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CBA Talk II: Shut up and give me YOUR money!

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Old
11-13-2012, 06:35 PM
  #376
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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
Do you work for the league?

The players accepted a deal "linked to HRR" in the last CBA and have made no suggestion they wouldn't in this deal. The only "stumbling block" is that the league immediately wanted to rollback salaries and not honour deals signed by the owners over the last CBA. Period.
They may not have said this outright, but in response to each one of the NHL's offers, the PA has come back with the same de-linked response.

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The players have agreed to a 50/50 share of revenues and in their last proposal they guaranteed the split would reach 50/50 by the third year of the deal. This is a huge concession on the part of the PA. Bettman's response to all of this was to say that the league was unwilling to move at all on any of the contract issues.
...
This is patently untrue. The only way the players reach 50% of HRR is if the league hits certain growth numbers. Fehr may have used the words 50/50, but not once has the union actually proposed a hard 50/50 split at any point in any of its offers.

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11-13-2012, 06:43 PM
  #377
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Originally Posted by RandV View Post
Or maybe I'm way off and the players can choose to go on strike at anytime... if that's the case then why doesn't any of the PA's do so before the playoffs in the final year of the deal?
Strikes/Lockouts can only happen with no CBA.

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I know this is one of the pro-NHL sides key talking points, and I more or less agree with it in that the players should have gone to the negotiating table early (although that's completely countered by Bettman's brutal opening offer) and that the for the league it wasn't really feasible for the league to play one more year under the same rules. But I'm not entirely sold on the selling point that they were 'forced' to turn down a one year option, as surely there has to be some way for the league to protect themselves from a player strike.
The players didn't bargain because they didn't believe (based on the last lockout) that the owners would be either, and they've been proven right... the NHL has yet to bargain.

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I would imagine that part of the reason it worked so well in Baseball the first time is because the owners weren't expecting it. At the very least, if the law doesn't allow for any protections, you'd think an ownership group would be able to threaten the players that if they're thinking of striking just before the next playoffs then be prepared to miss an entire year.
If you don't mind jail threatening a union with a lockout is fine.

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11-13-2012, 06:48 PM
  #378
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Originally Posted by Chubros View Post
This is patently untrue. The only way the players reach 50% of HRR is if the league hits certain growth numbers. Fehr may have used the words 50/50, but not once has the union actually proposed a hard 50/50 split at any point in any of its offers.
I've explained this to you before, the union is using language in its offers to protect itself from the NHL interpreting it in ways it wasn't meant to be interpreted. Going from where the union is in their offers to linked HRR is easily ironed out once the sides agree on how they should get there.

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11-13-2012, 06:49 PM
  #379
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Originally Posted by RandV View Post
...
I know this is one of the pro-NHL sides key talking points, and I more or less agree with it in that the players should have gone to the negotiating table early (although that's completely countered by Bettman's brutal opening offer) and that the for the league it wasn't really feasible for the league to play one more year under the same rules. But I'm not entirely sold on the selling point that they were 'forced' to turn down a one year option, as surely there has to be some way for the league to protect themselves from a player strike.
...
Mark Recchi agrees with you:
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=409406

Quote:
Recchi also expressed his shock regarding the news three years ago that the players fired then-executive director Paul Kelly.

"A dark time," Recchi told The Globe. "And it has been frustrating to see how it's played out, obviously. If Paul had stayed on the job, I don't think you would have seen this happen. The two sides would have started talking long before, maybe a year sooner (in 2011), and not with two or three months to go before (the CBA) expired. There would have been something in place, absolutely.

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11-13-2012, 06:54 PM
  #380
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Originally Posted by Scurr View Post
I've explained this to you before, the union is using language in its offers to protect itself from the NHL interpreting it in ways it wasn't meant to be interpreted. Going from where the union is in their offers to linked HRR is easily ironed out once the sides agree on how they should get there.
Your 'explanations' are personal interpretations masquerading as facts.

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11-13-2012, 07:00 PM
  #381
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Originally Posted by Chubros View Post
Your 'explanations' are personal interpretations masquerading as facts.
I've actually been a part of a negotiating committee before and am pretty familiar with the process. I haven't talked to Fehr about it so I guess you're right, my bad.

