The NHL has locked out its players — again! I think if these morons (both sides) are as entrenched as they seem to be — half the season could be lost. They really can’t seem to ever get it right in the NHL beyond the other major sports leagues. This is the 3rd lockout since 1994-95. We already have lost an entire season to this bull shit once. Half the season was lost in 1994-95.
What you are about to read is really my own wishful thinking of what a solution could look like, and I believe in a fair universe should look like. But though it all there is one element to all of this. We, us fans. We get royally screwed over — AGAIN. The sad and harsh reality is that both the NHL and PA and all of the owners already know, we don’t add up to a pile of warm shit. We don’t. We will come right back to this game that we love — let me say again WE LOVE. Because based on the behavior of the players and league owners — not to be able to prevent this from happening suggests that they know they have us by the short hair and they also know they will successfully exploit our passion for the sport again. They certainly don’t have a passion for the game like we do. If they did — this would not be happening.
Greedy is not even an appropriate word for the owners. They got more or less everything they wanted 7 years ago. Either finding or planting the loopholes, they circumvented the cap at every possible opening. The players played and the owners and GMs spent. That is NOT the fault of the players.
What have the players done but play? They show up, put on the uniform, and play. They ask for $x million, and someone pays it. That is on the owners. Last time I checked, no one put a gun to Charles Wang’s head and forced him to pay DiPietro $4.5 million for 15 years. No one suggested that Craig Leipold’s life was on the line if he didn’t pony up $200 million for Parise and Suter this summer… that’s right THIS SUMMER. So here is one of the owners bitching and moaning about players salaries, yet not he, not the other owners, no one said, “gee Craig, its getting out of hand. Maybe we need to be a little more responsible… for the sake of the game.”
Yeah — I am with the players this time. It took me a while, but I’m there.
7 years ago, I felt (and still feel) the cap is a necessity. But the players have some good ideas this time to address some needs. It should not be the responsibility of the players to have to worry about the viability of the struggling franchises. It is the responsibility of the league to worry about its 30 teams.
Overall I have felt that it is pathetic for either side to want more then 50%. They are linked and reliant on each other. The players dont play if they dont have owners and owners make zero if they dont have players. Sliding scales and formulas are over complication. It just is not needed. HRR — stop screwing with this — BOTH SIDES. And please, can we be real for just a moment? HRR or Hockey Related Revenue is one of those dumb marketing words. It’s a political “spin.” Here’s a secret — It’s ALL Hockey Related Revenue. From sales of souvenirs, to parking fees, to buying the $10 beer and $8 hot dog. What I believe is that it needs to broken down into 2 categories. League revenues and Team revenues.
Tickets: I may be going to see the Islanders play at home, but it is an NHL game, and as such should be shared revenue. In the case of the Islanders and other small market clubs, shared revenue could save them.
Parking & Concessions at arena: Its hockey related when that parking fee would not have been paid had it not been for the hockey game. I think at the very least — a percentage of this revenue should be shared HRR league wide.
Souvenirs: In general — this SHOULD NOT be shared revenue with the players or other teams. These items sold at the games are very team specific and should be exclusive to each team. If anything, a nominal 5% or so fee could be shared revenue from profits associated with souvenirs. After all — the NHL logo is on all of the merchandise.
TV: Local broadcasts should be kept franchise specific. National TV, the playoffs and special events that are nationally televised should be shared.
In all cases — shared means profit — net proceeds, not gross. So if from all of this there is a $2 billion net profit at the end of 82 games plus playoffs, then the NHLPA should receive $1 billion and the NHL $1 billion.
I firmly believe that the $1 billion for the owners should be split in 30 equal ways. Why? Because if this is going to be a true partnership, then there should be a partnership on the part of the 30 owners. They should all benefit from leaguewide success. Am I crazy, or isn’t that how the NFL has done it for a long time? The players can split it how they want. But I guess this is all a long way of saying it should all be 50-50 when it comes to dollars.
There are other details to a new CBA besides money.
I would not change the time where free agency begins other then to simplify it. It begins when a player is 28.
I would maximize a contract term to be not more then 7 years. This would allow teams to lock up players from the expiration of their entry level deals to free agency. Smarter owners will go with 4-5 years so they can try to lock players up beyond their UFA date with a 3rd deal.
I would consider moving the trade deadline up a few weeks. Allow new players that are coming in to have a greater impact on their new teams.
Change the alignment so Winnipeg can play in the West — Bring back the classic names of Prince of Wales and Campbell Conference — Top 4 from each of the Norris, Smyth, Adams and Patrick divisions make the playoffs. I believe the rivalries will be enhanced.
Players are always talking about how they want to police the game on their own. I think that there should be fines paid to the PA by players who break the rules. If you are suspended “X” games you pay a fine based on the number of games to the PA, which could be a medical fund.
From and Islanders perspective — Im pissed off.
The Barclays game was a critical opportunity to see if hockey can work in Brooklyn, and to see if the team could have a possible future in the boro. Now, we are in jeopardy of seeing that opportunity squandered. The upside for the Islanders is that the younger players will remain in the minor and junior leagues to continue to hone their skills. It could also mean that a later start to the season eliminates the October/November swoon. The shorter season could keep a lit fire under everyone’s ass and allow for more desperation. Here’s hoping this is all for naught, and the season will still start on time. …yeah, I don’t believe it either. Glad I have all of my Magnum P.I., Mash, MacGyver, A-Team and West Wing episodes on DVD to watch this fall….
About the Author: A graphic designer who loves the game....and knows that age has slowed him down — but the passion is there. Islanders fan since the 70s, Dad, Husband and Coach of the Flying Tiger's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: http://twitter.com/FilamentDesigns