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Fact-Checking the NHL Lockout


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This kinda outlines the harsh realities of business in the last segment in regards to the employer vs the employee. While I support the players in their cause the facts still linger in the back of my mind, and those facts are not good for the players... Push comes to shove, it's the owners business plain and simple...

"Fact-Checking the NHL Lockout

Alan Bass

While half the country (US of A, that is) watches and fact checks the presidential debates, I believe we’re drastically missing out on a market that fact checks this NHL lockout. I rarely try to take sides on a labor issue in any sport. However, what I always attempt to do is ensure that arguments being made are legitimate, accurate, and that they make logical sense – which they seldom do. Hey, this really does sound like the presidential race!

Statement: NHLPA head Don Fehr said the players lost $3.3 billion collectively over the term of the last CBA.

Reality: While that may be true, he failed to mention that their average salary during that time was $2.5 million annually. It must be tough to feed your family on that. Ask Terrell Owens.

Statement: Each of the NHLPA’s three recent proposals guaranteed the revenue split eventually reached 50-50.

Reality: No, they didn’t. There was absolutely no guarantee in any of those deals.

Statement: If the NHL and the NHLPA collectively decreased everyone’s salary, ticket prices would go down.

Reality: Clearly, these people never took Economics 101. Ticket prices are based on supply vs. demand. If the demand is there, the prices will continue to increase. For every dollar Jim Dolan decreases ticket prices, he loses $820,000 per season in revenue.

Statement: The NHL needs to do something to win its fans back after this lockout ends.

Reality: The NHL is a monopoly on its own. The number of fans lost to a lockout is minimal, as was apparent in the last lockout. Every fan will come back enthusiastically, whether it takes two games or two minutes.

Statement: “Think of the outcry that greeted any NHLer who tried to renege on a contract he signed to get a better deal. That's what owners are doing.” –Adam Proteau via Twitter, @ProteauType

Reality: As much as I love Proteau (a former co-worker, I might add), he is way off. If the owners locked out the players mid-CBA, that’s one thing. But the deal has expired, and like a player negotiating himself a raise from his GM in free agency, the owners have every right to renegotiate a new agreement. Neither side is breaking a contract – they’re simply trying to agree on a new one.

Statement: KHL players will stay in Russia if their NHL salaries are going to be cut.

Reality: In the words of Barney Stinson, please. What isn’t reported is the KHL mandate that no NHL player can be paid more than 65% of his NHL contract this season. So players are willing to take a 35% pay cut to play in Russia, but not the 12% pay cut the NHL owners are proposing? Sure.

Statement: Every NHLPA press release

Reality: The owners are always in charge, in any labor situation. The way to win over someone who has more power than you is not to insult them through obnoxious press releases, such as, “We hope we will soon have a willing negotiating partner.”

Statement: You can’t split the NHL 50-50 like every other sports league, because players have escrow held out of their paychecks.

Reality: The NHL is the least profitable of the four sports leagues, and is not even close to MLB and the NFL. The CEO of a $1 million business should usually not be paid more than the CEO of a $1 billion business.

Statement: The players deserve the 57% because they take the biggest risk: playing.

Reality: Any media member claiming this has never been involved in the business world. In every business ever created, the one who owns it has the most risk involved, and has all the power. I have a great amount of sympathy for players losing a large percentage of a paycheck they are used to receiving. But the bottom line is that the owners risk hundreds of millions of dollars, and half the teams fail to even turn a profit. If WalMart wants to pay their workers minimum wage with no benefits, that’s dreadful and immoral, but it’s 100% allowed and 100% legal. The NHL owners have a huge financial risk and run the league that allows these players to make obscene amounts of money. When the players realize that they cannot dictate terms to their bosses is when a deal will finally begin to take shape."

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As pro player as I have been thoughout this fiasco, the one point that does get lost in the shuffle is how big of a risk the owners take on by funding the whole operation....it does not give them the right to rape and pillage, or renege on previous contracts, but it should be part of the equation moving forward. To make money, it takes money is the old adage, and it certainly applies here.

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As pro player as I have been thoughout this fiasco, the one point that does get lost in the shuffle is how big of a risk the owners take on by funding the whole operation....it does not give them the right to rape and pillage, or renege on previous contracts, but it should be part of the equation moving forward. To make money, it takes money is the old adage, and it certainly applies here.

That's where I'm at also. They should be bound by some sort of self worth and good humanity to atleast not rape and pillage as you say. They should not renege on the previous contracts but the dahm players gave the owners the right to do that in the last CBA! I don't like it but they did. But it does come down to this: Just because you can do something doesn't always mean you should. Karma can be a ***** and the owners are toying with it...

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1) "Fact-Checking the NHL Lockout

2) Statement: Each of the NHLPA’s three recent proposals guaranteed the revenue split eventually reached 50-50.

Reality: No, they didn’t. There was absolutely no guarantee in any of those deals.

3) Statement: The NHL needs to do something to win its fans back after this lockout ends.

Reality: The NHL is a monopoly on its own. The number of fans lost to a lockout is minimal, as was apparent in the last lockout. Every fan will come back enthusiastically, whether it takes two games or two minutes.

4) Statement: KHL players will stay in Russia if their NHL salaries are going to be cut.

Reality: In the words of Barney Stinson, please. What isn’t reported is the KHL mandate that no NHL player can be paid more than 65% of his NHL contract this season. So players are willing to take a 35% pay cut to play in Russia, but not the 12% pay cut the NHL owners are proposing? Sure.

1) These are facts? These read to me as some guy's opinion. I don't see many, if any, facts here.

2) See #1. If that's the case, where's the facts to back it up? Just stating something doesn't make it a fact.

3) Really? He's POSITIVE "every fan will come back enthusiastically"?? That's leap of faith.

4) 65% is for this season only, while NHLers are locked out. For the Russians, some already have homes over there, so the cost of accommodations isn't outrageous. They're playing in front of friends and family in a culture they're comfortable in. There's virtually no income tax. I read somewhere NHLers in North America lose almost 50% to taxes. I bet the take home pay is pretty much the same (that's not a fact, BTW, hence "I bet"). And after the lockout is over, they can sign for whatever they want. There will be repurcussions, however, unless the NHL allows PA members to get out of their existing contracts as a concession to accepting a rollback/escrow/whatever. But these media guys spouting statistics as if they are facts aren't looking at the bigger picture. Plus, don't underestimate the anger the players have toward Bettman. Personally, I'd take a pay cut just to spite that vertically challenged little troll.

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As pro player as I have been thoughout this fiasco, the one point that does get lost in the shuffle is how big of a risk the owners take on by funding the whole operation....it does not give them the right to rape and pillage, or renege on previous contracts, but it should be part of the equation moving forward. To make money, it takes money is the old adage, and it certainly applies here.

The way the owners spin it, it's the fans' ticket prices along with sponsorships, television rights, etc. that "fund the whole operation."

We know it's more complicated and complex than that, but let's not pretend that the owners are running some sort of charity here and giving money away - they are paying their employees who are the most talented in the world at what they do. That costs a premium.

Moreover, they all contributed to the escalation of salaries even under the cap system.

I think a reasonable "equation" can be made to move forward. I just don't believe the owners want a "reasonable equation" at this point.

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