Today was much of the same in the first week of the lockout. More players went to Europe, and some details came out about the NHLPA’s offer, but nothing eventful has happened, which is discouraging.
With no new information to report, lets take a look at the past labor disputes in the history of the league courtesy of Wikipedia.com.
The 1992 NHL strike was the first strike action initiated by the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) against the National Hockey League’s (NHL) owners. It was called on April 1, 1992 and lasted ten days. The settlement saw the players earn a large increase in their playoff bonuses, increased control over the licensing of their likenesses and changes to the free agency system. In addition, the season was expanded to 84 games and included provisions for each team to play two games per season in non-NHL cities. As a result of the strike, the owners removed John Ziegler as President, replacing him with Gil Stein. The strike fundamentally altered the relationship between the league and its players.
The 1994–95 NHL lockout came after a year of NHL hockey that was played without a collective bargaining agreement. The lockout caused the 1994–95 season to be shortened to 48 games. This 3 month 1 week and 3 day lockout stretched from October 1, 1994 to January 11, 1995. A total of 468 games were lost due to the lockout, along with the All-Star Game. Much like the 2004–05 NHL lockout, the big issue was the implementation of a salary cap. The NHL owners were strongly in favor of the cap while the players were opposed to it.
The 2004–05 NHL lockout was a lockout that resulted in the cancellation of what would have been the 88th season of play of the National Hockey League (NHL). It was the first time the Stanley Cup was not awarded since 1919, and the first time amajor professional sports league in North America canceled a complete season because of a labor dispute. The lockout lasted 10 months and 6 days starting September 16, 2004, the day after the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the NHL and the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) that resolved the 1994–95 lockout expired. The negotiating teams reached an agreement on July 13, 2005, and the lockout officially ended a week and 2 days later on July 22, after both the NHL owners and players ratified the CBA.
All of these courtesy of Wikipedia.com
I would also like to take a moment to revisit a previous article from Hyped Up Hockey. Many people have been asking questions regarding hockey related revenue and a great article written by guest blogger J.R. last month should answer many of your questions.
CBA: Breaking Down Hockey Related Revenue
This weeks meetings between the NHLPA and the NHL will be huge in determining if there is going to be a lockout. This weeks agenda is focusing on hockey related revenues, and other core economic issues including player contract length, and free agency. The proposal from the owners will see a massive drop in the players share of hockey related revenue (per section 50.4(b)(i) of the CBA).
So what exactly is hockey related revenue?
Hockey related revenue (HHR) is, according to article 50 of the CBA: “derived or earned from, relating to or arising directly or indirectly out of the playing of NHL hockey games or NHL-related events in which current NHL Players participate or in which current NHL Players’ names and likenesses are used, by each such Club or the League, or attributable directly to the Club or the League from a Club Affiliated Entity or League Affiliated Entity…and is subject to any inclusions or exclusions as expressly set forth in the article 50”. Easy right?
Lets just simplify things a bit. Hockey related revenues (in a nutshell) are: regular season and playoff games, special games (e.g. Winter Classic), television, satellite, and radio broadcasts, team Internet sites, team merchandise, concessions, arena advertising and sponsorships. Seems pretty straightforward.
So what’s missing? At a glance, it seems like HRR covers pretty much everything, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Not included in HRR (in a nutshell): Revenues from AHL affiliates, fees pertaining to relocation or expansion, money teams make from waiver claims, player/team fines, and any other money teams make from business activities (investment income, interest income etc…). What this means is that even though players got 57% of hockey related revenues in the previous CBA, it works out to about 50% of total league revenues. It gets more confusing though… when calculating HRR, there are deductions per article 50.1 of the CBA “Direct Costs shall mean any costs, including fixed and variable costs, attribute to a revenue-generating activity…Further, an allocation of arena occupancy costs, and general admission expenses…may not be included as direct costs”. The simple version: some stuff gets deducted as direct costs and other stuff doesn’t.
So basically the owners want to include the arena occupancy costs, and general admission expenses in the calculation of HHR, which would bring down hockey related revenue. The owners have a point, arena allocation costs and general admission expenses should be included because you can’t play hockey without a venue. At the same time, if those items are included, why can’t player fines, AHL revenue and relocation and expansion fees count as hockey related revenue? I believe (and I’m sure most would agree) that the key to a new CBA revolves around how hockey related revenues are calculated and what percentage of those revenues will account for the players share. We can only hope there is common ground somewhere hidden within the numbers.
Hopefully tomorrow we have some positive news to discuss.
Until next time