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Donald Fehr argues against a “50/50 split”

Aug 19, 2012, 8:48 PM EDT

Fehr-Bettman-Getty Getty Images

Jeff Z. Klein spotlights some interesting bits from Donald Fehr’s Thursday conference call, delving deeper into the thorny issue of splitting up revenue.

Fehr makes interesting points about the salary cap and “fair market value,” yet his comments about the idea of a “50/50 split” might be the most interesting.

In his eyes, splitting revenue evenly doesn’t make for a true partnership.

“If we are partners, do we have joint control?” Fehr said. “Do we get to have an equal say on how the marketing is done, how the promotion is done, where the money is invested, where the franchises are located? Do we have an equal say on when teams are sold, where the money goes? Do we get part of that? Do we have an equal say on how the television arrangements are done? Do we have an equal say on anything? That’s what a partnership normally implies.”

Under the soon-to-expire CBA, players received 57 percent of the pie.

The owners want to take a serious slice while the players have already offered to reduce their takeaway (at first), but it’s widely known that the two sides are far apart.

Fehr indicates that the discussions involve more than just the revenue split, though.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

  1. paledevil - Aug 19, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    In a unified stand for the future …To uphold the ethical charge of Hockey’s dignity. The AHL players must not play during a lockout…

    • joshuakorr - Aug 19, 2012 at 10:00 PM

      How does this help?
      Also, I bet many of those guys really need the paycheck.

      • claysbar - Aug 19, 2012 at 10:47 PM

        How would Wade Redden survive??? lol

      • andypoo38 - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:49 PM

        those guys will be bumped by NHL players…to the ECHL or worse if this lockout goes : /

    • missthemexpos - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:48 PM

      And during the lockout no NHL players go to Europe and take away jobs from European team players!

      • andypoo38 - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:50 PM

        and the KHL

  2. polegojim - Aug 19, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Because we all know that 50/50 is NEVER a fair deal…. sheesh.

    If you and the players want control Mr. Fehr, go buy YOUR OWN clubs and start your own league.

    • j22j - Aug 19, 2012 at 10:17 PM

      in most businesses, standard mark up is 30%. So the owners get 30% and Product costs 70%. Players are the product, so 57% is not such a bad deal!

      • polegojim - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:55 AM

        Exactly! The owners SHOULD be trying to roll that back.

        I do blame the owners for one thing though: the outrageous player salaries that started this whole train rolling.

  3. sunderlanding - Aug 19, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    And everyone was blaming the owners. I like how the players said the owners were just being greedy and trying to get more money. What are the players doing exactly? Let’s not forget that they already make millions of dollars a year with their contracts, and they don’t have to worry about losing money if the team doesn’t do well. They get paid no matter what. As far as I’m concerned they’re both being greedy, but at least the owners aren’t going to the media and blaming the players over and over.

    • j22j - Aug 19, 2012 at 10:13 PM

      The players are one of 700 peeps in the world that can do what they do. They are what we want to see, they are the product. The owners have no unique talents, there are tens of thousands of smart business people out there. The owners main goal is to suck every last penny they can out of us, the fan. I would like to see all the money they make reduced if it would mean lower prices for the fans, but if the players give money back its just gonna make the owners wealthier….so i would rather have 700 rich peeps than 30

      • tealwithit - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:36 AM

        The money doesn’t go straight into the owners’ pockets. Who suffers more when a team is struggling financially: The players with multimillion dollar contracts (or even the league minimum, which is $525k) or the employees of the team/arena who are dependent on each and every paycheck?
        Those are the people who work hard and long to make sure the players are taken care of, the arena is prepped for game nights, the business is kept afloat, and most importantly, the fans (you) are happy. The “700 rich peeps vs. 30” argument is old and, frankly, ignorant.

      • predswilrule - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:07 AM

        im on the players side in this negotiation which is rare, BUT there are lots more people capable of playing hockey at a high level than there are ones with the ability/money/interest in owning and running a team. if your arguement was right the yotes would have been bought about 2 days after they were for sale. the owners are very unique.

      • polegojim - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM

        @j22 – your comments have a complete employee mentality.
        1) The owners have NO unique talents? Really? They only run 100 MILLION dollar per year businesses! Your tens of thousands of smart business people are welcomed to buy a team and give it a shot.
        2) Penny sucking owners eh? Actually, in America, we call that ‘B-U-S-I-N-E-S-S’!
        Players average 2.4 mil and others get 100 million dollar contracts, and you think the OWNERS are the only ones driving up prices? HARDLY! The owners are THE OWNERS and in this for major profits.
        3) The 30 wealthier ‘OWNERS’ deserve for their VERY high risk to succeed bountifully. The players… yes the employees… can enjoy their 2.4 mil plus salaries, which is no chump change.
        4) The players are ‘the product’? NO, the players are the employees. You could say that about ANY company in the world. Where would ANY company be without employees?
        Plus, ‘the product’ is everything it takes to build and maintain a team brand. Players are only a part of that.

        Looking for a communist approach? Feel free to try Russia, China, or North Korea.

      • sunderlanding - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:05 PM

        People who use “peeps” are douchebags.

