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NHL With Their Side Of The Story

Bettman says like all of you and our fans this has been an emotional rollercoaster.

A great deal of optimism and hope on Tuesday and on Wednesday afternoon that disappeared.  At a loss on what happened but tone of talks was not the same.

Our fans deserve a long-term agreement along with players, owners, etc.  So the owners put $100M on the table to show they wanted to get back to playing.

The union response on Wednesday was mostly silence, the owners were upset with the lack of reaction from the union and said clearly the union did not want to make a deal.

Players said let's cool down and take another shot.

Then owners said we need three or four elements and we will make the pension issue work, but they needed a yes or no from the union.

Today, the NHL was looking for just yes or no and didn't get it.

So they are going to take some time to take a deep breath and re-group.

What the NHL offered this week is now off the table.

added 8:21pm, Took a screenshot of Nick Cotsonika tweets during Bettman's Q and A with the media.  Check it out below and again, read from bottom to top.

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

Comments

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Paul's avatar

Bettman now taking questions and can not understand why D. Fehr is saying we are close when they are not.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/06/12 at 09:04 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Listening to TSN, they immediately called it out as a ploy by Fehr.


Poster on a Pens Message board

BINGO!!!  he already had the voicemail & went out there as a charade

Posted by Evilpens on 12/06/12 at 09:08 PM ET

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If nothing else, this last series of sessions should put to bed the absurd ‘the owners won’t negotiate’ meme people were stroking against their anti-owner bias to keep it sharp.

I hope someday, probably five or six years down the road, we get an honest take about this situation from a player who is going through it now.  I’d be curious to find out what exactly was going on in these player meetings, and why 5 months and probably 10+ offers later not a single one was taken to the players as a whole to be voted on.

I mean, come on.  Take the NHL’s best and final offer, whatever it was, and put it up for a vote.  If it fails it fails, but at least all the players got a say on whether or not they’d lose a whole season.

Not even taking it out of the room makes the NHLPA look a little shady.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/06/12 at 09:08 PM ET

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Players can get their golf clubs out…or the rest of them can all head to Europe/Russia now to steal more jobs over there…unreal that they let this slip through their fingers trying to squeeze a bot more…

That crashing sound the players are hearing is 1.8 billion dollars flushing down the toilet that they’ll NEVER see again

Posted by Adanac on 12/06/12 at 09:11 PM ET

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Not even taking it out of the room makes the NHLPA look a little shady.

fehr has his reputation and agenda at stake… of course he is not going to let that happen.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/06/12 at 09:13 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

How ANYONE can side with the players now is beyond me.

To hell with it, lockout for two years owners, I truly hope you do. Fuch the players, their greed will be the end of many careers tonight.

So be it.

Fehr played chicken, and lost big-time.

Merry Christmas, NHLPA. Here’s hoping next Christmas finds you in the same exact spot.

Blow it up, owners, you now have every right to.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 12/06/12 at 09:19 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

Just listened to that entire 44 minute presser from Bettman. As much as I dislike the guy, he gave it straight in my opinion. I’m done. I might check in once every other day or so compared to hitting F5 everyday for hours on end. I was sad, now i’m sick.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 12/06/12 at 09:24 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

& as I have said from the beginning Fehr is the REAL problem, some peoples Hatred for Bettman over real or imagined blinded them to the fact of what Fehr’s history is/was in MLB.


I repeatedly was called out about it, where are those “Union Guys” now ?

Posted by Evilpens on 12/06/12 at 09:26 PM ET

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EP… there really is no point rubbing it in anyones face… the fact is all of us fans lose tonight, regardless of who’s side we were on during the process.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 12/06/12 at 09:28 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

[toronto radio saying Ron Burkle very emotional after the NHLPA came back yesterday , saying they needed more money and more conditions. This, after the 300 billion on the table for the make whole deal.
As Burkle was the one to garner support for the make whole deal as a show of willingness to make a deal./strong]

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

Evilpens's avatar

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) UMMM no you weren’t called out & called almost everything imaginable by people who had their heads firmly in their rectal cavity about Fehr & even more so about Bettman

Posted by Evilpens on 12/06/12 at 09:39 PM ET

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Probably should have expected this. High water mark for money was the mid-october offer. Everyone knew it then. Remains the same way now. As soon as I saw the leaked memo Fehr gave to the PA it was clear to me he was angling for something other than maximizing compensation. If there was ever any doubt, this embarrassing theatrical farce from him tonight should put that to rest.

