NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 20, 2020

by | Nov 20, 2020 | News, NHL | 38 comments

The fallout from the league’s request to the players for increased escrow and salary deferral rates in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports return-to-play talks between the NHL and NHLPA have reached a delicate stage following the league’s request for increased escrow rates over the final three seasons of the recent CBA extension and increased salary deferral for 2020-21.

Staging the season would keep the NHL’s brand alive. The league’s requests are essentially because NHL owners are hurting, perhaps more than they thought they would, especially facing reduced revenue because of fewer games and empty or near-empty arenas.

Hockey-related revenue is divided 50-50 between the owners and the players. If the players receive more than 50 percent in 2020-21, they’ll have to pay back that overage at some point.

LeBrun notes the league isn’t asking to prorate players’ salaries for 2020-21. Proration would mean money taken from the players they would never see again, whereas deferral means they would receive it at a later date.

Nevertheless, the NHLPA wasn’t happy with the league’s requests coming only four months after an agreement was reached on a CBA extension that took revenue losses into account. They feel the league would reject any PA request for adjustments to the extension if the roles were reversed.

LeBrun believes the NHL and NHLPA can reach an agreement here. He suspects the PA will agree to tweak some of the salary deferrals but not at the league’s requested rate, provided the players get something in return.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports sources claim the league made two requests. The first was for increased salary deferral to 20 percent and escrow to 25 percent for 2020-21. The second was for deferred compensation for 2021-22 to be raised to 26 percent, with escrow rates increased from six percent to between 8.5 – 9 percent for the final three years of the CBA extension.

There were several problems with this for the PA. Some members wondered why the agreement is being changed so soon. Some pointed out they’ve had to live with deals they didn’t like in the past. Some point out if they agree to this, it could happen again.

Part of what’s behind the players’ anger is some of them recently signed contracts that were structured to take advantage of lower escrow over the final years of the CBA.

Like LeBrun, Friedman believes the two sides can reach an agreement as both sides are keen to play as soon as possible. However, the league’s requests knocked negotiations off-course. He also suggested the players seek an expanded playoff format in exchange for accepting alterations to the agreement as it would increase revenues.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell points out how the league’s proposals would affect player salaries. A player earning $1 million would see his gross pay reduced to $720K under the current agreement. The league’s recent requests would reduce his pay to $592K. That’s before deductions such as taxes and agent fees.

One player agent said the league is offering no concessions to the players. “They get to play,” he said, “That’ll be the give-back.”

Campbell acknowledged the owners are being affected by the pandemic in terms of hockey revenue and other areas of their business. However, they’re getting $650 million in expansion money, none of which goes to the players. They can also borrow money at historically low interest rates to get them through this period. They could also see revenue significantly improve once a vaccine is developed and fans return to the games. The players, on the other hand, lose money now that they probably won’t get back.

If the players refuse to budge, one player agent suggested to Campbell that the owners could trigger Section 17 of the standard player contract that would allow the league to adjust salary based on situations beyond the league’s contract. However, that could trigger a lawsuit.

Campbell also feels this could eventually be resolved, but it could erode whatever goodwill existed between the owners and players that led to the current CBA extension.

ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski report when the CBA extension was negotiated, both sides presented best, moderate and worst-case financial outlook scenarios, with the worst case being a full season without fans. The extension was negotiated during the pandemic based on those scenarios. One NHLPA member said the league will have to have to come up with something good as a giveback for the players to accept its recent proposals.

Sources say daily discussions are ongoing between NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr. If the season is to start on Jan.1, teams will need two weeks of training camp leading up to that, with last season’s seven non-playoff clubs promised an additional week.

Players on Canadian teams returning to their clubs require a 14-day quarantine period. The league and PA are in discussions with local and provincial health authorities to see if accommodations can be made, such as having players serve their quarantine while also training.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I understand the league’s side given the course of this pandemic and its effects upon hockey-related revenue. It’s the way they’ve gone about it, however, that raised hackles among the players. Based on these reports, I believe the players’ reaction is justified.

