Thursday, March 17, 2005

Lockout Now Half Year Old

Today is the 183rd day of the NHL lockout. That makes it half a year old.
** Technically if a year is 365 days, then half a year is 182.5 years. **
Has it been good for you? I can't say I have enjoyed spending half a year watching this instead of NHL hockey.

Today the NHL and NHLPA met for two and a half hours with only about 20 minutes spent actually talking to each other. Information can be found here. Apparently, the NHL proposed two new offers that, as far as they have been reported so far, are worse then offers in previous meetings in February. They offer either a salary cap of $37.5 million (when they had previously offered $42.5) or salaries linked to 54% of the NHL "defined revenues" - a term that to the best of my knowledge has never been defined (they had previously offered 55%). The story from the NHL is if the players wait, then offers will continue to get worse.

Now maybe I am missing the point, but can anyone explain to my why the percentage the owners can afford to give to the players of their revenue should drop the longer it takes for a deal to be reached? Even if total revenues drop, shouldn't the player's percentage remain the same? Hadn't that been the owners position since day one when discussing possible increases in revenue?

I don't imagine there is any chance at all that a deal will be reached if the NHL keeps making worse and worse offers. Its ridiculous. You said no to better than this before, will you accept less than you already refused now? That's not real negotiation. It seems clear the NHL wants to attempt to negotiate the legal minefield of impasse. That means it will get worse before it ever gets better.

Its awful that the NHL has put the fan through this for half a year so far, and it seems clear that the worst is yet to come.

The amount offered is less because the amount to be made next year is less. Why should the amount go up or stay the same? The offered deal will only get worse.
Why should the percentage offered go down? That makes no sense even if the total NHL revenue drops.

If the NHL actually wanted a deal, they cannot hope to get it by offering less and less as time goes on. That "strategy" is designed to lead to impasse.
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