Posts Tagged Ron Burkle

Statements from Vinik, Burkle, Chipman and Tanenbaum

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune: Statements from 4 owners today:

Statement from Jeff Vinik

Tampa Bay Lightning Chairman and Governor Jeff Vinik today issued the follow statement today:

“After working this week with our players toward what we hoped would be a new agreement, owners presented a proposal we believed would benefit those great players, ownership, and, ultimately, our fans for many years to come. While trust was built and progress was made along the way, unfortunately, our proposal was rejected by the Union’s leadership. My love for the game is only superseded by my commitment to our fans and I hold out hope we can soon join with our players and return the game back to its rightful place on the ice.”

Statement from Ron Burkle

The idea to put players and owners together in the same room was a refreshing idea. Commissioner Bettman should be thanked for proposing it and the Fehrs should be thanked for agreeing to it.

The players came with a strong desire to get back to playing hockey.They were professional and did a good job of expressing their concerns and listening to ours.

We wanted to move quickly and decisively. We have all spent too much time without any real progress at the expense of our fans, our sponsor and the communities we serve. It was time to make bold moves and get a deal. Many people think we got over our skis and they are probably right, but we wanted to do everything we could to get back to hockey now. We didn’t hold back.

We made substantial movement on our end quickly, but unfortunately that was not met with the same level of movement from the other side. The players asked us to be patient and keep working with them. It’s not what
they do and they wanted us to know they were committed. We understood and appreciated their situation. We came back with an aggressive commitment to pensions which we felt was well received. We needed a response on key items that were important to us, but we were optimistic that we were down to very few issues. I believe a deal was within reach.

We were therefore surprised when the Fehrs made a unilateral and “non-negotiable” decision – which is their right, to end the player/owner process that has moved us farther in two days than we moved at any time in
the past months.

I want to thank the players involved for their hard work as we tried to reach a deal.

I hope that going backwards does not prevent a deal.

Statement from Mark Chipman

Mark Chipman, Chairman and Governor of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, today issued the following statement:

“I’d like to thank the NHL for giving me the opportunity to participate in this very important process.

I came here optimistic that we could find a solution. That sense of optimism grew after our first few sessions, including the small group discussions late last night.

Regrettably, we have been unable to close the divide on some critical issues that we feel are essential to the immediate and long-term health of our game.

While I sense there are some members of the players association that understand our perspective on these issues, clearly there are many that don’t.

I am deeply disappointed that we were unable to bring this extremely unfortunate situation to a successful conclusion and I wish to apologize to our fans and sponsors for letting them down.”

Statement from Larry Tanenbaum

“I was pleased to be asked to join the Player/Owner negotiation sessions. I had hoped that my perspective both as a businessman and as one of the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs would be helpful to the process. Like all other teams, this work stoppage has hurt our fans, our employees and our business. Neither the owners nor the players will ever recover the losses incurred with this work stoppage.

I understand how important it is to have a strong league and 30 healthy teams. I must admit that I was shocked at how things have played out over the last 48 hours. The sessions on Tuesday felt cooperative with an air of goodwill. I was optimistic and conveyed my optimism to the Board of Governors at our Wednesday meeting. However, when we reconvened with the players on Wednesday afternoon, it was like someone had thrown a switch. The atmosphere had completely changed. Nevertheless, the owners tried to push forward and made a number of concessions and proposals, which were not well-received. I question whether the union is interested in making an agreement.

I am very disappointed and disillusioned. Had I not experienced this process myself, I might not have believed it. Like all hockey fans, I am hopeful this situation can be resolved as soon as possible. I miss our game.”

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A CBA round up from yesterday’s meetings

Both the NHL and NHLPA made proposals yesterday.