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11-13-2012, 07:13 PM
  #382
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Originally Posted by Chubros View Post
They may not have said this outright, but in response to each one of the NHL's offers, the PA has come back with the same de-linked response.



This is patently untrue. The only way the players reach 50% of HRR is if the league hits certain growth numbers. Fehr may have used the words 50/50, but not once has the union actually proposed a hard 50/50 split at any point in any of its offers.
Well, if you live in some magic dreamland where the NHL is not going to meet very modest 5% growth projections in the next 5-10 years, sure. But most of us understand that the league grew at nearly 8% during the largest American recession in over 80 years.

Not only that, but Fehr is even willing to use the league's hilariously understated growth projections for the purposes of making this deal. They're also still linking the cap to HRR -- they're just quibbling about how quickly you get to 50%.

The argument the league is making and that you are furthering is astoundingly cynical; it doesn't stand the smell test. It's BS posturing. Frankly, my opinion of the league has plunged to a new low, and I could care less if they have a season at this point.

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11-13-2012, 08:02 PM
  #383
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Originally Posted by Scurr View Post
Strikes/Lockouts can only happen with no CBA.

The players didn't bargain because they didn't believe (based on the last lockout) that the owners would be either, and they've been proven right... the NHL has yet to bargain.

If you don't mind jail threatening a union with a lockout is fine.
For the first part that's kind of what I'm talking about, technically if the players are willing to play couldn't you just sign an official 1 year CBA that follows the same rules while you continue negotiating for a long term deal to be put in effect next season?

Keep in mind that I'm not saying this is what could have or should have been done, I understand the owners not wanting to do this regardless, what I'm questioning is the notion from the pro-owner side that this was an empty promise from the players thanks to Fehr's baseball strike 2 decades ago.

Also for the last point I don't mean that you threaten the players with a lockout, rather I'm saying that you let it be known that if they strike before the playoffs then over the next year you're going to be playing hard ball in negotiations. I don't know labour laws so it could very well be I'm wrong here and they can't do that, or perhaps it may give the PA the option to decertify.

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11-13-2012, 09:52 PM
  #384
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Originally Posted by RandV View Post
For the first part that's kind of what I'm talking about, technically if the players are willing to play couldn't you just sign an official 1 year CBA that follows the same rules while you continue negotiating for a long term deal to be put in effect next season?
Curious to know if they could do this too. I mean, anything to put games back on the ice again! The Canucks' window is at stake here...

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11-13-2012, 09:56 PM
  #385
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Horrible time to be a hockey fan attending SFU.

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11-13-2012, 10:16 PM
  #386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanuck View Post
Curious to know if they could do this too. I mean, anything to put games back on the ice again! The Canucks' window is at stake here...
The players would, owners no.

That should have been done already if they wanted to do it.

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11-13-2012, 10:49 PM
  #387
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Originally Posted by Reverend Mayhem View Post
The players would, owners no.

That should have been done already if they wanted to do it.
Yes the owners wouldn't regardless, but the key point I'm trying to figure out is if it would negate the fear of Fehr holding the league ransom by having the players go on strike just before the playoffs.

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11-13-2012, 11:07 PM
  #388
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Originally Posted by RandV View Post
you're going to be playing hard ball in negotiations.
Like they're doing right now? The NHL needs the leverage of no paycheques to ram all this stuff down their throat, signing a one year extension doesn't give them that.

They could extend it and play with no fear of a strike if the players agreed to extend it, yes.

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11-15-2012, 10:48 AM
  #389
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Pierre LeBrun's latest.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/i...l-be-permanent


Sounds like we only have about a month of agony to go and then we'll either have hockey or the season will be gone.

But as Pierre points out, the damage will be permanent.

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11-15-2012, 01:33 PM
  #390
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What I don't understand is why they are so reluctant to use a mediator.

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11-15-2012, 04:09 PM
  #391
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Originally Posted by gobi View Post
What I don't understand is why they are so reluctant to use a mediator.
...because both leaders (Fehr and Bettman) want to be regarded as the reason why their side won...bringing in a mediator would eliminate any possible chance of them "winning" this negotiation.

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11-15-2012, 04:39 PM
  #392
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Originally Posted by Chubros View Post
The PA is harping on this as part of its PR war and apparently some are falling for it. It's really a minor issue compared to the money.

