR progress was made in negotioations and that there could be an announcment as soon as today or tomorrow...... I'm saying it's a bunch of CRAP.....but who knows. I find it hard to believe that a single reporter in Boston got some kind of "inside info" that NO ONE else has seemed to pick-up on.....especially the canadian media....ya know....where hockey actually matters! Here is the link and text..... http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/12/03/sources-significant-progress-made-towards-ending-nhl-lockout/ BOSTON (CBS) – The NHL lockout has been going on for 79 days and on Tuesday, a select group of owners and players are scheduled to meet in New York. Sources tell WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton that an unannounced meeting was held Monday with a high-ranking official from each side, and significant progress was made toward salvaging the hockey season. It’s possible an announcement could come as soon as tomorrow or Wednesday. Burton spoke with Bruins forward Milan Lucic at Joe Andruzzi’s foundation dinner, and he’s very excited about the possibility of getting back to work. “You know if your sources are correct obviously it’s great news,” says Lucic. “It’s great for the fans I think especially. I know they’ve been probably going through the most heartache than anyone.” Lucic says he was optimistic that the season would be salvaged and that played a big role in his decision not to go to Europe. He admits that it will take him a little longer to get into shape than those who are playing right now. “You’re not in game shape if you’re not playing games,” Lucic said smiling. “It might take me a little bit to get back into game shape but you know I’m confident in myself that I’m going to be able to get back and I know guys in Europe that I’ve talked to, that they would like nothing more than to come back here and play in the league that they want to play in most and that’s the NHL.” Thoughts?? At this point the season is lost for me anyway....I don;t want that asterix next to our cup win.....and if your not interested in winning the cup why bother playing......seriously.....I don;t want the flyers to wint he cup this year if a season is salvaged....I never thought I would say ro type those words but.....I DO NOT WANT THE CUP THIS YEAR......not half assed!
  18. unbelievable. The 2 sides finally agree to call in mediators - non-binding of course - and they work on the problem for TWO WHOLE DAYS before deciding there's nothing they can do, no point in trying ... the sides are too far apart. Un-fkn-believable. I'm glad they really tried hard to find a solution. 2 days, couple a meetings...that's it. Pretty much guaranteed now - this season is gone, canceled.
  19. Yesterday we watched Donald Fehr speak to the media in the wake of meetings with the players, and it was in that press conference that we learned the players and owners had come to an agreement on a number of major issues…only they hadn’t at all. Steve Fehr received a voicemail message from Bill Daly during that presser, and it was only a matter of minutes before Donald Fehr was back up on the podium explaining why they did not, in fact, have a deal. In fact, everything was suddenly off the table. So what was in that voicemail? What had made the NHL’s representatives and governors so mad? We were curious, so we did a little digging, and amazingly, found a source who was willing to pass it on. It’s a little NSFW – Bill Daly was pissed – but still, it’s pretty interesting. (link will not embed, click and press play) http://snd.sc/128tuf3
  20. Oh, he was mad all right. With Gary Bettman, there’s no mistaking it. The tense, twitchy body language, the eyes bulging a bit, the normally scripted public relations speak suddenly sounding like the words of a real live human being. That loss of control doesn’t happen often in public settings, but when it does, the whole world knows the commissioner is peeved. This was special, though, standing at the podium in New York on Thursday night. This was extraordinary. And for some sitting at home interpreting the National Hockey League lockout as though it were a game or a night of theatre, this was evidence finally, that the lawyer who was the National Basketball Association's gift to hockey finally, really gave a damn about the sport just the way the fans do. Could be. Could be that Bettman desperately misses all of those nights at the rink. Could be, also, that he doesn’t like the idea of having “Only Sports Commissioner Ever To Lose Two Full Seasons To Owner Lockouts” engraved on his tombstone. But here’s an alternate explanation. What set Bettman off was staring across the bargaining table at his mirror image. Ask anyone who has had to haggle out a deal with Bettman behind closed doors and they’ll paint a picture of a brilliant, calculating and ruthless negotiator, who seizes every advantage, who when presented with an opportunity goes straight for the kill. He understands his opposition’s weak points, he knows his side’s strengths, and with a cool head and cold eyes he calculates the path to victory. That’s one reason why his employers, the owners, love him, and pay him the big bucks. Consider the last NHL labour negotiations in 2004 and 2005. Employing classic divide and conquer tactics, understanding that hockey players in their hearts still feel darned lucky to be playing a game for a living, seeing the cracks in the infrastructure around Bob Goodenow, Bettman soon enough had the union membership enthusiastically sticking knives in the back of their own leader. And the tipping point of that process? When the players offered up a 24 per cent salary roll back to avoid a salary cap, and Bettman and the owners gratefully accepted their generosity as a starting point, and then ground them into the dust. The players hired Donald Fehr as their union head because he is Bettman’s equal. He is there to guard them against falling prey to their own sentimentality