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Players Starting to Ask Uncomfortable Questions of NHLPA Leadership

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12-08-2012, 09:57 AM
  #1
DocBrown
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Players Starting to Ask Uncomfortable Questions of NHLPA Leadership

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/201...adler-reports/


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It’s not as if Donald Fehr was lying to us, several players said. Rather, it’s as if he has been economical with information, these players believe, not sharing facts these players consider to be vital.

Some of his pronouncements have become an embarrassment, at least half a dozen players agreed.

Such as?

Such as the NHLPA is dead-set against the 10-year term for the new collective bargaining agreement because it wouldn’t be fair to young players. They might be joining the league in the future, and, by extension, they would be joining the NHLPA. Yet, they had no say when the new CBA had been crafted.

So much nonsense, those players agreed.

If Donald Fehr means it, why not demand we have a new CBA with every new season? After all, each season sees a crop of rookies coming in.

So, guys, what are you going to do about it?

The replies, in more than a dozen versions, were actually quite similar: we’re talking amongst ourselves and once we feel the time is right, we’ll come out with an official statement, making our demands (and questions) public and official.

But if they were to go public with their concerns would that not be a form of blackmail against their own union?

It is, several of the players conceded, but if we don’t stand up for ourselves, who’s going to do it on our behalf? Definitely not Donald Fehr and his supporters.

This saga isn’t over yet.

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12-08-2012, 09:59 AM
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I personally believe that the players in the room are only going for their own agenda and do not care about those outside the room who aren't being informed properly of the negotiations and what's being discussed. The bottom liners and some more prominent players are starting to call out the PA and Fehr and I think if it went to a vote then it would be passed as it's stupid to lose a season over this.

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12-08-2012, 10:57 AM
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ScottyBowman
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How many players are in the NHLPA and how many have spoken out.

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12-08-2012, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyBowman View Post
How many players are in the NHLPA and how many have spoken out.
750. So far only a few, but the big take away from this article is that it looks like a public statement from a group of players is forth coming shortly.

from the article:

Quote:
íve talked to more than a dozen such players with growing concerns of one kind or another about the unionís direction.
Quote:
The replies, in more than a dozen versions, were actually quite similar: weíre talking amongst ourselves and once we feel the time is right, weíll come out with an official statement, making our demands (and questions) public and official.

But if they were to go public with their concerns would that not be a form of blackmail against their own union?

It is, several of the players conceded, but if we donít stand up for ourselves, whoís going to do it on our behalf? Definitely not Donald Fehr and his supporters.

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12-08-2012, 12:20 PM
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CrazyJ
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I'm not going to put to much faith into a blog without any quotes or player names.

I would like to see the PA decertify, and not as a negotiating tactic, truly mean it. See how everyone likes that, if there are such a large pro and against Fehr faction then perhaps they shouldn't have a PA.

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12-08-2012, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CrazyJ View Post
I'm not going to put to much faith into a blog without any quotes or player names.

I would like to see the PA decertify, and not as a negotiating tactic, truly mean it. See how everyone likes that, if there are such a large pro and against Fehr faction then perhaps they shouldn't have a PA.
I've wondered along those lines-if the players Decert, how much of it is quite simply they don't want Fehr leading them now?

It will be interesting to see if they do put out a media statement, and the reactions of the PA itself.

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12-08-2012, 12:24 PM
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There are and will be cracks in the union and the NHL. It's part of any CBA, the owners are not allowed to discuss it - to the benefit of the NHL. I believe the 10yr CBA doesn't matter, he's just holding that card to leverage it for one of the 5yr term or pay variance.

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12-08-2012, 12:36 PM
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Just heard an interesting interview with Howard Bloom (Sports Business News). He was questioning why the NHLPA is so stuck on contract length beyond five years term, since given that only 12% of their membership is signed to deals beyond that length, it seems the balance of the league are being held out to protect only those most privileged few.

His view is that as many as 6 teams are on the brink of folding if no season is played this year, and he names them. Claims contraction is more likely to come versus relocation, followed eventually by the issuance of expansion franchises to QC & GTA.

https://soundcloud.com/thecharlesadl...est-on-the-nhl

12 minutes in length; the interview with Bloom begins at roughly the 1 minute mark. Click the play button located at the top left of the page - beside the headline. It gets really interesting just past the 10 minute mark.

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12-08-2012, 01:41 PM
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Stuff like this is exactly why the players are going to lose again.

While this group of players think that coming out to the media is going to help their case... all it's going to do is show the owners just how weak they are as an organization. The NHL has it right -- meet behind closed doors, and present a unified front.

