NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 16, 2012.

Flyers re-sign Wayne Simmonds, the latest NHL CBA news, and an update on Ryan O’Reilly.


Flyers ink Simmonds to multi-year contract extension.

CSNPHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers have re-signed winger Wayne Simmonds to a six-year, $23.04 contract extension, worth an average cap hit of $3.84 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fair deal for Simmonds, who endeared himself to Philadelphia fans in his first season as a Flyer with his aggressive, physical style. His new deals starts in 2013-14, as he has one season remaining on his current contract paying him $2 million, but counts as $1.75 million against the Flyers cap.

TSN.CA/CANADIAN PRESS: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday squelched whatever optimism arose in the wake of the NHLPA’s CBA proposal on Tuesday, maintain a “wide gap” remained between the league and the PA, with “different views of the world and the issues”.  PA director Donald Fehr, meanwhile, put the blame for the gulf between the two sides on the league’s initial proposal, which seeks further salary rollbacks and a sharp reduction in the players share of reveneu.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one should be surprised by the NHL’s response. For all the pessimism, it must be remembered both sides have made their opening offers, and now they have benchmarks upon which to work toward an eventual resolution. The players have acknowledged their willingness to accept a lesser share of hockey-related revenue, but they’re unwilling to accept a reduction to 43-46%. The league, on the other hand, seems willing to consider improved revenue sharing, but convincing the big market owners to part with more than they current do (between 6-12%) will be a tough sell.

Yes, it’s possible there could be another lockout, which could cost at least the first couple of months of the season, but there’s still a month to go until the current deal expires. The negotiations will continue, which eventually will result in a likely “50-50″ split of hockey-related revenue, and an improved system of revenue sharing.

TSN.CA: More details emerged from the NHLPA’s counter-proposal, which included a limit on non-player costs, and providing troubled teams (under the discretion of the league and PA) extra draft picks.

FORBES.COM: The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and the Florida Panthers are two teams which cannot afford another NHL lockout, as it creates difficulty in their efforts to compete against notable franchises like the NBA’s LA Lakers and Miami Heat.

NEW YORK TIMES: Determining how to share revenue could be a stumbling block in NHL CBA negotiations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, it’s the only significant one. None of the other notable issues – free agency, contract lengths, arbitration – are deal breakers. It’s determining the players share, and how the league distributes its share, which will determine if the upcoming season starts on time.

KUKLA’S KORNER/NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cited reports from Switzerland and Sweden regarding the potential lockout plans of Joe Thornton, Rick Nash and the Sedin Twins. Thornton and Nash apparently have plans to join Swiss team HC Davos – for whom they played during the 2004-05 lockout – while the Sedins plan on staying in Vancouver, but could join MODO of the Swedish Elite League if the lockout should last longer than anticipated.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect more NHL players to start making lockout contingency plans in the coming weeks. It only makes sense.

NBC SPORT PRO HOCKEY TALK: cited a report by Adrian Dater of the Denver Post, who puts the chances of Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly staging a contract holdout at one percent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering there could be another NHL lockout this fall, a contract holdout by any player would be pointless.


  1. 1) With respect to the CBA I hope you’re right Lyle; That thee are simply two ‘opening offers’ and eventually we’ll get to a 50-50 split to save the start of the season, etc
    2) I just don’t share that optimism. I think these 2 divergent proposals were made with the expectation that little changes to their core numbers would be acceptable.
    3) The owners won’t accept much less than the 43% they’ve outlined, and the players feel they’ve already given up alot last time around and feel they are (again) giving up more here with their proposal. So who gives in or makes an adjustment to their inital proposal first?

  2. Both sides know that the revenue needs to be split closer to 50/50 mark, and both sides know revenue sharing needs to be increased and fixed. I can’t see a deal not getting done because those are really the only two big issues each side has.

  3. If they lock out im done watching these greedy bastards

  4. 1) @Innovator writes “both sides know revenue sharing needs to be increased and fixed”. Perhaps BUT the owners believe the fix is to simply reduce player costs and the players believe the fix is to (to paraphrase a well known politician) ‘speard the wealth around’ from big to small revenue teams
    2) This is the impasse we have. a) What constitutes revenue b) What % the players should get c) How to improve the finances of the small revenue teams
    3) I disagree that the owners would accept a 50:50 split. I think they would come down from their 43% to maybe 45%. Not sure how much further the players would go from their(assumed) 53% offer

  5. Obviously both sides are going to have to give a little for a deal to get done. Why not get an impartial arbitrator in and get it over with??

