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View Full Version : Gretzky: NHL Lockout could last two years



jmcclain19
01-03-2005, 04:19 PM
Hockey isn't going to need labor lawyers, they are going to need an exorcism to bring back the sport to a shread of what it once was.

http://msn.foxsports.com/story/3292604


Gretzky: Lockout could last two years
Associated Press
Posted: 3 hours ago


GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Wayne Gretzky fears the NHL could be shut down for as long as two years if a labor deal is not reached soon.

Gretzky, the NHL's all-time leading scorer and part owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, said an "even more alarming" scenario could await the league if the lockout is not settled in the next few days.
"I'm scared we could be looking at a year, year-and-a-half, two years, not just three months like a lot of people thought back in September," Gretzky said at a news conference Sunday at the World Junior Championships, where Canada will meet Russia in Tuesday's final.

The NHL board of governors is to meet Jan. 14 in New York. The league rejected a union proposal and its own counteroffer was turned down during a session Dec. 14. No new talks are scheduled.

"From the standpoint of owners, players and fans, everyone is disappointed there is no hockey," Gretzky said.

Since the players are not paid between April and October, Gretzky said there may be little chance of any breakthrough during the summer on a new collective bargaining agreement.

"We're going to be back where we were last Sept. 15th come this Sept. 15th," he said.

Gretzky played in the world juniors for Canada when he was 16.

"I was lucky," he said. "The only reason I made the team is because a couple of older guys got hurt. I was a young kid, and I enjoyed it. I was in awe."

Red Leader
01-03-2005, 04:24 PM
:thumbdown This is the time of year when I love to start watching hockey. The NFL playoff teams are decided, and there's really only Saturday and Sunday to watch football. I love watching hockey during the week. This is going to make waiting for the baseball season seem like an eternity.

westofyou
01-03-2005, 04:26 PM
13 days to decide if you want to make money or destroy your business.

Betteman is not doing the sport any favors.

CbusRed
01-03-2005, 04:28 PM
Now that Football is pretty much over, I guess I can say I *kinda* miss hockey. When you live in an NHL town, its a fun thing to go do on any given night of the week. And the businesses (Bars and Restaurants) in the Arena District are suffering because of this. But as soon as February rolls around I will have bigger and better things on my mind ;)

On a side note. This is pretty solid proof that labor unions are counter-productive.

westofyou
01-03-2005, 04:49 PM
On a side note. This is pretty solid proof that labor unions are counter-productive.


How?

The owners are locking the players out, the owners are refusing to negotiate.

CbusRed
01-03-2005, 04:58 PM
How?

The owners are locking the players out, the owners are refusing to negotiate.
Well, without the union, there is no need to lock out, the players deal with what the Owners want, Just like myself, and any other non-union employee has to do when the company we work for decides to make changes, after all, they are the owners.

And without lockouts/strikes, the consumers and small business owners that flourish from the sport dont have to suffer.

deltachi8
01-03-2005, 05:08 PM
The hockey mess is largely because the owners theselves cant control themsleves. Because its a locl $$ league (gate, local media), the large markets ignored fical responsibility with contracts because they could. New york, Detroit, Philly, Toronto can spend it because they make it.

Bettman it seems has finally convinced all th eteam owners that they need a new system that everyone adheres to fo rthe league to survive. I am willing to bet that he has already told them they dont plan on playing hockey this year.

If they go through the year, my guess is they will attempt to implement new work rules as the are at an impasse. Open the doors and let the players who choose to come play, play.

I think alot will choose to play. There are alot more lower salaried guys that the top notch ones, these ar ethe ones who will cross.

In the long run, missing a year might be the BEST thing to happen to the NHL. As much as i hate it right now.

westofyou
01-03-2005, 05:09 PM
Well, without the union, there is no need to lock out, the players deal with what the Owners want, Just like myself, and any other non-union employee has to do when the company we work for decides to make changes, after all, they are the owners.

