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More on how the CBA talks could “pit owner vs. owner”

Aug 19, 2012, 5:55 PM EDT

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Expanding on the idea that CBA talks could turn small market owners against bigger ones, Aaron Portzline caught up with an unnamed player agent who thinks almost half of the NHL’s teams could be interested in the NHLPA’s counter-proposal.

“I think as many as eight NHL owners would accept the NHLPA’s initial proposal,” The player agent said. “And there’s probably four to six others who would find the proposal acceptable enough that they could tweak a couple of things and live with it.”

Then again, that’s just an agent’s view.

Portzline paints the picture from the other, more unified side too.

But don’t expect any owner to acknowledge that publicly. The NHL has threatened a fine of at least $1 million to any club that speaks out during the lockout.Any disagreement would have to be confined to private talks among owners. One NHL executive told The Dispatch last week that Bettman has the “full support of every owner in the room right now.”

Boston owner Jeremy Jacobs and Philadelphia owner Ed Snider hold considerable sway with Bettman and are strongly opposed to revenue-sharing. Those clubs, along with Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, the New York Rangers, Toronto and Vancouver, would stand to lose the most revenue.

It’s anyone’s guess how much those eight, 12 or 14 NHL teams feel about the counter-proposal. (Again, a club would get fined if they voiced their agreement publicly.)

Still, Portzline’s article points out an interesting possibility that the players might be more unified than the owners this time around.

  1. tealwithit - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    An agent is the furthest thing from a credible source.

  2. somekat - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:25 AM

    This seem very common sense to me. The league, as a whole, is making money. However, most teams aren’t, or are making very little. The NHL’s revenue is tied to 7-8 teams. It’s not a surprise at all that the NHLPA floated an idea that those teams share that money with the teams losing money, the teams losing a lot of money said “well, I could live with that”.

    Unfortunately, the thing that should be done, and would fix the league most, isn’t even being discussed. Contraction. If a team can’t support itself, the team shouldn’t exist. You could kill 2 teams (we’ll say Columbus and Pheonix), and it fixes a lot of the leagues financial problems. Expand that to 4 teams (NYI and Florida/Tampa maybe), and it does even more.

    I understand the constant drum beat of revenue sharing, but that is not a clear cut answer here. This is not the NFL with a multi billion dollar TV pie to slice up. Teams like Detroit, Toronto, NYR, Boston etc should not be penalized because other teams can’t build/sell a team correctly. The “you need the bad teams to make the league work” arguement doesn’t work, because the league would run fine with 2-4 less teams.

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      I like it but the nhlpa is never going to allow for the league to cut 40-80 positions. The owners need to make it work now.

  3. hockeyflow33 - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Of corse Jacobs is leading the charge against the nhlpa.

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