Two dudes blogging and podcasting about the San Jose Sharks, straight from sunny California.

post Optimism Waning

October 18th, 2012, 3:28 pm

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

Good discussion in the comments section of the previous post about the CBA negotiations, be sure to check that out.

The players have responded with three separate proposals, all which move to an even 50-50 split.  The owners have rejected the offers.  Now, it certainly appears as if games will be missed, and possibly the season.

There’s no doubt the owners gained the upper hand in the PR war by offering the 50/50 split first.  We will see if the players win back some goodwill by proposing their own.  It looks as if the big difference right now is the NHLPA wants the current contracts to be honored in full, some of which were signed only days before the lockout, without impacting the 50/50 split.  The owners offered to honor those contracts, but they will count against the future players’ share, which led the players to say it was “the players paying the players”.  I can see this both ways.  Under the owners’ proposal, on one hand, the owners will be paying those players their actual salaries in the future.  On the other, the owners will suffer no financial repercussions for signing deals that are incredibly rich (Parise) and oftentimes foolhardy (Ehrhoff).

As disappointed as I am, I’m still on the players side.  Perhaps there are important terms that have not been made public, but the latest proposals seem to decrease the player’s future income and contract negotiating positions from the previous CBA in every case.  The players’ proposed deal weakens them across the board; they get no stronger position in any area. If games are lost or the season is canceled, it’s difficult for me to believe how people can blame the players for that (“You didn’t capitulate enough!”).

14 Comments to “Optimism Waning”

  1. Cyoor says:

    “Under the owners’ proposal, on one hand, the owners will be paying those players their actual salaries in the future.”

    This is actually not what the proposal says.

    The owners will NOT be paying those salaries of the owners money in the future. The salaries of those contracts will be taken from OTHER PLAYERS salaries in the future. In some cases from the players own future salaries.

    Read the “Make whole” part of the contract.

    Lets take an example where we simplify the league to only include one team.
    Lets also say to be simple that that the new cap of a team is at 50M per season.

    If the team right now have 57M in contracts the first 3 years, and havnt signed any contracts after that, then the first 3 years the players will get 50M in salaries. After that the players will get a cap of 43M for the next 3 years. They will also be payed 7M during each of those years for the contracts that they were supposed to be payed during the first 3 years.

    So in reality the cap is 43M the last 3 years, the rest is just delayed payment from the current contracts.

    So from a players point of view, he might have a contract right now that gives him 5.7M/year right now for 3 years, and would have gotten a 5M contract in the future, but instead he gets a 5M/year contract for the next 3 years, and a 4.3M/year contract the next 3 years + 0.7M/year in delayed payments..
    Basically 2.1M less in 6 years then a 50/50 deal where he would keep his current contract untill it have ran out. (9,4% less)

    A true 50/50 deal where the players would keep their contracts would be that in a contract that gives a player 5.7M/ year, only 5M of those would count towards the cap. And in all new contracts everything would count.

    (Remember, this was a verry simplified example and numbers from this example cant be used as more than just an example, since they will vary alot from contract to contract and depending on what the current total value of all currently signed contracts are.)

    Sorry for getting abit complicated here, but Math is what I do on a daily basis and I just want to explain how fake the owners statement that they would “honor the players current contracts” is.

    (Also.. Sorry for my bad english. I’m not from an english speaking country)

    • Mike says:

      You’re definitely more right than I was, but after reading the section closely, I’m not sure I follow all of your examples. For instance, it seems important that the league grow 5% per year in order for the “make whole” thing to happen. I’m also confused by your example of “would have gotten a 3 year contract in the future”.

