Posts Tagged NHL Lockout

Bruins owner Jacobs talks about the lockout … Bettman meets with Katz Group and City

  • Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe: Bruins owner said didn’t want a lockout, but thought it was necessary to get the game on strong fiscal ground.

    “I am coming off winning a Stanley Cup [in June 2011]. I’ve got a sold-out building. I have a financially sound business — no debt. I’ve owned [the team] for 37 years. I’m the last guy that wants to shut this down. I don’t want this to shut down.

    “Unfortunately, I play in a league with 30 teams and when I step back and look what’s going on with the broadest sense of the league, I’ve got to play a role that is constructive. My selfish interest was definitely to keep this going within the parameters of the deal that was out there. But it [didn’t] make sense for the league, long-term.

    “We have a lot of people [among the 30 ownership groups] that were tired of this. A lot of people were promised that we would try to right-size this. And I had to play a role in it.

    “To be vilified, I don’t think is right, but . . . what’s my opinion on something like that?’’

    Jacobs thinks the lockout blame should fall on the players.

    “They had no expression or desire to make a deal,’’ he said, later adding, “if someone doesn’t engage, you don’t offer.’’

    “Nobody won,’’ said Jacobs. “But more importantly, no one lost.’’

  • John Shannon via twitter: Shannon confirms that Gary Bettman was in Edmonton on Friday. He had meetings with the Katz Group and the City about the new arena. There will be a council briefing on Wednesday.

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BOG to vote on Wednesday … Memo about camp and schedule … NHLPA wanted expansion … Entry level players have to share a room

  • Elliotte Friendman via twitter: The NHL sent a memo to teams indicating that there will be no training camps before Saturday and may not open until Monday. A 48 game season could start on January 19th.
  • Chris Johnston via twitter: Any NHL contract that is over $900,000 will count against the salary cap if sent to the minors. One-way deals that are minimum salary plus $375,000 are exempt from the salary cap.
  • Tim Panaccio via twitter: Bill Daly confirmed that you can’t use a compliance buyout on a player who has LTIR, status such as Chris Pronger.
  • Gary Lawless via twitter: Confirms that realignment is not part of the CBA. The Jets will be in the Eastern Conference this year, with the NHL looking at realignment for next season.
  • Chris Kuc via twitter: Players had a conference call yesterday afternoon to go over the details of the CBA.

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NHL and NHLPA reach a tentative deal

  • TSN: A tentative agreement has been reached. Some features of the deal:

    - The players’ share of hockey-related revenue will drop from 57 percent to a 50-50 split for all 10 years.

    - The league coming off their demand for a $60 million cap in Year 2, meeting the NHLPA’s request to have it at $64.3 million – which was the upper limit from last year’s cap. The salary floor in Year 2 will be $44 million.

    - The upper limit on the salary cap in the first year is $60 million, but teams can spend up to $70.2 million. The cap floor will be $44 million.

    - The 10-year deal also has an opt-out clause that kicks in after eight years.

    - The salary variance on contracts from year to year cannot vary more than 35 per cent and the final year cannot vary more than 50 per cent of the highest year.

    - A player contract term limit for free agents will be seven years and eight years for a team signing its own player.

    - The draft lottery selection process will change with all 14 teams fully eligible for the first overall pick. The weighting system for each team may remain, but four-spot move restriction will be eliminated.

    - Supplemental discipline for players in on-ice incidents will go through NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan first, followed by an appeal process that would go through Bettman. For suspensions of six or more games, a neutral third party will decide if necessary.

    - Revenue sharing among teams will spread to $200 million. Additionally, an NHLPA-initiated growth fund of $60 million is included.

    - The NHL had hoped to change opening of free agency to July 10, but the players stood firm and it remains July 1 in the new agreement. But with a later ending to the season, free agency for this summer will start at a later date.

  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: It’s probable that the NHL’s Board of Governors could meet on Tuesday in New York to vote on the deal.
  • Mike Harrington via twitter: A 48 game schedule: 7 games vs. teams in division (28), 2 vs. other 10 in conference (20). A 50 game schedule: 5 vs. teams in division (20), 3 vs. other 10 teams in conference (30). No games vs. West in either scenario.
  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: The compliance buyouts can be used over the next 2 summers only, with the option to use both buyouts at the same time. Brian Lawton via twitter: There is still no agreement for the right to buyout injured players like Chris Pronger or Mattias Ohlund.
  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: Free agency will remain on July 1st. The NHL had wanted to move it back to July 10th, but players held firm on 1st.
  • John Shannon via twitter: There has been no agreement on the Olympics or World Cup. A joint player and league committee will deal with international events.
  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: Kypreos was told that Bettman was under intense pressure from major sponsors to get a deal done.

