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PBDL - How it all Began

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Throughout much of 2012, the NHLPA and NHL threw various proposals and counterproposals together in an attempt to reach a labor agreement ahead of the expiring collective bargaining agreement.  The league insisted on a lower percentage of revenues going to players, more in line with the NBA and the NFL, while the union was vehement that they would not accept a further reduction in player salaries having given up enough ground in the previous CBA negotiations in 2005.  Despite several meetings leading up to training camp, both sides remained far apart in September and it quickly became clear that at least part of the 2012-2013 NHL season would be cancelled.  As the new year approached, the sides continued to negotiate fervently in an attempt to save at least a portion of the season.  But alas, on January 14th, 2013, Gary Bettman (NHL Commissioner) announced that the entire 2012-2013 NHL season would in fact be cancelled.

This is the second time in less than a decade that the NHL has cancelled an entire season and the NHL remains the only major professional sports league to ever do so.  This of course prompted many gloom and doomers to fear that this may cripple the long term viability and success of the league.  But the bigger and more immediate concern for many of the constituents of the league was how costly a second lockout would prove to a variety of vested parties.  First and foremost, the owners with tremendous investments in their teams had to sacrifice an entire year of ticket sales and revenues.  Owners of the various stadiums that housed NHL teams would also suffer.  Local cities and businesses, which relied on game day revenue, were also decimated.

In a last ditch effort to generate some revenue, the owners of the league licensed the logos and uniform designs to a group of entrepreneurs who devised a way to launch a competing league to the MLB.  The goal of this new league, dubbed the Premier Baseball Dynasty League (PBDL), was to solve many of the inherent problems that plagued the MLB and return baseball to its core values.  The PBDL was structured into a 3 tier system that would enhance the competition level amongst teams.  League revenues and finances were tightly managed by the league with funds distributed based on performance and thus parity was greatly improved.

There wasn’t much time to arrange all the details.  The ownership group got to work right away after the cancellation of the NHL season trying to find baseball talent that wasn’t quite good enough for the MLB.  Hype surrounding this league was palpable and players flocked from across the world to participate in exhibition games where scouts would have a chance to rate and write up reports on the players.  Individuals varied across the age spectrum, some were never considered good enough to compete in the MLB and thus retired and moved on to other careers.  The allure of a second chance to play professional baseball was enough for many of these older individuals to take a shot.  Many young players who were former minor league fillers for MLB teams jumped at the chance to immediately have a shot at professional ball and the contracts associated with it.  While money was certainly not going to be nearly as good as in the MLB, the top crop of PBDL players are expected to make over $1.0 million and even the lowest skilled players on PBDL rosters are expected to make at least $50K, not a bad salary to play the game you love.

As no formal CBA had yet been put in place for the PBDL, finding talent was basically done on a first come first serve basis.  Contracts were doled out based how well players performed in exhibition and also how good of an agent the potential player had.  Once April 2nd hit, a CBA had finally been negotiated and an official process for drafting and signing free agents had been determined. With the start of the inaugural season just two months away, there was still much work to be done as teams rapidly worked to hire top notch GM’s that could assemble the ad hoc collection of talent into a cohesive organization that could one day compete for a Gold Championship!

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 August 2012 11:17