New Deal Doesn't Do Much for Blues

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New Deal Doesn't Do Much for Blues

Postby dmiles2186 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:49 am

I'm glad to have hockey back, but it is frustrating that the power remains in the hands of the big markets. But that's pretty much the case in every sport, save for the NFL. There are two points that I really like from this article though.

1) The Blues are not run by idiots who were willing to fling around 10-14 year deals like it was candy.

2) The new CBA takes away any chance that some team will do that to steal Alex Pietrangelo away from the Blues.

That being said, this is a Jeff Gordon column, so do with that what you will.

http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/ ... fb93a.html


The St. Louis Blues lost plenty during the National Hockey League lockout.

Their breakout 2011-12 season energized their fans and built anticipation for this season. Tom Stillman’s new ownership group was poised to parlay that success into desperately needed revenue growth.

Coach Ken Hitchcock positioned them for Stanley Cup contention. The franchise was prepared to sell out game after game without resorting to heavy ticket discounting or elaborate gimmicks.

The team had tremendous momentum on and off the ice . . . and then the league shut down for 40 percent of the season while demanding wholesale labor concessions from the players.

The Blues lost millions of dollars in near-term revenue and millions more for the long haul. Some fans didn’t come back after the previous two stoppages and some won’t return this time.

And what do the Blues gain from this severe lockout sacrifice?

Not much, really, since the NHL’s flawed economic model remains unchanged under the new collective bargaining agreement.

The league’s network and cable television revenue remains tiny compared to the NFL, NBA and MLB. Revenue sharing among NHL teams remains insufficient.

The gulf between “have” and “have not” franchises remains enormous.

In such an environment, using a salary cap/floor system to regulate player compensation doesn’t solve the fundamental problem. Reducing the players’ revenue share from 57 percent to 50 percent doesn’t shift the paradigm.

This system still allows the rich teams to get richer while at least half the teams still struggle to survive.

The new deal lowers the salary floor to $44 million in 2013-14, down from $48.3 million last season. That offers only minor relief to money-losing teams like the Blues.

The NHL Players Association believes the league could create a much healthier industry through more extensive revenue sharing among teams. The rich and powerful franchises rejected that concept. They want to keep their giant slices of pie while the Phoenix Coyotes eat scraps.

Instead, the NHL sought to “idiot proof” franchise management with new player contract restrictions. Commissioner Gary Bettman sought these safeguards because teams like the Flyers and Wild made astonishing mistakes during the past few years of the old agreement.

Pay $51 million over nine years for skittish goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov? Sure, go ahead. What could possibly go wrong for Bryzgalov in the highly charged Philadelphia atmosphere?

Offer $98 million over 13 years to steal Nashville’s second-best defenseman, Ryan Suter? Why not! Give Zach Parise the same terms to leave New Jersey, too. Everybody knows that 13-year contracts are the way to go in midsized markets like Minnesota.

Each big signing seemed more ludicrous than the one before it. Even as the lockout day neared, NHL executives rushed to overpay as many players as possible before the league shut down.

Once the lockout started, these same executives flipped and started pleading poverty. Please forgive the players for remaining uniformly skeptical as the months rolled on and the lockout dragged out into the New Year.

The new agreement will make it somewhat more difficult for owners and general managers to mismanage their operation until they figure out the loopholes. They always find some loopholes.

(Some players are lamenting all the give-backs in this agreement, but the old-timers realize some owners will always find ways to overpay. In a few years, we’ll all wonder what the owners really gained during this latest lockout. It happens every time.)

The Blues didn’t need an “idiot proof” agreement because idiots don’t run this franchise. General manager Doug Armstrong knows what he is doing.

He spends wisely on talent. He challenges players to earn their raises and additional contract security. He can say “no” to a player agent. He does not sit up and bark on command, like so many of his peers.

