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Fehr calls cancelled bargaining session “one of the normal things that happen”

Aug 22, 2012, 11:30 PM EST

Donald Fehr Getty Getty Images

Pessimism surrounding NHL labor talks worsened on Wednesday when a meeting between the NHL and NHLPA was cancelled.

But for union boss Donald Fehr, the cancellation was nothing out of the ordinary.

“This is one of the normal things that happen,” Fehr told Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press following Wednesday’s aborted session. “Sometimes you schedule things and they don’t come off, sometimes you don’t schedule things and you end up with much longer or more involved meetings, sometimes you change the format”

Wednesday was the latest example of Fehr exhibiting calm in the face of rising pressure. He insisted things is how things unfold — “an ordinary part of the process” — even though the two sides moved a day closer to the Sept. 15 CBA expiration date without any meaningful negotiations regarding key economic issues.

The two sides agreed to meet again on Thursday morning, perhaps with a more specific and/or focused approach on what issues to tackle.

When asked if Wednesday’s cancellation was a sign of how negotiations were going, Fehr was quick to warn that nothing should be read into the decision.

“I’m not going to try and characterize it,” he said. “I think it would be not conducive to the process for me to try and do that. So, you just (have to) bear with me on it.”

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NHL, NHLPA leaders met to review where things are at

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    As well as Fehr comes off here, I’d prefer not to see or hear from him until after the puck is dropped in October….same goes for Bettman, although preferably he would disappear for a lot longer.

  2. murtdurt - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Neither are happening. As a true fan of the game I’ve realized the NHL is a ship called titanic and it’s headed right for the iceberg called lockout…..how bad was that analogy?? Enjoy these comments and the many more to more come with future cba meetings like this. The only people who lose are the fans

  3. pheagles - Aug 23, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Unfortunately it appears that the owners don’t mind being the bad guys in this process. Not only that, they want to be the bad guys. The only time that I have seen where the attendance and popularity has hit a sport hard is when the players strike. Even when hockey was lost for a whole season, the fans came back rather quickly . But when the players are the ones stopping the games, the sport is harmed for many years. It is an unfortunate double standard that can only help the owners get what they want, and they can better control their losses knowing that their actions don’t have a major effect on the fans. It is as if the fans side with the players during a lockout and are just glad when they can play again.

  4. onbucky96 - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Donald Fehr, shutting down professional sports since 1994.

    • davebabychreturns - Aug 23, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      Hey, same as Bettman.

      Except Fehr has played a part in one labour stoppage in 28 years, while Bettman has his hands in two in the last 19.

  5. phillyphanatic76 - Aug 23, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Both sides continually preach about how they want to hammer out a resolution before an inevitable lockout commences. Then why are you not meeting all day, every day to work out issues that they’ve made NO progress on so far? Why did they wait until a month and a half before the CBA expires to actually sit down with eachother?? It’s all so ridiculous. They’re basically saying: “We’re doing EVERYTHING we can by waiting until the 11th hour, ignoring the issues, and refusing to compromise on anything because we truly care about the fans (and by that we mean we know that you’ll come crawling back no matter what we do, just like before).” The owners continually cry poor while they hand out outrageous contracts and constantly raise ticket/concession/merchandise prices. Bettman agrees with the owners that players are ridiculously over-compensated while he pays himself $8mil a year. More than almost every superstar in the game. What justification is there to pay yourself more than the players that create the product? What has Bettman done to help the game? He’s a weasel but I sincerely hope these sides can find some middle ground so I don’t have to experience another year without hockey.

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