Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/28/12 at 01:02 PM ET
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
Talks begin less than 48 hours after Dennis Wideman signed a five-year, $26.25 million contract with Calgary. That will be an interesting backdrop. In the outstanding book Lords of the Realm, there is a story about the 1993 baseball negotiations, where Fehr questioned the owners’ complaints of financial issues as Cecil Fielder signed a five-year, $36 million contract that featured a $10 million signing bonus.
Other questions as things get started:
• Will anyone be making an opening proposal?
• How much common ground exists?
• What are each side’s non-starters?
• Do Fehr and Bettman stick to their histories as last-minute negotiators, decreasing the importance of these early July discussions?
• Will the owners try to split the union by offering an increased minimum salary and the promise of more jobs through expansion? (It’s actually a decent strategy.)
• Will either side refuse to discuss any of the lesser issues until the major ones (e.g. what percentage of revenues the players get) are settled?
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