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The Players Need A Reason To Play

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

Before a charity game Monday night, Daniel Alfredsson warned: "I just feel that where we are at this stage [is] that there's still just a feeling-out process. There hasn't really been anything going on and until we get something substantial to work on I'm not too optimistic. I'm hoping this is going to happen now, but I'm not putting any hopes into it."

Alfredsson isn't the only player with this attitude. A lot of that stems from the most recent face-to-face, where the league rejected three NHLPA proposals in minutes. It wasn't the first time.

"We're prepared for serious negotiations," one said, "if the league is serious about negotiating."

The NHL shares some of that skepticism. It feels Donald Fehr has been a significant impediment to the process and gets too free a ride despite that. The league has also accused the players' association head of being tone-deaf to the players' true wishes to make a deal.

It is a serious accusation to make. And, after speaking to those actually willing to listen to me, here's what I believe: The players want to play. But the NHL hasn't given the majority of NHLPA membership anywhere near enough reason - yet - to tell Fehr to end this.

more plus 30 Thoughts...

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

Comments

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The NHL shares some of that skepticism. It feels Donald Fehr has been a significant impediment to the process and gets too free a ride despite that. The league has also accused the players’ association head of being tone-deaf to the players’ true wishes to make a deal.

Translated: The NHL is frustrated to be dealing with a union headed by a guy who knows what he’s doing and has the backing of the players he’s leading. They haven’t faced this kind of a negotiator before and none of their sneaky tricks are working because Fehr is actually very good at pointing out to them the honest good-and-bad pieces of the garbage they’ve been offered.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/06/12 at 04:40 PM ET

detroitredwings's avatar

Canadian could be a tricky language:) Thanks, J.J.

Posted by detroitredwings on 11/06/12 at 05:34 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

JJ isn’t so much a translator as a hullucinator smile

Is that a word??

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/06/12 at 06:48 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Is that a word??

Anything’s a word if the message comes across. In this case it does.

Yes, I sometimes see Brett Hull in places where he isn’t.

Dipshit.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/06/12 at 06:50 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Yes, I sometimes see Brett Hull in places where he isn’t.

Dipshit.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/06/12 at 05:50 PM ET

Only Brett?  No Bobby?

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 11/06/12 at 07:52 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I pretty much only see Bobby in bars.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/06/12 at 07:54 PM ET

Avatar

The NHL is frustrated to be dealing with a union headed by a guy who knows what he’s doing and has the backing of the players he’s leading.

I mean, you remember the NHLPA held out for an entire year before,right?  It wasn’t that long ago.  Why in the world would you JJ that comment into there being some kind of surprise or frustration that the NHLPA would, you know, hold off on signing a new deal?

Yes, obviously Fehr is a tougher negotiator than what the NHL has had before, but ‘no’ is the easiest word in the world to use during a negotiation.  When you’re in a situation where it is incredibly likely you’re going to have to take less than you had before in some definition of the term. ‘no’ gets even easier to say.

IMO the NHL’s been quite a bit softer than they probably even needed to be.  Maybe part of that is to protect against lawsuits and whatnot, but they’ve slid up from 43 to 46 to 48 to 50 to 50+.  I don’t think there is much more room for the league to move and still meet it’s financial goals for this, so they may have acomodated their way into a spot where they’re stuck.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/07/12 at 03:44 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Before you castigate Fehr for “No,” please remember this is a lockout and not a strike.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/07/12 at 09:03 AM ET

Avatar

Before you castigate Fehr for “No,” please remember this is a lockout and not a strike.

And it’s a lockout because the NHLPA said ‘no’ to what the NHL offered while the NHL said ‘no’ to just re-instituting the old CBA.

Both sides said ‘no’.  That’s how we got where we are.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/07/12 at 09:17 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Only one side barred the door. The players were willing to come to the table and negotiate, or even play under the old (and record revenue creating) CBA.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/07/12 at 11:30 AM ET

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There was always the threat of a players strike if they played under the old CBA, but that was just a threat and they had promised not to (why would they the current CBA works for them). The lockout, however, is a reality and imposed 100% by the owners.

