2012/2013 Chicago Blackhawks Thread
Im here to say if you players and owners have a problem and cant resolve it, maybe you should think of the fans. And furthermore if you do get a deal done, maybe the fans should do the same to you and not show up. 5 Hawks games lost with NHL cancellation
CHICAGO -- The NHL began canceling regular season games on Thursday due to an owners imposed lockout which has entered its second calendar month. It means five Chicago Blackhawks’ games are gone and more than likely -- even if a deal is reached soon -- those games won’t be rescheduled. The season, if there is one, will undoubtedly be less than the usual 82 games due to this announcement.
Right now the Hawks’ home and road openers, Oct. 13 against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Oct. 16 against the Winnipeg Jets, have been canceled along with games against the Colorado Avalanche (Oct. 18), Detroit Red Wings (Oct. 20) and St. Louis Blues (Oct. 23).
The NHL has not announced a scheduled plan for continuing to cancel games but expect them to come in chunks on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. During the last labor impasse, in 2004-2005, the league canceled its entire season on Feb. 16.
The most recent collective bargaining agreement between the players and owners expired on Sept. 15 and since then there have been few negotiations on the primary economic issues at hand. Several Hawks have signed overseas to play during the lockout including Michael Frolik, Bryan Bickell and Michael Rozsival.
Others will be joining them if the lockout looks to be a prolonged one. At this stage that’s more likely than less. Any player signed with a team in Europe or Russia will be allowed to return to the NHL once the lockout has ended.
Fans who have purchased tickets for canceled games should consult the Blackhawks website for refund information.
Get the deal done soon!
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Patrick Kane to play overseas
CHICAGO -- Add Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane to the growing list of stars playing overseas during the NHL lockout. Kane has agreed to a deal with EHC Biel in the Swiss League. "Excited and thankful to join EHC Biel in the Swiss League," Kane said on his Twitter account. "Looking forward to the experience." Kane is the fifth Blackhawks player headed to Europe to play, joining teammates Viktor Stalberg, Bryan Bickell, Michal Rozsival and Michael Frolik. Kane's agent, Pat Brisson, confirmed the signing and indicated he would leave for Switzerland on Sunday.
Hey, NHL & NHLPA: Here's how to follow mediator to middle ground and make a deal
Good day, gentlemen. I am your mediator.
First things first. If you accepted this invitation only hoping I'll take your side, this won't work. You can leave at any time. This isn't binding, and we all know it. All I can do is facilitate discussions, try to identify your true priorities and make suggestions. But my first suggestion is this: Don’t leave. Don't let pessimism become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Don't keep a closed mind and waste an opportunity. Because if you walk out of here without at least finding some sort of compromise, without making some sort of progress, you won't be right back where you started. You'll be in even worse shape. You could drift farther apart, when you're close enough to come together and end this lockout. You could increase your risks – via decertification of the union, cancellation of the season, further alienation of your customers – when you could start rebuilding what you've damaged already. I am not here to rehash history, though I will keep it in mind and keep this in context. I am not here to suggest what should have been done in the first place, because, frankly, it's too late for that. I am here to analyze where we are today, right now, this minute, and try to get this done. This is not about the ideal. This is about making a deal. Yes, this is oversimplified and doesn't examine every detail. It doesn't even get into revenue sharing, with the NHL at $200 million and the NHLPA at $260 million. But let's look at the main sticking points: – Money: You have agreed to split hockey-related revenue 50-50. The dispute is now over how to handle current contracts, because the players used to receive 57 percent of HRR, the owners 43 percent.
