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mediators work for 2 Whole Days...and now they're done


Guest canoli
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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.

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It's sad for fans, but if this is what it takes to create a long-term sustainable model, then so be it. I'd rather lose a season or two and fix the problem then have a new CBA with a half-season only to have the specter of another lockout looming in 5 years.

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Timonen has lost his smile. Mine has gone also. :(

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Tim-Panaccio/Closer-to-the-Cliff/2/47734

Throughout this entire lockout, it seemed, Kimmo Timonen was among the upbeat guys.

Any time I ran into him at Skate Zone, he expressed concern about the on-going NHL lockout, but also a deep sense of optimism that something would get done.

He had a perpetual smile that made you feel this would be resolved at some point.

Late Saturday night, I saw Timonen at Caesars after Operation Hat Trick. He wasn't smiling.

"How are you?" I asked.

"Not good," he replied. "There won't be an NHL season, Timmy."

Timonen was among the 25 players who attended Donald Fehr's pre-game NHLPA update meeting at the hotel 4 hours before the game.

With the latest developments of the two sides throwing up their hands and more or less writing of the mediators, I am convinced we have gotten much closer to losing the season.

Once I thought it could be saved but now it's probably less than 50/50 by Vegas standards and 40/60 by my count.

Next week, the Board of Governors will meet in New York City and I expect two things: The Commish, Gary Bettman, will ask for a "drop dead" date as the final date for an agreement to be in place and also for advance permission from the owners to cancel the season on such-and-such date if that doesn't occur.

The league has proposed that the players join the 30 owners and meeting among themselves without any of the Big 4 or lawyers but I don't think that's a good idea on several fronts.

First, too many players despise Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. It wouldn't be safe for him in that room.

Second, I don't trust enough owners out there that if one of their players spoke up and they didn't like what he had to say that it would be held against them. Especially, if the meeting went badly.

Finally, I never feel it's a good idea for a union to cast aside its lawyers in something like this. The owners have already taken enough from the players with representation. Who can trust them without such?

No, what has to happen here is that the "moderate" faction among NHL owners need to stage a coup next Wednesday and force Bettman to give the players a deal they can live with - moreso than the owners can live with.

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Too bad about Timonen, but the end suggestion by Tim P seems shortsighted at best, and selfish at worst. Shortsighted because a 'coup' is NOT a good idea in ANY organization. It's a recipe for long-term bad blood and failure. And certainly don't isolate the rich owners in the profitable markets who actually make this league function. People might not like them, but there's no NHL without them.

Selfish because I'm sure that Tim P would rather be writing about actual hockey than the ridiculous backroom shenanigans, but who can blame him?

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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.

Hello Canoli, I don't want to get involved in much but wanted to comment, if the mediators spent just a few days, less actually, and determined there was no common ground then I'm sure they made that determination based on what ever they saw. We can only speculate but it must have been ugly.... Regards....

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Too bad about Timonen, but the end suggestion by Tim P seems shortsighted at best, and selfish at worst. Shortsighted because a 'coup' is NOT a good idea in ANY organization. It's a recipe for long-term bad blood and failure. And certainly don't isolate the rich owners in the profitable markets who actually make this league function. People might not like them, but there's no NHL without them.

I think a deal that "moves to" 50/50 and addresses additional issues (contracts terms and length, etc.) can be had - among rational people...

The insistance on "50/50" next season, from where I sit, has been the sticking point the whole time.

I'm wondering which "rich" markets might be "moderate" (as it is the "low income" ones that are "losing money"). Snider HAS to want to get hiis team back on the ice as his window to win another Cup is closing inexorably. Do the Rags want to lose a whole season of Lundqvist's prime? The Pens with Crosby/Malkin? Hell, why do the Leafs care at all?

Winnipeg clearly wants to get back on the ice. I'll wager most if not all of the Canadian franchises do.

Jacobs is the hind quarters of a rodent, but who are the "eight" owners insisting upon this nonsense?

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"...and determined there was no common ground then I'm sure they made that determination based on what ever they saw."

You're right....that's the worst part about it...i hadn't thought of that. so it really is the end of the line... no way they settle this in time to play even half a season.

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It's sad for fans, but if this is what it takes to create a long-term sustainable model, then so be it. I'd rather lose a season or two and fix the problem then have a new CBA with a half-season only to have the specter of another lockout looming in 5 years.

Who are the people that negotiated Baseballs CBA (http://www.sportspromedia.com/notes_and_insights/mlb_sign_collective_bargaining_agreement_extending_period_of_labour_peace_t/). I mean they signed a TWENTY FREAKIN' ONE YEAR EXTENSION!! Get those people in the room to get this thing done!!!

