Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/17/12 at 12:51 AM ET
from Michael Grange of Sportsnet,
When you're stuck without a hammer, the smart thing to do is not get nailed, and so Fehr and the NHLPA have chose to wait, and wait; making a single significant offer in 12 weeks of bargaining.
But with the NHLPA's first pay day gone and the NHL literally begging the players to bring forward any kind of proposal to breathe some life into the dead air that had infected the process since negotiations effectively stalled on Sept. 12, Fehr stayed silent.
‘You come to us’ was the message he was giving, but did he outsmart himself is the question.
Bettman took his bait, striding into the NHLPA offices at the foot of Bay Street in Toronto and pulling a substantial, multi-page document out of his briefcase and laying it on the table.
A term of at least six years; a 50-50 split of hockey related revenues; free agency after eight years of service or age 28 and a maximum length of contracts capped at five years. Arbitration rights stay and entry level contracts shortened to two years. A full 82-game season played starting on Nov. 2. So close you can taste it.
And suddenly, instantly -- if perhaps unjustifiably -- Bettman can paint himself as reasonable. As fair. As motivated to do what's best for the game.
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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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