I'm sure Larry Tanenbaum and Ron Burkle want to get back to playing already, that doesn't mean they're going to diverge from the group and weaken the NHL's bargaining position.

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12-08-2012, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gump Hasek View Post
Just heard an interesting interview with Howard Bloom (Sports Business News). He was questioning why the NHLPA is so stuck on contract length beyond five years term, since given that only 12% of their membership is signed to deals beyond that length, it seems the balance of the league are being held out to protect only those most privileged few.

His view is that as many as 6 teams are on the brink of folding if no season is played this year, and he names them. Claims contraction is more likely to come versus relocation, followed eventually by the issuance of expansion franchises to QC & GTA.

https://soundcloud.com/thecharlesadl...est-on-the-nhl

12 minutes in length; the interview with Bloom begins at roughly the 1 minute mark. Click the play button located at the top left of the page - beside the headline. It gets really interesting just past the 10 minute mark.
What's this B S up to six billionaire owners would have to fold. The team means nothing to them, just ask all the pro owner posters here.

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12-08-2012, 01:56 PM
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Player lines breaking?

Just like most people here expected, players are starting to crumble.

The fact is, too, that the number of players who are getting more and more sceptical with each of their leaderís pronouncements has been growing constantly.

Iíve talked to more than a dozen such players with growing concerns of one kind or another about the unionís direction. Some of them have begun talking to their colleagues, not only their teammates but to other players from other teams, too, comparing notes and coming up with interesting conclusions.

Such as: how come, when there are two binding offers on the table, do we not get to read them so we can decide whether we want to vote on either or both of them? The explanation they get is itís their negotiating committee that makes those calls and recommends whether this or that should be put to a vote. Trust your negotiating committee.


Judging by a number of conversations with players from several NHL teams, the unconditional trust that the NHLPA brass used to enjoy is no longer there. And that includes the negotiating committee membership, also. So, these players persist: stop telling us thereís a better deal to be had, just let us know precisely where weíre at right now. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Right now.

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/201...adler-reports/

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12-08-2012, 03:06 PM
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I think the players are to the point where they prob are tired of trying to get more by another holdout stint. There comes a time when enough is enough. These guys want to play and every pay period they miss is one they will never get back. Fehr has done his job, the players never got "pushed around" and seems they are starting to get restless over this battle Fehr wants to continue.

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12-08-2012, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by JAX View Post
I think the players are to the point where they prob are tired of trying to get more by another holdout stint. There comes a time when enough is enough. These guys want to play and every pay period they miss is one they will never get back. Fehr has done his job, the players never got "pushed around" and seems they are starting to get restless over this battle Fehr wants to continue.
Indeed. Most players are probably asking why exactly are we missing the season given that the parties are very close.

If I was a player I'd ask Fehr "what can we hope to get more and will that make up for the money we have lost?"

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12-08-2012, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper View Post
Indeed. Most players are probably asking why exactly are we missing the season given that the parties are very close.

If I was a player I'd ask Fehr "what can we hope to get more and will that make up for the money we have lost?"
If they are very close then why is ownership running out of meetings and Bettman doing circus like speeches.

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12-08-2012, 03:36 PM
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lol, sorry, completely misread.

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Old
12-08-2012, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottyBowman View Post
If they are very close then why is ownership running out of meetings and Bettman doing circus like speeches.
Because Fehr moved the goalposts and wants the players to hold out a little longer so they can get a little more. I've said since late august no way Fehr let's a deal get done before Jan. I think even yhe players themselves are getting tired of "holding out"

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12-08-2012, 03:43 PM
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What the players should be asking Fehr is why he's giving their money away to negotiate for smaller victories than what they're losing.

There is, whether you find it persuasive or not, an economic argument that the owners are negotiating for more money than they lose in games cancelled (of course, you have to base this calculation off their profit, not revenue, and assume that their costs are zero when they don't play, but it's not much of a stretch to conclude that they're still in the black in terms of their end game).

There's no such argument for the players - nada, zilch, zip - and I find it wholly absurd to think that these guys are fighting for "honor" or that they're fighting to "send a message" or any of that. In all those hypotheticals, the purpose of the "honor" or the "message" is "don't take our money." And so to send that message, they're wasting their own money. I don't think so.

So yeah, the PA ought to be asking some hard questions of Donald Fehr, and the first one should be, why did you lead us on with a strategy that hurts our bottom line more than just taking the owners October offer would've?

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12-08-2012, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haseoke39 View Post
What the players should be asking Fehr is why he's giving their money away to negotiate for smaller victories than what they're losing.