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Some GMs want to “Dismantle” their teams … Was a deal close on Wednesday? Some progress has been made

  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post: Gary Bettman has apparently told some NHLPA members on Thursday that the some general managers have told him they regret some of the contracts they had previously handed out and would welcome the chance to “dismantle” their team to get below the $60 million cap limit the NHL is proposing. The players were angered and demanded to know which GMs said this.
  • Michael Grange of Sportsnet: Sources are saying that a new CBA was close on Wednesday night but league sources say that the NHLPA “pulled the chute.” The PA said they didn’t nothing. Talks have leveled off the last couple days, and hope of a deal getting done by the 5th with the season starting on the 12th, are now gone. If they could have reached a deal and started on the 12th, $130 million in revenue may have been generated. That’s $65 million for the players, averaging about $100,000 per player. If a deal gets done and the season starts on Jan. 19th, the players will have lost approximately $700 million since Nov. 2nd, or about $1 million per players on average.
  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Despite the positive tone leaving in the last couple days, both sides have made some progress.

    • The NHLPA agreed to go to 10 years in CBA length, finally matching the NHL’s desire on term for the deal (although the NHLPA has an opt out after Year 7 while the NHL would prefer one after Year 8).
    • The NHLPA asked the NHL to up its compliance buyout to two per team, up from one per team before the 2013-14 season. The league agreed.
    • The NHL upped its salary variance rule to 30 percent, up from the 5 percent and then 10 percent demands it had had in previous offers.

    There are still 7 or 8 issues that are unresolved, with the most meaningful ones being the salary cap for next season, max term on player contracts and the players pension.

  • Renaud Lavoie via twitter: For the NHLPA to agree on a 10 year CBA, they have a couple conditions: an opt out after 7 years and a minimum salary of $800,000 in the 9th year.
  • Tom Gulitti via twitter: The players had asked for 2 compliance buyouts. The players are not apparently upset at how GMs would use the buyouts to get rid of contracts they regret.
  • NHLPA: Players attending yesterday’s meetings: Chris Campoli, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Andrew Ference, Ron Hainsey, Jamal Mayers, George Parros, Kevin Westgarth.

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Bettman set to cancel the season next Thursday … 48 game schedule for Jan. 19th with 7 divisional games

  • Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press: A veteran member of the NHL Board of Governor’s has said that Gary Bettman is prepared to cancel the season next Thursday if a deal is not complete or appearing to be imminent. The NHL believes the that Don Fehr won’t do a deal until after Bettman cancels season. That Fehr is slowing down the process one last time to put pressure on Bettman according to the governor. The governor also theorized that if Bettman canceled the season, Fehr would wait a day or two before one last leverage attempt that would be better for the players. If the season is lost, the NHL may pull their 50-50 share and will look for a revamped package.
  • Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Sources are saying there is a 48 game scheduled created to start on January 19th. The first day of the season would feature lots of rivalry games, and would be played throughout the day. Under this schedule, teams would play 7 games against their division rivals, and a home and away with each of the remaining conference teams. They could have went with a 52 game schedule starting January 12th if a deal was done by this weekend.

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Two compliance buyouts and a variance in the 20% range … Coaches being called back?

  • Michael Grange via twitter: It is encouraging that the NHL has agreed on two compliance buyouts per team in 2013-14 and have moved variance in the 20% range.
  • Dobber via twitter: A 20% variance would still allow for pretty severe front/back-loading of contracts, it would eliminate ridiculous drop-offs in the last couple years. James Mirtle via twitter: An 8 year contract could look like: (in millions) $10, $10, $10, $8, $6, $4, $2, $1.
  • Darren Dreger via twitter: Buyouts would count against the players share and not the owners. The players don’t like that as they prefer money outside the system.
  • Josh Rimer via twitter: A player told Rimer: ”PA still feels NHL is purposely hiding money & that we’ve let all players know about it.”
  • Chris Stevenson via twitter: Stevenson is hearing rumors that teams are reaching out to their coaches and telling them to be ready. Some are booking flights. Josh Rimer via twitter: Rimer has been told that there is no truth to rumors that NHL is contacting coaches and telling them to be ready.
  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: As of Wednesday night, it’s believed that NHLPA moved from $67 million to $65 million for 2013-14. The NHL refuses to move off of $60 million.