The league agreed to the extension knowing full well what the worst-case scenario could be. The owners knew what they were getting into here.

So did the players. They agreed to a higher fixed rate of escrow over the first three years of the extension with the promise of a lower rate over the final three years when revenue is expected to improve. That’s money they won’t ever get back. They also agreed to defer part of their salary for next season at a set rate.

Years of playing hardball with the PA are coming back to haunt the league. The players have steadily given back over the past 15 years, as their share of HRR dropped from 74 percent in 2004 to 57 percent following a season-killing lockout, to 50 percent following the 2012-13 lockout. They accepted another reduction under the recent extension with a high escrow rate for this season.

Now, with the ink barely dry on the CBA extension, one that took into account the worst-case scenario, they’re being asked for another giveback without anything in return other than they get to play in 2021. Getting the players to agree to that requires a significant sweetener beyond being able to go to work in a shortened schedule for less money.

Because the players can receive no more than 50 percent of HRR, they must eventually offset any overage for the upcoming season. That’s something that could have been discussed between the two sides after the 2020-21 season is completed when the full amount of the overage has been determined. If the league remains insistent on tweaking those rates now, the owners must come up with a substantial give-back to the players as an enticement.







38 Comments

  1. What would the give back be? It will have to be big I would think . Maybe getting rid of the cap or at least some sort of adjustment ? I can not see that happening but only thing that I can think of . Anyone else have an idea that would make the players happy?

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  2. As the owners of “a business” (something the players and their agents are always quick to remind us – “it’s a business”) I can appreciate their preference to see any semblance of a season outright cancelled until a vaccine has been administered sufficiently to allow full crowds back into the arenas. Why should they be ready and willing to lose hundreds of millions while the players “losses” are calculated in a % of millions during a world-wide pandemic where millions upon millions are seeing no income at all or are relying on government hand-outs – the money for which will eventually come from them anyway in the form of taxes to pay for all this.

    Never forget that it didn’t stop BOTH sides from digging in their heels on their positions about how to divvy up billions and canceling an entire season not too long ago. So why wouldn’t an owner want to see any sort of season cancelled when there’s absolutely nothing to be made from HIS perspective? Forget “TV rights” – when it comes to hockey that’s chicken-feed compared to the NFL, NBA and baseball – hell, even college football. That isn’t even enough to cover player’s reduced salaries.

    Reply
    • Maybe we should start a GoFundMe for the NHL owners…

      I can definitely see the stances on both sides. Ultimately though, most of the owners will continue making ridiculous money, in whatever industry allowed them to be rich enough to own a franchise, long after this pandemic is over.

      The average NHL career is 5 years, though of course the most talented players will typically play more like 15 assuming they stay healthy. The players don’t have several decades to amass wealth and most of them weren’t born into incredibly wealthy families like many of the owners. As Lyle said, the players have given a lot of concessions over the last 10-15 years and I can see why they don’t want to give up more. Plus, they just agreed to a CBA that took “worst case” into account.

      On the flip side, as someone who works in aviation and has seen a large percentage of my colleagues lose their jobs this year and had my own salary frozen for the foreseeable future, I get the idea that “getting to play at all” is in some ways a benefit to the players. There are plenty of people currently who would gladly return to work for a 10% reduction in pay and they were taking home 90% less than the lowest paid NHLer to begin with.

      I imagine they will come to some sort of an agreement. I’m not sure what the answer is…perhaps the league adds something more to player pensions for anyone who is in the league between 2020 and 2023 or whatever? This would not have an immediate effect on owner cash, but would put more money in these players pockets after their careers are over.

      Reply
      • “… most of the owners will continue making ridiculous money, in whatever industry allowed them to be rich enough to own a franchise …”

        I seriously doubt any of them just decided one night to become billionaires … they invested in whatever businesses that eventually flourished – and provided work opportunities for thousands upon thousands of people. They then did the same with a hockey franchise, in many cases also financing the building of arenas which, again, employs many ancillary workers.

