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Would owners un-guarantee contracts?

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08:20 AM ET 10.10 | Consider the lockout rhetoric ramping back up again. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr repeated his doomsday threat that the players could take the salary cap off the table depending on how long the NHL lockout drags out. ... So when it comes to reworking positions, what would the owners consider? If the NHL owners ever wanted to get into the "back to the future" type of threat employed repeatedly by Fehr, how about a new system that doesn't have guaranteed contracts? It seems to work for the NFL. ... Everything is on the table, so maybe the NHL wouldn't even have to grandfather in the guaranteed deals that are already in place. The comfy security of a 13-year contract might all of a sudden have a "best before" date on it.

Toronto Sun

Scott Gomez, Icon Sports Scott Gomez, Icon Sports
October 10, 2012  08:52 AM ET

For once the interns come through for us. The picture of Gomez is a perfect compliment to the article.

October 10, 2012  09:37 AM ET

Too bad about the lockout cuz Gnomez was heating up at the end of last season...

October 10, 2012  09:53 AM ET

I think un-guaranteed contracts are a wonderful idea...
Lets look at these.
Scott Gomez-7.5 million-2 goals in 38 games-9 assists
Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning-10 million-22 goals
Dustin Penner, Los Angeles Kings-3.25 million-7goals 10 assists
Dany Heatley, Minnesota Wild.(Hanks favourite) 7.5 million for 24 goals
Ville Leino, Buffalo Sabres-11 million-8 goals-17 assists.

October 10, 2012  09:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

For once the interns come through for us. The picture of Gomez is a perfect compliment to the article.

what's that olde line about a blind squirrel?

October 10, 2012  10:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

I think un-guaranteed contracts are a wonderful idea...Lets look at these.Scott Gomez-7.5 million-2 goals in 38 games-9 assistsVincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning-10 million-22 goalsDustin Penner, Los Angeles Kings-3.25 million-7goals 10 assistsDany Heatley, Minnesota Wild.(Hanks favourite) 7.5 million for 24 goalsVille Leino, Buffalo Sabres-11 million-8 goals-17 assists.

+1

made me chuckle -- in that bunch, Penner looks like a steal

October 10, 2012  10:33 AM ET

ok, they can't get anything done within the current framework of cba negotiations...and then we get somebody who thinks throwing this into the mix will actually help? This is even more of a non-starter than the rollbacks or the definition of hockey revenues vs non-hockey revenues.

October 10, 2012  10:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

For once the interns come through for us. The picture of Gomez is a perfect compliment to the article.

couldn't agree more.

October 10, 2012  10:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

For once the interns come through for us. The picture of Gomez is a perfect compliment to the article.

Agree whole heartedly

October 10, 2012  10:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

what's that olde line about a blind squirrel?

Fehr is taking over the Blind Squirrel Union during the NHL lockout. The fuzzy ones are demanding guaranteed acorns for members, and increasing the acorn cap every year. If they are denied, they are leaving for forests in Europe and Russia.

October 10, 2012  10:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

I think un-guaranteed contracts are a wonderful idea...Lets look at these.Scott Gomez-7.5 million-2 goals in 38 games-9 assistsVincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning-10 million-22 goals Dustin Penner, Los Angeles Kings-3.25 million-7goals 10 assistsDany Heatley, Minnesota Wild.(Hanks favourite) 7.5 million for 24 goals Ville Leino, Buffalo Sabres-11 million-8 goals-17 assists.

if owners want to spend their money stupidly, I really don't see why it should be the NHLPA's problem. Did a single one of those contracts strike anyone (other than the gm that inked the deal) as a good idea when they were signed?

Assuming that there was hockey this year, there's no chance in hell that either Parise or Suter (as good as they are at the moment) could make the 24 million they were scheduled to receive as even remotely decent value for performance. And yet the owners inked up this beauty righhhhht before locking out the players for a supposed lack of funds. Curious thing.

October 10, 2012  10:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Fehr is taking over the Blind Squirrel Union during the NHL lockout. The fuzzy ones are demanding guaranteed acorns for members, and increasing the acorn cap every year. If they are denied, they are leaving for forests in Europe and Russia.

I laughed out loud.

October 10, 2012  10:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Fehr is taking over the Blind Squirrel Union during the NHL lockout. The fuzzy ones are demanding guaranteed acorns for members, and increasing the acorn cap every year. If they are denied, they are leaving for forests in Europe and Russia.

you know that nobody puts a gun to the owners heads to spend to the cap limit, right?

How many people spent upwards of 65 million before the previous lock out? Go on cap geeks and check how many did last year. Yet we've been hearing since the last time that the cap was absolutely necessary for the survival of the game and that it is nothing but great and it's doing it's job perfectly. Suddenly that's not true? They created a monster? Their genius accountants couldn't figure out that constant increase of revenue would mean an increase of cap...and that the existense of a cap would mean that, naturally, every team has to spend to the limit rather than playing within their means and controlling costs by not doling out stupid contracts to any guy that has shown ability to stand on skates. Goodness. If only people would take human nature into account then perhaps they wouldn't come up with such short sighted band aid solutions in the future. Their cap is filled with holes, especially with regard to tapered contracts...but suddenly that's the player's faults. The players agreed to the cap as imposed by ownership. It was ownership, via their gm's, that created a loop hole to their own cap system. And somehow it's the have-nots that see fit to cry endlessly about it.

