One other point. Deadspin had a fun story this week about how the NHL has hired Frank Luntz to try and put a little lipstick on the ol’ lockout pig; gussy her up a bit. I’m puzzled that the NHL hasn’t started characterizing this as a dispute over how much more the players are going to make over the next six years than they made in the past six years. If you read any of the 80% of the hockey media that’s abysmal, you’ll notice that they kind of imply that the players did really well in the last CBA negotiation because the cap went up so much, kind of ignoring that it means that money was rolling in. These people are absolutely susceptible to this sort of stuff. As I thought about it, I could hear Bob Stauffer’s voice in my head. He sounded convincing.
I should explain. On my math, the most recent NHL offer would see the players make $11.816B over the next six years, assuming a 5% growth rate. While I’m not sure of the precise amount paid to the players from 2006 to present (the six years leading up the expiration of this CBA), some back of the envelope math produces something like $10.1B.
Seems to me that characterizing what’s happened as "We have offered to pay the players an estimated $1.7B more over the next six years than we paid them over the previous six years and they have said that that’s not good enough" has the advantage of being a) mathematically true and b) sounding like a massive increase in the money offered. Talking about "shared sacrifice" sounds stupid at a time when everyone knows the sport is doing well. Be honest: you aren’t asking them to sacrifice. You’re asking them to gorge themselves on an extra $1.7B in salary over the next six years and start playing hockey.