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Thread: Tonight Officially Marks The Continuing Disgrace

  1. #1
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    Knowing the feeling of watching your team win it all, specially 3 times in 6 years, I remember looking forward to the banner raising ceremony.

    Well I'm here to say sorry Tampa fans. Apparently you're not going to get one.

    This lockout is a JOKE from both sides.

    There is ZERO negotiaions going on right now and both sides could apparently give a rats ass about saving this season or saving hockey for that matter.

    For two sides whose role relies on the other side so heavily there has been NO talking, NO interaction and NO attempt to rectify the situation.


    The players seem to be enjoying the extended vacation and the owners seem determined to teach the players a lesson.

    Problem is: With the exception of us hard core fans, NO ONE CARES. You don't hear a freaking thing about it in the national news, ESPN, FSN or any other sporting source. Other than regional hockey powerhouses, NO ONE CARES.

    Bettman, the greedy owners and the greedy players are running this already dying league into the ground. Mark my words, the NHL will NEVER recover from this one.

    Teams are GOING TO FOLD when this is all over.

  2. #2
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    I am officially in mourning with no hockey to watch I support my Rangers no matter what their record. This is a disgrace that players and union do not want to even try to sit together and work something out. No one cares in the media you are right Guns-only us die hard hockey fans are the ones to suffer.

  3. #3
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    I loved the NHL, but man I have to say

    It's good to not suffer watching the Rangers suck to the extreme game after game

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by Icer@Oct 13 2004, 04:33 PM
    I loved the NHL, but man I have to say

    It's good to not suffer watching the Rangers suck to the extreme game after game
    Yeah, but ironically they suck due to poor coaching and terrible GM management. Their payroll is consistently one of the highest in the league as I'm sure you are well aware.

    You're right Faba....only us fans suffer. My family came up on the Wings season ticket list this season after 9 years. So much for getting my share of games. I'm ready to spend my hard earned money and they (owners/players) could care less.

    The league won't fold but I'm certain teams will. I think major contraction is going to occur when this is over. Perhaps it for the best. You can't have a salary cap with diluted talent. If dropping the idiotic likes of Phoenix, SJ, Dallas, TB, Florida, Carolina, Columbus, and Nashville is what it takes then so be it.

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    http://www.detnews.com/2004/wings/0410/13/.../g01-302096.htm

    Skating on Thin Ice: the Sticking Points

    The reality of a hockey-less winter hits home today, in what would have been the start of the regular season. Instead, the seven games scheduled tonight are history, all because of these ongoing sticking points between owners and the players’ union:


    Salary Cap


    Owners: It’s the cost certainty they’re demanding in any deal, tying player salaries to league revenue. The owners say 76 percent of revenue went to players last year, and they’ve said they want to cap that at about 60 percent — on par with other major pro leagues. But the owners’ various proposals included what was essentially a salary cap of about $31 million per team.

    Players: The union is adamantly opposed to an artificial cap that ties salaries to what it says are suspect revenue figures and insists the league should remain a free marketplace. The players’ last proposal offered an estimated $200 million or more in savings for owners with a league-wide 5 percent rollback on salaries and more entry-level restrictions.


    Luxury Tax


    Owners: The owners dropped a plan for a luxury tax during the 1994 lockout. And today, Bill Daly, the NHL’s chief legal officer, calls the idea “window dressing” — owners insist it doesn’t solve the problem of escalating salaries or of the disparity between large-market and small-market teams. Many cite baseball’s current system as proof, and they say the union’s last luxury tax proposal would still leave more than half of the league’s teams losing money.

    Players: The NHLPA views this as its chief concession and a way to help league owners curb their own spending. The union’s last proposal included a luxury tax on team payrolls exceeding $50 million - up from an earlier offer of a $40 million threshold - and said that would generate more than $30 million annually in tax penalty fees for redistribution to other teams.


    Revenue Sharing


    Owners: Both sides agree small-market teams need a hand. But Commissioner Gary Bettman says revenue sharing without cost certainty simply amounts to reallocating financial losses. Another problem: While NFL teams operate under a hefty 60-40 revenue-sharing plan, they have considerably more to divvy up — thanks to a huge TV contract — than do the NHL franchises that rely heavily on gate receipts.

