Mark Recchi has a message for locked-out NHL players — get a deal done now, because the owner’s offers won’t get any better.
That’s what the former Bruin told the Boston Globe, explaining that players need to “think like businessmen” as the lockout approaches Day 60.
“The longer it goes, the worse [the offer] is going to get [for the players],” he said. “Hey, I’m an owner, too, so I see both sides. We lose money on our team, and obviously that’s not the same, the money’s not nearly as significant as in the NHL, but the business dynamics are similar. We’ve lost money every year we’ve owned it.’’
Recchi is a part owner of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. That, along with his lengthy playing career, gives him a unique perspective regarding work stoppages.
He was in Philadelphia for the strike of 1992, in Montreal for the 1995 lockout and signed with Pittsburgh out of the 2004-05 lost season (he was eventually traded to Carolina that year, and won the Cup with the ‘Canes.)
Recchi says that, based solely on the numbers, it makes sense for players to resume playing.
“The longer they’re out, the revenues are going to go down and down,’’ he said. “Corporate sponsors aren’t going to be lining up . . . so there goes that money. The schedule isn’t going to be 82 games, I don’t think, at this point. That’s more money lost.
“So, how are you going to get a better deal? Personally, I think the best time is now.”
Recchi also made a salient point about the perception of “winning” and “losing” negotiations.
The NHLPA was largely considered to be the latter after the last CBA, yet eventually emerged with a number of massive salaries and a 57 percent share of record revenues.
“Look at that last deal,” he said. “We ended up with the cap and everyone thought it was a bad deal. But it ended up great, right?
“No matter what the system is, or has been, the players get their money.”