Thursday, February 17, 2005
This article from Canada's Globe and Mail discusses the findings of several economists who actually looked at the NHL's payroll figures. Overall the economists suggest that Bettman and the league are not being honest about the divide between the NHL's 42.5 million dollar cap offer and the NHLPA's 49 million dollar cap offer.

Only seven teams would have exceeded the NHL's cap figure. And only 6 would have exceeded the NHLPA's 49 million dollar cap. That makes it a difference of 42 million between the 2 proposals not 200 million as Bettman stated in a very deceptive manner yesterday.

Many of the economist interviewed for this article believe the league didn't actually want to reach a deal, but rather want to use replacement players and attempt to break the union next year. But the NLRB will require the league to have negotiated in good faith as a prerequisite to being allowed to utilize replacement/non-union players next year. And it is not clear - especially based on the facts discussed in this article - that the league ever really negotiated in good faith.

Of course on the other side of the coin, NHL players are incredibly overpaid, on the top end especially, compared to the ratings their sports receives (or more aptly a lack of ratings). So the players certainly could have fed their families with the money they would have made under the NHL's cap offer.

A pox on both their houses I say.

Update: A good article from the LA Times on possible NLRB issues and the possible use of replacement players next year. Another article here that claims the NHL isn't likely to use replacement players because the more pro-worker Canadian laws won't allow the practice.
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I am an attorney in Chicago. Politically speaking, I am an indepedent that tends to lean conservative on fiscal issues and progressive on social issues. I try to remain as unbiased and open-minded as possible. Please email or post any comments, and especially criticisms. If something I say is wrong, or you disagree - let me know about it!

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