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Daly: “Unless we see some compromise from the Union… we won’t be going anywhere fast”

Sep 27, 2012, 8:49 PM EDT

Bill Daly AP

The news of the NHL and the NHLPA deciding to meet tomorrow for the first time since the start of the lockout helped bring a bit of positive news to a dreary time in the league. Add to that they’re set to spend a few days talking and it’s enough to hold out hope the regular season would start on time.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly is here to make sure we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves as he shares his thoughts on what has to happen to make progress to Ira Podell of the AP.

“I’ll reserve judgment on my sense of ‘optimism’ (or not) until we see how our meetings unfold,” Daly said in an email to The Associated Press. “Ultimately, we have to meet and talk to make a deal. But until we make progress and see some compromise from the Union of their economic position, we won’t be going anywhere fast.

“We will see.”

It sounds harsh and obviously Daly has his side of the situation to protect but there’s a smidgen of truth in there. Both sides do need to come ready to negotiate. The virtual stare-down hasn’t gotten anyone anywhere yet.

With the two sides looking to talk about secondary issues, however, don’t go thinking things will get solved after the weekend.

  1. rpiotr01 - Sep 27, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I hope Daly said those words into a mirror as well.

    • stakex - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:11 PM

      The owners first offer was 43/57 in favor of the owners. Their last offer was much closer to 49/51 in favor of the owners. That IS compromise. They made an unlikely to be accepted first offer, and have walked in back quite a bit. The players on the other hand have taken the impossible position of “This is what we want, when you’re ready to accept… let us know”.

      This is really what bugs me about the fans, and I’ve said it a dozen times now. So many people are attacking the owners as the only ones that caused the lockout, when in fact the players union is just as much to blame. Look, I agree that the players shouldn’t have to give up as much money as the owners want them to… but that doesn’t matter. The owners are the ones who own the league, and they will win this fight in the end. So when the players put their foot down and refuse to even discuss a deal if its not exactlly what they want… they are causing this to drag on far longer then it has to.

      No matter who you side with, the owners are the only ones who have actually moved from their first offer. It might be a deal the players are willing to accept yet, but thats what negotiations are all about. One side makes an offer, then the other until they get in the ballpark and really get the details figured out. That can only happen with both sides working in the direction of a deal…. which the players are simply not doing.

      • bigoldorcafromvan - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:38 PM

        well said, The owners are the only ones that are being reasonal here. they made the first offer and the union was going to re invent the wheel then the owners made the 49/51 offer which I think is more than fair, If the union doesn.t move any this weekend I hope the owners lock them out for the full year again and then offer them the first offer again…

      • rpiotr01 - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:40 PM

        It’s not the percentage of revenue that’s the issue, it’s everything else. It’s the 20+% walk back in current salaries. It’s the years to free agency. It’s all the little things that would take player rights backwards by decades. Guarantee you the revenue split is the least of problems right now. Everything else the owners are talking about are simply non-starters.

      • lordfletcher - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:43 PM

        All that I know is that I am going to be pissed the F off if the full year is cancelled.

        I have a 75/1 odds bet that the Wild will win the Stanley cup ($100) made before free agency. I will not be happy if Bovada gets out of this deal because of the lockout.

        I am not saying the Wild will win, but it will be fun watching the playoffs with $7500 on the line for just $100.

        AHHHHH!!!!!!!!

      • biffnasty - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:53 AM

        I put money on it that you will be voting for Romney come November

      • phillyphanatic76 - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        Stakex- I totally disagree with you. You say that the owners are compromising but their initial offer was so beyond ridiculous that anything after it looks like they’re conceding the world. I understand that is a negotiation tactic, but to say that the owners are the only ones really working towards a solution is so far off base. First off the owners supposed 49/51 split is actually more like 46/54. And on top of that huge reversal in shares of HRR the owners want to lower the max salary cap to around $58 mil (which would handcuff half the league), create 5-year entry level contracts, make it so you have to have 10 years to become a free agent, increase escrow basically reducing player salaries, AND re-define Hockey Related Revenue so that they get even more of a share of the money coming into the league. They have refused to even discuss the idea of Revenue Sharing because the conservative owners think that it’s socialism. Revenue sharing would not completely eliminate the issue of struggling franchises but it would create about the same difference as reducing player salaries through escrow. You pro-owner people tend to act as if the players are greedily asking for a pay increase, when in reality they’ve already resigned to the fact that they will have to concede part of their paychecks just in order to play hockey this season. And that is evidenced by their last offer in which they offered to go down to 52.7%. So the argument could, and should, be made that Bettman and the owners are the ones that are refusing to compromise on ANYTHING. They won the last lockout with a reduction in player salaries and the implementation of the salary cap (even after the union said they would NEVER agree to a cap) so now they expect the players union to concede on every single issue again. But this time it’s not about re-formatting and re-energizing a struggling sport, this time it’s purely about GREED. The owners saw the last lockout as a victory, they conceded that 57% because it was almost meaningless to their cause. But they underestimated the wealth that the league would accumulate over the past seven years… and suddenly because the NHL made $3.3 billion last year the owners are entitled to more of the pie than the players. It’s people like Gary Bettman, making $8million a year and complaining about players being overpaid, that are keeping the negotiations at a standstill.

