November 27, 2012
The Hague, Netherlands – A group of former NHL players that are currently playing in European hockey leagues gathered on the steps of the International Court of Justice Tuesday to announce their intent to unionize the European leagues in hopes of getting more money.
“The time has come for all players in Europe to be treated properly,” said former Kings star and current Mora IK player Anze Kopitar. “When I learned firsthand what players in the Swedish HockeyAllsvenskan are paid in comparison to what the owners of the teams make I was outraged. All we want is what is fair – the lions share of all revenue.”
When asked if the players were concerned about the financial solvency of the teams that employ them Kopitar responded, “No. If the owners of the teams cannot afford to pay us 57% of every dollar they make then they can either sell the team or move them to another city. As long as we get our money we really don’t care what happens to the team nor how much the fans have to pay for tickets, merchandise, food or parking.”
One suggestion that the players have is revenue sharing as explained by former Bruins player and current Lev Praha player Zdeno Chara. “We believe that if there are five teams in the KHL that are making money and nine teams that are losing money then the five teams that are making money should share those profits with the teams that are losing money. That way we players don’t have to give up anything and still get every penny, krona, ruble and euro that is owed to us and we don’t have to take anything less than 57% of the money the owners make off the team.”
Many of the owners of the teams in the European leagues have gathered together and made offers to the players in hopes of reaching an agreement but thus far each proposal has been rejected by the players without any counter-proposal. “We are not sure what, exactly, they want,” said Adler Mannehim owner Marcus Kuhl. “If they would just make us an actual proposal then perhaps we could work off that and reach an agreement but they won’t say anything to us other than ‘no’.”
The players and owners have not met in over a week and no negotiations are planned. Former Senators player and current Jokerit player Erik Karlsson blamed the owners for the lack of progress. “We just want to play and make 57% of all money that is spent on hockey in Europe. The owners refuse to even negotiate with us, though. They seem to have no interest in making a deal.” When told that the owners have made numerous proposals while the players have made none Karlsson replied, “According to the conference call I was on the other day you are wrong. The owners are the ones that refuse to negotiate and we are the ones that are doing all the work in trying to reach a deal.”
Karlsson was asked what options players would have if the owners refused to meet their demands. “Well, I guess we’d have to leave the European leagues and play in adult leagues in North America to stay in shape until the owners are willing to negotiate. If that fails we will go into peoples homes and play NHL 13 on their televisions.”
At press time there was no update on the negotiations but fans throughout Europe were being told that there is plenty of time to get a deal done and that they shouldn’t worry just because they chief negotiator for the players is a professional dream destroyer and is a direct descendent of the Grinch. The players also remind all fans that they just want to play hockey – as long as they get 57% of all hockey revenue – and if they don’t get that amount then they will go take other peoples jobs to play for pennies in areas they’ve never been before even though those leagues themselves have no CBA, guarantee the players nothing even close to 57% of hockey revenue and force the players to travel and play in dangerous conditions. They also remind fans that this is not about the money and then tweeted pictures of their car which costs twice as much as the average American makes in a year.