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Ottawa Sun Interviews Fehr


idahophilly
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This was an excellent article and gave some insite into the NHLPA's side of things... and a few "perspectives" I hadn't thought of in the way they are presented.

Here is the link to the article by Travis Yost...

http://www.hockeybuz...inues/134/47140

Some things I took away from this:

How transparent the PA is versus the NHL. Any player at anytime can see the paperwork, proposals, attend a meeting or speak out. The owners gotta keep their mouths shut and no one actually knows where each stands on the issues.

The league has finacial issues with certain teams... OK, not a news flash. But the league wants to reduce the salary costs for Phoenix, also not a news flash. But that is where the focus has been, on the poor teams. But, the NHL by default makes the arguement that Toronto's salary costs should also be reduced. Really. Toronto needs that? I invite you to look up their financials. The Phoenix's of the league would benefit, the Toronto's benefit by default by lower salaries but are tremendously hurt by their ability to ice a winning team (ok, Toronto is a bad example but you know what I mean) and finally, the players take a pay cut to play for the Rangers, Toronto, Detroit, Philly, ect... Think about that. These teams are making money but they ask you to take a pay cut....

The NHL took 12-15 min to say no to THREE PA proposals! That's one every 4 min or so! Couls they even get the binders handed out and read in that time much less discuss it and verbalize the answer??? And Bettman adds in that that was the best offer they are going to make! Thats nuclear winter talk...

Fehr admits that the players are OK with getting to a 50/50 split but just want to do it in a few steps and have the contracts honored like ANY other business would have to do. In my opinion, if this went before a jury and/or judge the NHL would loose faster than it takes Hartnell to fall down.

Fehr said Bettman left it as "Don't call unless you are willing to accept everything on the table"... Well, if I'm Fehr I'd say publicly that I just took Bettmans office off speed dial... Fehr added in most sincere honesty "what am I supposed to do if I believe him?"

The NHLPA wants their 1.87 billion No more no less. That means if there is income growth it's all gravy for the owners. Savy business men, I would think, would shoot for the sky knowing their labor costs are fixed under current contracts and reduced under future contracts. Why not grow the game as fast and hard as possible and pocket the growth and more revenues. Instead, they have chosen to retard the game greatly, there by forfeiting the window to pocket that extra money...

And, the NHL wants to make up the % difference to current contracts through escrow payments. The players pay into the escrow... Wrap your mind around that one...

Anyway, I was starting to lean to a view that was 50/50 in blame for this mess on both sides but this brings me back into the PA's camp. Since the NHL/Bettman won't speak much it's difficult to get their view point.

I made a joke somewhere else that Fehr and Bettman have their flies zipped down and arguing over who has the bigger Pierre... Well, right now, Fehr is sporting a huge McGuire...

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@idahophilly I've grown to enjoy Yost's blogs, one of the many reasons I go to Hockeybuzz, just a fantastic collection of solid writers who have an excellent pulse on the league. I agree with Travis, we are witnessing two virtuoso's at battle here, quite possibley the two best guys in the world at labour negeoations in the world going head to head. This is what worried me from the start of this mess, they are both so good at what they do, neither will want to go down in history as losing this monumental labour battle.

Very interesting how both use the press to their advantage using different tatics. Bettman is famous for his silincing of owners. Everything is funnelled though him, he allows no factions or disenting views...runs a very, very tight ship. Fehr of course, needs to handle things differently, being the head of a union, he needs full disclosure to secure unity....so he has a different set of rules to follow. They play by different rules, but the end result is the same, presenting a unified front moving forward....IMHO, Fehr has the much harder task, you can't put a muzzle on the players, it's their right to speak out, so Gary has a big advantage here.

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But Bettman risks losing the battle BECAUSE he runs such a tight ship (dictatorship anyone?). One thing is for sure,so far. The players all seem to be on the same page. We know the owners are NOT even though they can't speak about it. Imagine if they could. That's is why Fehr and the players might actually be able to hold out this time...

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@idahophilly Fehr is dealing with individual players, where Bettman is basically working with 30 different corporatins, all of which have different financial scenarios and much different agenda's. I agree with the way Bettman runs things, it's a necessary dictatorship. The NHLPA would have a field day should the owners speak their minds. He really does a masterful job at running a tight ship. In my estimation, this whole scenario will play to the NHL's advantage. The players have no such gag orders...thus, eventually...no unified front. Once the players are 8-10 months into this mess....they will be vocal about accepting the offer on the table, thus putting Fehr in an awkward situation in negeoiations. We know this will not happen with the NHL....advantage Bettman.

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I agree about the having a field day if the owners were allowed to speak. I'm still not convinced it will be the players who blink first. If this goes another 8 months a couple teams minus just fold because it will put them in such bad shape. I guess, when its all said and done, no one will win and we fans and the pundits/bloggers will debate it, probably for years to come...

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I didn't say the owners would betray bettman but I think that whole line of thinking is backwards. I would not be suprised when this is all done, win or lose, the owners will wait about 6-12 months and one day next August or something, the NHL will announce that the league is looking to go in a new direction and that Bettman has been offered a new "oppurtunity" and decided to move on. This will NOT coincide with either the relocations or folding of teams that the lockout will cause. The owners won't forget the lost money nor will they recoup what they will have lost in belly up franchises, tickets and merchandice sales... It will take the life on the next CBA for that and the owners wont risk another lockout if they get the split down to 50/50 by then and some of the contract stuff they are looking for. They will have gotten that at such a cost that even if they consider it a victory (which it won't be - I see a tie) it will be tainted by the cost payed by the owners and investors. Don't discount what the investors will say and I can assure you, they are not intimidated by Bettman. Investors would (and probably will) make the owners seem like cream puffs in comparison. The sad part for me is we never get to see that side of it.

Even Snider has a boss... And they are not as forgiving.

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@idahophilly "I would not be suprised when this is all done, win or lose, the owners will wait about 6-12 months and one day next August or something, the NHL will announce that the league is looking to go in a new direction and that Bettman has been offered a new "oppurtunity" and decided to move on."

Only if Gary want this...it takes a 2/3rds majority to fire him...that's quite a lot. If Gary stays in favour with the rich owners, he will be fine.

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