Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,
Q: Does the court of public opinion matter for you and the NHLPA?
Fehr: Obviously the public matters. Those are the fans, the people who ultimately buy the tickets and watch the game on TV and you want to try and explain everything you can. You want to see if the fans can understand your position, that the public perception of the particular dispute is as close to what we think the facts and the circumstances are. If you’re asking me about public opinion in the sense of taking a poll of people who are not familiar with the comprehensive nature of negotiations and all the rest of it, and then negotiating on the basis of what the results of that poll happen to be? The answer is no, any more than you would if I was representing a reader in a lawsuit and I said: ‘I have no idea what your legal position is, let’s take a poll and see what they say.’
Q: How important is it that when this is all said and done, the reputation of individual players hasn’t been damaged?
A: It’s essential that the players be involved and be involved intimately and knowledgeably, that they participate collectively and make the decisions that need to be made. When you get into negotiations which involve dispute, there are going to be times when the conversation is more heated than you might like it and tempers might flare. I would be very surprised if anybody on the other side took off after individual players or tried to make them look bad and if they did I think the only effect that would have would be to enhance that player’s stature in the eyes of other players enormously.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Q: Does the court of public opinion matter?
Bettman: Ultimately it does.
What our fans want, what our fans believe, what our fans are interested in is why we are what we are. But, nevertheless, ultimately we have to do the things that we believe are essential for the long-term health of the game, of the league and of all of our franchises.
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
To Walsh, the truth behind the lockout goes like this:
“It’s clear to most people that the NHL has been planning this lockout for a long time. It’s clear, with the way the NBC deal was negotiated and the $200 million payment whether games are played or not, that the NHL has been laying the groundwork for this lockout for a significant period of time. Based on the best offer on the table before Sept. 15, it’s clear the NHL never made a serious attempt to make a deal before declaring a lockout,” Walsh says. “The powers that be in the NHL feel they will get a much better deal from the players once the players are softened up and locked out over a period of time. And there was no serious interest on the league’s side to make a deal.”
How will it end?
“I have no idea,” he says.
It’s here that Walsh points out that when he tweets or speaks, he’s not doing so in the name of his players or the players’ union. He’s giving his opinion, sharing what he feels is pertinent information. He says that, judging from the responses he gets on Twitter, some fans erroneously consider him a spokesman for the NHLPA.
read more on the once deputy district attorney Allan Walsh...
Quietly, Bettman, Daly and the Fehr brothers meet in Toronto today according to numerous reports.
Nothing esle to report at this time.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Herald,
The NHL has gone from whiteouts to white noise in five months.
Just let us know when you fix it.
Until then, the conversation in cafes, bars, living rooms and offices that used to revolve around which side is more to blame has essentially made like Kristian Huselius and disappeared.
It has been replaced with apathy — the most dangerous fallout from all this.
The masses in hockey-mad Calgary have tuned it out and could care less right now about the game we call our own.
Just imagine how all this is playing out south of the border, where, for the most part, the NHL has been ignored anyway.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Both sides in the NHL’s labor impasse are a little gun shy with new proposals.
You have to think that will soon change, but there have been no new proposals tabled by either the NHL or the NHL Players’ Association since their dueling, rejected offers on Sept. 12.
The NHL has been front and center in saying the process won’t progress until the players bring forward a new proposal.
The NHLPA in return feels like it’s been the only side willing to compromise at all in any of its previous offers.
My sense, in speaking to various sources over the past few days, is that both sides, to a degree, are a little trepid to drop the next new offer for fear that the other side will simply pocket whatever compromise is included in that new offer and then use it as part of a future offer.
There’s history here.
When the NHLPA dropped a bombshell offer in December 2004 to roll back salaries 24 percent, the league indeed pocketed that juicy baby in every single version of its future proposals, and, when the lockout ended in 2005, the 24 percent rollback was part of the new CBA.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
"I'm waiting for the owners who love the game and want to play to say 'Enough is enough,'" Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller told (Josh) Rimer. "If they showed us they have respect for the game and respect for the players the deal would come much sooner than using a lockout to hurt us."
The NHL game has paid Ryan Miller over $27 million in lifetime earnings. It sounds like the game has shown plenty of respect to the son of an East Lansing software consultant, a multi- multi-millionaire who has wed a Hollywood actress.
Then again, maybe we're just out of touch with what "respect" means these days. Or the kind of life a hockey player is supposed to be satisfied with.
Whenever the next NHL season starts – whenever a healthy Crosby starts fresh, whenever the Kings raise their banner, whenever all those players make their debuts in new places – there won't be the same hope and excitement there would have been next weekend. There won't be the same overwrought romance. There will be no virgin ice. It will be stained.
And everyone involved should be ashamed.
-Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo where you can read more on this topic.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
For anyone missing their daily dose of lockout-inspired sarcasm, the Answerman returns for a fresh look at a stale topic, Day 19 of a bun fight that shows no sign of ending in an up-with-people way:
Q: So the NHL cancelled 82 games today. Does that move the needle on negotiations in any way, shape or form?
A: None. It’s a sideshow we’ll see every two weeks, an opportunity for NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly to express his regret at the slow pace of negotiations. Fact is, from here on in, the cancellations mean nothing. If some miraculous solution were presented tomorrow, they’d find a way of tagging the lost games onto the end of the schedule, even if they risked a July finish. Seasons don’t matter here. Only dollars do.
from Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated,
Steven Spielberg has a new movie called Lincoln coming out soon. I hope it is historically accurate and includes Lincoln's famous statement: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and you can bite me, Gary Bettman."
The NHL is locked out again. You may not have noticed this, because NHL players merely play hockey and do not provide an important public service to the United States like call pass-interference penalties. But it's true: Another lockout.
The NHL just canceled two weeks of the regular season, though the games could be made up if the league and its players suddenly decide to agree on everything. I wouldn't hold my hope out for that one, though. This is a negotiation between Bettman and Donald Fehr, those two lovable porcupines, which means you can expect blood.
We're going to be here for a while. It is even possible the whole season will be lost. I find that unlikely, because it would be colossally stupid, but hey, let's not underestimate Bettman. Or overestimate him. Whatever the right term is. The man has a remarkable ability to divide and not conquer. Bettman could get a five-year-old girl to hate her favorite doll. He could even get the doll to hate the girl.
Bettman would argue about the range of issues at stake here. And he might be right. But for most hockey fans, this is about Bettman. And it is hard to argue with them.
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.
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