This is what Daly thought of the NHL's request (pic from newstodaydigest.com)

Well here’s a frustrating tidbit that popped up on the Twitter machine last night: The NHLPA requested a meeting with the NHL today, and the league told them to go suck an egg, in slightly more professional terms.

The players executive board had a conference call on Tuesday night, which they followed up with the request.

Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star wrote on what came next:

“We informed the NHL we are willing to meet (Wednesday) or any other date, without preconditions, to try to reach an agreement,” the union said in a statement. “We hope to hear from them soon.”

The answer came quickly — no.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said because the players were unwilling to bargain off the league’s last proposal, there’d be no point.

“Given their rejection of our proposal and their indication that they aren’t prepared to make a new one, what is there to meet about?” Daly wrote to the Star in an email.

If I may steal a line from Peter Griffin, that last line really grinds my gears. “What is there to meet about?” Eff you, man.

What is there to meet about? Has he been following along? There seems to be an untold number of issues that need to get worked out, why would it be so terrible to sit there and talk about them, maybe find out where each side is willing to give a bit? You might get a little bit closer, you might not, but that’s the point here: there is no negative that can come from talking. If the meetings end in “Sorry, we still totally disagree on literally everything down to every last tenth of every percent,” then you’re still where you are now.

…Kay? Fine.

From the fan perspective (and therefore the PR side), this is all people have wanted to see. Act like men – not businessmen – get in a room and fucking hash things out. Maybe Fehr says “Look, I think I could get our guys to back it off here – but I’d have to have something to show them to justify it,” and Bettman says “I think I could get the owners to move on this here, let’s call those moves a compromise and plow on.” (Yes, I’m aware that’s a Narnia-esque fantasy of a conversation, but you get the point.)

Both Bettman and Fehr know where the people they represent are willing to end up, and both know where we currently sit. To get to those eventual figures, the game doesn’t need to be “proposal with a minor concession” – TWO WEEK BREAK – “proposal with a minor concession” – TWO WEEK BREAK – “proposal with a minor concession.” We can get there quicker.

But we won’t.

We won’t, because both sides (but mostly the owners) think there’s a long-shot they can squeeze blood from stone, and until the 11th hour, aren’t willing to try for anything less, even if it’s just water.

I feel like the insistence by the lead men on both sides on going for the home run – knowing that the other side really wants there to be NHL hockey this year, because they both do – is going to set negotiations back to the point where we miss out on having a full season, or…worse. Today’s the first day I’ve really felt like that.

So, fingers crossed. Maybe if these arrogant owners can get their heads out of their asses soon, we’ll have hockey by December. Fingers crossed.

Comments (31)

  1. The NHL seems to have taken the policy of “Negotiate using the framework of our proposal or we won’t negotiate at all.” When the owners realized that the three NHLPA proposals last week didn’t use the framework from the NHL’s offer they walked and now are refusing to come back until the players are willing to make a new proposal, presumably using the framework of the NHL’s offer. This is really nothing more than a lawyer equivalent of a spoiled kids temper tantrum.

    • I find it interesting that the NHLPA since their first proposal, refused to provide the NHL with a proposal, instead kept stating that the next proposal(s) come from the league. Finally, when the league provides a framework and moves towards the middle, they are completely ignorned by the NHLPA, who then provide three variations of their original concept.

      Why did the NHLPA even bother asking the NHL for a proposal if they were going to totally ignore it? Bettman is right, they aren’t even speaking the same language. The players are so out of touch. We can’t take a rollback, we can’t lose money … excuse me …. but what are 20 of the 30 teams doing every year? Just because you were overpaid for the last 7 years doesn’t mean you have the God given right to be overpaid for the next 7!

      • I don’t agree that the NHLPA ignored it and haven’t moved. Their initial offer had the players share bouncing back to 57% after 3 years. Their offer last week was a significant move in that they accepted that 50/50 would be the eventual revenue split, possibly in as little as 3 years from now if revenue growth is what it has been the past couple years. All they are asking for now is that their existing contracts be honored.

  2. Does anyone proof read or edit at the Score?
    We’re now into articles that once again aren’t neutral or just giving us the facts but instead a list of expletives and personal opinions is here to greet us….
    Lets get one thing straight Justin, The OWNERS take the majority of the responsibility in the league. They cover the arena and the staff that work game days. They cover the marketing department that sells tickets and jerseys. They cover the doctors which keep the players healthy, the trainers which keep them in shape. They cover the coaches that keep them playing well and they cover the legal team that works to protect the players on that team. The owners take in revenue to cover all of those things. They work to cover way more than 50% of the franchise and staff (not just players) that make it up.
    The players want 50% of the money just to play… Guess what guys, there are other younger players coming up who will replace you.
    Can the league get by without owners and arenas and the staff that make them… the answer is no. As much as the players want to, they know they can’t. They don’t have the money or the venues.
    Can the owners get by without the players… Sure can. If we are locked out of a season for the entire year then just wait… what you’ll see next year is the WHL, CHL, OHL and QMJHL all sending players up early. As teams are rounded out with AHL and European and Russian league players… guess what there will be an NHL again!!!

