Greetings from the LeBrun Media Enterprises head office in Toronto.Let's talk, er, hockey?
Hi Pierre,Really enjoy your work! Wish there would be hockey to talk about (trade rumors etc..). As a die hard hockey fan what is going on in the labor talks is a complete dog and pony show. Both parties should be ashamed especially the owners. The inability to divide 3.3bn dollars is a travesty. I actually have a bigger problem with the owners. Donald Fehr is right about Cap sports in that there is lockout after lockout. The owners want the players to take a significant cut now to bring split to less than 50/50 in favor of the owners. What makes anyone think that after the next CBA the owners do the same thing and cut the pie to 60% owners and 40% players and so forth. I have a major problem with Gary Bettman. Yes he works for owners. ALL 30 owners. He does not work for Jeremy Jacobs and the few other"hawks" How is it possible that the other 22 owners allow 7 to 8 owners control the show and have Bettman be the mouth piece for their greed. The other 22 owners became multi-millionaires/billionaires because they were fully engaged and LED their businesses not get dictated by control freaks like Jeremy Jacobs. Everytime we have CBA come up that guy has to ruin everything.
Your frustration is certainly well-grounded. I agree that the 22/8 power structure is a shame. But I do have to point out that the NHL is simply going after the same industry gain that the NBA delivered for them by scaling back players from 57 percent to 50 percent. You can't forget that.However, I do feel for the players. They gave up a lot last time around. My hope is that in going to a 50/50 split (which is inevitable) they can phase it in over a few years starting at let's say 53 percent so that the escrow doesn't clobber the players early on
Where was the 2013 Winter Classic Scheduled to be Played at If the Agreement was settled & the Rest of the NHL Season was on?
Ann Arbor, Michicagn, Red Wings hosting Maple Leafs
When will the NHL announce a bigger block of NHL cancellation games, perhaps allowing owners to recoop some lost revenues with concerts or car shows?
I was told it would happen likely within the next 7 days _ likely late next week is my guess...
If the NHL eventually gets going again, do you think Ryan Nugent will be an improved player this year and solid contributor, both offensively and defensivly? Will the time in the AHL help him?
yes I do. Biggest thing for him is to continue to fill out and grow physically. But AHL will provide him opportunity to grow his game defensively. He wont' learn much there offensively
What's your fave Rush tune? Am going to the show this weeknd and can't wait!!!
Tom Sawyer.ALthough my favorite Geddy Lee musical moment is his line in Tears Are Not Enough music video
Here's link to Tears Are Not Enough video from 1984, Canada's version of We Are The World from the U.S.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJN3u1wAWIk
If a player was injured last season and it requires further treatment, does the player continue to get treatment under team coverage by team doctors or does he have to pay or get insurance to cover continuing rehab?
Team doctors and the kicker for the player is that he continues to get his NHL salary in full while he recovers.
Pierre, Who own Yotes????-Dennis
Still the NHL right now :) Greg Jamieson's bid still not gone through, he's dealing with city of Glendale on lease agreement
I didn't realize Sid was an expert on CBA negotiations. Is there anything he can't do? Please write more articles with his profound insights into the process; "there's their side and there's our side" -- seriously, this is riveting stuff.
There's always interest in what the game's best starts have to say. Just like 99 and 66 back in their day. I actually thought Sid's comments were pretty profound, frankly.
Pierre, If we see a deal in the next couple of weeks, do you expect to see a lot of player movement before the season starts. I am sure that teams will have some transition relief, but do you expect it to work? p.s. I was watching an old Flyer-Isles game from the 70s on NHL Network this morning. Why did it take goalies so long to learn to butterfly? The low corners look like gravy!
Yes I do expect some player movement. I know a couple of NHL GMs who expect to try and ''vulture" off teams that are over the new salary cap, etc.... Will be an interesting time
When will we see real progress in the talks? I was so excited to see the upcoming wild season this year but now im losing hope
I'll stick with my original summer prediction: agreement by late November and mid-December puck drop
What is your take on the wild? Living here in MN is driving me crazy. Nothing against Parise or Suter, but fans here are acting like our salvation is here and these 2 are going to lead the wild to the promised land. For such a hockey rich state people can be quite ignorant. I say the wild get lucky to sneak into the 8th spot. I see a tight race between them, Colorado, and Dallas.
