I would imagine that the players have been watching these players’ signings as well.
Michael Russo, Star Tribune --- Leipold responded Monday, saying, "Listen: We've been losing money and the way we were going, we were going to have another year of 'keep losing more money and more money and more money.' So if I'm going to make the kind of financial commitment to keep this team and move this forward, I'd rather do it growing it.The hockey world has been a buzz since the big signing in Minnesota and you can bet that executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association Donald Fehr took note of the signing as well.
"Ultimately that was the decision. As a result of this move, it's not going to cause us to be financially stable. I believe it will be within a year or two. This is a move to get us out of the hole that we've been digging. And as I spoke with some other owners in the league as to why I did it, they totally get it. They understand it. At some point you have to make that kind of commitment in order to turn your franchise around. If we didn't, then we would just keep losing more going forward without any plan of changing it."
Ironically, the day after the spending spree, Leipold was one of the owners who sat in the bargaining session between the NHL and NHL Players' Association in New York. The league has moved to terminate the collective bargaining agreement and negotiate another. The current agreement expires Sept. 15, and the league is in danger of a lockout. In 2004-05, the season was wiped out because of a lockout.
The owners want to move to a 50/50 revenue split; currently the players are at 57-43 revenue split. If the players are to accept the 50/50 number would mean that means the players are going to have their salaries rolled back. This could end up being a long fight especially with the recent signing in the NHL during free agency.