Breaking Sports

Monday, June 13, 2005

nhl- Agents talk about CBA

  • “This deal can be an outstanding deal,” said player agent Ritch Winter. “Whether we like it or not, that is what we’re being dealt and everyone in hockey just needs to rally together. If we increase revenues by 12 percent annually by working together, NHL revenues will double in six years. If we continue on that track for 12 years, NHL revenues will go from $2 billion to $8 billion.”
  • “Linkage works both ways,” said agent Tom Laidlaw. “If revenues go up, the player salaries will go up as well. In a perfect world as far as agents and players are concerned, there wouldn’t be any cap or linkage, but I think this is what we have, so let’s look at something positive and let’s work with it.”
    He said the turn in the negotiations came because “the players have shown they love playing hockey,” adding, “You would hope the ownership side doesn’t take advantage of that.”
  • “There has to be a new relationship of both sides having a genuine feeling they will work together to grow the game, and that simply doesn’t exist right now,” said Don Meehan, the agent for NHLPA President Trevor Linden. Linden is widely thought to be the key figure now in the negotiations, advocating a moderate stance and calling for future cooperation.
  • “The key to me is how revenue will be grown over the next five years,” said agent Mike Gillis, “how the brand is going to be promoted and, most importantly, how television is going to be looked at in terms of being the most important factor in moving the game forward.”
    Gillis said a faction of owners has never understood how important television is to the league and stood in the way of adopting the best broadcasting practices.
    “I think those things have to be addressed on an ongoing basis,” he said. “That’s the most important issue that would tie into a linkage-based system.”