What excites me most about the Wild is how stacked I believe their prospect chart is. GM Chuck Fletcher and his staff have done a great job rebuilding a base that was empty when he got there. That's the real reason Wild fans should be excited.
Given the start of the AHL season, which team has the best prospects to watch? OKC (Edomonton's affiliate), Rochester (Buffalo's affiliate), Charolette (Carolina's affiliate), other?
No comparision _ OKC for sure
Hi Pierre,Did you read the article likening the lockout to 2 kids fighting over a popsicle? How much do you think has melted so far?
I did not, but that's pretty accurate
On my way to Mannheim to see Ehrhoff take on Seideberg and Goc. There are good things coming from the lockout... I wouldn't mind all players coming over here and creating their own league.
Good stuff. I'm certainly happy for fans in Europe to see some of their homegrown NHL starts. That's terrrific
Hi Pierre, Being a Kings fan and season ticket holder in some capacity for the last 30 or so years, I thought that I wouldn't mind the lockout this year as much as in years past(since the Kings have the cup). But I realized it's not just the Kings I love, it's the sport! With that being said, how much damage do you estimate will be done to the loyal fan bases the longer this lockout draws on for? I did not renew my season ticket plan for this season, and I wonder how many others are feeling as frustrated as I am? Any thoughts? Thanks as always.
Thanks Bill, always good to have you in the chat. This is anecdotal at best but my sense is that NHL fans are more upset than they were eight years ago. I think the NHL and NHLPA are playing with fire. Certainly if there's hockey at all this year, it's a total disaster for the industry. If we have some form of season, the sport will still lose fans but the damage will be mitigated. The key is to have some form of season this year
Dose both sides(nhl-nhlpa) realize how up set fans are and how big it would be to settle. Asap?
One would hope
How much does the NHL view the KHL as a threat? Obviously not much since they are in a lockout, but the KHL has some deep-pocket owners. Could they start to poach talent from the NHL if the players start feeling they would be treated better in Europe?
I think deep down the NHL realizes they may lose some Russian players over this, if not in the short term, perhaps when their contracts are up
Don't you think that the third lockout is a disgrace to the fans? I mean the owners know the die hard fans will be back but for the casual fan it might be a different story. Do you think its time to get pass the small issues and have the owners and players get down to brass tax? I think until the HRR is addressed they are just wasting their time.
Agree entirely on everything you just said
Any reason for optimism? The way I see it, the owners offers so far have been designed to break the NHLPA, nothing more. I don't see the NHLPA breaking before January, which it would have to do in order for there to be a season. The owners clearly know this, hence, they are willing to sit out a season to break the NHLPA. Game over. On the bright side, you get to spend the year at home with the kiddies!
Mike, good to have you back. In my conservations with both sides, I dont' get sense league is out for a year-long bloodfest this time. Yes they want major concessions from the players, but I don't think they're willing to sit out an entire season to get it. I just don't
Hey Pierre! I have a job interview in one hour. Does this make me more lucky than most NHL players? At least for a 10 minutes?
Depends on what the job is, hahaha
Donald Fehr has been consistently alluding to the fact that the NHL wants to remove certain players rights. What are some of these rights that the NHL has tabled and what effect would they have on the game?
I wrote about this last month but he's referring to the systemic player contract changes the NHL asked for in its first proposal in July.Namely:_ extend entry-level contract from 3 years to 5 years_ change eligibility for UFA status from 7 years to 10 years _ eliminate salary arbitrationAll things the players find offensive
Who in your opinion is the top player in the NHL?
My top 51. Sidney Crosby2. Steven Stamkos3. Jonathan Toews4. Evgeni Malkin5. Claude Giroux
I read Rob Simpson's tweet saying "a source close to ownership" thinks there will be games by November. Any chance that's true?
Pierre, talk radio here in NY yesterday was going crazy asking if there had ever been another instance of an all-time great player getting sat down in a huge spot like A-Rod getting pinch hit for the other night and Ibanez tying the game with a homer in the bottom of the ninth. The only other example people could come up with was Scottie Pippen and Toni Kukoc in the 1995 NBA playoffs...but that was not really the same because Pippen took himself out of the game. My better example is the 1998 Olympic hockey semis between Canada-Czech when Gretz is on the team but Crawford does not use him in the shootout in favor of Fleury, Bourque, Lindros, Nieuwendyk, Shanahan. Hasek stops everything. Gretz misses out on in his last shot at Olympic gold (the one hockey honor he never got as player) and then cries during the presser. What are your recollections from the fallout from that in Canada when it happened?