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It's sad for fans, but if this is what it takes to create a long-term sustainable model, then so be it. I'd rather lose a season or two and fix the problem then have a new CBA with a half-season only to have the specter of another lockout looming in 5 years.

the problem with that is - the NHLPA has said numerous times they don't want any new agreement to last more than 5 years, supposedly because so few current players will still be active in 5 years. Seriously. That's the only explanation I've ever read. They don't want to agree to anything longer than 5 years because hardly anyone who's playing now will be playing then.

And if that makes sense ... then this lockout makes sense too I guess. :wacko:

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@canoli I'm not sure, but I think a big roadblock for the NHL compared to MLB is how many Canadian teams there are and the fluctuating US/Canadian dollar...which plays a HUGE role in determining the profit margin for the Winnipegs of the NHL. Signing a long term deal and having the US dollar plummet would be horrible for the Can teams to live with for 20+ years....it would kill them.

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@canoli I'm not sure, but I think a big roadblock for the NHL compared to MLB is how many Canadian teams there are and the fluctuating US/Canadian dollar...which plays a HUGE role in determining the profit margin for the Winnipegs of the NHL. Signing a long term deal and having the US dollar plummet would be horrible for the Can teams to live with for 20+ years....it would kill them.

As long as oil prices make extracting the tar sands economically viable Canada's currency should do pretty well.

Winnipeg fully expected to take revenue sharing, but the City's welcome for them meant they didn't need to file for it.

And Jacobs swats them away like an annoying fly. Meaning there's more than a good chance that they will need it when they come back.

This is just crazy.

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As long as oil prices make extracting the tar sands economically viable Canada's currency should do pretty well.

//rant: great, the dirtiest most-foul energy on the planet - tear up the countryside to feed our addiction to cheap oil. Build a giant pipeline through the farm belt of North America so we can transport the stuff... I doubt any leaks will occur - no never, nor accidents or anything unfortunate. Just as long as - god forbid - Americans don't have to pay $4/gallon for gasoline. //rant

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//rant: great, the dirtiest most-foul energy on the planet - tear up the countryside to feed our addiction to cheap oil. Build a giant pipeline through the farm belt of North America so we can transport the stuff... I doubt any leaks will occur - no never, nor accidents or anything unfortunate. Just as long as - god forbid - Americans don't have to pay $4/gallon for gasoline. //rant

Just for the record, I haven't owned a car since 1995. :-)

The "best" part of the whole thing is that the "conservatives" on "the Right" are insisting we must build this pipeline so Canada can export oil direcftly throgh the Gulf in order to lower gas prices in America.

Yes, making it easier for Canadians to ship their oil overseas - oil which is only profitable to extract when oil prices are higher than a certian level - will lower gas prices in America.

So the theory goes.

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Going back to the mediator thing, with the Owners and Players set to meet face to face, the NHLPA agreed to have the neutral mediators participate also but the Owners rejected it. Why do you think that happened? I mean if you are really trying to get a deal done, wouldn't you want to give it the best opportunity?

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The owners are acting in the good faith they displayed in offering contracts to people on one day and then immediately asking that those signed contracts be rolled back 20%

I pretty much support and align with your POV on this topic, but that is a load of crap. Those players knew what was coming. To me, it is the players that signed contracts two-four years ago that are getting eff'd. The parise, suter, webers of the world knew the deal.

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I'd be interested to read what you think they should've done - Parise, Suter, etc. - back before those ridiculous contracts were signed...tell their agents, "Now look, make sure you negotiate for less money and fewer years. I got a feeling they're going to lock us all out if I get too much"?

c'mon Vanman... talk about a load of crap. ha!

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I pretty much support and align with your POV on this topic, but that is a load of crap. Those players knew what was coming. To me, it is the players that signed contracts two-four years ago that are getting eff'd. The parise, suter, webers of the world knew the deal.

I'm on record saying that Hartnell and Simmonds were fools to sign those deals when they did.

I feel the same way about Parise/Suter, but in reverse. I don't think they will be worth the mney to Minnesota.

Did the players reasonably expect a mandatory 20% rollback AGAIN right out of the gate? I really don't think so.

And the owners still acted exactly as I said.

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I pretty much support and align with your POV on this topic, but that is a load of crap. Those players knew what was coming. To me, it is the players that signed contracts two-four years ago that are getting eff'd. The parise, suter, webers of the world knew the deal.

