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Zetterberg on owners: “We can’t really counter what they’re offering”

Oct 4, 2012, 12:44 PM EDT

Henrik Zetterberg Getty Images

Battling opponents on the ice can be frustrating, but for Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberd, dealing with Gary Bettman and the owners is proving to be maddening.

Zetterberg tells Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press that he and the other players feel like the owners aren’t playing fair.

“We can’t really counter what they’re offering,” Zetterberg said today, after a dozen Red Wings skated at Troy Sports Center. “It feels, right now, like if we don’t give everything that they want, it doesn’t really matter. And we will never do that.

“It’s tough to negotiate with yourself, basically.”

Bill Daly, of course, has been saying the players are essentially doing the same thing to the owners in sticking with their offer and not showing any willingness to compromise.

  1. gp424 - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    So run to a foreign county Henrik where leagues are run by ****Surprise*** owners and where there are no unions. Yeah that tells me a lot about the players real motivates.

    • m1lla7 - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      Did you even read the article?

      • somekat - Oct 6, 2012 at 9:55 AM

        What article? It was basically posted above. The only thing they didn’t include is the ridiculous quote with him demonizing Bettman. Bettman is an employee of the owners. If he wasn’t doing what they wanted, he woudln’t be there any more.

  2. tmoore4075 - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    “We can’t counter what they’re offering..” sure you can you just don’t want to. As I’ve said before the owners can hold our longer than the players imo. We saw it last time. The players will eventually cave…why? Because yeah the big time players are doing ok, the ones playing over seas are really doing ok but while they are all making good money during a lockout the lower level players aren’t and they will want to play and they will start getting mad and the star players and want to get a deal.

    • tmoore4075 - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Wow I can’t type worth crap. Hold out, not hold our. And getting mad AT the star players not and the star players….I need some sleep.

  3. 81redneck - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    The NHL is too watered down anyways, with too may Euro pus*ies.

    • ron05342 - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      You, sir, are an absolute moron.

      • pepper2011 - Oct 4, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        C’mon he’s right – look at the list of terrible European players; Ovechkin, Chara, Datsyuk, Zetterberg; Karlsson, Sedin, Sedin, Erickkson, Landeskog, Franzen, Backstrom, Alfredson, Edler, Hagelin, Hornquist, Kopitar; Hossa, Gaborik, Krejci, Malkin, Kovalchuk, Selanne, Filuppa, Timonen, Elias, Michalek, Vrbata, Fleischmann, Hejduk,Erat, Jagr, Plekanec, Hudler, Voracek,Havlat, Vanek, Grabner, Lundquist, Rask, Hiller, Rinne, Kiprusoff , Bryzgalov, Pavelec, Halak, Vokoun, Backstrom, Varlamov, Niemi

        I know I missed a few, but I’d rather see 48 other guys not watering down the league. Geesh

        10 of top 25 point scorers are not North American.
        Also 13 awards (14 w/coach) – Europeans had their hands on 7 of them,
        Hart Memorial Trophy, MVP – Evgeni Malkin
        Vezina Trophy, goaltender – Henrik Lundqvist
        Calder Memorial Trophy, rookie – Gabriel Landeskog
        King Clancy Trophy, humanitarian contribution to hockey – Daniel Alfredsson
        Art Ross Trophy, points scoring leader – Evgeni Malkin
        Ted Lindsay Award, outstanding player – Evgeni Malkin
        William M. Jennings Trophy, goalies with fewest goals against, minimum 25 games – Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak

  4. bcsteele - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    This was my point all along. I’ve really thought both sides have been unreasonable about this and it doesn’t help that they wont meet and the players are running overseas. However, the owners sparked this with a rediculous low ball offer. Yes, the NHL needs it’s finances right, but they basically slapped the players in the face with their first offer. The second was better but there’s still a wide gap. Not to mention after they took the beating they did back in 04-05, the league has failed to fix the problems like they said they would. So their solution is to make the players pay for it again? I think Bettman and Daly made the initial offer with the idea they’d get in the middle of where they started to get significant concessions from the players and it because they went so low to do so it back fired in the form of spitting in the players faces.

    At the end of the day, I just want hockey and think this whole thing sucks, and is really stupid for the economies of the owners, players, fans, and in my opinion most importantly the workers for these teams and the businesses in surrounding areas that have no fallen on hard times. They need to keep having meetings no matter how unproductive they are till something gets worked out. You accomplish nothing by just sitting around and doing nothing (or in the players case just going overseas and taking someone elses spot).

    On a side note, the next time Daly opens his mouth I might throw up in the back of mine a little bit..

  5. comeonnowguys - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    A pox on both their houses.

  6. greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Until the players come down to around 50% of revenues, they won’t be close to playing. Until the players learn their place in sports behind the NFL, NBA, and MLB in everything that matters, nothing will get done. Those leagues players get about 50/50 (minus baseball). Your behind those so, get even with them.

    As mentioned in previous posts, it’s gonna take the fringe players to start breaking the union when they can’t keep up with bills without that nice pay check they get. Or we will later learn players will start taking lockout loans like some NFL players did. When they start to miss payments on that and start getting sued.

    Or it just might take a teams “star” player in Europe to tear an ACL, which would lead to the NHL team not paying them one cent on their current contracts.

