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Hockey's Labor Dispute
With Some HeroesWest Exclusives.


Dear Paul,

The National Hockey League announced today that, because a new collective bargaining agreement has not been realized, it no longer is practical to conduct an abbreviated 2004-05 season.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman issued the following statement:

"Every professional sports league owes its very existence to its fans. Everyone associated with the National Hockey League owes our fans an apology for being unable to accomplish what is necessary for our game and our fans. We are truly sorry."

Read the complete statement and a letter to fans from Commissioner Bettman.

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The following Email exchange came as a result of this article written by Mr. Heika on December 15, 2004.

I am honored to receive the explanation.

*****

Mr. Heika:

I'm confused as to the Percentage of Revenue stat.  It sounds, from the December 15 article, like the team is supposed to have a *projected* revenue number, and base salaries off of that. 

What's wrong with an *actual* revenue number being the basis for salaries: ie.  base salary for the year, and the rest coming after the season closes?  Calculated upon numbers drawn from an independent accounting firm? 

Thanks.

*****

Paul,

That actually is the plan, but it's difficult to get into in the small amount of space we are given. 

Players would place 15% of their payroll in an escrow fund.  At the end of the year, the numbers are run and the percentage of player compensation is totaled.  If revenue is down, owners take from the fund to get to 54 percent.  If revenue is up, owners place into the fund to get to 54 percent. 

That is the same system as the NBA.  In the NFL, cap numbers are released in December for the next season (The Cowboys know right now how much they can spend next year), so they are usually trailing a year behind.  But their revenue is pretty consistent. 

Mike

*****

Here is Mr. Heika's subsequent article, written Sunday, December 19, 2004, providing detailed information on this contract issue.

*****

Here is a copy of correspondence between myself and management of The Dallas Stars hockey team.

From: Lane Pate
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 9:10 AM
To: Paul L.  White

Subject: RE: Please maintain pressure …

You're coming in loud and clear.  I think we all get it.  Hopefully we'll all act with a sense of urgency. . . . . and get this done soon with cost certainty with NHL players.  Thanks for your support. 

Jim Lites
President
Dallas Stars

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul L.  White
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 7:34 AM
To: Stars President

Subject: Please maintain pressure

Just one opinion…

But it would ease a lot of frustration if a final settlement could come within the next week or so. 

Every second, from this point on, is about saving Hockey as a sport, which I’m sure you know. 

Please … intensify the “search for a cure. ”

Many regards from a hockey fan for 45 years,

Paul L.  White
HeroesWest.com

-o-

 

 

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