Players, you say you just want your contracts honored. Well, you signed them in an escrow system, knowing you weren't guaranteed every dollar. Especially if you signed them this summer, you signed them knowing the owners were going to try to cut your percentage of HRR – and knowing they were willing to lock you out to do it. That's why some of you negotiated guaranteed signing bonuses. Owners, that doesn't let you off the hook. When you sign a contract, there is a legal obligation and a moral obligation. You have the legal right to do what you're doing, but it's just not right to sign someone to a contract under certain conditions to secure his services with the intention of changing those conditions drastically. Fifty-seven percent to 50 percent is quite a drop, and that creates quite a pay cut via escrow. You have recognized that with your so-called "make-whole" proposal. You're at $211 million, and you want that number to go down, not up, because you proposed it to save a full 82-game season, or close to it. Players, you're at $393 million, touting a difference of only $182 million – or $1.2 million per team per year of a five-year agreement. I took that as an invitation to negotiate, setting about $300 million as the middle ground, but the owners did not counter. So how about $275 million? Owners, it's higher than you want. But would you rather pay that and play hockey, or would you rather cancel another season, drive away fans and sponsors, and pay hefty legal bills and risk triple damages, if the union decertifies and players file antitrust suits? Players, it's less than you want. But would you rather take that and play hockey, or would you rather cancel another season, drive away fans and sponsors, and risk losing your court battles if you decertify? We're looking at two-thirds of a schedule this season, at best. I know you blame the owners for that. But maybe you can live with $275 million in "transition payments" if you consider it a prorated amount. I know you want some protection on the downside, too, because you have made enormous concessions with little in return. But you can't expect your share never to go backward in terms of dollars, when any drop in HRR for any reason – a bad year, a good year following a great year, some unforeseen circumstance – could put your percentage above 50 again. Either we're 50-50 going forward, after the blow to current contracts is cushioned, or we're not. – Rights: OK, owners. You have your cost certainty where you wanted it. After accounting for make-whole/transition payments, the players will never make more than 50 percent of HRR. No matter what tricks the general managers and agents pull, you are protected from spending too much Players, you are taking a smaller slice of the pie. If you don't want to mess with how your slice is sliced among you, fine. Let's leave entry-level contracts, arbitration rights and free agency eligibility alone. Let's forget term limits on contracts. Let's adopt the NHLPA's ideas addressing cap circumvention – counting above $1 million against the cap if a player is sent to the minors, using a formula to recapture the cap advantage if a player retires before he finishes a long-term contract. (Let's make that apply only to future contracts; this is a CBA, not a time machine. It's unfair to penalize teams that worked within old rules.) Owners, I know you want to crack down on second contracts. I know you want to allocate your cap dollars differently. I know you want to close loopholes you left open in the last agreement. But this is the least you can do. The players are reasonable when they say their individual rights matter more when their total share is less. The less pie, the harder the fight. You can argue a player should earn his dollars and not be paid for potential, that he should negotiate a big deal at, say, age 28 instead of 23. I understand. But the more years, the more risk to the player – of injury, of declining performance. A player wants more options for more of his career. You can argue salaries should not vary more than a certain percentage each year, that they should not go on too long. I understand. But that takes away flexibility from both players and teams – which isn't necessarily good for either – and that limits options, and that limits the market. Individual players have to cash in when they can, where they can. They want as much personal choice as possible. If they can't make more than 50 percent of HRR as a group, are these issues worth sacrificing 100 percent of HRR? – Term: Players, you want a five-year collective bargaining agreement. Owners, you want a longer-term deal – six or seven years, officially, but even as much as 10. Players, you say you want to stop this perpetual cycle of lockouts. Owners, you say you want stability. Players, you say five years is a long time, because players turn over and it's hard to predict the future. You don't buy the stability argument. You think the owners only want stability because this agreement is so advantageous to them and they want to keep these terms as long as possible. Well, if it's hard to predict the future, why blame the owners for their failure to predict the future when they devised the last agreement? Why not take advantage of the same dynamic? Players, you were supposedly crushed after the 2004-05 lockout when you accepted a salary cap and a 24-percent rollback, getting some looser contract rights in exchange. Then the league emerged from the gloom, recorded seven straight years of record revenues and salaries rose. You extended the agreement. You wanted to keep playing under it during these negotiations, right? So let's do a five-year deal with two one-year player options – or better yet, a 10-year deal with player opt-outs at five years and seven years. Owners, if 50-50 is the answer, that should be fine for you. Players, you keep asking what you're getting in return for your concessions. In this scenario, you get some control. If the deal turns out bad – or just isn't good enough – from the players' perspective, you can end it. You pick the next fight. If the deal actually turns out well for you, as the last one did, you can keep the owners from coming back for more again. You can prevent the next lockout.
http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/i...uld-be-pivotal NHLPA agrees to meeting
NEW YORK -- After three days of mulling the idea and discussing the parameters, the NHL Players' Association has agreed to a league-proposed players- and owners-only meeting. Said deputy commissioner Bill Daly in a statement: "We have confirmed with the Union that we will attempt to schedule a players/owners-only meeting for some time on Tuesday afternoon in New York. "We will provide further details when available and as appropriate."