        They also fork over the money for those players who wangled huge long-term contracts from their GMs … then became albatross contracts through lack of production commensurate with their on-ice contributions – or lack thereof.

        Sure, in all pro sports, the owners are raking in huge profits. Why shouldn’t they? In their absence and willingness to do so, who would step up and fork over hundreds of millions for a franchise and arenas? Players?

    • Nobody wants to cancel the season, that includes the owners.
      It would be a terrible business decision IMO.
      If the owners can read or watch a news program they knew the scenario we are in today was possible, and I would argue somewhere between likely and obvious. That argument doesn’t hold water and it isn’t by the sounds of it.

      The current US TV deal expires after this season and I would suspect the owners don’t think it is chicken feed. $200M per year on the national deal shared by 24 teams. That does not include the local deals for the large market teams. Examples in annual US$.
      Leafs – $41M – Hey you’re right Wendel they are the greatest!
      NYR – $35M
      Habs – $33M
      Wings $30M

      You get the picture.
      Ratings for the NHL have consistently gone up, so expect the national deal to go up huge.

      If you are in the entertainment business and decide to go black for a year when everybody is hurting because you can’t figure out who gets what, you’re putting a gun to your head.

      If the season gets cancelled because we as a society let the virus get out of control, nobody blames the NHL.
      This is another story for a season ticket holder or company that is getting by with less.
      This may get ugly, but in the end they get it done. Both sides have too much to lose.
      If I am the Kraken ownership, I’m not thrilled either when each team is getting $20M of my money and they can’t figure this out the year before I start playing.

      Reply
      • What you have to understand when examining my stance, Ray, is that I am a 100% capitalist 🙂 – not a socialist bone in my body. That will never change

      • I am going to apologize in advance George as I know you are a reasonable person. But the misuse of the word socialism as a political scare tactic is a stone in my shoe. I know that is not what you’re intending.

        This has nothing to do with socialism.
        Both sides are businesses negotiating.
        The players aren’t employees, and even if they were it still would have nothing to do with socialism. Even if they were a union and you sided with the union, it would not be socialism.

        I am a capitalist to my core as well. I just think it needs to be fixed in some areas. Like enforcing anti trust laws and interpreting them the way they used to.

      • Ray, I don’t know how you see it, but from my perspective ANY union – at least in Canada – has always identified more with the “socialist” parties (CCF/NDP), while the latter have always portrayed themselves as the ONLY true defenders of the plight of the workers.

        Now, as to the NHLPA calling itself a “union” – I don’t know of too many true unions where individual “workers” negotiate their own salary structure – often, as we have seen repeatedly – and are seeing now with top-heavy cap hits on some teams – to the detriment of their so-called “fellow workers” for whom there is no room.

        I have absolutely NO sympathy for the players whose lowest common denominator (the $700,000 ELC) makes more in one year than 95% of the working force will see in 5 or more years.

      • Definition of socialism
        1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
        2a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
        b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
        3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

        Still don’t see any socialism.

      • Ray, that $41 mil the Leafs get from TV just covers the cost of their 4 top-salaried players 🙂

      • Unions for unskilled workers… good

        Unions for skilled workers… bad

        Unions for government workers… inappropriate

  3. Why do you claim escrow is money they won’t get back? If the numbers tilt so far in the players favor for HHR the escrow goes back to the owners sure but if that were the case then the owners would be right on with their position correct?
    At the end of the day neither side does well with its head in the sand.
    The NHL was able to find a way to get the season completed and they did an amazing job so they proved it can be done. The court of public opinion rarely sides with the side who argues that it’s about money…..players and owners are richer than pretty much ever fan in the stands

    Reply
    • AZHockeyNut: Escrow goes back to the owners. The players don’t get that back because it’s supposed to “make whole” for the owners if revenue projections are lower than expected.

