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Steve Fehr: NHL has “essentially said that they are not moving off their last proposal”

Oct 21, 2012, 9:30 PM EDT

Mathieu Schneider, Ron Hainsey, Steve Fehr AP

As we mentioned earlier tonight, opinions are all over the place about just how negotiations will go from here after the NHL shot down all three NHLPA offers on Thursday. One guy who is feeling conflicted, however, is NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr.

Fehr tells The Canadian Press that while he feels there’s a deal on the table to be made between both sides, he’s not expecting the NHL to go changing anything up anytime soon.

“There are multiple frameworks for a deal on the table,” said Steve Fehr, the NHLPA’s special counsel. “We gave them three good ones on Thursday. Each moves toward a 50-50 split of [hockey-related revenue] that the league wants. Each allows the contracts in place to be honored.

“Unfortunately, after considering these proposals for about 10 minutes the league rejected them and essentially said that they are not moving off their last proposal.”

Keep in mind that the NHL’s offer was the second in a row brought to the table from the owners. The players’ union basically got Gary Bettman to negotiate against himself — don’t expect that to happen again.

  1. ryan02190 - Oct 21, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    …So if they will not move of their latest proposal, why not take the NHL’s deal?

    Seriously… Why not?

    • chrisvegas - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      Because the deals the NHL players offered a MORE then fair. They want their current contracts honored. The owners spent all this money on the current contracts (showing no discipline) spending their money and now they do not want to honor the contracts they offered and signed. The players are willing to go to a 50-50 split as long as the current contracts are honored, and knowing that the NHL just TRIPLED their TV contracts we all know that the NHL Owners are going to be making bank anyways so why shouldn’t they honor their debt?

  2. dlk75150 - Oct 21, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Personally after all the reading I have done the problem is not the owners but fehr and I sick of all the bs he is giving us. I am so over all of this and fehr can out it where the sun don’t shine.

  3. crankyfrankie - Oct 21, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Because it’s a bad deal for the players. That is why!

    • stakex - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:11 PM

      Bad deal eh? Lets look at the numbers.

      Even if they did take a strait up 50/50 split right this minue, and gave up 13% of their current deals… a guy making $10 million next season would still make $8.7 million, and a guy making $650k last year would make $560k. Thats whats keeping us from watching hockey. Guys who are making $10 million a year think its wrong to make $8.7 million instead.

      Now thats not a great deal. But when a business is losing money the first people to feel it are the employees. If 15 teams in the league are losing money, why shouldn’t the players take a pay cut? After all these guys are lucky… any other business thats losing money like that would just fire employees to balance the books. These guys are being asked to take a slightl cut to their outrageous salaries. A perfect deal for the players? Of course not… but a bad deal? Hardly.


      • aaronrexroot - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:36 PM

        If we had a signed agreement that I would pay you $100 to build me a rocking chair and then when you were halfway done told you I was only going to pay you $87 would you like it?

        Why should 100 or 10 million be any different, it’s still 13%.

        Also, the players recognize certain teams are doing better than others and included more revenue sharing in their proposals. While some teams are losing money others are not. The league overall is generating record profits, so why take it from the players?

        It’s the salary floor that the owners won the last time around that’s hurting those teams. While I think that the salary cap and floor benefit the league as a whole, in regards to parity and a more exciting league, the NHLPA fought against that in the last lockout.

        It’s not the players faults they are, in your terms, overpaid. It’s the owners who won the last CBA that are offering the players those salaries. For another analogy, if you were offered $20 dollars an hour to rewind a musical box when it stops would you take it or argue to your employer that you really just want to be paid minimum wage.

        Also, when a business is losing money it’s often the CEO and managers who get a shake up first.

      • stratomaticfan - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:47 PM

        It IS a bad deal. It’s moving toward a good deal. They all agree that it’s fair for them to get to 50/50. But the Owners negotiated deals with players prior to the lockout (some hours before) and now want the players to take less money on those deals. The Owners negotiated those deals in BAD FAITH. They should do the 50/50, but he Owners should be on the hook for the deals they agreed to. When they disappear, the system will be 50/50 and everyone will be (relatively) happy. The Owners are trying to avoid paying the deals they agreed to. That is BAD FAITH NEGOTIATING.

        On one hand the owners say “We’re losing money” and insinuate that the players should help them by taking less money from the current 57/43 CBA. That’s fine….but it should be on anything GOING FORWARD, not on existing contracts. The Owners made those deals…they should honor them.

