NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 13, 2012.

The latest round-up of increasingly depressing NHL CBA news, an update on the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes, an arbiter rejects Lubomir Visnovsky’s attempt to nullify his trade to the Islanders, and Ron Francis is among the Carolina Hurricanes new investors.

TSN.CA: The NHL and NHLPA appear no closer to a CBA resolution after exchanging proposals yesterday in a meeting in New York City. The NHLPA also filed an application with the Quebec Labour Board to declare a lockout illegal in that province.

NHL, NHLPA no closer to CBA resolution.

ESPN.COM/SPORTNET.CA: Pierre LeBrun and Michael Grange don’t expect a resolution anytime soon. Grange encapsulates the situation nicely:

“The owners want their savings on player salaries immediately and they want it guaranteed.

The players want all the money they’re making now as well as raises of two, four and six per cent, compounded, over the next three years.

A deal could be done if the owners softened their stance on the first year or two of the agreement and allowed the growth in league revenues to take the players’ share down gradually and painlessly. And the players could do their part by accepting the likelihood that their path to future wealth lies in taking less — even less than they would like — of a growing business.

But no one wants to take any risk.”

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater suggests both sides are being equally stupid in how they’re handling negotiations.

WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen believes negotiations are headed toward a 50-50 split of HRR, but it will take time to get there as the two sides haggle.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Sean Gordon suggests a clash of ideologies may be what’s truly behind the NHL labor dispute, pitting anti-union owners against a players association led by old baseball union hands.

NESN.COM: NHL legends Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr don’t believe a lockout will last long this time around. Let’s hope they’re right.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league did make a significant move with their proposal yesterday by dropping their demands for reduction in players salaries from 24% to 9 percent, and moved closer toward their true goal of seeking a 50/50 split in HRR, plus they’re reportedly not seeking to redefine HRR. The problem, however, is they also made it a “take-it-or-leave it” demand, declaring what they’re proposing comes off the table by midnight Saturday if there’s no deal in place by then. They also don’t appear to be making any serious improvements to revenue sharing and expect the players to pay for it. That’s not going to sit well with the NHLPA membership. The PA, however, still appears reluctant to move much off their initial proposal from mid-August, which isn’t sitting well with the owners. 

Regardless, it seems to me the players aren’t going to get a better deal from the owners if a lockout is implemented on September 15th. If anyone thinks Bettman and his cabal are bluffing, remember the last lockout. They don’t bluff. I’m not saying the players should just capitulate, but I do think they need to move more off their initial position and start working more from the league’s latest proposal to get the best deal they can. Remember, the owners are also short-sighted, and considering how the last two CBAs benefited the players, I don’t see any reason for that trend to change.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cites reports from Arizona indicating Glendale city manager Horatio Skeete wants to change the terms of the Phoenix Coyotes arena payment plan before the sale of the team to Greg Jamison is approved.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS reported yesterday an arbiter has rejected the grievance from Lubomir Visnovsky attempting to get his trade to the Islander overturned.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Visnovsky is in the final season of his current contract.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes VP of hockey operations and former star Ron Francis is among the club’s new investors.


  1. it looked to me like the owners were saying c’mon lets get some negotiating going and the players were saying we are not interested.

    Bettman may have said it has a take it or leave it deadline but the way Fehr has acted with his little movement on the players offer he has already said take it or leave it.

    it is becoming more obvious the players not only prepared for a lockout but are trying to force one and it was Fehrs objective all along.

    this is not MLB Donny boy,you are going to crash and burn on this one and end up worse off later then you will now and have only yourself to blame.

  2. I think a nimber of players are willing to risk the season for what they truly want in money and benefits.They will not capitulate and they will play somewhere for the money they are worth.If it crashes and burns so be it.The product is not as good as it used to be and they know it.The lesser hockey players will suffer but not the good ones.Good for them,blow it up and start all over.The owners are the ultimate losers.Their buildings,their leases,their revenue,all those empty seats and no season.Sucks to be Phoenix,Columbus,Tampa Bay.

  3. 1) I have to vehemently disagree with the premise that the players “need to move more off their initial position and start working more from the league’s latest proposal to get the best deal they can”. If they take that approach they condemn themselves to repeated HRR reductions every time there is a new CBA

    2) Not until there is a fundamental change in how the NHL shares its wealth will we see a change/shift in the number of teams losing money. As we saw the past 8 years, the rich will get richer and poor teams stagnate or lose more $$ setting the stage for the next inevitable players give back.

    3) I would agree that if they are NOT prepared to lose a season plus, they should capitulate now and not lose any money/waste time. If they choose the latter, they should decertify the union/association because in my opinion it then loses its reason for existence

  4. Its not a point of “the players needing to move off their starting point”, its the simple reality that in the end, whether its Oct ’12 or Oct ’13, the ownership group will get most of what it wants, and there will definitely be a rollback and lowering of revenue sharing. How can I say that? History, and not just hockey history. Any labour negotiation is inherently slanted towards ownership. Whether you, or I like it, think its fair, think its reasonable, ownership in the end always comes out ahead, maybe not completely, but ahead. In the end, the hand signing the cheques makes the decisions.

    The whole issue in this CBA to me, is not what the agreement will look like (come on, does anyone “not” see a 50/50 split?), but when it will finally be signed. The players need to make the point that they are fighting, and they are unified, but eventually that is just posturing, and a matter of pride.

    Revenue sharing among teams is something that needs to change to a degree, but there is no way you are going to get the 9 teams who are making money to support the 15 who arent……absolutely written in stone. This is not the NFL where a team like Green Bay makes huge revenue.

    And Lyle, what is wrong with the “take it or leave it” proposal. Its aggressive without doubt but it seems pretty straight forward, and in all negotiations there is a point where one side or the other is unwilling to concede any more, its a simple fact(unless they dont stick to it, then its a silly ploy)

    As far as the owners willing to hold out. The fact is, half the teams in the league would lose “less” money without hockey than with it (in all this talk about revenue the expenses are forgotten), and I think that a lot of owners look at the last lockout and how it surprisingly allowed for an influx of youth with the extra year after the draft and dont see it as the worst thing in the world.

  5. Lets not forget that owning an NHL team is only a small part of the owners portfolio and there will be large income still coming in.

    The top players will draw a salary when they go overseas but the majority will be getting nothing.

    The players up top have good resolve since they will be playing and making money and when they return still get a big payday.
    But how much resolve will the majority have without paychecks and knowing they could even be out of a job when the season ends.

    In a work stoppage is it a lot easier to be a Crosby then be a 4th line league minimum guy,especially if you are now in your 30’s and it is almost career over time.

  6. the only people who get screwed in all of this is us fans.sorry but that is the bottom line.tired of hearing a bunch millionaires crying about money.both sides need to come to an agreement and get this done.by the way it is the fans who in the end actually pay the salaries so where is my vote(oh sorry i forgot im part of the getting screwed crowd). ps. anybody know how to get on-demand hockey euro.

    • On-demand via NHLGameCenter Live. Google it, it’s about 15€/m. Been using it since espn lost the contract and it has bern great for me. Every game – live and on-demand.