There is, whether you find it persuasive or not, an economic argument that the owners are negotiating for more money than they lose in games cancelled (of course, you have to base this calculation off their profit, not revenue, and assume that their costs are zero when they don't play, but it's not much of a stretch to conclude that they're still in the black in terms of their end game).

There's no such argument for the players - nada, zilch, zip - and I find it wholly absurd to think that these guys are fighting for "honor" or that they're fighting to "send a message" or any of that. In all those hypotheticals, the purpose of the "honor" or the "message" is "don't take our money." And so to send that message, they're wasting their own money. I don't think so.

So yeah, the PA ought to be asking some hard questions of Donald Fehr, and the first one should be, why did you lead us on with a strategy that hurts our bottom line more than just taking the owners October offer would've?
So, I guess this means you have a strategy of convincing the owners to accept 57/43 and unlimited term

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12-08-2012, 03:50 PM
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I would imagine this happens on both sides. Players and owners see leaked proposals and think "this is something I can live with" and wonder why it's not getting done.

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12-08-2012, 03:52 PM
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It begins. It's unfortunate it took so long for the players to realize that Fehr is using them.

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12-08-2012, 03:53 PM
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It begins. It's unfortunate it took so long for the players to realize that Fehr is using them.
That makes no sense whatsoever. What is Fehr gaining here in personal terms?

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12-08-2012, 03:55 PM
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So, I guess this means you have a strategy of convincing the owners to accept 57/43 and unlimited term
I don't understand your comment.

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12-08-2012, 03:55 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haseoke39 View Post
What the players should be asking Fehr is why he's giving their money away to negotiate for smaller victories than what they're losing.

There is, whether you find it persuasive or not, an economic argument that the owners are negotiating for more money than they lose in games cancelled (of course, you have to base this calculation off their profit, not revenue, and assume that their costs are zero when they don't play, but it's not much of a stretch to conclude that they're still in the black in terms of their end game).

There's no such argument for the players - nada, zilch, zip - and I find it wholly absurd to think that these guys are fighting for "honor" or that they're fighting to "send a message" or any of that. In all those hypotheticals, the purpose of the "honor" or the "message" is "don't take our money." And so to send that message, they're wasting their own money. I don't think so.

So yeah, the PA ought to be asking some hard questions of Donald Fehr, and the first one should be, why did you lead us on with a strategy that hurts our bottom line more than just taking the owners October offer would've?
That's been my biggest prob with the whole process, the PA could have bargained hard from the oct. offer to see if they could have got favourable numbers on make whole and save an 82 game schedule. But the PA never even considered that and brought in the delinked offers Fehr knew would be thrown out just to drag this on.

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12-08-2012, 04:03 PM
  #24
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Indeed. Most players are probably asking why exactly are we missing the season given that the parties are very close.
I do not think they are that close. Thats Fehrs quote. Bettman says they are still far apart.

I think the two biggest issues are compliance buyouts not counting against the cap/percentage and limits to escrow. That gives the players upside that could be well above the 50% they are saying they agree to. The league wants 50/50, not guarnteed 50% but the players can make more.

Basically this whole thing really came apart when Fehr asked for them to "pay for the lockout" Since then every proposal from the players has a poison pill to the owners in case revenues drop. Technically what the players can make is open ended, and in theory the owners could be mandated to pay the players more than 100% of revenue (although obviously thats not going to happen, its for illustration purposes). The owners simply consider that far to great a risk to take on.

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12-08-2012, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JAX View Post
That's been my biggest prob with the whole process, the PA could have bargained hard from the oct. offer to see if they could have got favourable numbers on make whole and save an 82 game schedule. But the PA never even considered that and brought in the delinked offers Fehr knew would be thrown out just to drag this on.
Right. The point is, if you know your offers are $500M apart and that your side loses at least $500M if you don't take a deal pretty much immediately, the only thing that makes financial sense is fighting for as many concessions as you can get on that October offer as you can and calling it a day. It was in October that the PA reached the point where it didn't make financial sense for them anymore to keep negotiating.

So what Fehr should've done is tried to take back as many of the contracting terms as he could, and I'd bet he'd probably be able to get at least $100M of make whole money out of the owners, and get his guys back on the ice Nov. 2. That would've been their welfare maximizing solution. Not only that, but I bet future HRR would have been much improved if we weren't talking about losing fans from having a shortened season. I know I'm not going back.

But if you're going to keep negotiating, you MUST MUST MUST have a strategy to get back more than the cost of negotiating. And it's been plain since Fehr and Bettman exchanged offers that were only $500M apart, days before the PA consented to lose more than that sum in negotiating costs, that the PA had no such strategy. That's why Fehr should be getting run out of town. He simply isn't working off a strategy that gives the players their best interests.

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