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Dealing With Fehr

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

We've all got lockout fatigue. Fans, sponsors, players, coaches, executives and media. As one GM said Saturday: "I hope this ends, because we're all tired of it." But this isn't going to be easy.

It would be criminal not to have a season based on where things stand. But, it doesn't mean Donald Fehr is going to deviate from his plan. He's controlled the tempo of these negotiations for some time now, and he's convinced the players that waiting is the best strategy.

They're tired, but they're listening.

That's why it will be very important for Gary Bettman and Bill Daly to control their frustration. Fehr is an infuriating opponent. He stalls, he delays, he takes longer water breaks than a camel at a Saharan oasis. He's already slowed down this process, asking for more clarifications on the NHL's latest offer, meaning actual negotiations will start later than the league wanted.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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Fehr’s doing his job.  He’s doing what the players want.  The players want to ‘win’, even if ‘winning’ means they end up with a billion dollars less.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/30/12 at 09:54 AM ET

starsfan26's avatar

^  Agree.  I think both sides, at this point, just want to “win”, as we all sit back and shake our heads at the huge losses both sides will receive in the end.

Posted by starsfan26 on 12/30/12 at 11:14 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Sigh. The players are also fighting for future players 15 years and more down the road, just as players stretching back to Lindsay fought for them. Not everything is self interest.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/30/12 at 05:20 PM ET

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The players are also fighting for future players 15 years and more down the road

No they aren’t.  There are going to be at least 1 and perhaps 2 more CBA’s between now and then.  What did the CBA negotiated in 2005 by the NHLPA do to protect players in 2020?  Not a bleeping thing.  Just like this CBA isn’t going to do a bleeping thing to protect players in 2027.

The players now are fighting for the players now.  It’s not like having a 5 or a 6 or a 7 year FA eligibility requirement or a 50 or 51 or 52% HRR split in this CBA is going to have any real impact on what happens 15 years down the line.

None of the issues under discussion here are meaningful in any kind of long-term arc.  It’s splitting up money.  That’s it.

All that ‘we’re fighting for guys down the line’ stuff is nonsense packaging to make themselves seem noble.  It’s even worse if they manage to delude themselves into believing it.  These CBA negotiations are always a mess lately because hockey players are hyper-competitive, they hate Bettman’s guts, and they’re idiots.

They hate ‘losing’, they really hate Bettman so losing to him is exponentially more distasteful, and they’re unable to make a rational decision in the face of those first two points.

So they hire a Galaxy Class negotiator in Fehr and they go to war, and they seem perfectly willing to blow up the season and lose 1.6 billion immediately if that means they can ‘win’, make Bettman eat it, and then lose another possible 3-400 million in decreased revenue down the line.

So yeah… idiots.  I understand where they are coming from, it’s just really, really stupid business.  No long-term planning.  No common sense.  No real understanding of the conomics at play here.

It’s just ‘Bettman sucks’ and ‘He doesn’t respect us’, blah blah blah.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/30/12 at 08:59 PM ET

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What did the CBA negotiated in 2005 by the NHLPA do to protect players in 2020?

Yeah, let’s take the CBA in which the players had NOBODY on their side and got DESTROYED by the NHL and use it as a barometer.

NOTHING about that CBA has anything in common with this one.

If the players were fighting for themselves in the present then they would’ve taken the first 50/50 offer because it would me they’d still have most of, if not ALL of a season at 50/50 rather than whatever they’re going to have this year,

So they hire a Galaxy Class negotiator in Fehr and they go to war, and they seem perfectly willing to blow up the season and lose 1.6 billion immediately if that means they can ‘win’

Boy oh boy, isn’t that the very definition of “fighting for the players now”?

My good God, you’re absolutely unbelieveable.

No common sense.  No real understanding of the conomics at play here.

I’d like to think you were looking in a mirror when you typed that.

Posted by Garth on 12/30/12 at 09:12 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

HD simply fails to understands what worker solidarity means. I can’t fathom someone watching a team sport and not getting that concept. Smh.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/30/12 at 10:32 PM ET

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Yeah, let’s take the CBA in which the players had NOBODY on their side and got DESTROYED by the NHL and use it as a barometer.

If you think the PA got destroyed by that CBA I have absolutely no confidence in your ability to accurately assess the impact of any CBA, ever.

That CBA was awesome for the PA.  Bettman fumbled it so badly IMO he should have been fired on the spot for it once the breadth of his incompetence became apparent.

Actually getting a greater share of HRR as the total revenue increased?  Reduced FA qualifications?  The long-term contract loophole?  The salary variance loophole?  Buyout clauses?  Holy bleep.

If the players were fighting for themselves in the present then they would’ve taken the first 50/50 offer because it would me they’d still have most of, if not ALL of a season at 50/50 rather than whatever they’re going to have this year,

We agree, at least in part.  Remember, I think the players a) are hyper-competitive and b) they hate Bettman’s guts.  Those are the two primary drivers here.  So, they really want to ‘beat’ him.  This is like the player at the end of a game that runs a player on the other team he despises,  Sure, he inflicts some kind of physical harm… but now his team is on the PK to end the game.

Same deal here.  The membership of the PA is running Bettman over and over again.  They’ve forgotten entirely about the scoreboard.  They don’t even know how the score is counted anymore.

Boy oh boy, isn’t that the very definition of “fighting for the players now”?

No.  It’s the very definition of cutting your own throats.  They are fighting for the players now, but doing it in a very stupid, emotional and self-destructive way.

I’d like to think you were looking in a mirror when you typed that.

Eyeroll.  I’d like to say I’m still waiting for you to make any kind of insightful commentary about the realities at play here that isn’t soaked to the point of bloat in your asinine biases… but I’m really not.  I let that particular expectation go.

That sort of thing isn’t really your bag.

HD simply fails to understands what worker solidarity means.

I know precisely what it means, I just think that in this case it is spectacularly stupid and shortsighted.  I also understand precisely why lemmings run off cliffs in gigantic packs to fall to their deaths in the roiling waters beneath.  I also understand precisely why a Bakers Union decided not to make an agreement with Hostess, I just think it was spectacularly stupid and shortsighted.

So, there you go.  the PA, Lemmings, and a Bakers Union.  I understand them all and applaud exactly none of them for their actions.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/31/12 at 07:46 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

He’s already slowed down this process, asking for more clarifications on the NHL’s latest offer

This is hilarious. The NHL delivers 300 pages of legalese in which they want the entire framework of the relationship between the league and the players union cemented for the next decade and Fehr is slowing things down because he’s looking for clarity (and likely for loopholes as well).

It took the league two weeks to finalize this document and Fehr is slowing things down because he wants more than one day to review it. Ok.

I also understand precisely why lemmings run off cliffs in gigantic packs to fall to their deaths in the roiling waters beneath.

Because Disney filmmakers force them to do so and people tend to believe what’s being reported?

Surprisingly apt here, I think.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/31/12 at 08:56 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

If you want to open the can on hostess, I’m with you. Let’s talk about leveraged venture capital and wage concessions. Let’s talk about pension raids to fund executive bonuses. Let’s talk about how Bimbo brands have been waiting in the wings to purchase hostess brands and all the factories, which would then continue to employ all those bakers and teamsters under whatever contracts they signed. In the very short term, those workers got burned - but such is capitalism. In the long term, they’ll be fine, regardless of the fox noise narrative.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/31/12 at 11:29 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

But dropping hostess in here, along with the offensive lemming comparison (as if the league owners aren’t following their leadership somehow) shows what’s really girding this anti-player narrative you’re dropping all over the place.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/31/12 at 11:31 AM ET

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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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