    Players: The union is in favor of revenue sharing, at least in part because it feels it would result in more transparency in the owners’ accounting practices. The union’s proposal last month included a revenue-sharing plan it said would create an estimated $80 million to 100 million in redistributed revenue.


    Arbitration


    Owners: They view the current system as wildly inflationary, with arbitrators allowed to offer awards in between the player and owner proposals in salary disputes, unlike the either / or system in baseball. Owners also want a bilateral system that would allow them to take an underperforming player to arbitration demanding a decrease in salary.

    Players: The union, which has had great success in winning arbitration cases, is opposed to any system that would allow for arbitration-mandated pay cuts. The union also is quick to point out that teams have the option to walk way from an arbitration award, though they rarely do as they then risk losing the player as a free agent.


    Free Agency


    Owners: It’s a double-edged sword for the owners, who got more than they bargained for with one of the most restrictive free agent systems in pro sports. Generally speaking, players aren’t eligible for unrestricted free agency until age 31 in the NHL. That results in fewer free agents on the open market and, in turn, a bidding frenzy that drives up free agent salaries that are then used as benchmarks by the union in arbitration. The owners would like to lower the age limit on free agency as well.

    Players: If the age limit is lowered, players would gain more freedom to land a big contract earlier in their careers. But the union also wants to ease the current limits on Group II restricted free agents.


    Contraction


    Owners: Commissioner Gary Bettman says the NHL has every intention of remaining a 30-team league, and notes that many of the more financially vulnerable teams are in effect saving money during the lockout.

    Players: Contraction would help the players in a supply-and-demand sense, but any benefit likely would be outweighed by the loss of jobs overall.

  6. #6
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    Sides talking but not to each other

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By Scott Burnside
    Special to ESPN.com

    The National Hockey League's top negotiator, Bill Daly, says that by not talking to the National Hockey League Players' Association, the league is actually moving the process forward.

    Maybe that's why it feels as though this lockout has been going on for years, decades even, as opposed to simply moving in on the one-month mark.

    "We feel like we've been the proactive party in this relationship for quite some time now," Daly said. "Now we feel it's the union's turn to take a hard look at where they are."

    Daly's counterpart with the National Hockey League Players' Association, Ted Saskin, predictably disagreed with the characterization but did acknowledge, "it's not like were making much progress (when the two sides were talking) either."

    Wednesday night, the first regular season NHL games will officially be gobbled up by the lockout and there are no plans for the two sides to meet anytime soon. Players and owners have had no contact, not even casual e-mail or telephone contact regarding negotiations, since the lockout began on Sept. 16.

    Daly did end up playing golf with some players and alumni at a charity event outside New York last week. Though no one yelled "no cap" in the middle of Daly's backswing, he said he didn't play well.

    "It was a really bad golf game on my part," Daly said.

    Once again illustrating the twin solitudes of the labor impasse, Daly and Saskin took to the Canadian airwaves to discuss their wildly divergent views of the NHL's future. The two were interviewed -- separately mind you -- on TSN's "Hot Seat" on Tuesday night. Early in the lockout, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow engaged in a similar rhetoric-fest on the CBC, doing separate interviews on the network's national nightly newscast. The process makes the current U.S. presidential debates look positively cozy.

    Brian Burke, the former general manager of the Vancouver Canucks and one-time NHL executive, received a lot of media play, at least in Canada, with an innovative proposal for a settlement that included a strong luxury tax component with penalties beginning at the $38 million level and stiff economic repercussions for repeat offenders. Analysts at TSN came up with their own proposal based on consultation with owners, GMs, coaches, executives, agents and players.

    All of which means little, if not nothing, to the owners and the players who have examined the models and permutations of various proposals six ways to Sunday.

    There are only two solutions on the table, and as far as each side is concerned the other's might as well come with a shot of hemlock.

    Common sense suggests that a punishing luxury tax, plus tweaking of entry level contracts and a refinement of the arbitration process, will drive down salaries which the NHL claims is eating up 75 percent of revenues.

