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Where we recap a wide-ranging interview with NHLPA chief Donald Fehr

Jan 26, 2012, 2:22 PM EDT

Donald Fehr Getty Images

The Hockey News had a long talk with NHLPA chief Donald Fehr recently to get his take on the upcoming CBA negotiations, as well as other union-related issues. You can read the entire interview here, but for the time challenged, here are three things we took away that haven’t been written a billion times already:

1. Fehr’s heard the rumors about the league possibly trying to cut the players’ share of revenue, but they’ll cross that bridge when/if they get to it. Just because the NBA and NFL did it doesn’t mean the NHL will, too.

2. He suggests baseball is in a good spot financially largely due to MLB’s “extensive revenue sharing” program. Translation: If small-market NHL owners want to improve their bottom lines, don’t ask the players to take pay cuts, ask the owners of the rich teams to spread more of their wealth around.

3. In speaking with the players, they’ve told him they want to make the game safer, but they “still want it to be a hockey game.” In other words, let’s not try to cover everything in bubble-wrap – they’re big boys, they’ve accepted the risks, now drop the puck.

  1. sippindasyzurp - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Sounds to me like the first two translate into LOCKOUT.

  2. comeonnowguys - Jan 27, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Yup. Can’t overstate his role in the lockout and his slippery defense of MLB players’ right to not be tested for steroids.

    I’ve seen nothing to dissuade me from the belief this is going to end in massive acrimony.

    “Donald Fehr: The league went into their owners meeting, they came out with a realignment plan, and obviously it required the players’ consent. We got into the details on it, we found out the background and information and there were two significant issues from the players’ standpoint: one was assurances as to what the travel would be, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to get those assurances. The league was not in the position even to give us a drafted schedule, which makes any analysis very difficult. ”

    But how could you not tell that a lot of teams were going to have an easier travel load just by looking at the geography and the divisional playoffs? He’s looking for trouble

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