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At least one agent is optimistic the lockout will be solved soon

Sep 18, 2012, 12:27 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v New York Rangers Getty Images

Steve Bartlett doesn’t think the sky is falling. The veteran player agent that represents the likes of Ryan Callahan and Erik Cole believes the NHL lockout will be solved in a matter of weeks, not months.

Because unlike the last labor dispute that resulted in the cancellation of the 2004-05 season, the two main counterparts – commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr – have so far been respectful of each other, relatively speaking.

“Gary Bettman and (former union chief) Bob Goodenow hated each other,” Bartlett told the Edmonton Journal. “There’s no throwing of spears now. Nobody’s saying the other side are a ***holes.”

Bartlett believes the “tipping point” of the negotiations will be the Thanksgiving Showdown, NBC’s first nationally televised game on Nov. 23. (The same assertion has been made by a handful of players.)

Bartlett also knows it will be the marginal players that feel the real pinch of missed paychecks.

“The star players will be fine, but the third- and fourth-liners will feel the pain,” he said. “It’s more mental anguish for the stars.”

Related: A lockout will hurt some players more than others

  1. braddavery - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Speaking of the lockout negatively affecting players, it will most likely end Dominik Hasek’s career. And probably other players who were trying to get into camp for “tryouts” essentially. Nice going, NHL.

  2. therealjr - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Missing 6 weeks of game is on the sooner side? Yikes.

    • tmoore4075 - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      A lot shorter than 301 days or whatever the last one was….. :-/

  3. tackledummy1505 - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    There’s a lot of money on the table for both sides as well. Look at Nashville for instance, they just signed Weber to a huge deal and they probably need all the money they can get for ticket and merchandise sales. Nobody is going to buy jerseys, hats, or collectibles if there’s a risk on a scrap season. The players should come down a bit but nothing should be done about the cap. If teams are willing to spend that type of money then it should remain the same. Also this player’s bargaining for salaries should be on contracts with 3 or more years old and there should be a floor of how it is enforced. So if someone is making $1.5 million or less than the reduction isn’t included. All contracts signed within 2 years should be exempt from this reduction, due to teams signing players recently to huge contracts (ie: Parise & Suter) in hopes it was going to be reduced by this CBA. I feel that this would be fair. Owners should agree with players to drop it to 53% all the way down to 49% by 3rd year. This should help the current players a bit but also help owners in the long run. Just my opinion

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:01 PM

      Throw MN in there too, they’re paying a ton of bonus money as well

  4. blomfeld - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:20 PM


    Besides being named after a pear, this Bartlett character is the first person I’ve seen anywhere who speaks common sense. Of course there’s going to be a season ! No doubt it’s going to be an abbreviated one, but a season there “will” be ! And right from the start friends, throughout my commentary I’ve maintained that this has been owner’s plan all along. For example … …

    “So while this lockout is upsetting for the many fans, it makes perfect sense for the ones who are pulling the strings … the team owners. And people should not lose sight of the fact that there are far more “loss-making” US owners than there are “profit-making” Canadian owners. I’m personally convinced that what’s unfolding now was furtively agreed upon way back at the start of the year. And I predict that the season will commence in either late November or early December … just in time for the Christmas retail season, when little Johnny & Janey demand their new $300 hockey jerseys” …

    Despite their greedy posturing and tough-man rhetoric, the owners and players have been fooling no one with their lame threats. The economic landscape today is far different from what it was back in “pre-recession” 2004 and they know that only too well, even though they’ll never admit it. Writing off the season the way they’ve been threatening, would have been the equivalent of taking a bullet to the head, no two ways about it. Sure the NHL would survive, but it what form ? Certainly gone would be any aspirations of the league advancing beyond a regional “tier 2” sport. As for us fans, well of course “we” love hockey and we’re passionate about our game, etc. But don’t forget that in the big picture of sports and discretionary spending, we amount to nothing more than a drop in the bucket. Hockey has indeed made some good progress in the last 2-3 years, despite the added burden of Bettman’s numerous failing “sunbelt” teams. And I’m convinced that there’s every reason to believe that this progress will continue, given a commencement of the 2012-2013 season by the US Thanksgiving holiday.

    So “bring’ em on” … the Sisters, Doan, Parise, Luongo, Hitchcock, the lot of them … we LA Kings are Stanley Cup Champions and we’re hungry to do you all again !!!

    GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  5. tmoore4075 - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    “No it’s not Allan Walsh.” LOL. I stopped following him and enough people retweet his stuff I still see it. He would be the last guy who I would have thought would have been saying the season will start sooner than later.

  6. realitypolice - Sep 18, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Stop it.

    There will be no 2012 NHL season. You can all breathlessly follow the stories on here with hope in your heart, but it ain’t happening.

