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Fire Bettman Now!


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I do not consider myself pro union, or pro management. I am pro hockey! As with any negotiation there is posturing and eventually some give and take. So be it. But enough is enough! There have been two cancellations of hockey since Bettman became commissioner, the last one entailed the entire season. Now it looks like there will be another curtailment of the hockey season again. The owners made the union buckle to almost all their demands after the last strike. The contract that presently exists contains almost all the owners wants at that time. Now with these contract negotiations the owners are saying, "OOPs! the last contract was not what we really,really wanted. Now we want this: "If you the union do not agree by September 15th, we will just lock down at least the beginning of the season".

Bettman waits to submit a 76,000 page proposal to the Players Union until the middle of July. The proposal that effectively reverses all the owner's last wish list and calls for a huge cut in the players salary and other losses that the players are to absorb. He then comes out in middle August and tells the world that if the Players Union does not get it together and agree to a contract by September 15th, the owners will lock them out. Can you imagine any organization being able to digest a 76,000 page proposal? Yet alone to respond to it? So far these negotiations have had unreasonable pressure applied by one side and only one side. Where is the spirit of negotiation? There is none on the part of the owners. It is no wonder that collectively the owners are generally view a spoiled, very rich fat-cats.

To Mr Bettman:

Mr. Bettman, if this season is lost, I will never follow NHL hockey again and that is hard to say after following hockey for more than fifty years! I bough NHL jerseys, etc, held season tickets for 20 of those years and years when it was not feasible to attend games I paid for television coverage when available and travelled more frequently to see NHL hockey. I know that you do not care about me, the the individual fan when you see all the money to be had wih corporate sponsorships, but if you loose all the little inconsequential fans, NHL hockey will on a dead-end road and it is nobodies fault but yours.

Thank goodness you don't control minor hockey, or college hockey.

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@Lunatic I'm pretty anti-union, but even I can't digest this offer. 25% rollback of salaries??? Really??? How do you say that with a straight face when the NHL has seen RECORD profits for 7 straight years!!! If the NHL can't make it work, if the weak sisters can't compete....that's on the NHL, not the players. Relocate these teams to places that give a damn. Fix the problem, put hockey where people care about it...simple as that. This is not on the players, it's on the owners, Betteman and his little Napoleonic complex. His ego is OUT OF CONTROL...I HATE THAT LITTLE WEASEL!!!

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@jammer2 There are too many teams. Cut the league by about 6 teams, and then you'll see some really high-quality talent night in and night out. And the 25% rollback is a starting point. I'm sure the owners would accept a 50/50 split.

@Lunatic I hear ya... I don't want to see the season cancelled either. But it is a business, and these business owners want a larger piece of the pie. I can't blame them, I would do the exact same thing if I were running that business. Most of the owners don't *need* the team to make money, they've got other likely more profitable investments. But the players need the owners to make the kind of money they're making now, unless they want to bolt to Russia.

But the worst part is that some of the things the owners want (i.e. limit contract length to 5 years) really isn't a reflection on the players so much as it is a reflection on the sheer inability of owners to control themselves. Teams like the Flyers and Rangers don't want limits, I'm sure, because they'll always find a way out, and can afford to absorb heavy losses to do it.

Here's an article from this morning on philly.com:

NEW YORK - With time running out on NHL labor talks, commissioner Gary Bettman cautioned Thursday that the league is prepared to lock out its players if a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached by Sept. 15, when the current deal expires.

"Time is running short, and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season, so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon," Bettman said after the two sides met at the league headquarters.

When asked whether Sept. 15 is a hard deadline, Bettman said: "Our efforts are going to be devoted to trying to make a deal."

Saying a "wide gap" still existed between the two sides on numerous issues, Bettman added the potential for a lockout is something the NHL Players' Association has been aware of for much of the last year.

NHLPA executive director Don Fehr referred to the split as "a meaningful gulf."

The NHLPA head did not have an immediate response to Bettman's comments, because he spoke before the commissioner made himself available to reporters. Fehr said the union is open to continuing talks beyond Sept. 15 and entering the season under the current system.