about the game, to protect their interests in a negotiation in which everyone understood that they would be giving back, would be surrendering rights and surrendering money guaranteed in the previous collective agreement. Clearly a student of history, Fehr began by restructuring the union hierarchy so that there was no longer a ready-made group of potential Brutuses who might be turned against him. Bettman and the owners have attempted the same strategy this time around, contacting players directly, whispering about revolts in the rank and file, suggesting that Fehr isn’t telling the whole truth, that it’s his presence alone that is preventing a deal. But so far, it doesn’t seem to be working nearly as well as it did against Goodenow. We have now also had “good cop” owners enter the picture, we have had Sidney Crosby ride in on his white horse, we have had numerous propaganda volleys from both sides. But what’s been going on away from all of that staged drama is a hard, grind-it-out negotiation, with Fehr playing the same kind of frustrate-the-opposition defence that theNew Jersey Devils employed in the bad old days. It is going to be tough getting to the finish, though surely that’s still in the cards. Fehr is going to negotiate against a deadline – a real hard deadline to salvage the season , wherever that actually lies – and try to hold back any impulsive moves by his membership. Along the way, he’s going to grab whatever he can. Like when the owners offered to up their "make whole" offer to $300-million this week, thinking that number would turn heads and shift the emotional tide and lead to the players rushing past the other details in their hurry to get back on the ice. That’s great, Fehr said. Thanks for the money. Now let’s negotiate the other stuff. Gee, where have we seen that before? Stephen Brunt | December 7, 2012, 12:23 pm
  21. Millionaires - and billionaires - are determined to stop us from watching professional sport because of their economic interests. **** them.
  22. I read several different blogs today on the potential Players vs Owners potential meeting that was suggested by Bettman. The last time it was a meeting like this which finally settled the last CBA, but most of the blogs on the meeting have been negative as the owners will school the players again. But this take by Dan Cloutier of HockeyBuzz deserves a laugh, considering there is really nothing to laugh about as the season seems to be in the process of being cancelled.
  23. Want to know why the NHL lockout is creeping into its fourth month of existence, why we’re approaching 80 days of hockey pestilence, hostility and greed? Here’s a story illustrating the self-interested, tyrannical leadership at play on the NHL’s side: Winnipeg Jets representation at a recent NHL Board of Governors meeting piped up to say it was opposed to engaging in a long, bloody lockout sure to stymie their franchise’s momentum and hurt the game of hockey. It wasn’t Winnipeg owner Mark Chipman, but rather one of the alternate governors representing the Jets. Bruins Principal Owner and Chairman of the Board of Governors Jeremy Jacobs answered by reprimanding the Winnipeg representative as one of the “new kids on the block” and informed him that he would know when he was allowed to speak in the NHL board room. That’s the kind of hawkish, dismissive, bully mentality that's driving the bus for the NHL lockout that's now cancelled games through the middle of December. It’s also the reason why Bruins fans should hold Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs personally responsible. Jacobs was always a lightning rod for local criticism and cynicism during his close to 40 years owning the Bruins, but the Delaware North baron has deservedly won some goodwill in recent years. He has consistently spent up to the NHL salary cap over the last seven years, and the high point of his ownership came two seasons ago when he oversaw a talented Bruins team that won the Stanley Cup. But even in the midst of his greatest moment as an NHL owner, Jacobs proved tone deaf. He couldn’t help but needle Bruins President Cam Neely during the team's championship parade for never winning his own Cup as a player. It was a cringe-worthy moment on a day that should have featured wall-to-wall grins, and it gave Bruins fans a chance to remember why they held Jacobs in contempt for so long. Those strange few seconds on that June day put on display the out-of-touch attitude that has helped the NHL become mired in another lengthy work stoppage for the second time in less than a decade. The NHLPA members and hockey fans alike are waylaying NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for instituting the work stoppage. But at the end of the day Bettman is simply the messenger for the 30 NHL owners. Jacobs and his fellow owners are the reason the NHL can’t function without a war between every new Collective Bargaining Agreement. They are the reason hockey is a mismanaged mess. When Patriots owner Robert Kraft helped broker an NFL labor deal before regular season games were affected, it appeared as though his love for the game of football and his concern for NFL fans played a role. There is no love of hockey coming from the end chair at NHL Board of Governors meetings. Instead there are quarterly reports, profit margins and calculated formulas telling NHL owners when it makes the most fiscal sense to open the doors to the regular season. Nothing else matters. Not the fans, the players, the arena employees and those local businesses depending on the $800,000 to $1 million that each Bruins game pumps into the Boston economy. If the NHL lockout is going to end as soon as Dec. 5 at the NHL Board of Governors meeting, then it’s going to take other hockey-loving hockey owners to overthrow the stone, cold businessmen in the room. The biggest question of the lockout is, why would a frugal, shrewd businessman like Jacobs seemingly do his own team a disservice by