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Today’s CBA Meeting

According to numerous reports, the use of a mediator is about to end.

The meeting is over and it looks like two more days of wheel-spinning just completed.

As soon as something official comes out, I will post it here.

added 4:56pm,

 

 

added 5:05pm,

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly issued the following statement regarding the two days of meetings that concluded today with representatives of the NHL Players’ Association under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service:

"Today, we concluded two days of mediation with FMCS mediators and representatives of the NHL Players' Association. After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart, and that no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time. We are disappointed that the mediation process was not successful."

added 5:25pm,

 

added 6:41pm,

TORONTO (November 29, 2012): Don Fehr, National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) Executive Director issued the following statement after the second day of meetings with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS):

“Today, players and NHLPA staff, along with representatives of the league, concluded a second day of mediation under the auspices of the FMCS.  This afternoon, the mediators informed the parties that they did not think it was productive to continue the discussions further today.  The mediators indicated that they would stay in contact with the league and the NHLPA, and would call the parties back together when they thought the time was right.” 

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

Comments

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

So, there will be no mediator and the NHLPA is gonna cut off it’s own head.. again?  Do they get the same anti-trust legal avenues opened doing this vs. decertification?

btw, mediation was a f*cking joke.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 11/29/12 at 06:05 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

The mediation was all smoke and mirrors from day one. They had to say they at least tried it.

And that should about do it. See you all next fall.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/29/12 at 06:10 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Game over. Turn out the lights.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/29/12 at 06:13 PM ET

dougie's avatar

sad to say that the highlight of the season may well be Riley Sheahan getting arrested for DWI while wearing a Teletubby costume.

Posted by dougie on 11/29/12 at 06:24 PM ET

SYF's avatar

wONDERFUL.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 11/29/12 at 06:25 PM ET

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Decertification is initiated by the bargaining unit; the members no longer wish to be represented by the union, but involves waiting periods, and NLRB involvement.

Disclaimer of interest is initiated by the union itself; the Union no longer will represent the bargaining unit, and is a lot easier/quicker.

the result is essentially the same, the NHLPA is disolved.

Posted by jwad on 11/29/12 at 06:26 PM ET

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Not surprised. Whatever Bettman and Fehr may be, they aren’t amateurs who are going to be swayed by some guy telling them to play nice or meet in the middle.

Posted by larry on 11/29/12 at 06:26 PM ET

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Bettman proposed to Fehr and PA an owner-payer mtng only. No NHL or NHLPA brass. Fehr and PA are believed to be considering.

If I were the PA, I’d agree to that, as long as the owners in question are Jeff Molson and Francisco Aquilini.

Posted by larry on 11/29/12 at 06:33 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The NHL wants the players to meet with their top lawyers without the presence of the NHLPA’s top lawyers.

What a monumentally stupid thing to agree to if the players end up doing that.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/29/12 at 06:37 PM ET

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Bettman proposed to Fehr and PA an owner-payer mtng only. No NHL or NHLPA brass. Fehr and PA are believed to be considering.

I dont see what there is to be gained from this by either side.  Presumably, both will be represented by their respective negotiating committees, who arent likely to move from their current positions.

Posted by jwad on 11/29/12 at 06:55 PM ET

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The NHL wants the players to meet with their top lawyers without the presence of the NHLPA’s top lawyers.

What a monumentally stupid thing to agree to if the players end up doing that.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/29/12 at 05:37 PM ET

Strictly speaking, player to owner direct correspondence IS what ended the last lockout (along with the JP Barrys and Pat Brissons deciding to step off the sidelines before they lost that year’s July 1 commissions), so there is precedent. And it’s not as if Adams, Westgarth or Parros have a weaker understanding of the collective bargaining process than Linden does.

But the players need to work with who they want to work with for this to be productive. If the owners made available are Craig Leipold and Ted Leonsis, no thanks.

Posted by larry on 11/29/12 at 06:56 PM ET

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But the players need to work with who they want to work with for this to be productive. If the owners made available are Craig Leipold and Ted Leonsis, no thanks.

Unless I misunderstand, Devon Setoguchi just insinuated this to Dreger.

 

Posted by larry on 11/29/12 at 07:06 PM ET

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The problem with this entire ‘negotiation’ is that the players hate Bettman.  Hate him.  They will not believe anything he says, they will not consider his suggestions, and their primary goal is ‘beating’ Bettman.

