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Fehr: “the players aren’t afraid of a lockout”

Aug 25, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

Fehr Crosby Ovi

NHLPA chief Donald Fehr spoke to reporters Friday in Toronto, and while he reiterated his optimism that a lockout can still be avoided before the CBA’s expiration on Sept. 15, he also sent a message to the owners that if it’s a game of chicken they want, it’s a game of chicken they’ll get.

“Look, the players aren’t afraid of a lockout, let me start with that,” Fehr said, as per the National Post. “You’d have to have had your head in the sand not to remember what happened seven years ago, and not to understand what happened with football and basketball. Everybody understands what can happen.”

So far, the players have been universally and enthusiastically supportive of Fehr’s leadership.

“Don is such a good communicator,” said Flyers forward Max Talbot. “You should see a room when he talks. He keeps our focus for four hours straight.”

“As smart as Don is, he does a good job of explaining it in a not-so-smart-kind of way,” Phoenix forward Paul Bissonnette said. “He uses simple words, and he’s not going all hardcore lawyer on us.”

Bissonnette added: “And he just talked about, basically, what they want, and showed us that they pretty much have no backup for what they’re talking about. He gave us a lot of information. He’s on the ball. He’s pretty witty. He’s funny. So he keeps us engaged.”

Of course, what will be interesting to see is how supportive players remain of Fehr should paychecks start getting lost. Google “NHLPA” and “mutiny” and you get quite a few results from 2005.

At this point, all we can hope is the union’s resolve won’t have to be tested like last time.

If it is, Fehr better hope it doesn’t result in comments like this one from an unnamed player in 2005:

“I am thoroughly embarrassed with the union. We’ve been preaching for five months that we’re not going to accept a cap and then we have the rug pulled out from under us at the end.

“How the hell do you think I feel? What did we go through all this for? We come out and propose a hard cap at the end. That was something we said we would never accept. I just can’t believe it.”

(Yeah, the PA was a bit of a mess back then.)

  1. rebekah319 - Aug 25, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    They only talk for 1 maybe 2 hours with each other a week! This whole thing hurts my head!!! GET IT DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • phillyphanatic76 - Aug 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      Seriously they cancel Thursdays session then meet for 90 friggin minutes on Friday and they expect to avoid a lockout? Why did they wait until a month and a half before the cba expires to even start talking?! A lockout should be the last resort not the top bargaining chip. They should be meeting every day, all day especially if they’re so far apart on so many issues. Bettman is a weasel and this will be his 3rd lockout. It’s disgusting.

      • lordfletcher - Aug 25, 2012 at 11:47 PM

        The commish and Fehr should be able to sit in an office and battle this out for 8 hours on any given day and be done with the entire CBA (with a few lawyer’s to help write it up)

        nothing that can be accomplished in the next 1-6 months, is impossible to complete now.

        MAKES ZERO SENSE and again, the fans are held hostage

  2. bcsteele - Aug 25, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Can you please just meet for more than one day a week in the final month of the CBA and just get something fair done please? No I don’t think the owners are being fair and I am absolutely for the players this go around but as I’ve said in several post…nobody wins in a lockout and the fans will get hurt the most…oh…and those revenues you keep complaining about.

  3. jacketsfan7 - Aug 25, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Make a deal already , be fair here , I have tickets to the all star game and if we don’t get this done its gone 😦

  4. braddavery - Aug 25, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    They should be. Anyone involved with the NHL should be. The loss of fans will cost everyone.

    • mpg44 - Aug 25, 2012 at 9:48 PM

      I really don’t like that I could only like this once. The players should be scared, they will be front and centered with fan hatred when all is said and done after a lockout … Not the owners. As for the owners , your crying over your 47 % of hockey related revenue , how much is 47% of nothing cause that’s what there will be of there is a lockout. Quit messing around and get it done.

  5. forsbergdomination - Aug 25, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    The players aren’t afraid of a lockout, awesome. We fans are terrified that a lockout will happen. Please do “the world’s greatest fans” a solid and get something worked out.

  6. thedavesiknowiknow - Aug 25, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Every time I read these, I catch myself dreaming of a world without lawyers.

    • mpg44 - Aug 25, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      What an awesome world it would be!!