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The old bait and switch? Voting ends on Saturday for authorizing board to file for disclaimer

  • Larry Brooks via twitter: There is a belief within the NHLPA that Bettman and Batterman pulled a bait and switch after the NHLPA’s initial disclaimer of interest deadline passed. Darren Dreger via twitter: There are many reports on HRR discussions and allegations that the NHL had failed to identify alterations to specific articles in their offer, is deeply concerning for the players. A league source has said that all the “changes” were highlighted and flagged, and that the union has had the documents for a week.
  • Renaud Lavoie via twitter: The vote has started for the players giving the executive board the right to file for a disclaimer of interest. Voting ends Saturday at 6 pm.
  • Eric Macramalla via twitter: “NHLPA looking for court to punt NHL’s lawsuit on basis that mere threat of a possible disclaimer is not enough of a basis for the lawsuit. NHLPA: as well, this is all being done by the NHL to secure a favourable court to hear its case – which is what the NY court could be. So NHLPA’s argument:NHL wants Court to rule on a hypothetical but cant; as well even if wasnt hypothetical NHL just trying to get fav court. Fehr will not be swayed by the NHL’s declaration that if NHLPA disclaims season is done.”
  • Eric Macramalla via twitter: After filing for a disclaimer, there would be no guarantee that the players would reorganize back to a ‘union’ from a ‘trade association.’
  • Bill Watters via twitter: The NHL as already advised Don Fehr and the PA that if a second disclaimer is played, the season will be over.
  • Dan Rosen via twitter: Don Fehr was not part of the small group talking about pensions in the early evening and in the afternoon session.
  • John Shannon via twitter: Neither meeting on HRR and pensions yesterday were a full meeting. There is a belief that much hadn’t changed in the last 24 hours.
  • David Pagnotta via twitter: From a source who is directly involved with negotiations, ”a significant number of (CBA) issues” have been agreed upon but ”not all issues are of equal importance.” There are several ”fundamental issues” that need to be agreed upon. They been good when that happens, but who knows how long that will take.

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PA doesn’t file disclaimer of interest … Pension and salary cap ceiling are big issues

  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: Settling the pension issue would be key to getting a deal done. There is still big money at stake for the NHL and NHLPA. Other issues would fall in easier. There are some owners who feel that the pension offer from the the NHLPA leaves them with too much liability. Pierre LeBrun via twitter: The players are still sour at the league over the pension issue. This needs to be resolved before any deal gets done. Darren Dreger via twitter: Entering yesterday, the NHLPA wanted the NHL to share in the pension cost. The bigger issue may be the teams ongoing liability to pay the pension after this CBA would expire. Eric Macramalla via twitter: In the past, the NHL has funded the majority of the pension, now they want the players to fund.
  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: The 2nd year for salary cap remains a big issue. The NHL is still looking for $60 million. NHLPA is will to go to $65 million. The NHL doesn’t want the cap floor to move. David Pagnotta via twitter: The NHLPA is fighting hard to get the salary cap ceiling higher than the $60 million the NHL is aiming for.
  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: LeBrun is hearing that both sides were disappointed with the lack of true movement in each sides latest proposals.
  • David Pagnotta via twitter: Pagnotta was told that the NHLPA is willing to have a 10 year CBA and a 6 year max contract for free agents, but they countered on the 10% variance and the cap number.
  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: There were minor strides gained yesterday, with enough to bypass filing the disclaimer of interest. It is still in option, but would need a re-vote by the NHLPA. Bruce Garrioch via twitter: Don Fehr said they will keep their legal options open. They will be there for a meeting at 10:00 AM, with a mediator.
  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: Bettman is fighting for the smaller markets to pay less money, and wants the big markets (like the Canucks) to dismantle their roster despite the PA not asking for a cap on escrow.

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NHL responds with another counter offer … If sides aren’t far apart, NHLPA won’t file disclaimer

  • David Alter via twitter: Fehr said they received a comprehensive response from the NHL and hopes to respond to them [today]. Renaud Lavoie via twitter: The NHL and NHLPA will speak on the phone this morning and will decide when to meet. Gary Bettman: ”we anticipate being back together tomorrow.”
  • TSN: The NHL made another proposal last night, giving a 30 minute presentation on it.

    “They did make a comprehensive response to what we gave them,” players’ association executive director Donald Fehr said. “We asked a couple of questions. Now what we have to do is go through the document, try to make some sense out of it, compare it and see what the appropriate thing is to do next.”

    Gary Bettman wouldn’t give any details of their latest offer.

    “There were certain things that the players’ association asked for that we agreed to, there were some things that we moved in their direction, and there were other things that we said no,” he said. “That’s part of the process.”

