Posts for lockout

Flyers Non-Statement on Lockout Ending

Kyle Scott - January 6, 2013

Flyers President Peter Luukko released the following non-statement today:

“We were informed earlier this morning that the National Hockey League and the NHLPA have reached an agreement. As details concerning the schedule become available to us, we will release further information concerning the resumption of play. Our organization is excited for our players, our coaches and most particularly, our fans and we look forward to playing hockey again. The Flyers are extremely grateful to our loyal and dedicated fans who have shown tremendous patience and support during this process. We will refrain from making any additional comments at this time.”

 

Sounds like nothing will be official until there is a Board of Governors vote on Tuesday, but I’m guessing schedule details and such will leak out much earlier.

There will be many details that need to be hammered out over the next few days: when training camps begins, schedule, tickets, TV, arena availabilities, etc. And that's to say nothing of team rosters. I’m assuming that the league and teams already had some framework of a shortened schedule ready to go, with available dates and such. Teams will reportedly only play within their own conference, so travel will be minimized. 

I also assume that the league will bend over backwards like Sidn to please fans. After the last lockout, the league gave unprecedented access to rinkside reporters and local and national media. That trend will only continue – especially with so much new technology and so many new media outlets – in an effort to win fans over, quickly. 

Yesterday, Howard Eskin was Extraordinarily Wrong About the Lockout

Kyle Scott - January 6, 2013

Howard Eskin, whose sources are generally well-placed and reliable (especially with hockey news and Flyers injury updates— for realsies), was grotesquely wrong with his lockout update last night:

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Yikes.

At the time, he was quickly corrected by unofficial CB weatherman John Bolaris:

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You're, but whatevs. Earlier in the day, J-Bo (or the Tweets he was reading) was actually spot on with his lockout update: 

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Score one for the weatherman in this ongoing dick-measuring contest between mostly out-of-work former Philly media stalwarts.

The Lockout is Over (!!!)

Kyle Scott - January 6, 2013

image from mobilwi.typepad.com

FUCKIN RIGHT.

After almost five months of theater, name-calling, backstabbing and complete nonsense from a league, commissioner and players’ union that participated in its third lockout in 17 years, we will have hockey. The sport.

At around 4:45 a.m., at some hotel in New York, where myriad hockey writers and reporters were camped out like poor people waiting outside Best Buy for a $200 TV on Black Friday, Gary Bettman, his world-low Q rating, and Donald Fehr told reporters about sunshine and roses: a new CBA.

They didn’t give any details on the deal (we’ll have a few in a second, though I’d posit that most of you don’t care about most of them). The new CBA still needs to be put to paper, and owners and players need to officially vote on its terms, something that will likely happen on Monday or Tuesday.

Reports are that there will be either a 48 or 50-game season that will start on January 15 or 19. No exhibition games. That means there are less than two weeks for players to reconvene (SOMEONE GET ME MY FUCKING DUCK WHISTLE!), teams to round out rosters, and for regular season Flyers hockey to begin. Excitement. Really.

We’re all undoubtedly very pissed off about the lockout. But, right now, after nearly a full year of ineptitude, disappointment, underachieving, injuries and Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia sorely needs its best positioned to win a championship team. We sorely need Peter Laviolette screaming obscenities into the stuffy, ammonia-smelling Wells Fargo Center air. And we sorely need quotes like this one from Claude Giroux, via Frank Seravalli of the Daily News:

 “This is the best wake up call I’ve ever had,” Flyers star Claude Giroux told the Daily News early Sunday morning. “It’s good to see that the game is back.”

 

Hey there, guy. I really missed you. You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me… because we are totally getting back together.

Here are some details on the CBA, curated from TSN, Philly.com and Twitter:

– The players' share of hockey-related revenue will drop from 57 percent to a 50-50 split for all 10 years. 

– The salary cap for this first year will be around $60 million, but teams can spend up to $70.2 million.