I like Marc Crawford a lot, worked with him last year at TSN, but not using 99 in that shootout was a major mistake. The sight of Gretzky sitting on the bench absorbing the loss after that game still haunts all Canadians to this day
To me, the fatal flaw of the NHL is a lack of true revenue sharing. The NHL says this isn't an issue (as I'm sure owners of Toronto, Boston, Montreal, NY Rangers would rather lose a season than give up lots of money to revenue sharing). Teams that make big profits refuse to share their profits. Can you imagine the new Maple Leafs owners agreeing to a CBA where they give up 50% of their profits to revenue sharing? Never going to happen. The last CBA suited them just fine. The higher % of league revenue they can take in as an individual franchise, the more profits they can make. In fact, they don't want to see struggling franchises make more money, as it would lower their % of league revenue, meaning a higher % of their revenue would go to players salaries, and hence lower their profits. Perverse as it sounds, the key to the huge profits of the big market teams is struggling small (or non-traditional hockey) market teams. A real cynic (like me) could argue that was the whole plan behind southern expansion in the first place. Now, the NHL's proposals have been to lower salaries so that the financially struggling teams can break even and the rich teams can make even more. At least Donald Fehr sees this for what it is, and has made revenue sharing the central piece to his proposals, but at the end of the day, the owners who run the league are never going to go for it.
agreed on revenue sharing. Need more meaningful version of it, which is what NHLPA has espoused in talks. NHL insists its new proposal for revenue sharing is also stronger. We shall see
Do you think the owners seeing their players going overseas will help maybe to end this lockout?
Not sure it's that much of a factor other than it helps players who would otherwise get antsy if they were sitting at home stay focused and playing the game they love
I just wanted to wish Bob Miller a Happy Birthday.
Great man !
Pierre, when talking about the NHL lockout, can we please stop using the phrase "dividing up the pie"? It is insulting to pie makers everywhere. Let's call this what it really is....dividing up THE MONEY!
True that Betty !
NBC Sports ratings are in the tank. What role can they play in settling this labor dispute quickly? I realize they'd get an extra year tacked on to their contract with the NHL, but it seems like they need the NHL ASAP.
No question in my mind that at some point _ if not already _ NBC honchos in NHL's ear urging deal to be made.
Pierre, do you get the sense that both sides are still posturing to basically let the other side concede first? Is non binding mediation a process so at least there is a mutual discussion instead of battle lines drawn with each side waiting for the other to lower their defenses?
yes is answer to first question
Is it possible for the AHL to eventually unattach itself from the NHL and sign some lockout players if this drags on?
NO. I spoke with AHL president Dave Andrews last month. He's going to respect the process. the NHL is an important partner to the AHL
How can the NHL and NHLPA have scheduling conflicts as to where they cannot meet today and everyday. With no hockey being played, isn't their job to meet and talk to get hockey going. It is starting to look like the nhlpa doesn't want to play either. Very disappointing as a fan. I don't think there are going to be as many jumping to go back as bettman and fehr think there will be
The league says it has a number of internal meetings today, some having to do with club matters, other meetings are to draft some language to deal with some of the material that was covered on secondary issues in bargaining talks Wed/Thurs... I wouldn't make a big deal of it.
As a college hockey fan, I've still got a way to get my fix, but I need the NHL too! My question concerns all of the guys who leave school early to turn pro - with the chance of a lockout being so strong last spring, why leave so you can be buried in the minors indefinitely? I hope the NHL will fix the way they handle college players in the new CBA. They're not cheap labor, they are assets to be developed.
We all wonder if there will be a 2012-2013 season. If this drags on and Fehr puts the salary cap on the table, we will have to wonder if there will be a 2013-2014 season. NHL could be in serious trouble.
I've heard different people say the owners would want a deal done in time to play the Winter Classic. How important is it for the league to make sure this game is played?