Whatever it is that Fehr wants (don’t know what it is, but it isn’t maximizing earnings for the PA membership), I hope the players can look themselves in the mirror tomorrow and say it was worth it.

Posted by larry on 12/06/12 at 09:41 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Amazing, the NHLPA has now made Bettman the good guy.

All the pro-union people here are sure to be quiet now.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 12/06/12 at 09:46 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Meh, who gives a fuch. It’s rugby season, bitches!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 12/06/12 at 09:49 PM ET

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I’m still pro-union.  The NHL only has them selves to blame and they are dealing with the Union they’ve created.  Bettman claims his drop dead date was October 11th.  Really so how much negotiating was done before then.  A couple hours.  The insulting first offer put forth by the NHL.  Give me a break. 

It’s the NHL that’s saying, no we can’t do 8 year deals with players or whatever.  They are the ones signing the contract.  Make the deal for 8 years but do what you do with offer sheets.  Don’t offer it.

I’m very disappointed and had my hopes up the last couple days but the second Fehr started addressing the media you knew things were going bad.

Posted by tbassett on 12/06/12 at 09:53 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Meh, who gives a fuch. It’s rugby season, bitches!

That’s why we give a fuch!  smile

 

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 12/06/12 at 09:55 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Meh, who gives a fuch. It’s rugby season, bitches!

EPL too!

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

Evilpens's avatar


Statement from the “Moderate” Ron Burkle

Posted by Evilpens on 12/06/12 at 10:24 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

[]

Posted by Evilpens on 12/06/12 at 10:28 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Ron Burkle, the intensely private Penguins co-owner, issued this statement through the NHL after labor negotiations with the NHL Players’ Association broke off this evening:

“The idea to put players and owners together in the same room was a refreshing idea. Commissioner (Gary) Bettman should be thanked for proposing it and (Donald and Steve Fehr of the NHLPA 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 sponsor 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 back.

“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. It’s not what they do and they wanted us to know they were committed. We understood and appreciated 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 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.”

Posted by Evilpens on 12/06/12 at 10:28 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Sorry, what exactly makes Burkle a moderate again?

what has he said specifically that makes him a moderate?  That he wants the lockout to end?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/12 at 10:29 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Scottie Upshall ‏@ScottieUpshall
Plain and simple these owners think they can break us apart. GOOD LUCK! We r stronger than we’ve ever been and r behind Fehr 0.

Posted by Evilpens on 12/06/12 at 10:32 PM ET

christpuncher's avatar

I’m shocked that the owners aren’t enjoying the taste of sh*t they have been feeding the PA. It doesn’t feel very good to be built up and then be offended and dismissed. What a deplorable way to negotiate!

Posted by christpuncher from Detroit, MI on 12/06/12 at 10:36 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Sorry, what exactly makes Burkle a moderate again?

what has he said specifically that makes him a moderate?  That he wants the lockout to end?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/12 at 09:29 PM ET

This, after the 300 billion on the table for the make whole deal.
As Burkle was the one to garner support for the make whole deal as a show of willingness to make a deal./strong]

Posted by Evilpens on 12/06/12 at 08:36 PM ET

Well, he’s moderate because he offered $300 billion to the players when they were asking orders of magnitude less.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 12/06/12 at 10:39 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

$300 Billion certainly is a hell of an offer.  come to think of it, I’m absolutely furious that the NHLPA didn’t take that $300 billion offer immediately.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/12 at 10:41 PM ET

christpuncher's avatar

https://twitter.com/jessespector/status/276870253051531264
@jessespector: Ron Hainsey also said that the impression from the league was that having Don Fehr as part of the talks was a dealbreaker.

Divide and conquer tactics

Posted by christpuncher from Detroit, MI on 12/06/12 at 10:42 PM ET

Avatar

Sorry, what exactly makes Burkle a moderate again?

what has he said specifically that makes him a moderate?  That he wants the lockout to end?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/12 at 09:29 PM ET

Considering he didn’t call them livestock, that makes him moderate compared to some ownership groups.

Posted by larry on 12/06/12 at 10:45 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Right.  So the call-girl lothario Burkle who helped hold a city hostage hasn’t gotten himself fined and isn’t Jeremy Jacobs.  That apparently makes him a moderate.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/12 at 10:48 PM ET

JBytes's avatar

EPL too!

And La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A, and Bundesliga.  I sometimes forget if there was supposed to be NHL hockey.

