WGR550>Topics>>11/20 Pierre LeBrun on the NHL lockout

11/20 Pierre LeBrun on the NHL lockout

Nov 20, 2012|

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

We're gonna spend a few minutes talking about NHL lockout with -- LeBron for ESPN dot comment from TS and any judges here on WG our parents Howard and sound good morning thanks for coming -- first of all I have no problem no problem great beyond. Gary you gotta help me out I am now a nervous hockey fan. I figured to be a lockout I figured to be lost games I thought no way they start later than Christmas. It never they would never scrap the entire season now I am beginning to get very nervous so you gotta calm me down. Yeah out I don't look like and I certainly -- I've said all along I thought -- VA would be reached by November 30 sudden. And that would have puck drop by mid December but I'm certainly feeling let's call her that right now one. And this will be a very inching a 24 reported hours because you know the PA is working on a new proposal. As a league and ask them to do last night in New York. And and what that proposal looks like it is is going out vote. A major impact on where the storyline goes out. The PA goes back once again with. You know with the desired that would guarantee player amount I think here. Listeners probably know -- the offer they made is based on them not making a dime blast for the total amount of salary that may have last year one point 83 billion dollars. And a week once again last night. Stress to the union that. The only you're just never gonna sign off on that deal and that's. That's why we have a lock out you can agree or disagree with whether you believe that more than half a team totally -- my posture. But. You can't disagree with why the owners are are claiming a -- was needed and it's because they feel -- amount of money was too much. 57%. 3.3 billion in revenues so. You know the PA has has has really. Been strong and every single conversation offer throughout the last few months let one point 883 in fact within union offices and just call it 1883. It's such cardinal number for them. But this is attached to -- -- are they going to finally. Powell proposal backed off that number. And accept the league's position of just you know here's your percentage of the -- I do -- you know. Regardless of you know what the revenues which obviously a big risk for the players. -- go for -- -- -- that'll be the aviation department. And you know I've heard different things from Angola and the peace -- they were talking about last night they're gonna talk but all day today. I think there's going to be a lot of debate internally or whether they've -- you know they make that jump. And if they do if they do finally back off the -- player -- and you better bet that the it will out for the league to back off on a number of player contracts -- rights. That they've been trying to get up and and that's only fair I mean if if the PA is going to finally give up on a major economic issues than we ought to finally stepped down on. And all these player contract and it changes of the try to get like changing your FA another year and changing financial system and changing arbitration or -- the backed out of the wanna get a deal done. I -- ask about that has to me that's puzzle that's the most puzzling part of this process to -- but one other thing you mentioned you thought I'd be settled by November 30. You know that be a -- if it is right now obviously what. Odds have you taken into account what the what do you think the odds are they actually -- scrap the entire season. Well we're still not that point yet I mean yeah I think the next round of cancellations will probably just prefer games of the summer. You know last time they waited until mid February 2 canceled entire year. Bill we bolt on or off the record refuses to even get ancestral what. Their line in the sand is as prime and the reason they don't want leaked out. Is that they have. Other fears that the PA would use that as a an important date just sort of negotiate out right now and as you would hear them. So it it's it's sort of a mystery as to what police you can do this time my own gut feeling is that they would wait armed Islamic council here. Is that they would. Call it off before that whether that's in January or December. Power remains to be seen I don't think -- quite as far as -- this time around. Can you talk about the contracting rights here because I thought. I figured you know other revenue sharing would be the big stumbling block but you know we've seen the DNA NFL. Took money back for the players the NBA changed the percentage of revenue. But to me please correct me if I'm wrong it seems to me like the NHL -- to the owners are being incredibly stubborn when it comes to the contracting rights and they're doing -- -- that I. Hope that other stuff. Well you're right. I mean I mean is that there's really bit deal never gets done it believe it back down on the contract and right. But just think that give you some context as to why that's happening. I think. I think the league refuses to move off that officially in talks until. The players. You know move on the court docs that we just talked about you know that the players' willingness to let them dot. Have a guaranteed. Salary amount the one point 83 billion. So -- a chicken and the -- him and I think Billie is willing to finally move on contract rights what they're waiting for the blue blue union to move on the other ones and the -- I know I was nervous last night in their internal meetings. About finally moving on on the court economics. For fear that if they did that officially and then that we did not move one player contract and right then they've moved. And left insult sort of expose -- or so to try to created down like two guys fighting for the same rope lights called them. I mean that's sort of the chicken in the game that's happening in. And so I suspect that in the new proposal. That's PA will come up with. Back then it'll be clear enough proposal that is Purdue and that tests on court economics you're backing off. On car talk contract and right or not do one without the other and that's the way I think to go about it. I would ask about there was a story in the Philadelphia Daily News I'm sure you're well aware of it that suggested. That the owner of the flyers Ed Snider had quote soured on the process. And I'm wondering a do you think and now Gary Bettman came out and call that a complete fabrication. -- do you think there's any truth to it. Beat do you believe there's any sign of cracking inside ownership. Yeah I wouldn't go as far as cracking implied ownership. And I will tell you this and I don't think insiders certainly has been. The hardliners that he's been in the past so I think that's fair but to say that he's moved enough within the ranks. To do anything outside the right -- I'm not sure I believe and I think that