Thursday, September 14, 2006

More Owner's Propaganda

The owners like to tell half-truths in order to show how good the league is doing and show how good the players are doing in the new CBA. I pointed out some examples of this during the regular season. They are still playing this game into the offseason.

One of the biggest changes with the new CBA is escrow. The players have to pay a portion of their salaries into an escrow account. If it turns out that the player costs are more than 54% of the defined NHL revenues, this escrow money goes back to the owners. At the end of the season, when revenues and player costs are known, everything is tallied up and the owners will give back the extra money in the revenue account to the players every year (as long as some major mishap did not occur). The owners will owe the players money at the end of every season in this CBA.

Why is this? Effectively it is because the owners do not trust the players with their money. The escrow percentage calculation is set so that the players will always overpay in escrow and there will always be some money left over to return to the players. This is the way the owners feel things have to be. Imagine that the players underpaid into the escrow account and the season ended. How would the owners recoup the money they are owed? How would the owners get a player who just retired or left to play in Europe to pay them the extra escrow money they are owed? The owners would have no leverage in a situation like this. Thus, this situation must be avoided. The players will have too much escrow deducted from their paycheques annually and get a refund every year.

The fact the players are owed money by the owners is neither a surprise nor a sign this CBA works. It is by design. Effectively, the players paid a deposit into the escrow account that was known to be too large and are now getting part of their deposit back. It is analogous to when one moves out in a landlord - tenant relationship. The landlord always owes the tenant money in this situation. The landlord owes the damage deposit. This is a deposit that the tenant already paid to the landlord. This fact does not show that the landlord - tenant relationship was a good one for the tenant. It is merely the way things are designed.

This fact does not stop the NHL from presenting the fact that the owners owe the players money at the end of the season as a sign that the CBA is good for the players. In fact Bob McKenzie did just that. Bob McKenzie is a regular shill for the owners. That is how he is an NHL insider. If he writes some propaganda for the owners, they will give him the inside scoop sometimes. Bob McKenzie must know that there is no surprise that the owners owe the players money at the end of the first season in this CBA. He must know that this situation is by design. That doesn't stop him from writing an article about how surprising it is, how good a sign it is for the NHL and how good the players have things.

McKenzie's propaganda for the owners took in some good hockey blogs. Odd man rush fell for it. The owners have to pay the player's deposits back from the escrow account. So what? That's not even newsworthy. It is the way the situation is designed. It certainly does not show that the NHL is doing well or that the players have it good under this CBA.

Gee, a double whammy Friday. I wake to find Blogger has taken mine and a bunch of other blogs down (5 hours and counting)AND over here I'm seen as a mark for the owners and their propaganda. I guess it's just goin to be one of those days, I can feel it. Stuff like this usually comes in threes (hat tricks). I wonder what's next.
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