If the NHL agreed to continue under the CBA and the players went on strike, this would be 100% on the players instead. The owners may feel that the lockout gives them the leverge to get the best deal possible, the players felt they would get a better deal while drawing a paycheck playing hockey and the fans are screwed out of hockey by the lockout.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 11/07/12 at 11:47 AM ET

Avatar

Only one side barred the door.

The NHLPA was willing to play under one set of terms, but not another.
The NHL was willing to play under one set of terms, but not another.

If the NHL had simply instituted their preferred plan, the NHLPA obviously would have refused to play under it.  Does that mean the NHLPA would be at fault for refusing to play and ‘striking’?

Of course not.

That’s why ‘blaming’ the NHL for a ‘lockout’ doesn’t make much sense, really.  They made at least three good faith offers under which hockey would resume.  Four if you include the initial one.  Under all of those offers there would have been NHL hockey without the loss of any games at all, for the most part.

That you agree with the NHLPA for refusing to sign them doesn’t change the reality of the process of negotiation.

Again, the old CBA expired.  There was no mechanism for continuing it.  To blame the NHL for not continuing to function under an expired agreement makes as much sense as ‘blaming’ a player for not showing up unasked to play under his old contract once it expires.  No contract, no performance.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/07/12 at 12:33 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Again, the old CBA expired.  There was no mechanism for continuing it.

So there wasn’t a rule in the old CBA allowing one season to be played while they (the NHL and the PA) worked out a new CBA?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 11/07/12 at 01:30 PM ET

Avatar

So there wasn’t a rule in the old CBA allowing one season to be played while they (the NHL and the PA) worked out a new CBA?

I don’t think it was a rule it was an offer by the NHLPA. Exactly like there is no rule that states you MUST have a CBA to continue to play.

 

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 11/07/12 at 01:45 PM ET

Avatar

Strike

A strike is a concerted action or combined effort by a labor union designed to exert pressure on an employer to accede to certain demands. Today, the right to strike by employees is usually governed by the National Labor Relations Act, enacted during the New Deal and often called the “Magna Carta of Labor.”

If the contract with the league (known as a “collective bargaining agreement”) expires or an impasse (a point where negotiations break down after a period of intense, good faith talks) occurs, then the players can strike. A strike may be the failure to report to training camp or play games.

The strike is the primary weapon to force the owners to either adhere to the players demands, compromise or get back to the negotiating table. In some cases, the collective bargaining agreement may have a a no-strike clause (as in the case with the NHL CBA) eliminating this option.

It is important to note that in a strike for economic reasons (which constitute the overwhelming majority of strikes) the strikers may be replaced. Also, the longer the strike lasts, the weaker the union. A very powerful union can walk off the job and the employers may capitulate.

Lockout

A lockout, on the other hand, is the employer counterpart of a strike. In a lockout, the employer prevents the players from working in an effort to gain a better bargaining position in labor negotiations. A lockout may occur upon the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. The lockout gives the employer the tactical advantage because the timing is made by the league (in the case of sports), rather than the players’ union.

Unemployment benefits may accrue to employees who are locked out as opposed to employees on strike.


THIS IS A LOCKOUT. See in neither definition does it say the expiration of the CBA precludes the players from reporting to work or the owners from allowing the players to work. They can strike or may lockout, but not mandatory as some would imply.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 11/07/12 at 01:56 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

That’s scab talk. I’ve worked on extended contracts when the old CBA expired. The management and labor agreed that until we could work out a new deal, the old would be in effect for X number of months. It’s pretty standard for that to happen and all it takes is a conversation about as complicated as what I just typed, and then a vote of the stakeholders.

Further, if the owners locked out workers during an active contract, they would be in breach of that contract. The only time the owners can legally lock out players is if they fail to extend or negotiate a CBA.


I also question the conclusions of whoever wrote that reply originally.
http://footballpros.com/showthread.php/585-Lockout-vs-Strike

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/07/12 at 03:11 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

To blame the NHL for not continuing to function under an expired agreement makes as much sense as ‘blaming’ a player for not showing up unasked to play under his old contract once it expires.

That’s not true. I think you’re forgetting something.

CBA > SPC

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/07/12 at 03:43 PM 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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