NHL Morning Coffee Headines – September 11, 2012.

The latest collection of increasingly grim NHL CBA news, Panthers confirm Erik Gudbranson’s shoulder surgery, and the Rangers sign Steve Eminger.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: The NHL cancelled its planned meeting this morning with the Alberta Labour Relations Board. The NHLPA intends to argue it is unlawful for the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames to lock out its players. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill  Daly considers the PA’s plan “a joke”, and still feels the league has the legal authority to lock out those players. The PA is also hoping to prevent the Montreal Canadiens from locking out its players by appealing to the Quebec Labour Board.

SPORTING NEWS: NHLPA director Donald Fehr said the players are resigned to another lockout, as they don’t wish to be taken advantage of by the league again. He also said the players have been saving money in case of a work stoppage for the past two years. Teams, players and sponsors, meanwhile, are eyeing the potential impact of a lockout.

TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie is the definition of “fair and balanced” with his lengthy take on the current NHL CBA negotiations.

BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL: An NHL lockout could have a serious effect upon businesses which rely on Bruins games for part of their income.

BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres owner Terry Pegula is hoping a lockout can be avoided, but declined to offer more of an opinion than that. “I can’t tell you anything, just that talks continue,” Pegula said. “I don’t want to lose draft picks.”

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance examines the impact social media is having upon NHL CBA negotiations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Up until this week, folks, I still was optimistic an agreement on a new CBA could be reached prior to September 15. Not anymore. A lockout is a certainty and the only question now is how long the upcoming lockout will last.

The sad thing is that this is preventable, there’s no need for another lockout. Both sides are doing well under the current agreement. While there are teams which are struggling, squeezing the players for more of their share of the revenue pie and making them carry the freight for revenue-sharing isn’t going to address the respective problems of those money-losing teams. Conversely, if the players hope to convince the league to implement a better system of revenue sharing in which the bigger-market teams contribute more to the struggling clubs, they must be prepared to accept a pay cut along the lines of a 50-50 split.

Gudbranson recovering from shoulder surgery.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers confirmed defenseman Erik Gudbranson underwent shoulder surgery last Thursday after suffering an injury during an informal workout earlier in the week. No further details were released.

NEW YORK POST’s Larry Brooks reports via Twitter the NY Rangers have signed defenseman Steve Eminger to a one-year, $750K contract.


  1. i am pro owner as anyone that has read any of my previous comments knows.

    i look at this as no surprise at all and always expected a lock out at a minimum of the american thanksgiving.

    the nhlpa killed the proposed realignment fireing off the first salvo of bad blood.
    the nhlpa refused to start negotiations last year when bettman wanted to and said they would wait until july meaning to me they dragged their heals and had to know it would result in a lockout.
    now they are stooping to going to the courts to try to get around it.

    i agree the owners went for too much but all negotiations on both sides always start with too much.
    however the nhlpa did not negotiate but instead made a proposal describing how they want to the league to be run and ignoring any real negotiating.

    the last cba the players looked like they got killed but in reality they came out very well and even tho it was the owners fault for not seeing the loopholes it is what it is and it hurt more than helped the league.
    when you bring in a cap to make cost more reasonable but salaries go up 70% even with the large extra profits it has not the way it was intended.

    also if you remove the huge profits of the top 5 or 6 teams the true overall league profits would be minimal.

    the cost of doing business as with the cost of living has gone up sharply over the course of the last cba.
    i believe the owners here as we know flying/hotels/equipment,arena care etc have all been much more costly now over 6 years ago.

    the argument of what is really hrr is a tough one and we fans may never really know what goes on there but at the same time we have no idea whose numbers are closest to the real deal.

    as for hrr i believe owners are to count concessions etc and all other revenue from hockey.

    so why are the players not putting into the hrr?
    they get revenue from equipment companies for using their stuff,appearance monies,advertising monies etc but get to pocket all that.
    if we are talking all hrr then both sides should have to put everything into the pot.

    there are fehr fans but i am not one.
    in baseball he made it that the top teams in revenue always stay near the top ala the yankees/red sox/braves etc and the bottom teams like pittsburgh/houston etc spend 15 years watching playoffs with little hope.

    sure here and there a surprise team popped up with youngsters playing great but after a year or so all those players ended up playing elsewhere and those teams stunk again.
    we do not want the nhl like that where all that matters is the top 10 revenue teams.

    sure the gms went nuts with these crazy contracts and loopholes but like players their life expected in the job is short so may as well go all out while you can and do what you must to win now and the hell with what you did that is the next guys problem.

    big revenue teams do not care,they can burn cash and have plenty left and they do not care if they fry a couple of the lesser teams due to loopholes.

    i see the owners trying to close the loopholes and get what they intended last time and the players i am sure can get some concessions to keep salaries at a good rate.

    i also see the owners,most of which lose money,more then willing to sit out and the big revenue clubs have plenty of other revenue from other businesses so even tho they may not be too happy can easily live with a long lockout.

    i also have a pet peeve about big contracts and then the players coast or play under their ability and know it does not matter they get their bucks no matter what.
    the owners have no out and did sign them with certain expectations and lesser clubs cannot bury those contracts due to budget.

    if the players really want to help make all clubs more equal and keep costs down then how about offering to keep the 57% but without guaranteed contracts?

    we know not a chance in hell they would ever do that.