According to CapGeek, the Flyers already have $66 million committed for this season, but that includes over $4 million to Chris Pronger, who will no doubt be put on injured reserve and have his salary come off the books. So, around $62 million– which means they’ll have som flexibility.

– The league came off their demand for a $60 million cap in 2013-2014, meeting the NHLPA's request to have it at $64.3 million – which was the upper limit from last year's cap. The salary floor in Year 2 will be $44 million.

– More good news: Each team will have two amnesties (which is English for Ilya Bryzgalov) to buy players out of their current contracts, for around two-thirds of what remains on a player's deal, so they can get to a more manageable cap number. Those amnesties can’t be used for the remainder of this season, but it sounds like one each will be available this offseason and next, or both must be used this summer– there are conflicting reports.

– Contracts will be limited to seven years, salaries can’t vary by more than 35% in any year and the lowest year of a deal can’t dip below 50% of the highest year (this puts a stop to those goofy, long-term contracts that paid players into their 40s to minimize cap hits).

– No divisional realignment next year.

– No agreement yet on whether players can play in 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

We will, obviously, have much more in the next few weeks. Keep it here for nonstop coverage of the return of the players, the Flyers rounding out their roster, the team’s schedule, and the start of this shortened season. To get you in the mood, here’s a message to the Pittsburgh Penguins from Max Talbot, who jokingly gave reader James the finger while at the Revel last night: 

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Video of Bettman and Fehr giving the announcement, after the jump.

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Your Lockout Update: The NHL Waited Until December to Be Reasonable, and A Possible Reason To Momentarily Not Hate Sidney Crosby

Ryan Gillon - December 5, 2012

NHL-lockout

(Photo: Sports Card Forum)

It "started" with a seemingly bogus report from CBS 4's Steve Burton in Boston:

 

Despite Bill Daly refuting the report rather quickly, here we sit two days later with assorted shreds of optimism that the NHL Lockout may be coming to an end.

Whether or not Burton truly has the inside track regarding the progression of talks is beyond me, but I'm not really here to delve into it either. The possibility exists that we may see NHL hockey before Christmas, and that's what matters.

Having said that, as you check your Twitter feed and watch the combined 44 seconds of ESPN SportsCenter coverage tomorrow during their six live hours of Tebow/RG III bullshit, remember that the lockout isn't over… yet.

Part of me is asking where the this effort was in September when the CBA was about to expire. I also wonder why Gary Bettman and the owners opened negotiations with such a lowball offer sending pessimism running through the veins of the hockey community. And then I read this piece from the Edmonton Journal's David Staples, pointing to a strategy reportedly executed by the NHL during negotiations:

“Apparently Gary is ready to get a deal done,” [Nick] Kypreos said. “He wants this thing done Friday. Friday!”

On Sportsnet’s Hockey Central show, Kypreos debated the issues withtwo other NHL insiders, former NHL GM Doug MacLean and sportscaster Daren Millard.

MacLean said that six weeks ago, he heard the NHL’s position, that “it is knock ‘em down, drag ‘em out until December 1st, and then at December 1st we’re getting a deal done.”

 

Fucking terrific. It was absolutely worth losing three months of hockey and thousands and thousands of fans. That's not even considering the cash cow that is the Winter Classic. All-Star Weekend in Columbus is also a goner, but hey, it's December 1st, the NHL is ready to negotiate!

Ironic is the fact that the most progress has been made without Bettman and the NHL Players Association's Donald Fehr. In addition to 18 current players and six of the league's owners, the aformentioned Daly sat in for the NHL while Donald's brother Steve represented the players. The move could prove to be a blessing considering the widespread resentment that the players have for Bettman.

What may be the most painfully odd factor for Flyers fans in all of this is the reported impact that Pittsburgh Penguins dickbag Sidney Crosby is having in all of this. He and Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle flew into New York City together, were present in yesterday's meetings that lasted more than eight hours, and are both participating in tonight's activities.

