Monday, December 29, 2014

Former Flyers give spin on lockout

Maybe if the NHL owners and the Players Association could listen to some of the former players, the lockout would be quickly resolved.

Former Flyers give spin on lockout

Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent was part of the Flyers´ back-to-back championship teams. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent was part of the Flyers' back-to-back championship teams. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Maybe if the NHL owners and the Players Association could listen to some of the former players, the lockout would be quickly resolved.

Former Flyers Bernie Parent and Orest Kindrachuk made some comments that hit home Monday as they participated in a Scott Hartnell-led charity golf tournament in Cherry Hill.

“I think it’s sad. I don’t know if you read the quote from Brooks Laich" - the Washington forward who said grownups are ruining a kid's game - "but I think that’s it," said Kindrachuk, who, like Parent, played on the Flyers' Stanley Cup championship teams in 1974 and 1975. "It's too bad the dollar sign has to dictate everything."

NHL players received 57 percent of hockey-related revenue in the last collective-bargaining agreement. They want around 53-54 percent in the new deal. The owners are willing to give 49 percent to start the six-year pact, which goes down to 47 percent.

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“Should employees get 57 percent of the revenue? If I owned a company, I don’t want to give my employees 57 percent, so I understand where they’re coming from," Kindrachuk said.  "But why not just say, ‘Hey guys, let’s go 50/50 and see how this works for the next five years? Let’s just do it.’ It would really be nice to see guys get together and say, ‘What is BETTER for the game?’ Not what’s better for the players and not what’s necessarily better for the owners. What is better for the GAME. And sitting out is not."

Kindrachuk says he has talked to fans "and there are some that aren’t coming back. And Philly’s lucky (because of its strong fan support), so I can’t even imagine what it’s like in some other cities.”

Both sides should “do what’s good for the game," Kindrachuk said. "Are there small-market teams struggling? Absolutely. But then again, you have these owners handing out ludicrous contracts, so they’re their own worst enemies, too.”

Back when he played, the NHLPA "didn’t have a lot of influence or power," Kindrachuk said with a smile. "I think back then, everybody was (finding it) hard to believe we were getting a contract to play hockey.”

He said the most he made in a season was $125,000; today's players avearge $2.55 million.

"I had an offer from the World Hockey League in 1972, a four-year deal worth $600,000 with Houston," Kindrachuk said. "My dad and I sat down, and I said, ‘Dad, I want to play in the NHL. I don’t want to play in the World.’ So my second year, I went to (minor-league) Richmond for $14,500.”

Parent, the Hall of Fame goalie, was asked if the players ever came close to striking when he played.

"How can you when the tickets were $9.50 for the Finals?" he replied. "What do you want to do? Bring it up to $10?

Parent said the elite players made $400,000 in his era. As a rookie with Boston, Parent said he earned $18,000. "That's pretty good in 1965," he noted in a good-natured tone. "Today, boys use this to buy dinner."

Briere, Giroux plans? Several high-profile French Canadians, including the Flyers' Claude Giroux and Danny Briere, are considering forming two teams to play games while NHL players and owners battle it out at the bargaining table, according to TrueHockey.com.

The report said the idea is to have two teams, one representing Montreal and the other representing Quebec City, travel throughout Quebec playing at least one game per week. There's talk of all the proceeds going to charity.

The idea of adding other Canadian markets such as Ottawa and Toronto has also been tossed around, TrueHockey said..

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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Broad Street Bull is your place for the latest updates, trade rumors, and everything connected to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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