    But this is the owners' league. They drove the salaries up and now they will accept only a system that guarantees they'll go down, ergo, a salary cap. A luxury tax does not offer that economic guarantee, Daly said. Not with "30 independent actors" in the form of NHL owners.

    Translation: Owners cannot trust themselves to behave rationally, even if it means paying millions of dollars in overages under a luxury tax system, money that could be ploughed back to small-market teams.

    Bettman has promised to deliver a salary cap system, even though it runs the risk of strip-mining marquee franchises like Detroit, Colorado, Toronto and Philadelphia, teams which boast among the strongest fan support in the league, teams which have vigorously pursued championships by signing top-dollar free agents and signing top players to lucrative long-term deals.

    "Certainly it does that," Saskin said. "You only have to look at the San Francisco 49ers in football to look at what a cap does to a dynasty situation."

    Daly disputes that assertion.

    "Those clubs all understand that their individual value is dependent at least in part on the value of the league as a whole," Daly said. "I don't think hamstringing franchises is a concern for us."

    Many wonder aloud about bringing in a third-party mediator to try and forge a settlement. As a matter of course the league, as an employer that has locked out some 700 employees in two countries, has been in contact with labor officials in the respective Canadian provinces and the U.S. But no one is in a position to offer third-party mediation because no one knows the issues as well as the men who sit at the negotiating table, Daly said.

    "We should be making our own solutions," he said.

    And so the game waits, each side waving its respective flag from its own moral high ground.

    The two sides may come together again sometime in December, when the need to salvage the current season crops up in earnest. The 103-day lockout of 1994-95 ended shortly before what was considered the drop-dead date for hosting a 48-game season and playoffs.

    Daly insists the owners have not discussed such a date, and that such a date does not exist at this moment. But Daly does concede that as time passes there will be a point when the league would likely announce that too much time has passed to hold a meaningful season and officially cancel the season. Presumably that arbitrary line in the sand will act as a catalyst for the two sides to determine whether enough blood has been spilled to return to the bargaining table.

    "I don't mean to sound blasé about it, but the owners are the ones who chose to start a lockout," Saskin said. "They're the ones right now who control the timetable."

    It is a timetable that appears to be driven not by issues and negotiations but by a much more deadly end-game: which side buckles.

    One popular theory has the players revolting after they start to miss out on their bi-weekly $140,000 pay checks. That presupposes that players will wake up next week, stand at their empty mailboxes scratching their heads and immediately demand to be allowed back into NHL rinks.

    Almost 200 players are currently playing in Europe. Many of them are with teams at or near their hometowns, so their motivation to return to the NHL, while high, isn't overwhelming.

    Another theory suggests veterans like Steve Yzerman, Chris Chelios, Dave Andreychuk and others whose advanced age would make it difficult to sit out a season and then return to active play will push for an early settlement. Those players, even ones like Jeremy Roenick who candidly suggested during the World Cup of Hockey that maybe a salary cap might not be a terrible thing, are all too mindful of the chaotic days of the players' association under Alan Eagleson. If it's one quality to which hockey players hold fast it's loyalty and teamwork, and they understand the gains they have made on Goodenow's watch.

    As for the owners, one might imagine the prospect of saving at least half a season (during which only half of players' salaries would be paid) and a lucrative playoff schedule, during which players are not paid, would be extremely attractive. The lure was so great in 1994-95 that owners agreed to a deal that ultimately cost them millions in escalating salaries.

    History is unlikely to repeat itself, not with a $300 million war chest collected by owners to wait out the players.

    Still, if the owners require a salary cap to save themselves from themselves, and these same owners require the threat of league-imposed fines to keep them from speaking out of turn on this labor situation, perhaps it's not so far-fetched to suggest this diverse group might also be the first to soften their demands before a season is lost for the first time since 1919.

    Time, and there seems to be plenty available, will tell.
    Scott Burnside is a freelance writer based in Atlanta and is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com.

  7. #7
    The 2 sides aren't taling to each other, they are not getting much media attention, etc. The NHL for this season is dead. DOA, as the term goes.