      Reply
  4. Could the worst-case financial outlook scenario have worsened unaccountably since the CBA extension negotiations? Perhaps, team owners fear they may not receive the expected $650 million in expansion money if the apparent Seattle Kraken owners conclude that it’s not wise to invest in an enterprise that is losing money and, in the worst case, will continue to do so indefinitely.

    Reply
    • Hi Francis

      Kraken is all in …. that money is coming

      What is possible is them trying to negotiate a 22/23 start instead of 21/22 start… pay their balance now with the promise that their first season is 22/23

      NHL gets their coveted remaining expansion dough, and Kraken starts in a season where (by that time) full arenas are much more likely….. starting with a partially filled arena will not help build the enthusiasm in the new market

      Reply
  5. Re

    “ Hockey-related revenue is divided 50-50 between the owners and the players. If the players receive more than 50 percent in 2020-21, they’ll have to pay back that overage at some point.”

    This was the missing puzzle piece I was trying to find out. Thanks Lyle… appreciate it

    I had thought escrow was the max hit against the players…. the payback down the road makes sense. With that in mind …. the shortfall I would expect will first come through the deferral ….. if short (highly likely) then taken out of the deferral cheque

    If players are “making whole” either now or down the road then it is just a cash flow issue for owners; and as you pointed out Lyle… owners have access to borrowing at low interest rates

    Re

    “ could trigger Section 17 of the standard player contract that would allow the league to adjust salary based on situations beyond the league’s ”

    This is the clause (that I have been posting about) that TSN (during the playoffs) mentioned. Sort of an “act of God” clause allowing for shorter season with proportionate salaries; due to causes (War, Covid) not in their (either side, but mostly for owners) control

    This all comes down to losses…. and there will be

    Regardless of 82 games, 60 games, 48 games….. no chance IMHO at getting to at least $4B (current 20% “escrow”) mark…. so players will be paying back more (either under a newly negotiated parse-back or down the road)

    A pro-rated Sal structure favours owners as they effectively recoup their “payback” from players (as part of shortage) on the fly so to speak

    I agree… likely movement from both sides

    I’m positive that Meruelo and some other owners are hoping and praying for the season to be canceled

    I still think 1/1 start is unlikely

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  6. This is my opinion, George and others: Any businessperson who has an ounce of savvy gets that business is a risk/reward deal.

    Most pro sports owners make tons of money in other enterprises before buying a pro sports franchise to make even more money. Yes there may be a few basket cases like AZ, but they are by far the exception.

    Track the increased value of NHL franchises over the years. In 1970 Vancouver paid 6 million for a franchise now worth between 700 – 800 million. The Leafs’ franchise is estimated by Forbes to be worth 1.5 billion. Think these teams would have difficulty floating a line of credit to get them over the hump? Assuming that they have burned through their cash on hand, that is?

    The NHL owners can afford the best accountants and lawyers. They ran their numbers, stuck their finger in the air and then signed an agreement. Now they want to stick their finger in the players’ eyes, knowing that while time increases their franchise value time decreases players’ career span.

    Many if not all sport franchises get concessions from government as well, both in the US and in Canada. Go read the latest details from Calgary’s new agreement for the Flames. Corporate welfare, well beyond the value of the seasonal and limited employment for regular people. Who pays for this corporate welfare, do you ever wonder? Hint: it isn’t the owners.

    And yet some have the view that the owners are so hard up the players must once again give. An astonishing perspective.

    Reply
    • I don’t know about anyone else – but I don’t view the owners as being “hard up” – I simply see them as the ones who invested millions to establish a franchise – including arenas in many cases – and simply ask, if they hadn’t have stepped forward to put their money up, who would have? The players? City/provincial/state/federal administrations? If the latter, using whose money? The taxpayers, most of whom I’d bet could care less about pro sports?

