One of the main points of contention in this CBA battle between the two sides is revenue sharing. The NHL has proposed a new revenue sharing plan, and the NHLPA obviously wants to pore over the details of these reports. From this TSN article, here's what was written:
"NHLPA executive director Don Fehr says he can't make a counterproposal on the league's full package until his group receives and examines the requested team financial reports. The first batch -- 76,000 pages -- arrived late Monday night."76,000 pages is only the FIRST batch?!? Are you kidding me? These are team financial reports, not manifestos! If the first batch only contained the first fifteen NHL teams, that's approximately 5000 pages per team!?!
I'm no genius here, but couldn't each team's financial report be copied to a CD or DVD and delivered that way? How much paper would the league have saved? More importantly, how much money would the league have saved if they had bought a 50-pack of blank media instead of printing off 76,000 pages and shipping 16 boxes of paper over to the NHLPA?
According to my math, OfficeMax offers boxes of paper of ten 500-packs for $47.99 per box. That's 5000 sheets of paper, so 16 boxes would set the NHL back $767.84. Factoring in the 8.875% sales tax in New York City, that would add another $68.15 onto the cost.
I assume the NHL has a large multifunction printer as well, so they would need at least three toner cartridges. I'll just assume that the NHL runs the latest Xerox WorkCenter Pro 90 printer, so they would need three toner cartridges since each can run 23,500 copies. Total cost for two boxes of toner cartridges is $598.00. Tack on $53.07 more in taxes.
OfficeMax does ship for free, so I didn't include that cost, meaning the NHL would pay $1487.06 just to print all the pages off in their 76,000 page report!
Now, I'm not sure how much information was contained on those documents, but I'm 99.9% sure they would be produced electronically. Even if they were rather large documents saved in some bloated format, let's assume that one can fit 1000 pages on a standard 4.7GB DVD. A 100-pack of blank DVDs costs a mere $41.99, and it jumps to a whopping $45.72 with taxes included. And all of the DVDs can be destroyed fairly easily when done.
Let's also say that the NHL used FedEx to send those documents over to the NHLPA. At 20 pounds per box of paper, that's two pounds per 500-pack of paper. That's a 304-pound delivery to the NHLPA, readers - not just some stapled documents in a file folder. If we use FedEx's rates and assume the NHL has some sort of shipping deal with them, we're in the ballpark of about $1200 to ship those documents. The cost to ship 76 DVDs? Conservatively, let's say it's $50.
So in total, the cost of shipping 76,000 sheets of financial records from New York City to Toronto, Ontario - where the NHLPA is located - cost the NHL nearly $2700 by my rudimentary calculations. Had they simply copied the information to DVDs and sent them to Toronto, they'd be out about $100.
What's worse, 1 ream of paper (500 sheets) uses 6% of a tree. The NHL used 152 reams of paper, so they used over nine trees to print the first batch of their report! I have yet to see Gary Bettman or Bill Daly out in a forest planting saplings to replace these nine trees used in creating this farce. Perhaps someone should speak to the NHL about their environmental footprint when printing off idiotic amounts of paper?
For two institutions that pride themselves on being connected to fans through technology, the NHL looks like it works in the Stone Age when it comes to sending large documents to the NHLPA. These are financial records of the teams, not the final CBA contract that requires a signature! Send them on appropriate technology and be done with them at a cost that is more than acceptable to the common hockey fan!
Of course, the NHL's lawyers may have instructed the NHL to send over the 76,000 pages of information just to make it difficult for the NHLPA to go through each and every page. Lawyers get paid big bucks to provide manoeuvres such as these, so maybe it was a bit of gamesmanship on the NHL's part. Still, I am rather shocked at the number of trees that had to die and the amount of spent to try to frustrate the NHLPA's lawyers.
If Andrew Ference is reading this, and I sure hope he does, he needs to tell both sides that this sort of gamesmanship is ridiculous and completely irresponsible towards the environment. Quite frankly, I'm disgusted by the cost, both monetarily and environmentally, that the NHL undertook.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice! And plant a few trees!