Lock Out Explanation

I hope that my publishing private email correspondence doesn’t piss off the original recipient.

The collective bargaining agreement runs out today. So, basically, each side has no rules of engagement for dealing with the other. No formal/contractual relationship resides between the two entities. In order for the league (with players) to exist, they NEED a CBA that’s approved by both sides.

They just can’t agree on a CBA.

If the players strike… so fuckin’ what? Striking is usually meant to force management into re-negotiation of an existing (deemed unfair) contract. There’s no contract anyway.

Owners want a salary cap: No matter how good you are, you can only make X per year, maximum. As a rule, then, players with inflated salary versus production ratios (overpaid slack-asses) will eventually get knocked down in pay, relative to players who are kicking ass and will (should) re-negotiate their contracts when the time comes. Theoretically, a handful of the best players in the league make X per year, and everyone else’s salaries are set against that bar.

I doubt the owners even have an X value in mind at this point.

The league side is worried about good teams in poor markets not being able to sustain themselves financially, where the money Detriot, Philly and New York are making is enough to finance two teams. So, I guess there’s some concept of profit sharing in there, too.

The union is saying, “fuck you and your salary cap” because everywhere else in the sports world, players are getting signed to absurdly high-dollar contracts (which is beginning to happen in the NHL). So, the union (players) are looking out for their own financial interests.

Both sides are. The only difference is in the investment: League/Owners invest millions to get a team, then try to run it and make some money (or at least break even). They’re looking for a reward based on business acuity. Players invest a lot of time and physical effort to play the sport, and hope to make some money if they don’t completely suck. So they’re being rewarded for being good athletes.

Either way, yeah it totally blows. The league/teams/players will lose money and fans in Canada & US where the NHL matters most. They stand NO chance to gain interest from “new” girly-types.

Players can always go to Europe to play hockey.