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Fehr: salary cap could be on the table if lockout drags on

Oct 9, 2012, 3:29 PM EDT

Donald Fehr AP

The NHLPA hasn’t put the salary cap on the table yet, but the union’s executive director, Donald Fehr, isn’t ruling it out if CBA negotiations with the NHL continue to falter.

“If this goes on for an extended period of time, I don’t know what they (the players) are going to do,” Fehr told the Toronto Star’s editorial board. “But I think it’s safe to say, they would be exploring all options.”

Suffice to say, if the players propose a return to a non-cap system we won’t be watching NHL hockey for quite some time. For the owners, that’s a non-starter.

Fehr has made similar comments in the past, so we can’t exactly call this a shot across the NHL’s bow. Just prior to the lockout, he told ESPN that “the players are as free to reconsider their positions as the owners.”

Fortunately, he’s not quite ready to lead the NHLPA down that path: “If there can be an agreement in a relatively short term, which puts the pieces back together and gets the season going, I think the players can live with that.”

Related: Salvador wants “the right deal so this doesn’t happen every five or six years”

  1. stakex - Oct 9, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    This is the problem with the players…. their only talk of moving from their position is in the wrong direction. I know most people favor the players in this fight, but this kind of crap isn’t going to get us watching hockey any sooner.

    • ThatGuy - Oct 9, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      Fehr is just blowing smoke, hoping to push the owners in to making a move.

      The Owners did the same thing with their last proposal when they said it would be off the table if it wasn’t agreed to by the end of the old CBA.

      Its all just posturing.

  2. ducksk - Oct 9, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    They both spew their rhetoric to the media hoping to advance their position at the table. It’s not working for this fan. Screw them all. They are hurting a lot of folks depending on game for livelihood. If NFL could work out a deal involving 3x the players and 10x the $… Boyz strap on a pair, sit down like real men and get it done!!!

    • jtrain1966 - Oct 10, 2012 at 9:28 PM

      I agree with you 100% . The problem with the players is : They think because they’re professional athletes like their NFL, NBA, & MLB brethren that they deserve to be payed like them, but what they don’t realize is those sports have more of a following, & more seats ! If they keep this BOOSHIZ up every 6 to 8 years they’ll keep losing fans, & keep the greatest sport on earth playing 2nd fiddle to the NFL, NBA, & MLB !

  3. tmoore4075 - Oct 9, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    If Fehr is even somewhat smart he knows taking off keeps his players from playing the game…forever. Well until they say ok to the cap again. Said it 1000 times now owners can hold out longer than the players so taking the cap off the table basically say bye to this season and probably the start of a second season. Hard for me to imagine the players making under 2mil a year wouldn’t cave after over a year of no pay. Heck even the big time players who don’t have massive signing bonuses holding them over might start to cave at that point. I hope (and think) it’s just sabre rattling. The thing is it won’t scare the owners.

  4. atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 9, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    The hard salary cap should go for the simple fact that it’s tied to a hard salary floor. Asking a team to spend $52 million on players salaries when their budget can only afford $35 million is ridiculous. Set a soft salary cap at $60 million, put in a luxury tax that grows exponentially every year a team is over that cap and set a maximum spending limit of $75 million.

    Look at baseball, that’s the system they have in place and you’ve got competitive teams from the bottom as well as the top. And for those thinking teams can just buy a winner, looking at the Phillies, Red Sawx, Dodgers, and Angels would prove you can’t. And looking further at the misery the Phillies and Yankees will be experiencing in the next couple of years (lots of old diminishing players signed to long term massive contracts) you realize that the free spending will comeback to bite teams down the road.

    • hockeyflow33 - Oct 9, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      If you can’t meet the floor, then either you shouldn’t own the team or you need to move.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        I don’t necessarily disagree with you, I think 2-6 teams should folded and some relocated, but the issue with the salary floor is that it’s being driven up by a select few teams, mostly Toronto, who have been exceptionally profitable. If team x is breaking even or turning a small profit with the salary floor at $40 million (as an example) is it really fair to tell them you now have to spend $52 million because Toronto’s suite contracts were up and they raked in a bunch of extra cash?

    • jtrain1966 - Oct 10, 2012 at 9:44 PM

      I think you’re on to something ! If that’s how they would want the high end of the salary cap, then I think they should make a hard salary floor ! Maybe they could set the hard cap for the salary floor at 35 to 40 million give or take a few million, & that’ll be the standard for which all new, & old owners will have to meet or they won’t be able to purchase a team .

  5. manchestermiracle - Oct 9, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Cap, revenue sharing, luxury tax. It works for the NBA. Their season is just getting underway. With baseball in its playoffs, NFL going strong, the NBA starting up, NASCAR and NHRA drag racing winding down, college basketball on the horizon, etc., the NHL becomes more irrelevant with each passing day. If the networks wised up and put the KHL, AHL, ECHL, OHL, and/or WHL on TV we could kiss the dysfunctional NHL goodbye for good.

    • hockeyflow33 - Oct 9, 2012 at 5:57 PM

      The NBA isn’t even a year removed from their lockout and I suggest you watch an ECHL game before recommending it.

      • manchestermiracle - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        NBA would be a good example for the NHL to follow. Yeah, they had a work stoppage, too. The previous CBA had the players at 57% of BRI (same thing as HRR) and the new agreement resulted in a 50-50 split, luxury tax with progressive tax rate, and retention of a soft salary cap. Max contract length dropped from six to five years with maximum yearly salary increases. Sounds like a pretty good blueprint for the NHL, along with the revenue sharing the NBA already had. All major sports have had lockouts, but not every five years like the NHL.

        I watched a KHL game last night and it beat the hell out of nothing. I have no idea what the ECHL looks like, but it would likely also beat the hell out of nothing.

  6. xaf605 - Oct 9, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    I heard dat!

  7. puckhogg - Oct 9, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    “If this goes on for an extended period of time, I don’t know what they (the players) are going to do,” Fehr told the Toronto Star’s editorial board. “

    if he doesn’t know what the players are going to do,then who does??

  8. dbarnes79 - Oct 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Why don’t the owners just renew the old deal with the players and then agree upon a system amongst the themselves that all GM’s must adhere to.

    • hockeydon10 - Oct 10, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Because collusion is against the law.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      Not only what Hockeydon said but it violates one of the most sacred laws in the US, Anti-Trust laws. Whenever someone is found guilty of violating Anti-Trust laws the fine is automatically tripled. Go look up when MLB was found guilty of it and see that played out for them.

      • jtrain1966 - Oct 10, 2012 at 9:50 PM

        Yeah but isn’t hard to prove ?

        P.S. : If you know where I can find the article, please let me know ! & thank you in advance !

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:55 PM

        This has the artifice all about the baseball collusion, I don’t believe MLB was ever found guilty of Anti-Trust violations though.

  9. id4joey - Oct 9, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    dbarnes79, because that would be collusion. Nasty legal issues of they go done this path.

    • jimw81 - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:26 PM

      i have making the case for collusion from the beginning. they should of did what the NFLPA did, decertify and sue the owners for collusion.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:58 PM

        I think they’re limited there now, for some reason I remember during the nfl lockout that the players either had to decertify before the CBA expired or they’d have to wait 6 months after the expiration, can anyone tell me the accuracy of that?

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