      • blomfeld - Oct 21, 2012 at 11:34 PM

        “The league overall is generating record profits” …

        @aaronrexroot – Your excellent rocking chair and music box analogies notwithstanding, please note friend that the NHL has been generating record “revenues”, not record profits … there is a slight difference as you know. Now it would be interesting to see what league’s overall “net” profit is ? But I suspect that’s never going to happen, or at least not truthfully.

  4. sjsharks66 - Oct 21, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Yeah a bad deal? Give up some of their millions and millions of dollars? I agree not 50-50 right away but they are trying to milk the 57% for way too long.

    57% then 53% then 50% for the last few years.

    • bigoldorcafromvan - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:58 PM

      I have to agree with you shark… When the last CBA was signed and the players took a roll back then the owners expenses were half of what they are today I bet. Jet fuel has more than trippled in the last 5 years, The medical staffs for each team has gone up. Hotels, meals everything has gone up big amounts for the owners. The players expenses have gone up next to nothing because the owners pay for it. I think it should go to 50 50 right now and with the rollback on the contracts.

      • chrisvegas - Oct 22, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        Yes we had inflation, but you forget the important fact that the NHL just trippled their TV contract and have had record revenue.

    • hockeydon10 - Oct 22, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      The big problem with your argument is that the players are not asking for 57% in any of their proposals.

      They want the owners to honor the contracts that have been signed. This leads to 54.3% for 2012-13.

      After that, as revenue goes up and player contracts are still honored, the percentage will go down by necessity. This will allow the players to keep the money they are contracted for, while allowing the league to move to the 50/50 split they so desire.

      • tealwithit - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        Breakdown of the numbers:

        Players are starting at about 55.5 percent and don’t get down to 50-50 until the final year.

  5. irokkit - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Bunch of excessively rich, selfish, inconsiderate, greedy people.
    This is my last blog on anything HRR. “Hockey Related Reading”
    KISS MY BUTT NHL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. davida2012 - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    A bad deal?? Give me a break u guys ,!!! They make millions and they aren’t the owners so that’s the deal players , take it or go die off. Go suck it up n shut up and be thankful for all you have more than my lousy little $! Paying to see u losers !!!

  7. blomfeld - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    O Romeo, Romeo, where art thou Romeo ?

    These Fehr brothers are essentially nothing but a couple of “paid” b-grade actors, starring in what admittedly has now become a very convincing and high-caliber stage production. Nonetheless, even their few remaining fans now, probably couldn’t care less about what either of them have to say. Therefore they should just “zip it” and keep reading their lines accordingly from Bettman’s script.

    What does seriously piss me off though, is the fact that at least Bettman cares about hockey and he has a vested interest in the game’s success. These Fehr creeps on the other hand, are nothing but a couple of “wealthy” lawyers who probably couldn’t tell the difference between a two line pass and a two lane freeway ! So say what you will about Bettman, but he’ll probably still be here in five year’s time, while these Fehr parasites will have long gone.

  8. redwingsfan999 - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Honestly I don’t care how it happens I just want a deal done before November

    • capsrockva - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:40 PM

      That’s because of what I just said

  9. capsrockva - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    I just want a deal before 10/25 so the Winter Classic won’t get cancelled. Also, in my opinion the WC should always be a night game under the stadium’s lights like the 2010 WC. That game earned the highest rating of any WC in history. GET the dam deal done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. illadelphiasphinest - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Bye bye season…..

  11. njdevil30 - Oct 21, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Honestly who really cares anymore. These idiots are more worried about attacking each other through the media than getting together and getting a deal done. Im a devils season ticket holder and looking at this crap it makes me not wanna give these greedy bastards my money anymore. the other professional sports leagues are mocking the NHL right now this is why it ranks behind the NFL, NBA and even baseball. I hope even if they do make a deal fans should protest and not even show up to games because they dont care about our views obviously they just want our money!

  12. Stiller43 - Oct 21, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Youre implying the player should be happy to take a ONE point THREE MILLION dollar paycut. And you think they should jump on it?

  13. bcjim - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:39 AM


    Its known that the CBA renegotiation would affect any deals. Players knew this.

  14. dan46778 - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    At this pt I just hockey I don’t care the agreement is

  15. greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    In a round a about way, the person responsible for the lockout is not Bettman, not Fehr, not the owners, but Barack Obama. Thanks for the thumbs down but hear me out.

    Back when the last CBA was signed, the Canadian dollar was worth .75 to the American dollar. Today, the Canadian dollar is worth more than the American dollar. As the Canadian dollar got stronger compared the American dollar, the NHL started to receive record breaking revenues. Considering roughly half of the revenues come from Canada, it’s not hard to see how the record breaking revenues came about.

