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McKenzie Report, Not Good


Guest idahophilly
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From Travis Yost, Hockeybuzz... Have a drink before reading...

One man's opinion is just one man's opinion, except when that man is TSN's Bob McKenzie. I'd like to think that TSN's frontman is more in-tune with the current state of negotiations than your average media beat or blogger, so when he offered up his latest bout of CBA negotiations cynicism, hockey fans were right to let out a collective groan.

That's not to say Bob McKenzie can't be wrong here. I remain a bit suspicious as to how honest the NHL and NHLPA are with one of the most widely-read ice hockey commentators in North America. Further, McKenzie did go on to say that there's a decent chance we'll (a) see the first legitimate round of negotiations in the coming week, which I concur with; and (b) that there's still a chance a lot of the doubletalk and rhetoric are simply posturing for a better deal, which I also concur with.

As for last night's quotes? Hoo-boy. Let's just hope that our favorite TSN personality was staring down a couple of bottles of Merlot and enjoying his Saturday night, because this was an overwhelming dose of cynicism. Or, reality.

Below, the collection:

I've purposely avoided too many lockout tweets but in honor of anniversary (1 week) of Krys Barch's salue to OV, answers to some oft asked ?

My instincts say we'll lose the whole year but we've still got a month or two to salvage a Dec or Jan start up, so we'll see. I suspect we'll see our first real movement from either side in coming week but whether that creates legit traction for talks, who knows?

At this point, I don't doubt either side's resolve. That may be the problem. Owners think players will cave. Players think owners will cave. I think, like last time, we'll lose the season before anyone blinks.

I'm dismayed that the NHL is insistent on getting such a significant and immediate clawback (57 to 50 per cent). Too much, too soon. But it's equally discouraging that we are cancelling games and players are still stuck on notion of not taking any tangibe [sic] dollar reduction.

I don't doubt players' resolve, but I am surprised at how many players think Bettman and/or owners will blink. Maybe they will, but of all the things I've learned in 30+ yrs covering this game, Bettman, Jeremy Jacobs and Ed Snider don't strike me as bluffers.

And last time I checked, Don Fehr isn't a guy who shies away from a fight. So that pretty much brings us to where we are. If season is lost, I can see NHLPA putting salary cap back on table. Then we have a fight that makes this one look like Boy Scout Jamboree.

A full-season cancellation and the trickle-down effect heading into the 2013-2014 regular season isn't just discouraging -- it's the absolute worst-case scenario. I haven't trumpeted this angle just yet, if only because it's almost impossible to know how deadlocked the two parties will be a month or two from now. The NHL and NHLPA can exhaust the unity angle all they want; when monetary losses start compounding, room for compromise increases. It's an undeniable and direct correlation.

Both sides have been in communication and are expected to start up another round of negotiations in the coming days. For the sake of hockey's health, let's hope these are a bit more fruitful. Otherwise, it could be quite the dark winter in North America.

Back with more later.

I can't even get my mind wrapped around the damage that would be done by the whole season being lost! How long until the owners would bring in replacement players especially if the NHLPA brings the cap back into it? Can you imagine this lasting into next summer?

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Question. IF a whole season is lost, does that count against contract lenghts. We signed Fedetenko to a 1 year contract. Would he use up that year if the lockout continues. Pronger, Mezaros and Lilja are all being paid by the Flyers (good for them, atleast the owners get screwed there) because of their LTI status. One would think since they are being paid they are using up 1 year of their contract. Giroux has 2 years left. If we lose the whole year is he still at 2 years or down to 1???

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I can't even get my mind wrapped around the damage that would be done by the whole season being lost! How long until the owners would bring in replacement players especially if the NHLPA brings the cap back into it? Can you imagine this lasting into next summer?

Who wants to watch replacement players? If I wanted to watch second-tier guys, the AHL is still playing.

If it does count, we could in effect lose Timonen, Lilja, Shelly ( finally ), Leighton, Fedetenko ...