They have good reasons to hate Bettman.

The problem is, the NHLPA is acting stupidly by allowing themselves to do so.  They’re the stupid player at the end of the game who takes a stupid penalty because they’re focused on paying back an opposing player and not the situation and scoreboard.

Maybe taking Bettman out of the room for a bit will open the players eyes when they see the owners saying the same things Bettman was saying.  That, IMO, is really the only downside of gagging the owners.  It leaves too much room for the players to (stupidly) think Bettman is the guy running the show, making the demands, and setting the agendas.  He has a role, no doubt.  But the impetus for most if not all of the proposals he has presented come from the BoG that he actually works for, reports to, and who could fire him at any moment if they wanted to.

Maybe having Leipold tell Suter that if he can’t get a better deal Suter and Parise will be playing with scrubs for 10 years will have an impact.  Maybe not.

Either way, at least the players wouldn’t have the excuse of ‘we just don’t believe Bettman’ anymore.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/29/12 at 07:31 PM ET

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Maybe having Leipold tell Suter that if he can’t get a better deal Suter and Parise will be playing with scrubs for 10 years will have an impact.  Maybe not.

Maybe if they were asking Suter and Parise to reduce their share, while keeping the share available for the rest of the players the same that would be true. But they are asking all the players to reduce their share proportionally, which would have absolutely 0 impact on the teams ability to spend more on supporting players.

I just dont see how the players will all of a sudden agree to the same offer because someone else is saying it. 

I can see how changing the people involved might help change the dynamic, but If the two sides were that close, and willing to find solutions, then mediation would have worked.  Or at least not given up after 24 hours.

Posted by jwad on 11/29/12 at 07:44 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Great, if Bettman isn’t needed, then he can stay home from a meeting. No reason for Fehr to.

If the owners want to deal with the players sans union leadership, they’ll get a chance to do so in court sooner or later.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/29/12 at 08:07 PM ET

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Maybe if they were asking Suter and Parise to reduce their share, while keeping the share available for the rest of the players the same that would be true. But they are asking all the players to reduce their share proportionally, which would have absolutely 0 impact on the teams ability to spend more on supporting players.

Yes and no.  In the immediate term, probably not.  In years 2-13 of their deals, though?

I just dont see how the players will all of a sudden agree to the same offer because someone else is saying it.

IMO the players are at a point where Bettman could tell the NHLPA the air was safe to breathe and every player in the room would still hold his breath until they blacked out.

Maybe a different source would have a more penetrating impact.  I honestly think the players are just going to hang tough and give away 1.5-1.8 B in salaries because they don’t want to lose 180 M in salaries.

Great, if Bettman isn’t needed, then he can stay home from a meeting. No reason for Fehr to.

The point is to get a more of a face to face conclave, not one with the ideologues in the room.  The ‘problem’ here is that IMO that kind of meeting wildly benefits the owners.  They are the ones who likely agree by and large with what Bettman has done.  If the players show up without Fehr to filter the talks and without Bettman to focus their hate on, they’ll be a lot more likely to take a deal.

To the degree the powers that be in the NHLPA mind that their position will be weakened in such a way they’ll consider the offer.

If the owners want to deal with the players sans union leadership, they’ll get a chance to do so in court sooner or later.

Enh.  Not anything really different, just different lawyers.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/29/12 at 08:49 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

In other news, at least there’s now video of the teletubby incident.

http://deadspin.com/5964290/now-theres-video-of-the-allegedly-super+drunk-red-wings-prospect-being-arrested-in-a-teletubby-costume

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 11/29/12 at 09:56 PM ET

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The problem is, the NHLPA is acting stupidly by allowing themselves to do so.  They’re the stupid player at the end of the game who takes a stupid penalty because they’re focused on paying back an opposing player and not the situation and scoreboard.

Maybe taking Bettman out of the room for a bit will open the players eyes when they see the owners saying the same things Bettman was saying.

There’s a grain of truth to all this, but I think, at this point, you’re overstating the value the owners would place on most of the outstanding issues.

I keep going back to an anonymous interview Garrioch did with 3 Governors he described as “hawks,” all of whom argued passionately for a revenue reduction and all of whom said contract issues, apart from cap-circumventing retirement deals, meant absolutely nothing to them. If this is how some of the hawks think, why would the moderates and doves think any different?

