Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 12/07/12 at 12:25 AM ET
I know that this evening's events have polarized fans somewhat, but Ron Hainsey offers an answer to Mr. Deep Inside's concern about Donald Fehr being the problem for the players. It sounds like Fearing Fehr is instead a divisive issue among the NHL's non-negotiators instead. Fehr's mere presence apparently injected a, "Screw it, we'll take our toys and go home" mentality into the owners engaged in those lovely little small-group discussions, as NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN's Ryan Rishaug:
Update: Here's Hainsey's side of the story, via the Sporting News's Jesse Spector:
Things were going swimmingly on Wednesday night. A few details needed to be hammered out, but the players felt confident with where talks were headed—confident enough that they suggested federal mediators return to help ‘polish this off,”as Hainsey said.
The owners declined.
"As confident as some of players are on their issues, we cannot close deals. I'd love to think I could,” Hainsey said, “We cannot."
Steve Fehr was there, but the job of closing the deal belongs to Donald Fehr. He is the executive director of the NHLPA, after all.
"Once we made clear that ... we had to get our union leadership, that we've hired for this, in the room, there was just a very big change," Hainsey said on Thursday, after talks broke down. "It was alarming, and I was told that if we were going to do that, it was possibly a dealbreaker. That was made clear last night. It was confusing, because we kind of agreed that we were moving toward each other, and we weren't that far apart. So, it's confusing for the players to think that we were supposed to finish this ourselves."
Hainsey was then asked to confirm, point blank, what he had just said: The owners told you that bringing Don Fehr into the room would be a dealbreaker for the progress you had achieved?
"That's correct," Hainsey said.
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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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