      • jtrain1966 - Oct 1, 2012 at 12:55 AM

        Do you think that the players could possibly be waiting to accept the offer the owners ? The reason why I ask is : Let’s say the owners want to roll back 20 to 24% by some people’s estimations, & the players might accept the deal with a stipulation that states at least this year they won’t kick in the roll back this year & just pro-rate everyone’s contracts this year, & with the vast majority of the stars heading overseas to play, that money they made over there combined with the pro-rated money they’ll make here would be what they would’ve made during a full season ! I don’t know if that is what they’re doing, i’m just spitballing any responses are welcome !

  2. nolockoutpricks - Sep 27, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    the owners have already compromised twice all the nhlpa has done has sat there and said “there going to come up a with a better deal than that.” theres no comprimise in that come together and get a deal done.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:48 PM

      The owners demanded massive rollbacks on things that they had given the players in 2005 when they crushed the union, the players have made absolutely no demands and have recognized that theyll need to give something’s back, the players just don’t want to do it all by themselves (history has shown this won’t fix the problem) and they’d like the owners to create a better revenue sharing program amongst themselves. That’s not unreasonable, if the owners want to keep teams in places where they have no chance of ever making money then they should help those teams.

      Last point saying “we want you to give back 20% of your salary” and then when that’s declined saying “okay we’ll accept you giving back 16% of your salary instead ISN’T reasonable compromising!

  3. phillyphanatic76 - Sep 27, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    This whole NHL lockout debate is an exact mirror image of the state of American politics today. The left (unions) want their jobs, salaries, and benefits protected while the right (business owners) wants to do whatever is necessary to maximize profits. There’s no middle ground. No semblance of compromise. Both sides are so entrenched in their respective corners that conceding an inch is considered blasphemy. The owners and the players union forget that they represent a single entity and that they need to do what’s right for their constituents (the fans). That being said, the players have shown a willingness to budge all the way down to 52.7% from 57%. And that 57% wasn’t all that important to the owners during the last lockout because the players had agreed to a 24% paycut and the implementation of the salary cap. But now Daly and Bettman come spouting about the players union not compromising, which is laughable. It’s well within the players rights to fight against being bullied into more and more concessions. Bettman and Daly need to look in the mirror when it comes to lack of compromise. Give me hockey!

  4. bcjim - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    All I heard from the players was regret about throwing away the season the last time. Money we’ll never get back, etc.

    Now, here they are, ready to do it all over again.

  5. dannythebisforbeast - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Just because they lowballed them with initial offer doesn’t mean they are compromising. Think about the initial offer it’s an absolute insult. And don’t think they didn’t think PR ahead so now it looks like they are negotiating in good faith

  6. capsrockva - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    to phillyphanatic76 I agree with you 100 %. The players union has tried to negotiate with both of the offers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, only to have both counter proposals shot down. Listen I get that the players work for the owners, but to ask them to keep reducing their salaries is stupid . Hell the owners don’t play the game. THE PLAYERS DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if anything the salaries should be the other way. The players pretty much take their life into the rink ( think Richard Zednik from the FL panthers)that being said get the GD deal done for the fans you idiots, meaning Gary and his right hand man Bill

  7. capsrockva - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    at least nbc sportsnetwork is broadcasting College hockey which is also fun to watch

    • snowman218 - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      They should be broadcasting more WCHA games !!

    • antkowiak666 - Sep 28, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      i hope that they show some AHL games. it would be awesome,if they could show some KHL as well.

