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Daly: “Of course we care what our fans think”

Sep 21, 2012, 6:46 PM EDT

Bill Daly Getty Images

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly isn’t taking the possibility of the league suffering a fan backlash from its second lockout in less than a decade lightly, according to a Tampa Bay Times report.

“Of course we care what our fans think,” Daly said. “That’s why they need to hear our message as well as the Players’ Association’s.”

Daly argues that there was plenty of time spent negotiating over the summer in an effort to prevent a lockout, but he doesn’t feel that the NHLPA has been willing to compromise.

“They’ve really made one proposal and they haven’t moved off the one proposal, and in any negotiation it’s not really a negotiation if one side is making all the proposals and the other side is just waiting until they get what they want,” Daly said.

He feels that the league has already made some compromises and the union needs to follow suit before the current stalemate can end.

If that all sounds discouraging to you, it might help to note that Daly doesn’t think this is simply a repeat of the situation that eliminated the 2004-05 season.

“It’s clearly different than where we were in 2004,” Daly said, “where after the lockout started I don’t think there was any, there was no formal contact between the two sides and there was probably only one informal contact until early December.”

Daly also categorized the NHL’s initial offer as “an invitation to negotiate” and not a declaration of war.

“But to the extent it had a contrary effect on how this negotiation has played out — and I’m not sure it has, I think people may say it has but I’m not sure I necessarily buy into that — but to the extent it has, then that’s unfortunate,” Daly said. “But we are where we are, we’ve obviously moved a long way from there in terms of our position currently and we’d just like to have a party on the other side of the table who’s wiling to negotiate finances with us.”

  1. bcisleman - Sep 21, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Yes, of course the NHL cares about what the fans think. They just care about money and sticking it to the NHLPA a whole lot more is all.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 21, 2012 at 7:29 PM

      And with each passing day, it will get easier for them to keep track of what their fans think, as there will be fewer and fewer of us. And as for this one, a fan for more than 50 years, I think that since the NHL threw away an entire season less than a decade ago to get their dream deal and are now saying it was a nightmare they cannot live with, well, that says to me that they can’t figure out what the hell they need, or that they want others to save them from themselves. Whatever, to paraphrase Ms. Doolittle, I am quite sure I can do without the NHL.

      • mountainmantride - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:56 PM

        YES, YES and YES. You are exactly right (and great video clip too)…”that they can’t figure out what the hell they need, or that they want others to save them from themselves. Whatever, to paraphrase Ms. Doolittle, I am quite sure I can do without the NHL.” Nicely said nothanksimdriving. I have said similar (and got nasty response) before. But you are right. Until the FANS STOP GIVING MONEY to this sport they will continue to screw you. Daly is out of his mind if he thinks we are going to believe his ‘heart felt,’ ‘oh golly gee,’ we care what our fans think. Yeah right. Been down this road before big Daly boy. Don’t think so this time. Mark my words, if they don’t solve this quick and with the FANS interest FIRST, the NHL will be looking at an AHL league very soon. Ovie’s comment about just “staying in Europe” is very powerful. If many players do that the NHL goes south fast. The only leverage the NHL has is that they believe the players a) can’t play anywhere else. Ovie’s comments prove that a small, but powerful, segment of the players CAN player elsewhere. Watch out.

  2. chiadam - Sep 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    If that’s not a declaration of war, what is? The players should have countered with no cap, three years to UFA, and a 56/44 player split. That’s their version of the owners’ shi# offer. I can’t believe the league was too stupid ti know how that offer would be received.

  3. ratflop - Sep 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    No Bill, you don’t.

  4. avscanes - Sep 21, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    fans? what fans? where did they go?

  5. nolockoutpricks - Sep 21, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    you dumb a$$e$ arent helping anything. the union is just being pig headed. they feel that last time they got screwed and now they want to dig in and show people that they have a big dink. the money that they are fighting about its going to cost them more with this looming lockout than if they just signed and started playing how dumb. both sides just need to kiss and make up before theres no one to play infront of and then the money wont matter

  6. jersey77girl - Sep 21, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    A huge difference between now and the last lockout are the advances in streaming media. Fans have access to watch most of the games overseas that they’re favorite players are on, as well as their home teams’s AHL affiliates. It’s kind of cool seeing all of the players mix it up on different teams.

    And they don’t have stupid rules like the ‘trapezoid’ targeting specific players.

    Now if I can only we can convince Keith Jones, JR and Mike Mullberry to talk during the KHL games so I can understand what the heck’s going on. I don’t know who’s made at who about what that happened. I miss hearing them explain all the side stories to me.

  7. mpg44 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Blow it out your a$@!!!! Why is it you have time for press releases like this , should not you be to busy with negotiations ? Or do you not care about that either !!

  8. bct11554 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Yeah they really care about us. I really wish I could turn my back on the sport but I can’t. I love it to much. This is nuts how can they be in this mess again. I’m not sure how much more I can take.

    • eyeh8goodell - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      The NHL is not the sport. Plenty of great hockey being played outside the NHL.

  9. mclovinhockey - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    “Of course we care about what the money thinks, I mean fans think”
    Cant wait for the Caravan league in QC!!!!

