Thursday, April 24th, 2014

I wonder if it has dawned on most of the players that the principle they lost in the 2004-05 dispute – linkage between player salaries and revenues – was pretty damned important to them. I suspect so. Losing that dispute put them in their current position and the leverage being what it is, it will […]

I’m feeling a lot less optimistic after the meetings this week between the NHL and the NHLPA. Gary Bettman did not respond positively to the NHLPA proposal – and by that I mean he did not soften the league position at all – so it is now clear that the league is on a path […]

A friend of me recently asked whether I thought the media was doing a better job covering the CBA negotiations than they did in 2004. “The players seem to be winning the PR war,” he said, “And the hockey reporters seem to be a lot more sympathetic to the plight of the players.” “They are […]

We have hardly any details about the player’s proposal, but we can see the way the NHLPA wants to restructure the agreement of 2004-05. I think it is very clever. It will be difficult for the owners to reject it out of hand, but I can’t imagine that they will find it acceptable. We’ll see, […]

1) The NHLPA Approach to Bargaining: The NHLPA negotiating strategy under Donald Fehr has become fairly obvious. Not only did Fehr delay opening negotiations for as long as possible, he has still not officially responded to the NHL initial proposal some three weeks after Gary Bettman tabled it. The strategy appears to be annoying Gary. […]

Dear Tom, The Union will never decertify. If they ever did, they would soon be scrambling to get the Union back. The top players would get a lot more money, but most players are below average and their salaries would fall. Contracts won’t have to be guaranteed. The players also know that fans in small […]

James Mirtle weighs in with a pretty good piece on the reasons why we are headed for a lockout despite the fact that the league has recorded – and bragged about – record revenues. In a nutshell: Where the league is suffering and why we may have yet another lockout (the third under Bettman) is […]

I think David Poile is one of the best general managers in the NHL. I’d go so far as to suggest that Poile more than anyone else has been responsible for the survival of the Predators in Nashville. At the time the league chose to expand to Nashville, I thought it was the most bizarre […]

Anyone who thought Gary Bettman and his employers were going to approach this CBA negotiation like a reasonable partner with the players has had hopes dashed with the leak of the opening NHL position in respect of the player percentage, term limits of contracts, the elimination of arbitration and later free agency. Aside from sending […]

Greg Wyshynski has landed a nifty interview with an anonymous player on the CBA negotiations. The player does a good job of setting out the players’ position: If the League asks us to reduce our share to a straight 50/50 split, thus lowering the cap via what amounts to a 12.3-percent rollback, our question will […]