NHL Lockout Morning Coffee Headlines – October 18, 2012.

With another NHL CBA meeting scheduled for Thursday in Toronto, there’s hope a resolution to the lockout may be near, but is that hope justified? 


NHL, NHLPA to meet today for more CBA talks.

TSN.CA: The NHL and NHLPA are schedule to meet at 1 pm ET in Toronto today for another CBA meeting, in which the PA is expected to make its response to the league’s recent CBA proposal (details of which the league posted to its website yesterday) and perhaps table a counter-offer. Bob McKenzie yesterday reported the PA leadership’s initial reaction to the league’s proposal wasn’t enthusiastic.

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby with a list of reasons why the players aren’t enthused over the league’s latest offer. Among them, the “Make Whole” provision, and questions over definition of HRR.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle reports the league and the PA remain “at least $550 million apart”  in negotiations, and believes escrow would be the biggest stumbling block toward a new deal. Eric Duhatschek, meanwhile, believes the league negotiators uncertainty over how to deal with NHLPA director Donald Fehr may have been behind their latest proposal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The problem with the league’s proposal to “make whole” the players salaries over the next two years to compensate for the sharp impact of their reduction in the first two years is it would defer escrow payments to later in the agreement, meaning significantly increased escrow payments starting in the third year of the league’s proposal. I suspect the PA, in their counter-proposal (provided they make a serious one which works off the league’s latest, rather than another which works off the PA’s previous proposals) would prefer to phase in the reduction of the players share of HRR gradually, to lessen the escrow hit over time.

NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos believes the league’s proposal, by increasing the eligibility for free agency by a year and shrinking entry-level contracts by a year, could help keep rebuilding teams (like the Edmonton Oilers) together.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It certainly couldn’t hurt.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun suggests the NHL season could depend upon the NHLPA’s response today to the league’s proposal.

SPORTSNET.CA: Michael Grange wonders if PA director Donald Fehr might find it tougher as this lockout goes on to maintain membership unity.

 USATODAY: Kevin Allen believes the players must now choose between principle and pay:

” If the season is lost, players lose $1.8 billion in salaries in one season over a fight totaling $1.6 billion over six years. Owners will lose about $1.5 billion based on the 57%-43% split in the last CBA.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In those two sentences, Allen has neatly encapsulated the choice facing the players in this lockout. While my sympathies are with the players, everyone knows the ultimate outcome of this lockout will see the players getting a smaller share of the league revenue than they did under the previous CBA. I’m not saying they have to take the league’s latest offer sight unseen, but it would be wise if they base their next proposal off of it. Seems to me the players will lose more, and much faster, if they stand on principle. We’ll find out, perhaps as early as this afternoon, what the players next move will be.


  1. My biggest fear is that the PA will counter offer the way they have the entire lockout, with their initial proposal. I hope I am wrong about this.

    • I agree,the biggest FEAR we have here is FEHR itself.

  2. Today will be very interesting but my money still says Fehr screws it all up and puts the season at risk.

    I can’t expect the players to be smart about this either since after Fehrs response letter i heard 600 of them called him to ask what Draconian meant.

  3. Players also lose a year of conditioning, ayear of playing, a year of work, a year of stats toward the HoF, a year in a very short career for many…..it’s not worth sitting out. Time to man up and actually negotiate. Tell Fehr where to go and work it out.

  4. And as for some not being bright…true many did not go to college but there are players from Harvard, BC, BU etc. not any slouch schools there….

  5. ‘We might have lost the season but we won th PR battle!’

    I wish these friggin’ idiots on both sides would quit bargaining with the media and try to focus on bargaining with each other instead!

  6. I personally believe that Betteman expects the NHLPA to come back with a counter proposal that the league will reject and then zbetteman can put the blame for canceling the entire season squarely on the players shoulders. The way he spoke and worded his statements regarding the cancelation of the premier events if the players don’t capitulate to the league’s latest offer leads me to believe that he had already had the cancelation speech written and probably has rehearsed in front of the mirror so that he has his “sad face” just perfect for the media.
    With all the BDC clauses and blurry meanings regarding HRR it will be a no brainer for the players to reject it and counter with one that Betteman will reject in a New York minute.
    I understand everyone wanting to see Hockey Night in Canada (and the USA) seven days a week as soon as possible but that will not be happening anytime soon. I have settled in for a long winter of watching AHL and as many major junior games as possible and am primed to enjoy the heck out of them. Slower pace but damned good hockey just the same, especially the junior games.
    Let the millionaires battle it out with the billionaires while the up and comers, and soon to be millionaires, entertain the hell out of us.

  7. The players better tread lightly. I heard this morning where a former GM said that a good portion of the owners think the offer Bettman presented was too generous. Now I am not sure the word I would use is generous, but I think that its as good as its going to get. I think Fehr and the NHLPA comes back with an offer around 53% revenue sharing, with absolutely no concessions in other areas and instead focusing their efforts on revenue sharing between the teams. The players are going to follow Fehrs lead and ignore the basis of the owners proposal and try to force the league to negotiate off of there proposal instead. If they do, I can guarantee the owners walk away from the table, and this time around they would be justified.

    The big teams are already not pleased that the existing offer bumps up their contributions to about $20 million instead of $10 million. And I have to say I would agree. One last point, I am tired of the players and the media talking about the players “losing” money. There is no CBA. The last one expired. Whatever replaces it, whether they make more or less is the new standard. You cannot lose money YOU HAVENT RECEIVED YET. Every NHL contract when it is signed has a clause that makes it relevant only as per the CBA, allowing for the possibility of the moneys being altered under the guidelines of the “current” CBA. This is why the players cannot fight the owners in court over failure to honor the contracts.

    The CBA is a living entity as revenue and expenses change dramatically, but what doesnt change is a fair and reasonable percentage for both parties. Prior to 2004 the players had 76% of the revenue. After the CBA in 2004 that went eventually to 57%, and personally I see absolutely nothing wrong with the owners being able to say they deserve more than 50% of revenue. I would think a 52/48% split is more than reasonable in any industry (ask the NFL and NBA). The NHLPA keep saying the owners are “greedy”, but the owners have not received even half the league revenues in 20 years. That sure sounds greedy to me.

  8. if i wanted to be wrong about anything this would have been it,but alas the jack ass fehr screwed the pooch just as i expected.

    i knew he would just make a proposal based on his earlier one and ignore the nhl completely.

    now i expect the season to be gone and frankly now i hope the owners go back to their ‘draconian’ offer and say take it or leave it and call us when you want to play.
    if every player not ending up playing overseas ends up on welfare i will not feel one bit sorry.

  9. Hate being “that” guy……but told you so.

    Does anyone even think that the only person in this out of Bettman, Fehr, Owners, Players and Fans, who has nothing to lose is….Fehr. He has made it clear that this is his lost job and that he has no interest in keeping the position once this is all done. In fact he has been making a big push for his brother to get the job. Anyways, so here we have a guy who has no history with the game, who is only concerned with his legacy, playing perhaps the most important role in where the future of the NHL lies……..yeah I feel reassured this will work out well.