Rob Rossi of the Pittburgh Tribune-Review even went as far to write that "Burkle and Crosby were described by participants in the five-hour talks as voices of reason. 

Ugh.

So, where are we? Well…

The Players Association delivered an offer to the owners this afternoon, and the owners came back with a counter quickly. What's different about these proposals is that we actually know nothing about them. Nothing has leaked or been made public by either side. Although we're obviously curious, the lack of information available to us is probably a good thing and means that both sides are taking this latest round of negotiations seriously.

Meanwhile, Tim Panaccio is reporting the Board of Governors discussed a season that would feature anywhere from 50 to 60 games if the lockout ends. Ren Lavoie of RDS in Canada mentioned this:

 

So, if you've been paying attention, that would mean the NHL's next lockout will begin in September 2023.

As of this writing, the owners have just left the negotiating room, and there is no indication if talks have finished for the night or if they will continue. The NHL has set up a podium in the past hour, so we are expecting some sort of announcement, but there's no guarantee it's coming anytime soon.

Stay tuned…

You can follow Ryan Gillon on Twitter @RyanGillon47

The Flyers May Play a Full 82-Game Schedule This Season (Breaking Down The Latest Offer from the League)

Kyle Scott - October 16, 2012

image from mobilwi.typepad.com

Personally, I can’t stand lockout stories. The fact that two very public, very rich groups of people can’t come to an agreement without screwing with something way bigger than any of its participants – their particular sport – irritates me, as I’m sure it does you. So, we avoid them here on this site. Nonsense, nonsense nonsense— there’s no hockey. But today, something. The lockout’s not over, but we have momentum.

The league, just a day after a story from Deadspin revealed that they had summoned a focus group to help craft their message regarding the lockout, issued a proposal to players that most believe is a massive step in the right direction. At the heart of the deal is a 50-50 revenue split between owners and players, and a full 82-game schedule, which would begin on November 2.

The deal was met with seeming optimism from union rep Donald Fehr, who will hold a conference call with players at 5 p.m. to discuss. Currently, players receive 57% of revenues.

The sticking point, it seems, will be current salaries. While Bettman says there will be no rollbacks, that’s impossible since revenues to players will decrease. Players want to at least keep current salaries for this season. But it sounds like players will have to take a pay cut, and that the league will find a way to pay them back money lost on future growth– escrow.

CBC’s Elliotte Friedman explains:

I'd expect the key thing for players to discuss is what sounds like an NHL offer to "return" whatever is lost on their salaries this season. My guess: league has said if you have a long-term contract and you lose xx% this year, we will find a way to "return" it over term. What that means for players on a shorter deal, I don't know. But, my sense is NHL has at least made a proposal that should get things moving.

 

All of those things are reasonable and Fehr’s somewhat accepting reaction make it seem like the league has put together a good offer. 

Like any negotiation, one would imagine that there will be some back-and-forth on details. But it certainly sounds like the major sticking points have all been addressed.

You can watch Fehr’s comments, after the jump. Or read more from Puck Daddy, ESPN.com, and TSN.com.

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Signs of a Lockout: This Looks Like Scott Hartnell and Peter Luukko Tailgating Before the Eagles Game

Kyle Scott - October 15, 2012

image from mobilwi.typepad.com

After posting this pic in the Monday Afternoon Roundup, I noticed that the person talking to Scott Hartnell looked familiar. Upon closer inspection, it appears to be Peter Luukko, Comcast Spectacor COO. 

As best as I understand it, teams and players are allowed to have contact during the lockout, but not in any sort of official or business capacity. And judging by the beverage in Luukko’s hand and Hartnell’s 90-degree elbow bend, it seems that this was nothing more than casual conversation, which I'm sure touched on the current work stoppage completely avoided the current labor dispute.

Hartnell, of course, has nothing to be worried about. The Flyers signed him to a six-year extension before the lockout.

Reader Christian, who took the picture, also said that Kimmo Timonen and “Hatcher” were there. But that’s hard to tell from the picture.

