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September 10, 2012, 4:00 PM ET [2 Comments]
Paul McCann
Nashville Predators Blogger •Predators Radio Network • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The final week dawns and the 2012/2013 deathwatch commences, all of the hope and prayers have appeared to have gone unanswered and we are staring at the beginning of the third instance of NHL labor strife in the past 20 years. Small discussions happened over the weekend, mostly by email and phone but there doesn’t appear to have been any progress.


I am struggling to choose a side in this war of choice. Greed, avarice, and a few other deadly sins are on full display here… and now you see the grasping at straws begin. Think back to the last lockout… remember when the NHLPA was making noise about going to the Quebec government to have them step in. Apparently it is illegal to have a lockout in Quebec… home of the Montreal Canadiens. Cool idea that didn’t work last time, and probably won’t this time… but what the heck, we need the entertainment.

The problem with this whole thing is, both sides have a point… the league is trying to rein in spending on players again, in some respects the owners are asking to be saved from themselves. The players are proposing more and better revenue sharing for the entire league, focusing on the smaller revenue markets. I happen to agree that BOTH needs to happen… so let’s look at both sides.

The league signed on to a hard salary cap, a hard fought victory in the last CBA negotiations. They linked it to hockey related revenue, and even the most wildly optimistic prognosticators didn’t see the explosive growth in league revenues that has happened in the last seven seasons. Agreeing to a 57%-43% split represented a reduction from the out of control spending that lead to losing an entire season. Then the players saw an astounding 69% increase in average salary according to CBC Sports. A lot of pundits have written that the 57/43 split is unsustainable, I happen to agree with that assessment as 18 teams appear to have lost money in 2010-11 according to forbes.com . The other interesting piece about the cap system is that the rich teams simply got richer as they weren’t allowed to waste their excess profits paying out silly sums to marginal players.

The NHLPA wants a system of improved revenue sharing among the teams. It’s hard to disagree with that concept, especially when you see how successful it is in the NFL and Major League Baseball. The funny part of this whole idea is that it works… in the NFL, Green Bay is every bit as competitive as New York or Chicago… in Major League Baseball, smaller markets like Cincinnati and Oakland are consistently competitive, even with the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies spending crazy money on their teams. They also don’t want to give any more salary back… understandable.

It has to come down somewhere in the middle… it is the only way we get a season this year.


Random Notes

- Predators continue to gather in Nashville, working out at Centennial Sportsplex… a lot of Preds are expected to go to New York for the NHLPA Player Meetings.

- Fascinating to watch a lot of media mouthpieces for each side… seems like a lot of folks are giving up their objectivity.

- File this one under irony… former NHL defenseman Brent Sopel is tweeting that the Chicago teachers need to get back to work, saying “Be happy you have a job in a profession YOU chose.” Hmmmm… I wonder if his advice is the same for his former co-workers.

- Our good friends at C.A.P.E. are having a charity golf outing on October 3rd at Forest Crossing in Franklin… check it out on Facebook … here's the link. It’s all to benefit a great cause…


ROAD TRIP!!!! Update!

We are heading to the Lone Star State! SlapShot Radio will be road tripping to Dallas for the season finale on April 13th. We have made arrangements for tickets and are working on the other logistics, bus, hotel, etc... depending on the MLB Schedule, we may even try to catch a Rangers game!

Circle the date and join the SlapShot Radio crew for a road trip to Dallas... 4/13/13. More information to come!

We just ordered our tickets… to order yours please contact Group Sales Manager, Stormye Stevens at (214) 387-5635, mention you're with the SlapShot Radio Road Trip and she'll get you set up.


You are invited to follow me on Twitter. Search for @PredPAPaul… Not only will I be updating when I get news or updates, but we are having a bit of fun by getting your input on Gnash introductions, weigh in on Twitter and who knows, we may use your introduction for the best mascot in the NHL at the next Preds game!

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On the next SlapShot Radio

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