Kukla's Korner Hockey
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr spoke briefly on Saturday and may touch base again on Sunday as the expiration date on the current collective bargaining agreement draws closer.
The league and the Players' Association held informal discussions on Friday but will not meet on Saturday, one week before the September 15 deadline.
The league has said it plans to lock out the players if a new deal isn't in place by then.
"(We're) trying to find a way to bridge the gap," said NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr on Friday. "That's always the intent."
"We'd like to make a deal," said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Friday. "There is an ebb and flow to negotiations. It's always good to have dialogue."
from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,
The National Hockey League Players’ Association, in a move to prevent a lockout of the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers, filed a challenge Friday at the Alberta Labour Relations Board.
The Flames and Oilers owners are asking for permission to hold a lockout vote.
This is what the NHLPA is trying to stop.
The hearing will be held next week in Edmonton.
“The players are committed to finding a way to reach an agreement without a lockout,” Mathieu Schneider, the NHLPA’s special assistant to executive director Donald Fehr, said Friday, “and we are hopeful that the Alberta Labour Relations Board will assist in these efforts.”
Under Alberta labour law, the NHL cannot hold a lockout vote unless it has first requested a mediator.
from Jesse Spector of The Sporting News,
How about a real new NHL this time?
It is clear that even with the implementation of a salary cap coming out of the last lockout, several teams simply cannot compete financially with the league’s heavyweights. So, why not cut the dead weight?
Contraction? No. Not only would shuttering franchises be a public relations disaster for the NHL, it would be needlessly cruel to the people who work and root for those teams. Besides, the NHL’s longstanding problem is that the poobahs of the sport shy away from big ideas.
So, here’s a big idea—one that would change not only the NHL, but the North American sports landscape: The NHL should start a second league, with promotion and relegation as seen in global soccer.
from Michael Grange of Sportsnet,
The NHL commissioner is entering his 20th season on the job and has suffered all measure of indignities, be it requiring a police escort in Winnipeg when he sounded the death knell for the first go-round of the Jets to having Chris Chelios threaten his family in the lead-up to the 1994-95 lockout to simply being unpopular, as the greeting he receives at most NHL arenas when he pokes his head up would attest.
But Bettman plows ahead. You get the sense he’s oblivious, figuring those doing the baiting have, over time, shown themselves to be overly emotional or provincial or fools. He’s not any of those things, so he figures he’ll win in the end.
But maybe, just maybe, Don Fehr has Bettman on edge, as he faces a new foe with poker face and no need to please.
"Don’s not afraid to tick someone off," says Buck Martinez, the Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster who was the American League vice-president of the MLBPA for eight years during his playing career and part of the negotiating committee for baseball’s labour stoppages in 1981, 1984 and 1985. "He knows how to push buttons and he knows what to fight for."
from Chris Johnston of the CP at the Winnipeg Free Press,
None of the top executives involved in the NHL's collective bargaining negotiations will continue to be paid if the league enacts a lockout next week.
Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players' Association, says he stopped drawing a salary on July 1 and a source told The Canadian Press that commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly plan to follow suit if a new agreement can't be reached by Sept. 15.
It's a practice Fehr adhered to during his time at baseball's union and one his predecessor at the NHLPA, Bob Goodenow, also followed when the 2004-05 season was wiped out by a lockout.
"It's both a measure of solidarity and uniformity of interest," Fehr said in an interview Thursday. "You want the players to understand you're in the same boat they are — you don't have interests different than they do. We think it's important."
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
There is risk of the entire 2012-2013 NHL season being wiped out.
Now that qualifies as fear mongering, but considering how entrenched both the league and the players' association are with less than 10 days until the expiration of the existing collective bargaining agreement, sources on both sides are accepting the loss of another season as a possibility.
Negotiations remain in a stalemate - with no plan to resume formal talks.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Think of the negotiations between the NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) as a typical Meg Ryan rom-com. You know how it’s going to turn out in the end: some version of happily-ever-after, the two people putting aside all the turmoil and angst that had existed between them to forge a relationship that, for better or worse, will (hopefully) last a good long time.
The films start out the same way, too: with vitriol, dislike, rancour, friction – and no real sense that Meg or her romantic lead could ever, under any circumstance, find any common ground.
Sound familiar? The league and the players are in the first few frames of that movie right now, just as the credits have finished rolling. At this juncture, their eyes can’t even meet across the coffee shop without one or the other stomping out of the room in a huff.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"I think it's been different in a lot of respects," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com in an interview Wednesday. "At least with respect to a lot of the issues that need to be discussed and worked out, we ploughed a lot of ground in that area and made some progress. I think we have some tentative agreement to some things, we have teed up issues in other areas -- so from that perspective we had a good summer of negotiation. Each side was also able to express where they are on the economics of the deal, some of the system issues, those still need to be resolved. There hasn't been a lot of movement on those issues. And they are the critical issues to setting off all the dominos. We're focused on those issues exclusively right now."
While they remain far apart on the key economic issues -- the percentage the players will get in the new CBA -- at least both sides used the summer sessions to get ahead in other areas.
"My approach is really very simple: you get up every day, you try to find a way to work through the issues, you organize the group of things you want to talk about so that they have some nexus with one another to the extent that's possible," NHLPA executive director Don Fehr told ESPN.com in a separate interview Wednesday. "If you can have things discussed in smaller groups without everybody being involved in every meeting, sometimes that can be helpful. And you follow through 'em, you have your discussions and sometimes they go well, sometimes not, sometimes they get heated, but so what, you got to do that. You get it done. To the extent that you can get through that kind of stuff, that's helpful."
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
I got this text from a very well-connected hockey source Tuesday night:
"In spending time around the players the last month, I think they are very unified and more misinformed than ever. They don't get it. I know for a fact there are teams that would lose much less money by not playing than if they played. If you are an owner, why would you agree to lose more money when this is your one chance to reset the equation? The players are being walked right down the gangplank and don't see it coming."
Well, here we go again.
The CBA expires at midnight on Sept. 15. The lockout will begin on that day. Training camps will be suspended. Some players and coaches will return home to their summer dwellings, others will probably get some ice time on their own and continue the process of team building.
continued plus Paul Kelly checks in with some CBA discussion...
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.
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