    It’s been well known on these posts that I am on the owners side. Until Fehr realizes that the NHL is the 4th revenue generating sport, and that might be generous, the MLS and WNBA could be higher, he’s gotta realize 50/50 is a bargain for the players. Consider the highest revenue generating sport, the NFL along with the NBA which is also a higher generating sport just agreed to a 50/50 split in their sports new CBA hashed out last August and December respectively. Maybe Fehr doesn’t realize the Stanley Cup finals this year between 2 large markets averaged 2.98 million fans NATIONWIDE. Last years NBA Finals averaged 15.4 million viewers, the World Series 16.0 million viewers, the Super Bowl 111.0 million viewers. Wanna go further, Jersey Shore almost doubles at 5.4 million viewers, the Stanley Cup Finals, not a regular season game, but the Finals barely out draw Jerry Springer by 800,000 viewers.

    It’s called collective bargaining, you know you got it right when nobody leaves happy. It’s gotta be 50/50 split, but while doing so, maybe not a 13% roll back, but maybe 5-8% rollback. No maximum contract length. Realignment will happen, in return players get the Olympics every 4 years in lieu of the All-Star Game.

    • blomfeld - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:02 AM

      No it’s not Obama’a fault … it’s the fault of the Chinese !

      @greatminnesotasportsmind – What a great post ! Good show, jolly good show old chap ! :) Nonetheless, I would take your argument even further by stating that the reason our Canadian dollar has spiked the way it has in recent times, is completely due to Chinese “insatiable” demand for our natural resources. Not only are most things “Made in China” these days, but so too are most people ! Now I’ve taken on several Chinese lovers during my time and I do respect their culture, so don’t get me wrong here. But the simple fact of the matter is, that their “sheer” numbers alone are having an adverse effect on not just the planet, but on the NHL’s bottom line too ! And no kidding about those TV ratings eh ? I almost shudder when I think back to that story last year which confirmed that the “Lesbian Fishing Channel” drew more TV viewers than an LA Kings road game … the insanity of it all ?

      ps: wish more people would endeavor to contribute like you … it’s such a refreshing change from all this lazy, new-age “STFU, LOL, URGR8” crap ! :)

    • tfaltin - Oct 22, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      A Republican voter, siding with the owners on a CBA agreement, blaming the Democratic President for the NHL lockout. Can you believe it? The lockout in itself is a microcosm of why benefiting wealthy individuals doesn’t help the economy. Not rich, but wealthy franchise owners trying to reduce the salaries of their employees, and willing to eliminate jobs in their own business (arena employees etc.) and hurt local economies (restaurants etc.) to ensure that they get their money.

      But right, the recession was Obama’s fault. And George Bush didn’t propose a bailout. And Obama’s a muslim. Come to think of it, a lockout that results in unemployment would hurt job numbers would benefit the Republican party wouldn’t it.

      The superfluous statistics comparing the NHL viewership to other sports are nice, but don’t address anything about the actual problem. Can you tell me 50/50 of what? And how it’s 50% for the players at all when they are losing future money to pay back initial losses? By the way, we’re going to need 13% of your paycheck back starting now, otherwise you can’t work here. Good faith is an illusion.

    • kitshky - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:38 PM


      No, in no round about way is Barak Obama responsible for this, but you have managed to bring us full circle demonstrating the simplistic vew that hockey fans take with their sport is exactly the simplistic view they take with their politics.

      I’m guessing your’s also one of those guys who blame the gas price on the sitting president too…

  16. turtlematt18 - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    I wish I could get a 50/50 split of revenue from my boss. I am getting sick of this crap already. The players need to take the deal. Your playing a game and getting paid millions of dollars to do it.
    The owners are still your bosses.
    Whatever happened to playing for the love of the game. Yeah right.
    Trying working 11pm- 7am.
    Again your playing a game you have been playing since you were a little kid. Wake up!!!!

    • spiffy53 - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      what a silly comment. the players are the product. if you worked at a company where 100% of the business your owner got was because of your talent, you don’t think you would be wanting a big piece of the pie? in fact, this is pure market capitalism at it’s finest. it does not matter how much money you come from or who you know or what school you went to. it is pure athletic ability alone.

      • tealwithit - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        “Players are the product.” Okay. But in what other industry does the product require first-class travel and hotel accommodations, regular medical attention, family air fare, equipment, etc, plus an entire staff of people working around/for them — trainers, coaches, equipment managers, marketers, and so on.
        People like to simplify this by saying owners get x percent and players get y percent. And then, of course, start thinking “Why should the owners make just as much as the players when the players are both the employees and the product?” Completely forgetting that the owner’s share goes to pay the salaries of all the team and arena employees, as well as the costs of running the business and maintaining the building… and player needs and luxuries.
        The players alone don’t fill the seats in an arena. If they did, owners would not be wasting millions on marketing teams, advertisements, fan-experience expenditures, and the ticket sales department. The owners have all of the expenses and all of the financial risk… Why shouldn’t they get 50%?

