There will be a strike

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Re: There will be a strike

Postby tantalum » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:12 am

Meds wrote:Question, if the season is in the tank, and nobody plays, what happens to some of the bonuses and stuff that may be performance related etc.....do the players then lose out?


No because in most cases the signing bonuses etc are due on July 1 or when the contract is filed. The current CBA is still in effect until Sept 15 so any moneys due to a player during that time they get. It's why I think you might find that a lot of contracts signed this summer had a good chunk signing bonus...it wasn't in the case of Weber just to try to screw over Nashville but a conscious choice on the parts of Weber, Parise and company to put a seasons paycheque in their pocket in case of a lockout.

How all that money gets evened out and what not in the end will likely be discussed and dealt with in the nes CBA whenever that comes about. There will likely be a section dealing with those sorts of things along with grandfathering of contracts, whether the players lose a year of contract (if the season is lost for instance), etc etc

To FAN, no idea as I haven't really read the escrow sections of the CBA all that much and at first glance it seems more complicated that the straight forward averaged and actual salary stuff. Might be that it is the $2M that is used for escrow. That said the entire amount is used for the actual salary.
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby ESQ » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:31 am

tantalum wrote:The players are indeed guaranteed 57% of the share of HRR. Not more and not less. (from the CBA itself: The dollar amount represented by the Players' Share in a League Year (i.e., Leaguewide Player Compensation) shall equal (i.e., shall never exceed nor be less than) the Applicable Percentage of HRR, as calculated pursuant to this Article 50). Escrow isn't about clawing money from the players it's the mechanism in which they are guaranteed their share.


Southern_Canuck wrote:I don't think that is correct - but if it is, Weber, Suter, and Parise are hated men! Although their individual escrow amounts would be eye-opening... Unless bonuses are not included, I assume the 57% has to be calculated off of the collective cap hit... no?

One thing is clear in this thread, there are many posters that don't understand escrow. It is nothing more than a mechanism to ensure that the players get exactly 57% of the HRR.

They could wait until the end of the season, calculate the revenues, and then give each player their actual revenue-adjusted amount. But it seems that most players like to receive regular paychecks, so they have to hold-back 12-20% to ensure that the players don't owe money at the end of the year.


That doesn't make sense, for example if the League revenues grow by more than 12% in a year, Escrow is only going to return the money paid in by the players, nothing more. If the revenues grow by a significant amount, the players get less than their share because growth > escrow.

Escrow only ensures players do not get more than their share, which is what its done 2 out 7 seasons. Escrow cannot ensure players do not get less than their share unless owners are topping it up and somehow distributing "revenue bonuses" to every player. This means that, in 5 out of 7 seasons where players got all of their escrow money back, they either didn't get their 57% or the owners kicked in more money to the players (or, possibly and miraculously, the total of all contracts signed by 30 teams added up to exactly 57% in 5 out of 7 years).

I used http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/hockey/nhl/salaries/team/this page, which shows "actual salary", which ranged from $71 million to $29 million. I added all the teams (to the nearest million, so some margin of error) and got $1.697 billion. League revenues were $3.3 billion. This means the players got 51.4% of revenues in salary.

One pointed out how the Islanders get their actual salary so low is by having tons of rookies' potential bonuses count fully against the cap instead of deferring. If the bonus ends up not being paid it still counted against the cap.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I haven't seen anything to suggest that escrow functions to give players more money than their contract value if league revenues skyrocket, or that players have gotten their 57% in the 5 years they got all of their escrow money back.
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby wienerdog » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:43 am

I think the real issue for the players with this last CBA is that salary spending hasn't been equal to overall League revenue growth. In their minds, they should be getting be getting 57% of the overall pie, and that's not happening.

It's not happening, of course, because most of the teams and their owners can't or won't keep pace with the cap ceiling. That means that the players feel that unspent money is money taken out of their pockets. What is lost in this conversation, is that those owners aren't just pocketing that revenue - they just don't have the franchises that afford to spend $70m per season on player costs.