Expect the contracting issues to be settled in no time flat once an agreement is made on the economics. The league doesn't need all it is asking for on the contracting issues; realistically all that is required is something to stop the huge front-loaded deals. But with the PA still holding out on the money side, the league has no reason to give in on any of its demands in other areas.

Right now the deal is being held up by one thing: the PA's refusal to accept a deal that is linked to HRR. Linkage forces the owners and players to share the cost of lost revenue due to the lockout and share the risk of how fast HRR will grow. Fehr is playing a game of chicken, and so far it has worked - it has made the league move a long way in its offers while the PA hasn't really given much way at all. Expect Fehr to push the season to the brink before a deal gets made.
To the owners yes, but not to the players which makes the owners' position all the more puzzling. Assuming long term deals and expensive 2nd contracts count against the players' share (which they would), then those things won't have one iota of an effect on teams' bottom lines. I can understand wanting to end long term retirement contracts, but the rest of the stuff is silly.

The NHL's last offer was very close to the NHLPA's 3rd proposal from Oct. 18th in terms of dollars, but they're still miles apart in terms of the other stuff. If the NHL offered something close to the status quo on contract rules but with their last offer in terms of dollars I suspect we'd have seen a deal done. The fact that they're not even negotiating right now suggests to me that the NHLPA sees those issues as being very important.

Part of successful negotiating is figuring out what means a lot to the other side but doesn't affect you all that much and using that as a carrot to get what's important to you. The NHL has failed in this regard.

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11-15-2012, 06:22 PM
  #393
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Part of successful negotiating is figuring out what means a lot to the other side but doesn't affect you all that much and using that as a carrot to get what's important to you. The NHL has failed in this regard.
You're underestimating how important those things are to the league. Gary needs to dummy proof this thing because they have a lot of dummies.

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11-15-2012, 07:05 PM
  #394
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I generally agree with your line of thought but maybe see a few of the details in a different light.

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To the owners yes, but not to the players which makes the owners' position all the more puzzling. Assuming long term deals and expensive 2nd contracts count against the players' share (which they would), then those things won't have one iota of an effect on teams' bottom lines. I can understand wanting to end long term retirement contracts, but the rest of the stuff is silly.
You're pretty much right about this. On an economic basis, the owners shouldn't really care how their spend on salaries will be distributed if the players' share is hard-linked to revenues. At the same time, the players should as a whole also be somewhat indifferent - some players will gain from the changes and some will lose (vets hitting UFA status will be able to consume a bigger portion of the players' share, while younger players will suffer). Adding everything up, it's a zero sum game for both parties. This is what leads me to believe that both sides are really just posturing on this issue and that it is not the sticking point that is holding up a deal.

The only reason why I think it would make sense for the NHL to want all of these rules is because it would allow less attractive destinations to keep talent longer and give less wealthy teams a way to ice competitive teams at a price point at the lower end of payroll scale. Basically it means that talented young players will be a bargain relative to their on-ice impact.

Overall, I really don't like the NHL's proposed changes. Although as a fan I do look back fondly at the pre-free agency days when teams owned players for life, the current system is really pretty fair in my opinion. It strikes a good balance between allowing teams the chance to retain talent and letting the big money go to the most deserving talent.

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Originally Posted by opendoor View Post
The NHL's last offer was very close to the NHLPA's 3rd proposal from Oct. 18th in terms of dollars, but they're still miles apart in terms of the other stuff. If the NHL offered something close to the status quo on contract rules but with their last offer in terms of dollars I suspect we'd have seen a deal done. The fact that they're not even negotiating right now suggests to me that the NHLPA sees those issues as being very important.
I think that you're right that the structure of the NHL's last offer is actually pretty close the the PA's 3rd concept that day. The thing is though, look at how the PA responded to the NHL's offer. Instead of presenting a counter-offer within that same framework, one that the PA first proposed, it instead comes back with a 3 year offer with fixed raises. This tells me that the PA simply wasn't ready to deal at that point. Fehr thinks he has time to hold out for a better offer, so he basically decided to shut down negotiations and continue the game of chicken. It has worked so far, right?