That's the better part of 11 million. Would go a long way to getting another d-man and re-signing Giroux (assuming the Cap doesn't change :wacko: ....).

So you "can't wrap your mind around the damage" but are still planning on re-signing players who may not even be welcome in the NHL, much less want to play there?

Replacement players would definitely kill this league.

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I didn't say I wanted replacement players. Just wondering when the owners would try something like that...

Which players are you talking about "not being welcomed" and by whom? The replacements or the lockedout NHL's??? The fans or owners??? I don't follo

Who wants to watch replacement players? If I wanted to watch second-tier guys, the AHL is still playing.

So you "can't wrap your mind around the damage" but are still planning on re-signing players who may not even be welcome in the NHL, much less want to play there?

Replacement players would definitely kill this league.

Who wants to watch replacement players? If I wanted to watch second-tier guys, the AHL is still playing.

So you "can't wrap your mind around the damage" but are still planning on re-signing players who may not even be welcome in the NHL, much less want to play there?

Replacement players would definitely kill this league.

I didn't say I wanted replacement players. Just wondering when the owners would/might try something like that...

Which players are you talking about "not being welcomed" and by whom? The replacements or the locked out NHL's??? The fans or owners??? I don't follow you...

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@idahophilly

Never worked in a Union shop before I take it....

Replacement Workers are and will forever be concidered SCABS. When the strike/lockout is over, ANY player who crossed the line will cease to exist in the company of anyone who did not. There are a handful of guys here where I work who crossed the line. I refuse to work with any of them for safety reasons. I can not and will not trust my life to a weak willed coward. 90 percent of the workers who crossed here either retired or went seeking other employment because none of their co workers would even talk to them. I lost guys who I considered friends for over 20 years that I will not even speak to since they crossed the line. That is why the NFL replacement refs were so bad. No one with any integrity or desire to call games in the NFL when the strike was over would cross that line. A sanctioned(voted upon) strike has long reaching repercussions that will haunt any replacement ref that wanted a chance in the big leagues.

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@flyerrod

I grew up in a union house (Steelworkers) and crossing a picket line was just something that one didn't do. It made you lower than pond scum.

During the few nasty strikes that I remember going through as a kid, I was genuinely worried that I'd lose my dad to jail for murder, such was his hostility at scabs.

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No Union for me, never have and never will, I can assure you of that!

Like I said though, I doubt they would do it, just posed the question if the owners at some future point might try. And do not doubt that they couldn't scroung up enough players to do it. I'm not talking NHL and AHL players but they would find others if they were nuts enough to do it. Not debating the morals and ramifications of those that do.

@flyerrod "A sanctioned(voted upon) strike has long reaching repercussions that will haunt any replacement ref that wanted a chance in the big leagues."

I agree! But there are those that risked nothing in that NFL ref thing. They knew that they would never have a chance to ref in the NFL so went ahead and did it for their own kicks knowing it didn't matter because that was their ONLY chance EVER to ref in the NFL. And they did. Now, if I was in the NHL situation, I'd spit on any NHL player that crossed the line to play. Goes without saying.

And on a side note, I can't get into your situation or the scabs situation at the mill, but if i had exhausted every financial avenue available and there was no help and I had kids to feed, I'm getting the paycheck if I have to. Nor am I ruining a majority of my families life by losing my house over a lockout/strike. When it's all said and done, I'm NOT looking to my co-workers nor a union (which isn't in it for the workers but rather THEIR paycheck from you) to take care of me and my family. That's up to me to do... However, it must be nice when it's the NHL and everyone if fighting over 6 and 7 figure #'s. No one is losing there house in that scenerio...

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Oh, I can see them trying to make a go of it with replacement players.

Do you see Claude Giroux bucking the NHLPA and heading back to the NHL?

Would you want to be a replacement player on the ice with people you tried to steal a job from, given the ease of injury on the ice? Or in a game with sanctioned fighting?

Unions have their place and they arose from a serious need. IMO, some of them have taken things to an extreme - but because of unions you have weekends and the 40-hour work week among other things...

