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11-17-2012, 06:11 PM
joshjull's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Beechsack View Post
They've had player reps in the room during all of the formal negotiating sessions. (Something that didn't happen under Kelly according to many players.)

There were no CBA negotiations under Paul Kelly. How on earth could he keep players in the dark on talks that weren't happening? The only players that criticized Kelly were the dirtbags behind the coup and that wasn't "many" it was a handful.

Paul Kelly, in his attempts to clean up the NHLPA, had dug up evidence of financial shenanigans by the likes of Lindros and Pulver. He decided to do an audit and investigate the NHLPA's books from previous years looking for other improprieties. Not long after Kelly decided to do this is when Lindros and Pulver along with others, moved to remove Kelly.

What happened back then was the players were kept in the dark about why Paul Kelly was removed. Many players back then were shocked or pissed or both and wanted answers. So did many agents. Guess what? The current NHLPA leadership will not release the report on Kelly's dismissal. What a shocker

Did you actually read the articles in question? I'm thinking not.

Are you actually going to dump on Hall of Fame sports writer Russ Conway? He is the guy whose research for his book, Game Misconduct: Alan Eagleson and the Corruption of Hockey, was used to bring Eagleson to justice. He knows the NHLPA inside and out and was the one to refer to Paul Kelly is the first "clean" executive director of the NHLPA. Conway also compares Fehr's tenure to Eagleson's in the level of control the Executive Director has and how so few players are willing to take him to task.

I'm not sure if its naiveté on your part in that you think the best of the folks running the NHLPA and feel they will always do whats best for the members. Or maybe its from just not reading the material but the NHLPA has been run by some pretty slimy folks for most of its existence. Unfortunately whats best for the general body is not always at the forefront of the agenda for the NHLPA's leadership.

And that includes some of their player reps which leads me to your following comments.....

I haven't seen a single player make even a veiled comment about how they're not getting the same information the player reps in the room are getting. That obviously doesn't mean some don't feel that way, but I've yet to see a single comment like that.

There's not a shred of evidence to support your assertion that Fehr is hiding things
The players are getting Fehr's interpretation of things as well as his advice on what to do in response to the owner's proposals. The player reps in the room aren't shaping policy nor are they dictating how things are handled. That would be the Fehr brothers because thats what they're there for.

Controlling the message to the players from the meetings is how you control the body as a whole. The players trust the Fehr brothers and the reps in the room to always act in the general body's best interest. As we've seen in the NHLPA's pathetic history, blindly trusting their leadership has blown up in the player's faces far more often than not.

The following, as pointed out in a previous post, does a good job of spelling out how Fehr controls the message.

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.

Its not about players being stupid. Its about the reality that the players aren't labor lawyers or accountants. So things need to be explained to them. The folks doing the explaining can have a very large influence on how the players perceived things and how things are shaped.

Dan Cleary said in the summer that if they (the players) had to sit out a 1-2 years to fix things they were willing to do it. I'm fairly confident the overwhelming majority of players don't feel that way. But as we saw with how the hardline corrupt cabal went about ousting the NHLPA's first clean leader, Paul Kelly. For a small cabal its not about doing whats best for the general body but about sticking it to Bettman and the owners. I'm hoping I'm wrong and this works itself out in the next 2-6 weeks. But I've been concerned by that hard line cabal having an inordinate amount of influence. You need to remember that cabal includes some player reps and a small handful of players. Its not simply Fehr telling people what to do. As the NHLPA's history has shown us, its not hard at all for a group like that to control the union.

Last edited by joshjull: 11-17-2012 at 07:28 PM.
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