Posted by JBytes on 12/06/12 at 10:48 PM ET

christpuncher's avatar

“this offer on sept. 15 is the best we can do” - gary bettman, who was lying

Posted by christpuncher from Detroit, MI on 12/06/12 at 10:50 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

“this offer on sept. 15 is the best we can do” - gary bettman, who was lying

Posted by christpuncher from Detroit, MI on 12/06/12 at 09:50 PM ET

Just listened to that entire 44 minute presser from Bettman. As much as I dislike the guy, he gave it straight in my opinion. I’m done. I might check in once every other day or so compared to hitting F5 everyday for hours on end. I was sad, now i’m sick.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 12/06/12 at 08:24 PM ET

Don’t worry, he’s shooting straight this time.  THIS time they really gave it their best shot.  Players are locking out the owners right?  Fehrs are locking out the players?  Brains are locking out the Fehrs?

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 12/06/12 at 10:54 PM ET

Avatar

Sorry, what exactly makes Burkle a moderate again?

Conversely, what has he done or said which doesn’t make him a moderate?

Jacobs is a hawk.  I think we could agree on this, yes?  Chipman is a dove.  I think we could agree on this, yes?  Burkle is, if anything, more towards the dove side of things than the hawk side of things, but let’s just throw him into the middle and call him a moderate.  He’s one of the guys making money on hockey, so he has some form of financial incentive to be playing.  He’s got the games biggest and most marketed star, which adds to the financial incentives.  He’s actually been talking to that star trying to massage the process independent of meetings, at least according to reports, so he’s not totally ziplocked into the Mythical Bettman Carryon.

Seems… moderate.

Players are locking out the owners right?

Yes, I’m sure if the NHL was playing under the old deal we’d see a lot more movement and negotiation from the NHLPA than we’ve seen to date.

At some point you guys are going to have to put that particular club back in the bag.  ‘All’ the players want is the old deal, forever.  If the NHL didn’t lock them out they’d never agree to any real concessions.  There would be no reason to.

Now, if the position is ‘hey tough, since the owners signed a CBA that eventually gave the NHLPA 57% of revenues they have to live with that number in all future CBAs until the end of time’, that would be one thing.

An incredibly stupid one thing, but one thing nevertheless.

If, however, the position is that an agreement with an expiration date should actually be allowed to, you know, expire… then these are the kinds of situations which have to be overcome.  Because the NHL has some teams in some incredibly stupid places, and there are people here who think that’s a good idea by the way (not me, obviously, I have some degree of perspective), the NHL is left with a rickety financial structure.

So they need concessions.

So we have strident CBA negotiations because those concessions have to come from the players.

And the players are, apparently, either overwrought idiots or being misrepresented by Fehr.  Or both, maybe.

So the strident CBA negotiations turn into season-destroying cataclysms.

This stuff is all connected and it is all incredibly easy to anticipate.  The only thing that really escaped me in this is just how incredibly stupid the players were.  I had no idea they were, in fact, this dumb.  I figured that at least the agents would get in their ears and tell them they were pissing away hundreds of millions of dollars they’d never see again.  Or that maybe Fehr would counsel them honestly.  Or that a lightbulb would come on in the heads of the guys who danced this song back in 2005 and they’d remember how stupid losing that season was for them.

My bad, apparently.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/06/12 at 11:13 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Chipman is a dove.  I think we could agree on this, yes?

Based on what?  Chipman got handed a franchise and the right to move it to a hockey-starved market where he can set whatever prices he feels.  You think he might owe it to the group that got him there to maybe sell out a bit?

He’s one of the guys making money on hockey

Forbes’ numbers don’t suggest this.  They suggest he’s one of the people who doesn’t make enough for it to be worth it to play.

He’s actually been talking to that star trying to massage the process independent of meetings

So he’s been breaking the league gag-order? and the NHLPA hasn’t been hammering home on that happening for the last few weeks…why?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/12 at 11:18 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Regardless of what the NHL offered tonight, the NHLPA would have had to go back to their membership to ratify the deal. If the deal is on the table for hours and then removed in a huff, it hardly seems like a good faith offer. The owner group has locked these people out for almost 3 months now. They can’t have a day to discuss the offer? Horse shit.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/07/12 at 01:13 AM ET

Avatar

Right.  So the call-girl lothario Burkle who helped hold a city hostage hasn’t gotten himself fined and isn’t Jeremy Jacobs.  That apparently makes him a moderate.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/12 at 09:48 PM ET

Come again? What city was that?

You’re mixing Penguins ownership up with stuff Ilitch has done again. Burkle engaged in no negotiations with the City of Pittsburgh.


