NHL Lockout Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2012.

In this morning’s collection of NHL lockout headlines: No CBA talks planned for remainder of this week, NHL & NHLPA to meet with Alberta Labour Relations Board today, making sense of HRR, updates on Crosby, Miller and Pronger, and Luc Robitaille brings the Stanley Cup home to his cancer-stricken mother.


NHL & NHLPA to meeting with Alberta Labour Relations Board today.

TSN.CA: The NHL and NHLPA have no plans for CBA meetings this week as they prepare for a meeting today with the Alberta Labour Relations Board to determine if the lockout is legal in that province.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t look for any announcement from either side regarding possible meetings from now until Sunday. Enjoy your weekend, go watch a minor hockey game, play in a rec league game, or road hockey, or find another sport to enjoy over this weekend and just put all this CBA crap out of your mind. Maybe next week, both sides will get off their respective asses and start working toward a meaningful solution.

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman takes on the daunting task of making sense of hockey-related revenue, so you don’t have to. Seriously, though, spare a few minutes and read this article by Friedman, it’ll help explain how HRR is broken down and why it’s such a contentious issue for both sides in this CBA pissing contest.

TSN.CA: Eric Macramalla breaks down the recent NHLPA memo released by Donald Fehr to the PA membership explaining the details on the PA’s latest CBA offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In this proposal, the PA would receive revenue share of 54.3, 52.5 and 52 percent in the first three seasons, but it increases back to 54 percent for years four and five. The PA is inching toward the 50-5o split the NHL ultimately seeks, but it’s current proposal still won’t fly with the league. Still, as Macramalla points out, it clearly and concisely breaks things down for the PA membership, further evidence of how well Fehr is keeping the players informed.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: For the second time in eight years, an NHL lockout is costing the Tampa Bay Lightning a significant marketing opportunity.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In 2004, they were coming off their Stanley Cup championship and poised to bolster their fan base in the Tampa Bay area but that lockout stifled that momentum. With the club improving around superstar Steven Stamkos, this lockout is again hampering the club’s efforts to build up fan support.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle interviewed Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who explains why the players mistrust of the NHL owners runs so deep.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a perception among some fans and pundits the players are “seeking revenge” against the league for shutting them out for a year and forcing them to capitulate to a CBA they didn’t want. That might be true for some of the roughly 220 NHL players who endured the last lockout, but most of the current PA membership didn’t go through that, nor did PA director Donald Fehr.

The fact is, the players see the owners as trying to squeeze them for more without offering up viable solutions for helping the truly struggling franchises, and don’t want to see the money they would give up going to the big market teams as it did under the previous CBA, with little going back to the teams which truly need it. They also believe the big market teams, not the players, should carry the freight on this.

SPORTING NEWS: Sidney Crosby intends to wait to see how long the lockout lasts before making plans to potentially play in Europe.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The high insurances costs for Crosby (up to $400K/month) likely factored into that decision.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Bruce Dowbiggin explains how the NHL has been losing the lockout PR war on social media.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Social media will have little impact upon the CBA negotiations, but it’s clear the league’s PR machine isn’t working as well as it did at the start of the previous lockout. That could also be because this time, the league owners might consider it a waste of time, since the fans came flocking back after the last lockout.

SPORTSNET.CA: Michael Grange explains the KHL isn’t the equivalent of the old WHA, but it could be if the NHL persists in squeezing the players for more of their share of HRR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s especially true if the league succeeds in extending entry-level contracts to five years. Top NHL European prospects could decide to put off their NHL debuts and opt to spend the formative years of their professional careers in the KHL, where they could earn more than they would on NHL entry-level contracts. Honestly, I believe the NHL is being dangerously short-sighted here.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is showing some improvement in his recovery from post-concussion symptoms, but still isn’t ready to skate.

RDS.CA: A hockey tour of Quebec of NHL players spearheaded by Max Talbot and Bruno Gervais is slated to begin next week.

 LA TIMES: Kings executive and Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille brought the Stanley Cup home for his mother, who is battling cancer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Madeleine Robitaille in her battle with liver cancer.


  1. Okay I posted it this in another thread but I want to repost here.

    Okay, its time to put things in perspective. I understand the emotion with which some folks utilize when accepting the players position in this lockout. First, there is no one, not one person who can argue that the Owners own the team, and the players draw a salary as employees of said team.

    So lets see how the players have been “treated” as employees over the last 2 decades…..thats right, 20 years since the 1992 strike. The average players salary in 1992 (the first of the recent work stoppages) was $225K. That’s right, the average NHLer made $225,000. 20 years later the average salary is now $2.4 million.

    That is a 967% increase in salaries in 20 years…….once again 967% in 20 years.

    To give you a comparable, an established Lawyer in 1992 had an average salary of $54,000, while in 2012 an established lawyer makes an average of $86,000. So a high paying career, that takes a min of 8 years education, has had an increase of average salary of 59%…..59%.

    So how about a Doctor, hell not even an average Doctor, but a surgeon. The average 1992 income for a Surgeon was $159,000, and now the average income for a Surgeon in 2012 is $311,000. That is a 96% increase.

    So basically, Joe Average SURGEON had his income increase less than 1/10th of Joe Average hockey player in the last 2 decades.

    Tell me, in what universe is that NOT a ridiculous statement.

    It is rather funny how things change in perspective when facts and numbers are included in all the hyperbole. The days of owners mistreating players are 4 decades past. The smart person in this situation is the one who realizes a good deal when he has it and shuts his trap.

  2. Hey Old Soldier, thanks for your perspective to the discussion, I replied to your other post but just wanted to add it here too, I think a better comparable would be jobs or positions in the entertainment industry.

    I would agree players have been treated pretty well. But there are other issues too. Just ask someone like Chris Pronger. Yeah, he got paid, and is still getting paid, but I am not sure if he would say it was enough, sitting in his chair in a dark room with his brains scrambled. But like I mentioned in another post, he is better off than a regular blue collar guy getting hurt on the job.

    I agree many/most medical staff are underpaid, teachers are underpaid, you could make an endless list and keep on going.
    Who isn’t underpaid? bankers who eff up and get a bail out and then give themselves bonuses. Big business guys (pharmaceuticals, communication- cell, cable, internet ), Romney who pays a smaller percentage in taxes vs. income then most middle class families. Why do people and companies need to sit on fortunes? A billion in the bank makes you a good company or person?

    I think I’ll have a bottle of wine tonight and ponder crap.