    Then what do these players do?
    The same players who turned their backs on each other to go make more money overseas? I don’t see the owners splitting like the players?

    You want to rant, maybe it’s you who should get his head out of his @$$!

    • It’s a blog, not an investigative report, opinions are what make these better than “the news” most of the time.

      And no Sean, teams will not replace their current NHLers with Major junior, AHL and Russian League players. No North American player, or even a Euro unless he’s completely oblivious to how this works will sign up to be a scab player.

      • Nope blogs posted as real news articles is whats wrong with half of news these days…

        And think about what you said… you don’t think that the owners will find replacements??? c’mon man?

    • That reply had hilariously little to do with this blog post. You replied to an article criticizing the way that the owners are negotiating with a rant about why the owners are 100% in the right during this labour dispute.

      It’s barely even topical.

      • Its because they are right

        • So you are OK with the owners, who probably collectively raked in close to $300M in profits last year, demanding the players subsidize an additional $230M in profits per year (which will increase every year as revenues rise).

          Do you realize that if the owners get their way the players will be earning approximately 10% more than they were earning 10 years ago despite revenues rising more 60%? Is that fair?

          • Yes it is fair. The players are already making more than 99% of the people in the world. If they were fighting to raise the bottom end salary of the lowest paid players then you would have me on your side… but they haven’t mentioned that have they?
            Not interested in pro athletes becoming even bigger millionaires when they don’t need it.
            Again, had someone like Ovetchkin stayed in Washington to do volunteer work while this was going on, hockey outreach or even grass roots work in Russia I would have been on the players side… But look at their demands and actions. They care about money and not the NHL.

            Again they are already (even those at the bottom of the pay-list making six figures) in the wealthiest 1% of the world….

            MY QUESTION TO YOU IS HOW MUCH MORE DO THEY NEED TO MAKE?

    • You are totally off topic. This is a blog, not the news section of The Score so the author has all the rights to state his opinion.

      Quick question for you: You stated that owners are the spending the most to make the league run. You are totally right, but how is that not a given?

      In an hospital, are the nurse & doctors paying from their own pocket for the machines they use or the medecine they use?
      In a school, are gym teachers paying their own gym utilities?
      It’s inherent at being an owner to make sure their employees have all the ressources available to maximize their production.

      • So if it is a given that owners spend more to make a project work then why would they not make more than half the money?

    • “The OWNERS take the majority of the responsibility in the league.”

      Except the players provide the actual product that the fans are paying to watch.

    • you did see that this blog was tagged with “one man’s opinion” right? Or did you skip that part? Do you even know how blogs work?

    • Sean,

      What’s it like going through life being wrong about everything?

      When I read articles and comments concerning the lockout I’ve noticed a very strong inverse correlation between support for the owners and intelligence/education.

      As knowledge increases support for the owners decreases. It’s a natural law.

    • OK, I’ll bite.

      One, we are talking about 50% of HRR. The owners get to deduct a bunch of costs before calculating it. This covers a good element of their risk. The players don’t want 50% of the money, they want 50% of what’s left. They got 57% last year. Two, if marketing department’s sell jerseys, why do Crosby jerseys outsell Orpik jerseys or why do jersey sales take a spike when the Wild sign Parise and Suter. Similarly, why do teams see spikes in ticket prices when stars come to town? Three, if you think you can put together a 30 team league of AHL/Junior/Whatever players that draws the same crowds and fills the same arenas drawing in the same fans, go ahead, organize is. There is a really good reason the NHL isn’t talking about replacement players. Finally, the article is clearly marked as a rant, if news papers can have Editorials then why can’t blogs have rants?

    • Wrong. The municipal and state governments take most of the financial risk by subsidizing nine-figure arenas and giving teams sweetheart leases, then in some cases, subsidizing losses on top of that (see: Glendale, Arizona). Meanwhile, the team owners can rake in tens of millions for managing the arena.

      Given that, and given that the players take all the physical and mental risks…just what the hell are the vast majority of owners risking?

    • Owners are rich, and rich doesn’t mean talented – it only means rich, and most likely a manipulative sob

  3. The owners may assume the financial risk but lets not forget that the players assume the physical one, the risk of getting hurt. Moreover their window is earn is short. Unlike the owners, obviously, who can run their franchise into their dotage.

