NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 7, 2012.

Informal NHL CBA talks to take place on Friday, updates on Mike Smith, Shea Weber and Logan Couture, and remembering Yaroslavl Lokomotiv one year after the entire team perished in a plane crash.

ASSOCIATED PRESS (VIA DALLAS MORNING NEWS): Informal discussions have taken place between the NHL and NHLPA in an effort to renew CBA negotiations which broke off last Friday.

NEW YORK POST: Representatives from both sides are expected to meet for informal talks today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been suggested negotiations could start up again in earnest around September 10 in hopes of reaching a resolution prior to the September 15 expiry date of the current CBA. Time will tell if this is the case.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Neither NHL commissioner Gary Bettman or NHLPA director Donald Fehr will draw salaries in the event of an NHL lockout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve got a better idea: why not pool your salaries and use it to pay those NHL  and NHLPA employees  (and I don’t mean the players, management, or coaching staff) who face layoffs or a reduction in salary if there’s a lockout? That’ll do more good!

NORTHJERSEY.COM: NY Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist points out the NHLPA isn’t seeking more money, but rather a CBA which works for both sides.

 CSNCHICAGO.COM: A lengthy lockout could affect the careers of Blackhawks stars like Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Lack of Coyotes ownership hurt Smith’s contract talks.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith, who’s eligible for UFA status next summer, admitted a possible departure of team captain Shane Doan would be a big blow to the team.  The club’s lack of ownership has also affected negotiations between Smith and management in signing a contract extension.

 THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber hopes to move beyond what’s been a “tough, stressful” contract drama.

CSNBAYAREA.COM: San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture has been wooed by teams from Germany and Switzerland, but he’s not expected to make a decision about playing in Europe, preferring to await the outcome of NHL CBA negotiations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I suspect NHL players who opt to play in Europe could make that decision sometime in October if there’s a lockout, especially if negotiations fall apart and the two sides decline to continue talks.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Remembering KHL team Yaroslavl Lokomotiv one year after the team perished in a plane crash, killing former NHL’ers like coach Brad McCrimmon,  assistant coaches Igor Korolev and Alexander Karpovtsev, and players “such as Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karlis Skrastins, Karel Rachunek, Josef Vasicek, Jan Marek.”


  1. We can hope the talks go somewhere this time but i doubt it.
    i think the owners know they did not do anywhere near as well as they expected last time and the players came out way better then they expected and want to keep it that way.

    All this talk of the players got screwed last time is simply not the truth.
    They should have but thanks to what i suppose was some kind of legal screw up by the owners that giant loophole of big long term contracts and huge bonuses eliminated what they were after in keeping salaries down and having a more even field for all teams.

    The salaries are way up there now and when the average goes up from 1.2m to 2.4m
    and the top earners are up from 5-6m to 7-8m then the players have done just fine.

    Add in they were very willing to keep this contract going as is and you know it turned out to be good for them.

    The owners had a year long lockout last time and ended up not getting the results they expected because of the loopholes and now they want that fixed and also some greed involved to get some payback.

    Really none of this surprises me but i am a bit surprised so many fans are surprised and upset this is going badly.
    As soon as the NHLPA killed the league plans to change the division and schedule structure last year i fully expected the owners to come out with a hard stand and power struggle.

    the over/under on todays talks is 90 minutes,i think i will be betting on under.

  2. The only reason im siding with the players this time is the owners and gms worked hard at finding loopholes to pay out more money.Just because a player asked for 100 million dollars does not mean you give it to him.And if im a player and someone says heres a 100 mill contract I would take it to.The salary cap growing so fast killed the small market teams they need to pick some numbers and just lock it in at that for a couple of years.And if they get that owners should also be fair and stop raising ticket prices every year because salary cap does not move means they cant use player cost as an excuse.ill say they talk for 60 minutes,and what is the point of having informal talks lol,should they not take this a little more seriously.

