You Turned This Lie To Truth…Anger, Misery, You’ll Suffer Unto Me

Those of you who read my Liverpool blog will know I’ve been big on the Metallica titles lately. I guess it reflects the anger I’m feeling and that I’m no longer trying to pretend it isn’t there. Anyway, a few things to get out today.

-First off, I will be joining the Hockee Night boys for their podcast . Killion will also be if he’s recovered sufficiently from this birthday, which is highly unlikely (welcome to your 30’s, old man). It’s at 8:30 but you can check it out later too. So do so.

-I don’t know how to gauge this any more. Maybe you’re all sick of reading lockout stuff or what I or any of us have to say about it, and that would be totally fair. Maybe reading the ramblings of someone even angrier than you is cathartic. Feel free to let me know in the comments, and I’ll take whatever action you guys want.

But today….

After the weekend and the Charity game and then the Ryan Suter rantings and back-tracking and my getting in a slight dispute with Bobby Ryan on Twitter and then a longer one with James Mirtle, there’s just some things I want to get straight, if only in my own head.

For those who missed it, I kind of snapped at a Bobby Ryan tweet about him playing golf and then going out drinking on Saturday, which caused him to request that we stop following him. Though apparently he does this with a stiff breeze. Anyway, it caused an argument with Mirtle and some others. Not that it’s an excuse, but I was coming home from the Fire game at the time and let’s say I was running a bit leaded.

Of course players are allowed to enjoy themselves during the lockout. I don’t think they should be stewing in their own juices just glaring at the wall until it’s all over. Maybe they should tweet about it. But at a time where I can neither afford to play golf or go out as often as I’d like with my buddies because I have no job thanks to this stupid old white guy dick measuring contest, I lashed out. And I’m not the only one who would have. There is some level of insensitivity I think that players can talk about these things to their fans who would much rather see them on the ice. But asking for logic from hockey players is probably a bridge too far. Or maybe I’ve just turned into an even crankier old man than I realize.

-It gets worse when these players, like Ryan Suter before he nearly backed over himself yesterday or Jack Johnson, keep parroting this borderline-lie about “honoring the contract that was signed” or “pay me every dollar.” No contract that is currently signed came without escrow payments. And we’ve been over why something like escrow is necessary.

It’s becoming clearer that a lot of these players really have no idea what’s going on and are just going by what they are fed from the top. The longer that continues the less likely there is to be any pressure put on Fehr to get a deal done instead of holding out for more. It’s like most of these guys don’t know what escrow was for, other than just money taken away from them. We all bitch about taxes too, but at least we know it was necessary. It was a crap job on everyone’s part that these guys don’t see why a mechanism like that has to be there in a projections-based system.

And hypocritical, because there was no roll-back in the owners’ latest offer. It had some bullshit clauses to be sure, but that wasn’t one of them. It still had escrow. But the players balked at that, even though it’s the one negotiable thing from the owners side right now. Don’t let them tell you this is about protecting future players, because the PA’s offer to be paid whole would have clocked anyone signing a future contract with much bigger escrow payments than now. And don’t let some of them tell you that the owners were the only ones negotiating in bad faith if a handful of them wrangled signing bonuses out of those owners before the lockout took place, something their less talented brethren in the union must look at with a smirk at the very least. It’s all about each player getting as much money as they can, which is assuredly their right to do so and why you have a union in the first place. But to couch it in some “War of Honor” and they’re “going out on their shields for what they believe,” they can kiss a sick monkey’s wet ass with that (sorry, Uncle Terry).

It’s more bullshit peddled to win a PR war that will do exactly nothing to forward a deal. And I know I can’t be the only one who’s sick of it from both sides. Don’t fool yourself, they could have a deal by Friday with how close they really are right now. They simply don’t want to.

  • Ian S Carr

    Thanks, Sam. The more anyone on either side of this pissfight talks, tweets, Facebooks, says or does ANYTHING aimed at the fans, the more my rage rises. Sit down, shut up and negotiate.
    That said, the moment the non-player reps stop talking is the moment they’re actually working on something. Everything else is just pissing and moaning.

