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12-08-2012, 05:33 AM
Bleach Clean
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Originally Posted by Socratic Method Man View Post
I've been trying to figure out how this situation is likely to turn out. To do so I've been trying to establish what each party's real motivations are. Perhaps I'm naive but here are some of my initial thoughts.

I think the players are, essentially, motivated by money here. But they also want to protect their rights - but protecting their rights is largely about protecting future money. So it's about money.

I think Fehr's motivation is regarding reputation. Sure, he will make some money from this, but I think it's mainly about reputation, or respect, or power, or whatever you want to call it. I'm guessing he also cares somewhat about the players' rights, but mostly he wants to cement his reputation.

I'm not sure exactly what Gary is motivated by, other than power. But as far as I know he is mainly just the voice for the owners. (They pay his salary, yes?)

The NHL owners are motivated by what all owners are motivated by, money and control. I kind of think they really don't care about the money here however. I think their entire motivation is absorbing all the power in the owner-worker relationship. That's what owners typically do, and from the NHL owners' actions thus far, that is what they seem to be trying to do.

If I'm in the ballpark with my guesses here, it doesn't look good for hockey this year, to me. What is the owners' motivation for caving in at all? They don't care about money, they are filthy rich, and they make relatively little from sports franchises. They certainly don't care about watching hockey. As for the players, they don't want to make a deal that takes away money from them, and thus far, every proposed deal takes away money - it's just a matter of how much. They might be reaching the tipping point where they say '**** it, screw the NHL, we can play elsewhere'. And with Fehr banding them all together... if anyone could pull off something like that, Fehr seems like the guy.

Which could mean no hockey this year. And what would change next year? Maybe no NHL next year, or the year after...

Of course I'm considering the most extreme possibilities. But what do you guys think?

The extreme possibility is up to the owners at this point. Fehr will wait until the owners reach their drop dead date and push for the best deal possible then. If the owners acquiesce, we have a season. If they don't... we have decertification and a cancelled season.

It's clear at this point that Fehr's end game, should everything go awry, is decertification. Both parties know this. So it's up to the owners to first cancel the season, if they so choose, to then allow Fehr to push the union to decertify. In other words, Fehr wont' decertify until the season is cancelled.

So at the mark where only a 48 game season is viable, then we'll find out how much the owners are willing to really give up. It's sad, but I think this is where things are going. Fehr won't deal until this pressure point is applied.

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