    There are too many franchises in this league that operate on such a shoe string that they lose virtually nothing by losing a season. The owners of these franchises own them solely in hopes of turning a profit when they sell. And they know that their franchise value goes up when they break the union and get an advantageous CBA.

    Losing the season costs them little or nothing and the result will most likely be an increase in their franchise value as well as it’s potential profitability.

    You didn’t think this had anything to do with hockey, did you?

    And they know, and you know, that you will all come back. The owners haven’t forgotten the love fest the fans held back in 05 after they spent an entire year kicking you in the groin and they certainly won’t hesitate to do it again.

    • jersey77girl - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:47 PM

      If they’re losing so much money that they find it beneficial to shut down for a season, perhaps they should consider not investing in a hockey team. Let someone who can afford to lose the money [or manage their franchise better] have the team.

      • realitypolice - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:36 PM

        Read my post again and tell me where I said they were losing money. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

      • jersey77girl - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:12 AM

        The comment was intended to be a general post to the article and intended as a reply to your comments. I hadn’t been logged prior to leaving the remarks. I mistakenly clicked the login to reply link instead of the login to post comment button and yours happened to be the latest post at the time. I didn’t realize at the time it was as a reply to your comment or that my remarks would offend you as I don’t disagree with your statements.

  7. jersey77girl - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    I don’t think televsion revenues can be used as leverage against the owners. The current deal they have with NBC ensures that the owners receive their $200 million television revenue money for the 2012-2013 season even in the event of a lockout.

    What a strange coincidence they struck up those terms as part of the billion dollar NBC-NHL agreed to the season right before the active CBA would expire. It’s no coincidence at all, The majority shareholder of NBC-Universal is Comcast. That would be Comcast — owner of the Philadelphia Flyers.

    • realitypolice - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      Been Google searching for 25 minutes. Can’t find any proof that the NHL gets that 200 million if the season is cancelled. Please cite your proof. I am pretty sure you can’t

      • jersey77girl - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:05 AM

        You requested a source for a comment I made in a post regarding NBC’s TV tights payments to NHL owners in the event of a lockout. [When I saw your reply, the article had already closed 4 comments].

        From :
        “Despite the inevitable loss of GRPs and advertising dollars it faces in the event of a prolonged work stoppage, NBC will still be on the hook for its $200 million annual rights fee. If the entire season is a wash, the NHL will be obliged to tack on an extra year after NBC’s contract expires in 2021, at no additional cost to the network.”

        “Owners, meanwhile, will receive their full share of money (about $200 million) from U.S. broadcast partner NBC/Comcast even if a full season is lost. NBC would get a free “makeup” year at the end of the 10-year contract as part of its agreement with the NHL.”

        From :
        “Snider is chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, a subsidiary of Comcast, which also owns NBC Sports and plans to pay the league its $200 million in TV money, regardless of whether the season takes place or not.”

        There are multiple other sources available. I came across the information when searching for information regarding the revenue split between the NHL and NHLPA resulting from the NHL-NBC television deal.

        While NBC would end up with a ‘freebie’ in 2021, the owners receive payment now for a lost season. Interestingly enough if there is a new CBA and hockey is played for the 2012-13 season, the $200 million would constitute HRR, and thus be split [whatever that happens to end up being provided a new CBA is negotiated] between the players and owners. In lieu of a new CBA being in place, should the player’s be locked out for the entire season, the NHL owners then split the $200 million received from NBC for broadcasting rights 100/0 with the owners receiving 100% and the players receiving 0%.

        I can provide additional resources and other interesting aspects of the Comcast-NBC merger and the NHL-NBC television rights deal if your interested. I find myself researching the topic extensively during local black-out of Philadelphia Flyers games as a former Comcast customer. Having been dissatisfied with Comcast’s poor customer service in resolving the multiple [admitingly bogus reoccuring charges] on several occasions, I switched my service to subcribed to DirecTV.

        As a season ticket holder who already gives the Comcast-Spectacor company thousands of dollars for tickets and game-associated expenses, along with having purchaed DirecTV Center Ice and NHL GameCenter subscriptions, I reserve the right to beleive that Comcast is a greedy-money hungry company when I’m blacked out from Nationally broadcast Flyers away games available for the rest of the country to watch during round 1 of the playoffs simply because I refuse to [continue] over-paying for a poor quality product [Comcast’s Xfinity branded cable television] with terrible customer service.

        [While I realize no one is forcing my hand to purchase season tickets for the Flyers, I buy them for my disabled father who despite owning a small business and working 7 days/week is unable to afford season tickets to the team he grew up watching and supporting.] I’m perfectly happy watching all 29 of the other teams in the league whose games I can watch on TV. [With the exception of whichever teams happen to be playing the Flyers that night].

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