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Laich to owners: Honor the contracts you signed

Sep 15, 2012, 10:00 AM EST

Brooks Laich Getty Images

Brooks Laich is aware of the, in his own words, “massive, massive ripple effect” that a lockout has on more than just the players. He also said he’d feel bad if the lockout “cost one kid a chance to see an NHL hockey game or to meet one of the players or get an autograph or a picture.”

All the same, he still believes in what the NHLPA is fighting for so passionately that he’s prepared to miss the entire 2012-13 campaign, according to CSNWashington.

“One, [NHL owners] want to roll back our contracts, which I don’t care what business you’re in, is going to kick a fire under a lot of people,” Laich said. “And the second part of it, which maybe goes overlooked a little bit because of the financial aspect, is that every contract ends with a handshake — every single contract. Where I come from you honor your handshakes. If you don’t honor your word you have nothing.”

Laich said that if he signed a bad contract then he would accept responsibility and “work through that.”

“I was raised when you give a man your word and you shake a hand it’s as good as gold,” Laich said. “That’s something that I think really upsets the players, that we’re not being treated that way.”

The current CBA is set to expire today. If the two sides aren’t able to come to terms before midnight, then the lockout will have begun.

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  1. capsfan19 - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Why is he not captain of the team?!? Gah….

  2. rushledger - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Well said, the owners agrees to these contracts a man honors his debts.

    • elemeno89 - Sep 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      hit the nail right on the head with this. this guy is 100% class…

  3. ravenscaps48 - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Brooks Laich > Alex Ovechkin, as a Captain…. That man deserves to have the C on his sweater!

  4. recoveringcubsfan - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    One of the few Caps I like (or is that “laich”?); if you don’t have the integrity of your word, you have nothing. Good on you, Brooks.

  5. ricepilof - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Ok I get it, honor the contracts that the owners willingly gave out to the players. But to the players, why do you think a 57-43 split with the owners is fair and even? To quote Bill Clinton “I always give a one-word answer: Arithmetic.” SO players do the arithmetic and realize 50-50 is even, and in my opinion, a 52-48 split in favor of the owners is absolutely fair considering how much they invest in the sports structure.

    • paperlions - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      Saying a 50-50 split is even is a bit deceptive isn’t it? There are 30 ownership groups (not sure how many individuals) and many hundreds of players. Not to mention, the players are the individuals responsible for all of the revenue generated, the owners are the facilitators of the entertainment, and the only reason they have any leverage is because they control the rinks. The players are the reason money is spent, not the owners….and the owners are the ones that keep screwing up the business side of hockey, not the players.

      • ricepilof - Sep 15, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        Ok, good points, but in general, to be partners with others and think 57-43 split is even is absurd. Say the players are locked out for entire year and end up settling on say 52-48 in their favor. They just lost millions of dollars and won’t ever get that year back. Their time is short in the NHL so if they are going to settle eventually, why not just do it today and keep all that money?

      • tatdue - Sep 15, 2012 at 3:52 PM

        @ricepilof – Where do you get a 57-43 split?…Have you not payed attention at all?….That number is where it all started but that’s not all what is going on….The players have never once said that they intend to stay at 57%….The last proposal has brought the negotiation down to approximately 52-47 split and moving towards a 50-50 split….the problem is that the owners want, again according to the last proposal (which the goblin turd said is back off the table at midnight), a 19% rollback on existing contracts….and that makes the owners a bunch of backstabbing bastards….Parise and Suter should feel so betrayed…I would if I was them because if anybody doesn’t think that Leipold didn’t know the NHL’s plan when he gave those contracts to them they’re crazy….

    • davemac32001 - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      It’s 57/43 because that’s what the sides agreed upon – as part of the last CBA. That makes it fair. It also is fair to open that up again this time. However, I agree completely that contracts in force should be honored. To get to a 50/50 or greater (for the owners), there should be a phase-in period with the existing contracts honored and new contracts built to reflect the new reality. Simple. Get it done!

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      Because that doesn’t include all the actual revenues from hockey ownership

  6. bmoreredfury311 - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    I agree, with brooks on his out look of it. But sadly in today’s world, a lot of peoples word, is worth nothing and honor is gone in the most part.
    @capfan19
    I also think brooks is a great leader and would make a excellent captain. but unfortunately who ever is the highest paid player most likely becomes the captain. But you do kinda have to give Ovi some credit, he has stepped up over the past season and a half and has filled the role. He definitely needs to work on his locker room presents and among other things. But the guy shows a lot of heart and passion for his team and his charity for the community.

    Wish there was a season to see what this team could do….

  7. adlent - Sep 15, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    I can sympathize a small bit with owners trying to stay competitive in the salary market and handing out contracts that they are now drowning in over the last few years.

