The NHL is officially embroiled in a work stoppage, as the players are now locked out with training camps supposed to begin in less than a week. Last week, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said his piece on Toronto radio. This week, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly had his turn.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly joined Darren Millard, Nick Kypreos, and Doug MacLean on the Fan 590 in Toronto to discuss the state of negotiations, the state of the league in general and the league’s struggling markets.
On what happened between the last lockout, in 2005, and now:
“I think the system itself is something that we think has actually worked very, very well. I think it’s made our league more competitive than it’s ever been. I think the product is as good as it’s ever been. I think the revenues we’ve been able to generate are a testament to the fact that the system itself works very well. As it turns out, 57 percent of the revenues going to the players is too high to be sustainable.”
On why that number wasn’t too high in the past:
“Bottom line is we missed on that. It turned out to be too much. It was too good a deal at the time.”
On the system not being broken:
“I don’t think the system as a whole is all that broken. I think some minor adjustments [are needed].”
On the difference between this negotiation and the one from the 2004-2005 work stoppage:
“It’s a totally different negotiation. The players’ association has said they’ll maintain the cap and it’s an economic negotiation. So in my view, on that front, it’s a much simpler negotiation.”
On the league’s insistence on keeping teams in failing markets:
“If a market doesn’t work long-term and is given an opportunity, then you have to make a decision on the market and move to a different market. … We aren’t at a point where we’re willing to call Phoenix a failure.”