The new agreement will limit players to eight-year contracts to remain with their team and seven-year deals to switch teams. Armstrong already knew that epic contract lengths are a bad idea in such a physically and emotionally demanding sport.

But this new limitation prevents some knucklehead from offering Alex Pietrangelo the sort of insane money (14 years, $110 million) Philadelphia offered restricted free agent Shea Weber to leave Nashville. So this is a good thing.

The agreement limits salary variance in the deals, preventing teams from lowering the average annual salary (and corresponding salary cap hit) by tacking small salaries at the far end of contracts. Armstrong never played this game, so he didn’t need this protection.

The new agreement will set the salary cap for 2013-14 at $64.3 million, the same as it was last season. That is a non-issue for the Blues. St. Louis can’t support such a payroll. Armstrong’s budget for this season will come in about $10 million under that.

This agreement gives each team amnesty buyouts to dump contracts and get under the lowered salary cap. Armstrong does not give out stupid contracts, so he doesn’t need this tool.

The length of this accord – 10 years, with an opt-out after eight years – is positive for every NHL team. Perhaps Bettman will retire before then and the sport will have real leadership in place. Maybe, just maybe, the NHL’s cycle of self-destruction will end.

Stillman, Armstrong and Co. will appreciate some of the minor protections gained in the new deal. But given the extreme price paid for those provisions, this settlement can’t feel like a spectacular victory down at Scottrade Center.
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Re: New Deal Doesn't Do Much for Blues

Postby stinkdified » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:40 am

dmiles2186 wrote:But this new limitation prevents some knucklehead from offering Alex Pietrangelo the sort of insane money (14 years, $110 million) Philadelphia offered restricted free agent Shea Weber to leave Nashville. So this is a good thing.
Hell yes!

On another note, whats the deal with the schedule?
Are they going to change it around or leave as is?
Maybe this has been asked but I missed it somewhere. I googed around and didn't find much...
I would figure it would be something they wouldn't have time to change around too much, but you know how sometimes we will play a team more earlier or later in the season, would they change it to account for this? or do we just not really care and are going with what we got?
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Re: New Deal Doesn't Do Much for Blues

Postby kodos » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:49 am

The schedule is supposed to be a mixup of existing dates and new ones.

While I'm happy that this lockout is over and all of that, I 100% agree that it accomplished very little.

I'll be glad to see the ridiculous 14 year backloaded contracts go away, but they still didn't address the real problem... which is the MASSIVE discrepancy between the haves and have nots. A more substantial form of revenue sharing would have been more important than most of what they put in there.
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Re: New Deal Doesn't Do Much for Blues

Postby dmiles2186 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:59 am

The schedule will come out once the CBA has been officially ratified. I've read several different scheduling scenarios, but the one that I saw initially was that it would be inter-conference only, with 4 games against each division opponent. Not sure the truth to that, but it makes sense.
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Re: New Deal Doesn't Do Much for Blues

Postby abc789987 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:10 am

kodos wrote:The schedule is supposed to be a mixup of existing dates and new ones.

While I'm happy that this lockout is over and all of that, I 100% agree that it accomplished very little.

I'll be glad to see the ridiculous 14 year backloaded contracts go away, but they still didn't address the real problem... which is the MASSIVE discrepancy between the haves and have nots. A more substantial form of revenue sharing would have been more important than most of what they put in there.

What happens to the existing stupid 10+ year backloaded contracts under this new deal? Are all existing contract just grandfathered in?
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Re: New Deal Doesn't Do Much for Blues

Postby dmiles2186 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:18 am

abc789987 wrote:
kodos wrote:The schedule is supposed to be a mixup of existing dates and new ones.

While I'm happy that this lockout is over and all of that, I 100% agree that it accomplished very little.

I'll be glad to see the ridiculous 14 year backloaded contracts go away, but they still didn't address the real problem... which is the MASSIVE discrepancy between the haves and have nots. A more substantial form of revenue sharing would have been more important than most of what they put in there.

