Skip to comments.National Hockey League locks out its players
Posted on 09/15/2012 11:41:43 PM PDT by smokingfrog
NEW YORK The clock struck midnight, and the NHL turned into another sports league closed for business.
Unable to reach agreement on a new labor deal, the National Hockey League locked out its players at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, the third major pro sport to impose a work stoppage in the last 18 months, behind the NFL and NBA.
The action also marks the fourth shutdown for the NHL since 1992, including a year-long dispute that forced the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season when the league successfully held out for a salary cap.
That fight ended with the latest collective bargaining agreement, and when it ended Commissioner Gary Bettman followed through on his longstanding pledge to lock out the players if no deal was in place.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the shutdown was in effect. The union said it would have no comment.
The sides were so far apart in their discussions that they didn't even meet face-to-face for negotiations on Saturday.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
So sick of this crap...
-LA Kings season ticketholder
I think if they can struck through the entire season...it’ll finally kill off most interest, and someone will have to restart some Canadian league deal, with most salaries down in the $100k to $400k a season range.
As am I bro.
Everything the players AND the owners do is designed to screw the fans out of more money. It sucks!!!!
I’m with the players this time. It is the owners who are offering the obscene contracts - think Suter and Parise - and now they want the players to take another 25% cut!
The players should all sign contracts with European leagues and not return until they get an agreement without rollbacks. Malkin and Gonchar have already done so; Brodeur is on the way. If Crosby, Ovechkin and the Staals go, the owners are SOOL. Replacement players won’t cut it.
killing the golden goose ping!
Well, Glad I hold season tickets to the AHL.
Sorry, no athlete is worth 15 million a year, especially when the same fans will come see him if he gets 4 million a year.
My teenage son had the best solution for sports. Get rid of the unions and only give Athletes 5 year contracts with +/- 20% dollar figures each year based on performance.
And blame it all on the owners....the players are willing to play. Many of the current stars will be playing in Europe, others in some minor leagues. Unlike other sports, hockey players have other pro options and can handle a long work stoppage
The owners and the league screwed themselves because they could move some of the struggling franchises to Canada, where the economy is much better. Why they worked so hard to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Phoenix? That has to be one of the stupidest sports business moves ever
Unfortunately, your rank and file Business Socialists will blame the players fully...and be dumb enough to call it a “strike”. It is the owners who shut the league down
I thought it was all posturing, and they would get a deal done on time. Can’t believe they will have ANOTHER lockout.
The Bruins were a little more expensive but a decent seat could be had for under $5. I'd take the subway to North Station the day of the game and ask the ticket window for the best available seat for whatever money I had to spend at the time.
During the time I was 13-17 years old, I must have seen over 200 Red Sox and Bruins games (didn't like the Celtics and the Patriots were down in Foxboro). This was only 30-35 years ago!
My kids never had the experience of going to games on their own as it was way beyond their reach financially. The few times I took my sons to Fenway, it costed me a couple hundred dollars or more per event when you factor in parking, food, etc.
I don't blame player salaries for the situation. It's just the law of supply and demand. Ticket prices skyrocketed because people (and mostly corporations) were willing to pay the higher prices.
When I went to games in the 1970s, you had mostly real fans there. Mostly working class people who might get a hot dog and a couple beers but would take the subway there and not spend a lot of money on souvenirs and such.
Starting in the 1980s, corporations started buying up season tickets because they could then offer the tickets to clients and potential clients as gratuities and to top performers as perks. Thus the demographics of the spectators changed radically. You had a lot more well-heeled spectators who would pay for overpriced souvenirs to take home to the kids (or they'd have kids with them) and pay the higher concession prices. Suddenly ballparks started offering higher quality food items and microbrew beer to their menus instead of just soggy hot dogs and watered down Budweiser. Most patrons would think nothing of spending $50 a person or more on food and drink alone.
This is all not to mention television revenues which became enormous - especially for the NFL. In fact, the story of the NFL under Pete Rozelle is a fascinating one if you like business stories. I would highly recommend reading books on how Pete Rozelle built the NFL into a cash-cow.
So professional sports teams became multi-billion dollar businesses and player salaries skyrocketed as well. The average fan who used to go to the ballpark multiple times each season was now content to watch the games at home (on a big screen TV) and let the corporate people go to the actual park and limit their own attendance to an occasional one-off appearance - like how you might go to Disneyland or Las Vegas once every five years or so.
Well in recent years, corporations are tightening their belts and are spending much less on corporate seats. My own company pulled out of Fenway Park two years ago (we had a block of 6 seats) as the benefits of having this perk to hand out no longer justified the bottom line expense.
So we are seeing a lot more empty seats on stadiums then we used to. I believe that the business of professional sports has peaked and an adjustment is necessary. Sports teams are now overvalued and as ticket and TV revenues drop, look for salaries for athletes to drop as well.
It will be interesting to see how this hockey lock-out turns out. It appears that the owners are drawing a line in the sand on this and do not want to increase the player's share of revenues.