      • spiffy53 - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        comparing the expenses of running a sports team and other industries makes no sense. “trainers, doctors, marketers, air fare, equipment” are the expenses that goes with the hockey industry. that’s like comparing the airline industry with the entertainment industry and complaining why jet blue spends money on jet fuel while disney does not. the owners know what the deal is when they bought these teams. the issue is that they are looking for more money. we have no idea if they are losing money or not. they really have not opened the books. but to sit here and say you are worth x and they are worth y can be said about everyone and any company and any employee. you are what your market value says you are. these contracts were negotiated by two parties. now the owners are trying to get out of them. and the guys who are driving this mess are the ones who can’t help themselves (ed snider). this is about the big market owners wanting more money because they hate sharing with small market owners. and the easiest way to do this is to get it from the players.

      • id4joey - Oct 22, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        Listen, here is a fact. Teams like Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, make a profit. Ex: One of these teams listed turns a profit of $50m p/year. Of course some teams are not in the big hockey markets like these ones. Ex: sun belt teams. This why I don’t think the season will be cancelled. How do you make up for a $50m loss?

  17. id4joey - Oct 22, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    If we want to blame someone in politics perhaps we should go back to a time when the President of the USA decided to deregulate banking and allow betting on Wall Street, which eventually led to the real estate bubble and collapse of the financial system. This systemic failure is the cause of the global economic failure, and the genesis for the economic problems around the world.

    • kitshky - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      Hey … leave Bubba outa this!

      • id4joey - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        Ha! Can you say “derivative”? It actually started before Bubba, but, yes, Bubba contributed a huge chunk to the collapse.

  18. tmoore4075 - Oct 22, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    They are all full of crap. It’s like watching all these political ads. If you word it or interpret it a certain way you can make a good man seem like a pedophile or a law that is good seem like it’s going to set off a nuclear bomb. I think the NHL would move off this deal but it would have to be negotiate off of this deal. The problem is the NHLPA wants to get to 50/50 by the end of the next CBA which won’t happen. You get there faster like a year or two I wouldn’t be surprised if the NHL would do that.

    And while it’s not a perfect deal, even a modified version it’s not bad. And a 13% cut for a guy making 7.5 is not quite a million. If that player has 6 years left on this deal he’ll lose a million dollars over the remaining part of the deal. However if you miss a whole season you lose 7.5mil and will still probably lost that 13% when a deal is finally done. That’s what the players don’t seem to realize is that they’ll get a cut int he end regardless so they’ll lose more money the longer this goes. The owners will win and the players sure look dumber and dumber as this goes on. They believed Goodenow when he said they wouldn’t get a cap and now they are believing Fehr in that they won’t have to give back now because they gave back a lot last time.

    In saying all that I’m not saying it’s right that the NHL took so much from them last time and wants more this time but sadly for the players that’s the reality. These billionaires can take their time. And yeah the big players can probably take the time but the 4th liners making under a million losing a year is a big chunk of their income.

  19. hockeydon10 - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    It just doesn’t seem that difficult.

    Fact: Players insist on the owners honoring the contracts they handed out, signed, and shook hands on.

    Fact: Owners are insisting what they really want is to get 50/50 of HRR.

    Fact: Players accept their share will be reduced from the 57% of the previous CBA.

    Solution 1: Freeze player share at the $1.883B it’s currently at. Once revenue increases enough that 50% of it exceeds $1.83B, then the PA gets 50% from that point forward.

    Drawback: A bunch of teams will have no room to sign prospects and restricted free agents. This is especially true with older prospects they will have to bring up to the big club or lose to free agency. No team wants to lose players in this manner.

    Solution 2: Increase the $1.883B by 2% each year to give these teams a little breathing room for signing prospects and (especially) restricted free agents. They may still have to trade away players to bring their payroll down, but that will help shake up trade day (and July 1) and would actually bring more parity to the league.

    Of course there is revenue sharing, which is very important to the overall health of the league, free agency, contract lengths, arbitration, realignment and all the other items. All that stuff would be easier to sort out.