    If these 2 sides do not get off their high horses soon, and continue this stalemate past February - March, I see next season in danger of being eliminated. That would really destroy the NHL, as many fans in cities that do not have a solid following would see that they can live without Hockey, and would not return.

  8. #8
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    Both sides are at fault for not trying to reach a compromise- NHL overexpanded into cities that could not support a team. My opinion that the powers came to the conclusion that the Olympic victory by U.S. hockey it was at it's highest point in interest in the U.S and thought hockey could become a mainstream sport in U.S. This is definitely not the case
    The owners can not control themselves- sounds familiar to baseball in spending for free agents.
    My Rangers are the prime example of overpaying for aged veterans. Punish them with the luxury tax-get them and all to spend money wisely-like us ordinary citizens have to who work off a budget.

  9. #9
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    I'm in Vancouver where this is big news.
    The feeling up here is that many Americans don't care about hockey and that hockey is damaging itself beyond repair in the U.S.

    A plus for me is that I get to watch my football and baseball in the sports bars uninterrupted. I've seen game 7 of the world series switched over to an early season Canucks game. No kidding.

    Doug S.

  10. #10
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    The people that do care about hockey are the hard core fans-that suffer from not seeing and following the NHL. The players about 200 or so are playing in Europe the last story I read-their picking up a paycheck- the owners are saving by not paying salaries and benefits.
    No incentive or urgency obviously for them to go back to bargaining in their flawed minds!

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by vandoug@Oct 14 2004, 10:11 AM
    I'm in Vancouver where this is big news.
    The feeling up here is that many Americans don't care about hockey and that hockey is damaging itself beyond repair in the U.S.

    A plus for me is that I get to watch my football and baseball in the sports bars uninterrupted. I've seen game 7 of the world series switched over to an early season Canucks game. No kidding.

    Doug S.
    That's partially true and false.

    There is no national love for hockey like you have in Canada or like baseball has here in the states, but in a number of cities here, there are a lot of dedicated NHL fans. I live in Detroit and am a Red Wings fan so you can only imagine my love for the Wings and hockey. There are plenty of cities out there, NY, STL, CHI, PHI, etc that had a hard core group of fans that are passionate about the game and are just as pissed off about this lockout.

    But you are right. A majority of Americans could care less about the NHL and those cities with shaky franchises (FLORIDA, Carolina, Columbus, Atlanta, etc) may suffer long term damage or fold all together.

    I saw a poll on ESPN.com asking : When will you start missing hockey?

    Over 60% answered NEVER. There were 136,000 votes and 60% said they could care less about the NHL ever starting back up.

    Yet Bettman sits back and continues to run the ground into the league. That man has to go.

    The NHL needs a new commissioner of either Canadian or American descent who is not only a fan of hockey, but is passionate about the game. Bettman is a straight up buisnessman, a former NBA exec ....and we all know how wonderful the NBA is doing right now. The NHL needs a North American who lives, eats and ****s hockey. Someone with not only a background in the game, but a passion for it as well

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    Originally posted by The Gun Of Bavaria@Oct 14 2004, 10:32 AM
    The NHL needs a new commissioner of either Canadian or American descent who is not only a fan of hockey, but is passionate about the game. Bettman is a straight up buisnessman, a former NBA exec ....and we all know how wonderful the NBA is doing right now. The NHL needs a North American who lives, eats and ****s hockey. Someone with not only a background in the game, but a passion for it as well
    How about Wayne Gretzky?
    I'm only partially kidding here.
    Wonder if he'd want the gig?

    Doug S.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by vandoug+Oct 18 2004, 08:48 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (vandoug @ Oct 18 2004, 08:48 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-The Gun Of Bavaria@Oct 14 2004, 10:32 AM
    The NHL needs a new commissioner of either Canadian or American descent who is not only a fan of hockey, but is passionate about the game. Bettman is a straight up buisnessman, a former NBA exec ....and we all know how wonderful the NBA is doing right now. The NHL needs a North American who lives, eats and ****s hockey. Someone with not only a background in the game, but a passion for it as well
    How about Wayne Gretzky?
    I&#39;m only partially kidding here.
    Wonder if he&#39;d want the gig?