I personally think that while the WC is obviously the crown jewel of the regular season for the NHL, people are overestimating its impact on labor negotiations from league's perspective. League wants to get the deal it wants regardless of whether there's a WC or not this year
Donald Fehr, in general, is not a sports fan. So he certainly is no fan of hockey. So how can he say with integrity that he is concerned about the fans? How does he pretend to know just what it is we are missing ...and why we are missing it?
Don Fehr's No. 1 priority is the welfare of his players. That's what he's paid to take care of.Folks, it's a business.
Pierre, tell Grant in Minnesota (in case he didn't know) that I scored four goals in an AHL game the other night playing for the Houston Aeros. And Charlie Coyle added another two. Although the Parise/Suter signings will help, this is what Wild fans should really care about right now...especially since we are the only ones playing.
As I said...
Hi Pierre. If both sides are so committed to getting a deal done whats the hold up?
Both sides holding out just a bit longer to see if other side cracks first with compromises, etc... Classic negotiating 101. Sucks for fans, but this is hardly new ground being covered here
How would you describe the relationship between Matt Duchene and the Aves? I get the sense that he is in someone's dog house. Note that Landeskog was recently named the captain (after only his rookie year). No one will say it, but I get the sense that there is some sort of "sell by" date on Duchene here in Denver. Apparently young players aren't allowed to have a bad season these days.
For sure his next season will be important in terms of how the Avs view him long-term
I've told myself if there is no season this year that I will officially be done with NHL hockey, will be a Chicago Wolves fan from the AHL. Just frustrated by the whole thing especially after just going through all this. Please tell me I won't be giving my Nephews all my Hawks & hockey memorabilia!
dont' blame you.But I predict hockey by mid-December
Caps are not the only playoff team in town anymore. Leonsis better start pushing the other owners to deal or the red rockers could be seriously diminished this season.. Oh yeah there is some guy named RG3 in town too. This lockout is really going to sting the Caps. Not to mention they have a new coach and no pre-season. Any other teams you feel may be more affected by the lockout than others?
Non-traditional markets like Florida and Phoenix made huge jumps last season in terms of fan awareness. This really hurts them.Plus Cup champs in LA _ despite a solid market _ sure kills momentum in a crowded sports market
Assuming both would have a long health career, which 18 year old player would you rather have: Mario Lemieux or Sidney Crosby?
Can I have both playing on the same line ?
Clarification for Andrew's Q: Would seeing players going overseas AND GETTING HURT influence owners to end the lockout sooner?
now that's a different question. Yes. If big stars start getting hurt, owners will be dialing NHL offices in a hurry
Going by your earlier prediction of mid-December hockey, what teams are helped by the long offseason, and what teams are hurt?
I think it really helps the Kings recover from the Cup. Spoke to a Kings player in September who said his body still wasn't healed
A reminder to everyone, you do not "invest" in a sports business to make money. You "invest" to a)inflate your ego, b) appear to be devoted to the community and c) use the losses from the sports business to offset gains from your other more profitable businesses. That being said, there does need to be some degree of cost certainty to ensure a market value for the franchises when they change hands. However, do not be fooled by the owners constant talk that they need to make a profit and the only way to do it is off the backs of the players.
Pierre, any chance that a proposal is given by one of the sides within the next couple of days? I had your optimism but I'm starting to go with Bob Mackenzie's pessimism.
haha. Not sure about next few days, but maybe in next 2-3 weeks
I'm sorry you have to show up here each week and answer the same lockout questions, but at least ESPN didn't lock you out with the players!
haha, it's my job Byron. No worries. And thanks for coming on !
Not for this current labor struggle, too short notice, but how realistic is contraction? I'm not pro-owner, but some of the problem can be fixed by eliminating teams (Phoenix, Florida) that are being carried by the big money teams (Toronto). The NHLPA wouldn't want to lose 100+ jobs, but carrying unprofitable teams isn't something profitable owners want to do long term.
Don't see it. Lost jobs for players, lost revenue for league... if anything, I see the NHL adding two teams within next decade to go to 32 teams
Seems like the major sticking point isn't as much the HRR but immediate salary roll-backs. Although the 2 are tied together. Seems to me there will not be a new agreement until players accept some sort of immediate salary cuts.
