NHL's second-in-command doesn't see quick fix to impasse

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 5, 2012 - 11:20 PM

Bill Daly said that unless the league or the players union comes up with a "brilliant idea,'' talks on a new labor deal will remain stalled.

hide

Bill Daly: With Sept. 15 lockout possible, the NHL deputy commissioner was to talk with union leaders but not in a formal negotiating session.

Photo: Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Bill Daly expected to talk with NHL Players' Association leadership about several issues Wednesday, but make no mistake, those issues were non-pressing and can't stave off a potential Sept. 15 lockout.

Daly, the NHL deputy commissioner, said formal negotiations remain at an impasse.

"With no talks scheduled, we've stalled -- at least temporarily," Daly said. "Hopefully that changes soon, but it certainly does create a much higher risk that camps won't be opening on time."

Daly said economic discussions will continue when "one side or the other has a brilliant idea for moving this forward."

More than 200 players arrive in New York next week for two days of meetings with NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will hold a Board of Governors meeting in New York on Thursday.

While it has been reported that Bettman would seek approval there to lock out the players if a new collective bargaining agreement isn't in place by midnight Sept. 15, the commissioner already has that approval, Daly said.

"Gary already has authorization of the board to lock out. I'm not sure he needs another vote of the board," Daly said. "It's to update the board on collective bargaining, and we'll see what they have to say."

When talks broke off Friday, Bettman voiced disappointment that the NHLPA didn't officially counter the league's proposal three days prior. He said it appeared the union didn't consider Sept. 15 the real deadline -- the insinuation being that games don't begin until October and paychecks don't start arriving until October.

But Bettman said concessions would be "more difficult" after Sept. 15. Damage to the business already has begun -- prospects tournaments were canceled, the NHL didn't schedule season-opening games in Europe and, Wednesday, scrapped its player media tour.

Daly said the mere possibility of a lockout is "affecting team's abilities to do business."

The NHL took in a record $3.3 billion in gross revenue last season, but Daly said the league is not profitable as a whole, and is seeking to lessen the players' share of revenues.

"The economic realities of doing business in today's world are different than they were [when the last CBA was negotiated] in 2004-05," Daly said.

In the NHL's first proposal, the NHLPA claimed that the league sought a 24 percent Year 1 pay cut from players. In the NHL's second proposal, the NHLPA claimed the league sought a 19.3 percent player pay cut in Year 1.

Daly said those numbers are inaccurate.

"Our proposal last Tuesday would have reduced the players share by 11 percent in Year 1, ... 8.5 percent in Year 2 and ... 5.5 percent in Year 3," Daly said. "In Years 4-6, it would have been at or above as we continue to grow revenues to prior levels."

Asked why players should accept any pay cut when teams negotiated these contracts fair and square, Daly said, "It's not a feature of our system that every player is guaranteed every dollar he contracts for."

Daly was referring to the fact that players put money into escrow in case teams pay players more money than agreed upon. In five of the seven years under the previous CBA, players took salary reductions. Next month, players will receive more than 8 percent back from last year's withheld escrow.

In the first three years of the NHL's proposal last Tuesday, the players' givebacks to the owners would be via escrow.

"Does it have an economic impact on the current contracts? Yes, just as escrow [under the previous CBA] would normally have an economic impact on the current contracts," Daly said.

The NHLPA has been calling for increased revenue sharing (according to sources, $240 million compared with the NHL's proposed $190 million), but Daly said, "We're not that far apart in terms of absolute dollars."

Eight years ago, the owners won the battle of public opinion. This time, the players are doing a masterful job via social media painting Bettman as the bad guy and the owners as greedy.

"Fan perception is important to us, but at the end of the day, we have to do an economic deal that's going to work for our clubs and our owners and our business and that's going to make the league healthy going forward," Daly said. "We hope to do that with the support of our fan base."

  • NHL LABOR NEGOTIATIONS

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close