Their offer is their way of trying to ensure that they get what they feel is due to them by letting the rich guys with strong franchises pick up the slack.

The grotesque thing is that they are willing to throw any semblance of competitiveness in the League completely out the window in order to accomplish this. NYR all of a sudden buying all the 1st overalls?

As a fan of the game, they can't be taken seriously with this approach.
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby dbr » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:27 am

I don't think the PA believes that those types of proposals will be taken seriously, any more than the league thinks 43% of HRR will be taken seriously. It's all just negotiating ploys designed to make other elements of the proposals seem less odious in comparison..

Buying draft picks is absolutely crazy, but next to it a luxury tax allowing a few teams to exceed the cap seems positively reasonable.
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby Southern_Canuck » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:03 pm

ESQ wrote:That doesn't make sense,...

Escrow only ensures players do not get more than their share, which is what its done 2 out 7 seasons. Escrow cannot ensure players do not get less than their share unless owners are topping it up and somehow distributing "revenue bonuses" to every player. This means that, in 5 out of 7 seasons where players got all of their escrow money back, they either didn't get their 57% or the owners kicked in more money to the players (or, possibly and miraculously, the total of all contracts signed by 30 teams added up to exactly 57% in 5 out of 7 years).

I used http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/hockey/nhl/salaries/team/this page, which shows "actual salary", which ranged from $71 million to $29 million. I added all the teams (to the nearest million, so some margin of error) and got $1.697 billion. League revenues were $3.3 billion. This means the players got 51.4% of revenues in salary.


I believe the NHLPA cap accelerator is a key contributor to the need for escrow --- after HRR is established and estimated in the off-season, the NHLPA has chosen to invoke their CBA accelerator, and increase the cap thus driving up actual salaries past what will likely be supported by 57% of HRR.

And I believe the $3.3B number for league revenue that you found includes some non-HRR, so actual HRR = $2.98B for 2011/12.

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Re: There will be a strike

Postby tantalum » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:48 pm

ESQ you may not be able to make the math work and given things like non HRR that S_C mentions is likely why. The benefits also are something like $80 mil..not a huge amount but unless i messed up typing on my calculator that's 2.6% of 3 billion. So the salaries would need to be 54.4%.

S_C is also correct that the inflator has likely contributed to the PAs dislike of escrow (and big signing bonuses and front loaded deals), but this doesn't fit into the "owners mess" narrative.
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby ESQ » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:07 pm

I don't profess to have any profound understanding of the CBA, so I certainly stand to be corrected on basic principles of it.

SC where did you get that $2.98 billion revenue number from? I'm relying only on media reports for my $3.3 billion number...

Tant, what is your source for benefits costing $80 million? I see what you mean about benefits being included in compensation, I didn't think benefits for 800 players being that high but I didn't think through pensions, US health care costs, etc.

BUT, am I missing anything about there being no way to re-compensate players if revenue growth outstrips escrow? I'm not a player, but if I got my escrow money back as basically a gigantic bonus 5 out of 7 years, I wouldn't consider that a huge issue in CBA negotiations. i recall that incident a couple seasons ago during a canucks game where Burrows appeared to be yapping Burrish or Ott or some other pest, and the Glen Healy revealed they were actually chatting about escrow payments.

If I'm a player, I'm more concerned with making poor teams spend more, or being able to spend more. I'm also not primarily concerned with the cap ceiling, which really only applied to 7 teams who were within $1 million of it last season.

As a player I'd be far more interested affecting the cap floor, which had 7 teams within $3 million. Also interesting to note is that of the 7 teams at the floor, four of them (St. Louis, Ottawa, Colorado, and Dallas) had been top-spending markets within the last 10 years.
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby SKYO » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:57 pm

The new CBA will be similar but the loopholes will be covered, doubt we will see anymore long term contracts to 40 years of age with huge bonuses etc. At least it will be cut down to a certain max amount of years per contract with age taking into consideration.

35+ years of age rule contract will adjust, so if player retires or something it won't count against cap.

Has to be a new rule so older players can go up to the NHL from the AHL without teams having to worry about re-entry waivers crap.

