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Don’t Judge Fehr Yet

from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

It won’t take very long for Don Fehr to be misunderstood.

Hockey fans, you can bet, are already drawing a line between his official ascension on Saturday to the role of NHL Players Association boss and the next shutdown of their favourite sport, likely in the fall of 2012.

After all, this is the guy who organized all those nasty baseball strikes, right?

Well, the reality is Fehr is a more complicated than that. Pigeonholing him would be as large an error as underestimating him.


Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr




I hope he eats Bettman’s freaking lunch.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/18/10 at 09:58 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

The owners already sacrificed one season to break the union. Fehr will find out soon this group isn’t the spineless and divided group that runs MLB.

Posted by cs6687 on 12/18/10 at 10:21 PM ET

Boxcar's avatar

Once again Damien Cox (lackey of the owners), prints an article bemoaning rich hockey players whil letting the owners ( who he does admit are often trying illegal activities, ie collusion etc.) off the hook, especially the mealy mouthed little dweeb who runs the league.

Posted by Boxcar on 12/18/10 at 11:42 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

+1 Boxcar.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/19/10 at 12:08 AM ET

UMFan's avatar

Fehr is a prototype union exec who believes in the “us against them” philosphy, ie union versus management and its war. Guess who gets left out of the equation. Us, the fans. Winning the war against management is all he cares about. The product, in this case the game of hockey, is secondary if that. He did it with MLB strike and steriods. Do I think that there will be a work stoppage. I hope not but I got a bad feeling that the odds of one happening just went up.

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 12/19/10 at 01:02 AM ET


I imagine the owners’ #1 order of business is to fix some loopholes, but, by and large, they’re probably happy with what they have. They’ll lie about going after guaranteed contracts, but they’ll never get it.

The players’ #1 priority will be to get something done about escrow and make sure the cap doesn’t go down (no other gains are really within reach). 2nd (I’m guessing here) would be the Olympics and 3rd (and here) will be guys with too-high contracts getting sent to the AHL.

There’s not really anything insurmountable that should cause a stoppage that I can see.

Posted by StevieSteve on 12/19/10 at 01:55 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

I like the idea of the former Baseball union coming over. Bob Feller was instrumental in helping Ted Lindsay form the first NHLPA. There’s something poetic about this move.

But then again, I’m a union guy and strongly support the players having a strong union.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/19/10 at 02:01 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

This CBA should be much easier to hammer out when the owners and players get together and jointly decide that playing nice with one another leaves their sport in the perfect position to be bargaining for that huge national television contract they’ve all been saying would solve all of their problems since the return after the lockout.  I personally wouldn’t be surprised to see it done a year early to give the league more negotiating time with the big networks. (I know it seems like a pipe dream, but depending on the dollar amounts we’re talking, that could motivate a hell of a change.  If the NHL had the NBA’s television deal, I don’t think we’re even talking about the idea of a work stoppage in 2012)

I think StevieSteve summed it up just about perfectly above.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/19/10 at 02:11 AM ET


He’s in for a big surprise.  Some quisling Canadians will undermine him like they did the last time.  Never happened in Baseball, anyone who did that would have been ostracized by the rank and file.  The NHLPA never sticks together. Chelios etc. would never have gone behind anyones back. Unfortunately many of his colleagues felt differently.

Posted by 13 user names on 12/19/10 at 02:19 AM ET



Right back at you, JJ. That television deal is a huge shared-interest issue that could see both parties seeing bigger financial gains than any realistic CBA change they could hope to achieve, which is probably why Fehr was talking about it last week. Any stoppage scuttles that.

Posted by StevieSteve on 12/19/10 at 02:27 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

The owners already sacrificed one season to break the union. Fehr will find out soon this group isn’t the spineless and divided group that runs MLB.

Posted by cs6687 on 12/18/10 at 07:21 PM ET

Not really—there have been plenty of public rumblings about in-fighting within the owners and executives of the NHL’s clubs.

One thing I can say… at least this time Cox did a little research on baseball history before penning an article that touched on it. Collusion against the players is why the owners got bent over by the players. They got what they had coming.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 12/19/10 at 02:47 PM 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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