After last night’s meetings which ended around 1 am:

  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: The NHL and NHLPA may have cut back their numbers in tonight’s meetings. 3 owners and few players than earlier in the day.
  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: The NHL has increased their ‘make whole’ number to $300 million, up from $211 million. The players offered $383 million in their offer 2 weeks ago. Bob McKenzie via twitter: For the $300 million ‘make whole,’ $250 million is to ‘make whole’ and $50 million is for pension funding.
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: The NHLPA will like that the NHL remained status quo on UFA and salary arbitration. The NHLPA won’t like the 5 year term limits on contracts (7 for a teams own UFA), 5% variance from year to year, and a 10 year CBA. The 10 CBA term length has an out clause after 8 years.
  • Darren Dreger via twitter: The players may not love the NHLs latest proposal, but it might be enough for them to vote on it.
  • Katie Strang via twitter: Multiple sources told Strang that there is a growing concern with the NHLPA about the current format going forward. The PA is looking for no more restrictions on who is in the room. Some of the concern may be that this format could put a wedge among NHLPA members. One source said today’s session was “bizarre.” Having no restrictions on who is present in the room would mean that both Don Fehr and Gary Bettman would be present.
  • Rob Rossi via twitter: Both sides are still a bit frustrated. Penguins owner Ron Burkle not thrilled by the union.

Before the evening session:

  • Tim Panaccio via twitter: A 10 year CBA was discussed but not formally proposed. Owners want a 10 year deal more than players.
  • David Pagnotta via twitter: The NHL would make certain “concessions” if the CBA would be longer than the offered 6-7 year deal. Concerns over player contracts and ‘make whole’ are still there.
  • Jesse Spector via twitter: “Thing I haven’t been able to grasp: Why would NHLPA want a shorter deal, and invite the owners to dip into their pockets again sooner?”
  • Tom Gulitti via twitter: If a deal gets reached soon, a 54 to 60 game season is possible. 54 games if they start around Christmas, 54 if they start January 1st.

Yesterday morning:

  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: There was talk in the Board of Governors meeting that there was a possible schedule if there is a deal. One executive said that a 60 game schedule is likely too many games, a 50 plus schedule is possible.
  • Michael Russo via twitter: Stars Alex Goligoski, ”It is positive that some progress was made, but until you’re in the final stages of this thing and things are agreed on by both sides, it’s almost foolish to be too optimistic.”
  • David Staples via twitter: Doug MacLean said that Gary Bettman intended to grind the players down until December 1st, then work to get a deal done.

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Cautious Optimism after last night’s talks … A GM says most owners want a deal, and that Bettman blew it

  • Katie Strang via twitter: The NHL and NHLPA are expected to reconvene around 9 am this morning, with the Board of Governors meeting at 11 am.
  • TSN videos on talks from last night, here and here.
  • Aaron Ward via twitter: Both sides may have discussed further means of ‘giving.’ Sides are encouraged by talks so far.
  • Tom Gulitti via twitter: Gulitti was told there was progress, but it’s still at a delicate stage. Similar situations before in talks that didn’t work out.
  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: The players left the meetings around midnight last night. One player texted: ”There was certainly traction. But I don’t want to say more.” “Cautious Optimism” is a word being used by many. Bill Daly and Steve Fehr stood side-by-side addressing the media after the talks had finished. Penguins billionaire owner Ron Burkle “shined brightly in talks.” Burkle had been talking with Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby and Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson, over the past couple weeks.
  • NHLPA.com: Players in New York yesterday: Craig Adams, David Backes, Michael Cammalleri, Sidney Crosby, B.J. Crombeen, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Jamal Mayers, Manny Malhotra, Andy McDonald, Ryan Miller, George Parros, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Jonathan Toews , Kevin Westgarth.
  • Allan Walsh via twitter: Walsh talked with a GM who said that the majority of owners want a deal, and that Bettman blew it with their first 43/57 offer. Bettman, Jacobs, Batterman have no respect for the players and general managers, and that this lockout is a wasted opportunity to advance the game. One big complaint from the GM is that most owners don’t understand the nuances of the CBA. Most GMs see Bettman as the enemy. The GM used Lou Lamoriello as an example. Look at what happened after the Devils signed Kovalchuk: arbitration, big fine, loss of draft picks. Lamoriello was involved in a lot of negotiations during the last lockout, where is he now?
  • John Shannon via twitter: There are Board of Governors meetings today, and on Thursday/Friday the NHL and NHLPA will be in front of the Quebec Labor Board.

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