The NHL is proposing to cut players' share of revenues from 57 percent to 46 - and that percentage drops to 43 when taking into account revenues the NHL deems should not be shared with players. That would translate into as much as a $450 million shift in revenue in the owners' favor.

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...........And I would like to thank Gary Bettman for bringing about the destruction of the NHL as a whole. I wonder what the Owners are going to think when they have no one left who cares to line the pockets of the greedy bastards......The song that comes to mind.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbxfe7DMxVo

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...........And I would like to thank Gary Bettman for bringing about the destruction of the NHL as a whole. I wonder what the Owners are going to think when they have no one left who cares to line the pockets of the greedy bastards......The song that comes to mind.....

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=gbxfe7DMxVo

Why are the owners 'greedy bastards' but not the players? It goes both ways.

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Because the players union hasn't said they want nearly a half a billion dollars more or else they won't play the games. Bettyman and the owners did that. It's $450 million when you figure the revenue-sharing percentage drop (to the players) and also the money the owners say shouldn't be shared.

One side says "Give us $450 million more or else no season." I'd say that qualifies as "greedy bastards."

Of course it's a negotiation so you expect some movement...but when your starting point is asking for nearly a half a billion dollars more...

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Why are the owners 'greedy bastards' but not the players? It goes both ways.

What Canoli said before I got a chance to reply. The players are not the ones threatening to cancel the season...the owners are......

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Because the players union hasn't said they want nearly a half a billion dollars more or else they won't play the games. Bettyman and the owners did that. It's $450 million when you figure the revenue-sharing percentage drop (to the players) and also the money the owners say shouldn't be shared.

One side says "Give us $450 million more or else no season." I'd say that qualifies as "greedy bastards."

Of course it's a negotiation so you expect some movement...but when your starting point is asking for nearly a half a billion dollars more...

Fair point... I guess the owners are just more upfront about their greed ;) But, if the owners don't threaten a lockout, there is much less incentive to get something done by the union, who will surely have it 'better' under this current agreement than any new one. So, why rush to re-negotiate? That would explain their stance to go through the season without a new agreement in place - their members get paid, and they maintain the level of the pie that they had.

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@Lunatic I'm pretty anti-union, but even I can't digest this offer. 25% rollback of salaries??? Really??? How do you say that with a straight face when the NHL has seen RECORD profits for 7 straight years!!! If the NHL can't make it work, if the weak sisters can't compete....that's on the NHL, not the players. Relocate these teams to places that give a damn. Fix the problem, put hockey where people care about it...simple as that. This is not on the players, it's on the owners, Betteman and his little Napoleonic complex. His ego is OUT OF CONTROL...I HATE THAT LITTLE WEASEL!!!

Are you of the opinion that there are 30 markets in North America that can sustain a competitive NHL franchise?

'cause I'm not.

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@brelic How can the NHL be serious about starting the season on time, but then send a 76,000 page document a week before they announce it's "crunch time"?

I haven't read anywhere that the league said they were serious about starting on time. There's this article: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/story/2012/08/09/sp-bettman-talks-labour-nhl.html

And Bettman is quoted as saying:

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman delivered the deadline to the players during the Thursday session and then confirmed it to reporters afterwards.

"I re-confirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last nine to 12 months," Bettman said. “Namely, that time is getting short and the owners are not prepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season, so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon.

“And we believe there's ample time for the parties to get together and make a deal and that's what we're going to be working towards."

So he's giving them a deadline, after which the owners will lock them out.

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Supposedly we'll know more next week when the talks shift to Toronto (i think) where the NHLPA has offices. I read the parties will get together there and at that point Fehr will have a counter offer.

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I think with the potential for a second lockout in 8 years people are starting to see Bettman's true colors. He does not give a damn about the fans and is the owner's boy. His job is to make the owners money and he could care less about the fans.

The revenue ratio does need to be split more evenly but I think it should be in the players favor. The fans are paying to see Giroux, Briere and Schenn and not Mr Snider. Bettman and the owners need to realize this.

