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Stamkos on CBA negotiations: “We just want a fair deal”

Aug 15, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Six Getty Images

One of the stars that attended yesterday’s CBA negotiations is hopeful a deal can be reached before Sept. 15.

He’s also hoping it’s a fair one.

That’s the message from Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steve Stamkos who, following Tuesday’s meetings, spoke with the Tampa Bay Times about union solidarity and what both the owners and players’ union are looking for.

“Both parties want to start the season on time,” he said. “We saw what can happen with previous [work stoppages] and we don’t want that.

“We just want a fair deal that can hopefully start the season on time.”

Stamkos said that appearances by stars like himself, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Jason Spezza and John Tavares showed “that we’re in support of the union.” The reigning Maurice Richard Trophy winner also stressed how important it was for young players to be actively involved in union affairs.

“For the young players of the league this new agreement is going to affect us,” the 22-year-old said. “It’s important for players to take an interest and learn as much as we can and be involved in this process.”


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  1. jaybertx - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    This guy is a stud, on and off the ice. STAMMERTIME!

  2. polegojim - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Am I the only one sick of hearing about guys who make millions each year whining that they’re NOT getting a fair deal???

    The AVERAGE NHL salary is 2.4 mil ‘per freakin’ year’! That’s MORE than an average American will make in a LIFETIME.. If that’s not enough to be constituted as ‘fair’, then go sack groceries or hammer some nails. No one is forcing these guys to play hockey.

    The guys taking the HUGE financial risk… THE OWNERS… should make the LIONS share of the money. As it should be.

    Case in point: The Coyotes – team bankrupt or can’t find a buyer… players dispurse to other teams AND get paid. There’s no skin off their back except a change of address.

    Give the ‘fairness’ crap a rest boys.

    • ddavis83 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      I hate the comparisons people make about some ditch digger and world class athletes. Most people are paid for how replaceable they are. Millions of people can dig ditches or “hammer some nails” but not many can net 50 goals in the NHL.

      • polegojim - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        … ddavis… Give me a break from your ‘little man’ syndrome.

        I HATE when folks like you don’t grasp the concept of Capitalism.
        You ‘own’ – You ‘risk’ – You get paid.

        Players are Employees, pure and simple. They’re highly paid ‘Entertainers’… and they get freaking paid VERY WELL for it.

        As far as 50 goal scorers… you got that right pal… how many 50 goal scoreres were there last year in the NHL… ???

        Try 2, yes, count them… 2. And Stamkos makes… 7.5 MIL per year. So THAT’s not fair???
        Seriously??? Poor guy, I’m surprised he doesn’t apply for food stamps. The horrid ABUSE of it all…. PLEAAASE…

        Anyways, my comment wasn’t aimed toward Stamkos, but players in general. Most scoring and performing WAY-WAY LESS than league leading stats and are making 2.4 mil per year.

        Get Real!

    • langforc - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      Are you kidding? You are really going to complain about how much they make? If you don’t like how much they make stop watching games, stop buying sweaters, stop buying hats, stop going to games and buying food/beer/soda, stop coming to NBCSports, stop watching SportsCenter. The more you indulge the more valuable the player becomes. If the sport is not watched (swimming, gymnastics, track, etc.) the athletes don’t make a lot of money. Until you are willing to stop spending your money on the game you have no ability to complain. You are driving their salaries, the NHL made more money than ever last year so the players deserve to make more money. Sure they may not be saving lives or teaching the next generation but we as the fans have decided they are valuable by spending our money on the game. GET OVER IT!

      • polegojim - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        No Lang, I’m NOT kidding… but your lack of any semblence of logic must be a joke.

        NOWHERE did I complain about how much the ‘MAKE’ – seriously dude, R-E-A-D.

        My beef is that they’re standing on their heads with almost ZERO risk, beeching about how much the OWNERS MAKE… just like YOU. If you don’t like how much the owners make… don’t enter their Arena’s, don’t buy their product or tickets, don’t watch their teams.

        What ridiculous circular logic.

        Do me a favor… if you’re an employee… go to your company’s owner and demand him or her to disclose their profits… and then tell them that YOU object to the amount of money they’re making, and you want a new deal because the compensation package YOU AGREED on is no longer acceptable.

        Please post your results here, so we can all see how that goes for you.

      • langforc - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:09 PM

        To be fair I stopped reading your post the moment you brought up their salaries, got me.

        And sure I’ll ask my company how much they make because I put together their finanicals every month. Kinda part of my job. I don’t object to how much money they make because they pay me a fair salary and I get a raise every year. I also get profit sharing so the more they make the more I make. Weird how taking care of your employees makes them happy.

        The Owners are the ones that want to take back the financial package they ageed upon. They agreed to 57% to the players and now they want to roll it back to 43%? They also signed players to monster deals and with the new proposed salary cap will have to ask for some of that money back. Seems like the owners are going back on the financial package they agreed upon.

        Oh and I have no problem with the owners making money and had nothing to do with what I posted.

      • lordfletcher - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:43 PM

        Don’t bother replying to polegojim… All he does is complain about athletes and how much money they make compared to school teachers, policemen, blah blah blah, saving baby whales. YAWN

  3. blugold94 - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    I’m sure you aren’t the only one sick of hearing that…..but what I’m sick of hearing are people who say that people who are the absolute best at what they do are making too much money. If you are such a fan of the owners, let them dress and play and you can go cheer your heroes. No matter how bad an owner is, I’ve never heard of one going hungry after running a franchise into the ground. They just sell and make a nice profit most of the time.

    The players aren’t whining about their pay. They have been extremely measured in what they’ve said after getting a horrible first owners’ proposal. They want to be compensated fairly for what they do…..I’m not sure how that is whining. When you want to be paid fairly is it whining?

