Over the weekend, the NHL CBA expired leaving GM’s frantic, sending as many players with ELC’s to their related AHL farm teams as possible. Meanwhile, a large contingent of high caliber NHL players that we seen standing side by side as “Team Solidarity” not 3 days ago at the NHLPA conference in New York seemed to have wasted little time following the sounds of European cash registers.
Great job with the whole “we are united” front, you guys.
Can we really blame them though? Unlike the NHL owners (who will no doubt take a small hit in revenues) the players have no other source of income until a new CBA deal is reached. Then there’s the Paul Bissonette’s (aka @biznasty2point0) & Darcy Hordichuk’s of the world who have nothing to offer a team overseas that will inevitably take the biggest hit by finding themselves completely out of work until then, there’s hundreds of other NHL players facing this same problem.
What do we do now?
Thanks to the internet & social media, the majority of diehard hockey fans all know what’s at stake here ($3.3billion last year) so lets give those greedy bastards our own proposals to end this cash-grab, aka lock-out, shall we?
Proposal #1) Standard Player Contracts
There should be no-limit to the length of any deal, in fact, if Team A is so in love with Player B they should be entitled to lock him up longterm. However, if Team A wants Player B for the next 15 years at $110 million, no problem just know that it will cost Team A $7,333,333.33 for EACH of the next 15yrs. Bye bye cap circumvention, nice knowin ya, it’s been a number crunching nightmare!
Proposal #2) Entry Level Contract or ELC & Arbitration
Why change this at all? If 18yr old Player A shows that he has the ability to play in the NHL after 9 games, let him. After all, it’s managements decision to dictate where & how to handle this talented player, besides, after 3 years each team should know where this players development is at to determine where/if that player fits. As far as arbitration is concerned, what a scam. Why bother paying an arbitrator to decide how Player A’s overall game stack up against Player B & Player C, player agents make enough money with access to the same numbers the Average Joe could find on the internet.
Proposal #3) UFA Status & Term
Again, why change? After 10yrs of employment in the NHL or at age 28, the John Tavares’ & Matt Duchesne’s of the world should have other options & so should every other player who is about to turn 28
Proposal #4) Distributing Hockey Related Revenue
“If the players are to give concessions what concessions will the owners give?” – Donald Fehr
Really good question & one which we have yet to see a plan of, yet. Ok, the NHL just posted a record $3.3billion in revenues last year, players getting 57% the owners getting 43%. Now, lets keep the definition of HRR relative to what its been the since 2005, keep it simple, for the players sake! NHLPA, suck it up, you get 50% each year & every year with all remaining money (overflowed cash registers) going into an NHLPA form of escrow. Now here’s an idea for you NHLPA, instead of taking the extra money from escrow out every year, why not put design a pension fund & put ALL the money into there? This way, when your career is over, regardless your role as a player, each player can take out the same amount of pension money, when the time arises. I’m sure the grinders would appreciate this the most.
Now for the owners, seeing as we all know how you’re all so hard done by, you get a 3% raise to 46%, happy now? Hope it was really worth gutting fan bases all across North America, you guys. But what about the other 4% ? Well, that 4% of annual HRR will go directly into what I’m going to call, The NHL Revenue Sharing Fund or NHLRSF. By calculating last years $3.3billion total, the NHLRSF would’ve been $132million. I would also want to include NBC’s $2billion TV deal ($10million/year) into there as well, thus bumping the total up to +/- $152million annually. Of course, these’s no guarantee with these particular numbers but a 50-46-4 split should be enough to make players & owners happy.
Proposal #5) A 70million Salary Cap
If Team A can’t compete without spending close to $70million (I’m talking to you Flames & Wild) that’s their problem. This ceiling is more than reasonable, given the money we are talking about here while keeping the salary cap floor at $56million. How the GM’s use it, given the above criteria is really their problem.
Proposal #6) Relocation
If you as haven’t been able to figure out why Gary Bettman has fought tooth & nail to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, it’s quite simple. Phoenix has the 9th largest TV market (amongst cities with NHL teams) in the US, so that in itself should tell you that they are not going anywhere, anytime soon. It has been mentioned by some that the Coyotes were crucial to the NHL getting that $2billion deal from NBC, so there’s no way they move, if ever. We know Seattle (for sure), Quebec (most likely), Markham, ON (potentially) are building arenas & will need tenants. Canada’s market is strong & would be a slam dunk in any market in Ontario & Quebec City. Seattle should work if for no other reason their close proximity to the Canadian border. It doesn’t look like New York Islanders owner Charles Wang is going to get a new arena anytime soon & much like Rexall Place, Nassau Coliseum has run it’s course. It would be a sad day to see the Islanders have to move & I’m not saying they will, ever but imagine the pipe-dream of Jay-Z purchasing the Islanders, moving them under the new team name of the Brooklyn Ballers has some appeal to it.
Hmmm, I wonder what their warm-up music title would be?
So there it is, delivered, sealed, now sign it fellas!