I cannot stand him and have been calling for his head ever since the NBA reject has started to change the game we love. Some things like the Winter Classic have the majority have been about this assclown trying to put his own mark on a game he knew nothing about.

I HATE the cap as it penalizes the succesful teams that help to keep the league afloat. I HATE the revenue sharing as it again penalizes the successful teams and allows DR, Frankenstein aka Bettman to put teams in non-hockey markets where the league continues to assist. Without a big TV contract the league needs contraction of some of it's weaker markets but Bettman's ego won't allow it. He would rather the league sink millions into Phoenix to keep it afloat.

Most of all I hate Bettman's ego as contrary to what he believes, the game is bigger than he.

Edited by Dynamo 47
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I think with the potential for a second lockout in 8 years people are starting to see Bettman's true colors. He does not give a damn about the fans and is the owner's boy. His job is to make the owners money and he could care less about the fans.

The revenue ratio does need to be split more evenly but I think it should be in the players favor. The fans are paying to see Giroux, Briere and Schenn and not Mr Snider. Bettman and the owners need to realize this.

I cannot stand him and have been calling for his head ever since the NBA reject has started to change the game we love. Some things like the Winter Classic have the majority have been about this assclown trying to put his own mark on a game he knew nothing about.

I HATE the cap as it penalizes the succesful teams that help to keep the league afloat. I HATE the revenue sharing as it again penalizes the successful teams and allows DR, Frankenstein aka Bettman to put teams in non-hockey markets where the league continues to assist. Without a big TV contract the league needs contraction of some of it's weaker markets but Bettman's ego won't allow it. He would rather the league sink millions into Phoenix to keep it afloat.

Most of all I hate Bettman's ego as contrary to what he believes, the game is bigger than he.

Both the owners and the players were heavily in favor of expansion - it's not like Bettman forced them to do it. And do you really think that the assortment of businessmen, billionaires and corporations running NHL franchises are doing ANYTHING simply for Bettman's "ego"??

The owners were seeking the mythical Big TeeVee Contract (which is now provided by... one of the owners) and the players look at expansion and see an 4-5 more teams with a $51M cap floor they have to fill. That's 100+ spots for players. Are the *players* sitting around saying "we'd prefer to have fewer jobs, paying uis less - good thing we have this Bettman guy who's the mouthpiece of a league abot to lock us out for the second time in 10 years. His ego is the #1 most important thing to us, always!"

*If* the league wants to be more than a Northeast/Upper Midwest/Canadian league - and it does - then revenue sharing is essential. It is one of the main pillars that has made the NFL successful and allowed pro football to remain in places like Green Bay.

Quite frankly, if you want NHL hockey to be competitive in backwater places like Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Ottawa - not to mention Hamilton or Quebec - revenue sharing is also essential. It wasn't Phoenix leading the charge for revenue sharing - it was the Canadian franchises.

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how much does the exchange rate effect this ?

The exchange rate was, indeed, a real concern at the time. It has mellowed among the Candian markets with the competitiveness of the Canadian dollar.

The Jets franchise was founded based on the idea they would have the revenue sharing. In fact, they didn't need it in their first year because of the overwhelming support the franchise received. It will be interesting to see if they can ice a successful team and continue to be competitive without it. Winnipeg definitely stepped up to get the team back, but maintaining that level of financial commitment from sponsors and fans can be difficult unless you are successful on the ice.

But, again, the franchise would not have relocated to Winnipeg if revenue sharing was not available.

I don't agree with forcing the league into southern markets - but I'm not an NHL owner.

I do know that revenue sharing can be an important part of creating an ongoing, competitive league.that doesn't have moribund franchies reliant upon lightning conveniently inserting itself into bottles to win.

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@radoran Totally off topic, but have you heard from vis at all? A lot of your post look like they are typed by a lawyer, and it reminded me, have not heard from vis for quite a while, does he know about this site? would be great to have him here posting. You two had some classic interactions over the years...was fun to read!

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