As we go deeper into Labor Wars 2012, it's clear that the main bargaining battle will not simply be about finding a revenue percentage split that will satisfy both the owners and the NHLPA.
The bigger question is which revenues are going to go into the group pot of hockey-related revenues.
This was a bit of a sticking point during the 2004-05 version of this mess, but it's become a much more significant one this time around. The percentages might seem close when you look at the leaked versions of the two sides' proposals, but they're actually much further apart because the pot they're splitting is significantly different.
CBC writer Elliotte Friedman details the most recent variation of that here:
When the NHL made its most recent proposal to the players on Tuesday afternoon, initial reports indicated it included a revenue split starting at 51.6 per cent to 48.4 in favour of the NHLPA, eventually moving towards a 50-50 split over the course of the deal.
Upon further review, the players argued that changes to Hockey Related Revenue actually decreased their share to 46 per cent under current rules. Commissioner Gary Bettman later confirmed this.
For more on the battle over HRR, as well as your regularly scheduled quasi-daily links, head after the jump.
You can read the full details of the four key things in his very interesting article, but here are the NHL's changes in the HRR calculation in quick-hit fashion.
- Expanded cost of doing business figures that would be deducted from the revenues.
- Deducting some specific costs associated with luxury suites.
- Deductions for arena improvements
- Somehow tying the "buried in the minors" one-ways deals into HRR. It's implied that these contracts would stay tied to the cap hits as well. Right now, these player contracts are counted toward neither the player's overall share of the revenue nor the team's salary cap figure.
Personally, I found it interesting that HRR has never been 100 percent of the revenues. If I'm reading Friedman's story right, the owners have always been able to deduct some "cost of doing business" expenses before the pot was divided up. So what we're calling 57 percent right now isn't really 57 percent either. It's an intriguing little nugget, at least to me.
The other notable part of the story occurs near the bottom when they talk about Sept. 15 not being all that important a date to the players. An agent was recently on a radio show and said he saw Oct. 11, the scheduled start date for the regular season, as the real line in the sand. It does make sense because pre-season games are fairly tepid affairs, and I don't know of an athlete in the world who really enjoys training camp.
But as Friedman mentions, owners wouldn't necessarily like that because preseason games in some markets bring in decent revenue.
If you're looking for further reading on the great HRR divide, Michael Arace from The Columbus Dispatch, lays out an intriguing proposal here.
Now, onto the rest of your Labor Day weekend reading.
- Stephane Robidas is all recovered from off-season shoulder surgery and has joined his teammates in their unofficial workouts in Frisco. [DallasStars.com]
- If you don't understand why Robidas is so important to this team, Mike Heika summed it up very nicely for you as part of his summer series taking an in-depth look at all the players on the Stars roster. [DallasNews.com]
- The Texas Stars added defensive depth Thursday when they signed former University of Denver defenseman John Ryder. [Denver Post]
- When I first saw the headline for this story, I was hoping it would be about a truly "home-grown" Texas team. But alas, it's simply the opinion of the "best possible team of your draft picks still playing in the NHL." Still fun, but not as fun as trying to come up with 20 potential NHL players from the Lone Star State. [Eye on Hockey]
- Former Stars coach Marc Crawford is settling in as the new head coach of ZSC Lions Zurich in Switzerland. [IIHF]
- In other former Stars news, Brian Sutherby has fixed the back problems that plagued him in 2010-11 and is now looking for a new NHL job. [Edmonton Journal]
- On the business side of the Stars operation, American Airlines Center president and CEO Brad Mayne is leaving the arena to take a similar job at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey. Maybe has been with the AAC since it opened. [Dallas Business Journal]
- Ralph and Razor got a very nice shoutout on this ranking of the broadcasting teams in the NHL. [Hockey Buzz]
- We hope to have more for you on this story soon, but this is a great read on new Allen Americans winger Adam Pineault, who is returning to hockey after a year off to help his wife fight cancer. [Puck-Rakers Blog]
- We're coming up on the year anniversary of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv tragedy. One of the victims was Ruslan Salei, and a memorial tournament was held in his honor in Belarus recently. It featured a beautiful video tribute and a tear-jerking ceremonial puck drop. [Puck Daddy]
- Anyone who works with athletes speaking another language dreads part of the exchange. After all, so much can be lost in translation of both the question and answer, which can lead to all sorts of accusations of things taken out of context or even simply misquoted. And the same holds true for those brave souls who translate articles. The fine folks over at Russian Machine Never Breaks were accused of mistranslating a fairly controversial article that quoted Michal Neuvirth, where he said some less-than-complimentary things about fellow Washington Capitols goalie Braden Holtby. Despite several other outlets picking up on the narrative of a mistranslation by the site, RMNB has shown their work in very impressive fashion. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
- I was looking very diligently for highlights of the 2000 Western Conference Finals Game 7 a few weeks ago for this story, but I could never find one I was that happy with. Lo and behold, the Stars are featuring that game today as part of their Flashback Friday series. Enjoy the nostalgia. And boggle at Mike Modano's goal. I can only dream of that sort of hand-eye coordination.