Archive for the ‘NHLPA’ Category

I understand that this is likely a minority opinion because it’s terrible business, but if I were an NHL player, I’d rather we just drop the puck on the season and earn less. I’d rather accept the most recent NHL proposal (after one more counter) than sit out.

$1.7M instead of $2.3? Kay. I’ll live. I’d want UFA rules to stay the same, and I’d want entry level contracts to stay at three years. Most of the rest of it…I mean, guys can’t believe how much money they make. I played with a guy who got called up for two weeks and matched his entire season’s AHL pay. He was flabbergasted.  Read the rest of this entry »

Later this week, the NHLPA will be trotting out some 300 NHL players in New York for the final stages of the CBA talks, and picking up the expenses of the guys who make the trip.

I cannot for the life of me figure out what the point of this is. We get it guys, you’re together in this.

A number of articles have been written, including some on this very site, about fans helplessness in the whole Looming Lockout situation. We’re helpless, because we’re irrelevant to the negotiation of a major business deal. People don’t settle for millions less than they can get because they suddenly develop a soft spot spurred on by a hashtag. Thus, the public relations battle means nothing to those doing the deal, meaning the aforementioned PR war isn’t even a thing, and if it is, it’s only being fought by one side. Read the rest of this entry »

Fred Brathwaite. (Pic from the

While there’s not a ton of major breaking news today, there has been a handful of interesting stories coming out that I thought I’d touch on today by bringing back “One Touch Passes” – my thoughts on the latest tidbits from around the world of hockey. It’s like what “Bourne’s Blog” used to be, minus the cat pictures. (Though I’d be willing to include them, y’know, if anybody wanted such a thing…)


The NHL’s latest offer:

The League came back at the NHLPA yesterday with their latest proposal for a new CBA. In a nutshell, they don’t want to roll back salaries, but want to drop the salary cap a whole whackload of money…which would mean the players would pay more in escrow, which would be the same as a rollback, so…for them, what’s the difference? Read the rest of this entry »

Pic from

If you’ve ever negotiated the price of anything, whether it be a house or a car or a pog, you know that it takes patience, savvy, and lots and lots of dishonesty. We’re selling my wife’s car right now, and lemme tell ya, it is amazing how many people are approved for loans, but only up to exactly $1100 less than we’re asking for it.

We happen to be moving in about month, which gives us a nice upper hand – we’re not in any particular rush to sell it, and it’s a nice car that we won’t have a problem getting rid of. In that regard, time is our ally.

Time is also the NHL’s ally, and for a couple reasons.

The NHL season is still six or seven weeks away, so there’s no reason to be agree to something “fair,” when each number after each decimal can equal huge sums of cash moving in different directions. You negotiate important numbers like that right down to the very last second. And of course, you don’t own a pro sports team without being an extremely wealthy person (for the most part), so not having your NHL team up-and-running for a few months isn’t all that scary.

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Taking Sides

Fun fact: when he thinks no one is looking, Gary Bettman likes to daydream about what it would be like to have a moustache.

It was somewhere between 2 and 3 AM when I met the NHLPA guy. It was June, mere days after the end of the playoffs, those first few days of summer when hot nights are still a welcome novelty and you’re actually a little bit grateful to have a Saturday night with no games to watch. He was a low-level PR guy, I was a low-level media girl, and we stood on the patio in the sweltering dark, watching streetcars rattle by and contemplating higher forces of hockey beyond our control.

“Everyone is going to side with the owners,” he said, taking a hard, bitter drag on his cigarette. “Just like last time. The fans always side with the owners.”


“They just do. Doesn’t matter what we say. The owners always win the PR battle”

He said it as if it was a certainty, with the I know the ways of this hard world better than you, little grasshopper weariness that hockey guys often seem to take with fans and bloggers and other naïve creatures. Three things I know: the world is round, the trees are green, and the NHL owners will always win fan sympathy. He could not have been more absolutely sure that the PA would be crucified in the media. And, as it turns out, he could not have been more absolutely wrong.

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Kevin Bieksa is no doubt sharing his NHLPA party stories with kids, getting them excited for their future in the NHL.

Why? Because the NHLPA are a bunch of jokers. We all know this. Union meetings take place at various whimsical children’s restaurants. For the right to speak at a meeting you must wear the funniest hat they have on hand. Union dues are paid with money and a juggling exhibition.

This may or may not be true.

The NHLPA’s meetings at-large seem to be quite a bit of fun though, as the .GIFs below put together by Backhand Shelf’s very own, Mr. Derek Snider, illustrate.
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There’s always been something that bugged me about hockey.

No, it isn’t the appropriate split of hockey-related revenue between the NHL and NHLPA, it’s something far more general and less specific to the actual problems facing the National Hockey League.

It’s the assist. I never really “got” the assist. Sure, I’ve used assists, and by proxy, points, as a marker for a hockey player’s offensive talent, but it seems rather simplistic and arbitrary. Why “two” assists? At what point did the hockey establishment decide that “two” passes before a goal was a perfectly acceptable way of conveying participation in the play?

A lot of television analysts, a lot of whom would probably shy away from the use of modern analytical tools such as Corsi or TOIQualComp, use numbers quite often in their assessment of players. It was a big thing this week when Taylor Hall got his contract extension, analysts were using Jordan Eberle’s point totals to argue that he ought to get a similar deal.

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