  4. Sean, its an editorial piece, hence the stated *opinion*.

    You’re right, the owners do own the financial risk in a professional league, but without the talent, and the fans who pay to see that talent, the owners own a whole lot of nothing. The owners also own most of the culpability for the current labor mess. The NHL could feature a relationship between ownership and talent that can make both of them wealthy, and the fans (the financial backers), happy, but currently the league only seems hell bent on fucking that all up.

    • I love when the average person thinks the owners are hell bent on making things worse…
      Tell me then how does a players union that says its unified leave 40% of their team mates behind while they go make money and play in another league. Not only does this mean they are not here working to solve the problem but they don’t care about the bottom third of the players in their own program not getting offers to make money elsewhere… Not to mention the jobs these millionaires are taking away from other hockey players in other leagues around the world…. Don’t see the owners leaving or screwing over their other franchises like the players do to each other or the union…. Seems like a player problem to me.

      • You mentioned earlier that, without the owners, there’d be no hockey. There’d be no staff. No training facilities. No venues.

        …except for the fact that there are. There are many leagues around the world for players to play in. Plenty of leagues willing to pay the players to come play. Some leagues outside of the NHL pap quite well too. People watch the NHL, and players strive to play in the NHL because it consists of the highest level of talent. It has nothing to do with the venues or the owners. And if these owners don’t want to pay the players what they feel they are worth, there will be another league full of new owners that will.

        The players aren’t “screwing each other over”. They are looking to go play for a high salary that compensates them for their talent, just like any other sport. If you don’t agree with their high salaries (which you seem to have an obvious problem with), then don’t watch the game. Watching games is what drives up salaries. If the money wasn’t available to pay them, they wouldn’t be getting paid. Go watch AHL games if you have a hard time watching players make millions.

      • Sean in this post and previous you state that the players earn in the 1% of the population and that is correct but they are not employed in the same manner nor are they of the same quality as the 99%

        The NHL is the best league in the world and as such is made up of the top 1% of the hockey talent in the world and they are and rightfully should be compensated as such. if you are in the top 1% of your field in the whole world then no matter what your job is you will be compensated for your talent accordingly. not to mention that unlike most people these players also are subject to a much more dangerous and indeed strenuous work environment.

        the NHLers are akin to being the worlds best Heli Loggers or Berring sea crab fishermen (or any other high skill high risk/reward job) who are also VERY well compensated for their skill and the dangers of their jobs. (and if you don’t think hockey is all that dangerous i would ask Justin Bourne how his jaw feels)

        the difference between the NHL hockey player and just about any other working person is that the players are both the employees AND the product being sold. this puts hockey players (and all professional athletes) in a very unique position. after all, you don’t see cows being the butcher AND the burger.

        what the NHL owners are doing something like this:

        say you owned a specialized logging company and you have had five successive record sales years due in large part to the fact that you have the single most talented workforce on the planet. now that your contract term is up your thought process is to reduce their wage and make more profit. If you were working for this company would you accept a wage decrease? or would you wonder why you are not being paid in accordance with the success the company has had due in large part to your continued excellent performance? and if you feel like being purposely argumentative here and saying that you would take what you are given and be happy then you are probably a communist and don’t think you should be paid for your abilities.

        now in a previous post you also said that the owners will simply get replacement players. if you apply that to the logging analogy do you really think they will get anything close to the same revenues with substandard replacement employees who are not able to provide the same product?

        even if they do get replacement players the KHL would still be a better league so what would be the point in getting replacement players if you are no longer going to be able to market yourself as the best league in the world?

        and on top of all that do you realize that this is not the players demanding more money and saying that they will go and work elsewhere until they get what they demand? This is an owners based lockout. The players offered to play under the terms of the old CBA while a new one was negotiated but the owners refused. since that is the case the players have every right to go and get employment elsewhere. especially since they cannot collect Employment insurance like the average person.

        People need to stop trying to compare or equate NHLers with themselves being 99% of us are NOT in the top 1% of our fields and we get paid as such.

        if your boss shuts down your place of work and informs you that you are not entitled to ANY form of monetary compensation than it is absolutely your right to get and see work elsewhere. You are entitled to work and make money and feed your family and in principal that is what these players are doing. ( you can moan and groan all you want about how these players make so much money that they are not like the average person and therefore don’t need to work in order to feed their families but that doesn’t change that fact that they have the same rights as you and i and everyone else does and the fact that they make exponentially more than us does not change that fact. In the same way that stealing $10 from a homeless man and stealing $10 from bill gates is still theft regardless of their financial wherewithal.)

