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Category: NHLPA

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.


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

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.”


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


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  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

Statement From NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr

TORONTO (October 26, 2012) – Don Fehr, National Hockey League Players’ Association Executive Director, released the following statement regarding the NHL’s decision to withdraw its October 16, 2012 proposal and cancel further regular season games:

 “The league officially informed us today that they have withdrawn their latest proposal and have cancelled another slate of regular season games. This is deeply disappointing for all hockey fans and everyone who makes their living from hockey, including the players.  But it comes as no surprise. 

Last week the owners gave us what amounts to a "take-it-or-leave-it" proposal.  We responded with the framework for three proposals on the players’ share, each of which moved significantly, towards their stated desire for a 50-50 split of HRR, with the only condition being that they honour contracts they have already signed. Honouring contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request. Unfortunately, after considering them for only 10 minutes they rejected all of our proposals.  

Since then, we have repeatedly advised the owners that the players are prepared to sit down and negotiate on any day, with no pre-conditions.  The owners refused.  They apparently are only interested in meeting if we first agree to everything in their last offer, except for perhaps a few minor tweaks and discussion of their “make whole” provision.  

The message from the owners seems to be: if you don't give us exactly what we want, there is no point in talking.  They have shown they are very good at delivering deadlines and demands, but we need a willing partner to negotiate.  We hope they return to the table in order to get the players back on the ice soon.”

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

Afternoon Line

With that disappears any hopes of a full 2012-2013 season. I can live with a shortened season (preferably more than merely half the regular season games) given how little it seemed to affect the NBA last year, but this still hurts for the sheer fact that we’ve been sentenced to another month of no NHL hockey. And I mean, a month – that’s a sizable chunk of games. What if they reach a deal next week? (This obviously ensures they won’t, but still.)

It’s starting to feel more and more like a pissing contest between the two sides. We get it fellas – you’re not afraid to lockout/not play. You’re serious. Message received. Now go get serious about reaching a deal.

We’re in this together friends. The new goal is December.

-Justin Bourne of The Score.

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

Goodbye November

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

Time For Mario Lemieux To Step In

from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Revies,

Save the NHL season for us!

Ask me, and it’s actually well past time for the Penguins’ ownership to take an active role in this ridiculous NHL lockout, which likely will see the first slice of the 82-game season wiped away Friday. And by ownership, I don’t mean just Lemieux but also Ron Burkle.

No two individuals are more qualified to make an impact.

In Burkle’s case, though the co-owner keeps a low profile, he swings a huge hammer. He’s a billionaire who built his empire through growing a grocery chain in California. He’s a sharp businessman who used to get directly involved in talks with those unions, almost universally commanding respect at the blue-collar level. And in case anyone’s forgotten, he was the guy who went one-on-one in a room with former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to put the finishing touch on the Consol deal.

Lemieux opened the door, and Burkle locked up the deal.

As Rendell told Trib Total Media last week: “In negotiating, you need somebody who can cut through the mess and focus on what will get a deal. Ron was excellent at that when we worked out the arena for the Penguins.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mario+lemieux

What Are The Players Fighting For?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The insistence that all players must have their contracts honoured in full — and that is their side of the idiocy that is the current NHL lockout — is a foolhardy and costly stance that is not supported by historical evidence.

It raises the question: What exactly are the players fighting for?

While the salaries of NHL players were momentarily cut back after the lockout of 2004-05 — and Donald Fehr references this give back often — the truth is, not all players’ salaries were cut at that time and tracking the salary structure of the years that followed demonstrated that the 24% rollback was basically as irrelevant for the players as was their fight against the salary cap.

A certainty: Anyone and everyone who can play in the league and who has played in the league at any reasonable level has not been affected post-lockout of 2005 regarding the size of their salary.


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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