Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What NHL negotiators can learn from the NBA and NFL lockouts

Gary Bettman is asked how big a set of balls it took for
the owners to make their last offer with a straight face.
Whatever sense of optimism existed in the NHL's ongoing collective bargaining talks ended quickly last week, thanks to Gary Bettman telling reporters that the players weren't yet "taking into account what recently happened with the NFL and the NBA."

Some cynics viewed the comment as transparent posturing, but let's take Bettman at his word. Maybe the key really is to look more closely at what the NFL and NBA went through to get new CBAs last year. After all, both leagues went through difficult negotiations that threatened their seasons. Maybe Bettman's right, and the key to NHL labor peace can be found by looking to the competition.

It's worth a shot. Here's an in-depth look at how the CBAs compare in the three leagues.

NBA: In order to get a deal done, owners made concessions on the salary floor and minimum spending requirements.
NFL: In order to get a deal done, owners made concessions on their demands for a longer schedule.
NHL: The owners just heard you say the word "concessions", and just made themselves a note to get food and drink sales excluded from hockey-related revenue.

NBA: Players signing long-term contracts can make more money by staying with their current team rather than signing elsewhere.
NFL: Players signing long-term contracts know that their deals aren't guaranteed, and ask for large bonuses up front.
NHL: Players who signed a long-term contract this summer thought it was kind of strange how the owner responded to every demand by typing "minus 24%" into a calculator and then giggling to himself.

NBA: The players got 51% of league revenues, leaving 49% for the owners.
NFL: The owners got 53% of league revenues, leaving for 47% for the players.
NHL: Gary Bettman is pretty sure that both sides can make well over 50%, just as soon as he figures out how to implement the shootout and bonus point into a CBA.

NBA: The agreement includes an amnesty provision, so an overpaid player can be waived before the season if his contract was signed under the old CBA.
NFL: Player contracts are not guaranteed, so an overpaid player can be cut at any time.
NHL: Under the current CBA, there will be no way for a team to rid itself of an overpaid player up until Pierre Gauthier gets another GM job.

NBA: One major problem is that the league has franchises in southern markets that attract a disproportionate number of top free agents, upsetting competitive balance.
NFL: One major problem is that the league has franchises in southern markets that have to compete with college programs that are enormously popular.
NHL: One major problem is that the league has franchises in southern markets.

NBA: The deal includes rookie scale contracts, which reduces the amount of money a star rookie can make.
NFL: Players accepted limitations on entry-level deals that also reduced what a star rookie could make.
NHL: Under the owner's most recent proposal the only limit on contracts for star rookies will be whatever the rules are in the KHL, since that's where most of them will be signing.

NBA: New rules around restricted free agency have led to players like popular star Jeremy Lin switching teams.
NFL: Players can become restricted free agents after three seasons, although their teams retain a right to match any offers.
NHL: The owners think that restricted free agency works just fine now that they've made a few minor tweaks, adding that they have no idea why it sounds like Paul Holmgrem is screaming for help from a makeshift cell in the basement so let's talk about something else.

NBA: Is one of the three most popular professional sports leagues in the United States.
NFL: Is one of the three most popular professional sports leagues in the United States.
NHL: Is also one of the three most popular professional sports leagues in the United States, apparently, since based on Bettman's comments about using other leagues as a basis for a new CBA we're supposed to think Major League Baseball no longer exists.

NBA: The key breakthrough came when the "Larry Bird exception" was redefined to a five-year maximum instead of six.
NFL: The key breakthrough came when "football revenues" was redefined to include a credit for new stadium constructions.
NHL: The key breakthrough will come when "equal partnership" is redefined as "the players take whatever we feel like giving them and just shut up already".

NBA: There was a sense of urgency from the owners, since an extended 2011 lockout could have jeopardized the league's participation in the Summer Olympics.
NFL: There was a sense of urgency from the owners, since an extended 2011 lockout could have impacted the league's billion dollar partnerships with TV networks.
NHL: There's a sense of urgency from the owners, since an extended 2012 lockout could disrupt their advance planning for the 2017 and 2021 lockouts.




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25 comments:

  1. NHL: Gary Bettman is pretty sure that both sides can make well over 50%, just as soon as he figures out how to implement the shootout and bonus point into a CBA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that is a line from the above article that I read. Thanks for reminding me.

      Delete
    2. Well said "Anonymous"......I am amased at the size of stones you have to call Gator22 out with such a unique handle. Get a life and stop reading comments if it bothers you that much.

      I also am fond of the punchline regarding the extra point added to the CBA.

      Delete
    3. Well said Anonymous. Actually. That was my exact same thought.

      Delete
    4. So "Big Balls" isn't anonymous? Are you really named Big Balls? Because if you are, I'm pretty sure it's legal for you to murder your parents.

      Delete
    5. Oh, and "amased" isn't a word in English. And, you are also a hypocrite for bitching about someone bitching about a comment in a reply because that's what you did. Unless you were shooting for irony; in that case, bravo!

      Delete
    6. Umm I like cookies

      Delete
  2. My reaction to every one of these jokes: "hahaha, oh wait, that's not funny because its true..." Then I cry into my beer for a few more minutes. I'm gonna miss hockey this year....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beer at 10:31 in the morning? Someone is taking the lockout particularly hard...

      Delete
    2. Straight Jagermeister here.

      Delete
    3. Says you. We have great college hockey down here in the 'States.

      Delete
    4. Yes, we do have great College Hockey in the States. And they have great Junior Hockey up there as well.

      But if you think either one makes up for the NHL being gone....well you're an idiot

      Delete
    5. As a social experiment, i wonder what would happen if you stuff the Owners pipes with even more crack? Or just bigger pipes?
      110% percent is all we ask.

      Delete
    6. Why You Shouldn't Cry In Your BeerAugust 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      There are two reasons as to why you shouldn't cry in your beer:

      1) It dilutes your beer.

      2) It re-introduces sodium into your body, leading to an immediate elevation in blood pressure. This in turn increases the likelihood of stroke, heart attack, or fainting when you realize just how darn likely this lockout really is.

      Delete
  3. This is one of those "laugh or cry" articles...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is one of those articles where you want to laugh but instead just sob.

      Delete
  4. Re 10:31 a.m.......it's one minute after noon in Newfoundland! Drink up!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Could the players demand Bettman be fired in return for giving the owners their 57%? It would be better for everyone in the long run. Bettman is a cancer on the game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously, if I were a player I would push for that bigtime.

      Delete
  6. The caption for that picture is gold...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The picture itself is more than a little frightening!

      Delete
  7. I want to laugh - I really do. Hell, I even see the humor in every line.

    All I keep thinking about is the empty feeling in my gut through 04/05 all those empty seats in 05/06.



    Oh well, on the bright side, at least the restroom and beer lines will be reasonable again.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Laughed at this one - NHL: One major problem is that the league has franchises in southern markets.

    As a Habs fan said ouch to this one - NHL: Under the current CBA, there will be no way for a team to rid itself of an overpaid player up until Pierre Gauthier gets another GM job.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was hoping for a Toronto-Nash (NBA/NHL, joke)... guess the NFL screwed that up

    ReplyDelete