The lockout might be the biggest fear for sports fans. Most can’t relate to professional athletes or Owners therefore neither side is given much sympathy.
Any talk of a lockout at this stage is pre-mature. It’s nothing more than speculation and anybody who suggests otherwise is uninformed. I’m not going to sit here and say there will or won’t be a lockout because it’s too early to tell.
Obviously if the two sides would start talking it would calm everyone’s nerves. There are pressure points that lead to discussions and unfortunately we’re not there yet. Union Executive Donald Fehr is a diligent guy but still relatively new to the NHLPA. Sources say he’s getting up to speed and doesn’t appear to be interested in rushing into anything.
We keep hearing and reading about the NHL looking at the NFL and NBA models when it comes to splitting revenues. The only thing these leagues have in common is they employ athletes who get paid very good money. There are some other similarities between the leagues but certainly not when it comes to revenues. The size of the pie doesn’t compare especially in the NFL where the revenues aren’t even close. Same with the NBA where each team contracts far fewer players than we see on an NHL roster.
Would I be surprised to learn the NHL wants to see revenues split right down the middle? Of course not, then again I want a Porsche parked in my driveway but it doesn’t mean I’m going to get it.
Currently the players receive 57% of hockey related revenue.
The NHL should be focused on continuing to build up revenues. We’ve seen tremendous growth over the last seven years and they have a great opportunity to attract a wider audience with the possibility of a NY, LA Stanley Cup Final. Will they make the effort or are they more focused on beating up on the players? It’ll be interesting to see where and how they spend their energy.
The formula for determining the pie is where it all starts. What’s considered actual revenue is a fluid analysis and is far from being a black and white issue.
Remember the term “fractured membership”? There was talk of former NHLPA Executive Bob Goodenow reading private emails and late night conference calls and rumors of things falling apart with the union.
Twitter didn’t exist in 2004-2005 and I’m really interested to see how many players utilize social media to voice their own opinions on CBA matters. Will the NHLPA tell their players to shut it down? Good luck with that.
There are a number of educated, intelligent NHL players who understand the devastating effect a lockout could have on the game. Not to mention how unnecessary and foolish it would be. At the end of the day it takes two to tangle and one can only hope the Owners recognize this as well.
It will be hard to keep 800 players quiet especially when some are already telling me how ridiculous a lockout would be. One can understand the player’s position, afterall they’re doing ok financially under the current system.
Then again so are a number of Owners who still don’t have the ability to control how much money they spend.
How long will it take before a prominent player makes a comment on twitter that sends everyone into a frenzy?
The termination letter the NHLPA sent to the league this week shouldn’t alarm fans. This was a formality and otherwise the CBA would have automatically rolled over for another year.
Hit Me Up….
It’s only a matter of time before the players and the Owners begin talking. Both sides will undoubtedly play hard ball with hopes of getting what they want in the end. The lack of urgency we’re seeing shouldn’t come as a surprise as it’s commonplace to wait as a long as possible in an effort to get the best bang for your buck.
The NHL has instructed their broadcast partners to wait until after the playoffs are completed before addressing any CBA issues. This is understandable as there’s no need to take any attention away from the actual play on the ice.
We’re all interested to see how this plays out, but until negotiations actually start nobody truly knows.
More to come,
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