In the meantime, the PA starts fuming about a secondary issue. The NHL doesn't want to give up that negotiating chip without resolution on the economic issues, so things go nowhere until the 11th hour nears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by opendoor View Post
Part of successful negotiating is figuring out what means a lot to the other side but doesn't affect you all that much and using that as a carrot to get what's important to you. The NHL has failed in this regard.
You're right about this principle. In my mind though, the only thing that matters to either side is the money, which is where we disagree. As far as I can see, this whole lockout comes down to money and nothing more.


Last edited by Chubros: 11-16-2012 at 03:46 AM. Reason: Punctuation
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11-15-2012, 08:45 PM
  #395
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Pierre LeBrun's latest.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/i...l-be-permanent


Sounds like we only have about a month of agony to go and then we'll either have hockey or the season will be gone.

But as Pierre points out, the damage will be permanent.
It's a good article - an interesting glimpse of what the owners are thinking.

It also touches on the uncertainty surrounding Fehr's motives. Is he just trying to get the best deal for the players or does "he want to rewrite labour negotiations"?

I believe its more likely the former and that a deal will get done sometime this month, but there are a few reasons to believe the latter:

One is that he may have already squandered his chance to get the best deal for the players: the numbers might not work out that way in the end, but fighting to get an extra percent or two of HRR doesn't benefit the players when the pie itself doesn't include a full season's worth of revenues. A corollary to this is his decision to wait to begin negotiations. It is arguable that this would have made a difference, but some point to it as evidence that he's not trying in good faith to reach an agreement.

The second is the disarray that the PA has been in since Goodenow was fired. The lack of leadership amongst the players makes one think that the NHLPA is vulnerable to being manipulated into following a course harmful to its membership.

Which brings us to the third reason, that Fehr may be acting on ulterior motives. He could be trying to cement his reputation, sort of leave his mark on pro-sports. Coming from baseball, hockey may be a lower-tier sport in his mind, ranking somewhere below Nascar and pro-tiddlywinks, and nuking a couple seasons of hockey might not mean much to him if he thinks he has a shot at scrapping a salary cap.

Finally, consider that Fehr has less skin in the game than anyone else involved. The players lose the most from a lost season, the fans suffer, and most owners are also worse-off. I'd argue that Bettman is basically just an extension of the owners, but go ahead and argue that he's a rogue vampire if you want to do that - remember though that he is forgoing pay during the lockout. The point is that Fehr is least demonstrably hurt by a lost season, and may in fact derive some perverse benefit from it.

I think its more likely that he's just going to push things to the brink before settling, though. At least I keep telling myself that.

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11-15-2012, 08:49 PM
  #396
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Agree with the article. And the damage is permanent. There have been multiple PA bosses in the last 3 lockouts but Bettman has been the constant.

He's permanently tainted this league while he runs it. For me Atleast.

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11-15-2012, 10:02 PM
  #397
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It's a good article - an interesting glimpse of what the owners are thinking.

It also touches on the uncertainty surrounding Fehr's motives. Is he just trying to get the best deal for the players or does "he want to rewrite labour negotiations"?

I believe its more likely the former and that a deal will get done sometime this month, but there are a few reasons to believe the latter:

One is that he may have already squandered his chance to get the best deal for the players: the numbers might not work out that way in the end, but fighting to get an extra percent or two of HRR doesn't benefit the players when the pie itself doesn't include a full season's worth of revenues. A corollary to this is his decision to wait to begin negotiations. It is arguable that this would have made a difference, but some point to it as evidence that he's not trying in good faith to reach an agreement.

The second is the disarray that the PA has been in since Goodenow was fired. The lack of leadership amongst the players makes one think that the NHLPA is vulnerable to being manipulated into following a course harmful to its membership.

Which brings us to the third reason, that Fehr may be acting on ulterior motives. He could be trying to cement his reputation, sort of leave his mark on pro-sports. Coming from baseball, hockey may be a lower-tier sport in his mind, ranking somewhere below Nascar and pro-tiddlywinks, and nuking a couple seasons of hockey might not mean much to him if he thinks he has a shot at scrapping a salary cap.

Finally, consider that Fehr has less skin in the game than anyone else involved. The players lose the most from a lost season, the fans suffer, and most owners are also worse-off. I'd argue that Bettman is basically just an extension of the owners, but go ahead and argue that he's a rogue vampire if you want to do that - remember though that he is forgoing pay during the lockout. The point is that Fehr is least demonstrably hurt by a lost season, and may in fact derive some perverse benefit from it.