I think -- -- what we've heard from borrowers on that at this point. But for sure he wants to play any involvement and that is the stark difference this time around from. A year ago were really the owners were resolute and matter -- -- can't put me in terrier was -- -- -- get -- -- that's not the kind of feeling that's there now. The majority of owners wanna play and you think -- is ridiculous if there is embassies and I mean you just wanna first ever cup and LA. You wanna cup in Boston here before me neither really important markets where. All moment some discussion LA Atlanta has been completely adult. By this -- So and I mean that thing that's happening I think for every order that is getting annoyed with how long this is gone and and maybe. Disappointed with the Whaley has run this. There is just as many owners. That are galvanized them in and their hatred of -- out -- that's so well -- because. You know the facilities. Kind of -- it decided as well so it and but I think it is fair to surmise that overall. The third owners have much less of an opportunity. To can -- here than they did eight years ago I think that's an actual fact. Yeah I I'm I think for sure the guy. The guy owns -- here is probably say let's just play flawless. I -- I think that's right agenda. And so I mean -- so both sides have that pressure I mean I think that I mean let's but I still think in the yen and that's. That's the reality -- pro sports negotiation is that there's always a bit more pressure on and on and -- on the players' leader for no other reason -- mathematically has more members to deal with. And so we have 700 players. I've yet to talk to one I've talked at least more than thirty in the last couple weeks players that. That would even. Digest of thought at all about playing this year that's not say they want to roll over and and I would really an -- they don't but. They definitely want they want doctors here and you can hear the next couple weeks but. The -- the best deal possible you know within reason so that's that's that's a pretty real pressure -- -- on the on the players well. Well let me follow up on that then but as we wrap up which appear LeBron with -- from espn.com. -- -- sent. I ask you about whether -- -- owners were cracking. So what about the player -- she said that's a lot of guys you're welcome and did you talk to agents you talk the players do you get a sense that there is any chance. There will be enough guys. Breaking ranks or could say our list is put it to a what the best proposal they have on the table to a vote and lets you would have. Yet though you know they haven't cracked yet I think that I what I hear from them is a lot of concern and anxiety but it's that they've really shown that really strong resolve here and you know maybe surprise some people comment were bought into. So late November and they're still together and in fact when when there's players piping up there still are loving pot shots across the bottom I think that the group Batman so that's. That there still love this fill up the same messaging topic but certainly behind the scenes. Strong message I get from a reporter talked to -- You know they would wanna cut their losses that that. You know trying to make the best out of the senate and obviously make the -- back off contract he -- eccentric but really -- that desire very strong desire. Among all the players I talked to who's trying to get a deal done and I have not done now I haven't talked to 700 players but I haven't talked to Larry that's at certain. You know I might be just. Worse proving a point to the owners in the very government strong well when I'm playing hockey this year have not. Heard -- yet from a player and I think because they realize. The damage that's already been I mean even after talking a couple of weeks. There's some irreversible damage in my opinion in this business. In large part just because of the the compound in -- a second rocket and eight years I think that there are some major corporate investors with a -- that that may not re re up. I think there and that feels -- once you walk away twice in and that's even after the shortened season. So all the work that is is very serious for both players and owners sure to have a solid game again. Well you -- my job very easy you just took me again to my very next question I'll make this my last one you wrote this column the other day -- the damage this time will be permanent and I went askew. Not from corporate but from fans because as you know. Hockey fans might be the most dedicated fans of any sport maybe not the largest number but the most passionate and have always come back. The -- I mean I'll I'll go back in part because that's my job but I still would watch hockey because I love watching hockey. Do you think there will be a loss of fan base or any erosion of fan base this time around. I think there will be some -- obviously in places like buffalo Detroit and the Canadian markets and you know Philly Boston New York. I think you're -- comeback but but I think what the opportunity -- I mentioned LA. I I think -- blocks for a number of years the ability to convert. -- fence sitting fans in fact -- burger and I talked about this. A couple of weeks ago and and then he was referring to his own mark in New Jersey you know here's a team that is what for the cup finals and he feels about. All the fans that may be able to come to one or two games a year. That the -- not a core fan but the sports fan goes all kinds of sporting events. He feels those people that lost for quite awhile that that they're just can't say this I mean what's up -- these guys they can't get their act together and Russia has spent any money on this and those fans are important. I think especially in the end markets that that need to sell seats and -- -- in the core isn't enough. I think those standard on for a long time and that's about they ought to step back for a league that. That can't just rely on its core two world and I realize this quarter survive. And it will survive when they come back biting and in order to grow and to thrust of you need to that you need those general sports brands include rock on the menu and I think they're not gonna include -- off. Your LeBron when this espn.com. And also on TS and Peter thank you very much for -- -- this morning and you'd you'd rather be talking about the sabres and how they're playing this season and sorry but I appreciate you come. I only have a road split in my part of favorite -- know about that we do and we appreciate you coming dollars -- thank you very much I think sure I mean thank. That's -- LeBron with -- -- on WGR.

Are you sold on Robin Lehner as the Sabres #1 goalie?
  Yes. His play the last 2 months has sold me.
  Not yet. I need to see him play well/stay healthy the rest of the season.
  No. He's not the answer. I wouldn't re-sign him.
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