  • NHLPA via twitter: Players in meetings: Craig Adams, Chris Campoli, Mathieu Darche, Rick DiPietro, Shane Doan, Andrew Ference, Ron Hainsey, Jamal Mayers & Martin St. Louis.
  • Eric Macramalla via twitter: “The players have authorized the #NHLPA to disclaim interest by tomorrow; however if NHLPA doesn’t it can do it later – no real deadline. NHLPA will only disclaim interest if it believes the sides are too far apart;Fehr has said they are close – so would be a surprise to see it. A precursor to a disclaimer is union statements like “we are just too far apart” and “this just isn’t going to get done”; haven’t heard that. So if the sides are close to a deal, don’t expect the NHLPA to disclaim interest by Jan 2 deadline; but if deal not close expect disclaimer. So disclaimer threat may act as catalyst to get a deal done – NHLPA will not hold another player vote authorizing disclaimer – now or never. There are still big issues that need resolving like the cap in 2013, escrow and make whole – this is a concern #nhl #nhlpa. On bad faith disclaimer issue – Fehr may have said sides are close – however Bettman has said they have been far apart – so may help PA. If Fehr dissolves NHLPA it may not be re-formed and may stay trade association – this may not be same as NBPA and NFLPA.”

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NHL reviewing 28 page offer, will get back to them this morning … League executive furious at Bettman

  • Jonas Siegel of TSN: The NHLPA submitted a “comprehensive” proposal to the NHL yesterday afternoon. Gary Bettman said that the NHL would study the offer and get back to Don Fehr this morning.

    “Their response was a comprehensive one, dealing with the full slate of issues that we raised and proposals that we put forth,” said Bettman, amidst a horde of passersby eager to ring in the New Year. “We’re in the process of reviewing their response.”

    Fehr said they moved off their last offer, but wouldn’t provide any details of the offer.

  • Kevin Allen of the USA Today: Players who were at yesterday’s meetings included: Ron Hainsey, Chris Campoli, Jamal Mayers, Rick DiPietro, Martin St. Louis and eventually Shane Doan. The group showed up at the NHL office shortly after 2:00 PM, and had left before 5:00 PM.

    “There was an opportunity for the players association to highlight the areas that they thought we should focus on,” Bettman said. “Now that is something we have to look at very closely.”

  • John Shannon via twitter: The NHLPA’s proposal was 26 pages long compared to the NHL’s 288 page offer. May lead you to think there might be some common ground.
  • Ken Campbell via twitter: Campbell has heard that part of the PA’s proposal is that the PA will try to get future expansion and relocation fees part of HRR. David Shoalts via twitter: Was told PA never considered or discussed asking for future expansion or relocation money.
  • John Shannon via twitter: A team executive said that he’s been hearing that the players were impressed with the Bettman’s demeanor last night.
  • Katie Strang via twitter: Fehr would not speculate as to whether the two sides were any closer or characterize the league’s response.
  • Tracey Myers via twitter: Bettman: ”We need to drop the puck by Jan. 19 if we’re going to play a 48-game season.”
  • Allan Walsh via twitter: A furious team executive told Walsh yesterday morning that Bettman because he refuses to consult or update teams on the negotiations. The executive said they only get skeleton memos with no real info. Added that he gets all his info from his players. He is furious that the guys who build teams, and that know the business inside and out are completely frozen out by Bettman. Executive added: ”Do you understand how infuriating it is for me to have to call a player for a negotiation update? We don’t know what’s in the 288 pages the league proposed. Every one of my players do.”

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NHL to receive counter offer this afternoon … “tweak and a fix” … Bryzgalov to see specialist

  • Darren Dreger via twitter: The NHLPA will be presenting a counter offer today. Meetings are scheduled to begin around 1-1:30.
  • Mike Brehm of USA Today: Reports that Ilya Bryzgalov was leaving CSKA because the lockout was ending are not true. His contract remains in place as he visits specialists in North America for an upper-body injury.

    “We emphasize that the medical staff CSKA enjoyed the absolute confidence of the reason for the forced departure of goalkeeper is that he has turned to overseas doctors with the same injury before and was a successful therapy,” the team said in a statement, according to Google translate.

    “We respect the work of journalists and understand the importance … (for them to be first) but encourage them … (to) rely on facts, not on rumors,” the statement said.

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Information and internal meetings yesterday, face-to-face today … $60 million cap issue for players … No CBJ-WIN swap

  • TSN: The NHL and NHLPA will meet today after spending most of the weekend going over the NHL’s 288 page offer. The PA met internally Sunday afternoon after having information sessions with the NHL earlier in the day. There was talk that they could meet face-to-face Sunday night, but they postponed until today. TSN’s Aaron Ward said that they could expect some players to show up in New York. Ward added that lawyers and financial staff for both sides met yesterday.
  • Gary Lawless via twitter: Lawless is hearing from the players side of things that the $60 million cap is the biggest issue. They are also looking for a 7 or 8 max term limit. Ben Kuzma via twitter: The $60 million salary cap ceiling will be a tough sell for players, even with the buyouts. Players are looking for $67 million.
  • Aaron Portzline via twitter: Bill Daly when asked if a Blue Jackets-Jets conference swap is possible: ”Not being considered. Has never been considered.”

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