Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/10/12 at 05:10 AM ET
from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,
Bettman gave them the path to follow: a 48-game schedule is the least he can do to give some type of integrity to a shortened season: in other words, the sides can get a season in if they get something done by mid-January. Bettman even acknowledged that this was “very tough bargaining,” which an optimist would take as a realization that some place in the corner of his heart he’s developed a grudging respect for his opponent.
Do not be misled by the two-month-old press releases run out by the so-called doves among the owners who met with that group of players; this is all playing out according to plan. Give the players a strong dose of Jeremy Jacobs, then bring in the kinder, gentler owners. Get the players to waste time that should have been spent decertifying by luring them into a meeting without their union chief. It might have worked, were it not for the idiot who suggested to players representative Ron Hainsey that they might want to come back without Fehr and get the deal done.
Really: who’d want their bad, old lawyers with them when they’re negotiating a contract with a bunch of like-minded good guys – Burkie and Tannie and Vinny and Chipper. Someone did inform the owners that – much to their chagrin, it’s to be sure – Alan Eagleson doesn’t run the union any more, right?
So that’s where we are: ownership still testing the players’ resolve, making behind-the-scenes approaches to orchestrate a rebellion against Fehr while doing things they swore they’d never do and make changes to their last-ever, final, not-to-be-tinkered-with, best offer; players well aware that they can keep the owners chestnuts roasting on an open fire for three more weeks or so before the doomsday clock really starts ticking.
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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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