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No timetable on NHLPA counteroffer, but Fehr says there’s still time to get deal done

Aug 6, 2012, 11:02 PM EDT

Donald Fehr AP

The players’ union hasn’t presented a counteroffer to the NHL’s three-week old initial proposal. The current CBA is set to expire on Sept. 15, but according to an AP report via CSN Bay Area, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr doesn’t have a timetable for when the players will respond with their own offer.

Still, Fehr thinks there’s still time to get something done. The key, he feels, is for both sides to stick with the negotiations not do anything that might short-circuit the process.

In the past, Fehr has suggested that Sept. 15 doesn’t have to be a “magic date.”

“There’s nothing that happens on Sept. 15 if we don’t have an agreement, provided nobody says we’re going to go on strike or says we’re going to lock the doors,” Fehr previously stated.

The two sides are expected to meet on Tuesday for the first of four days worth of CBA talks.


As CBA expiration looms, Ryan Miller warns that they “can’t alienate” the fans

  1. ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    My gut feeling is that “Donald Fehr doesn’t have a timetable for when the players will respond with their own offer” because he wants to drag this past the sept 15th deadline. Thats why he has maintained “There’s nothing that happens on Sept. 15 if we don’t have an agreement, provided nobody says we’re going to go on strike or says we’re going to lock the doors,”

    I’m willing to bet he thinks he can use mounting public frustration when training camps are supposed to be underway as leverage to push back against the league on the major issues.

    It’s not a bad tactic by Fehr, but If the league chose 46% as its starting point and then submitted 76,000 pages of paperwork to go along with it. It’s not a huge leap to say that percentage was chosen because it allows even the poorest teams to break even.

    It’s hard to state this because I feel for the 12,000 hockey fans in pheonix, but some places just aren’t hockey towns. If your team is in the playoffs and people still aren’t showing up to games it’s probably not meant to be. In contrast I’m willing to give the islanders and jackets a bit of a pass. They’ve struggled through years of bad management.

    Even so, it’s not right to reduce salaries and water down the sport by causing teams to unload salaries for the sake of 3 or 4 teams that either can’t get it right, or are in the wrong market to begin with.

    I hope we avoid a lockout even if it means acquiescing to Fehr’s notion of continuing to negotiate past the sept 15th deadline but I also hope the posturing doesn’t further the childlike mentality of “us against them” that prevades so much union based negotiation, and will only contribute to each side being more agreeable to a lockout.

    • tmoore4075 - Aug 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      I think he also knows the league doesn’t want to lose anytime. Bettman might be a douche but I’m sure he knows it would kill certain teams if they lose ANY time. Not that I think those teams should be there just that’s what he’s thinking. The longer he pushes this the more I think he thinks he can get a better deal for the players. I’m sure he knows 57% isn’t gonna happen anymore and knows the league, while it would like 46%, knows it won’t get it. While I don’t like this I’m not TOO worried…yet. Again both sides know it would kill them to lose a week let alone more than that and they want to get a deal done.

  2. blomfeld - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:35 AM


    As an ardent and “values-driven” LA Kings fan, I for one implore that Bettman and Fehr “see the light” here and make it happen ! We LA Kings have only “just” started our dynasty of “multiple years” and so the last thing we need right now is some labor disruption ! Come on you guys … all of you are already “wealthy pigs” and as you must surely know, life’s greatest gifts are to be had for free ! Money beyond the level of ‘basic sustenance” is completely over-rated and the pursuit of such, is no different than a rat “gorging” on a block of cheese ! Get it together friends and let’s keep this thing going for the betterment and happiness of the people … and for us LA Kings fans ! :)

    *** Yes friends, the LA King’s dynasty has only just begun ! ***

  3. jaybertx - Aug 7, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    They literally just got me back LAST SEASON after the previous work stoppage. I purchased full season tickets for this coming season so I’m even more invested than I was before the previous stoppage.

    The WON’T get me back again if this all goes bad.

  4. ravenscaps48 - Aug 7, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    If they do not get this done, I will be in Donald Fehr’s driveway to give him the business… That dude is nothing but BAD NEWS!

    • chiadam - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      Fehr did not lock the players out. He has hired because the union head in place during the last lockout was mentally retarded. Fehr didn’t go berzerk with expansion. Fehr did not put teams in bad markets. Fehr is not the one that has cost us a season and a half of hockey in the last 15 years. Bettman did all of that. Fehr is just saying it’s time for players to stop covering the losses generated by horrendous upper management decisions. He’s the good guy.

  5. comeonnowguys - Aug 7, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    At this point, the first presidential candidate to sign an airtight promise to exile Donald Fehr to Mongolia will get my vote.

    I watched Fehr ruin one sport already. You think he actually cares about the future of the sport? You think he cares if a second work stoppage in a decade leaves the NHL on the back burner of the American sports world for a generation? Then again, if that happens, the players have only themselves to blame.

    We all know how this is going to end, and as fans we’re helpless to stop it. Just frustrating.

    • chiadam - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      Baseball’s revenues are at record highs. They successfully share revenue, which is why smaller teams don’t mind being terrible forever. Their last two CBA negotiations were seamless. What exactly did he ruin? If you know your history – and you don’t – you know that the MLB owners forced players into that strike.
      And how will he ruin hockey? The players hired him after the owners terminated the CBA. His job is to represent them, not to let the players get reamed AGAIN so we all have something to watch on TV.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        “which is why smaller teams don’t mind being terrible forever.”…..really?!…Why should any team EVER be ok with being terrible?!! The hell with them if they don’t mind. I mind, their fans mind. It’s not ok that baseball’s set up allowed the pirates to be a farm team for the big boys to pick from.

        Baseball’s union allowed Manny Ramirez to turn his contract negotiations into a media circus. Revenue sharing allowed my pirates to become like a lot of people on welfare and not spend their own money because of the money that was comning in from the bigger market teams. So, the rebuild that should have taken 5 or 6 years took 19.

        I’m all for paying the players but we’re not talking about unhealthy working conditions or an honest days wage.

        God help hockey if the disparity that exists within baseball manifests itself in hockey.

      • comeonnowguys - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        Because the owners basically wanted a salary cap, an abomination so terrible that it has since become SOP in sports, it forced the union’s hand? Or was it cause baseball “bought out the Senate” in the antitrust fight?

        While it’s wonderful that the teams don’t mind being terrible forever, I’m not sure a league in which smaller markets bad at baseball are drawing only 45-55 percent capacity is the shining example of sport, even if they share revenues.

        Also, we’re just going to ignore Fehr’s role stonewalling early efforts to curb steroids? That doesn’t help ruin a sport? It’s not just about labor stoppages.

        MLB has recovered to what it is now because it was “the national pasttime,” because it was on solid enough ground to take it. And even then, it took the ‘Roiders destruction of the record books (literally and figuratively)–a problem that he, in part, helped enable–to bring the fans back.

        Regarding the NHL, the players did not hire him after the notice of termination of the agreement. It was terminated in May. Fehr’s been ED since late 2010.

        Players are signing contract lengths unheard of in any other sports, paid into their 40’s. Are you calling anything short of that getting “reamed?” Is it so terrible that it warranted the surprise and petulant rejection of a realignment proposal? Sometimes a shot meant to be across the bow mistakenly hits it.

        But, hey, let’s lose a season of hockey AGAIN, and see what the interest is one year, five years, ten years after it.

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