The talk is in advance of Wednesday's board of governors meeting. The meeting -- believed to be a significant point of internal discussion with the union -- will include six owners, roughly the same amount of players and a limited amount of staff members from both the NHL and NHLPA. When commissioner Gary Bettman originally proposed the idea after mediation talks broke off last Thursday, he suggested a players/owners-only meeting with no staff present from either side. Both Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr will not attend the meeting, although the limited staff personnel allowed for both sides is still yet to be determined. "The NHLPA has agreed to a meeting on Tuesday in New York that should facilitate dialogue between players and owners," Fehr said in a release. "Neither the Commissioner nor I will be present, although each side will have a limited number of staff or counsel present. "There will be owners attending this meeting who have not previously done so, which is encouraging and which we welcome. We hope that this meeting will be constructive and lead to a dialogue that will help us find a way to reach an agreement." The six representatives the NHL expects at the meeting will be Boston's Jeremy Jacobs, Calgary's Murray Edwards, Pittsburgh's Ron Burkle, Toronto's Larry Tannenbaum, Winnipeg's Mark Chipman and Tampa Bay's Jeffrey Vinik. Jacobs, considered one of the hard-line owners, and Edwards are the only members of the group of six to have taken part in previous negotiations. Despite recent reports that New York Rangers owner James Dolan expressed interest in becoming involved, as he did during the NBA labor dispute last year, he was not extended an invitation.
Debate: Owners-players meeting will be pivotal
SCOTT BURNSIDE: Good day, my friend. Well, this promises to be an interesting -- dare we say seminal? -- week in the NHL and in the lockout that now approaches the three-month mark. The NHL’s board of governors meets in New York on Wednesday, but first, on Tuesday, a group of NHL owners and select players will meet for a powwow, accepting commissioner Gary Bettman's suggestion he and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr step back after federal mediation fell apart after two days. Stunt? PR move? Or catalyst to a deal? We’ll find out soon enough, but there are lots of questions about whether this will amount to anything. First, a source told ESPN.com on Monday morning that the lineup for the two sides was entirely at the discretion of the individual groups. So it was up to Bettman, et al, to exclude New York Rangers owner James Dolan and include the oft-vilified Jeremy Jacobs of the Boston Bruins in the group of six owners. Does Jacobs’ presence destroy any benefit of this kind of gathering before it starts? Still, lots of new faces and voices at the table from the owners’ side, including Ron Burkle of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jeff Vinik of the Tampa Bay Lightning, both of whom are seen as moderates. And while the top American team in terms of revenues, the Rangers, won’t be represented, the top-earning team in the league, the Toronto Maple Leafs, will be represented by Larry Tanenbaum. So what do you think?
PIERRE LEBRUN: Burkle’s inclusion is the key, in my opinion. Hugely successful in his private businesses, the billionaire has a reputation as a deal-maker. Heck, he was once named "Man of the Year" by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. He negotiated with unions many times in his business career. How could he not be a benefit to this process? Burkle, I’m told, has strongly wanted to get involved of late and I believe he’s going into this meeting with the intent of doing everything he can to close the gap between the sides. And I don’t think Jacobs' presence in the room means a newbie like Burkle is going to take any marching orders from him. So I can only take it as a positive that Burkle, with his impressive track record in his real-life business world, is taking a stab at this. Fresh voices are needed in this impasse, that’s clear and obvious. But it’s not just new voices that are needed, but rather voices that matter, voices that can make the difference. And I think, in Burkle, there’s a real positive here.
