Tuesday, April 19, 2005


A Player Disagrees

Following yesterdays story I received several replies from player upset with the article...Some that make very good points and show how this situation is far from simple enough to fit into a neat little package...Here is on reply from a player who always brings up great points..

"are you kidding me? hardliners? the same hardliners that pushed for a 24% rollback? the same hardliners that offered a salary cap? if that is hardlining what do you call a group of greedy owners that have yet to bargain in good faith. i have read your recent columns and on one hand you say goodenow doesn't believe the owners have the balls or stomach to use scabs and yet you argue/cite that everything he does is insincere and only designed to fight an impasse. which is it? i asked it before, how is it possible the union can make an offer that pleases a labor court but does not please greedy blind owners? if they are waiting for bob to be fired, all of our careers in hockey are over. the owners have yet to put anything forward that would even make us pause."

It is Goodenow's job to fight possible impasse...I don't hold that against him at all...I also don't think Goodenow is insincere at all. In fact I believe he is doing what he thinks is best and it is hard to argue, based on his record pre-lockout, that any other labor leader has done a better job for his clients. He put a system in place to increase salaries of his clients to levels that no one ever could have imagined. He not only won the last labor dispute...it was a blow-out. Now with the entire sports world watching, MLB, NBA, and NFL all destined to face this...he is working like a dog to get another deal. The 24% was a great start, but it didn't do much for the long term...in my opinion

Next... this came not from a player but a respected journalist who has always been fair to both sides...

"I absolutely disagree with the assessment that the NHL "deserves" better in this process.  In my view, they have operated from the beginning with one clear intention - to break the union.  They haven't compromised throughout the process, and if this lockout turns sour for them, it will largely be because they didn't operate in good faith. I believe that there are a number of NHL owners who are more than happy to use replacement players, and would rather do so than reach a deal with the NHLPA.  The reason is simple - it's because they want to break the union and they believe that's the correct path.  "It worked for the NFL in 1987, and it'll work for the NHL today," is likely the mantra. There are huge differences between the NHL of 2005 and the NFL of 1987, however, the biggest one being that the NFL owners had already grasped the concept of revenue sharing.  To date, the NHL has not proposed to share more than 5% of revenue, while the NFL gladly - and successfully - shares 65%.  The NFL wasn't the disaster in 1987 that the NHL is today..."

These are excellent points and go a long way towards arguing the player's side in this...

I also believe that the hybrid proposal put forth by the PA is a strong one and I hope the rumors that they are abandoning it are false...If, by the end of the day, the progress continues (like I believe it will) then we will know the rumors being spread were just rumors...

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