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12-01-2012, 10:40 AM
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Sounds like the players see through the NHL's transparent attempt to get Fehr out of the mix:

Bettman and NHLPA executive director Don Fehr would be gone, creating an odd dynamic in what surely would be a contentious atmosphere.

The union’s discussing the idea. But based on what several Sabres said Friday, it appears unlikely the meeting will ever happen.

“I’m not going to be there,” defenseman Jordan Leopold, the Sabres’ union representative, said after skating inside the Northtown Center. “I don’t want any part of it.”

He added: “I think it’s funny we have Don Fehr on our side. After two years, he seems to get under the owners’ skin. They want to remove one for one. I don’t know where this will lead us. It’s an interesting concept.”

Sabres winger Thomas Vanek said the potential meeting’s a PR sham.

“I don’t know what that would help,” Vanek said. “They have a guy in place in Gary. They pay him. We have a guy in place in Don. That should be good enough. I think just another PR stunt to show that they’re trying to do anything.

“But once it really comes down to (it), it’s just a lack of respect (for) our contracting rights and stuff. It’s beyond me that they’re even talking about that stuff.”
Vanek is also dead-on with the contract term issue IMO:

Contentious contracting issues remain, however. Owners, for example, want to limit the length of contracts, an issue Vanek said the players are “never going to give up on ever.”

“It’s the right of every player before me and after me,” he said. “If a team wants to sign a guy for seven, eight, 10, 12 years like Minnesota did two guys (Zach Parise and Ryan Suter), good for them. No one’s telling them to do that. That should be a player’s choice, too. A player doesn’t have to sign it if he doesn’t want to. Both sides are willing to. Why stop it?”
The hypocrisy of it is that the long-term contract deals we've seen since the last lockout were very likely the ideas of the various owners to circumvent the cap and add incentive for getting a player to sign with them instead of another team. Sure, players like Vanek happily accepted the deals but it's hard to imagine the first few ones we saw be initiated by players. Once a few owners handed those out, players & agents probably became more bold in asking for them - but it's still a free choice to give them out like Vanek says.

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