    Postulation: It’s not the 50/50 the owners are really after. They’ve said they are willing to honor the contracts they’ve signed, then they come out with an offer that screws the players with as little as 41% in future years. If it were the case that they were willing to honor contracts, they would by necessity have to pay out more in year one than the 50/50. They’re after the escrow money. These super rich guys see a great big pile of cash sitting there and want it. Sometimes the simplest explanation tends to be the strongest.

    • habsman - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      Interesting points don. I wonder if the players would accept a 51-49 split for the owners over two years in exchange for making the players “whole” now? From the third year on (hopefully a 5-7 year CBA) the split would be 50-50. With a modest 5% growth, the pool in the third year would provide a good raise for the players.

      • hockeydon10 - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:41 PM

        I seriously doubt that. The argument is once they accept 49% as acceptable, that should be the new normal. It’s also very hard to negotiate more back into the terms in later years. If it dropped to 51% owner/49% player, then was supposed to come back up the owners would balk at it. They would want to keep it at 49% for the rest of the term. Remember, they got to be billionaires by being ruthless, not by giving anything back.

        It’s one of the reasons their closest proposal to 50/50 doesn’t quite make it (50.6%), though to be fair that is based on the leagues bogus 5% projected revenue growth. By leaving it above 50/50, they still have some negotiation room. If they drop all the way to 50% in year 3 or 4, they have no more wiggle room.

  20. samurai3939 - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Obama? You are seriously trying to blame Obama? Please never post again.

  21. steve7921 - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Wow…what a legacy that Bettman will leave – “I personally killed hockey in North America”. I am an average American fan and right now, I could careless about hockey. Both Bettman and Fehr have reduced hockey to just below Strongest Man competitions and the Cross Fit championships on my level of interest. In case your wondering that is not good and I would say that “HRR” will be a lot lower than predicted because of this stupid posturing by both Bettman and Fehr.

    Does Bettman really think hockey will come back bigger and stronger?? Thats a huge billion $$ risk.

    • id4joey - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      steve7921, do you really think hockey is going to die? C’mon. Hockey was dying in 04-05, both economically and on the ice. They fixed it. Both economically and on the ice. Now they need to tweak it. No one has any interest in cancelling the season. I could be wrong, but I don’t see this happening.

      • steve7921 - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        I dont think that hockey will die…I am just blaming Bettman for not finding a way to fix the bigger problems, i.e revenue sharing, over three lockouts now. He and his employees keep coming back with the same proposals and same layout…change the model and maybe we wont have this problem again in 6 years when this contract is up!

        There are like 3 or 4 owners that love Bettman…and so as long as they are in power, Bettman is in power and the NHL will continue to be badly managed!

  22. id4joey - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    We’re all over the map friends, and we’re letting our emotions get the best of us. I’m not sure I have all the answers, but maybe we can find them here. Who has the most to lose from not getting a deal done? Who has the most to gain from making a deal? Can the sponsors of the Winter Classic influence the outcome of this impasse? My thoughts;

    Who has the most to lose from not getting a deal done? I would say both sides. Owners have seen HRR increase and the game is in good health except for some sun belt teams. Players stand to lose as well. Making up lost money is always difficult regardless of your salary. Be it 400k to 7m.

    Who has the most to gain from making a deal? I would say the owners. Reducing player salaries and HRR split will increase profits. Players will get their 2012-13 salary minus some percentage. That’s a lot of cash.

    Can the sponsors of the Winter Classic influence the outcome of this impasse? Hmmm! My guess would be yes. Again, keep in mind that the game is not broken, and the Winter Classic generates a lot of monies for the league and players, and provides a lot of visibility for sponsors.

    It would be great to get your feedback.

    • blomfeld - Oct 22, 2012 at 7:10 PM

      Judge: is there anything Counsel that you wish to add ?

      Blomfeld: no your honor .. a more “thorough & factual” testimony as given by id4joey is simply not possible

      Judge: very well then .. the court decrees that the season will start by Nov 20th latest

      Pessimist: wait a minute man ! … no way is anything gonna happen … screw the NHL !

      Judge: silence you idiot ! … guards, remove that infidel from the court !

      Guards: alright you idiot, let’s go ! … KAPOW ! .. KABOOM ! .. KAZAAM !

  23. id4joey - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    steve7921, I hear you, and it pains me to wait for the season to start. With respect to GB, if it was another than him the situation would the same. Like any business there is an hierarchy, and he reports to the owners. He’s a front man for the owners to get things done. My guess is that they are very satisfied with his performance based on his compensation plan, and I assume bonuses, and the number of years he’s been in place.

  24. id4joey - Oct 22, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Bloomfeld, ur hilarious…. I’d love to see on the negotiating team and cracking up both sides with your humor. How do you spell stress relief ? b l o m f e l d

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