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Category: NHLPA

Jack Johnson Wants To Go Back To Work

from Jack Johnson's website,

I want to work! I’m a professional athlete and I want to play hockey! In my chosen profession, I don’t have until I am 60 or 70 years old to do this job. My window of opportunity to play professional hockey is limited. If I’m lucky, I can play until I’m 40. I have been training as a hockey player my entire life, and I know it is a privilege to play in the NHL. So each month, each week, and each game that is cancelled is an opportunity I will never get back. This is the case for every NHL player. I value every day in this job and take my commitment to my team very seriously. I give it my all every shift. I come to play every night and I leave it all on the ice. This is my responsibility as an individual, an athlete, and a professional. I have a duty to my team, the organization that has given me this opportunity, and the fans in the stands to give them my best at all times.



Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jack+johnson

The NHL Can’t Get A Read On Fehr

from Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly,

Do the owners realize NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr brought Major League Baseball to its knees, had the 1994 World Series cancelled, and yet rebuilt the labor force there to the most successful sports union of its kind, one that has achieved labor peace ever since?
“The league was up against rank amateurs last time,” said one person intimately familiar with the inner workings of the NHL.
“This guy is the consummate pro. Cool Hand Luke. He has no tell. A great poker face. Has buy-in from the players. And rarely dabbles in rhetoric.
“If he does, there’s a message and a purpose behind it. And the league has no idea what do with a guy like this.”
Is it too obvious to ask whether Gary Bettman and his owners underestimated Fehr’s influence over his group and resolve to see matters through, regardless of consequence?
“I don’t know, I certainly hope not,” Fehr told CSNPhilly.com when asked last week if the league had discounted his resolve.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bettman vs. Fehr

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Gary Bettman’s lost hockey season is Donald Fehr’s wrecked World Series — legacies that haunt the respective heads of the NHL and Players’ Association.

Forget the record revenue generated last season by an NHL that can claim a salary-cap system and a major network broadcast partner. Pay no mind to the organization and unity that only three years ago was unimaginable to anybody associated with the union.

The Stanley Cup was not awarded in 2005. The World Series was not played in 1994.

Bettman, NHL commissioner since 1993, and Fehr, two years into a tenure as NHLPA executive director but owner of that same position with the baseball Players Association from 1986-2009, are as infamous for what they have lost as much as they are famous for what they have gained for the sports with which they are most associated.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr, gary+bettman

“Because They’re The NHL”

from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

Jonathan Toews has been one of the most outspoken players, criticizing NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners about their tactics. Toews also is worried that the whole season could be missed.

“I don’t know, I wasn’t there in ’04-’05, and there’s a lot of things you can look at that differentiate the two situations, but at the end of the day it’s the same ownership group and it’s the same commissioner, so you can’t rule that out,” Toews said of possibly missing the whole season.

“I saw it in the meeting room last week where everyone worked very hard on coming up with those three proposals and they didn’t even have the courtesy to look at them for more than five minutes or even discuss it.

“There was no discussion. I don’t know what’s going to happen the next week or so, but we’ve stood up and stayed together this whole time and worked very hard to try and negotiate.

“They’ve done all this so far because they can. It almost to the point where you believe they’re excited to do this because they’re the NHL.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathon+toews

Owners Do Not Have To Honor Player Contracts

from Peter Adler of The Cult of Hockey,

Do you realize that the fate of this NHL season depends on a phantom issue?

Yes. It’s most unfortunate, but that’s how it is.

What seems to be the main stumbling block? Why, the idea that the owners have to honour player contracts signed under the rule of the previous collective bargaining agreement.

The strangest thing is the league doesn’t really even have to entertain this idea, never mind make any offers to make players “whole,” as the legalistic description has it.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Put The Blame On Bettman

from Adrain Dater of All Things Avs,

I asked one “insider” today whether there was any hope for a season still. The response: “Zero hope…season is done.”

I told him “Please don’t mince words.”

So, not encouraging there. Of course, that could be posturing. No wait, it almost certainly is posturing. But we’re used to that aren’t we? This whole thing has been one big, grotesque charade on the good ticket-buying supporters of a league that is proving more with each farcical day that it does NOT deserve your support.