  3. Relocating another team to Canada contributed heavily to the salary cap increasing for this upcoming year (assuming it would be played under the current CBA). Quit blaming the players, its not their fault that GMs exploited their own agreement and now GM’s want another shot at trying to get it “right”. Here is a noble thought, the owners couldn’t get it right the first two times that they locked them out (95 and 04-05) why not actually agree to more of the terms and principles that the players are proposing. I think people are forgetting that Don Fehr headed the MLBPA, a leauge which has enjoyed almost 2 decades of labor peace and does not have a salary cap due to enhanced revenue sharing. God forbid they try that in the NHL to ensure each franchises long term viability and grow and protect the game.

  4. I’m siding with the fans. If the NHL and the PA want us back, we’re all gonna need 30 free customized jerseys and a day with the cup.

  5. On a different note, interesting article on the chicago players. Not so much the contents in the article but the general topic it would be interesting to see a list of players that the last lock out cost them the last year of there careers. Not just the style of play changing but that extra year of just aging. And if there would have been any players to miss a milestone or maybe missed the hof because of it.

  6. Having no life to speak of, in fact less than that with no hockey to watch or talk about, I have been thinking about this whole thing and what is the main issue that needs to be dealt with. The idea of rolling back salaries (again). Owners say that despite a cap system the players are still making too much money, and that 57% of revenue is unacceptable. The initial owner’s proposal suggested a similar rollback to that in 2004(24%). The Players have spread the word that they feel they “lost” the last negotiations and that they aren’t willing to sacrifice any salary at all. Well like most people, I would have hated it if my employer cut back my salary (it actually happened a couple times). So I decided to put my not so considerable math skills to work and figure out what the players would be giving up, and I have to say I am very surprised. Before the new CBA in 2003 – 2004 players had an average salary of$1.4 million, subtract 24 %( 335 K) after the CBA and that average salary would then be $1.07 million. In 2011 – 2012 the average salary was $2.4 million before any agreement. Now if we go with the players, and do not include a rollback in 2012 player’s salaries, then their average salary has increased by 91% over 8 years (an average of 11.4 % per year). Now I admit I am pro-owner, but I would have to think that anyone in any industry would see a salary increase of 91% in less than 10 years is outrageous. If we go with the owner’s idea and a suggested rollback of max 24 %( $576 k) the player’s average salary would now be $1.82 million. The players’ salaries would have increased by 30% over 8 years (an average of 3.75% per year). Once again, as someone who is pro-owner, I actually see those numbers as reasonable. In fact it slides in pretty much with any industry and their annual inflationary increases, but the players might see that as too much. So let’s assume an eventual 50/50 deal that would contain a 15% rollback to reach the new cap. The new numbers show with a rollback of est. 15 %( $360 K), the players average salary would now be $2.04 million and would have increased by 45% over those 8 years (an average of 5.6% per year). Now I think there is almost no one who can argue that if the NHL and the NHLPA reached an agreement of 50/50 revenue split, a salary cap of $60 million to reflect that number, and a rollback of player’s salaries of 15% is not fair and reasonable. The reality is if this came to fruition their salaries would have gone up an average of 5.6 % per year and assuming the same growth in NHL revenues, under this agreement, their salaries would have passed pre-rollback numbers in 3 years, so other than those close to retirement (who make the most money usually) the rollback would have minimal affect over the career of most players, and the average players salary in 2015 would be $2.5 million.

    • These are the same conclusions i came to when i posted earlier that the players ended up anything but screwed in the last cba.

      also remember that the newer long term contracts also put huge bucks in their pockets early and the pocket change coming in the last few years of those contracts would mean very little towards real annual salaries vs cap hits.

      the idea of a cap was to keep all teams in it for players but with the long term and huge up front bonuses that only large profit teams can do it kills the true value of a cap system and opens the salary flood gates.

      also for those that say it is the GMs at fault for using the loopholes all i can say is i bet it was a player agent that found that loophole and any GM knows his job has limited years so going for it while he can even if it screws other teams,the league and the next GM does not care.
      as with players his salary and job life is limited and dependant on results so he will take every advantage he can.

      the other thing that did not happen but will some day is the cap will not go up and eventually down.
      ticket prices have got to be maxed out now or soon will be and then what will happen?

      this is one big snafu and there is a lot of fixing needed on both sides.