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Bob McKenzie: Owners, players aren’t “even in the same universe.”

Sep 12, 2012, 7:01 PM EDT

Gary Bettman AP

Wednesday was an eventful day in the CBA negotiations, but we still don’t have a deal.

The players and owners still have some very fundamental differences when it comes to the core economic issues, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

“You can get bogged down with the #s, but all you need to know is NHLPA says won’t take an actual decrease to $ spent on salaries,” McKenzie tweeted, “and the NHL is asking for an immediate and significant reduction in the $ spent on player salaries. Not even in the same universe.

“Maybe that changes at some point but I seriously doubt it. I don’t think any of this is posturing at this point.”

In other words, if you’re hoping that either NHL commissioner Gary Bettman or NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr are bluffing and will blink at the eleventh hour, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Based on McKenzie’s comments, it sounds like a lockout is probable, but of course it’s not a 100% certainty until it actually happens.

  1. DTF31 - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I’m gonna see if I can tell my cable company mid-contract that I should be paying only 3/4 of what I said would. Wonder how that will work.

    • somekat - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:34 PM

      I just called my cable company last week, and said I didn’t think the service was worth what I was paying, and I was going to another provider. They dropped my bill almost 25%, while adding 2 premium movie channels I did not have before.

      Now if my cable company had a guranteed contract like the NHL, that may not be the case. So if I got screwed over because I was stuck in a guranteed contract, why would I sign on for another set of the same thing when the contract is finally up? I wouldn’t, I would make sure that it was fixed now because if I sign another guranteed contract, they have no incentive to improve. God forbid the owners do the same thing

  2. broadstbully33 - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    I just called Direct TV and cancelled NHL Network. I also will be going cancel me my wife and sons season tickets tomorrow. It is clear we wont have hockey until Dec. probably longer. I wont say Ill never watch or go to a game or stop supporting my team but i can say i am one very disgruntled fan, and i am very disappointed that Bettman has let this happen again and owners need to get their heads out of their asses. Players i believe are at the very least willing to negotiate.

    • jernster21 - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      I side on the players but if the NHL’s current offer of 49% is the same as the 57% they currently get with the exact definition of HRR it’s actually not that bad of a deal. Additionally, the 47% comes into play toward the end of the CBA so by that time their revenues should be way better than they currently are so they could actually potentially make more at 47% at the end of the CBA than they do at 49% now. Fact of the matter is the owners probably aren’t going to give them much over 50%, if anything. I think a deal could be struck at 52% now, 51 year two, 50 year 3 and it stays at 50%. The players aren’t going to get 57% ever again so they need to get off that number. It could be the PA’s tactic to tell them to don’t bother unless the number start with a 5 but if 50% is what will get their attention they need to get off their high horse and start negotiating because the owners seem willing to at this point, but it could be a LONG lockout if they’re waiting to call each others bluff.

      • somekat - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:39 PM

        What I think you need to remember is, this isn’t the NFL or the NBA. The owners (of most teams), aren’t bringing in a lot of money. Their teams not being their main source of income, most of these guys can afford to eat the few million they’d make in profits this year. Some owners would actually come out better who’s teams take a loss.

        In the NFL, and NBA, EVEYONE lost money once the games started. In the NHL, all players lose money, and SOME owners lose money. Some break even, some make more money. There are literally owners who will have an extra 5-10 million in the bank if they don’t come to a deal (further proof there is something wrong). The union is strong now, but we’ll see how strong they are once they start not getting checks (just like the nfl and nba), that is when you start to see the cracks. Unlike the other sports, a good chunk of the owners (financially anyway), are more than willing to sit on their hands

    • hockeycoach1 - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      remember the players didn’t even come to the table until late summer. There’s plenty of blame to go around but the players brought this on as soon as they hired a hard liner like Fehr

      • hockeydon10 - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM

        Yeah, cause Bettman certainly isn’t a hard-liner.

  3. ricepilof - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    And they couldn’t figure this out way back when in July? They had to wait till last minute to come to the conclusion that they aren’t close to being close? Somebody please tell me why I love this sport when both NHLPA and NHL owners are a worse group than the GOP and Dem’s. Outrageous. Meet in the middle and play the damn game of hockey.

  4. xaf605 - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    If they had been talking you would think at least they would be on same planet this is just pathetic!

