Friday, January 28, 2005

NHLPA not happy with latest proposal

While the NHL says there was never a formal proposal tabled, all of the aspects of a proposal were given to the NHLPA yesterday. The salary range has changed — it now has a low end of $32-mil and a high mark of $42-mil — but there is linkage. Should salaries exceed revenues by 55 per cent, the cap boundaries would change.

Bob McKenzie is saying the NHLPA membership should have a vote, but I'm not so sure that's going to happen. The only way that would be possible would be through the PA's secure website, which at this point is anything but secure. There are more than 700 players with access to the site; it doesn't take much for a reporter to endear himself to one of those fellows to see what is being said.

And, that, as much as anything would be the reason there won't be a vote. Imagine how devastating it would be to the PA if a vote came out that showed even 30 to 40 per cent of its membership supported the proposal. That information would leak to the media, likely within a matter of hours, and anyone can envison the headlines now. Union membership fractured: Will cave soon says league.

30 to 40 per cent (an arbitrary number) is more than enough to ice a league of "replacement" players, should that be the route the league goes. Make no mistake, if that does happen, Canadians will be lining up at the turnstiles to watch the scabs don their teams colours.
"It would still be better than it was in the last [CBA] where you had Pittsburgh at $24-mil and the Rangers at $85-mil or $90-mil," one small-market GM told the Post yesterday.

"At least you wouldn't have that ridiculous difference in payrolls. I'm not saying I'm in favour of that but if you're looking at a compromise to get a deal, if that's what both sides really want to do, then I supposed that's one way of doing it."
I agree. Of course a small-market GM isn't doing cartwheels over this deal, but at least it would level the playing field a bit more. More as it happens... things are percolating here today.

UPDATE Another GM says we'll know by early next week if the season is cancelled.

UPDATE2 Well, I was going to follow this today, but I've been sent to cover a game. Keep your eyes on this stuff today and tomorrow, however, as I think things will shift one way or the other.


At 2:38 p.m., January 28, 2005, Blogger Nick said...

Hasn't the whole replacement players thing been ruled out because of the labour laws forbidding replacement workers in some Canadian provinces (BC and Quebec, specifically)?

At 3:10 p.m., January 28, 2005, Blogger Sea Otter said...

Nick -- there is some question as to whether or not the NHLPA is a union, or simply an Association. Apparently in Quebec, they are not recognized as a union, but that could potentially be changed by the Habs players holding a certification vote. In BC, they apparently do have "union" recognition, but do you really see governments in either province holding up NHL hockey? Laws can be changed quickly, and I don't think anyone views wealthy independent contractors (NHL players) as needing protection under labour laws.

As for this whole saga, it has now become like a never ending trip to the dentist. I just want to be put out of my misery, but now that folks seem to have accepted the notion of a 30 game season, the soap opera could drag on for another week yet. Sigh...

At 4:45 p.m., January 28, 2005, Blogger Brett Mirtle said...

According to Brian Burke, he's not sure that the NHLPA is recognized as a union in BC or Alberta as well as Quebec. His sentiment is that it wouldn't be as difficult to use replacement players as the NHLPA representatives would have most of us believe.

Just some more fodder.


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