I can't argue the contracts you listed above but when you look at what players like Hartnell and Simmonds signed for(and there are several others who signed thinking security of longer contracts), reasonable without adding a roll back, I believe either they did not see this large of a roll back coming or Ed Snider and the other Owners doing the signing, truly blew a very large amount of sunshine up their collective butts......

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the length of the term and the uncertainty of the CBA process, coupled with what could be considered "hometown discounts" for both players.

And then facing a 20% haircut.

For Hartnell, that makes his "career-ending" deal LESS than he was making before - $3.76M instead of the $4.2M he's making now or the $4.75M he signed for. That's about $6M ($5.94M) in difference.

For Simmonds, the $3.18M (80% of $3.975M) is a definite raise from $1.75M to $3.18M, but over the six year term of the deal he could almost certainly be making more than $3.18M especially, as others have alleged, if player salaries continue to climb after the new CBA.

That's potentially a $4.77M loss for Simmonds.

Now "fools" is relative - as both are still scheduled to make $20M+ over the terms of those contracts. It's definitely a matter of perspective.

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Ah, gotcha - I figured it was the "could've gotten more" angle. But I respect them both for not taking a hard line and trying to "max out" their contracts...I'm sure you do too. It was nice to hear when they both signed without any drama; both guys (and their agents) seemed happy with the deals.

From what I hear - from people that aren't too far removed from actual players - is that there is a lot of pressure to get all you can, to make the team pay its absolute highest price for your services. Some of it is ego - "Joe Blow can't make more than me because [insert any number of reasons]" - also our #1 goalie's famous "I wanna be the highest-paid goaltender in the NHL" ... and some of it is "legitimate" pressure from the union, to keep salaries high so that all its members benefit.

But it's nice once in awhile to read about a couple guys who didn't go toe-to-toe with the owners, who took less than what they probably could've gotten if they held out...

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Ah, gotcha - I figured it was the "could've gotten more" angle. But I respect them both for not taking a hard line and trying to "max out" their contracts...I'm sure you do too. It was nice to hear when they both signed without any drama; both guys (and their agents) seemed happy with the deals.

From what I hear - from people that aren't too far removed from actual players - is that there is a lot of pressure to get all you can, to make the team pay its absolute highest price for your services. Some of it is ego - "Joe Blow can't make more than me because [insert any number of reasons]" - also our #1 goalie's famous "I wanna be the highest-paid goaltender in the NHL" ... and some of it is "legitimate" pressure from the union, to keep salaries high so that all its members benefit.

But it's nice once in awhile to read about a couple guys who didn't go toe-to-toe with the owners, who took less than what they probably could've gotten if they held out...

I completely agree that they signed good deals with the team. And under normal cicumstances - in which contracts that are signed are lived up to by the signers - they were good for both player and team.

The problem is that those deals, according to one half of the people who signed them, should be worth 20% less rightnow under the owners' "proposal."

If they signed "hometown discount" deals from the jump - as I think we agree they did - discounting them even more is, IMO, a kick in the pants and does nothing but encourage players to seek as much as they can at all times going forward.

The fact that both are six-year deals amplifies the problem. The players gave up potential income from the jump and the ownerrs turned around and demanded "more, please."

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you know if that's where we're at - the 20% less figure you quoted - then maybe it's time the players take 20% less. Sorry, I know they gave up a lot in '04, I know it's the owners fault for being idiots, signing contracts they (probably) had no intention of honoring.

But at some point you have to do the math - and once we get an honest account of who's poor, who's making money, etc. - and if all that spells out in plain terms for all to see: "Labor costs (player salaries) are simply too high" then cut the damn salaries and let's play hockey.

I mean enough is a-fkn-nough. No player - not Joe-EntryLevel $800 grand - is hurting for money in any realistic sense. So let's cut the crap, give the owners - all of them - the ability to profit from their investments and everybody *should* be happy enough with $700 grand. Or, $2 million average instead of 2.4.

Yes it sucks, it sucks to get walked on and taken advantage of. But if it's shown clearly that 18 teams are in the red, or if it's 8 teams....whatever...and the biggest hurdle to profitability is labor costs - then it doesn't take a genius to figure out that labor costs have to go down. Either that or shut down the team(s).

It's not like anyone is asking the players to scrape by on 40K a year. They're going to be highly-paid, pampered idols for the rest of their lives. I know it's wrong to keep asking, and at some point the PA has to say "enough is enough" too - but are we really at that point now? With 18 teams - or 8 or however many it is - in the red?

I don't know man, I keep going back n forth. But in the end I guess I figure - it's the owners' teams, they make the investment, they take the risk. What's so horrible about lowering salaries a little so that they all can do well?

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