What happens to the existing stupid 10+ year backloaded contracts under this new deal? Are all existing contract just grandfathered in?


That was what the players were fighting so hard for. It was the 'Make Whole' provision. Owners wanted a certain % salary rollback on contracts but players wanted them to honor the deals they signed. As far as I know, all of those ridiculous deals are still legit.

So the Islanders fans can look forward to 10 more years of Rick Dipietro.
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Re: New Deal Doesn't Do Much for Blues

Postby theohall » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:08 pm

dmiles2186 wrote:
abc789987 wrote:
kodos wrote:The schedule is supposed to be a mixup of existing dates and new ones.

While I'm happy that this lockout is over and all of that, I 100% agree that it accomplished very little.

I'll be glad to see the ridiculous 14 year backloaded contracts go away, but they still didn't address the real problem... which is the MASSIVE discrepancy between the haves and have nots. A more substantial form of revenue sharing would have been more important than most of what they put in there.

What happens to the existing stupid 10+ year backloaded contracts under this new deal? Are all existing contract just grandfathered in?


That was what the players were fighting so hard for. It was the 'Make Whole' provision. Owners wanted a certain % salary rollback on contracts but players wanted them to honor the deals they signed. As far as I know, all of those ridiculous deals are still legit.

So the Islanders fans can look forward to 10 more years of Rick Dipietro.


This agreement gives each team amnesty buyouts to dump contracts and get under the lowered salary cap. Armstrong does not give out stupid contracts, so he doesn’t need this tool.


This. Owners can "buyout" those contracts if they want. Part of the problem was the owners wanted to "buyout" contracts offered those guys and not pay the amount for which the player signed. So - you decided to join the Wild. Great! Now we don't want to pay you. And the Wild owner was one of the four owners involved in all the talks prior to Bettman and Fehr stepping aside when the Maple Leafs owner stepped in and suddenly things started actually moving. He was crying poverty after offering 2 players 13 year 100+M contracts and arguing he should not have to play their full value. Idiots running the asylum during those "negotiations."
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Re: New Deal Doesn't Do Much for Blues

Postby thedoc » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:39 am

Saw this little nugget.

Players lost 700 million in salary by not taking the owners October offer...what did they get.

- 50/50 deal - same as October offer
- 200M revenue sharing - same as October offer
- 70M Cap 1st season - same as October offer
- 64.3M Cap 2nd season - up 4.3M from October offer
- 8-10 year CBA - up 2-4 years from October offer
- 300M "make whole" proposal - up 90M from October offer

Summary: Player wasted 700M in salaries. Gained 90M in the "make whole" deal and 4.3M in the second year of the cap.

So it works out to a net loss of $481 million.
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Re: New Deal Doesn't Do Much for Blues

Postby abc789987 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:49 am

thedoc wrote:Saw this little nugget.

Players lost 700 million in salary by not taking the owners October offer...what did they get.

- 50/50 deal - same as October offer
- 200M revenue sharing - same as October offer
- 70M Cap 1st season - same as October offer
- 64.3M Cap 2nd season - up 4.3M from October offer
- 8-10 year CBA - up 2-4 years from October offer
- 300M "make whole" proposal - up 90M from October offer

Summary: Player wasted 700M in salaries. Gained 90M in the "make whole" deal and 4.3M in the second year of the cap.

So it works out to a net loss of $481 million.

Just hearing that kinda makes me sick. What a waste of time and money. And so chances are we will be going through this same thing in 8 years...
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Re: New Deal Doesn't Do Much for Blues

Postby DaDitka » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:28 pm

abc789987 wrote:Just hearing that kinda makes me sick. What a waste of time and money. And so chances are we will be going through this same thing in 8 years...


I can assure you two things..

#1 - You are correct, we will be going though the same thing in 8 years again.

#2 - the only difference is they won't be 30 owners anymore, with out proper revenue sharing..some of the organizations won't survive to renegotiate it.
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