  6. I know this won’t happen but a good threat from the owners to the pa would be, either you take less money so we can support these teams that can’t and won’t make money or we fold 4 franchises and there goes 120+ players jobs.

  7. While I understand that these were the “opening offers”, what shocked me was the fact that Bettman acknowledged that the “alternative proposal” had been thought out and wasn’t a slap together counter and that they would review it in detail only to come back the next day and insinuate that it was the “league’s way or the highway” in terms of their original offer.

    Personally I felt that the PA had made a legitimate counter that obviously needed work, but, was a reasonable starting point for further negotiation. To have the league come back less than 24 hours later and seemlingly take a hardline stance with their initial offer is disturbing. I understand it is a negotitation tactic/ploy, however, I don’t think the league realizes that they won’t necessarily have the fans’ sympathies this time around.(Not that they care)

    I would just hope that the two sides do use both offers as a framework of negotiation, however, given the impression that was given yesterday by Bettman, I don’t think that will happen.

  8. The owners must know that a lockout at this point would have an adverse effect on their bottom lines. This isn’t a big problem for teams like Toronto, Montreal or the Rangers, but it could be a huge issue for teams like Los Angeles, Florida and Phoenix. One can’t imagine Jamison wants to buy the Coyotes just to see them not play this season. As per the Forbes article, some of the small market teams simply can’t compete with their NBA counterparts, and losing their fringe fans to the NBA even in a short-term situation is not particularly promising for their futures. For many teams, it’s still a gate-driven economy; they don’t earn their keep if seats are empty. But again, that only has an excruciating effect on markets with a smaller fan base. When’s the last time Toronto didn’t sell out?

    I get that the owners don’t give a shit about me as a fan, and while I resent it I understand that I’m a replaceable commodity. If the fans lose, only the fans care. I’ll be following the New England Revolution for the rest of the summer, and to hell with my beloved Rangers if there’s a lockout. In other news, the world continues to rotate while racing around the sun at break-neck speeds.

    We’re seeing star players make arrangements to play elsewhere if the season is cancelled. Lesser lights are probably making similar plans. Other than a bruised ego, they won’t be particularly hurt by a lockout. The players who lose are the fringe players who can’t usurp the already-existing talent in European leagues.

    This entire situation is stupid.

  9. Betteman, mouthpiece for the owners, basically indicated that there will be a lockout if the players union doesn’t capitulate to the owners demand. Betteman even spoke about how the NBA and the NFL went about getting their owners to receive a bigger piece of the pie but I believe that comparing the NHL to the NBA and NFL is like comparing apples to oranges.
    The NBA and NFL have a monopoly on their respective sports in North America but there are owners salivating at putting together a 2013 version of the old WHA and letting the NHL rot in hell. I am old enough to remember that the NHL had no choice but to adopt the successful WHA teams rather than continue losing star players and money to them.
    I say if the owners want to get too greedy let them rent out their empty buildings for Roller Derby and watch their star players enjoy the money they will make in Europe/Russia or in the new league whatever name it may choose.

  10. i encourage every player who’s contract is up not too sign untill the new cba is in place. price’s contract 39 millon dollars contract could be if there a roll back in wages at 22 percent =30.420 million at 24 percent= 29.640 million. if there is a roll back its going too hurt him

  11. I think Fehr is and has made the NHLPA into a different animal. The PA has been playing things to the media an fans to perfection to garner sympathy. It seems to that the owners have been slow to manoever themselves into a better light…but has been said, they really do not care what them come out looking like. I do think Fehr has been setting this all up for a lockout and wants the NHL owners to clearly be the bad guys.
    As for the proposals, I will not call myself in any way an expert, but it seems the two sides are attacking the league issues from opposite ends. To me that means both sides will always look super far appart until the end of negotiations when the gulf turns out to be rather small. Time will tell but I seriously doubt the season starts on time.

  12. 1) I don’t think the owners care about the PR this time around. They know with record profits that won’t fly this time around. However they have learned from past wars that in time the players always capitulate
    2) I also do NOT believe the owners are worried about a ‘rival league’. In this economy it would be difficult to find 15+ people/groups to invest big money into anything, let alone a sports league. Where they could lose in time if the new CBA resembles the owners proposal is far less European talent coming here and staying/playing in the KHL which is poised to expand westward

  13. CBA talk is frustrating.

    great deal for the flyers. simmonds is a great player and teammate that could become a 30 goal man and they’ve locked him down for all his best years.