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Season could start without new CBA, says Fehr

Jun 25, 2012, 5:26 PM EDT


As long as the league and players’ union are still negotiating, the 2012-13 NHL season could start without a new collective bargaining agreement in place, NHLPA chief Donald Fehr suggested today in Chicago.

Whether the owners feel the same way is another question.

The PA is holding meetings until Wednesday, soon after which formal talks between the league and union are set to begin as the Sept. 15 expiration of the current CBA approaches.

Not that a deal absolutely has to get done by then, maintains Fehr, formerly the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

“There’s nothing magic about Sept. 15. The law is that if you don’t have a new agreement, and as long as both sides are willing to keep negotiating, you can continue to play under the terms of the old one until you reach an agreement,” he said. “All I know is that in baseball, there were any number of occasions in which we played while the parties were continuing to negotiate.”

We’re still left to speculate how aggressively the two sides will pursue their respective positions. Many predict the owners will attempt to cut the players’ share of revenues from the current 57 percent, a move the PA would undoubtedly oppose given all the concessions the union made to end the 2004-05 lockout.

Fehr’s assertion that the season could start without a new agreement in place could also be a proactive PR play. After all, it’s the owners that have to lock out the players. If the union is willing to keep negotiating and the league cancels games anyway, whose side do you think the fans will take?

Image via @NHLPA

  1. ravenscaps48 - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    I’m convinced that this guy is the devil

    • barkar942 - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      No, that’s not Lou Lamarello. The guy in the picture has hair!

    • imleftcoast - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:17 PM

      Gary Bettman, is that you? What hockey fan wouldn’t be happy to have the season start on time?

    • ravenscaps48 - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:21 PM

      He’s a cancer to everything he touches… I saw the words Donald Fehr and that was my instant reaction

      • imleftcoast - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:29 PM

        True, he has a reputation with baseball fans. He does seem like the player-side equivalent of Bettman though. There was a great MacLean’s article about Bettman.

  2. scotloucks - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    The owners would be absolute fools to lock out the players this time.

    They messed up the last time the league had momentum (after the Rangers won the Cup) … doing it again would be about as foolish as you could get.

  3. sampulls - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Doesn’t matter if it’s a lockout or a strike…they players are too greedy. To have a ‘union’ for millionaires is ridiculous.

    • imleftcoast - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      The owners and players agreed on a 57% split last time, and the players would probably be happy to re-sign and the NHL just inked a new deal with NBC. How is that the players being too greedy? If there are franchises that aren’t viable, the league could move them to Quebec City, Hamilton or Seattle. I get the sense the owners would rather get an expansion fee and that’s why they won’t.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      The players are employees of men much richer than themselves, and are helping them become even more so. They deserve their cut of the revenue.

    • flyerscup2010 - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:26 AM

      The players’ union is necessary more to make sure player safety is a priority even more than it is for revenue sharing-related reasons.

    • stakex - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      How are the players “too greedy”? Look at it this way, if the owners can afford to pay their team $60-70 million a year… think how much money they are making.

      Now who puts the fans in the stands, who sells all those jerseys, and who is taking all the physical risk? Its sure as hell not the owners, so why should the owners keep most of the money the team makes. It could be argued that pro athleats make too much money, but really they are just getting their fair share of the revenue they generate for their team.

      • babykaby - Jun 27, 2012 at 5:57 AM

        Every employee in every job could make the same statement. Look at how much money McDonald’s owners make. They sure don’t pay those kids flipping burgers very much and yet the kids are the one’s who are actually getting McDonald’s product out. Are they entitled to 57% of the revenue because they are the ones actually providing the product? Yes, professional sports players are overpaid and in a lot of instances ungrateful. You all think these guys should get more money for playing a game when there are tons of other guys who would be willing to play for a lot less money. It’s funny that you think they are entitled to more of the revenue, and yet when a highly paid player doesn’t come through, or might be having an off year, as in a player like Roberto Luongo or Ovechkin, you are ready to condemn him to death and cry that he was overpaid. This is a capitalistic society the owner always gets the most and that’s how it should be. Keep siding with these overpaid players, the owners will continue to get theirs, it’s you and I who will pay the price as we pay way more for a ticket or a jersey and all those products that buy time for the commercials played during games. You guys are just blind.

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