    What I cannot stand is that right before a lockout, owners are signing players to the SAME type of contracts banking that they will simply roll them back. That is what is disingenuous.

  8. bcjim - Sep 15, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Owners getting 43% of revenue and 100% of expenses…yes seems real fair….why did they ever agree to that?

    • tatdue - Sep 15, 2012 at 4:32 PM

      A lot of expenses are taken out before they call it revenue…

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 15, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      Because you have no understanding of how accounting works

  9. shortsxit - Sep 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Because the owners are the ones that insisted on the salary cap. If it wasn’t for the cap, the revenue split wouldn’t even exist.

  10. shortsxit - Sep 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    I think, above all else-the salary cap, the revenue split, hockey related revenue-above all that, the fact that contracts were signed is the number one factor. When you sign a contract, you are bound by those terms.

    If the NHLPA came and said they’d strike unless every player got a 24% raise, they would be laughed at. Both sides need to be held accountable to the terms they agree to.

    • blomfeld - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      “When you sign a contract, you are bound by those terms” …

      Not according to Roberto Luongo. As far as he’s concerned, it’s perfectly acceptable to pack it in and walk after 2 years into a 12 year contract. And why is that ? Well for no other reason than the fact that his precious ego got a big, bad “boo boo” last April, when he didn’t get to start games 3-5 against thre Kings.

  11. sippindasyzurp - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    I used to be leaning toward the owners in this labor strife but the more I think about it I don’t lean towards anyone.

    They arguing how to split up money that I as a season ticket holder give them.. The new CBA doesn’t get me more money, but rather just causes me to keep spending more on there product.

    I can’t say I feel sorry for either side in this, I hardly have sympathy for anyone getting asked to take a 7% reduction in salary when someone who makes 3 Million takes a $210,000 pay cut to play a game when there is third world countries that can’t even get proper food for there children to grow.

    I guess times are tough when your trying to split up 3.3 Billion dollars.

    In my own opinion for the NHL to succeed long term, there needs to at least be relocation to more northern hockey markets.. I am sorry but hockey just doesn’t work in Dallas, Florida, Tampa Bay, Phoenix, NYI etc… Nothing against those fans but they are the teams that are losing money.. Heck if I lived in one of those markets I could probably care less about hockey, when I could go to the beach in January in Miami or go golfing in winter months in Arizona…

    As for places like Columbus and Long island there fans are suffering through poor management and something needs to change there or those teams will always be crying and consistently showing numbers in the red.

    It is time for Gary Bettman and his cronies to admit they made a mistake by propping up teams in “Non-traditional” markets and bring the teams more north where they can finally prosper again.. Look at the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg.. If only they could manage to relocate one team every 1 or 2 years that could go a long way to making the future of the league much more viable.

    In a business such as pro sports you need to be progressive cause times are always a changing and you need to admit sometimes that you made a mistake and take your lumps to fix it.

    • blomfeld - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      “or go golfing in winter months in Arizona” …

      Only too true friend, as the fact is that the Coyotes have no better justification for being in Phoenix today, than the Yankees would have for re-locating to Tijuana tomorrow. This entire “sunbelt expansion” plan of Bettman’s has proven to be a colossal mistake and everyone knows that, whether they admit it or not.

      Nonetheless, an extended lockout may just end up being “exactly” what the doctor ordered ? If this goes on for a year or more, the resultant financial stress will likely eliminate at least 6-8 sunbelt teams outright, or at the minimum force relocation northward. Given that the majority of people agree that the NHL needs to “cull it’s herd”, this lockout may actually end up being one of the best things that’s ever happened to the game …

    • tatdue - Sep 15, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      They actually asked for a 24% pay cut, I’m not really sure where you get 7% from but that’s not really the point the point is why should they allow the owners to welch on contracts that were signed in good faith? The league is not in financial trouble. For the few, as you call them, sunbelt teams that need some help, how is the rich teams getting richer going to help those few troubled teams when the league won’t even discuss better revenue sharing between teams? As for relocation I do agree that 1 or 2 teams would be far better off by moving but no more then that. Definitely not to the extent that you suggest. But by far the thing that I don’t agree with you the absolute most is that you say that you don’t feel for the players cause they make so much to play a game!…You are so wrong in saying that…these guys work harder than 90% of the people on this planet!…To be a professional athlete you have to be 100% devoted to your craft….when these guys aren’t playing they are practicing, when they aren’t practicing they are working out, when they are not working out they are sleeping…all the while living on a diet most of their lives….I doubt you could do the diet part let alone anything else. These guys are the elite and that’s why people pay to watch them!…It’s not a game to them….

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