  5. dbarnes79 - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    They are both dumb. Can’t believe they are going to put the fans through another lockout.

  6. malkinrulez - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Players hard a hard liner like February because they got taken to the cleaners last time

  7. tpa43 - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Wow, I have always been a hockey fan, but now I don’t care. This is the end of hockey in the USA. Let them fight over the spoils, even though the pot will shrink as fans like myself will stop caring about them.

  8. cspsrbums - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    No saying I won’t watch the games once they start playing but I can can tell you this it will be along time before I ever buy any NHL merchandise even the NHL package

  9. abden123 - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    dbarnes79 they dont care about the fans unforntunatley!im on the players side of this 1 but u had to have seen this coming when the pa hited don bleeping fehr!he single handedly ruin baseball for a few years and 1 could argue if there was no strike n mlb there might not have been a steriod era!that all started w/mac n sosas hr chase afta the strike. so eff don fehr eff the owners just figure this out n lace em up!

  10. dannythebisforbeast - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Salaries go down,,,tickets and concession prices will go down.. Am i right??


    FU Bettman

  11. imleftcoast - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    If none of this is posturing, I must be a psychic. It’s been clear to me since the end of the season, that there wouldn’t be hockey until at least December.

    The owners have more to lose. The players should hang on until a group of owners revolt. Bettman has overplayed his hand, and I’d like to see him go down on this one. He’s killing the game.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:47 PM

      It’s both sides. If the players aren’t willing to concede anything, then they’re just as much to blame.

  12. travishenryskid - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    I’m having a hard time seeing how people are siding with players. In the real world, if a there is a segment of the business model that is bogging down the rest of the model, you cut out the unproductive portion. 4 teams cut, 120 player jobs lost plus everything else that goes along with these franchises. Profit = NHL. Enter Players Union. Now they can’t cut those 120 jobs, and this is why the Union is good. The problem is, the Union in this case is overstepping. Yes, you saved the jobs but in order to do that, you need to make concessions otherwise the business will fail and everything goes into the tank. I’m generally a pro-union person, but this is a case where they clearly are doing harm to the game. And even with salary cuts, most people I know would have to work 20 years to earn league minimum for one season. Even worse, NFL and NBA, both far more profitable, both dropped to 50%, but NHL players won’t budge from 57%? Give me a break.

    • hockeydon10 - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Except it wasn’t the union that insisted on putting franchises in markets that couldn’t support them. It was the owners who simply eyed the portion of the expansion payment they would receive and who fell for Bettman’s reasoning that a couple of these franchises would be viable.

      Also, the PA’s offer is the one that contained a mechanism to help out financially struggling teams.

  13. blueswincup - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    The owners are idiots. It was only a few years ago they were complaining about “fixing” the financial aspects of this great game. Everyone lost an entire season to do this. Salary cap, profit sharing. This isn’t rocket science.

    Now the game is so broken that we need another lockout? Why? OWNERS IDIOCY! Owners control all aspects of the finances of this game. What’s wrong with the game according the owners? Finances. Who is to blame? Those who control the finances, the owners.

    I’ve been following the NHL closely since 1980 and this is the most disgusted I have ever been. The only way to get my anger across is to stop going to games which will hurt me too. This just totally sucks!

    Maybe I should try to become an owner so I could knock some heads and have Bettman fired. Roger Goodell is the worst commissioner in sports but Bettman is a very close 2nd. These current owners make no sense whatsoever. Trust me, this BS wounld NOT be happening if I was an owner of an NHL team.

  14. spydey629 - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Am I the only one who sees the logical compromise here?

    Ownrers want 50-50. Players won’t budge off of the old 57-43. So instead of the dramatic cut the NHL wants, why not a gradual slide to the 50-50 mark?

    Keep this year at the 57-43, then start shifting it downward after that. 55-45, 53-47, 51-49, then 50-50 for two or three years to close out the deal. The NHL has grown so fast over the past few years, to go this way would probably see the cap level off, not plummet. I’m willing to bet the first year of a 50-50 cap (in this scenario) would be higher than the 57% the players would get this year.

    That’s where the deal is. It’s just a matter of seeing who blinks to say it first.

  15. manchestermiracle - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    These schmucks are certainly not in the same universe as the people who pay their salaries. The owners and players are off in Fantasyland. See y’all NEXT fall. Maybe.

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