      I wonder how many of the hard-working stiffs in and around St. Louis – many of whom have probably lost their jobs die to the pandemic – feel when they see Pietrangelo able to cough up $6 mil to buy a mansion in Nevada, complete with a 16-car garage that is probably better laid out than the homes those working stiffs live in.

      Dislike me for that stance if you like – it won’t change my outlook which is to have NO sympathy for the “plight” of pro athletes.

      Reply
      • George:

        Firstly, disagreeing with your opinion on this matter is not the same as disliking you. You say lots of other things I agree with. Either way, I rarely take things personally here, it is a site for shooting the bull. I imagine we’d have a good conversation over scotch – but you are buying.

        Secondly, were I laid off by the Blues why would I care what Pietrangelo spends his money on? He isn’t my employer, he didn’t lay me off, and he isn’t one of the six CEOs – amongst others – of wealthy companies that own the Blues. I’d be taking issue with them. Or with the US Senate who is giving billions away to corporations and small change to laid off workers.

    • Not sure either side gets any sympathy George, but to LJ’s point many of these folks go looking for tax payer handouts for both their teams and their other businesses.
      In Edmonton Katz paid up $132M of the $480M price tag. But $112M of that is paid as rent over a 35 year period. $19.7M was put up front. $226M was paid by the city of Edmonton. $126M a ticket surcharge.
      Pretty sweet deal for Mr Katz.
      I think most in Edmonton wouldn’t be thrilled with the Oil not playing this year since they paid for most of that arena they play in.

      Reply
  7. Two questions: Lyle, are expansion fees part of the salary cap equation?
    and, George, during your working life, did you ever belong to a union?
    Cheers!

    Reply
    • BCLeafFan – I was employed by the Federal Government (Immigration Enforcement), When “unions” were allowed to form within the government structure (back in the ’60s I believe) some position were exempt as being “management” by definition – mine included. During my years there were two national strikes, led primarily by the clerical staff. On both occasions, their final settlements did not cover what they lost while on the picket lines.

      And, ironically, a year after the last walk-out, when the clerical emplyees working for the Union asked for the same settlement the main government workers received, the Union hierarchy said “no.”
      Hypocrites.

      Reply
      • George, so you worked in a management role for the federal government so you would be collecting a management level public pension and benefits, perhaps CPP on top of that, covered by OHIP, maybe OAS as well and maybe the old age prescription supplement? None of those are capitalist programs, they are social programs. Don’t get me wrong, you are entitled to all of that, and while many thingk public pensions are unfair and should be cut back they are big enough and managed well enough that they are not a net cost to taxpayers, they should be expanded to all in my personal opinion though I know that is something many would disagree with. We are a social democracy, not a socialist country. Socialist is thrown around incorrectly and I’m seriously not trying to pick a fight but you are benefitting from social programs underwritten by the public and were for your entire career, you worked for an essential service that protects our country and should be respected for it but you don’t appear to respect the very programs you benefit from.

      • fcl, we contributed monthly throughout our careers to the pension system we ultimately enjoy – and which funds, by the way, were heavily invested (for profit) by those managing the fund (not all of which fund its way into our pension fund by the way). That had absolutely zilch due to any union.

        As for “socialism” it’s basic tenet is yearnings for the equal division of unequal earnings.

