Kukla's Korner Hockey
Players have long memories. One, [NHL owners] want to roll back our contracts, which I don’t care what business you’re in, is going to kick a fire under a lot of people. And the second part of it, which maybe goes overlooked a little bit because of the financial aspect, is that every contract ends with a handshake -- every single contract. Where I come from you honor your handshakes. If you don’t honor your word you have nothing.
If I make a bad deal or sign a bad contract that’s my fault. I accept that and I’m a man and I work through that. That’s something I deal with. I don’t go crying foul or looking for somebody to fix my mistakes. I accept that as a man, that I made a bad decision. Hockey players are pretty honest people and they don’t like it when it’s coming back the other way.
I was raised when you give a man your word and you shake a hand it’s as good as gold. That’s something that I think really upsets the players, that we’re not being treated that way."
-Brooks Laich of the Washington Capitals on the players sitting out the whole year. More from Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington.
from Stu Hackel of the Red Light,
Even putting the economics aside for a moment, there are significant points of differentiation and they can’t be ignored. First, the players are willing to report to training camp, play the schedule and continue to negotiate. They make the case that the lockout would be a choice made by ownership, not something they must do. Bettman’s position is that the owners won’t operate even one extra day under the terms of the old agreement. He continually insists — and says he has insisted to Fehr for months — that the union will be locked out if no new deal is reached by 11:59 PM Saturday.
The owners may believe that their stance is necessary because they suspect that if they start the season and negotiations drag, the players will strike. It seems more as if they are trying to train a dog to heel. The fact is that the threat of a lockout has been hovering over this league for at least a year, long before anyone slid a proposal across a table to the other side. It’s not a new development and that doesn’t create the kind of atmosphere that’s conducive to forging a deal, at least not one that purports to be fair to both sides.
And that leads to the second point of differentiation: How fair is what the owners have proposed to the players? Fehr emphasized that point in his remarks to the media.
from Ken Dryden at the Globe and Mail,
We have become better and better at difference. We hire more experts to push our own case. It’s their job to win, their only job. Nothing else matters. It’s black and white, winning and losing, winners and losers. Grey is boring. Conviction is good. Compromise is weak. Compromisers are spineless. The media decide what’s worthy of attention. The media love difference. There’s drama in difference, drama in conflict. There is no bigger interest. There are only interests.
So we fight for as much as we can get.
What are the losers – the fans – to do? They could try to stand up together, develop a strategy, stay home from games. As unlikely as that is, big surprises happen, and the strong are never as strong as they seem.
Or the players and owners might say, this is going nowhere good. The way we live isn’t about total victory, about being the only one left standing, the only one who wins. An economy, a society, politics, sports don’t work if only a few win. With no overwhelming issues, NHL owners and players have agreed to disagree.
They need to learn how to agree to agree.
from the CP at the Globe and Mail,
The head of the National Hockey League Players’ Association says a lockout can be avoided.
But Donald Fehr says that’s up to the league.
“The players want to find a way to make an agreement. They want to negotiate until we do,” Fehr told a news conference Thursday.
Commissioner Gary Bettman was slated to hold a news conference later in the day.
Sorry, no embed code but click here to watch the live stream.
The conference should start very soon.
update 1:53pm, Conference is over.
update 1:56pm, Watch a reply of the press conference below...
added 2:03pm, Sidney Crosby will address the media soon, watch using the click here link above.
added 2:35pm, Embedded video of Crosby addressing the media, 2nd video below...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Donald Fehr is about to earn his keep.
And the hockey world is about to find out how all the hype, the legend that has grown up around the longtime baseball union leader translates to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s world.
From the outside, that would appear to come down to the simple question of whether Fehr can keep his constituents on point once the second lockout in eight years begins at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
But that’s only part of it.
With the two sides edging fractionally toward a deal with a pair of counterproposals Wednesday, the days leading up to what would be the start of the 2012-13 season in early October will test Fehr’s skills, not just as a hard negotiator but as one who is savvy enough to understand the landscape and see two, three, eight months down the road.
from Stephen Brunt of Sportsnet,
You don't matter, because they know you're not going anywhere. You don't matter, because the last time around, even after missing a full season and finding other ways to use those empty hours, you flocked back in droves.
You have no dog in this fight. There's no relationship between ticket prices and players salaries, nor has there ever been. The owners will continue to charge whatever the market will bear, and not a penny less. Some of you can afford that, some of you can't, and it has always been thus.
You'll get your hockey back soon enough, and you'll be ridiculously grateful to have it in November or December or January or whenever the puck is dropped.
That's something on which both sides quietly agree. And history suggests there's no reason to believe they're wrong.
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
While nobody can really understand why guys making Brinks trucks full of money to play a game would dig their heels in on a few percentage points, people are starting to understand why the players have become so frustrated with their league.
“Definitely,” said Oilers winger Ryan Jones. “The majority of people are looking at this and saying one side is being a little more realistic than the other.”
The owners, after all, got everything they wanted in the last lockout — including a salary cap tied directly to league revenue, a massive 24% rollback on existing contracts and a cap on entry level deals.
And in the seven years since, NHL revenue has grown by 33%, from $2.2 billion to $3.3 billion.
And now they’re asking for another salary roll back?
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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