NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 21, 2012.

Wrap-up of this week’s NHL CBA negotiations, aspiring hockey journalist dies in Colorado theater shooting, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa address fans at Blackhawks convention, Devils re-sign Mark Fayne, and Penguins replace medical staff.

ESPN.COM: CBA negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA wrapped up this week in New York without a formal counter-proposal to the league’s initial proposal, which was tabled a week ago. Negotiations will continue in Toronto on Tuesday, focusing upon “non-core economic factors”, which include player safety, discipline and divisional realignment.

No counter-proposal yet from NHLPA.

NEW YORK POST: A leaked memo from PA executive director Donald Fehr to the PA membership lays out what the 2011-12 salary cap would’ve looked like under the league’s proposal reductions in the players’ share of hockey-related revenue, indication it would’ve fallen to below 2003-04 levels.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nothing inflammatory about that. Fehr is merely keeping the players informed by explaining how the league’s initial proposal would affect the salary cap.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle explains why NHL teams are crying poor despite the league’s record-high revenue, pointing out it’s not because of the players share of revenue, but rather how the owners share is distributed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the league succeeds in reducing the players share of HRR without a significant improvement in revenue distribution among the owners, this problem will only continue. I realize the big market owners don’t want to share more than they already do (which is a pittance, believed to be only 7 percent),  but this is an issue that cannot be ignored, nor can it be suitably addressed by demanding the players accept less and less. Either adopt a better system of revenue-sharing, or relocate/fold the struggling franchises.

PUCK DADDY: Hockey blogger and aspiring journalist Jessica Ghawi, also known as Jessica Redfield, was among those killed in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings. My condolences to her family, friends and co-workers.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane admitted he was embarrassed by the photos of his drunken escapades this spring at a Wisconsin university, adding it’s something he hopes to learn from and mature.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa said he’s happy with the progress he’s made in his recovery from a season-ending concussion suffered in the playoffs. Heis working out in Slovakia, and hopes to be ready for training camp in the fall.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good news about Hossa, and hopefully he’ll make a full recovery.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils yesterday re-signed defenseman Mark Fayne to a two-year, $2.6 million contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing set for August 2.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The Pittsburgh Penguins recently announced they’re replacing their entire medical staff “as part of a proposed move by 2014 to a hockey facility in Cranberry that will be in conjunction with UPMC”


  1. I can’t believe what that lunatic did in Colorado. I cannot understand how he was not shot behind that movie theatre afterwards. I hope that the shooter never breathes free air again and thoroughly hates his life in prison. My prayers are out to everyone victimized by that incident and I can only hope one day they can move past the fear that has gripped them.

  2. Nice thoughts, SN, and well said. I agree completely.

    I highly recommend reading J Mirtle’s article. Very well researched. I also agree with his conclusions that the problem is caused overexpansion and it’s absurd to think that the players should subsidized the money-losing teams, instead of the other owners.

    I was in Seattle this week and a front-page article discussed the new arena proposal, citing research that drawing a professional team into the area does not increase the overall economics. Fans just switch from other sports, such as the UW college sports to support the new pro team in whatever sport.

    • re. Seattle’s new arena proposal… (i have no 1st hand info on the subject, just conjecture..)
      my input will address the new arena built in Raleigh, NC – when the Hurricanes (old Whalers) moved to NC…
      The decision to bring the Canes to NC, and to build a new arena had many detractors, because there was thought that the College sports and competition for the dollar would make it non-viable financially! Initially, there was a lot of resistance to building a new arena, but Raleigh, NC State, and the Hurricanes created an entity to make it happen (Canes and NC State [college]) share the facility!
      I’m a season-ticket holder (since day 1), and many of my friends (also STH’s) are big-time college sport fans (mostly NC State). they continue to support both college sports, as well as the Canes. so the Seattle research may be well-intentioned, but i doubt they have conclusive proof of their assumptions!

  3. Without seeing a balance sheet for each team it’s is impossible to see how the money is being spent for each team.
    They must be playing with the books for tax purposes while writing off everything, trips, cars, maids, some one to wipe for them. All that stuff gets lumped into hide the real profit margins. $20 million dollar salaries for their dog…stuff like that.

    Business people don’t like losing money in any form. If they are losing they try and dump the team on a guy like Jim “Ballsilly” (RIM)

  4. Thanks for your comments, puckgod.

    I have a good friend who is a Canes’ season ticket holder, and I go down every year for a couple of games. I have only good things to say about Cane fans, their organization and facilities. However, your own observations are a small sample, and in no way should be put in place of extensive formal research conducted by professionals.

    • Oh, i’m sure they probably look at a lot of info and do a lot of analysis about local economic conditions etc. but it also depends on who paid for the research, and whether they have an axe to grind. it may be totally above-board, or there may be biased inputs. Stats and studies can be made to say whatever you want. i’m not saying any of that really happened, but something like building a new arena means “big money”, and that means many different agendas could be in play!

      • …also wanted to say I hope you enjoy your stay, while in Carolina! It really is a pretty neat place to live!…or visit!!
        Our tailgates are even better than advertised. you wouldn’t believe the awesome parties we have before EVERY GAME!!

  5. I agree with many of the comments here about relocating or folding teams that can’t make it financially. While it not only spreads talent too thinly at times, it mainly is just not a sound business model. It also affects rivalries, in my opinion, because the broker teams just can’t afford to keep pace with big market teams in terms of talent, thereby decreasing the level of competition on the ice. How about making a guy that earned his stripes, like a Scotty Bowman commissioner instead of Bettman to keep the owners focused on a quality product instead of just money. And how about some individual salary caps on both rookie contracts and established players. I hate these GM’s on big market teams offering up the moon and thereby throwing salaries out of whack!!!

  6. Get rid of the steuggling franchises, and subtract 12 games…just saying…. Cbj, phx, teams always in doubt should thrive in places that appricate the sport and can finacially stablise it. A team could br placed in the northwest, quebec city, etc. just makes good ecnomic sense. Just saying

  7. “I realize the big market owners don’t want to share more than they already do (which is a pittance, believed to be only 7 percent), but this is an issue that cannot be ignored, nor can it be suitably addressed by demanding the players accept less and less. Either adopt a better system of revenue-sharing, or relocate/fold the struggling franchises.”

    You hit the nail right on the head, here. The players union shouldn’t even have to be involved at this point. The problem lies with the owners, and the owners alone. They need to sit themselves in a room and decide what they want to do. Either contract/relocate struggling franchises, or share revenue.

    The last CBA was about “cost certainty”. The league won and got what they wanted. And I’m happy they did, because the cap is now directly tied to revenue. The risk of sustaining a loss has theoretically been removed. What more does the league need from the players union after cost certainty has been established?? It’s a joke!