Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/03/12 at 09:54 AM ET
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
At some point, if weeks turn into months, players will start grumbling. But they'll have nowhere to go with their grumbling, outside of their own player rep. Then that rep, if he were like-minded, would have to convince another 15 player reps that change was required before a serious movement could start. Individuals can take to Twitter, but it won't get them anywhere.
Last time, pressure could be brought to bear against Linden and the negotiating committee by various superstars. Now? The NHLPA structure is basically mutiny-proof.
For those players who never want to repeat the collapse of 2005, that's good news.
But for anyone who believes the end to this lockout lies in the union cracking, there's almost no chance of that happening. Fehr helped set this union up the way its set up, and as the person now in charge, it's made him bulletproof. This negotiation is about Fehr and his brother, Steve - believed by many to be his hand-picked successor as agreed to by the union as a condition of Fehr's hiring - as much as it is about commissioner Gary Bettman.
The owners won't turn on Bettman. And the players can't turn on the Fehr Bros.
So there won't be hockey in October and November. Maybe none at all.
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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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