Saturday morning, CBC Sports ran an opinion piece on the CBA written by an anonymous player. The article is incredibly honest, and brings to light that some players have legitimate fears about the impact of lockouts, salary rollbacks, and limited window hockey players have to make a living.
A few quotes really stuck out:
â€œWe certainly canâ€™t be foolish enough to think that this initial offer will be accepted, but really, what can players do? If owners want to stand pat, eventually players would be forced to cave, or take their chances with another league.â€
Players can take a chance on another league, but outside of the KHL the compensation levels will fall off. It also means uprooting yourself and going around the world to play, which isnâ€™t the first choice of most players. Where I think this is a bit of an overreaction is the idea that the owners have a lot to lose from empty arenas, as well. Rogers and Bell Iâ€™m sure would like to make a little money off their billion dollar purchase. If Greg Jamison purchases the Coyotes Iâ€™d imagine heâ€™ll need to at least sell a few tickets this year to stay afloat. Itâ€™s mutually beneficial to make this deal work.
â€œPlayers were raked over the coals in the last CBA negotiation and we came out with our heads above water.â€
Ruh-roh. Unresolved tension isnâ€™t going to help this situation. Thankfully, Donald Fehr seems to be a professional and has been to this rodeo a few times before and seems will bring a level of professionalism that was missing in 2004.
â€œWhat else can we do? Our careers do not span very long, so why not make as much as you can while the time is right? Contracts are offered by team general managers and honoured dutifully by players. No one holds a gun to anyoneâ€™s head during negotiation. So, why now, do we find ourselves in the same boat as 2004-2005?â€
I agree with this point full heartedly. This really points to the larger issue of the disconnect between the haves and have-nots of the NHL ownership. I hate the term unfair, but it seems to be unfair to ask the players to pay the price for contracts they canâ€™t afford. Regulating player contracts seems necessary, but contracts reached in good faith should be honoured.
â€œA hard cap was implemented. All player salaries were rolled back 24 per cent. (Think about that for a second; you have a guaranteed contract for $500,000, and someone is going to reach into your pocket and take back $120,000?? Insanity in theory, right?). And entry-level salaries and signing bonuses were drastically reduced for the most partâ€
Iâ€™m sorry, you lost me a â€œyou have a guaranteed contract for $500,000.â€ The best way to gain public sympathy is to not remind us that your minimum wage is $500,000 to play a sport that many of us pay good money to play. There is a good point in there that most of our employers could never get away with this. Of course, most of our employers also have the opportunity to fire us if weâ€™re incompetent and pay a small severance. The Islanders on the other hand had to pay a small countries GDP to rid themselves of Alexi Yashin.
â€œTake more money from playersâ€ isnâ€™t a viable solution for a successful business model. The owners donâ€™t want to fix what are the real issues at hand.â€
As I mentioned earlier, I agree that there is a lot more that needs to be figured out between the NHL ownership group than between the players and owners.
â€œGreedy players and greedy owners ruining my game. But now that Iâ€™ve seen it from the inside, Iâ€™ll tell you thatâ€™s the last thing players want.â€
Itâ€™s foolish to believe that either side wants this. A work stoppage doesnâ€™t benefit either side, and while some owners might be losing money, it doesnâ€™t equate to what theyâ€™d lose in a partial or cancelled season. As for the players, itâ€™s pretty obvious they donâ€™t want it either.
Evaluating Goalies in Context
Broad St. Hockey looks at an advanced save percentage. Sadly it doesnâ€™t make Reimer and Scrivens look any better. I can tell that Save Percentage + will be a favourite of everyone who wants to prove that Grant Fuhr was a good goaltender in the 80s.
Fork in the Road
Hope in the Big Smoke is preaching patience and finds some similarities to what the Blues and Kings did in their team building.
Kadri in the Middle
Vintage Leaf Memories looks at the Kadri at centre debate.
Leafs Organization Showing Healthy Vitals
Leafs Wire is excited about the Keith Aucoin and Mike Kostka signings.
“They were very happy with me”
Time to bust out Google Translator to read this interview with Petter GranbergÂ
Red Wings GM criticized for lack of offseason splash
Letâ€™s all sit back and enjoy the ride as Detroit begins to turn on Ken Holland.