Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/03/12 at 04:01 PM ET
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
With the NHL lockout in its third week, THN spoke to NHLPA executive director Don Fehr for a wide-ranging interview on the negotiating process and the road ahead. Here is a transcript of that interview.
The Hockey News: I realize all your negotiations with Major League Baseball in previous years have been different animals, but what stands out for you about this current negotiation, both positively and negatively?
Don Fehr: The positive is really easy – it’s the players. They are involved, they are committed, they participate, they understand, and in the end, they’re making the decisions. That’s why we have conference calls with the full negotiating committee and the full board. That’s why we have meetings in which we invite about 50 people – the negotiating committee and the executive board – and more than 285 players show up. So that has been the single-best thing about this for me, because this is their organization, their contracts and their futures. That’s why you’re in it, because you want to help them.
The negative I guess, can basically be that this negotiation is seemingly just following the pattern of all the (salary) capped sports. The entire position seems to be that this is concessionary bargaining, and as a matter of natural law or the way the universe is ordered somehow, the players should be willing to take severe reductions in their compensation and not have a free market for their salaries and not be able to go look for a job as you, or I or anyone else in the Western World can, and it has to be that way. And the only point in the negotiation is how far/how fast are players going to make concessions.
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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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