Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/25/12 at 10:22 PM ET
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Don Fehr has spent much of the past year delivering his warning to the NHL’s 700 players: Prepare yourselves, a storm is brewing….
Fehr says bargaining with the NHL should begin over the next few weeks and while he is cryptic about what he is telling players about the coming labour battle — “I’m acquainting the players with what I think the issues are likely to be,” is how he puts it — others are more plain-spoken about what’s being said.
“His message to players is that NHL owners are going to come at us with Ginsu knives on the end of samurai swords,” says Mike Liut, the former NHL goalie who is now a player agent. “The owners are going to come hard and if the players don’t put their hands up, they will end up decapitated.”...
Fehr says Bettman enters negotiations on a confident footing. In most labour impasses, workers risk wages and job security, while management risks revenue and market share, Fehr says.
“If (General Motors) shuts down, people buy Fords,” he says. “They don’t all come back.”
But Fehr says Bettman was quoted at a recent sports business conference saying that the NHL’s revenue was the same the season after the 2004-05 lockout as it was the season before.
“The problem is the (NHL) owners believe they have a complete monopoly, so they don’t believe they lose market share at all (and) it doesn’t matter how long they shut down the business,” Fehr says.
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