If the NHL plans on having another season come this fall, they better come up with a better offer to the NHLPA than the egregiously offensive proposal they currently slid to the players association side of the table.
The NHLPA has agreed to play the upcoming season if a deal has not been struck, but is still in the works. We’ll see if they are singing that same song if negotiations continue down this one-way street.
The owners got a break on the last deal by getting the players to give into a more favorable CBA by claiming revenue losses and high operating costs were sinking clubs. That was 2005, here we are in 2012, where the NHL has supposedly made more money than ever before ($3.2 billion), yet the owners are seeking a break, again? I get it, it’s their teams and they have to put up some of the money as well, but hockey has made a resurgence since the last lockout and they should be avoiding that boondoggle at all costs. What I don’t understand is why they can’t continue along with the current CBA as is, the one they loved only seven years ago. The teams get plenty of money from TV rights, advertising, merchandise sales (have you seen how much an authentic on-ice jersey costs? Or even a replica?), revenue sharing, etc.
There are some teams that aren’t making money as well as others … that is why they should fold, move and/or sell. Gary Bettman has no responsibility to be FDR and deliver some New Deal to purchase or bailout tanking teams like the Coyotes or Islanders. The problem is as he accumulates teams or bails them out, that costs in a CBA negotiation. Teams like the Islanders have it bad though as they get not a single slice of the revenue sharing pie due to their TV market size, so I can understand their desire to have a new CBA … that includes them. But if the owners were smart they would be more focused on helping a team move or sell to avoid losing a team -which hurts the league at-large- instead of taking more bones back from the players who are out on the ice filling the clubs coffers.
I’ll be happy to see the NHL open up a new season, so long as it is not at the expense of the players, which this proposed deal is quite unfavorable towards. If this is starting high to conteract a low-ball bid, then I sincerely hope they meet in the amicable middle before October 11th when the season opens up, otherwise the Canadian, European leagues and the KHL will get a bunch of star players for rent again.