I dont share your optimism on this. Fehr is very very hard line. If he is given any part in the say on how things go, he will either drag the PA into striking, or tick off the owners enough that they declare it a lockout.
As hard line as he is, he still has to answer to the players. The players stand to lose millions of dollars on this if he tries to force a stoppage. They already don't like him and don't trust him. The only reason he's around is because of how desperate they were after the fiasco with the last two leaders of the PA. He's on a very very very short leash. If he jerks things around too much, he's gone. It'll hurt the players significantly, but not nearly as much as a stoppage would hurt them.
The bottom line is, as big of a ********* as Fehr is, no one involved in this is stupid enough to let games be missed. The NFL scenario from last year is the worst that could happen, and that's pretty unlikely as well.
After hearing Pavelski's explanation I can agree with the players:
Just talked with Sharks PA player rep Joe Pavelski and he summed up the problem saying there were too many unanswered questions connected with the realignment plan approved by the NHL board of governors in early December.
“Playoffs and different travel,” said Pavelski, prefacing it by noting he did not have all the reasons why talks fell through. “There were questions with the conferences and numbers of teams. There were a lot of situations that could be worked out either way, but there wasn’t a set plan. Is that out of the question for the future? Probably not. It’s just something that didn’t work out.”
If this really is a genuine complaint, which I don't really believe, it shows just how out of touch Fehr is with hockey. He knows baseball, but he doesn't understand how different hockey is. This isn't a league where the 30 teams control every aspect of the arenas which exist solely for their play.
Also, the playoffs claim has no legs when you consider Fehr never even considered mentioning it in his MLB days, in a league that has had unbalanced "conferences" for a very very long time.
Keep it as it is, but may need some division re-alignment.
We had 4 Conference/Division format here in the WHL, you should have seen the **** storm when the MJ Warriors a team with like 11 victories on the season got into the playoffs over a team with twice it's victories. That playoff format isn't fair IMO.
Plus the new alignment which does have it's benefits shuts down a lot of current rivalries that I like right now.
Plus a few others, you can kiss those ones goodbye.
No NHL club, meanwhile, needs realignment to happen more than the Winnipeg Jets.
Traveling more than any other Eastern Conference club this season, playing in the Southeast Division as the former Atlanta Thrashers for a second straight season, the Jets need to find new friends to hang out with.