Saturday, January 31, 2004

McCabe CBA Remarks

Maple Leafs NHLPA union rep Bryan McCabe has some interesting thoughts on the inevitable lockout the summer before the 2004-2005 season, when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and NHLPA expires: McCabe on CBA
McCabe to Toronto Star: "The bottom line is, if they want a hard (salary) cap, we'll sit out for the rest of our lives. If they're not going to budge off of that, there's really nowhere to go. It's all in the semantics. They want to impose a system where we can't direct our marketplace. What's the point of having free agency if you can't go anywhere? Whatever way they put it, it's not a good deal for us. I wouldn't be making the money I am now if it weren't for the guys in 1994. There are hundreds of kids coming up who are going to be National Hockey League players. In the end, they deserve a fair shot at a solid marketplace and a chance to earn a decent living."
As not only an avid Red Wings fan, but NHL hockey fan in general, I was livid at hearing McCabe refer to making a "decent living" as the millions hockey players are currently paid to play the game they love. McCabe will make $3.85 million this season. He seems to forget that most NHL fans know what it really means to make a decent living, and they are dedicated to buying NHL tickets and jerseys, and spending their time watching each game. I sent McCabe an email through the Leafs' official website, which was limited to 500 characters:
"I am an avid fan of the game of hockey and of the NHL. And I found your comments on the approaching CBA deadline very disturbing. Your definition of a "decent living" is totally off-base. You seem to take for granted the strong support of NHL fans who are the reason you make close to $4 million. As a fan, I take offense to this claim that a decent living means making millions of dollars, and you should answer to whether you need to be paid so much to consider playing the game you love."
I recieved the following response from McCabe a few hours later:
"The way I see it, if some one put a cap on what you can make a year you�d fight. If someone offered you 4 times what you are making right now you�d take it. So why should it be different for a hockey player? Thank you for your email."
While I was very impressed that he responded so quickly, he really took a round-about way of answering to my questions. He didn't address the importance of fans, nor did he say why a "decent living" for a hockey player means millions of dollars in salary per year while it means $50,000 or so for a normal individual. Many hockey players make that much per game!! McCabe makes $46,951 per game this season, so he makes a real year's decent living 82 times a season!! But McCabe's "decent living" is probably a mansion with 10 Ferraris. I urge you all to email him through the Toronto Fan Mail , not swearing at him or anything, just posing questions as to why NHL players are gravitating towards the decision not to play the game they love because they aren't being paid enough millions of dollars.


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