  7. tbbolts91 - Aug 25, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    stamkos looking like a hardass in the picture

  8. cameltoews - Aug 25, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    The players and owners aren’t but I know the fans are. This sucks.

  9. andypoo38 - Aug 25, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    The NHLPA have offered CONCESSIONS…they have the high ground.

    If BUTTHEAD and the owners fail to give or offer to meet in the middle: THEY ARE TOTALLY AT FAULT IF IT COMES TO A LOCKOUT…..BOYCOTT EVERYTHING NHL…WE ARE THE REVENUE!!


    • tealwithit - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      Thank you, Fehr.

  10. stakex - Aug 25, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    What the hell is it with this world? Suddenly compromise is a dirty word, and no one wants to do it. Both sides are just sitting there with this “My way or go **** yourself” attitude. The fans will be the big losers if that keeps up.

    Now I side with the players for the most part, but last time the players basicaly bluffed for six months, and in the end folded to the owners original demands. If that happens again, and we lose an entire NHL season with the players just agreeing to the owners demands in the end… I’ll be quite pissed.

    • phillyphanatic76 - Aug 25, 2012 at 6:28 PM

      Its like US Congress is doing the negotiating

    • tealwithit - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      I can’t help but see the “My way or go **** yourself” attitude coming more from the NHLPA’s side. (And especially Fehr.) The owners know their first proposal was unreasonable… They’re just hoping to get the revenue split to about 50-50. In other words, they’re hoping for a compromise. The players, on the other hand, are saying they’re all about compromise, but their proposal didn’t reflect that at all. Sure, they’re offering to give up a (very small) percentage of HRR, but only for three years, and then it snaps right back to the current CBA. And they didn’t budge on some of the other issues that are important to the owners, like contract length and free agency, etc. There’s no way they really thought the owners would take that proposal seriously.

  11. islanders1 - Aug 25, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    If you disagree with the system then stand up and negotiate for 5 year contracts do not sign players for more years and more money. But they all do why because they can not help themselves and need longer term deals with franchise players to try and build a team around them. If the owners want 5 year contract limits then let everyone be a free agent at contract expiry. Take a look at the raises the executives received from the owners these guys are making serious cash in some cases 3 to 4 times the league average for the players. How can they justify this kind of money? If you believe what they are saying they should all lose their jobs. Think about it you lead a group that locked players out lost mega revenue games, and fans took years to rebuild. He now says that contract is not good for the owners. The owners team cost them and the game massive amounts of money for what they are now says is a really bad deal! They are as much as saying we did a terrible job last time BOSS (owners) lost you all sorts of money and I negotiated a really bad deal for you. Give us really big raises and I wont ____ it up this time. Oh by the way we may need to lock the players out again and get all the fans up set and questioning spending their hard earned money on tickets and merchandise. Oh do not worry about the TV contracts TV is over rated……. Any one would be fired if they admitted to such incompetence but instead the owners say here is your raise $$$$ million now go and get us a better deal because the last one you really ____________ UP. What a joke no wonder these guys lose money!!!

  12. revansrevenant - Aug 25, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Two words: Winter Classic. Bettman and the owners can’t let that game get cancelled. 115,000 seats puts a lot of money in a lot of pockets, not to mention that if that game gets cancelled, there’s a good chance NBC torpedoes the TV contract. Which they can do. There’s almost always a clause in business contracts allowing one side to back out if for some reason it would be detrimental to their business to continue with the agreement.

    So if there is a lockout, all the players have to do is hold out until mid-November, and then the owners will be willing to make any deal.

  13. Vintage Hockey Barn - Aug 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Reblogged this on .

  14. rainyday56 - Aug 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Of course the players are not afraid of the lock out. No one is going to turn down a couple more months of off season. They need the extra time to heal those injury crippled bodies and heads because the current season is TOO DAMN LONG. If the players were smart they would trade the reduction in revenue share for a reduction in games played for the sake of their own health.
    The NFL players pushed back on their owners proposal for a longer season. Having played the game myself, I know hockey players are lemmings when it comes to ice time, and would play 1000 games a season if given a chance.

    The season is way too long. I’m Canadian, and hockey is like my best buddy. Summer is my mistress. When my team goes deep into June playoffs, my best buddy becomes the thing that wouldn’t leave … if you catch my drift.

  15. ozzyplet7 - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Ya maybe but the fans mined!!

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