    • killerpgh - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      I agree, but I also would mind seeing my teams owner playing again….Mario.

    • polegojim - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:32 PM

      Blugold… Show me where I said players were making ‘too much money’??? Yep, you got it – NOWHERE!!!

      Ok, I’ll bite… name a franchise and owner who’s team went bankrupt and they sold it and made a bunch of money. Have at it.

      Your generalizing without facts.

      You’re telling me that 2.4 mil per year is ‘unfair’… BS!

      NFL average Salaray is 1.9 Mil…with MUCH higher risks of career ending injuries.

      BS dude… plan and simple BS.

      • blugold94 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        Ok Mr. Burns……what is fair?

        As for you saying you never said they were making too much money you said “The AVERAGE NHL salary is 2.4 mil ‘per freakin’ year’! That’s MORE than an average American will make in a LIFETIME.. If that’s not enough to be constituted as ‘fair’, then go sack groceries or hammer some nails. No one is forcing these guys to play hockey.”

        Sounds like you think they make too much money. The players want a fair deal…..what is wrong with that?

      • polegojim - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        No… my point is that when players say they want a ‘fair’ deal insinuates they don’t currently have one.

        I got nooooooooo problem with a guy making money… a TON of money… but when someone making 2.4-7.5 MIL per year makes it sound like that’s not FAIR because the OWNER of the company is making more???

        That’s just ridiculous.

        Negotiate your deal and stick with it. When you become an UFA, cash in, sign your ‘big bucks’ deal and stick with it.

        Help me out… what’s so imaginably hard and ‘unfair’ about that???

      • bruins1990 - Aug 15, 2012 at 8:47 PM


        to my understanding, the players don’t consider the fact that the owners make more money as “unfair”, it’s more of the fact that the owners want to decrease the players share of revenue by 14 percent to 43.

        2.4 mil per year is not an unfair salary…43% of revenue to the players is the “unfair” part.

        Obviously, the most “fair” scenario would be a 50/50 split of revenue.

      • bruins1990 - Aug 15, 2012 at 8:48 PM

        and btw, 2/10 troll for making me respond

      • polegojim - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:10 PM

        @Bruin… I appreciate the thoughts… but that’s my point.

        How is an OWNER keeping 57% of the profits from his OWN team… unfair???

        Why should owners owe players 50% of their profits? The players get a salary.
        Either 2.4 mil or 7.5 mil or 1 mil is agreeable and fair to both sides at the time of a contract, or countered/negotiated by the player or it’s rejected and he can play somewhere else.

        Why does it have to be any more complicated than that?

        Seriously, the players come up through the process, get drafted by a team and offered some great cash to play the game.

        They don’t manage the business, the licenses, the concessions, the fan base, season tickets holder relations, networks, signage, advertising, radio, TV, merchandizing, retail/wholesale sales, upkeep/maintenance/updating, utilities, cleaning, security, communications, etc… NOTHING. They have ZERO financial risk in the business operations or success. If a team fails, they can just move on.

        Players enter the locker-room, put on the skates, and hit the ice. The NHL and Team products have been built for about 100 years and playes are benefiting from it. They’re getting a ‘stage’ that is provided by others. They’re the entertainers, but not the Producers nor Risk takers.

        Slightly tongue in cheek… but one response was… “have the players start up their own league then?” If 43% is such a bad deal, then hey, give it a shot!

  4. chubbedfleshbranch - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    I wish the Pens would pay Soup Can $50 mill per year cuz he is worth every penny. Or maybe all the Bavik he could drink.

  5. hitem396 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    “we just want NHL games”

  6. pone27 - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Ill add some insight to this out of hand convo:

    Being a former “union boy” myself, i know a lot about CBA negotiations and what not.

    The thing with NHL union negotiations is a lot of it has to do with profit sharing, not necessarily players salaries.

    The players know, as well as the owners know that they are going to make that big salary/profit. The debate is how its distributed. Jerseys, tix, apparell, stupid cup holders and license plate frames, both ends want a cut.

    As far as player salaries go, they can really only work on mininum, and entry level salaries. Guys like Ovechkin and Stamkos who make that 7-10 mil, blame the GMs and the owners themselves. They set their own bar for the player salaries. When players see another player sign that monster deal at their respective position, they love it. Because those who are not “union boys” will make a high doller even at a home discount… or, they can take top dollar.

    • polegojim - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:17 PM

      Yes – and the players should accept their ‘deal’ and be satisfied without then feeling the need to get into the owners pocket.

  7. hsnepts - Aug 15, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Polegojim, you’re right. Too bad most people don’t see that.

    There’s a lot of money to be made by the owners AND players. There’s also a lot of money to be lost by the owners – but not the players.

    The Phoenix owner cant sell his franchise fast enough – yet nobody will buy – because there is a serious potential of losing your money. But the players will get their money, guaranteed.

    The players will get paid no matter what – 5 million a year guaranteed is a VERY different proposition than getting paid somewhere between -20 and +30 million a year.

    The players don’t deserve a larger piece of the pie – unless they are willing to take losses as well. And hey, if that’s what they want, then sure!

    Tell the phoenix players that they can have 95% of the team revenue – but if the team loses money, the players have to pay to play. Guess what? they won’t sign that. Players want guaranteed income contracts.

    • polegojim - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:14 PM

      Very well put. It’s Business 101.

      You want more than a salary, you want part of the deal, then you SHARE the RISK, share the upside AND downside potential.

  8. thedavesiknowiknow - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    I’m putting my fingertips together, saying “exxxxcellent”, then releasing the hounds.

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