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Columnist has “little optimism” about Monday’s meeting

Nov 18, 2012, 6:30 PM EDT

Fehr-Bettman-Getty Getty Images

Considering how grim things have been in CBA talks lately, many look at Monday’s meeting as a glimmer of hope. Sportsnet’s John Shannon cautions about getting too excited, though.

 The expectation for Monday’s talk cannot be very good. There is nothing to indicate that either side has had an epiphany. I have been told the NHL has made its final offer. And despite claims by the Players’ Association, that the two sides are actually closer than most realize, it’s hard to imagine an agreement with the league gaining so much on the issues of contracting (length of contracts, salary variance, free agency, entry-level system and arbitration) is possible. I certainly can’t imagine the Fehr brothers caving now after losing more than 300 games of the schedule.

So it’s with that in mind, I have little optimism for Monday. And trust me, I would like to be wrong. It would be a great relief to see some real progress in the days to come. Perhaps a 60-game schedule that starts on Dec. 15 is the one thing that can save the sport from itself.

Is there a deal to be made? For sure. I just don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up that the NHL and the PA are close to making a deal. That just is not the case.

Shannon seems to echo the mood of many, including NHL exec Bill Daly, who said he was “more discouraged” than ever about the discussions on Thursday.

Daly also admitted that the NHLPA requested Monday’s meetings, which at least implies that the players’ side shoulders the burden of breaking up the impasse.

Tomorrow night’s meetings might shed some light on the situation, whether they inject some needed positivity or present another lateral move.

  1. id4joey - Nov 18, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Read the facts below and then ask yourself, 1) who is responsible for the increase in value? A: Gary Bettman 2) Who has to cave in now to resolve this conflict? A: Players.

    Prior to the 2004-05 lockout, the average NHL franchise was worth $163.3 million.

    The three most valuable teams were:

    New York Rangers – $282.0 million
    Toronto Maple Leafs – $280.0 million
    Philadelphia Flyers – $264.0 million

    The three least valuable teams were:

    Carolina Hurricanes – $100.0 million
    Pittsburgh Penguins – $101.0 million
    Buffalo Sabres – $103.0 million

    Fast forward to current day. According to Forbes, the average NHL franchise is valued at $239.83 million, based on the numbers generated from the 2010-2011 season. This means that the average NHL franchise has increased nearly 47% in seven years. This appreciation has easily outpaced the rate of inflation ($1 of 2003 dollars is worth about $1.20 now).

    Let’s look at the three most valuable franchises at present:

    Toronto Maple Leafs, $521 million
    New York Rangers, $507 million
    Montreal Canadiens, $445 million

    The Maple Leafs have increased 86.0% in value since before the 2004-05 lockout, while the Rangers have increased 80% and the Canadiens have increased a whopping 128.2%.

    The three least valuable franchises present day are:

    Phoenix Coyotes, $134 million
    New York Islanders, $149 million
    Columbus Blue Jackets, $152 million

    • blomfeld - Nov 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

      Id4joey – That’s a terrific analysis friend which underscores “that” which only the blind are unable to see today … Bettman does care about a “healthy and profitable” NHL ! And like you, I’m also convinced that we will have a season and that all will be well in the end ! :)

      Yes, Bettman does care …

    • msg372 - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      These are headline grabbing numbers, not the truth. The Canadian teams jumped so much beause of the value of the Canadian Dollar has gone up 20 some percent. That is highly unlikely to continue. Also, Team values is not a good measure. CASH FLOW is the measure… which none of us know. Teams aren’t going to borrow against their equity to pay players. That is stupid.

      • blomfeld - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        CASH FLOW is the measure ? …

        Yes and no friend. If you’re looking at a team as a “stand alone” business entity then yes, “positive” cash flow is critical. Conversely, if you’re looking at a team as just a tool for “tax shield” or “write off” purposes then no, “positive” cash flow is not critical … in fact it’s not even desired. And I would submit that there are several teams in the league today who fall in the category of the latter.

      • id4joey - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:45 PM

        And why did the rangers value increase?

    • valoisvipers - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      id4joey Great post but is beyond me how at this point you have 20 thumbs down and all you did was post the facts and figures.

      • id4joey - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:48 PM

        Yep! Makes you wonder, valoisvipers

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 18, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    What could possibly have led him to that conclusion?

  3. mississippimudslinger - Nov 18, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    id4joey, you’re the furthest thing from a mathematician, quit trying to act like one.