The NHL hasn't asked for a salary rollback. Its proposal however does call for players to pay significant escrow at least in the first year. There is a HUGE distinction between a salary rollback and escrow. Both are negatives for a player, but the lesser of two evils is escrow because at least with escrow, there's a chance in some years that if revenue growth is solid, escrow won't be high or there may not be escrow at all. Where as a salary rollback _ like there was in 2005 _ hammers the entirety of a player's contract immediately. HUGE DIFFERENCE
Love your column and hearing you on the radio here in the Peg. Has their been much talk in negotations about who has the rights/control over issues such has divisional relaignment and other rules issues? I think its proper for the players to have a potential voice in any changes, but I dont want them to be able to use a veto for cba barganing. Which is what I think what happened when the league tried to get my beloved Jets out of the Southeast! Thoughts?
Thanks Cole, much appreciated. I'll be on Hustler and Lawless today at 6:15 pm ETAnd yes, NHL proposal called for league to gain full control over re-alignment and playoff format and scheduling. Obviously players not impressed by that
Pierre, how smart am I looking right now that (although we tried to get Parise/Suter) I didn't blow that cap room we saved on Staal/Michalek on any lesser players, because if the cap gets rolled back we won't have to jettison anybody and can actually add some cap castoffs from other teams. I bet Ken Holland feels the same way. Not so much for NYR or Bos....
Ray, you know I've always liked you anyway. You didn't need to do that to impress me :)
Pierre, great interview with Ryan Clowe. You could sense his passion and frustration, but after reading it I really took away that the players want to play. I know you didn't intend to be one-sided, but Clowe left me feeling that the players are really bothered by not playing. Any more of these stories in the near future?
I take no side in this labor mess. I allow both sides to vent their frustration through me, but I have ZERO stake in it. Billionaire owners vs. millionaire players. Not sure why any media would feel compelled to take a side
Just before the CBA expired, there was a rash of signings and extensions - mainly to players who would only have been RFAs at the end of their current deals. What is the owners justification for these? If there was a rush to get these deals done, under the old CBA, the structure couldn't have been so terrible.
Well, the players believe some owners rushed to sign guys because they gambled that massive escrow in new CBA would give them a shave off those new deals on the other side...
Bruins fans ... I know I am a multi Millionaire 50 times over but we need the extra money to keep the 12 dollar beers at 12 dollars... oooh wait did i say 12 just forgot we missed a few games they are now 15 dollars
LOL, best post of the day
Pierre, big Devils fan here. When all is said and done, will the fact that Marty Brodeur set all kinds of records despite being in three lockouts further support the fact that he is the best ever? I know the lockout will hurt some stars chances of catching records but I think this is a rare case that will help clear up the gray area.
No argument here
Hi Pierre. If we assume that revenue split is agreed at 50/50 (+/- a few %). What impact will that have on the cap? Some teams will have a difficult time if the cap shrinks. Do you see them adding in some one time rules like buyouts and the like?
Mario, I thought you lived in Pittsburgh? To answer your question, the NHL will allow for some transition rules that will help ease the quick turnaround under new CBA for teams over the cap. What those transition rules are, however, remain to be seen
Didn't mean that as a criticism, Pierre. I just enjoyed listening to a player intelligently speak about the process. Thanks.
No question, so do i. Cheers
No question, so do i. Cheers
Pierre, since you are canadian, we know you love "Tears Are Not Enough." But in the world of 80s overblown supergroup charity singles....where do you rate my heavy metal brainchild Hear N' Aid? Myself and Halford singing on the same song! With like 20 minutes of guitar solos from every 80s virtuoso! WE WERE BORN TO TOUCH A RAINBOWWWWWWWWWW!
hahahaha, love it. Actually listening to some Def Leppard as we speak
Keeping in mind that the average lenght of a hockey career is 4 years, that the players sat out for an entire year last time and bitterly lost while doing great financially afterwards and since the owners are requesting a new offer, I cannot conceive why the NHLPA is not more pro-active with various variations of offers. TIME is not, and will never be, on the players'side. They have no chance to win this war of attrition...
It is rare indeed for players to ''win", but by waiting as long as they can without too much pain, at least the players might make league sweat a little and perhaps get a better deal than otherwise would have been there....Again, negotiating 101
OK folks, kind of you to spend an hour with me again this week. Have a great weekend all of you.Cheers