Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/09/12 at 07:09 PM ET
NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Donald Fehr met with the Star editorial board on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing collective bargaining between players and owners to end the NHL lockout. Here’s a partial transcript of the discussion.
Q: If I were a ten-year-old boy or girl who was a hockey fanatic and you wanted to tell me why this was important and why you have to hold tough, what would you say?
Fehr: I would say to a very young fan essentially this: What your mom and dad want you to be when you grow up is not only the very best you can be but hopefully the very best in your profession in the world. And in order to do that you have to work hard and practice hard, you have to make sure you do everything you need to do to achieve and maintain that requisite level of skill – and then you ought to be rewarded for it. And the players would be perfectly happy to eliminate the so-called salary cap and just let everyone offer a job or not on whatever terms they want. The players think they would do fine. But the owners don’t want to do that, so the question is how do we come up with a way that equitably assigns the relative portions of industry income? And that’s an important thing.
Q: This one is from one of our readers. Why does the NHLPA think that players collectively are entitled to more than the owners collectively?
Fehr: First of all, it’s not true. We estimate that when you look at all revenue, and you look at the current agreement, players are getting between 50 and 51 per cent. Second, there are a whole lot of things the owners don’t share in, like franchise sales and that kind of stuff – or a lot of the related business that the owners get into because they own a hockey team. Third, this is not a question of an entitlement in the sense that there’s some law, some act of Congress or religious edict that says this is what you should get. It’s a question of what you can negotiate, and just as importantly, what is the value to the league that the players bring. That’s the question....
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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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