  • TransplantedHockeyFan

    The twitter streams of players mean nothing. Monitor the real events: the offers that are tabled. The owners last offer seems to have been an attempt to get the players to sacrifice a big chunk of their future earnings to get a full season of paychecks this year at a steeply discounted rate. I don’t recall any language that they were also discounting ticket prices, so I’m assuming they wanted a full season of revenue.

    They went down a few percentage points on the requested salary cut for this year, but kept in all the other stuff that the union was never going to agree to. If you look at what their reaction was to the players’ counters, they effectively made it non-negotiable. To paraphrase: “This was our best offer, even though we said it wasn’t a final offer.”

    The union basically replied, “yeah, we’re not interested” with their counters. So neither side cares about playing a full season. They’ve shown it by their actions.

    Go ahead and listen to the twitter noise, but the only thing that matters is what is the next offer, and when. And we are probably back in the space of whoever tables it first will be seen as ‘blinking’ by the other side.

    In the meantime, you might want to spend some time determining what Bulls player’s last name is the closest to “Indian”…

    • SamFels

      Actually, the Ombudsman toyed with the idea of The Electric Matador for Bulls games, but we decided in the end that most Bulls fans are too dumb
      to know that they’re too dumb about basketball.

      • AirTrafficAJ

        “SHOOOOOOT ITTTTTTT” Happens a lot more at Bulls games than it used to. Damn public schooling…

    • Ian S Carr

      Well, if they were doing this RIGHT, they wouldn’t actually be announcing they’d made an offer. Anything anyone says to the media is just so much hot air, the point about the players was: If there’s actual negotiation going on, someone’s going to tell them all to shut up.
      If it were me, I’d be submitting offers left, right and center and not telling the media a damn thing. I don’t need them to negotiate, I need them to grandstand.

    • Black JEM

      It comes down to the point as a matter of tactics, Fehr wanted the owners to negotiate amongst themselves and managed to get a full season offer that really could have been the foundation for a deal. Not bad work by Fehr – but then he overshot his target, provided the silly three option response and the league did what they obviously were prepared to do – stop negotiating with themselves. When the tactic of your opponent forces a response which is not in your best interest, change the dynamic. Now Daly speaks almost alone for the owners – Fehr is making some random comments and can’t get his players to quit tweeting stupid stuff that no fan believes. He ceded the high ground in the PR war, so they now both look like pigs. That equates to an owners victory. Owners who are getting a year of TV revenue, while the vast majority of the NHLPA gets very little.
      And the players will never make this money back – ever. In fact as a result of this year with more NHL capable players at the AHL, it wouldn’t surprise me to see higher turnover next year assuming we have a season then.
      Too bad – I am just aggravated with both of them – but I see little desire for an agreement with the owners and none from the players. Both sides are dug in. We need to keep traffic up on the website to keep our friends here at the CI at least earning beer money.

  • ben9599

    The bad vibes emanating from this site are toxic. Try tossing out a dick joke once in a while, maybe it will make you feel better.

    And to rebut one of your constant talking points in which you denigrate the intellectual capacity of the players (calling them 8th grade educated) -approximately 30% of players in the league had some level of college education.

    Cue the picture of Tazer funneling a beer at UND.

    • Amanda

      Agreed. The situation sucks and pisses me off too. But this site is getting depressing. We could all use some 8th grade humor! Maybe some funny captions under pictures? Dirty jokes? “Grinds My Gears”? Stan Bowman jokes? Anything?

    • justforkicks

      Don’t forget John Scott – Engineer!

  • TMFF

    Just stopping by and checking in and to say again Fuck You NHL and NHLPA. See you next you season you Fucks!

    I cannot honestly believe the NHL and NHLPA realize how much damage they are doing to themselves. Most hardcore Puck-Heads will be back, but not all (like me) and I would be surprised if anywhere near the casual fan numbers return anytime soon. The saving grace they might have a shot at is a good, competitive long term deal. But with the chasm there is, I would be very surprised with anything much longer than 5-8 years.

