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12-03-2012, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Chubros View Post
I'd think that the biggest reason why Jabobs is there is because he's the chairman of the BOG. He probably gets to choose who attends.

You're right that the owners want this meeting without Fehr because they feel that he has obstructed negotiations - that has pretty much been his entire playbook since he was hired by the PA.

Fehr made sure that the PA was reorganized so that he alone would be in charge. He changed the voting rules so it was harder for him to be ousted and he eliminated the player-president role that Linden held. It's true that some players are present at each meetings, but it's a revolving door of players. Since no player is involved in the entirety of the process, they all end up being observers. I think saying that Fehr withheld information from players is probably going too far, but he has certainly been actively shaping all PA info meant for player consumption.

The timing of the NHL's request for a Fehr-less meeting is interesting; it comes after the PA asked for mediation, building their case that negotiations have reached an impasse and angling toward de-certification. I think it shows that the owners truly believe that Fehr has held up the bargaining process.
I think it shows nothing more than that the NHL has nothing reasonable to offer but an attempt to smear Donald Fehr to try to re-claim the PR battle they're badly losing. It's probably just another page from moral leper Frank Luntz's media messaging playbook. When you don't have any ideas to offer, attack the other guy.

Funny how Fehr never had that reputation before. Per Larry Brooks:

It all appears to be part of a strategy to paint Fehr as unethical in order to undermine his influence with the players. This is in stark contrast to the manner in which former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent portrayed the former leader (23 years) of the MLBPA in a published tribute to Marvin Miller, the iconic MLBPA leader who passed away on Wednesday.

ďMiller and his successors Donald Fehr and Michael Wiener created a union that stands as a model,Ē Vincent wrote. ďTheir union is brilliantly led, honestly managed and extremely successful.Ē

In more than three decades working with the MLBPA, not once was Fehr accused of acting unethically in collective bargaining. Yet now, thatís the repeated implication coming from the NHL.

Itís a concerted effort that reeks of desperation. And itís one that isnít very likely to impress anyone on Federal or Provincial labor boards or in court if those, as expected, become the next arenas in which this No Hockey League competes.

The league is being run by Jeremy Jacobs, who sounds like a reprehensibly cheap, Wirtzian old man. The problem isn't Donald Fehr consolidating PA power after the union was in tatters last go around -- it's the fact that the NHL is run by a small cabal of unreasonable owners. I have a feeling if you put the owners of the Rags, Canucks, Leafs, and Habs in the room, you might get a different vibe.

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