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but if i had exhausted every financial avenue available and there was no help and I had kids to feed, I'm getting the paycheck if I have to. Nor am I ruining a majority of my families life by losing my house over a lockout/strike.

The whole thing is, you go out and get another job to pay the bills and as far as the Mortgage goes, Banks will put you on hold (suspending your payments until the strike ends). We had a few people do that. Oh don't kid yourself, your lifestyle changes but it is not hard to find work if you try. Before we go into any contract negotiations, I am talking at least a year in advance , we tell everyone to start putting money aside in case of a strike. You don't understand what it means to cross that picket line idaho and I hope it is not a choice you will ever have to make. SCAB is a label that will follow you for life. The only thing lower than a SCAB is a child molester and it is not lower by much.......

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@flyerrod

I grew up in a union house (Steelworkers) and crossing a picket line was just something that one didn't do. It made you lower than pond scum.

During the few nasty strikes that I remember going through as a kid, I was genuinely worried that I'd lose my dad to jail for murder, such was his hostility at scabs.

And I bet to this day he can tell you the names of every worthless Piece Of $hit that crossed the picket line too.......

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No wonder this country is so eff'd up...

Out of curiosity idaho, have you ever been in the military? If not, I can understand your thinking a little better. The military, like unions, are based on team work and trust. Without it, both will cease to function properly. At my job, I work hazardous tasks every day. I have to trust the people I am working with to perform their jobs correctly because mistakes can mean death. I can not and will not trust my life to anyone who would cross a picket line just because it was easier and more money. Crossing a picket line speaks to your integrity or lack thereof as a person. What you do in your life or with your life is what you are and what you make of it.

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Nope, 1st Lieutenant in the fire company, NJ State Purple Heart. So, yeah, I know hazerdous working conditions better than 90% or so of the population. I don't take lectures on it. Not when I was in Jesey & not now (I don't like talking about it nor do I form such rapid opinions)... And yes, basing all your assumptions about who and what a person is because of a picket line is...well... never mind...

There are fundamental differences between a person who looks to a union and someone who does not (both culturalley and theoreticaly, in relation to worker expectations under our system and the actual, not percieved, role of an employer). Both ways have advantages... and disadvantages.

Besides, once again and for the last time, I just posed a question if anyone thought the idiots at the NHL would try that down the road. I'm personaly against it but whatever...

I shall attempt to stay away from the hot topics (abortion, politics, religion and evidently... union picket lines...) :mellow:

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@idahophilly

It is illegal for FF to actually strike anyhow( they are only allowed to do an informational picket and still have to work). The Fire Fighters/guards here in Florida on base are picketing right now because the company they work for is sacking their pension fund. This is the same fund they have taken less wages and pay cuts for over the last several years to maintain said pension. Nothing personal or derogatory was meant by my previous post, I was just trying to understand your point of view. Peace, Rod

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@idahophilly

It is illegal for FF to actually strike anyhow( they are only allowed to do an informational picket and still have to work). The Fire Fighters/guards here in Florida on base are picketing right now because the company they work for is sacking their pension fund. This is the same fund they have taken less wages and pay cuts for over the last several years to maintain said pension. Nothing personal or derogatory was meant by my previous post, I was just trying to understand your point of view. Peace, Rod

Yep. I know that...

Thing is, things didn't always go our way and the thought of striking never occured to us. If you don't like the terms of employment then move on. Funny thing is in the private sector I have been taken care of better than the Union trades that worked right along side of us... There was little animosity between the corporate and non union members. They gave the non union folks good benefits because they wanted to, not because they had to. In return, the non union folks worked hard because we new we would get huge profit sharing checks. The union guys didn't get them because the corp offices new once they did it once the union would consider it a "right of the worker" and use it as a strike excuse later on... That led to lower productivity amoung the union workers and an endless squabble that simply drained both sides of money and good will... Idaho is a right to work state and almost every year it comes up for vote and is overwhelming defeated...

