No indication that the NHL wants to meet either...
This suggests otherwise:
Both sides failed to meet in a big, formal bargaining session as more mistrust came to the forefront (more on this below). The players then began a 48-hour vote last night to again give authorization to the union to file a disclaimer of interest and essentially dissolve. As of this moment, both sides have met today with a federal mediator, but no bargaining session has been scheduled despite the league’s request.
If 1000 people actually got together to make a statement outside the NHL offices they would come out and say "we tried to negotiate a deal to get the game back on the ice but you guys were too loud and we couldn't concentrate"
In 14 years the average player salary very nearly doubled. They have little room to complain about mean ol' Bettman when his 'hardline' approach has led to vastly increased revenues, and maintaining unprofitable teams (which means lots of players' jobs) by taking money from the richest owners.
The former players involved in the PA also got to see their pay cut by Bettman a few times; they've had a lot of experience with Bettman. Regardless of how it got there, Bettman killed his relationship with the players long ago. There are very few players still in the league who could look at their paycheck from 14 years ago and compare it to one from last season, as well. Chances are good those players might not see a lot of difference anyways.
Down in the basement, I've got a Craftsman lathe. Show it to the children when they misbehave.
Can we seriously try this? They will probably be farting around the office tomorrow... I'll go by the office and stand there with a sign or something.... Hell, let's stand by the door and not let anyone leave til it's over.
Look at 04-05, The players knew what was coming and look at how that ended. I'm not sure how you can characterize it. I feel like the other unions are just smarter than the NHLPA. The NHLPA just seem to not get it.
The Players are more unified than in 04-05. You're right that they weren't in the dark in the months and years before those CBA negotiations. The wheels were also about to fall off the PA at this time in 05... The proposed changes are less drastic this time around, but the players are much more alienated towards the NHL... I guess a proper post-mortem in 1 or 2 years will put everything in perspective.
Fehr was hired because Bettman was too aggressive to the players for 2 decades. He was brought in to beat them back into place after they went on strike in 92. Labor relations are awful, largely because of him, and it led to Fehr being hired so the PA could have their own attack dog. The PA didn't decide to hire Fehr and go to war just for fun one day.
If Bettman thought that antagonizing Fehr with the opening offer would be a fantastic idea and some sort of payback for hiring Fehr, then it doesn't cast Bettman in a positive light.
You said that the owners initial offer was insulting, poisoned the well and that it is something you fault the owners for.
I say that it is exactly the type of negotiating that should be expected once the PA hired Fehr (oh, and refused to negotiate until after the current CBA expired).
The initial offer wasn't payback, or anything even remotely personal as you paint it; rather, the initial offer was exactly what was to be expected by the PA hiring their own "attack dog" (your words to describe Fehr, not mine) and showing all indications that they wanted to hold out.
Do you honestly think that Bettman and the owners would start anywhere near the figures they felt were tolerable when they are/were negotiating with Fehr (the attack dog)?