Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Another Outlet For Misdirected Hostilities in CBA Talks
This is a chorus that many a fan are chanting, with the former being the one that the venom is most being spewed at. Rightfully so, as the owners control the lockout and don't seem to agree with what the players are proposing and can't figure out a revenue sharing plan amongst themselves to get their own top dollar.
Of course, the players are going to want their own share as they are the "product" and really don't care (and shouldn't care) about the economic stability of the teams because they're getting paid, so who really cares about the actual health of the team they're playing for as long as they get theirs. And the player's shouldn't worry about how the team's health is because they have their own health, their own well-being, their own on-ice performance to worry about; they shouldn't have to worry about the book of the team.
And while the owners did negotiate the crazy contracts we have been seeing and seems to really be giving out far too much money, thus making them hypocritical when they "cry poor" over losing money; there is one group that could actually be more to blame than the players and the owners combined.
It seems that this topic has been briefly touched on, but it is my own belief that the agents should the most vitriol from the fans.
Sure, the owners do give into the player's contracts demands at times, but at the same time; if not for the agents overrating and overvaluing their client (the player), the owners really have not much of a choice if they want to put a winning product on the ice. The agents know this and know that they can sell ice to an Eskimo if they wanted to, which is why they have driven third-liner's contracts into the $3M/year range when they probably should be half of that. They hype up their player, they use leverage of going to rival teams with their client, and then they smooth talk their way into making the GMs believe they're actually getting a deal.
Yes, the GMs (and, honestly, they play with the owner's money) can avoid this by not buying into their schemes and actually call the agents' bluff, but the agents know they can go to another guy and get the money they want. The fact the agents can manipulate the market the way that they do is almost criminal. They are the guys who skew the contracts and how the value of a player can be determined due to past results. The agents also realize that past results are not indicative of future results; so they have to get their client their maximum dollars-- of course, the fact they take a percentage plays into that, but they're looking at the best interesting in their player-- I'm sure.
Agents are hype-men for the players and in the end, they have to do the best for their client in order to not only retain them, but get them the most money they think they "deserve" and will go at all lengths in order to actually get those dollars-- not caring about who they get it from because loyalty is nothing to the agents, especially since they represent multiple players on different teams and in different standing on the depth chart. As long as their players (and to a lesser extent-- them) get paid, they don't care where it comes from and they shouldn't either.
In other sports-- the disdain for agents are very much there. In baseball, it's Scott Boras and in football it's Drew Rosenhaus. Both are big mouthpieces for their clients and do get the maximum amount for their players and don't settle for less. It seems that Allan Walsh seems to the be most outspoken of the NHL agents and tries to do what he can to rattle the cages of people everywhere. Sometimes, it's for good (likes speaking out on fake insiders), but most times-- it's for bad (running down his client's [ex]teams). It's a shock that NHL owners/GMs would deal with Walsh when all is said and done, especially with how overaggressive he can be in the social aspect of things. It's one thing to get to the court of public appeal, but it's another thing when you are running down the people who have an effect on your client's career.
You can bitch and moan about who deserves what, but of course because of the entitlement that both sides have--owners because they own the team and make money in other ventures, believing they're above it all; players because they are the show on the ice and their agents overrate them in order to get the utmost, unattainable contract values (for the most part)-- are the main thing. It's more than Billionaire vs. Millionaire-- it's Ego vs. Ego.