      My understanding is this:
      To simplify, the hypothetical player that has a 3 year, $5.7M/per contract would get $5M the first year, and if the league grows by 5%, that $700k would be deferred, payable “over the life of the contact”. I’m not sure what that means, but let’s say the extra $700k is spread over the player’s monthly paycheck the next two years. Same kind of thing for the second year- the player gets a reduced amount, some held in escrow, and it’s paid if the league grows 5%. Additionally, those extra payments ($700k + second year escrow) will be charged against the team’s salary cap in the remaining years of the CBA. So it’s possible for the player to get their full existing contract amount assuming the league grows 5% per year. In essence, the team will be penalized for having a bunch of existing contracts, because they will pay out less now, if the league grows the players will get paid more, and the team will have to deal with a reduced cap amount in the future.

      As far as a “future” 3 year deal, I would think that would work against the cap the same way as they did the with the previous CBA- no reduction or deferred payments, but with regular escrow amounts based on HRR.

      Did I go horribly wrong here?

      And your English is stellar. The only difference is we spell it “paid” instead of “payed” here in the States.

      • Cyoor says:

        My example was verry simplified and I used a flat cap at 50M with no groth just so make it simple.
        I dont have time to answer better right now, but I will try to explain more later. (Maybe I can even use SJ as an example and see what would happen) 🙂

  2. Ruben says:

    As it is, I have already decided to sit out one game for every game lost to the lockout. No TV, no fantasy hockey, no games (unless they are a gift, in which case no arena food) no merchandise, nothing. It sucks, because that would hurt the players too, whom I am 100% behind at this point for various reasons, but I truly believe that the reason baseball has not even come close to a work stoppage in a long time is because of how incredibly bad the fans revolted in 1994. Baseball lost about 20% attendance the next year after the strike. Baseball has recaptured their golden goose, and they know better now. Crazy that Bud Selig is probably the best commisioner in pro sports…

    Good luck with hockey keeping up the 5% growth… they will be lucky if they only lose what baseball lost. And attendance didn’t really come back for another 6-7 years until McGwire-Sosa.

    • Slappy_SEZ says:

      I am genuinely fed up w/ this whole situation. At this point — it just might be ‘6-7 years’ until the NHL recaptures my attention . . . IF ever.

  3. Slappy_SEZ says:

    Just read an excellent point via Twitter:

    ” … is it IMPOSSIBLE to negotiate while playing (hockey)?”

    HERE — FUCKING — HERE, sir.

  4. Slappy_SEZ says:

    More ppl doing the word for me:

    “The bulk of the blame belongs to the owners. They locked out the players for an entire season in 2004-05, and they got a salary cap and a 24-percent salary rollback. Now, despite seven years of record revenues, they’re locking them out again and asking for more…”

  5. Tom says:

    Totally agree Mike… regardless of my personal feelings towards both these groups, I find it next to impossible to not blame the owners and bettman for this fiasco – which is really what this has become. All the more reason if the league is gonna go all “cash-grab” on the players, playing hard ball and such, I can’t give them my money…

    And, what dicks to get all our hopes up just to smash them down again. You’d almost think that part of the plan in the first place. Good thing the NHL media and fans are too savy to fall for their ploys.

  6. Ian says:

    I think that the players know that at the end of the day this is going to be a take away deal by the owners when the dust settles and it’s simply a matter of how much they are going to lose. I find it entertaining that people could side with the owners at all, if the players went to the bargaining table and put down a proposal that would see them adding money to their current contracts we’d all be pretty pissed about it so why is it when the owners want to take money away especially from contracts they signed in the weeks and hours before the CBA ended being ok is beyond me. At the end of the day I don’t really care who wins or loses I just want to watch some damn Hockey.

  7. Patrick says:

    I’m so tired of seeing messageboard and article comments saying “These players are so selfish, I would play hockey for free, blah blah blah.”

    Even if that were true (which it isn’t), couldn’t you apply the same idiotic logic to the other side? You would play hockey for free, but you wouldn’t own a team and fly around to all your games on private jets for free?

    Mercifully, I think fans in general are a lot better educated this time around and are largely holding the owners accountable for this heinous bargaining strategy.