  10. capsrockva - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    go to hell Bettman and your right hand man Daly… Please if you really cared about the fans you would be negotiating in good faith. Asking the players to take another salary cut is plain bs.. Sorry this time I’m on the player’s side this time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is ridiculous get the GD deal done

  11. spongebobsportspants - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Damn you Bill! You arrogant SOB! Your opening offer wasn’t an invitation to negotiate. It was a an insult and a slap in the face!

  12. jimw81 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Hey bill, if you care about how fans feel, why did bettman delete his twitter account??

  13. dannythebisforbeast - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Good job getting the TV contract I will enjoy hockey from my recliner this year and maybe forever and spend that $3000 a year I normally give to Mr Snider on something that loves me back like beer and nachos

    • jersey77girl - Sep 25, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      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.”

      While NBC would end up with a ‘freebie’ in 2021, the owners receive payment this season, including in the event of a lockout. Even more messed up is if there were to be a 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%.

  14. revansrevenant - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    I call bull.

  15. bigbenblows86 - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Yo could’ve f-in fooled me Bill

  16. claysbar - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Once again, we the Fans, are not the driving point when it comes to these things. No different when it comes to politics. We the people, fans, consumers, are simply by-products of it all. I have been a life long Pens fan and Mario Lemieux couldn’t give a rats ass about me. We are simply a hurdle to overcome. When we, as the fans, finally conceive this, and adjust our disposable income accordingly will we, not them, become free.

    • eyeh8goodell - Sep 23, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      You have no idea what Mario’s stance is. He’s not made a single public comment.

      • mhazz84 - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        The owners were unanimous in voting for the lockout.

        (of two or more people) Fully in agreement.
        (of an opinion, decision, or vote) Held or carried by everyone involved.

  17. bleedingteal4life - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    F-ck the owners. They are making me not want to support the NHL at all. At least the players were willing to play. I guess they are as much to blame…but if I have to choose sides, I’m going with the players.

  18. websurfer1961 - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    F#@k the owners and F#@k the players and their union.

  19. blomfeld - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    A man without love is only half of a man, but a woman is nothing at all …

    I would submit that in the context of this thread, we true fans are like the woman in this song … the owners can carry on without us, but we cannot carry on without them. Hate to say it, but your threats to stop watching the game are even more disingenuous than Daly’s statement that he cares what the fans think. We “will” return and you know that. Of course that’s understandable, given the fact that we’re real fans. In fact, our loyalty and passion for the game is partly to blame for this impasse, as the owner’s resolve is very much fueled by the knowledge that we will never “really” leave.

    Nonetheless, what could be dangerous and really at risk here, are the new fans and corporate dollars. Or in other words, the recent “inroads” which the league has managed to make since the last CBA. If that goes out the window, then I suspect the NHL is going to be headed for long-term obscurity.

    But it won’t ! I’m completely convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that a “shortened season” has been their plan all along and that we’ll be back in business by the US Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend, latest. If you read closely above, even Daly is essentially telling us that this won’t continue for much longer (ie: “It’s clearly different than where we were in 2004″). So suffice it to say that while Bettman and the owners may be rats, dumb rats they are not !

    GO KINGS GO !!!


    “hungry to do you all again !” :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) 😉

  20. flyeredup - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:48 PM


  21. gibbskins9 - Sep 22, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    It so were done caring about YOU!!!!

  22. bleed4philly - Sep 22, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    the players should all go play in Russia and Europe and NBC should televise some of the games. The NHL needs to learn that the “fans” run this league, and we’re not stupid, you can’t disrespect hockey nation like this. they only want to change the split anyway because they’ve got a few teams that need to be moved to Canada! That’s not our problem or the players problem, that’s the owners problem. How come Quebec doesn’t have team and Florida has two teams? How come Arizona has a team and Seattle doesn’t? How come the tristate area has 3 teams and Toronto only has 1? come on!

  23. cory4200 - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    I think they don’t care about the fans so I think we as fans should not buy anything to do with the NHL including tickets and watch the game on tv if they ever get back on the ice. Let the rich Pricks feel what a bunch of pissed off fans can do to there bottom line. How about a 50/50 split and play some hockey. I pledge that the NHL will neve get another cent of my hard erned money. They have shown how much they care about the fans and making the game better all they care about is money and that’s it. Nothing is more important than a billion dollars. Rich basterds all I want is to see a good game of hockey thank you for ruining the best time of year!!!

  24. getadealdonealready - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Hey Bill, on that note I’d like to say I care about you and what you think too. In case you didn’t catch it I mean it just as much as you do.

  25. vipod4ever - Sep 22, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    the WHL is already a reality. Watching the Swiss & Russian leagues could become the norm. A new league will wake those clowns up, just like the WHA did in the 70’s. All it takes is 8-12 North American teams, and the NHL will have a major revenue problem. Moscow vs Montreal, Detroit vs Davos, LA vs London….I would watch that in a heart beat.

  26. fortwaynekomets - Sep 22, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    obviously NOT or they would be sitting at the tables negotiating until the damn sides come to an agreement!!! F .U. Bettman and Fehr!!!

  27. jersey77girl - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Anyone know where I can purchase subscriptions for DirecTV’s KHL Center Ice or KHL GameCenter Live?

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