I’m not an advocate here. Not my job. But if it were me, a regular old fan of the NHL? I wouldn’t come back. No way. I’d make ‘em all feel the pain of my withheld money, however slight that pain might be. That goes for everyone, but especially to a league that has given one big middle finger to the people who were supposedly their “partners.”

Gary Bettman deserves ALL the blame for the league’s stupid, ridiculous, foolish, embarrassing, dumb, idiotic, brainless, irrational, inane, half-witted, absurd, preposterous, insane and mad initial offer to the players – the 43-percent, no arbitration, you-have-to-an-old-man-to-be-a-free-agent offer that also demanded one billion dollars in unmarked bills and a plane to Mexico.


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Blame Both Sides

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

Ken Dryden has a harsh message for both sides in the NHL lockout — they’re both to blame if the 2012-13 season is lost.

On a day the NHL cancelled a month’s worth of games in the dispute that’s now reached six weeks, the hall-of-fame goaltender and six-time Stanley Cup champion said the players and owners must look past their own goals for the betterment of all.

“They have to understand this is not make-or-break,” said Dryden, the keynote speaker at the Palliser Hotel Friday for the Magnificent Men! Leadership Speaker Series.

“This is not survival — real or imagined — on either side of it. Both are doing well enough. Both are doing well enough in a context where a lot of people around — meaning their fans — are not doing so well.

“And, after you’ve lost one season in 2004, you can’t lose another without it being a defeat for both sides, a failure for both sides.”


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  Tags: ken+dryden

All Donald Fehr

from Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times,

Donald Fehr spoke to a few members of the media Friday night at AllState Arena during the first intermission of the Champs for Charity exhibition hockey game.

Fehr spoke to The Washington Times, ESPN The Magazine, The Associated Press, The Chicago Sun-Times, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, The Chicago Tribune and The Daily Herald. Here is the full transcript:

On cancellation of November games

“Nothing they've done over the past several weeks is very much of a surprise. One thing sort of follows another; it looks like more or less what's been done in the other disputes in the other sports. It's a shame, I think. And hopefully we'll finally get down to serious negotiations one of these days. But we're not there yet.”

What will it take to get to serious negotiations?

“Somebody has to be willing to talk about things seriously. So far, the league's position is essentially, we got billions of dollars from the players last time, and we've had nothing but record revenues ever since, so let's try go and get another billion or two. And that's hard. It's really hard to do. I'll just ask all of you: What is the articulated reason the concessions are being asked for. Except, well, this is what happened in basketball. OK, so? Or the other one is, we want an opportunity for everybody to make a fair profit. What's a fair profit? Who's not making it and if that's the issue, why is the proposal to lower salaries on Toronto at the same time you do it on Phoenix?”


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr

Evening Line

"It's disappointing. If you can't afford to (sign contracts) then you shouldn't do it.  (Leipold) signed us to contracts. At the time he said everything was fine. Yeah, it's disappointing. A couple months before, everything is fine, and now they want to take money out of our contracts that we already signed."

-Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild on the CBA negotiations.  More from Suter via Craig Custance of ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+suter

Prepare For A Long Lockout

from Stu Hackel of The Red Light,

With the league uninterested in scheduling any talks with the NHLPA, button up your overcoats.

From Commissioner Gary Bettman’s standpoint, as long as the union declines to use the owners’ last offer as the basis of negotiations, there won’t be any. The fact that the players presented not one but three counter-offers with terms for a split of revenue that were, for the first time, somewhat similar to those proposed by the owners has not mattered. From the NHL’s perspective, the differences between the sides are far more significant than what they have in common, so the owners don’t want to negotiate.

That stance was affirmed by Bettman on Wednesday while taking questions after the announcement of the Islanders’ move to Brooklyn. “We said to them that we are prepared to meet if you want to discuss our offer, or you want to make a new offer,” Bettman remarked. “They have no inclination on doing either, so there really is no point in meeting.”

It’s safe to assume that unless the players come up with an offer that looks very much like the owners’, anything they propose will be dismissed by the league as quickly as the ones the NHLPA presented last week. That trio got all of about 15 minutes of consideration from Bettman and his fellow league negotiators.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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