BURNSIDE: Things could hardly be worse, no? The two sides have stumbled along for weeks and I think the poisonous air that has existed in the room from the very beginning has been a significant impediment to getting a deal done. I’m not so sure that Jacobs’ presence is a nonfactor. The players can’t stand him, so I'm not sure why he needs to be in the room if this is about bridging a gap that most people believe isn’t that significant. And you’ve already got Murray Edwards from Calgary in the mix and he’s been part of the NHL’s bargaining committee from the get-go. Still, I’m with you, the new voices are imperative for creating some sort of momentum. Another NHL source whom I spoke with this morning said he thinks this can’t hurt. This source pointed to Mark Chipman, the top man with the Winnipeg Jets, as an important presence in the room. It’s interesting Chipman was included as there were reports, vigorously denied by all concerned, about a flare-up between Jacobs and Jets officials at a board of governors meeting. Still, this meeting only works if there is a free flow of ideas about where the two sides are coming from. If it devolves into more finger-pointing and boo-hooing about how the two sides have behaved during this process, then it just amps up the potential for the entire season to go pfffttttt.
LEBRUN: I’ve been saying it for weeks, but the reality is that both sides aren’t actually that far away from a deal. Once both sides move a little on the "make-whole" provision and on player contract rights, the deal is done. The problem is that the growing level of mistrust between the two sides has paralyzed any ability to push this over the final stretch. So hopefully fresh voices in the room will help ease that mistrust and lead to a more constructive discussion. I know some players I spoke with over the weekend had hoped both Jacobs and Edwards would be left behind, but it’s no surprise they remained part of the league’s lineup. Of course, the other part of the intrigue is just who will enter the room for the players. Like Jacobs and Edwards, no doubt there will be some level of continuity with players who have been there for most of the meetings. But certainly there will also be big names in the mix. And it’s no surprise to hear that Sidney Crosby might be there. He’s already taken in a few bargaining sessions. And his presence is important.
"Crosby really should be in there," one NHL team executive told me Monday morning.
BURNSIDE: Crosby has really emerged this fall as a player who understands his place in the pantheon of NHL players as well as the importance of his presence and profile toward maintaining what has been a unified player front in the face of lost paychecks and untold damage done to the game. I still wonder about the logistics of how this will work and whether the unusual setup will allow for the kind of frank exchange between the two sides that will be needed to come up with fresh ideas that could help move the two sides toward a deal. With the board of governors set to meet Wednesday, do you think this puts unnecessary pressure on the two sides to come up with something right away? Here’s hoping that both groups understand the urgency attached to this process. You and I are both of the mind that we could see hockey by the end of the month. I still believe that. But I’ll believe in it a lot more if we get a sense of strong dialogue Tuesday. My fear is that if this doesn’t provide traction right away, the two sides will throw up their hands and walk away. Then what? If that happens, it’s hard to imagine a scenario that allows for a deal to be made. If things do break down, the two sides will have no one to blame but themselves. The players have long complained about not hearing other voices from the ownership group and the owners have questioned Fehr’s motivation in the process. Now the table is set for something different. Here’s hoping they don’t jab each other in the hands with their forks.
LEBRUN: It’s important to understand the framework of Tuesday’s meeting. It’s not as if either side will come armed with a new proposal. That’s not happening; rather, you can expect discussion of the key issues that have continued to separate the two sides.
Honestly, once there’s a breakthrough on the core economics -- "make-whole" and the players’ share -- the rest of the deal's components should fall like dominoes. Once the league gets something it can live with in terms of the core economics, it will finally back down on some of its player-contracting rights demands. I’m sure of that. The league has held firmly to its list of player contracting demands because it hasn’t seen the NHLPA sign off on a "make-whole" solution it can live with yet. But you’re right, if this latest attempt at bridging the gap blows up, I’d be very concerned over what happens next. I have to think decertification talk would ramp up big-time on the players’ side if Tuesday's meeting implodes.
For hockey fans who still care, let’s hope this isn’t yet again a monumental setback, but rather the long-awaited breakthrough that this process has so desperately needed.
That was a great game last night.