I think its more likely that he's just going to push things to the brink before settling, though. At least I keep telling myself that.
I don't think Fehr is acting to cement his reputation or to leave his mark on pro sports. I don't think he's trying to nuke the season to scrap the salary cap. If that was the case, he wouldn't have been making offers to the NHL that would result in the NHLPA taking in below the 57% of HRR they previously earned. I think the NHL just hasn't proposed an offer which Fehr is comfortable with recommending to his membership.

If anyone is acting to cement their reputations, it's Bettman and Daly. They are the ones trying to force through the most restrictive contract rights in pro sports. This isn't just a quibble over a couple of percentage points of HRR, which by the way has moved 5-7 points in the owners direction already. The NHL is trying to limit contract length, extend ELC's to 5 years, raise the UFA age and eliminate salary arbitration. Why would Fehr recommend accepting these conditions. If you were in Fehr's shoes, would you?

Maybe Bettman is angling for David Stern's job in 2014, and has nothing to lose by playing hardball? It's about as plausible as your theory on Fehr.

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11-15-2012, 11:58 PM
  #398
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Originally Posted by Hammer79 View Post
...
If anyone is acting to cement their reputations, it's Bettman and Daly. They are the ones trying to force through the most restrictive contract rights in pro sports. This isn't just a quibble over a couple of percentage points of HRR, which by the way has moved 5-7 points in the owners direction already. The NHL is trying to limit contract length, extend ELC's to 5 years, raise the UFA age and eliminate salary arbitration. Why would Fehr recommend accepting these conditions. If you were in Fehr's shoes, would you?
I think I gave a full account of my take on the contract rights issue two posts ago, so I'll let that stand as my response.

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Maybe Bettman is angling for David Stern's job in 2014, and has nothing to lose by playing hardball? It's about as plausible as your theory on Fehr.
The difference between Bettman and Fehr is that the owners pretty much have direct control over Bettman. They are a smaller group and you can bet that billionaire businessmen are not going to let an employee do things they do not wish for. The PA, on the other hand, has been in shambles since the last lockout, few players have taken an active role in it, and many probably don't have the background to really understand the issues at hand. These conditions make it possible that Fehr is acting against their best interests.

Anyway, it's not really my theory. I was just trying to expand on the argument that Fehr is bent on destroying the league. As I stated, I think a deal gets done by the end of this month, or mid-December at the latest.

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11-16-2012, 01:02 AM
  #399
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubros View Post

The difference between Bettman and Fehr is that the owners pretty much have direct control over Bettman. They are a smaller group and you can bet that billionaire businessmen are not going to let an employee do things they do not wish for. The PA, on the other hand, has been in shambles since the last lockout, few players have taken an active role in it, and many probably don't have the background to really understand the issues at hand. These conditions make it possible that Fehr is acting against their best interests.

Anyway, it's not really my theory. I was just trying to expand on the argument that Fehr is bent on destroying the league. As I stated, I think a deal gets done by the end of this month, or mid-December at the latest.
The NHLPA constitution pretty much precludes any actions against Mr. Fehr.

While I love your optimism regarding the season being salvaged, as long as the current infrastructure remains in place in the NHLPA there's zero percent chance of a season this year.

Mr. Fehr wasn't hired to work off of a League proposal, he was hired to make good on the damage that was perceived to be done with the last CBA.

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11-16-2012, 02:47 AM
  #400
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The NHLPA constitution pretty much precludes any actions against Mr. Fehr.

While I love your optimism regarding the season being salvaged, as long as the current infrastructure remains in place in the NHLPA there's zero percent chance of a season this year.

Mr. Fehr wasn't hired to work off of a League proposal, he was hired to make good on the damage that was perceived to be done with the last CBA.
At this point in time, I understand the pessimism. As you allude, Fehr, by getting the constitution that he wanted, one that makes it difficult to remove him from his post, ensured that there will be no coup staged against him as there was against Goodenow in '05.

I don't think a coup is necessary though. The players must know that losing a season is the worst possible outcome for them. When the season is on the line, I have to think a majority of players will make their desire to reach a deal known to their leadership. I don't know how Fehr will be able to justify failing to carry out the wishes of his constituents at that point.

Negotiations will proceed much like they did with the NBA last year. Hopelessness until the last possible moment.

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