And without lockouts/strikes, the consumers and small business owners that flourish from the sport dont have to suffer.

Without the union their is no labor protection.

The history of the NHL is littered with the owners taking advantage of the players.... The Players are the sport, the owners will find out soon enough if they try and peddle AAA hockey in towns that know the game.

deltachi8
01-03-2005, 05:10 PM
13 days to decide if you want to make money or destroy your business.

Betteman is not doing the sport any favors.

I have to find the link, but it has been reported that some teams are actually losing LESS money by not playing. Buffalo is one of them.

westofyou
01-03-2005, 05:11 PM
The hockey mess is largely because the owners theselves cant control themsleves. Because its a locl $$ league (gate, local media), the large markets ignored fical responsibility with contracts because they could. New york, Detroit, Philly, Toronto can spend it because they make it.

Bettman it seems has finally convinced all th eteam owners that they need a new system that everyone adheres to fo rthe league to survive. I am willing to bet that he has already told them they dont plan on playing hockey this year.

If they go through the year, my guess is they will attempt to implement new work rules as the are at an impasse. Open the doors and let the players who choose to come play, play.

I think alot will choose to play. There are alot more lower salaried guys that the top notch ones, these ar ethe ones who will cross.

In the long run, missing a year might be the BEST thing to happen to the NHL. As much as i hate it right now.

Alot of the big teams are owned by Cable companies with lots of empty slots and unsold advertising time. Word is that they might push for a settlement.

It happened with the Yankees and the Dodgers in 1981, they had the most to lose and they eventually pushed for a settlement. 100% of nothing is still nothing.

deltachi8
01-03-2005, 05:13 PM
You may be right WOY, i will be suprised if there is Hockey this year.

westofyou
01-03-2005, 05:13 PM
I have to find the link, but it has been reported that some teams are actually losing LESS money by not playing. Buffalo is one of them.

Buffalo has been a sinkhole for years, plus they went through bankrupcy.

Betteman expanded and line dthe owners pockets with expansion cash. Now they all cry poverty, guys like the Hurricanes owner who offered Fedorov that outragious signing bonus years ago that the Wings matched... and the Bruins signing of LaPoint.

deltachi8
01-05-2005, 12:40 PM
I live in Buffalo and, well its a sinkhole for a number of things.

The previous ownership were crooks and had much to do with the state the team is in financially. Hockey can work in Buffalo given a better economic climant for the sport.

The Federov and LaPoint examples are what alwaya have made me nuts - ownership crying poor and then acting like that. It had no credibility and didnt blame the players one bit for not believing them.

Now, I think it can be different, if and only if, the league has all the owners on the same page, looking out for the good of the game and league as a whole. When they start to splinter for their own interests, it will fail again.

Roy Tucker
01-05-2005, 01:51 PM
My boss's wife works in the front office for the Minnesota NHL team. He says that he's had enough conversations with FO types to believe that they are on a scorched earth plan.

That is, NHL declares an impasse, implements its last best contract offer, opens for business, hopes that some regular players would show up, and then fill the remaining roster spots with replacement players. And busts the union. And implements the fiancial plan they want.

He also said there has been talk about contracting back to pre-expansion number of teams and getting rid of Tampa, Phoenix, LA, etc. He said it's really only in Canada and the US NE and Great Lakes that hockey is truly viable in the long term.

westofyou
01-05-2005, 02:01 PM
My boss's wife works in the front office for the Minnesota NHL team. He says that he's had enough conversations with FO types to believe that they are on a scorched earth plan.

That is, NHL declares an impasse, implements its last best contract offer, opens for business, hopes that some regular players would show up, and then fill the remaining roster spots with replacement players. And busts the union. And implements the fiancial plan they want.

He also said there has been talk about contracting back to pre-expansion number of teams and getting rid of Tampa, Phoenix, LA, etc. He said it's really only in Canada and the US NE and Great Lakes that hockey is truly viable in the long term.