    Doug S. [/b][/quote]
    I used to be a Gretsky fan but more and more since he retired he&#39;s been pissing me off.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by The Gun Of Bavaria@Oct 18 2004, 09:13 PM
    I used to be a Gretsky fan but more and more since he retired he&#39;s been pissing me off.
    I think that little worm Bettman can piss off more people than Gretz.

    Doug S

  15. #15
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    One man for Commish:







    :lol:

  16. #16
    Originally posted by vandoug@Oct 14 2004, 11:11 AM
    I&#39;m in Vancouver where this is big news.
    The feeling up here is that many Americans don&#39;t care about hockey and that hockey is damaging itself beyond repair in the U.S.

    A plus for me is that I get to watch my football and baseball in the sports bars uninterrupted. I&#39;ve seen game 7 of the world series switched over to an early season Canucks game. No kidding.

    Doug S.
    In America its

    1) NFL

    2) MLB

    3) NBA

    4) Jai Alai

    5) Tennis

    6) Soccer

    7) Dog Racing

    8) Cops

    9) Cricket

    10) Hockey


    Just kidding. But seriously, here in NYC, no one is saying BOO about this. Its like no one cares..

    LL

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by latinlawyer+Oct 22 2004, 02:11 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (latinlawyer @ Oct 22 2004, 02:11 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-vandoug@Oct 14 2004, 11:11 AM
    I&#39;m in Vancouver where this is big news.
    The feeling up here is that many Americans don&#39;t care about hockey and that hockey is damaging itself beyond repair in the U.S.

    A plus for me is that I get to watch my football and baseball in the sports bars uninterrupted. I&#39;ve seen game 7 of the world series switched over to an early season Canucks game. No kidding.

    Doug S.
    In America its

    1) NFL

    2) MLB

    3) NBA

    4) Jai Alai

    5) Tennis

    6) Soccer

    7) Dog Racing

    8) Cops

    9) Cricket

    10) Hockey


    Just kidding. But seriously, here in NYC, no one is saying BOO about this. Its like no one cares..

    LL [/b][/quote]
    L.L. You are exactly right and that&#39;s what the NHL doesn&#39;t understand. The NHL and Players Union thinks they can treat this like the NHL is as important as MLB or the NFL in the states and that ain&#39;t the case. If the majority of teams were in Canada that would be one thing, but they unfortunately are not and like you said LL, most people could care less.

  18. #18
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    They aren&#39;t even talking.

    Which lead me to believe that there are some owners that wouldn&#39;t be broken-hearted to fold their teams, fill their arenes with truck pulls and college hoops, take a tax loss and tell Bettman farewell. This whole thing may be a charade to give several failing teams cover to close up shop-the buyerless Ducks and Kings, the Pens, the Sabres, the Thrashers, the Hurricanes. There could be a bunch more. If these owners don&#39;t even think enough of this business to try to hammer this out and start playing to get their ticket and tv revenue flowing, what does that say, other than they don&#39;t think NHL hockey is worth the bother.

    And if they so indifferent, we shouldn&#39;t care either. If there were games here in NY/NJ/LI with the Yanks done, they&#39;d be sold out. But a lot of fans won&#39;t be coming back either. This is different that baseball or football. It&#39;s not a priority.

    And if the NHL hasn&#39;t figured that out, they&#39;re dumber than any of us ever thought. If they so devalue their own product, why would anyone spend time and money on it?

  19. #19
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    Rumor is the NHLPA is working on an offer that they will give to the Owners in 2 weeks that they&#39;ve already said isn&#39;t good enough.

    What&#39;s the point?


    You have to wonder if they plan on sitting down together to work this out

  20. #20
    I am personally glad all this is happening, I hate the direction the Islanders are going, and ticket prices are becoming more and more of an absolute joke, a Salary cap will eventually be needed in all sports including baseball, if they want teams to stay in there cities and fans to stay, like I said, unless they reach an agreement, and that includes a hard salary cap, I could care less if this goes on forever.........

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