Winners and losers in the NHL CBA negotiations

Winners and losers

We don’t yet know who will come out on top in the ongoing battle between the billionaires and the millionaires, and undoubtedly there will be winners and losers on both sides. But I’m pretty sure I know who the biggest losers will be.

Today marks the next milestone in the “negotiations” as Donald Fehr and the NHLPA outline their “alternative view” on the NHL’s internal economic system. I’m sure that will go over well.

So to prepare you for the inevitable onslaught of analysis and reaction to today’s developments, here’s a double dose of Graphic Comments on the topic…

First, it’s important to understand that today’s proposal from the NHLPA is not a counter-proposal, i.e., they aren’t suggesting tweaks or modifications within the same framework as the NHL’s offer. No, they are going to offer an “alternative view” that represents the “players view of the world.”

There’s about as much chance of this proposal being accepted as the Curiosity Rover finding life on Mars, but at the very least I would encourage the NHLPA to include some nice full resolution colour images and an upgrade their Twitter account:

Alternative world views

And in case you were wondering: Owners are from Venus, players are from Mars, and Bettman is a Klingon from Uranus.

Just how far apart the two sides are on the key issues? Well, as @SkinnyPPPhish so aptly put on Twitter, there may be a ways to go in bridging the two views:

Apples and oranges

The worst part, of course, is that the solution is banana. Sigh.

But the opposing views are not limited to player salaries and revenue sharing. The recent revelation that Gary Bettman earned was paid $8 million in 2010-11 is also a matter of dispute, but the two sides have agreed to disagree on the issue:

Agree to disagree

I’m a bit ambivalent about the positions of the two sides on most of the issues, but I’m pretty sure where I stand on this one.

But my opinion doesn’t matter. Not on this issue nor on any other. At least not my opinion on its own. However, as a collective body, the fans could indeed have an impact on the basic underpinning of the NHL’s economic system. And make no mistake, at some poing, the party is going to stop:

Hockey related revenues

Of course, neither side thinks it will ever come to that. You never hear them talk about it, but sometimes you get the feeling that there’s one deeply held belief that drives the hardline stances on both sides:

Fans are chumps

And you thought they were miles apart on everything.