  • intensity

    To answer the question you posed, your rantings are still therapeutic to me at least…hopefully this shit gets figured out soon

  • “Player reimbursement for the Share Reduction will be accrued and paid
    for by the League, and will be chargeable against Players’ Share amounts
    in future years as Preliminary Benefits.”

    I don’t think you understand what the players are upset about, which is the above statement. If you did there is NO way you would say that the NHL proposal wasn’t a 13% rollback in salaries. You can’t pay the players twice with the same money.

    You have two years remaining on your contract at 57 and 56K. Your boss says they will extend your contract two years giving you a new 4 year deal. The terms per year are 57K, 56K, 43K, and 44K but will need to defer 7K and 6K of the first 2 years to the last two years. That makes the deal for 50K per year for 4 years.

    How exactly is that NOT a rollback? Would you take that deal? Or argue that your boss should honor the terms of the original deal?

    • Black JEM

      The reimbursement is part of the collective bargaining agreement. It has expired, which means the terms which act as a wrap around every contract are eligible and indeed must be renegotiated. There no longer exists an agreement on reimbursement.
      I don’t say there isn’t any reason to not be happy with it. I’m sure I wouldn’t like it very much. But my boss is honoring the terms of my deal – and is renegotiating the part of the deal which he must per the CBA.

      • Um no, actually. Individual contracts do not expire when the CBA expires. That is the whole point. The league is trying to re-write existing contracts and add clauses in them. The Luongo/Hossa contracts are an example, as is deferring money in all contracts for the next couple years.

        My example is trying to take 1300 or so individual contracts and try to explain it as one entity. Which is how the Players Association has to view it.

        From the PA point of view this is the equivalent of having two years already “signed” and looking to add two or three more years to the already signed contracts.

        From the PA point of view they are looking at the equivalent of a 57/56/43/44 revenue split; at least in terms of what the league is really offering the players. So the easiest way to view it, is 50% per year over the length of the contract with a 13% rollback on existing salaries.

        And in truth the leagues offer never reached 50%, As the silliness with the Luongo/Hossa contracts being one of the examples of why it really isn’t 50%. Along with the fact that 50% is the ceiling side and NOT the floor. So the players will never really see 50%.

        • Black JEM

          I see – so the players are getting paid right now?

          • Injured players under contract ARE being paid by the league.

            The rest of the players are being locked out of their current contracts. If they didn’t have current NHL contracts they would be free to sign with any other league and play there even after the NHL lockout ends.

            Players with existing NHL contracts currently playing overseas need to return to the NHL when the lockout ends. Why? because they are under an NHL contract.

            So again yes, there are existing contracts.

  • SAMCRO Outlaw

    I keep thinking there has to be a sane reason why a deal isn’t being negotiated, let alone already in the books. All I can come up with is that owners are fighting about what to do with the teams sucking money and until they do we aren’t going to get a resolution.

    • Actually, the reddit stuff was really interesting.

      I kind of agree with the guy there. If the owners were required to vote on one of the PA’s proposals, I think we would already be playing hockey.

      Bettman, Daley and only a couple of owners are involved. This means the weak sisters are basically in charge and making the rules. That is why the owners are around a billion dollars below what a normal person would consider middle ground.

  • No contract that is currently signed came with guaranteed escrow payments. Which is what a 13% cut in players’ share would bring. That’s the issue.

  • StealingHappyHour

    MightyMikeD? I feel like it’s been awhile..

  • justforkicks

    Maybe I’m one of the few, but I could give a crap what the players do in the spare time and whether they tweet about it. Yeah it sucks, but if I had the means and opportunity, I’d probably do that shit too. And hey if my career was one I had worked my ass off for my whole life, had a shelf life and the potential for my health to deteriorate were higher, I’d try to get every penny possible as well, whether it was $5 or $5M.

    I’m pissed off about this lockout and want it to be over, and I want everyone to get their shit together, but all this talk is seriously bumming me out.