Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I Recognize That I Need to Get Myself a Better Deal.

I'm tired already: I think I understand now why there are still free agents on the market with only a month to go until the regular season. Because this agreement makes it impossible to make a move without at least 10 people getting involved in a player signing a contract. Because all parties are protected by the same agreement. And because a whole lotta lawyers needed jobs.

The rules: Article 2, Recognition.

2.1, Recognition: The NHL recognizes the NHLPA as the exclusive bargaining representative of all present and future Players employed as such in the League by the Clubs, but not including any other Club employees. The NHL and NHLPA agree that notwithstanding the foregoing, and to the extent consistent with this Agreement, such Players, acting individually or through Certified Agents, and Clubs may, on an individual basis, bargain with respect to and agree upon an individual Player Salary and Bonuses over and above the minimum requirements established herein and other provisions that are not inconsistent with the terms of the Agreement.

I love this part: "Acting individually." How exactly does a humble hockey player who skipped law and/or business school in favor of sport act individually when this 475-page, legal-speak document is in his way?

3.2, Binding Agreement: This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the NHL, the Clubs, the NHLPA and all Players, and their respective successors or assigns.

Morals of the story:

The game: Ok, I can't help it. It's late on a Wednesday: Does the "over and above" part include Kovalchuk's deal with the Devils? There I said it. Now I feel better.

Life: Maybe if I'd had an entourage of lawyers, managers, agents and assorted others working for me, I would have negotiated myself a better deal in terms of salary and career. I thought I was doing alright, but I see this and I think you know, we really should have a collective bargaining agreement in life. If us humble peons don't agree to the paltry working-class salary that we get offered by corporate America, our employers should be bound by law to come to a more agreeable arrangement, like say, four weeks' vacation and guaranteed bonuses twice a year, at a minimum. Hey, it works for hockey players, why not for fans?

Next up on 9/3: Article 4, Union Security and Check-Off. Article 5, Management Rights.

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