    • r4n6er - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      First off do you really think that all NHL players are getting super contracts worth millions? Look at other sports where guys are getting hundreds of millions of dollars. NFL entry level contracts where guys haven’t even really been tested are getting tens of millions of dollars. Without players there is no NHL. Should players who are not asked for input with regards to business be held responsible for poor financial decisions of the owners?

      • polegojim - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        Common R4… check facts before posting.

        Nobody ever said they ALL are… but we know average is 2.4+mil per year.

        NHL average salaries are HIGHER than NFL… and not every player in the NFL gets ‘tens of millions of dollars’ in entry level contracts. You can’t condemn a perceived statement… then make the EXACT SAME statement to prove your point!

        NO, the players shouldn’t be accountable… IF they will accept their salaries and stay OUT of the owners pockets. BUT… you want to get paid like an owner… then you take RISK like an owner.

      • sunderlanding - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        It’s a stupid argument. Without teams there would be no NHL either. You need the owners to buy the teams, and run them. They are both important. In case you didn’t notice there aren’t a lot of people who can successfully run an NHL franchise either.

      • r4n6er - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:22 PM


        Apologies I didn’t specify what I was talking about with entry level contracts. Specifically if you look at the top 10 drafted overall with regards to NFL and NHL. If you want to use averages then the stats are incorrect because of the vast amount of NFL players per team (including 2nd and 3rd teams)

      • sunderlanding - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:10 PM

        The NFL make way more than the NHL so of course the contracts will be biggere. If the owners paid the same amout as the NFL the NHL would be bankrupt in a year, so that doesn’t even makes sense. Do some research before you make any more retarded comments.

  4. sampulls - Aug 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    I side with the owners. Last time I checked, a union was meant to protect the poor.

    • nyrangersnation - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:14 AM

      when you look at how much the owners make compared to the players they are the poor in this circumstance. They deserve the money they get because they can do things 90% of the world can’t and they throw their faces and bodies at a flying solid object just so you can get your rocks off. And you’re wrong, a Union is not meant to protect the poor, that’s the government under a democratic President (in most cases). A union is supposed to protect it’s workers from being mistreated and making fair working environments.

    • r4n6er - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      Actually unions initially started to protect workers from harsh conditions and get fair wages. Although things like safe working conditions are now taken for granted in the US there is still the creation of the middle class thanks to the Unions. I don’t always agree with Unions; however I do understand that players make the NHL not owners. When a person is the product there has to be special considerations with regards to revenue. The players aren’t creating cars or commodities it is their specialized talent that is on display and has created the 3.3 billion the league saw last year. Marketing really doesn’t even matter, look at Toronto they haven’t made the playoffs in years and they still sale tickets and jerseys.

  5. sportmentary - Aug 19, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Donald Duck actually makes an excellent argument for the NHL getting 60%. They control all the marketing, management, ownership, etc. So shouldn’t they be rewarded fro that. All the players do is play.

  6. craiger61 - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    If the hockey brain trust lose another season due to greed, we as fans should boycott the league forever. You think they would have learned from the last time this happenned. Assholes

  7. mpg44 - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    I Fail to see why the players should get any more then say 30% of ” hockey related revenues” with the rediculiois contracts some of these players are signing. I really feel that the players have completely lost grip of reality and any situations happening all around them. They do nothing other then allow the owners to use their name in marketing the product. They don’t do any of the leg work. As far as pay meaning salary …. Isn’t that why they play as hard as they do , to get the biggest contract they can. Isn’t that there pay? Seems like the ones who don’t work as hard as others on the ice want more without doing the work and the ones that do work want more from areas they do nothing in ?

  8. 81redneck - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    No games until at least January ….book it

  9. revansrevenant - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    I never understand why anyone ever takes the side of the owner. In any labor dispute, you always back labor. Doing otherwise weakens your bargaining position when your labor dispute happens. Unless you own a business, then it makes sense.

    • jelliot1978 - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      That is an illogical statement to make. You should side with the Union just because you might have a Union dispute somewhere down the line? Why, because thinking the owners are right weakens your position? You should simply side with group you feel is right. By your logic you should only vote democrat or republican depending on which party you are, damn the best candidate option! You should side with OJ because you are black or side with Madoff because you are white.

      If you feel that ownership deserves more of the pie because they have more risk involved, more to manage then pick the owners. If you feel that the players deserve more because they are the product and risk injury then side with the players. Pick a side that you agree with most and not the side of whichever matches your employment status.

      Thinking like this reminds of the game lemmings, if one falls off the cliff, they all fall off the cliff, why bother thinking for yourself when all you have to do is follow the leader.

  10. andypoo38 - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    A lot of you are missing the hugest point….if this lockout goes and over half the season is lost or more….Hockey as we know it will be destroyed….ESPN still disdains the NHL for the last lockout….NBC will be the next “NETWORK VICTIM” will the NHL be able to land another major network deal if half or more of this season is cancelled…I think NOT…so when you talk about the “revenue”…lets just wipe out the many millions in network contracts…lets just wipe out half the ticket sales….WHAT REVENUE are we talking about now?

    Moron 1 Buttman and Moron 2 Fehr need to bang this out and soon or the sport will truly be crippled and I don’t think it has any real chance of coming back

    • andypoo38 - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      Sure…the NHL will survive in Canada…but it will be severely crippled in the USA

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