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12-08-2012, 08:13 PM
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Sabresfansince1980's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: from Wheatfield, NY
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This past week indicates to me that the NHL was hoping to have a distinct advantage in closing a deal with owners directly negotiating with players. Quite obviously, a deal would not have been signed unless the Fehrs eventually became involved again. If in fact owners balked at that idea, or simply insisted on their package proposal being accepted without modification, then it truly was a waste of time and apparently nothing more than a tactic trying to get the best deal out of less informed negotiators (players).

It seems the biggest cog in negotiations now is contract term limits. I can't recall this issue being a central complaint prior to October. Who was ever talking about how long contracts were ruining the game? It was all about big dollars and circumventing cap structures. No other league has such term limits in their CBAs. If almost everything else could be compromised on except this, and the owners drew a line in the sand over a 5 year limit, I can't help but think they are being unreasonable or willing to wait out players at the expense of the game. Since when should contract term limits be an issue worth ending a season over? I understand the desire behind them, and that there are other issues not ironed out yet, but it seems to have taken center stage this week. Seems like a rather ridiculous mandate by owners if they could actually manage to keep contract dollars mostly consistent from season to season.

Bettman has said that the owners are negotiating against themselves, without a willing partner in the NHLPA. From my point of view, owners are simply trying to impose such hardline demands over contracting rights because they and their GMs can't control themselves and agree to reasonable and efficient contracts. They are their own worst enemies.

It's just like the players wanting to make certain rule or equipment changes that may hurt the game. If they could just stop trying to blind-side head shot each other (or the league imposes consistent suspensions that mean something) it wouldn't be an issue.

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