UPDATE: Hartnell also rode the bull at PBR:

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pic via reader Scott

And of course, if you have video, we'd love to see it.

Claude Giroux May Head to Europe and, Loosely Related, “Things You Won’t Hear During The Lockout”

Kyle Scott - September 26, 2012

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Must-watch video after the jump

And slowly, our stars leave for lands with poor competition and sketchy airplanes.

Claude Giroux may be the latest casualty of the NHL lockout. The NHL 13 cover boy told the Ottawa Sun yesterday that he is getting bored with working out and may head to a land far, far away… making us all sad: [Ottawa Sun]

“I’m getting a little bored here just working out,” said the 24-year-old Giroux, who has risen to elite status as a winger with the Philadelphia Flyers. “I kind of want to play games … get that rush of playing in hockey games.

“I want to make sure I’m in good shape, so I think it’s a good option for me to go and play somewhere. I’m talking to my agent to see where I could go. I want to play some good, quality hockey.”

 

This isn’t surprising, but it’s concerning. Players like Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Ilya Bryzgalov have already taken their talents elsewhere. Giroux would just be the latest. The problem is that playing in Europe or, specifically, Russia means taking part in systems where medical care and travel, for sports teams, aren’t as reliable. Granted, it’s not like players are in danger, but these are guys the Flyers have millions invested in, and the team can do nothing to protect or look after them. From a hockey standpoint it’s concerning… from a business standpoint it’s scary. What if Bryz rips his groin to shreds playing in Russia? What if Giroux gets knocked in the head, but because of fewer mandates, keeps playing with a concussion? Those are real things. They can happen. You can’t blame the players for wanting to play and stay sharp (and get paid– though guys like Bryz don’t need a dime), but you can blame another lockout for forcing us to talk and think about this crap.

Of course, we get this video, Things You Won’t Hear During the NHL Lockout, which you can watch after the jump.

H/T to (@aSolar_ski)

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Signs of a Lockout: Flyers Offer Interest on Season Ticket Payments, Players Rent Out Ice at Skate Zone

Kyle Scott - September 17, 2012

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Danny Briere readies himself for the 2012-2013 NHL season, pic via (@BroadStBull)

If you have Flyers season tickets, you’ve probably been wondering what your options will be, since, you know, they may never play hockey again.

If you don’t (have tickets), you probably don’t give two shits. But we’re going to tell you anyway.

The Flyers have two offers for season ticket holders. From their website:

OPTION 1—EARN INTEREST

  • All previous payments on your Flyers account to date shall remain on account through
    the duration of the work stoppage and shall earn 2% simple interest, a significant increase over current bank rates.
  • Interest shall accrue beginning September 16th and shall end on the date an announcement is made finalizing the start of the 2012-13 NHL season. Interest will be calculated based on your total paid value as of September 16th.

OPTION 2—MONTHLY REFUNDS

  • Receive month by month, partial refunds of the amount paid to date on your Flyers account through the duration of the work stoppage.
  • Refunds will be issued for the total paid value for games canceled each month (calculated assuming 44 games scheduled for the Wells Fargo Center) and will be issued in a lump sum by the 15th of the subsequent month. Refunds will be processed in the same manner (i.e., refunded to credit card or by check) payment was received. Interest does not apply.

 

I would say those are fairly generous, especially when you consider that we’re still a month out from when the regular season was scheduled to begin. But, other teams are doing better. According to Chicago Tribune writer Chris Kuc, teams such as Montreal and Calgary are giving 3%, Columbus 4%, and the Wild 10% interest.

A more disheartening sign of the lockout, perhaps, is this: the Flyers rented the Skate Zone ice today to hold a practice on their own, according to reports. They will do so tomorrow, too. They won’t be given access to any other areas of the team-owned complex, including the locker room. And, even worse, the NHL ordered Flyers management to not show up at Scott Hartnell’s charity golf tournament today. MONEY!