        Finally, you state that the NHLers going to other leagues are “taking away from other hockey players in other leagues around the world.”

        this is absolutely asinine. They are not TAKING jobs they are replacing INFERIOR employees. there is no job security in professional sports other than the security of your abilities. these are not fucking grocery store employees theres are some of the worlds best athletes and as such if you can take someones spot because you are better than them then you are entitled to do so. thats the god damn name of the game in professional sports….if you aren’t up to snuff…thats to bad but no one should be shedding a tear for them. thats the risk/reward of doing what they do.

        all of this is not even touching on the fact that the GM’s and by extension the owners agreed to over 200 million in contracts in the weeks leading up to the lockout in which the owners are now proposing a salary roll back….seems a bit like insider trading to me.

  5. I don’t know about you guys, but the basketball season starts soon! I hear the Raptors might finish in 8th place.

    But seriously, I’ve packed up my hockey stuff and I’m done with hockey. I’ll watch and listen to what’s going on.. but I’m done with the millionaires vs. billionaires. I wish both lost more money over this debate. I’m bored of it.

    • I find the same thing. For a while I was mad, but now I’m just bored. I can’t imagine shelling out $60 for a ticket this season, or even next season, after feeling so completely let down by a franchise.

      Of course, I live in Ottawa and the Senators don’t have to worry because they’re this city’s prime attraction so people will always go back to them. The NHL and PA should be terrified of what’s happening in markets that are less hockey-mad, since people who get bored are just going to move on to other things and not come back.

  6. In response to Sean:

    “Yes it is fair. The players are already making more than 99% of the people in the world.”

    And the owners are wealthier than 99.9% of the people in the world. What’s your point?

    “If they were fighting to raise the bottom end salary of the lowest paid players then you would have me on your side… but they haven’t mentioned that have they?”

    A significant portion of the players CBA offers is to help the owners that aren’t making money. The players are asking for more significant revenue sharing to make the small hockey markets more viable. The NHL offers don’t help the weak owners so much as they allow the wealthy owners to pocket more money in profits. Do you think the Maple Leafs need to net an extra $10M in profits every year?

    “Not interested in pro athletes becoming even bigger millionaires when they don’t need it.”

    None of this is about need. The players don’t need more money. The owners don’t need more profits. Fans don’t even need to watch hockey (it’s entertainment, not a need) . We aren’t talking about need, we are talking about fairness.

    “Again, had someone like Ovetchkin stayed in Washington to do volunteer work while this was going on, hockey outreach or even grass roots work in Russia I would have been on the players side… But look at their demands and actions. They care about money and not the NHL.”

    It is the owners that have locked out the players. The owners care about money, not the NHL. The players aren’t asking the owners for more money, it is the owners that are asking the players for more money. I don’t see how you criticize the players for asking not to have their contracts slashed but you aren’t criticizing the owners for demanding to be able to back out of signed contracts.

    • David,

      I don’t see why you are bothering. People like Sean aren’t smart, or literate, enough to understand reasoned speech. If they were, they wouldn’t think like they do.

      You can’t reason with the irrational.

      Yours,

      Captain Obvious

  7. Dear Sean and everyone else:

    Don’t flatter either the players or the owners by taking sides. Neither has your interests at heart. While I can understand on an intellectual level that to a millionaire and a billionaire, precisely how many millions are spent on a professional athlete’s compensation as opposed to how many go to an entertainment holding company is a very serious concern, it is the very definition of a white person’s problem. It is not my problem. It is not your problem. Let’s not allow these assholes to instill false consciousness in us to the point where we root for who gets more of our ticket and concession money, or who delays our being able to watch hockey this year so they can keep making payments on their yacht/alimony.

    Think of it likes this: I’m a schmuck in Berlin, you’re a schmuck in Moscow. I don’t give a fig about the Kaiser’s pride, and you don’t care a lick about the Czar. Unfortunately, whether they start WWI is up to them, not you or me, but I’m not going to pretend I give a shit about the “Fatherland,” and neither should you. Taking sides just plays into their hands.

    • Look man, get off your high horse and stop pretending you don’t care about watching NHL hockey. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be here. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t find the time to come here and belittle the rest of us for caring.

      There’s no “false consciousness” here. We’re just fans that want to watch a sport we enjoy watching. Most of us don’t give a rats ass who “wins”, we just want to see a deal struck soon. We’re tired of both sides taking this flippant attitude towards the negotiating process. Get in there and get it done.

  8. Helvetica,

    Please read what I wrote, and the conversation I referenced. Of course I care about watching hockey. That’s why the players and owners have me by the balls. I see no advantage in picking a side, though, as the posters above do. Millionaires bicker with billionaires, and the end result is I have no NHL to watch. And now I should pick between the 0.1% and .01%? I don’t think so.

    • The conversation you referenced was “sean and everyone else”. I think the argument above is one guy (sean) saying that the players are douches for trying to get a fair share and scores of others making the point that the owners are just as guilty. You also referenced white peoples’ problems and false consciousness.

      It all came off a little condescending, but i’ll chalk that up to lost in translation. My apologies.

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