And drafted rookies will no longer be able to wait it out to become UFA's (The new Justin Schultz rule)
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby tantalum » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:41 am

ESQ wrote:Tant, what is your source for benefits costing $80 million? I see what you mean about benefits being included in compensation, I didn't think benefits for 800 players being that high but I didn't think through pensions, US health care costs, etc.


Without searching the CBA again I believe the number I took was actually the maximum those benefits could cost under the CBA. IT includes health insurance, pensions, per diems, temporary housing money etc etc etc

BUT, am I missing anything about there being no way to re-compensate players if revenue growth outstrips escrow? I'm not a player, but if I got my escrow money back as basically a gigantic bonus 5 out of 7 years, I wouldn't consider that a huge issue in CBA negotiations. i recall that incident a couple seasons ago during a canucks game where Burrows appeared to be yapping Burrish or Ott or some other pest, and the Glen Healy revealed they were actually chatting about escrow payments.


The escrow isn't a set amount every year from my understanding. They start it out at a certain rate in the first quarter of the season based on projections and then adjust as the season goes along and they get more information. The league is apparently not very good at their projections leading to more money than is likely necessary to be removed from paycheques.
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby Meds » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:14 pm

I can't remember which network it was, but the general consensus of the sports broadcaster was "who cares about hockey". Obviously it was an American network, but all the same, it was one of their major stations. The gist of it was that professional athletes in the big 4 leagues make an incredible amount of money to play a game, so who cares if they are out of jobs for a while. Went on to say that the fans will come back so who cares if there is a lockout.

I laughed. It's true.

On to other matters.....

I think the PA's proposal for a greater profit sharing system is crap. I don't think that successful franchises should have to foot any part of the bill for teams that can't make it. There are 16 teams in the NHL that boasted 100.0% or better attendance for home games this year. Another 5 teams were above 96%. It then dropped off dramatically to 87.4% and fell all the way to 72.5%.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance/_/sort/homePct

I think that Teams that sit in 86%-90% range are teams that can turn it around and are simply the victims of poor management that failed to keep the franchise competitive as players got older and moved on. New Jersey and Colorado are two such examples.

Teams that I think should be absorbed by the league or moved to hockey markets are Phoenix, Dallas, Columbus, and Phoenix has been a franchise in turmoil for years, no need to even rationalize why they should be moved or folded. Dallas has declined steadily and took a real dive after the economic bail outs and their bullshit handling of Modano. Columbus has been in the tank for a while.
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby tantalum » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:25 pm

Couple of updates that I'm sure most know anyways....

-no real negotiations yesterday or today. The session today lasted about 90 minutes and Fehr (once again) had some sort of meeting to get to. He'll probably have to take another trip to Europe soon or something as well....

-the leverage many people thought the players may have over the league doesn't exist. That is the NBC contract. Even if there is a missed season NBC will pay the league the $200 million. An extra year will be tacked onto to the end of the contract and that will be a free season for NBC. Essentially what this means is that the war chest people didn't think existed for the owners this time around does indeed exist. And you know this was purposely put in by the league to remove that as any sort of major pressure point for the players. Pretty darn clever on the part of Bettman and league. It basically ensures no owner is going to be losing money even if the lockout extends for an entire season. The only leverage then the players have is really the winter classic or missing the entire season and hoping the pressure builds next year. Thing is far before that happens the players are going to start to realize that the lost money will never be made up.
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby FAN » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:32 pm

tantalum wrote:-the leverage many people thought the players may have over the league doesn't exist. That is the NBC contract. Even if there is a missed season NBC will pay the league the $200 million. An extra year will be tacked onto to the end of the contract and that will be a free season for NBC. Essentially what this means is that the war chest people didn't think existed for the owners this time around does indeed exist. And you know this was purposely put in by the league to remove that as any sort of major pressure point for the players. Pretty darn clever on the part of Bettman and league. It basically ensures no owner is going to be losing money even if the lockout extends for an entire season. The only leverage then the players have is really the winter classic or missing the entire season and hoping the pressure builds next year. Thing is far before that happens the players are going to start to realize that the lost money will never be made up.

