Folks, anyone who had not seen this coming for two years or longer simply has not been paying attention.
It was coming the day of the first front-loaded contract.
It's not sustainable for the NHL to have those kinds of contracts running over ten years, massive signing bonus money, a league where many players have no movement/no trade clauses, a free agent system where a player can hit the open market at age twenty five or twenty six.
A salary cap so high most teams cannot sustain a payroll without going to the corporations that own them for cash calls?
Revenue from Flyers owner Ed Snider's NBC Sports Network, the Thrashers relocation fee's, or Charles Wang Neulion just is not the kind of revenue that makes this the NFL to go with some absurd ticket price increases as the extra one billion since 2005-06.
I have written it many times, revenue is not profit. A franchise spends one hundred million to generate eighty five million, it's still losing fifteen million dollars.
Baseball owners want their revenue sharing check, NFL has too much revenue so no lockout plus football has a responsible free agent/franchise player system.
Basketball had to take it's lumps again last fall again, even Dolan would not pay the future luxury taxes on Jeremy Lin.
Hockey is not on this level.
Donald Fehr will have no problem with another season long lockout. This is the man that negotiated a system in baseball where the poorest teams get a big check to play at a huge competitive disadvantage.
Fehr's job is to make money for the players, he did it in baseball, it's not his job to promote competitive spending balance among owners anywhere.
Many of Bettman's owners to the last day spent for their long-term advantage, they have earned little sympathy, and will lose this media game.
The players who signed their front-loaded contracts got their signing bonus money up front. Christian Ehrhoff, James Wisniewski, Brad Richards have already been paid a big part of their long-term deals in anticipation of this day.
Projecting Things Out:
Anyone who followed the last year must have been asking why such a casual pace in negotiating? There was no urgency until too late.
Ultimately I have no doubt Donald Fehr/Gary Bettman will sit out another full season, there seem to be too many financial issues to make any other choice possible for most owners.
I hope not.
This cannot be a sport of what corporation owning a team can write off the most red-ink to out spend their counterparts into an imbalanced system, where Craig Leipold goes from crying poverty in April, to spending 200m in contracts simply to compete in the UFA market.
The players were entitled to every penny they could get, they did not make those offers to themselves.
What was Nashvlle's ownership supposed to do? Not match the offer sheet, losing another key player?
Once again the usual owners have to be protected from themselves.
Up Next For New York Players:
The sidebar has the links for the growing list of players signing in Europe, less will have that opportunity, however Streit, Visnovsky already have.
That list will likely expand to include Nabokov, Nielsen, Grabner.
If Visnovsky wants to stay in the KHL all season, he's under no obligation to report, if a new CBA means this year drops from contracts he's a free agent.
The North American players will have it a little tougher, plus if someone get's hurt, they are suspended (without pay) by their NHL team until they are medically cleared to play.
That means a player needs new insurance that covers some massive contracts if they want to play during a lockout.
Mr Crosby may have a problem with those issues because he sustains a concussion that ends his career in non sanctioned games, the Penguins do not owe him for the remainder of his contract.
As much as I wrote about DiPietro needing games desperately, he plays it's at his own risk unless he acquires insurance to cover the remainder of his contract.
Montreal Gazette Pat Hickey wrote on twitter Sunday, Scott Gomez, refused to waive his no trade clause to join the Islanders at the trade deadline. He did this despite the Gazette's, Dave Stubb, with Gomez agent Ian Pulver in LaPresse on 3/21 writing Gomez was never approached with any trade here.
It is getting that bad with some media, just flat out lie or make it up.
Someone to report on Matt Martin's signing at Dolan's paper? Cannot be bothered.
Randi Marshall/Robert Brodsky feature on loss of Isles games/revenue, plus comptroller George Maragos comment..... "It won't be the end of the world if the county doesn't have a hockey team."
Debbie Kranek, Debbie Henley, Hank Winnicki, thrilled. Add image of Isles losing in overtime on the road against Cablevision's team...print.
Surprised it did not get the cover.
Cannot blame them for Maragos if he's quoted.
Looks good next to support article for Dolan's friend, Sheldon (No West Side Stadium/special Msg treatment) Silver, unlike the late tepid referendum endorsement hidden in the fine print when it was obvious it would not pass this is real support.
Apparently Wade Redden who's contract almost meant the AHL would need a lockout, will not be forced to play in the AHL as long as he can remain on an NHL roster during a lockout to save five million dollars.
Seems the same media (or failed former media relations coordinators) reacting to DiPietro being taken off injured reserve on 8/1 forgot to notice.
Sorry folks someone has to write it.