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Category: NHLPA

Two Options For Fehr

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

First, the NHL Players’ Association boss could work off the NHL’s proposal from Tuesday, understanding that the players could be painting themselves into a dangerous corner if they appear anything less than co-operative and interested in getting the season started, and start grinding away on the fine print and contractual language leading to an agreement by late next week.

Or, second, he could see the NHL offer as a sign of weakness, as an indication Gary Bettman is feeling the heat of both hockey fans and his owners.

And he might tell his membership that if they’re willing to play hardball and extend this labour battle, a big victory could be at hand.

Which way Fehr goes, nobody knows. Even the NHL is unsure. They felt they had a read on former union boss Bob Goodenow, and during Paul Kelly’s brief tenure before he was deposed as executive director, believed he was a person they could work with.

read on

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This Gets The Ball Rolling

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

For the first time since this agonizingly, ridiculous process began, there is a legitimate goalpost in the ground. The players have some serious questions about the offer, especially since it is only seven pages and leaves plenty of unanswered questions, but even the most hardcore NHLPA members admit this is a good starting point.

In fact, the overwhelming response from players was, "Why didn't we get this offer in June?" And it wasn't just them who felt that way. One team executive said: "It's about !#$%^&* time."

Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players' Association, will certainly ask for some more information on Wednesday morning. After Tuesday's players' conference call, membership was uncertain about several issues. Some of the hardliners are skeptical, especially since the NHL set the original bar so low that any offer would look good. Plus, Tuesday's submission means a smaller share of the hockey-related revenue pie and contract concessions. But others are willing to see how Fehr's queries are answered and go from there.

"I think we're going to make a serious counter," one player said. "We want to put something together to get a deal done."

One agent texted last night: "The next three-four days are critical." I agree with that because the NHL offer leaves room for negotiation and counters, which is undeniably part of the strategy.

more

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Did Fehr Wait Too Long?

from Michael Grange of Sportsnet,

When you're stuck without a hammer, the smart thing to do is not get nailed, and so Fehr and the NHLPA have chose to wait, and wait; making a single significant offer in 12 weeks of bargaining.

But with the NHLPA's first pay day gone and the NHL literally begging the players to bring forward any kind of proposal to breathe some life into the dead air that had infected the process since negotiations effectively stalled on Sept. 12, Fehr stayed silent.

‘You come to us’ was the message he was giving, but did he outsmart himself is the question.

Bettman took his bait, striding into the NHLPA offices at the foot of Bay Street in Toronto and pulling a substantial, multi-page document out of his briefcase and laying it on the table.

A term of at least six years; a 50-50 split of hockey related revenues; free agency after eight years of service or age 28 and a maximum length of contracts capped at five years. Arbitration rights stay and entry level contracts shortened to two years. A full 82-game season played starting on Nov. 2. So close you can taste it.

And suddenly, instantly -- if perhaps unjustifiably -- Bettman can paint himself as reasonable. As fair. As motivated to do what's best for the game.

more

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The Other Details Of The NHL Proposal

Make sure to read more tweets from Bob McKenzie in regards to additional details in the new NHL proposal.

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN who breaks down the proposal...

I believe there’s going to be a deal, but how the NHLPA responds to the league’s offer is the biggest single moment in this entire negotiation. 

more

Then we have Elliotte Friedman telling us what was not included in the offer...

 

 

Finally, George Malik of The Malik Report has been fighting a nasty virous and hopefully will be back blogging soon.

In the meantime, George used TwitLonger to discuss rollbacks and those long/lifetime contract.

Instead of linking to George's piece, you can read it below...

Continue Reading »

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Evening Line

The one thing that should absolutely not do (the players) is fight for a month to get 51% rather than 50%. Cave now or take them to the wall. No half measures. Tug the forelock or resolve to blow it up.

-Tom Benjamin at hisNHL blog where you can read more on this topic.

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Players React To NHL Proposal

 

 

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The TSN Hockey Insiders With CBA Talk

Well worth watching, get all the little tidbits from the CBA talks today.

 

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The NHL Makes The First Move

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Maybe it was the growing anger from the fan base.

Maybe it was the belief that the players weren't going to crack, at least not before another season was lost.

Maybe there was enough dissatisfaction within the ownership group as a second season in eight years seemed to be slipping away.

Or maybe it was just time for some common sense to enter a situation that had been entirely lacking in some from the outset.

The motivation is moot and so even the most cynical of observers have to credit the National Hockey League for taking what can only be viewed as a bold and potentially decisive step towards ending the month-old lockout of players and likely saving the 2012-13 season in its entirety.

The surprise offer delivered by the league to the players in Toronto Tuesday would see the players' share of hockey related revenues drop from 57 percent to the 50-50 split most observers have predicted would be the final settling place in a new labor deal.

continued

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We Wait Until Tomorrow

That's not to say some information will be floating around.

Time for the real hockey insiders to earn their pay.

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Keep Your Emotions Under Control

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

In the context of what many think could be a breakthrough in the NHL labour impasse, here is a short history lesson from the 10-day 1991-92 NHL players strike, designed to mute expectations - a little anyway.

The negotiators back then were Bob Goodenow for the players and John Ziegler for the owners. A couple of days in, Ziegler called a press conference and essentially said, ‘we capitulate, you win, here is our offer, it should be everything you want.” He talked about gold-plated dental plans, just bizarre stuff. But optimism swelled because it looked as if the league had surrendered. It was just assumed the strike was over. Hours later, Goodenow came back and rejected the NHL's proposal out of hand. The air leaked out of the balloon fast.

Mood swings like that happen all the time in NHL labour discussions, especially on the days when NHL labour discussions spill into the public eye. So on Tuesday, when the NHL made what appears to be a significant step towards resolving a lockout that has lasted a month and a day, my advice is: Wait.

Wait for now before getting your hopes too high.

continued

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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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