    • blomfeld - Nov 18, 2012 at 7:48 PM

      get lost you irrelevant flotsam !

    • id4joey - Nov 18, 2012 at 8:40 PM

      Well. One doesn’t have to be a mathematician to be able to read or write. Perhaps missi should read something other than the lingerie section of the Sears catalogue.

      As for the data, you can find it on Forbes.com. Go figure, even if your not a mathematician.

  4. mississippimudslinger - Nov 18, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Blomfeld what’s it like to be the laughing stock of this site? it’s so obvious that you create multiple accounts to have ongoing conversations back and forth with yourself , we’re all onto it here , you cant hide tubby . your drivel is boring at this point. Knowing that you’ll post a youtube video for your only comeback is amusing to say the least you’re a one trick pony that cant stop his tied act.

  5. sportsfan69 - Nov 18, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Unless the NHLPA realize they will not get paid for a full season, as reported in Mike Russo’s article. The NHL owners should cancel the season. Let the players lost a year salary, then maybe and only maybe the players realize they are unreasonable in their demands. Welcome to the real world. The NFLPA and NBAPA were mature and smart enough to realize this is a business and not an entitlement program.

    • bcjim - Nov 18, 2012 at 9:02 PM

      Indeed, the owners realize that they have reached the dregs, they cannot keep increasing beer prices to sign ridiculous contracts. If beer goes up one more dollar, I will not buy one. As it is, I buy ONE, maybe.

      INstead of the beer going up, the salaries need to go DOWN.

    • dyrdom77 - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      i agree 120%

  6. atwatercrushesokoye - Nov 18, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    John Shannon is very close to the NHL (he worked for them) he’s good friends with Daly and Bettman, one just needs to hear him for 5 minutes on Prime Time Sports to understand this. His article is just more of the rhetoric from the NHL.

  7. footballer4ever - Nov 18, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Would the powers that be have some dignity and spare the misery some of its fans are going thru by simply cancelling the season already. Only then any talks resulta will be worth writing/reading about.
    Thank you.

  8. mississippimudslinger - Nov 18, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Can you imagine what an embarrassment and the fall back it’s going to be if they do resolve this ?? half empty arenas , players with no motivation , lost fan bases … face it the sport too it’s final shot to the chops this time .. it’s effed!

    • id4joey - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      Motivation.. Say you’re Brandon Prust, and you scored 5 goals last year, yet you will be paid 2.5mill to PLAY a game. What else does he need to be motivated?

  9. rainyday56 - Nov 18, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Monday: crossing t’s and dotting i’s.

    Dec 3: begin season.

  10. blomfeld - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    “Montag wird wichtig sein !”

    Yes friends, Monday is indeed going to be an “important” day. And if my old friend Stransky is correct, then tomorrow may bear witness to not only the “beginning” of the end, but the “end” of the end as well ! The pessimism of this columnist John Shannon above, is typical of the bourgeois “apathy and weakness” which permeates mainstream media today. His lame remarks equate to nothing short of “irrelevant” jetsam ! And that’s a shame, as one expects so much more from a person speaking from his advantageous position. Nonetheless, something is definitely afoot here and I’m not going to be the least bit surprised, if the general mood here at PHT changes “dramatically” over the next 48 hours or so … :)

  11. somekat - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Like I said, this will show how full of crap the players are. The NHL wanted to put talks on hold for a reason. They submitted their best offer, the players weren’t budging, so there was no reason to meet if niether side was willing to move. The NHLPA asked for this meeting, so if they don’t have something substantial to bring to the table tomorrow, they are more interested in winning the PR battle than getting a deal done.

    This has been my suspicion all along, it’s Fehr’s “negotiation” strategy. Delay, run a PR campaign, delay some more, do more PR, rinse and repeat until the owners cave. Just won’t work like it did against MLB, because in MLB, the majority of the teams were not making less money than their highest paid player.

  12. valoisvipers - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    I totally agree with you Somekat, the PA must come in today with a real offer which would make it their first as to date it’s been hard for Gary to negotiate with himself. For the good of the game and the health of the league it has to be the players that cave.

  13. id4joey - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    msg372, are saying the increase in value of franchises is an irrelevant data point?

    • msg372 - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      Good question.. my initial reaction is minimal relevance Values are just made up numbers..who the heck knows what someone would actually pay for these teams, look at Phoenix. How much a team generates every year is a real number to negotiate off.

      • blomfeld - Nov 19, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        please see my remarks above friend …

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