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Don’t Waste Time When It Comes To The Next CBA

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

Of all the things new NHLPA head Donald Fehr said in both his introductory conference call and during his on-set interview with HNIC’s Ron MacLean, one thing stood out most for hockey fans: that negotiations on a new CBA probably won’t begin until the spring of 2012. (The CBA expires on Sept. 15 of that year)

I hope he’s either a) wrong, or b) lying. Either is acceptable in this case.

What the NHL needs over the next 21 months is actual leadership from Fehr and his ownership counterpart, commissioner Gary Bettman, because Playing Russian roulette with each other—and a deadline—wasn’t much of a rousing success for everyone in 2004-05.

HNIC Hotstove contributor, ESPN.com columnist and heavy metal karaoke enthusiast Pierre LeBrun quoted one executive as saying, “My owner told me in no uncertain terms that if certain things aren’t fixed, he’s out. He’ll sell the team.”

My response would be: How do you think a work stoppage is going to help your franchise value? Fans aren’t going to care about the rhetoric that’s going to come about how the economics are broken or how the owners are distorting the truth. Both sides will be equally despised.

continued plus 30 thoughts too…

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


Nathan's avatar

Worry worry worry.

What the NHL needs over the next 21 months is actual leadership from Fehr and his ownership counterpart, commissioner Gary Bettman…

I think that is exactly why Fehr has been saying he doesn’t expect negotiations to start in earnest until 2012. He could try to rush into early negotiations, before he’s fully educated as the union leader, before he’s reached out to the membership appropriately, before he sets up a leadership team for the PA, etc. That would be stupid. And not just for the PA, but for both sides, because how could you have productive negotiations when one side has no organization?

I’d rather have 3 - 6 months of detailed negotiations where both sides are prepared and organized, than 18 months of haphazard negotiations because one or both sides don’t have things in order.

The quote LeBrun offered up shows the NHL needs the time as well. They are probably going to have a lot of in-fighting. Negotiations will go nowhere if the NHL is arguing with itself, as we saw with the last lockout on the opposite end of the table…

The best thing for hockey fans is for both sides to take time getting their own needs and wants in order, that way they can come to the bargaining table with clear heads.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 12/21/10 at 11:59 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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