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09-27-2012, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by LarmerSavardSecord View Post
I can't believe this statement. Our great leader, you all say, should just shut up and play.

Look man, there's real money out there in the balance. Why shouldn't Toews fight for every dollar for his side like he fights for every puck on the boards?

Leadership, as it impacts performance of the team, is not being a company stooge saying all the right things, it's having the guys with the skates believing in you. This is exactly the time when Toews should step up.

Remember the owners are locking out the players - the players are not striking. The lockout is over a deal the owners dictated, and since have seen a 50% increase in revenues.
On your last point, of course the players aren't striking. They've voted repeatedly for the escalators (driving costs/pay up) and extended the CBA when the owners said they weren't going to keep it. I can't blame one side more than the other, both made this mess over the course of more than 4 decades of mistakes.

As to the previous points, I'm not disagreeing with what he should do as a leader, I'm strongly disagreeing with HOW he went about doing it. Keep it behind closed doors because there is nothing to gain on the owners with a public statement, and there probably never was. The fight is in a board room, not in public for labor dispute. PR might have mattered a bit in 94', they learned that it didn't matter then. This fight doesn't project to other labor disputes.

Originally Posted by MagicSlap View Post
I'm sorry but you have no idea what you're talking about. Sports are such a public business that having public support on your side means a TON. Just look at the NFL refs situation. Sure people weren't pleased at the start but with a big incident and lots of attention the tables turned. The PA is hoping to do just that. Why should Toews just talk privately with his union members when it does nothing to advance their cause? Whether or not he's helping the public perception is a different debate but to say he shouldn't stick up for his union and do what they want of him (if you think he's doing this to better himself you're totally out of touch) is just plain wrong.
I don't see how PR impacts any part of this negotiation since the owners already entrenched (probably 2 or more years ago) on the assumption that they wouldn't engage in a PR battle against the players. It's a very tough argument to project this dispute to a different sport and it's nothing close to NFL dispute with the refs, this is unique. The fans don't need "awareness", they're used to this already unlike most labor disputes in other sports.

What tangible benefit does Toews gain for the PA by making an argumentive and erroneous (or at best a terribly worded) rant against owners? Even if there is a gain, it's far less of a gain compared to the loss it could cause. This isn't 94' and all the fans already picked sides, or no side, in this one. The players can keep this in-house. Most of the media has favored the players side anyway, and Bettman hasn't been bashing the players.

I compare these frustrated rants to players complaining about the refs or ice in the 2nd period in the middle of a shift. What good does it do given the circumstances? Plenty of time to do that the previous 2 years or after the negotiation is complete, and you don't risk screwing stuff up for your side or yourself.

The owners have been ready and waiting for this for a long time and the PA sat on their hands for years. They should appreciate the calculated position of the owners and Fehr should do a better job advising his side to think before they speak in public since all it can do at this point is undermine their position and possibly create infighting.

My last point about Toews and why he shouldn't mouth off inflammatory comments is that he's in a unique circumstance himself.
He's young and on a big contract and that's an enviable position for the majority of the PA too. The players are not all in the same boat. More and more players will be thinking a little harder about that the next couple weeks. He has far less to lose than most of his union, and he can land a nice contract elsewhere where most don't have that as an option. I'm not so sure it's leadership rather than a personal rant. If the veteran non-star players are happy Toews is running his mouth a bit, then I really fear the players buy in to all this stuff too much and that we won't see hockey for a couple more months.

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