Schneider thinks NHL will blink on contract rights

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Canucks goalie Cory Schneider doesn’t believe the players have more to lose than the owners when it comes to the ongoing lockout.

“We don’t agree with that internally,” Schneider said, as per The Province. “It’s doing a lot of harm to them, too. It’s mutually assured destruction.”

It’s an interesting comment, since the consensus opinion among observers is that the owners will be hurt less by a lengthy lockout.

As we wrote a few weeks ago, an NHL franchise isn’t an NHL player. The first has an indefinite life span and a value that’s determined by the expectation of future revenues; the other has an average career length of four to five seasons and a value that falls to zero once that career is over.

There are also franchises that bled money under the last CBA, so whatever damage is done in the short term is less of a concern than getting the right deal for the future. In fact, for some of those teams, there may be less damage done during the lockout than would be done under terms of the old CBA.

As they say, no deal is better than a bad deal.

On the bright side, both sides have agreed to reach a 50-50 split in revenues eventually, so arguably the biggest “future” issue has been decided.

The remaining “future” issue is contract rights. The NHL wants to cap contract lengths at five years and bump the age of unrestricted free agency eligibility to 28 (or eight years of service), plus other changes.

But Schneider doesn’t believe the owners are willing to lose a season over those issues.

“The detriment it would cause the players on the contracting rights is far greater than the benefits the owners would gain,” he said.

“For them, to make (contract rights) their last stand, on all of them, doesn’t make sense to us.”