But, in any event, I guess a less snarky answer to your question would be that the labor leaders in the strongest labor state in the country named him labor-friendly businessman of the year. And the largest labor union in the world also awarded him with honors.

I’ll take the opinion of knowledgable, experienced, no-nonsense union negotiators over the doubts of some guy on the internet who’s drowning himself in a swamp of cognitive dissonance for reasons that escape me.

Posted by larry on 12/07/12 at 01:56 AM ET

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Forbes’ numbers don’t suggest this.  They suggest he’s one of the people who doesn’t make enough for it to be worth it to play.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/12 at 10:18 PM ET

Oh, and I love how Forbes’ numbers are gospel, but Malik’s are “made up by me”

Posted by larry on 12/07/12 at 01:59 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I did know [Burkle] to be a dick. If he wasn’t getting what he wanted, he would throw attitude.

Wait, sorry. That’s not a well-respected union… that’s a call girl who used to give Burkle hand jobs.

nevermind.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/07/12 at 02:05 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Oh, and I love how Forbes’ numbers are gospel, but Malik’s are “made up by me”

Posted by larry on 12/07/12 at 12:59 AM ET

HAHAHAHHAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA.

Rich.  Fantastically rich.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/07/12 at 02:06 AM ET

Avatar

Based on what? 

Based on him wanting to play hockey, making a bunch of money, not having any awful contracts, and having a brand new market with real momentum that he wants to ramp up even further.

Forbes’ numbers don’t suggest this.  They suggest he’s one of the people who doesn’t make enough for it to be worth it to play.

He made 9 mil in the Forbes numbers.  I don’t know if that’s enough to miss, or not.  Burkle’s got the best seat in the house as far as getting free advertising from the NHL goes.

So he’s been breaking the league gag-order?

What does the league’s gag order entail?  Does it prevent owners from talking to anyone about anything, or just commenting publicly on the state of negotiations and their position?  Is there a different standard with regards to speaking to players off-book?

I don’t know the answer to any of these things.  At least according to ‘reports’, to whatever degree you deem such reporting substantive, Burkle’s been chatting up Sid to try and span the chasm.  Hell, ‘moderate’ might be giving Burkle too little credit.  I just called him one because I figured it would be impossible to disagree with such a description of the guy, given what we suspect.

and the NHLPA hasn’t been hammering home on that happening for the last few weeks…why?

I don’t know, and that’s irrelevant to the issue anyway.  The issue is how it would be fair to characterize specific owners with regards to negotiations.  Some are hard liners, some are soft-liners, and some are betwixt.

That we’ve seen the Leafs, Lightning, Coyotes and Pens all come out and sadly headshake the NHLPA… and none of those teams are repped by hard-liners as far as we are aware… should really start driving home to you anti-owner types what is happening here, right?

Fehr’s driving for the best deal.  Which is technically what he should be doing.  The question is, what does ‘best’ mean?  Does it mean the deal that ends up with the most favorable terms even if in getting that deal and those terms the players will never make as much as they would have under a ‘lesser’ deal with ‘worse’ terms… but an extra year (or two, God help those morons) of revenue behind them?

Again, explain to me why NONE of the NHL’s proposals were put to a full vote, JJ.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 12/07/12 at 08:39 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

What does the league’s gag order entail?  Does it prevent owners from talking to anyone about anything, or just commenting publicly on the state of negotiations and their position?  Is there a different standard with regards to speaking to players off-book?

Everything I’ve read specifically barred league staff and owners from having contact with players. Josh Harding telling Mike Yeo had to be a special case even. So it’s fairly clear to see why Ron Burkle cuddling up with Sid Crosby for the last few weeks would have been a bigger deal than it was made.

Again, explain to me why NONE of the NHL’s proposals were put to a full vote, JJ.

Explain to me how many of the NHLPA’s proposals have been put to a full vote by the league while we’re at it.

That we’ve seen the Leafs, Lightning, Coyotes and Pens all come out and sadly headshake the NHLPA… and none of those teams are repped by hard-liners as far as we are aware… should really start driving home to you anti-owner types what is happening here, right?

It sure does. It indicates that the league has an agreement they’re happy with, but they haven’t reached their drop-dead date, so a little bit of a circus where they try to break the union chief is a zero-loss scenario to them. So far, the NHLPA doesn’t appear to have pulled any of their offers off the table, so the league is very likely comfortable in giving it another week or two to wail up from the cross that Gary Bettman put them on last night to see if they can’t get Fehr fired and pull a better deal than what they think they already have.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/07/12 at 09:07 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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