      • George, yes the pensions are now self-sufficient due to their size and good management by successive governments, liberal and conservative, but any associated risk with the pension, and there is always risk, is underwritten by tax money. If the economy collapses and the pension cannot meet it’s obligations you will still get your pension cheque, from tax money. Unlike those who worked for Stelco in Hamilton, they were screwed out of their pensions when the company was sold and profits couldn’t cover the pension liability, made worse by the company being given an exemption from fully funding their pension commitments by the Harper government. I’m not arguing that you aren’t entitled, you paid in and you are entitled to it, so were Stelco employees though they didn’t receive it. Same with Dominion Castings employees in Hamilton, and Case employees in Hamilton…a lot of this happened to industrial companies, many of which were based in Hamilton. Socialism literally is the government controlling means of production, each producing to their means and all sharing equally…it’s an unworkable system that has never been used successfully in history and never can be in my opinion. My point is we are a social democracy and while you say you are 100% capitalist you did not work and do not benefit from a capitalist system. You were fortunate enough to have a career in the public sector which has benefits and pension better than the private sector in many cases, underwritten by public funds paid into by those working in the private sector. I’ve worked in federal gov’t, actually same branch as you as I worked at RevCan when they became CCRA and joined with Canada Customs, as well as working in provincial, private and non-profit sectors. Best money and benefits I’ve ever had were public sector, just saying that doesn’t make it socialist and it definitely isn’t capitalist. We literally live in a social democracy where private sector is capitalist and supports a public sector that has better pension and benefits than the private sector that underwrites it in many cases. You earned everything you’re getting, but many in the capitalist private sector get less than they are entitled to, like those who put in 40 years at Stelco and lost their pensions. Or since you’re in Ottawa, those who worked their careers at Northern Telecom/Nortel and lsot everything. Pure capitalism can lead to curruption, pure socialism leads to corruption, likely any one ideology leads to curruption, we have a mix in Canada and it has issues but is better than many alternatives. The States is the same to a lesser extent, in public polling the most popular programs in the US are social security, medicaire and medicaid. Capitalism needs government intervention, like a regulated minimum wage and social programs like healthcare to support those who couldn’t get access to it without social programs. Honestly not trying to fight with you, but to say you are 100% capitalist while not working in the private sector and benefitting from a public pension made me think maybe you should recognize some of the benefits you were lucky enough to have during your lifetime, and again all of them are well-earned but to benefit from that while saying you don’t support them is strange to me.

      • fair enough fcl – and well put! Lots of evidence of corruption on both sides indeed.

        By the way, as for choosing government service, in my day if you lived in Ottawa you had essentially two choices – the government or Met Life. Either those or the military.

        And LJ, I’ll spring for the scotch … as long as it isn’t 1955 Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve. Or anything close to it! 🙂

      • Have a good weekend George, I haven’t been coming to the site often lately because it can get really ugly but it’s good to be able to discuss things rationally and respectfully, even when it bveers off-topic like today. And while Id on’t agree with some of your opinions, not that everyone has to agree with everyone, I will say 100% that I appreciate that your posts aren’t filled with those stupid emogee icons. And now I’ll go have some Johnnie Black, which is about the top of my budget.

      • Interesting conversation guys.
        I have never been in a union. Was a 100% commission sales person for 20 years in the B2B world. Not as risky as it sounds, you build the business and it was very good.
        Have been in management for the past 11 years the last 9 as a GM with P&L responsibility for multiple business operations. The more money we make the more I make.

        I am fine with unions. It makes managing the WH folks easy. The rules are clear and the deal is fair, they are very productive relative to non union locations.

        I am not anti business by any means, as you can probably tell by my career choices. Business and unions can work together if the goals are shared and so are the profits. The Germans are the best at it and they are very successful doing it.

        The topic of income/wealth distribution came up and it is often used to describe “socialism”. The reality is income distribution has gone on since the 80’s, but the other direction. And not simply by some folks working harder, or being smarter.

        I dare say income inequality is the cause of the political unrest we see in the USA. DJT is a symptom not a cause. Many folks have become economically desperate. Socialism is a made up bogey man so you don’t notice what the attached article is talking about. We will not become Cuba and no US or Canadian politician is Hugo Chavez.