Yep. Things aren't looking good. If Forbes is anything to go by, more than half the teams in the league did in fact lose money last season so the teams that make a boatload of money likely don't have enough clout to push the league into making a deal.
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby tantalum » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:33 am

It would essentially mean that no owner is going to lose money if there is a season long lockout. It makes it easy for the owners to remain steadfast without any significant cracks. Sure a handful of teams would be making more money with games being played but the promise of a better deal where they make more money every year for numerous years will keep them in line. Having that news come out had to be a blow to the players. The Kovalchuk interview also didn't really help the players cause where he was essentially saying they believe they should be getting a share of concert money held in the arenas etc. That because other businesses the owners have are doing well they shouldn't worry so much about losing money or making money on the hockey team.

It is getting close to the point that players need to start asking themselves how long or if they will ever be able to make up the money they will lose if the lockout goes any significant amount of time. The players will only stand to lose money in a lockout...the owners aren't in the same position thanks to the NBC payment they'll get.

So the question is....does the Winter Classic provide a leverage point against the owners? Personally I doubt it and that's about the only thing I see the players have in this. So does Fehr communicate this to his membership and get to the table to negotiate the best deal he can now or does he risk going to lockout where without much leverage they are likely to get a poorer deal (at least IMO)? I enjoyed Fehr's comments about the industry being unique and that the players are not a replaceable commodity....the flip side of course is neither are there an in exhaustive supply of billionaire owners willing to take losses and provide jobs to those players who would otherwise be working low paying jobs.

The players get some leverage back if an entire season is scrapped IMO (as at that point the viability of the league with a more extended lockout starts to come into question and owners get concerned about franchise values etc.). Ar ethe players prepared to go that far? Everything in the history of this PA suggests they will not be willing to do that. The last lockout they panicked and tried to avoid cancellation offering up a hard cap (unlinked).
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby Potatoe1 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:51 am

tantalum wrote:It would essentially mean that no owner is going to lose money if there is a season long lockout.


I don't think that is accurate.

200 mill is around 8 mill per team. For most teams that probably wont cover their non-salary overhead.

They still have to pay their Lease, coaching staff, business operations, training staff, hockey opp's etc.

I think the most profitable model for most teams is a short season + full playoff, I don't think missing a whole season under the current CBA makes much sense for many teams.
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Re: There will be a strike

Postby Boston Canucker » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:00 am

Potatoe1 wrote:
tantalum wrote:It would essentially mean that no owner is going to lose money if there is a season long lockout.


I don't think that is accurate.

200 mill is around 8 mill per team. For most teams that probably wont cover their non-salary overhead.

They still have to pay their Lease, coaching staff, business operations, training staff, hockey opp's etc.

I think the most profitable model for most teams is a short season + full playoff, I don't think missing a whole season under the current CBA makes much sense for many teams.


that sounds about right. The owners, especially small market, probably have a Jan 1 or so start date sketched in pencil. I don't see the loss of the whole season. One can talk warchests all you want, but the league losing another season, and with the owners/Bettman basically just demanding another giveback, same as 04, I can't imagine Bettman sees this as good for the viability to the league or his future (1 commissioner losing 2 full seasons..that would be a hell of a legacy). The issues/differences aren't as major as 04, and the union is more unified, it seems, I hope, which is good thing. I don't want Bettman's "less flexible" nhl to become a total reality, wouldn't be much fun for fans (who, oh yeah, "the greatest fans in the world," them). I've always pegged it for a Jan 1 startoff, see nothing to change my view. The Winter Classic has put a spotlight on the NHL that has upped the overall league presence in the US; Bettman/NHL will be loathe to pass it by...a deal will get done, in late Nov/early Dec.

A lockout does fuck with our fantasy leagues though...sucks, it's basically what makes the early drudgery of the season interesting, especially since we're not likely to get to watch the annual travails of the Luongo October surprises!
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