Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

All Donald Fehr

08/24/2016 at 11:59am EDT

from the CP at Sportsnet,

In advance of the World Cup, the 68-year-old sat down with The Canadian Press to discuss next month’s tournament and other issues in the game, including fighting, future lockouts and European expansion....

CP: How does the cycle of lockouts get broken?

Fehr: The general sense I've had is that for a very long time now in all the salary-cap sports, every single one of them, there is a lockout in every single negotiation. The NFL even locked out its referees for God's sake. I mean, give me a break. Why do they do that? Because the way the agreements are structured (the owners) basically think they've got a free shot at the players. How do you break that? You hope you end up in a circumstance in which everybody is persuaded that an agreement, mutually acceptable, acceptable to both sides, can be reached without having to go through that. Baseball is not a cap sport. It's the only one which does not have, over the last 20 years, a history of stoppages by lockout or by strike. It took the battle royale, 94/95 (MLB players strike during which Fehr was head of the union), to persuade the owners that they didn't fight over those issues anymore ... My advice to the players is given the history, when you go into negotiation, what you do is you hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

CP: So is the answer to stopping the cycle no cap? And is that something you would ever push to get back?

Fehr: The answer is the players make those decisions as you get there. And we're a long way from there. And people talk about what the decision is -- Is it cap or no cap? Is it this or is it that or something else? -- that's not the decision you make.

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