        If you give a crap about this stuff you should read this.

        https://time.com/5888024/50-trillion-income-inequality-america/

      • Ray, not disagreeing with you. i’ve managed union and non-union staff, good and bad with each and yes some countries in Europe do it the best as both sides do work for gthe best interest of the company, which leads to their own best interest. I think things have swung too far to the business side now, natural since they swung too far to the union side around the 1980’s in my opinion. The argument I would make is my dad finished highschool around 1970 and applied to all of the factories in our town, had a 40 year career where he could support a family with 4 kids on one income, owned a house and had a reliable car, typical middle class family. Mom went back to school and work when my youngest sibling was in school. Compare to today where kids are leaving university with $50-$100k debt in many cases, working contract jobs for $40k/year in many cases and a house is completely out of reach. Condos in Toronto are running around $850-$900 sq. ft in a decent neighbourhood, a house in unreachable by most. These kids don’t have the same opportunity for a middle class life in my opinion, but are called lazy and entitled. In some ways I’m sure many of them are but economically they do not have the same opportunities that existed for my parents, or even for myself. My wife and I were lucky to buy our first place just before the prices went crazy but condos in Toronto have 2 more zeroes on the price than the house my parents bought in the 80’s had, and salaries definitely do not have those extra 0’s.

      • I think we agree on much of this fcl. You should read the article I attached the link for. Long but worth it.
        It is a Time magazine article discussing the findings of a long study the the RAND Corp did on incomes in the USA since 1975. We have been better in Canada, but some of the same stuff has happened here.

        It has nothing to do with:
        – Race. Immigrants are not stealing jobs and driving down wages. All races are being impacted.
        – Gender – same is true for women entering the workforce.
        – Automation – not yet anyway. It has benefits as well.
        – Education – all levels of education are being impacted.
        – Globalization – Nope, our companies are doing just fine wherever they produce or operate.

        It is about choices made by the folks we elect and the policies they choose to enact and the decisions they make. In other words the choices we make as citizens when we go to the voting booth.
        All the rest of the political noise is just that. Noise. This is what we should pay attention to and be unified about.

    • BCLeafFan: Expansion fees are not part of the salary cap. It goes directly to the owners.

      Reply
      • Thanks, Lyle, appreciate it; and, George, I’ve been on both sides, union member and management, and there are reasons to feel good and bad about both situations.
        I do wish to this day that my father had had the benefits of being in a union.
        Back to hockey.

  8. IF the players are for all the players, they could get a roster increase, or an aging gracefully clause to allow older players to get a few years of deferred payment not against the cap at league minimum for each years of service, or sweeten the down part of two way contracts, or any number of other plans.
    If you are more concerned with protecting the high payouts to the high-payout guys it’ll be harder. If the NHLPA takes an active concern in continuity of career for AHL and Junior players, they’ll be stronger. The owners who have money, have money; this won’t be impacted by the negotiation. Hockey would be better off if they helped out any weak links in the group owner to owner, and not let the weak ones try to get well on the backs of the players. I had always thought the League/labor relations to be the best (of a bad lot) in pros sports in hockey, this is a time to enhance that. Covid is a sunk cost; but it’s also an opportunity, with the NBA torn by racism and football ratings down sigfinicantly and many college sports not on US TV, to promote and build the sport.

    Reply
  9. Players want guaranteed income and so do the owners obviously and in normal situations calculations can be made for scenarios that benefit both.

    Covid has changed and continues to change facts on the ground and there is no way to make actuarial calculations, though they tried.

    No fans, no TV , quarantine, what about death of players? What about long term health issues? What happens when covid spreads through a team or teams?

    The unknowns continue to grow and covid deaths are increasing in the US and Canada.

    This has nothing to do with Socialism or Capitalism and everything to do with whether the sport will even be played,if the players earn anything, if all the franchises will survive.

    You have to see what the whole pie is before fighting over how to divide it.

    Reply
  10. HANG TOUGH NHLPA. Don’t budge an inch. In an otherwise brutal year there may be a silver lining if stubborness leads to a major culling of the many franchises who dont deserve a team.

    NOW EVERYBODY ALL TOGETHER : ” GO LEAFS GO ,CONTRACT NHL CONTRACT”

    Reply

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