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NHL Owners With A Statement

NEW YORK (December 6, 2012) -- Statements relative to their participation in the collective bargaining agreement negotiations this week were released tonight by Ron Burkle of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mark Chipman of the Winnipeg Jets, Larry Tanenbaum of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Jeff Vinik of the Tampa Bay Lightning, governors of their respective teams:

Ron Burkle, Co-Owner, Pittsburgh Penguins

The idea to put players and owners together in the same room was a refreshing idea. Commissioner Bettman should be thanked for proposing it and the Fehrs should be thanked for agreeing to it.

The players came with a strong desire to get back to playing hockey. They were professional and did a good job of expressing their concerns and listening to ours. We Wanted to move quickly and decisively. We have all spent too much time Without any real progress at the expense of our fans, our sponsors and the communities we serve. It was time to make bold moves and get a deal. Many people think We got over our skis and they are probably right, but We wanted to do everything we could to get back to hockey now. We didn't hold

We made substantial movement on our end quickly, but unfortunately that was not met with the same level of movement from the other side. The players asked us to be patient and keep working with them. |t's not what they do and they Wanted us to know they were committed.

We understood and appreciate their situation. We came back with an aggressive commitment to pensions which we felt was well received. We needed a response on key items that were important to us, but We were optimistic that we were down to very few issues. I believe a deal was within reach.

We were therefore surprised when the Fehrs made a unilateral and "non-negotiable" decision - which is their right, to end the player/owner process that has moved us farther in two days than we have moved at any time in the past months.

I want to thank the players involved for their hard Work as We tried to reach a deal.

I hope that going backwards does not prevent a deal.

Mark Chipman, Chairman and Governor, Winnipeg Jets:

"I'd like to thank the NHL for giving me the opportunity to participate in this very important process.

I came here optimistic that we could find a solution. That sense of optimism grew after our first few sessions, including the small group discussions late last night.

Regrettably, we have been unable to close the divide on some critical issues that we feel are essential to the immediate and long-term health of our game.

While I sense there are some members of the players association that understand our perspective on these issues, clearly there are many that dont.

I am deeply disappointed that we were unable to bring this extremely unfortunate situation to a successful conclusion and I wish to apologize to our fans and sponsors for letting them down."

Larry Tanenbaum, Chairman of the Board, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

"I was pleased to be asked to join the Player/Owner negotiation sessions. I had hoped that my perspective both as a businessman and as one of the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs would be helpful to the process. Like all other teams, this work stoppage has hurt our fans, our employees and our business. Neither the owners nor the players will ever recover the losses incurred with this work stoppage.

I understand how important it is to have a strong league and 30 healthy teams. I must admit that I was shocked at how things have played out over the last 48 hours. The sessions on Tuesday felt cooperative with an air of goodwill. I was optimistic and conveyed my optimism to the Board of Governors at our Wednesday meeting. However, when we reconvened with the players on Wednesday afternoon, it was like someone had thrown a switch. The atmosphere had completely changed. Nevertheless, the owners tried to push forward and made a number of concessions and proposals, which were not well-received. I question whether the union is interested in making an agreement.

I am very disappointed and disillusioned. Had I not experienced this process myself, I might not have believed it. Like all hockey fans, I am hopeful this situation can be resolved as soon as possible. I miss our game."

Jeff Vinik, Chairman and Governor, Tampa Bay Lightning

"After working this week with our players toward what we hoped would be a new agreement, owners presented a proposal we believed would benefit those great players, ownership, and, ultimately, our fans for many years to come. While trust was built and progress was made along the way, unfortunately, our proposal was rejected by the Union's leadership. My love for the game is only superseded by my commitment to our fans and I hold out hope we can soon join with our players and return the game back to its rightful place on the ice."

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

Comments

Red Winger's avatar

We were therefore surprised when the Fehrs made a unilateral and “non-negotiable” decision

The NHLPA has been played like a fiddle. They heard the name “Fehr”, became nearly-orgasmic, and hired him on the spot. Proud as peacocks, they were.

“Look at us! Look who’s on our side, the Baseball Guy!!”

All the time, the Brothers Fehr must have been laughing to themselves heartily: “NHL players, a solid bunch of down-to-earth guys…but STUPID! Wow!!”