prolonging the lockout? The Bruins have the most money committed in player salaries over the next two seasons, and would be severely affected by a sudden drop in the salary cap. Even if NHL teams are given a one-year transition period to adjust to a plummeting salary cap, the Bruins will be bumping the cap ceiling in 2013-14 without a single proven NHL goaltender signed on for duty. That’s a horrendous position for Jacobs to leave his franchise when the Bruins have relied so prominently on defense and goaltending for success. But it doesn’t seem to matter a whit to the Bruins owner as he bangs the drum for a lowered salary cap, draconian contract restrictions, and a stodgy desire to turn the NHL clock back at least 30 years. Because Jacobs is a multi-billionaire used to winning and hearing exactly what he wants to hear at all times. During the 2004-005 lockout Jacobs and the Bruins were in a position of influence within the Board of Governors, but approached it with a horrendously flawed game plan. The Bruins expected a wide open seller’s market for free agents coming out of that lockout, and famously allowed Mike Knuble, Brian Rolston, Sergei Gonchar and Michael Nylander among others to walk away from Boston. Jacobs never saw the 24 percent salary rollback coming from the NHLPA, and suddenly teams received tremendous discounts for all contracts signed prior to the work stoppage. Instead of NHL free agent superstars lining up to play in Boston, the Bruins botched things further by inking glue factory FA’s like Brian Leetch and Alex Zhamnov. The Bruins franchise bottomed out in the two years coming out of the 2004-05 lockout with a glorified expansion team roster, traded away Joe Thornton for a pittance and then cleaned house within the B’s front office before a slow rise to the top under GM Peter Chiarelli and President Cam Neely. Jacobs turned out to be a giant loser coming out of the last lockout, and now his Buffalo-sized ego is looking for a dramatic, one-sided win against the players coming out of this season’s work stoppage. That one-way, ends-justify-the-means mentality is exactly what’s driving the NHL owners this time around. But the players have already waived the white flag. They've offered the owners the 50/50 revenue split for which they were hoping, and the NHLPA moderates are ready to further discuss terms of a truce if Bettman and the NHL owners are willing to throw an olive branch or two the players’ way. "We want to play," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said recently. "But there hasn’t been one bone thrown our way [by the owners] to where guys would say if it went to a vote right now we could live with it. There are things that have to be addressed. “If there were a couple of bones thrown in there then there’d be enough moderates to voice their opinions to Don [Fehr]. But it hasn’t been that way at all. We keep giving and [the owners] keep saying ‘Thanks . . . what else have you guys got?’ Until that changes, nothing [about the lockout] is going to change." The players aren’t responding kindly to being bullied by board room brutes like Jacobs, but there’s little they can do about it if they want to get back on the ice. The only people that speak the kind of voice that Jacobs and Co. will understand is the ticket-purchasing public. Bruins fans can show their disapproval of the Jacobs-led NHL lockout by canceling season tickets, switching to the AHL or college hockey instead of the local NHL product, or simply changing the channel when the games come back. For business mavens like Jacobs, that is the only language they understand. But that’s not an easy task so what else could fans do? Jacobs owns the TD Garden so they could skip the circus, swear off concerts at the Garden, and even victimize the Celtics as innocent bystanders in the House that Jacobs Built. It’s probably not realistic, but it’s something to think about as those that love the NHL try to come up with a way to clearly illustrate to Jacobs, Bettman and Co. that two lengthy work stoppages in eight years is simply unacceptable. The NHL has taken its customers for granted far too often in recent years, and there should be a lesson learned for those league “fathers” that allowed this to happen on their watch.
  24. OrangeAndBlackPack.com Throughout the Thanksgiving break, you may have heard about the Players' Union threatening "decertification", which ultimately means liquidating the NHLPA as we know it. It's incredibly difficult to understand decertification, at least to a layman like myself who has very little knowledge of sports law. Pro Hockey Talk broke down an explanation given by Gabe Feldman, director of Tulane Law School's sports law program, and separated the highlights into five bullet points -- 1. By dissolving the union, the players can file an anti-trust lawsuit and argue that the lockout is now an illegal group boycott. 2. On the flip side, the players would no longer be protected by labor laws, so in that regard they will have exposed themselves “to the mercy of NHL owners.” For example, without the NHLPA, things like health benefits, the minimum salary, and even guaranteed contracts could be impacted. 3. If the players decertify and then lose the subsequent legal battle, then they will have “lost all leverage.” 4. The NHL will likely attempt to counter the union decertifying by claiming that it’s “just a sham and should not be recognized.” 5. Finally, with regards to the chances of the players being successful if they decertify and take the NHL to court, Feldman said: “If somebody’s telling you they know, they are either delusional or lying to you.” Bill Daly has since then said that if the NHLPA goes down this path, then the 2012-13 season is lost beyond a doubt. I am still trying my best to understand the strategy of this move, so I'm opening the floor in the comments below to anyone who can clear this up better than I can.
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