There isn't a bigger hockey fan anywhere than me ... and if the regular season is impacted in any way by this labor dispute I can assure anyone in the NHL who might be reading this that this will likely close the books for me as far as my support of the NHL is concerned.
What these people haven't figured out yet is that hockey is not -- and never will be -- a "popular" sport. At it's root, it is a "cult" sport with the most dedicated, passionate fans you'll find anywhere in North America. In their haste to build a business model to attract mildly disinterested casual fans, they've left the real fans out on the street.
There was a recent article in the Wall Street Journal describing the dilemma that the NFL now faces. They've gone so overboard to make pro football a television spectacle that fans aren't even bothering to show up for the games. In fact, an NFL game is so heavily oriented towards a TV viewer that when you watch a game in person it is actually boring as hell and a colossal waste of time. As a result, many of these professional teams are seeing huge declines in spectator-related revenue (ticket sales, parking, concessions, etc.) even as their TV revenue climbs dramatically.
That thread had over 200 replies ... and there are a lot of familiar names there!
I don’t see this one getting past Thanksgiving. The last one was over a fundamental difference, the league wanted a cap the players didn’t. This one is arguing over pennies, if it costs more than a dozen games per team both sides lose more money than they’re arguing over. Of course if the owners are to be believed most of the teams will be OK with that, but the players’ wives won’t. Same thing the NBA went through last year, when the Mrs can’t buy that dress the Mr learns the importance of caving in.
Maybe so, but I don’t see the NHLPA caving in too easily when Donald Fehr is their leader.
If they keep this up, the KHL is going to move in and start their North American League.
That's not a bad idea except for the fact that my agent and I think I'M the best player in the league......
I don't begrudge anyone for trying to make as much money as they can. If there's anyone to blame it's the fans willing to fork out the big bucks for the tickets, the refreshments and parking.
Kenya Hockey League?
Kontinental Hockey League, the Russian League. They are looking to expand outside of Russia.
The players are getting 57% of revenues. Their propaganda catch phrase is that they're “partners”. If they were partners they'd get 57% of profits not revenue.
Here's hoping they find a compromise, the owners reign in the stupid contracts (100 million for Parise!) and the players realize that the NHL is in a precarious position business wise.
Also unlike the other leagues which don’t have viable competition, the Russian KHL very much stands to gain from this.
My problem is the huge money the owners squeeze out of us taxpayers to fund the facilities.
(A particular gripe here in Indianapolis where the govt has an inferiority complex and feels compelled to give 100s of millions to the Simons and Irsays lest they pick up and move somewhere).
I hope they show some KHL games on TV. The KHL pounced on the Russians stars fast enough and Malkin is already lobbying Crosby to join him in Magnitogorsk. I’ll bet they’d get him a winger.
I have a big problem with that too. I look at Detroit's Ford Field and Comerica Park as being prime examples of that crap........
I don’t know how to post pictures, but I saw a classic yesterday. Picture of the joker and he says, “end the lockout? Simple. We kill the Bettmann”
I cannot believe the fundamental anti business position and lack of understanding of the real issues by Freepers. This string of responses looks like something from the UAW website.
Ownership and property are sacred rights, be it your own income or your sports franchise. That applies here too.
I like Bettman (sort of). But really fans raggin on him is silly. Bettman is an employee serving at the pleasure of the NHL owners who are themselves experienced in running other businesses. Fehr is a lawyer representing a group of players some have described as being 700 millionaires with an 8th grade education. Who do you think has more influence over those he represents and more say in how these negotiations go?
That's why it has become perfectly acceptable for profesional sports to have the kind of regulatory systems in place that would never be permitted under anti-trust law in any other industry. Can you imagine any other industry that would be permitted to have things like revenue sharing, a salary cap, and -- this one always makes me laugh -- an entry draft?
>>I remember going to Red Sox and Bruins games on newspaper route money.
Amazing how much has changed. We used to go to Whalers games for $6 a ticket. I probably went to 15-20 games a year despite it being quite a drive and a bit of PITA w/regard to parking.
The last pro sports game I saw in person was the local single-A baseball team. Decent game, about the same price per ticket as those late 70s, early 80s hockey games. We have a local AHL team which I go to once in a while, but they are even somewhat expensive.
During the last lockout I started watching college hockey. No where near the level of play, but it was still fun to watch. And despite never having lived there, I became a Minn Gophers fan and still follow their college team.
My alma mater (UConn) has announced that they will join Hockey East, so I’m hoping we’ll have some local college hockey coverage.
I can’t recall, did the AHL still play during the last lockout? I seem to remember that they didn’t, but the ECHL did.
You have some valid points, BUT......BUT.....you’re not looking at this through the correct template. A sports league is technically 30 or 32 different businesses in the same industry....depending on the league. The key word here is “technically.”