God damn I miss the NHL..
Great video never seen it before, I actually didn't knew Blackhawks was condersidered a dead franchise a few recent years, but they turned it around and made it into a new era. Let's hope Emery can do the same thing with the Bears from medicore to top team and Superbowl winner.
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Originally Posted by ZifanQ
It took Bill Wirtz to die and his kid Rocky to take over the franchise to turn it around.
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Union to talk with NHL on Monday
NEW YORK -- There was no formal negotiating session following Sunday's round of informational discussions between the NHL and NHLPA, but the two sides plan to meet again Monday, according to the union.
After a series of conference calls on Friday to go over the league's latest proposal -- submitted to the union on Thursday evening -- staff members from both the NHL and NHLPA met face-to-face at NHL offices in Manhattan on Sunday. The two sides met for approximately three hours, a source told ESPNNewYork.com, before the union met internally to determine whether to reconvene. The union's decision to wait to meet until Monday could be an indication that it will come back to the league with a counter-proposal of its own. Should the NHLPA counter with its own offer, it is possible the union will take issue with the proposed $60 million salary to take effect for the 2013-14 season, a steep decrease from the $70.2 million cap for the 2012-13 season (pro-rated). It is believed that players are concerned with escrow rates as well. Sunday's face-to-face meeting was the first time the two sides have been in the same room since a failed second attempt at federal mediation over two weeks ago. The window to salvage the season is narrowing each day that goes by without a new agreement in place. In the NHL's latest proposal, which featured concessions on term limits, salary variance and amnesty buyouts, the league provided the union with some key dates to save the 2012-13 season. The league indicated that a deal would have to be in place by Jan. 11, to provide teams with a one-week training camp before what would be slated as the season opener on Jan. 19. There is another deadline looming for the union as well. The NHLPA has until Wednesday to file a disclaimer of interest, which would essentially dissolve the union. The union membership voted last week -- a vote that passed overwhelmingly -- to authorize the executive board the power to decide. The league has already canceled all games through Jan. 14, including the annual Winter Classic, which was originally scheduled to take place Monday in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Amen, brother. I blame the league more than I do the players. I know that hockey players are the worst paid of the four major North American sports leagues' athletes, or at least I'm fairly certain that's the case. To lower the salary cap by $10 million is beyond ridiculous, it's stupid.
Originally Posted by little bear
I've only recently become a fan of the great sport of hockey. Down here in Tennessee, we don't get exposed to the sport that much other than the 60 or so games the Predators are shown on FSN Tennessee every year. I was always into baseball, football, and to a much lesser degree, basketball, but never hockey until about the 2007-2008 season. I did know about the Blackhawks' history, however, and knew they had the best uniforms in the NHL because of my dad owning some Blackhawks paraphernalia (a toboggan and a Old Time Hockey ball cap). I remember I was warned by Benji and HoneyBearWannabe about taking them up as a team to watch because of how awful the franchise was, not just the team, but the ownership. Thank God for Rocky Wirtz. He did more for the Blackhawks in three years than his dad had done in the previous 40-50 years. I have rarely enjoyed watching a team outside of the Yankees, Bears, and Tennessee Vols win like that, but the Blackhawks did a lot to make me appreciate the great game of hockey.
Now I worry about the future of the NHL as a result of the lockout. The game was damaged but good the last time this happened (which was, what, eight years ago?), but I fear that this time, the NHL may not recover. Other leagues have learned their lessons from labor disputes costing them games. Baseball was in sad shape after the strikes of 1981 and 1994-95, and it took about three years before fans started coming back to the stadiums to root on their favorite teams again. What will it take for the NHL to learn its lesson? I don't know, but if the league and players don't after this season, I fear there might not be a hockey league to watch. And to think that I have NHL Center Ice for no reason at all....
It seems like they are getting close to a deal. NHL players in the Danish league have been called home, and I know it's Bryzgalov but still he is saying that the lockout is over.
I read somewhere that the NHL was talking about expanding the playoff with 4 more teams? WTF, how about fix the lockout so we actually can get the usual number of teams in the playoff and then talk about the horrible idea..
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