Souhan: In matchup of NHL owners vs. players, there's crossover

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 21, 2012 - 9:14 AM

Unbeknownst to most of the media, the NHL and the players' union held an unusual series of meetings in an attempt to end the lockout.

To cut through the bureaucracy, each side nominated one spokesman to appear before an arbitrator. The Star Tribune was able to obtain a tape of the proceedings from Mother Jones. Here is the transcript:

Arbitrator: Welcome, gentlemen. Let's get right to it. First, I'd like to hear from the owners' representative, a Mr. Craig Leipold, owner of the Minnesota Wild hockey franchise. Mr. Leipold?

Leipold: Thank you, sir. I'd just like to say that the players should be embarrassed. We pay them very well. Allow me to rephrase. I pay them very well. They should realize that we owners just can't keep giving out these ridiculous salaries. There has to be a limit to their contract demands, and the owners have to be able to run our franchises without the burden of these silly long-term deals. I mean, c'mon, they're just hockey players. It's not like they can hit a curveball.

Arbitrator: That's quite enough, Mr. Leipold. Now I'd like to hear from the person who best represents the players' perspective. Mr. Leipold?

Leipold: Yes, thank you, sir. Please don't listen to my opponent's nonsense. The man has no credibility. The same guy who's sitting on the owner's negotiating committee and arguing that the owners need a more favorable financial system just signed two hockey players not named Sidney Crosby to deals worth a combined 26 years and $196 million. And get this: He would have paid more, if one of those players, Zach Parise, hadn't insisted on the same terms for himself and Ryan Suter.

Think about that, sir: The only person who exercised any financial restraint during Mr. Leipold's negotiations with the players was one of the guys getting paid. Parise had to tell Leipold, "No, please, sir, you're trying to pay me too much. Take some money back.''

My opponent cut those deals, immediately boosted his ticket sales and franchise's popularity, then had the nerve to sit across from us in negotiating sessions, making the argument that owners need a better system to keep them from spending ridiculous amounts of money. I've seen the Wild play. My opponent should be spending $200 million every summer.

The guy pulls a DM, then wants to restrict spending?

Arbitrator: A DM?

Leipold: A Double-Mauer.

Arbitrator: Ah. Well, that was quite an impassioned statement, Mr. Leipold. I think it only fair that your opponent be given a chance to respond. Mr. Leipold?

Leipold: I operated within the rules. My team needed a boost. My franchise needed a boost. Heck, I needed a boost. These deals might save my life. That seatbelt that holds me down in my suite during games was getting frayed. If we keep losing, I'm going to wind up diving onto the ice, and if I'm not lucky enough to break my fall on Ryan Kesler's neck, I could die.

I didn't cheat. I did what was in the best interest of my team. Hey, I'm the good guy here. I'm not like those other owners. We're in a lockout and I'm not going to lay off our mascot until next Tuesday.

Listen, the players have to help me help myself. You know us owners. We can't control ourselves. We're like meth addicts. We wake up one morning with signed contracts scattered around us, reeking of Dom Perignon, wondering what happened. We go to meetings, give ourselves 12-step programs, drink a lot of coffee, vow to go straight ... then we get that craving again.

Admit it, you players are stuck with us. You can't fire us. You don't want to play anywhere else. And you should know that whatever system we insist on, we're still going to wind up spending money like Bryant McKinnie on South Beach.

Please, guys, help us help ourselves. We're the victims here. We can't stop spending, and we can't quit you.

Arbitrator: Your final rebuttal, Mr. Leipold.

Leipold: Nothing further, your honor. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Aeros to open training camp at the X; Backstrom injured

    Thursday September 20, 2012

    The Houston Aeros, stacked with Wild prospects, will scrimmage twice at the X next weekend

  • The Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold gave Zack Parise his new Wild J...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 4
Miami - LP: C. Hatcher 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 5
Cleveland 4 Bottom 8th Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 7 Bottom 9th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Texas - WP: S. Baker 13 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 2
Colorado 0 Top 7th Inning
Arizona 1
Oakland 0 Bottom 5th Inning
LA Angels 2
Los Angeles 1 Bottom 5th Inning
San Diego 2
Washington 5 Top 5th Inning
Seattle 2
Milwaukee 1 Top 4th Inning
San Francisco 6
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 24 4th Qtr
Houston 0
Colorado State 21 4th Qtr 12:59
Colorado 17
UNLV 3 2nd Qtr 10:44
Arizona 14
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 3 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 53 4th Qtr 7:51
Phoenix 67
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: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close