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11-16-2012, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Beechsack View Post
Every public player comment disputes this. To a man they've all said Fehr has kept them very well informed.
1st of all, I am not a wiz at cutting and pasting links and text, etc. like Sabretip and the rest of you guys. I chunk thru threads systematically (top to bottom) w/o tagging things so it's way too much work to go back and line out all the links I've gone to and send them to you. But I'll forward a couple of items here to give you an idea of how my thinking on this has formed.

I'm mainly reading Pierre LeBrun, MacKenzie, Darren Dregar and others mainly, in the Canadian media because they care about this stuff. And picking up a few tweets here or there.

Now I agree with your closing statement... that's what the players have said publically - well informed by Fehr.. way better than the last Director . But that doesn't mean they are being given the full facts with which to make up their own minds. It appears to me that they are being given talking points. (Just like after game press interviews... we gotta skate harder, do all the little things, finish our checks, shoot more...), etc.. The players all sound a bit programmed to me.

Here's a link/narrative that I though spoke volumes about the situation......

Piere Lebrun. Time to fish or cut bait:

Know this: The long-term damage incurred by this league and industry canít be undone, at this point. ...

And so at this point all that remains is salvaging whatís left of a chance to play hockey this season...

The NHL has informed the NHLPA that talks wonít resume unless/until the players have new ideas or a new proposal to reignite things. Owners donít want to move an inch at this point. Theyíre furious that their $211 million "make-whole" offer was rebuffed so easily....

NHLPA executive director Don Fehr.... has done a "masterful" job so far in terms of managing this lockout, getting the league to move on key issues such as revenue sharing, and keeping his players on board through it all. Heís also frustrated the league to no end. But Fehrís grading is far from complete. His most important test is coming. Unless Iím completely misreading the tea leaves, I canít think of very many NHL players who are willing to sacrifice an entire season of hockey just so they can make a point to commissioner Gary Bettman.

..... if Iím an NHL player, I demand that Fehr over the next 2-3 weeks cut his losses and try to make the best deal possible from whatís left on the table. ........

And hereís where the read on Fehr gets widely different takes. On the one hand, there are people who believe Fehr has always shown an ability to feel the pulse of his membership and if itís a deal they want, heíll deliver one when the time is right.

But there are others who doubt his true intentions.

"I think he wants to rewrite labor negotiations; the game is not his priority," said one NHL team executive.

On the topic of Union Structure, Communication, Player awareness and statement
I'll give you the link to the following discussion thread:

For those who don't want or have the time to drive there, here's a segment of the dialog -

Isn't the criticism of the NHL's structure the fact that there is an Exec Committee that sets strategy for 30 teams, who sit back and watch in silence?

That's been the PA's criticism of the NHL's structure. Several GMs and team executives have commented that Bettman gives them a report every day and that they vote on whether to shift course on A B or C if it's important enough to them.

And, in any event, Bettman's herding wolves. If the wolves don't like the shepherd's shepherding they can and will gang up and eat him.

This is also irrelevant to what Cox is saying.

I think putting as few layers in between constituents and their leadership structure as possible leaves the power where it needs to be -- in the players hands. There are 30 reps who can demand anything they want at any time.

You can think that, but you'd be wrong. Don Fehr doesn't sit in a room and jot down strategy with 30 guys that know a thing or two about collective bargaining but aren't loyal to him personally. He sits in a room with his brother.

He doesn't take the players' reps, or a smaller subcommittee into his confidence and tell them everything. He gives 30 people briefings in which he says what he wants them to know.

He involves 5 or 6 players in the process, but rarely the same 5 or 6 at the same time, which results in blocks of 2% of the players knowing 80% of what was up (if they even understand concepts like corporate risk aversion) during a 10% block of negotiations. They, and everyone else, only know what he tells them the rest of the time.

The result of this is that you have guys like Crosby, who has been more involved than the vast majority of players, thinking he's fighting the NHL because it has asked for entry level contracts to be extended to 5 years, which would be unfair to a Connor McDavid. Has guys like Ovechkin thinking he's fighting against a salary rollback (not escrow, a rollback). The former never was true and the latter hasn't been true since August.

Fehr is a single point of failure through which all information flows. Goodenow had Saskin and Linden as a check against this. Fehr has nobody in this position.

Now, you might believe that Fehr's some type of benevolent angel who can be trusted with power absent a check against it, who tells nothing but the truth and the whole truth 100% of the time. History says placing that degree of trust in anyone with this type of power in this type of structure (1/2>3-604)is incredibly foolish. When Rome did this, the Republic was destroyed. Hell, NHLPA history suggests this level of trust in a union head is foolish. The last time they allowed this, Eagleson sold them out.

Why can't the observers accept that the players may very well KNOW exactly how much money they're going to lose this year? What they don't want to give up is their ability to maximize their earnings individually as soon as they can, and at a time when they're most valuable.

Because that's not what they say. What they say is they're fighting things like "honoring the dollar value of their contracts" and "preserving contract rights." When pressed for details, they define the former as "no 13% rollback" and the latter as "entry level deals shouldn't be extended," which are not actual, current issues in this negotiation.

If they're misinformed, it's because Fehr misinformed them.

I'm naturally skeptical about what I'm told, read or hear. Esp. statement for public consumption. And that includes both sides. I've found that reality is usually something different (even though that can be spun too) and that the way people gain and use power (and operate) speaks volumes about their integrity and degree of rightiousness (and trust).

What the players present sounds too regimented to me and as others in the thread have pointed out, they've (Crosby, et al) have gotten things wrong. Maybe because they mis-interpreted, didn't understand or perhaps, were mis-informed. The way the current NHLPA leadership acquired its power and seems to operate leads me to the conclusion that Fehr is Der Fuhrer and he's successfully divided and compartmentalized the Union such that he and brother Steve are prertty much absolute control.

And the membership is being driven off the cliff (Esp. the journeyman players).

Sorry, I can't present this all as concisely as JoshJull and company can.

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