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12-10-2012, 01:35 AM
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Fehr vs Proskauer Rose playbook?

Games still being played in CBA negotiations. Owners/Proskauer Rose want to shut down/out Fehr (break the union); Fehr (in desperation?) is trying to limit losses and is frustrating Bettman/owners.

In the NHL, the tactics on both sides appear to dictate games will not be played until Bettman and the owners deal with Fehr, or the players turn against him.

Bettman and the owners never have negotiated with anyone as skilled as Fehr, and the players never have had an executive director who is so accomplished.

"The conclusion I keep coming to is somehow the owners do not want to deal with Don," Mathieu Schneider, the former Red Wings defenseman, now a special assistant in the NHLPA, told The Hockey News Radio Show last week.
Having derived big concessions from the players, Bettman and the owners last week made the negotiations about Fehr instead of the issues that remain.
...The players put Fehr back in the room, and Bettman and the owners want him out.

The owners' strategy worked in the last lockout. ...

The tactic is directly from the playbook of one of the most accomplished law firms representing management in labor negotiations, Proskauer Rose, where Bettman once worked.
But Fehr had his own intentions. He was determined, as he has been from the start, to address the issues the players want addressed rather than proposals by Bettman and the owners, which have led to huge concessions.

Each of the "we are close" items he listed remain priorities for the players. They also are items Bettman and the owners would prefer not to discuss any longer.
When the negotiations are over, the players will have gained nothing. Fehr knows his job is limiting the losses.

But they are mounting.

Bettman trembled with emotions when he talked to the media after the breakdown Thursday. Longtime observers agreed he never had looked so discombobulated, publicly.

But was it anger, or confusion, about whether Fehr had outflanked him without conceding much, this time?

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