    • oops,forget a couple of things.
      players that sign big contracts and then say oops changed my mind,trade me or i will coast.
      or big contract players getting traded and saying yuck i don’t want to play here and coast.
      in both cases the teams have to trade the players and every other teams knows it so they will get that players at half of what he is worth.

      plus we have the players spending their learning and growing years in smaller cities and even tho they get offered same money from smaller market clubs more often then not go to the bigger markets and the lesset market team gets zilch for their drafted and developed player.

      all added up the players have tons of options,still will get the bucks,can pick where they will or will not play even if under contract and get a huge chunk of the pie without any real business risks.

      sorry,they have it good,real good even if they have to give back this time
      they will still have it real good.

  2. “so why are the players not putting into the hrr?
    they get revenue from equipment companies for using their stuff,appearance monies,advertising monies etc but get to pocket all that.
    if we are talking all hrr then both sides should have to put everything into the pot.”

    Probably one of the most asinine comments I’ve ever read

    • assinine huh?
      you are closed minded.
      why should the owners give a cut to the players out of concessions?
      but they do as well as other things off the ice.
      but is is okay for the players to make other income off the ice and keep it all.
      make no mistake,that other income adds up to a lot just as the concessions do for the owners.
      you want it even up,then base it on ticket sales and player driven income only like jerseys/hats etc and leave the concessions/parking etc alone.

  3. The one thing everyone who is interested should do is research every aspect of this, both owner and players perspective. There is no doubt that both sides are in the ‘PR’ phase, both trying to win public support and/or sympathy, and not necessarily relying on facts to do so. One of the biggest facts that have been misused is how the players came out of the last CBA negotiations. The players under Fehr’s guidance have constantly portrayed themselves as victims of the last CBA, giving the last drop of blood available, yet moving forward for their simple love of the game. The truth is that nothing surprised the players more that they came out so far ahead of what was expected (average salary almost tripled and the loss of the bridge contract), they are now fighting just as hard to keep the agreement they say they are victimized by. Now if both sides had crystal balls (sorry chuckled at that) back in 2004, there is little doubt the owners would not have agreed to the CBA as it was, and the players would not have complained one bit. But, as with any business, and that includes all major sports, there were unforeseen holes in the plan. No-one expected the CDN dollar to rebound to this degree. No one was optimistic enough to believe the top 8 teams in the league would more than double revenue, which not only raised the cap, it raised the floor which was supposed to be the saving grace for low income teams. No one saw the effect of losing the bridge contract by lowering UFA age. Now the second contract is buying UFA years, instead of bridging the gap to the third contract as intended. No one saw the effect of not restricting term and/or balancing player contracts, creating these front loaded monstrosities. Neither side saw any of that, which is what the NHL is working to correct, and guaranteed they are not going to sign anything that doesn’t correct it. To do that there will be a rollback, without doubt, and there will be changes to UFA requirements, and there will be re-creation of the bridge contracts with term and value restrictions. Now, to be fair, if the players are so resolute that they will never agree to any of that, there is only one other answer. Contraction, up to 6 teams possibly. That is 300 paying jobs the NHLPA would be willing to sacrifice so the top 10% won’t sacrifice a minor portion of salary. It is what happens in the real world, layoffs, cutbacks etc. But even with contraction the players need to realize that the CBA will still have to change to keep those 24 teams afloat. It sounds harsh, as reality usually does, but we all know deep down that whether you are pro-player or pro-owner, there will not be a single NHL game again until the NHL resolves what it is sees as the ‘holes’ in the system, and that is not withstanding if they created those holes or not. In the history of corporate/labour battle, corporate rarely loses in the long run. So the sooner the NHLPA tries to get the best resolution of this that they can, the sooner we have hockey again.

  4. The HUGE implied fallacy in a lot of the discussion is based on the use of “league” revenues. Baseball has league revenues from Fox, ESPN, and its own network. Football has league revenues from all networks.
    Basketball has TBS,….. Heck even the NCAA has CBS for the Basketball tournament. It is the lack of a reasonable amount of collective revenues to negotiate over that makes the problem not league vs players but three or four or five high revenue owners vs. everyone else. Heck, if we went to a fifteen team major league and a fifteen team minor league, with relegation, these few big guys would likely do as well, hence they are hard pressed to find reason to “share” revenues.

  5. I’m kinda standing on both legs in the middle of players and owners, but I can say this…
    Playersponsors, commercials and so on should not be part of hrr. Mostly because they are feeding of the name they made themself and could always opt to not be a part of any of it, those deals are private and not forced incomes.
    At the same time the players are making so much money that there are no way they need more or the same as now. 5-8M a yr is 5-10 times more than any “normal” person will make in a lifetime.
    Some players don’t make that much, ofcourse, but it’s a none issue to keep minimum salary as it is. That would not be a dealbreaker.