    • davebabychreturns - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      These guys are getting their contracts insured while they play for other clubs so I am fairly sure they will be paid the full value (less whatever haircut they inevitably take in the new CBA) once the NHL starts up again.

      I’m pretty sure Erik Johnson got paid after missing a season because he injured himself horsing around in a golf cart, I have no idea on what grounds a team could refuse to pay a player’s salary on a contract that was insured while he played with another club.

      As for the NHL players needing to accept the idea of a 50/50 split, the two sides need to come to some kind of agreement on what they are even splitting. You can argue about how much of the pie you get when you think the other side is withholding some of the ingredients. It sounds like they’re nowhere near close on that so we’re a ways off bickering about whether it’s going to be 47/53 or 50/50 or whatever. My understanding is that the players want to be at the same $1.87b figure they were paid as a whole last year at the absolute minimum so we’ll see if they stick to that and if so how it gets achieved.

      • davebabychreturns - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        Can’t.. you can’t argue about how much of the pie you get when you think the other side is withholding ingredients.

  7. sistreetsoldier - Oct 4, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    I have been involved in collective bargaining for years. One side, usually the employer, claims hardship and wants to minimize wages or get financial concessions. The employees usually want language to protect the union membership and at least cost of living. With such a disparity in the revenues and no arbitration in sight, this could drag on until one side is financially crippled. The issue here is that Daly will be driven by his membership , but Bettman has established himself through regulations so that he doesn’t need the prompting of the ownership. He tells the owners what to do. He has entrenched himself over all these years and there is no unseating him. We need Bettman to realize that he needs to try to take back wages over a shorter period, say a 5 year contract, or this will be deadlocked until someone says uncle. My guess is that the league will hurt before the players. I wish they would do binding arbitration because then there’d be no stoppage. Hopefully, they can make progress and kick the season off at the Winter Classic.

    • somekat - Oct 6, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      If you think “Bettman tells the owners want to do”, than A: You are an idiot, and B: You are a liar and have no idea how collective bargaining works

    • somekat - Oct 6, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      Go read Alzner’s comment, “I’m sure the OWNERS (plural) know what their bottom percentage is, and I’m sure Fehr knows what going to be a good one for us”

      Sounds to me like Fehr is telling the players what to do, while the owners are telling Bettman what to do. But your lie was easily seen when you started with ” One side, usually the employer, claims hardship and wants to minimize wages or get financial concessions. The employees usually want language to protect the union membership and at least cost of living.” In other words, the owners are trying to starve the poor players and their kids, while the players just want to be able to put food on the table. Almost as much of a joke as your comment

  8. hockeydon10 - Oct 4, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    It really appears fundamentally that the two offers are so incompatible is what’s causing the rift.

    The owners want to reduce the percentage right off the bat
    vs.
    The players want a gradual decline while still seeing a slight increase in the cap.

    The owners want a kickback (due to the first point)
    vs.
    The players refuse to yield on contracts the owners signed in the first place.

    The players want revenue sharing from the richest clubs to the poorest, yielding a healthier league
    vs.
    The power players in the NHL are the richest clubs who don’t want to give up their money to lesser clubs

    The rest of the issues (contract length, years to free agency, entry level deal length, realignment, concussion/health concerns) are probably small potatoes.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      In my perfect world:

      Instead of the cap being significantly lowered eventually over the first few years of the new CBA, which ever number that is, it gradually happens. Slow to start but the percentage picks up quickly. Players are around 57% now as of last year. This year 55%, next year 53%, following year 50%.

      Owners get to reduce salaries by 10% right off the bat. It’s not the 24% they received a few years ago. However, this is collective bargaining. The players have to give up something in order to get something, as you will see after this,

      Revenue sharing with big markets helping small markets. Like most sports, revenue sharing is a big piece of the pie for smaller markets to remain competitive. No team shall lose money. Revenue sharing from all markets offset any single teams losses first and foremost. If any team loses money in 3 consecutive seasons, the owners then may petition other owners for relocation. After all teams loses are made up (if any), franchises are then given a dividend of profits for the season. All profits are divided up evenly then the top 10 revenue sharing franchises divie up 45% of all profits, then next 10 teams divie up 35% of all profits, then the 10 least revenue generating teams divie up the remaining 20% of all profits. Teams that are given money to offset loses recieve a smaller portion of the profits. Under this system, no team will lose money. Winnipeg can remain profitable, Phoenix will be profitable, large markets will still make a killing.

      Contract lengths remain unlimited, however circumventing the cap will result in harsh penalties, including contract voiding, loss of draft picks, and loss of revenue sharing.

      Free agency should remain at age 28 or 8 accrued NHL seasons.

      Entry level deals should remain at 3 years and capped salary as well.

      Realignment is a must. No reason any teams division shoud expand over 2 times zones. Playoff structure changes to the realignment of divisions playing each other first 2 rounds and champions meeting for conference championships.

      Players get to go to the 2014 and 2018 Olympics inlue of any All-Star Game those years.

      Again, it’s collective bargaining. Everyone will be pissed off about something, but everyone is happy in the end.

  9. 1clumsybear - Oct 4, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Put Bettman on the ice, let him skate a little and fire him.

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