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10-07-2012, 09:10 AM
Classic Devil
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Originally Posted by Saugus View Post
Ugh, this really pisses me off. We know both sides are tough, they don't need to keep grandstanding to show that. It's like compromise has become a dirty word. Ridiculous.
Unfortunately, this is basically the same logic as the United States used during the Cold War. Neither side wants to be seen as the one that backed down here, because of the precedent that would set. In bargaining, reputation for resolve matters.

Actually, one of the reasons the players union is being so stingy is because of the perception that they backed down last time. They can't afford to be seen as something the owners can just push around, because it ruins their bargaining position in future iterations of the conflict.

Also, don't underestimate the personal reputations. Gary Bettman and Don Fehr both have reputations as hard bargainers who can't be pushed around, as guys who don't back down. That is a valuable asset, and if either one of seen as blinking first here, it could hurt their personal reputation as negotiators and harm future job prospects.

Perhaps most importantly, it's clear that they believe their reputations matter, whether or not they actually have any genuine impact on the outcomes of these bargaining situations. So, like the U.S. in Vietnam fighting over reputation for resolve that may or may not have actually mattered, both sides are going to go to the mat over this.

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