Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/30/12 at 12:43 PM ET
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
This is not Bettman’s shining moment. The NHL’s board of governors pays him $8 million a year and by abdicating his responsibility as the chief negotiator, he’s not exactly earning it.
But what this latest tactic does prove is that, love him or hate him, Don Fehr is a genius when it comes to negotiations. The league is so flummoxed by Fehr and his negotiating tactics that it’s willing to cede control over them in order to have him away from the proceedings.
Look for player-friendly owner representatives such as Mario Lemieux and John Davidson to be very prominent in these meetings if they take place. They have an enormous amount of credibility with the players and Lemieux, the NHL likely believes, has an enormous amount of sway over Sidney Crosby. And if a star such as Crosby begins to cave, then perhaps others will follow.
Which is why, from this corner, it makes very little sense for the players to allow this to happen. They hired Fehr precisely to do what he has done so far to the owners and it has been a brilliant tactic. And as far as the players have been concerned, Fehr has been the equivalent of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, constantly being flanked by grim looking superstars at every photo opportunity.
more plus some Forbes franchise value talk...
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