And make no mistake, despite that one problematic clause and the value of the make whole, all any players want to talk about now is the contract stuff. They seem to be over the revenue split. They’ll move. From the players’ perspective, the major remaining sticking point is one just Bettman and, perhaps, a handful of other guys care about. Maybe even fewer.

Any wise owner should be looking at the size, structure and course of the titanic and not worrying whether concentration of the deck chairs is aft or bow before they set sail. That means this dumb second contract preoccupation of Burke’s and, probably, Leonsis’ has to be chucked overboard by the rest of them (and as an aside, the only GMs who haven’t been able to leverage so-called “second contracts” in this system are the dumb ones. Take a look at what Kris Letang, John Tavares, Victor Hedman and Claude Giroux banked on their “second contracts.” Not one of those guys is paid a franchise-killing amount).

Posted by larry on 11/30/12 at 12:01 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I’m caught in a storm of cognitive dissonance right now.

Doesn’t Gary tell the media, every year, at the All-Star press conference and Stanley Cup press conference that the game is in great shape, and it has never been stronger?

Why, then, are we on the verge of December, and have not seen an NHL game since early-June?

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/30/12 at 11:05 AM ET

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Strictly speaking, player to owner direct correspondence IS what ended the last lockout

And probably why there is a hard cap and they suffered a 24% roll-back. It wasn’t a wise thing for the NHLPA to do then and probably isn’t a wise thing to do now.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 11/30/12 at 11:28 AM ET

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And probably why there is a hard cap and they suffered a 24% roll-back. It wasn’t a wise thing for the NHLPA to do then and probably isn’t a wise thing to do now.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 11/30/12 at 10:28 AM ET

A 24% rollback, a hard cap and one lost season is better than a 24% rollback, a hard cap and two lost seasons, which is what they would have had if they’d stuck to their guns.

And, incidentally, a hard cap and 24% rollback were already in the NHLPA’s offers before Linden and whatshisface finally cut a deal.

Posted by larry on 11/30/12 at 03:03 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posted by larry on 11/30/12 at 02:03 PM ET

You’re forgetting the point- The Owners got what they wanted last time and supposedly it still doesn’t ‘work’. So again, they’re asking for more instead of restructuring the league itself and cutting off the ‘fat’, or the teams that will never work out profit-wise.

Why should the players keep having to take less every time the owners decide what they wanted 7 years ago isn’t good enough?

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 11/30/12 at 03:11 PM ET

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You’re forgetting the point- The Owners got what they wanted last time and supposedly it still doesn’t ‘work’. So again, they’re asking for more instead of restructuring the league itself and cutting off the ‘fat’, or the teams that will never work out profit-wise.

Why should the players keep having to take less every time the owners decide what they wanted 7 years ago isn’t good enough?

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 11/30/12 at 02:11 PM ET

If you’re telling me there was no need for the owners to lock the players out in the first place rather than offer something less radical, you’re preaching to the choir. If you’re telling me the league’s CBA won’t fix the league’s assymmetrical growth, well, I agree with that too.

But those points aren’t relevant to “now” because that bridge has been jumped from months ago.

Where we’re at “now” is that the league and PA have both kinda sorta agreed with that course of action (regardless of whether it makes sense or not) and just disagree on transition relief, assumption of risk and the hammering through of silly contract changes the only a handful of owners give a crap about.

Posted by larry on 11/30/12 at 03:19 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Well…

Yeah…

Sure…

I dunno…

The rain in SoCal is getting to me I guess…

Meh…FFS just get a deal done. They claim they’re close…now it’s just ridiculous.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 11/30/12 at 03:26 PM ET

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the hammering through of silly contract changes the only a handful of owners give a crap about.

Unfortunately it only takes 8 of them to hold up the process.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 11/30/12 at 05:13 PM ET

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Unfortunately it only takes 8 of them to hold up the process.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 11/30/12 at 04:13 PM ET

Worse, it takes 7.

I don’t know who the Hell thought it was a good idea to give Phoenix’s vote to Bettman, despite him not owning a team, but each and every governor who didn’t stand up and shout “WTF” at that should smack himself in the face.

Posted by larry on 11/30/12 at 07:13 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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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