That's the goal I think, to get the cap in, it's ugly and the leagues talent will suffer if that's the road they take.

However there are 8 teams in California, Colorado, Az and Texas. The Stars, Sharks and Aves aren't going anywhere soon.

Sounds like a small market lockdown, but I still expect the larger teams to push for a settlement sooner then the smaller guys.

As it stands now 9 days until the season might be canceled, this is playing out like many of the baseball strikes.

Hockey players and baseball players as a union have alot in common, levels of players from superstars to role players. Goalies equal number one starters and the career path is very similar.

Chip R
01-05-2005, 02:22 PM
My boss's wife works in the front office for the Minnesota NHL team. He says that he's had enough conversations with FO types to believe that they are on a scorched earth plan.

That is, NHL declares an impasse, implements its last best contract offer, opens for business, hopes that some regular players would show up, and then fill the remaining roster spots with replacement players. And busts the union. And implements the fiancial plan they want.

He also said there has been talk about contracting back to pre-expansion number of teams and getting rid of Tampa, Phoenix, LA, etc. He said it's really only in Canada and the US NE and Great Lakes that hockey is truly viable in the long term.
Don't they have an anti-scab law in Canada? That would be a big roadblock in this scenario.

They may be on to something to keep the Canadian teams and some of the US teams like DET, CHI and BOS and the NY area teams and Philly and Minnesota. It'd stink for a team like Columbus which has only been in the league a few years but them's the breaks. Maybe they could move some of the teams back to Canada.

westofyou
01-05-2005, 02:29 PM
The owners have yet to change their position, thus it's hard to say they have reached a negotiation impasse, the only thing they change is the language of their terms.

They can't kick in next year with scabs if an impasse has been determined to be actually happening... and for that a little F to F is needed by the league and the players.

jmcclain19
01-05-2005, 02:30 PM
Considering that some of the newer places, like here in Phx, Columbus & Atlanta, just built new stadiums for their teams, the NHL would have public relations disaster and lawsuits galore if contraction were the case. That would be true scorched earth, no fan base would ever grow in those cities again.

Catch22
01-05-2005, 06:00 PM
Without the union their is no labor protection.

The history of the NHL is littered with the owners taking advantage of the players.... The Players are the sport, the owners will find out soon enough if they try and peddle AAA hockey in towns that know the game.

I agree that unions and labor law had its place and time. However, I generally find now that these laws have created more problems than they solve and have created an era of false entitlement. This problem is no more evident than in the pro sports realm. I will be the first in line to stand up and say that professional athletes are not in need of labor protection. You'd swear the way some of them cry poverty that they were being forced to work 72 hour shifts in the coal mines.

True, the owners of a franchise stand to make large sums of cash (if they are smart) if a salary cap is instituted. However, the owners have a lot more cash at stake in the running of a franchise and should be entitled to a significant piece of the pie. The players do not want a hard or soft cap because it will drastically slow the salary inflation process that currently exists through arbitration and free agency and the few freespending owners that accellerate the whole process. The owners want a cap so they can essentially receive protection from themselves (a few rogue owners that spend way mare than is good for the overall health of the league). It's too bad that what both the owners and players have completely missed while fighting for their share is the fans. If anybody should unionize, it should be the fans and municipalities and businesess that are caught in the crossfire.

My read on the situation up here in Canada where hockey is king is that the fans are generally on the owners side. Most people want the owners to break the union and start again with whoever wants to play. One only has to look at how much attention the world junior tournament got this year to see that we don't care who is playing pro hockey, as long as someone is playing pro hockey. I don't think the AAA replacement player blahs will have much effect up here. We just want to see hockey.

westofyou
01-05-2005, 06:07 PM
I see the ticket price for replacement hockey as being an issue if a good portion of the top tier players are sitting out.

Now that the Juniors are over there are alot of empty hours to fill.