  8. jernster21 - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    This article is exactly why there’s no reason to get excited about today’s earlier article about them potentially meeting 3 days in a row. This is what they’re SUPPOSED to be doing. The fact that the players are already locked out should indicate that the owners aren’t playing any games – yeah, the preseason is wiped out, it’s probably the least important part of the season, but the fact of the matter is, money was lost by not playing those games. The PA need to really re-evaluate their offers if they plan on sticking with what they’ve presented so far. If there’s another full season lock out, the revenues aren’t going to be at 3.3 billion dollars again during the season they decide to play – the league is going to be impacted and they’re going to have to take a share of something less than they’re already making whether they take it now and keep the leagues progress/momentum or wait it out – AND the lost money is money they won’t ever see again. Thus, the PA’s assumptions of revenue growth (which seem to be aggressive according to the NHL) will no longer be applicable.

    The loss of a full season is a very real reality and if the players want to play this season they’re going to have to swallow their pride and take a cut and meet in the middle – I DO think there’s a deal to be made; I think if the players make that HRR compromise they will maintain a lot of existing things in previous CBA that they want.

  9. revansrevenant - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    The idea that the players aren’t negotiating is ludicrous. The problem is, they are taking two completely different and incompatible negotiating angles. The NHL is saying “We want you to take a pay cut, and have you entry level contracts last five years, and have to be in the league ten years before you can be a UFA and have a five year max on player contracts and take a salary rollback.” They aren’t even willing to talk about anything other than the first item.

    The players are like, “OK, we’ll take a salary cut, we see the need, but you need to give something up in return.” And that second point is where the negotiations are stalling. Because the players want improved revenue sharing in return for the salary cut, and the owners are not willing to have that.

    To be quite honest, if I were the players, I would say, “we’ll give you the 43 percent and the salary rollback, but we get UFA after five years.”

  10. phlmt69 - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    I am a lifelong hockey fan and am so disgusted by all these wealthy f’ers taking my interest for granted. At this point, I don’t care any more. When they come back, maybe I will give them my hard earned money. Maybe I won’t. That is the risk they are taking. They are clearly not worried about where all the money they are fighting over is going to come from. We have the power, as fans, and it is high time we exercise it. Stop paying attention, stop commenting, stop caring. I bet then they all get the message that WE own the league and have had it with their whining about who gets how much.

  11. receman99 - Sep 28, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    Daly needs to rest that pie hole

  12. sippindasyzurp - Sep 28, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…. getting bored reading all this posturing rhetoric from both sides… Just a bunch of egotistical lawyers brainwashing there cult.

  13. igotacousinweusetocallporky - Sep 28, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Sorry Ladies and gents but the season is done. This ain’t football, not many care. Face it, Basketball might have been missed by a few but hockey will be missed by only a very few. Eh?

  14. chip56 - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    The issue isn’t the players’ salaries, it’s that the league is terribly mismanaged on every level. They’ve made bad decisions on expansion (Atlanta) and relocation (Phoenix); buried the game on a cable outlet no one had ever heard of and couldn’t find (Versus) and keep setting its popularity back with work stoppages.

    No matter how popular the league is or how many times you roll back player salaries, there will always be teams that struggle financially. The Rangers, Red Wings and Bruins will always have more money and make more money than the Flames, Jets and Oilers; that’s just simple market truth. The negotiation here shouldn’t be owners vs. players, it should be owners vs. owners trying to set up a revenue sharing system that works.

    If, at the end of it all, they can’t come to an agreement on how to best divide up the spoils, then the next step should be contraction of those teams that cannot survive financially.

  15. ewoods6 - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    What about compromise from the Owners you FAT F***!!!!

  16. chrisvegas - Sep 28, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    So what he is really saying is “unless the players are willing to take a 23% paycut we won’t have a season anytime soon”. Great strategy.. The NHL is clueless.

  17. chrisvegas - Sep 28, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Somebody should make another hockey league to compete with the NHL. The NHL is so poorly run that if some smart businessmen got together and made a league to compete with the NHL I think it could be successful. I’d no I’d certainly watch. I love the sport of hockey and I loved playing Ice Hockey. I watch the NHL because I love hockey, but personally I think the NHL is the one of the worst ran leagues in the world. It’s success is because of the players and the sport, not because of people like Buttman who have no clue or class. I really hope this lockout backfires on the owners and Bettman.

  18. med1435 - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    It’s official, the sight of this guy now turns my stomach as much as the sound of Gary Bettman’s voice does. After the last lockout, I absolutely can’t stand to listen to Bettman and mute the TV when he’s on. I know it’s business and I think both sides just need to figure it out, but last time and now this time it seems to be more about posturing between Bettman and company and the union leadership. It’s not about finding middle ground and getting the job done, it’s about winning.

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