Note that neither the Habs, nor the Leafs (as bad as they are) dole out ridiculously long and tapered contracts. So somehow 2 of the 3 most valuable franchises in the game refuse to play ball that way because they respect the integrity of the game and the cap system, yet they are supposed to go to war for the New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Lightnings of the league.

October 10, 2012  10:56 AM ET

btw, Slapshot, your comment did make me laugh. I'm just tired of it being turned into Fehr is oh-so unreasonable, whereas the owners have shown zero discipline and restraint, yet want it all this time around as well. I'm seriously doubting that there will be hockey this year and it really upsets me.

October 10, 2012  11:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

btw, Slapshot, your comment did make me laugh. I'm just tired of it being turned into Fehr is oh-so unreasonable, whereas the owners have shown zero discipline and restraint, yet want it all this time around as well. I'm seriously doubting that there will be hockey this year and it really upsets me.

I agree with you Foil. I have said many times that the owners are nitwits who need to be protected from themselves. By whom? I don't know. The Weber deal and the Minnesota fiasco are but two of the most recent incidents of their stupidity. One very sad thing (among many) about this mess is that when ever it ends the feal that is signed will have probably been offered months ago and the idiots have just played tough guy with each other for months while people who actually need to work (both in the NHL and players in Europe and Russia) lose money without reason.

Fehr's relatively unreasonable (only my opinion) attitude cost baseball a World Series, cost Montreal a franchise and cemented the steriod era in MLB. As soon as he came in to the NHLPA many guys on these threads (me included) thought a stoppage was inevitable. Was it all his fault? I doubt it. But he didn't help "negotiate" either. I think that's a word both he and the owners (and their mouthpiece Bettman) are unfamiar with.

October 10, 2012  11:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Fehr's relatively unreasonable (only my opinion) attitude cost baseball a World Series, cost Montreal a franchise and cemented the steriod era in MLB. As soon as he came in to the NHLPA many guys on these threads (me included) thought a stoppage was inevitable. Was it all his fault? I doubt it. But he didn't help "negotiate" either. I think that's a word both he and the owners (and their mouthpiece Bettman) are unfamiar with.

I agree, but perhaps given that I have zero attachment to baseball (despite what it cost the Expos), I prefer to only look at the NHL labour situation. As I see it the players caved last time. Despite getting exactly what they asked for and despite the ridiculous revenue increases, the owners have found every way possible to ensure that a good deal of them still can't (and will continue to not) make money.

They haven't made a single concession amongst themselves with regards making significant changes to ensure the viability of the lesser franchises. They have zero solidarity when it comes to the actual running of the league, and yet when it comes to finding new revenue by cutting out the player's shares, they are more than happy to stand in front of the cameras and declare their solemn solidarity in locking the players out. Perhaps if they didn't continue to mercilessly exploit their own loopholes against one another then maybe I could take them seriously.

They decided that it was a player's problem, and that the only way to fix their economic problems (which Bettman never acknowledged actually existed until 2 months before a lock-out) was for the players to make concessions. Meanwhile they've done NOTHING amongst themselves. I think that it's completely unreasonable to expect the players to cave on all points when they did the same thing last time. And if they did so, what would happen the next time a CBA expires? Same game all over again?

From the first volley of offers, the owners said THIS is how it's going to be, take it or eat dirt. I think that although Fehr has taken a hard nosed stance, he made a reasonable first counter-offer, and made it clear that the players were willing to cave on certain issues, but that the owners would have to move on some of the other issues (i.e. lead an actual negotiation - in fairness, the players came down on all major points, but not to the levels the owners wanted. The mantra here being, you can have some, but you can't have it all, so choose). The NHL has been completely unwilling to bend on a single core issue, so in return I think Fehr's stand is completely justifiable.

Given what happened last time, they have zero faith in Bettman or the ownership and I completely agree with them stonewalling ownership until they finally make a move in good faith.

October 10, 2012  11:35 AM ET

sorry for the novel guys, just need to get it out!

Have a nice day everyone!

Comment #17 has been removed
October 10, 2012  11:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

sorry for the novel guys, just need to get it out!Have a nice day everyone!

Don't be sorry. I appreciated reading your view of it. To the degree I know anything about the prior lockout, I tend to agree with much of what you said. Have a nice day yourself!

October 10, 2012  11:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

I swear the squirrels behind my house have four orgies a day. It's crazy noise coming outta that ravine...Go owners in that case.

Very few of 'em have, er, you know, lasting over 4 hours. Hence no need to call a doctor. I'm sure however that medical assistance to pay for squirrel Cialis will be part of the currently being negotiated BSBA (Blind Squirrel Bargaining Agreement).

 
Comment #20 has been removed

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