Dumb Idea Theater: The Gift of Equity

Josh Howard

A thought experiment to kill as many birds with this stone as I can.

So this week, Gary Bettman essentially said that if the NHLPA isn't in the mood to discuss the NHL's last offer instead of those three counter-proposals which were dismissed before the commercial break, then everybody could save a lot of time by just staying home and shutting the hell up about it.

He also said something about how relocation wasn't happening (shortly after the Islanders said they were moving to Brooklyn as soon as their Nassau lease is up). So, we continue to have what is simultaneously a white elephant, a lame duck, and a limping Coyote in the room as far as the economic problems of the league. The Coyotes remain a stuck team as far as the idea about how much money the league is losing.

Meanwhile, the league wants the players to swallow an immediate $250M reduction in their salaries as part of the duct-tape fix and neither side wants to seriously discuss how best to solve the problem of the existing values of contracts that the owners handed out knowing full well they'd be asking for 12% of it back immediately.

My solution? Gift the players that $250M in equity right off the bat and let them deal with how best to turn it into a money maker. Know how?

Hand over control of the Coyotes to the NHLPA AND give them a five-year free-relocation credit.

That's right, the players take $250M less in overall pay, but what they get is complete control over a team valued somewhere in the $160M range, plus a $90M relocation fee credit that they have to use within 5 years. Then while the Coyotes struggle, it's the players' problem. If they can turn the club around, it's their benefit. Additionally, the players would have a representative with the Board of Governors. One measly governor doesn't have an inkling of power, but it would be fun to have him around.

Of course, it's a dumb idea and neither side will go for it, but it's better than tracking the phone-tag bullshit and the negotiating-means-only-talking-about-what-I-say-we-can-talk-about childishness.

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