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PA is a right to work state, with unions.

Again, I'll offer that there are definite excesses that are committed on the side of the unions. Just as there are excesses committed on the side of management/ownership.

In this specific situation, the NHLPA essentially gave the owners EVERYTHING THEY WANTED seven years ago and the owners are coming back and saying they want more, more, more and please, thank you, stop us from spending our money as we see fit.

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@radoran Agreed, I can't see how anyone that has read up on the matter could side with the owners on this one. Bottom line is they are perfectly happy to gouge the players instead of addressing their own problems internally to fix what is broke. They are also perceftly happy to inconvience the fans to get what they want. Screw them! As long as the Sinders and Jacobs are running the show, the fans will lose everytime. The more I think about it, the more I realize Ed and Jeremy's personal agenda are a HUGE threat to the health of the league.

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@radoran Agreed, I can't see how anyone that has read up on the matter could side with the owners on this one. Bottom line is they are perfectly happy to gouge the players instead of addressing their own problems internally to fix what is broke. They are also perceftly happy to inconvience the fans to get what they want. Screw them! As long as the Sinders and Jacobs are running the show, the fans will lose everytime. The more I think about it, the more I realize Ed and Jeremy's personal agenda are a HUGE threat to the health of the league.

The problem is that they want to run the league as a "free market" in which the price of a player is determined by what the most desperate owner is willing to pay - and then they effectively want regulation that will stop them from having to pay the increased salaries.

This from supposed "free market conservatives."

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PA is a right to work state, with unions.

Again, I'll offer that there are definite excesses that are committed on the side of the unions. Just as there are excesses committed on the side of management/ownership.

In this specific situation, the NHLPA essentially gave the owners EVERYTHING THEY WANTED seven years ago and the owners are coming back and saying they want more, more, more and please, thank you, stop us from spending our money as we see fit.

Thats what is so mind boggeling about this. The PA gave them what they wanted and then the owners make huge gains, nearly doubling the league income , and then ask the players to take a huge paycut and just for fun, throw out contracts that they willingly signed... On what planet do the owners think they have a leg to stand on? Yet, they are likely to win a sizable chunk of what they want. This IS a case I'm with the union... I just hope the players hang tough, even if we have to miss out on a season (or more???)

The fans have got to (but likely won't in mass numbers) demand their season ticket money back, not buy memorobilia, support (gulp) the other sports and support (bigger gulp) the KHL/European teams and NHL players that are over there. Maybe when they start seeing Malkin and Giroux KHL/Europe jerseys they will start to do the math.

The league says we fans will not turn away from hockey! Lets prove them right and follow our guys over there and buy merchandise that supports those leagues... (besides, maybe a Giroux Berlin jersey sells for a mint in 2025 on ebay...)

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So you "can't wrap your mind around the damage" but are still planning on re-signing players who may not even be welcome in the NHL, much less want to play there?

Replacement players would definitely kill this league.

I wonder how the AHL TV contracts work. If I am b sports network and know there are hockey junkies out there, I would immediately start laying the ground work on tv contracts to televise starting december if there is still no NHL contract. I would do it for all the large market teams. Perhaps 5 games a week.

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The

I wonder how the AHL TV contracts work. If I am b sports network and know there are hockey junkies out there, I would immediately start laying the ground work on tv contracts to televise starting december if there is still no NHL contract. I would do it for all the large market teams. Perhaps 5 games a week.

I agree... However (you had to know it was coming)... How far under the thumb of the NHL owners/dictatorship are the AHL teams, even the ECHL??? I'd think pretty darn far?... You are very smart... figure the rest out. What the owners/NHL dont control are 2 VERY important things.

I pose this question just for fun and because we are running out of things to talk about..

What are those two things the owners don't have immediate and ultimate control over? (yes there are more than one but.... well, give me a good arguement! Let's face it. Fehr and Bettman can't even agree to schedule a date to argue over what they need to argue over...) The 2 things are staring you right in the face!

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