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 12/06/12 at 08:52 PM ET

SYF's avatar

“Commitment to our fans…”

What-the-fuch-ever.  Just get the damn game back on the ice, fool.s

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 12/06/12 at 08:53 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Well I guess I know why the owners think their negotiating stance is God-ordained and infallible.. he obviously thinks the owners ARE God, considering the way he capitalizes the W in “We” every time.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 12/06/12 at 09:04 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Well I guess I know why the owners think their negotiating stance is God-ordained and infallible.. he obviously thinks the owners ARE God, considering the way he capitalizes the W in “We” every time.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 12/06/12 at 09:04 PM ET

*Burkle, that is.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 12/06/12 at 09:04 PM ET

Avatar

I wonder if the anti-owner people who have been savaging Bettman as a fool and the crux of All Things Evil can read those statements, made by a moderate (Burkle) a dove (Chipman), a brand new owner (Vinik) and, oh yeah, the most profitable team in the freaking league by a mile (Tanenbaum) and still think that a) Bettman is the problem here or b) that this is anything more than a 50-50 split of responsibility for being in this mess, sliding towards being mostly the players fault every day.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/06/12 at 09:21 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Fantastic job setting Fehr on an island. Masterful PR.  Just look at how many fans are swallowing it whole.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/12 at 09:25 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Fantastic job setting Fehr on an island. Masterful PR.  Just look at how many fans are swallowing it whole.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/12 at 09:25 PM ET

Yep. The players are the “bad guys” now, Fehrs are idiots and the reasonable owners (who locked them out in the first place) are the ONLY voice of reason now.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 12/06/12 at 09:36 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Well it must be the Christmas making me feel like George Bailey knowing that the owners in Carolina, Dallas, Columbus, Nashville , and all of the other usual suspects will have a happy Holiday knowing that they will save millions of dollars keeping their doors shut for the whole season. Now if only the league can stay shutdown for another 2 or 3 years, perhaps all of the money “losing” teams will become profitable again. Before I forget, a happy Hanukkah to you Gary. It must be nice taking home $7,500,000 this year being the commissioner of a league that won’t play any games. Teams that make money not playing games, and a commish that gets paid $$$$$ for not doing anything. It really is a wonderful life. Now excuse me ... I gotta find a river to jump into.

Posted by Down River Dan on 12/06/12 at 10:04 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Well it must be the Christmas making me feel like George Bailey knowing that the owners in Carolina, Dallas, Columbus, Nashville , and all of the other usual suspects will have a happy Holiday knowing that they will save millions of dollars keeping their doors shut for the whole season. Now if only the league can stay shutdown for another 2 or 3 years, perhaps all of the money “losing” teams will become profitable again. Before I forget, a happy Hanukkah to you Gary. It must be nice taking home $7,500,000 this year being the commissioner of a league that won’t play any games. Teams that make money not playing games, and a commish that gets paid $$$$$ for not doing anything. It really is a wonderful life. Now excuse me ... I gotta find a river to jump into.

Posted by Down River Dan on 12/06/12 at 10:04 PM ET

HA HA HA HA! MY MOUTH’S BLEEDING, BETTMAN! MY MOUTH’S BLEEDING! SIDNEY’S PETALS ..... SIDNEY!!

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 12/06/12 at 10:25 PM ET

Avatar

The NHL owners who did not say a word for 90 days under penalty of $1 million dollar fines all come out and follow the exact same script that Fehr is the boogey man. If you believe this nonsense and spin, your intellect is suspect. I mean it is a great PR job for the fans who believe the capital rotal We b.s. In reality it reenforces what the NHLPA has stated all along and it is even more apparent. The NHL wants to drive a wedge between the NHLPA and Fehr because they don’t want to negotiate with anyone whose highest education isn’t home schooling.

Seems like the owners are in desperation mode when they make it personal. I thought all along that was the players problem, they were too close to it, it affected them too personally and now it appears having Fehr in the room, hell even Ryan Miller is enough to set off the titans of industries sensitivities. What a great laugh this has been.

The owners have retained Bettman as their lcokout king for nearly 20 years and hiring Don Fehr is the cause of the lockout? Sell it to someone who is buying it.

And after all of that, I think a deal is closer than ever.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 12/07/12 at 09:29 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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