HOWEVER: they function as one business with 32 branch offices competing in the industry of entertainment dollars, etc. In other words, in the technical sense, it would be good for the Detroit Red Wings to put the Tampa Bay Lightning OUT OF BUSINESS just like it would be good to put any other financial competitor out of business.
In the FUNCTIONAL REALITY though, it helps Detroit for Tampa to be financially successful and vice versa. Again, they function like 32 (or 30) branch offices or profit centers of the SAME business competing for the entertainment and sports dollar with all other entertainment and sports.
Therefore the draft and all other normal business parameters that you are trying to apply do NOT apply. There is competition on the ice (or hardwood or field or whatever) and that is impacted somewhat by financial competition...but again, the Cowboys and the Giants would not have a league if they put the other 30 “branch offices” of the NFL out of business.
You have to stand back and understand the very unique nature of a sports league and the very constrained competition between the different “businesses” so to speak.
>>I cant recall, did the AHL still play during the last lockout?
I guess this answers that question. Some of the younger players will be lighting up the AHL lamp:
My son’s college roomate is a hockey player so I started watching college hockey because of him. The crowds are way more fun and interactive than NHL ones. I’d like to go to the frozen four but they say tickets are nearly impossible to get.
I live in a hockey hotbed so there’s a variety of hockey close by including minor league (Wheeling Nailers), college and high school hockey. High school and college are on TV sometimes. Maybe they’ll broadcast some AHL games.
The reality is that a professional sports league tries to have it both ways ... by combining individual ownership (and all of the revenue potential that provides) with a rigid organization that allows it to function outside the normal economic and financial constraints of other industries. Basically, a professional sports league is a cartel that would be deemed illegal in almost any other industry.
The problem the NHL faces is that while there is a large barrier to entry for new NHL teams, there is not the same constraint for competing hockey leagues. In fact, it is not beyond the realm of possibility for a competing pro hockey league to start encroaching on the NHL by focusing on traditional hockey markets and ignoring those silly places like Arizona, Florida and Texas. It's no coincidence that the NHL was the most sports league in North America to have a viable competitor (until the WHA merged with the NHL in 1979).
Again, you make some excellent points, but miss the main point: that is the sacred right of ownership does exist - it just exists in the macro of the league itself and not necessarily the individual teams.
My problem with the lack of appreciation of the sacred right of ownership and some freepers is that sacred property rights has nothing to do with being stupid or with mis-using the asset. I am not defending anything the league is doing, but I am defending the right of ownership in general. That includes the right to screw up or the right to be greedy. Without those rights, as well as the right to make smart decisions or to be generous, there is no sacred right.
I’m pretty lucky in that respect too. I have 5 AHL teams within about an hour’s drive (Hartford, Springfield, Bridgeport, Providence, and Worcester), numerous div I hockey schools (Quinnipiac, Yale, UConn), and high school hockey. None of it is televised though. But hockey is great live, so I’m not complaining too much.
And the majority of teams the NHL decided to move south were all WHA teams. Hmm.
The only surviving WHA team in their original city is the Edmonton Oilers.
I think the problem here is that many Freepers legitimately question just how “sacred” that right of ownership is when NHL owners go out and sign players to huge contracts — then turn around and complain that they can’t stay in business with such high salaries. Do these owners really expect anyone to take them seriously when this is how they conduct business?
That shouldn’t really come as a surprise, when you think about it. With the exception of teams in large cities like New York and Chicago, the WHA franchises were typically located in smaller cities where they had no competition from NHL teams. Many of these WHA teams were located in some of the smallest cities in North America with major professional sports franchises at the time, including the four WHA-NHL teams you listed, plus Calgary, Ottawa, Dayton, Indianapolis and Birmingham. So it actually makes sense that the former WHA teams would be prime candidates for relocation to much larger metropolitan areas 15-20 years later.
I can’t believe you said 2 things, proving that there are huge chinks in your conservative armor.
First, players hold out for big contracts, fans demand the players get signed, the media, all libs, demand the players get signed, and then you blame OWNERSHIP for that. You are naive enough to work for ESPN.
Second, you disregard the sacred right of ownership, and even belittle it, when ownership does something you disapprove of. If ownership is only ok when they do what you want them to, then it is not sacred at all. It is situational.
Therefore, I can only assume that while you may hold some conservative positions, you are absolutely NOT a true conservative. It does not coarse through your veins.
First, players hold out for big contracts, fans demand the players get signed, the media, all libs, demand the players get signed, and then you blame OWNERSHIP for that.
Based on this statement, it seems like you've given an ownership stake in these teams to the fans and the media. Do the owners have "sacred rights of ownership," or not?
An NHL owner who signs players to enormous contracts and then complains about player salaries is like a GM executive looking to Uncle Sam for a bailout after the company has spent decades signing ridiculous contracts with the UAW. Yeah, I am the one who isn't a "true conservative" here. LOL.
you have no ability to separate out the sacred right of ownership - versus an analysis of the non sacred situational decisions made by ownership.
You can’t. You are 50 IQ below my tolerance. Bye.