Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/24/12 at 11:12 AM ET
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
I honestly do not believe Fehr had any intention of trying to hammer out a deal this week in the face of Bettman’s Oct. 25 deadline. I think Fehr believes you can still have an 82-game season starting after Nov. 2, and I think his game plan this week, perhaps even next, is to make the NHL sweat it out a bit more.
On the one hand, you can see how that could be a stroke of genius given how desperately most owners want to have an 82-game season -- aka 41 home dates in their coffers -- and have a deal in place ASAP.
On the other hand, it could also lead to a nuclear war. Moderate owners who were pushing Bettman to get a deal done, pushing him to deliver that offer last week, might get so incensed with Fehr that the gloves come off and the hard-line owners will now get back in control of this ship. ...
I will say what I've said for more than a week: I do believe the league is willing to concede in some areas of the player contract demands it made.
There are two ways to get out of this ridiculous logjam: either the league clarifies officially to the players that it does indeed have some flexibility when it comes to the rest of the framework of the deal, which I quoted Daly in my blog Tuesday saying as much; or the NHLPA drums up a new offer.
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