  8. Andy C says:

    I’m starting to get really sick of it now.

    The fact is that they do seem to be on the same page – apart from the transition from the 57/43 cap to the 50/50 cap.
    I’m sure it wouldn’t be a stretch too far for more of a transition over say 3 years, rather than the 1 year transition originally proposed.

    Of course, the sticking point to this is the stupid long-term deals at inflated prices which won’t fit into the 50/50 split, and the player’s attitude of “I signed that contract in good faith” is perfectly reasonable – but, thinking about it, the number of players in this situation is tiny (someone can correct me, but we’re probably taking 20-30 players) and these are the players that are fabulously wealthy already & their actual salaries are about vanity more than actually being able to spend it.

    It almost makes me feel sorry for the Krys Barch’s of this world who won’t be affected one way or the other by what happens to these stupid contracts which are the ones holding up this deal!

  9. Tom says:

    As much as we all miss NHL hockey… I can’t shake this feeling that they might be doing us Sharks fans a bit of a favor by saving us from a slow death of mediocrity.

    There would have been 4 games so far right?…. One on the road at ANA and three home games vs. NYR, CAR, and EDM… Anyone think we’d have won more than two of those max? I don’t. I can’t help but look at half the teams in the NHL now and think we just don’t match up any more.

    Watching the SF Giants enter their golden age (since coming to SF), I just can’t stop the comparisons to the Sharks. When was the last time we could honestly say this about any player in teal… that when their back was against the walls we got the best performances of their careers out of them?

    Dan Boyle – yes… Paveksli – maybe… anyone else?

    I know everyone is gonna say it’s apples and oranges and you can’t compare baseball and hockey. But watching the Giants, even as life long fan but still primarily a Sharks fan, hurts a little cause it shows me just what the Sharks are not.

    • hateseed says:

      Dude. I’m sorry but your comment is all over the place…

      You don’t think the Sharks could have beaten Ana or Edm? The truth is they could beat any or all of those four teams on any given night. Playoff payoff aside, the Sharks had been elite for 3-4 years prior to last year, and we ate a terrible match-up (I would argue the worst possible in the league FOR US) in the playoffs last year, otherwise who knows what happens… it’s sports. We spanked LA in the last 2 games of the season, I take them in the western conference finals and think we could have beaten them…

      Your comparison to the Giants is laughable. With respect, and though i LOVE them dearly, the giants fucking suck on paper. (See: NYY roster) That’s what’s awesome about baseball though, “on-paper” means very very little, as does the entire regular season because it all comes down to game by game, moment by moment statistical variation during the playoffs. The better team doesn’t win. The best team on that night, in that week, wins. This is kind of true for Hockey, but only somewhat, and I base that assumption on momentum and inertia during games which can’t really be diagnosed, but you know it when you see it.

      Isn’t the consensus that JoeT is playing the best hockey of his career? I don’t think the other users and the Dudes are just blowing smoke up my ass… JoeP was crazy good in last years playoffs but I don’t particularly recall anything stellar from him this year. (But he’s always “good”.) You can’t win the playoffs on the back of any one, or even 2-3 guys. LA’s strength was their 3rd and 4th lines. King did things last year for LA. Who the FUCK is King!? When was the last time we had a true impact player on the 3/4 line? Wellwood? McGinn? (too soon? :P) Our bottom half was weak last year. It’s been weak for a while. it’s a known issue. /shrug

      You ranted, now I’m ranting, I’ll stop now.

      • Tom says:

        Im not gonna get into a big back and forth with you cause everybody is entiltled to their opinion here but yes I do think they Sharks can beat EDM and ANA.. its the Rangers and Hurricanes who both got better and I think we don’t match up with as well any longer.

        And I think your comment about the Giants sucking on paper is pretty ignorant. Im not gonna blow up the Dudes blog with baseball stats or an argument about the SF Giants – but if you really think that then I think you haven’t even been watching.

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