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NHLPA unimpressed with NHL after owners contacted players

Oct 23, 2012, 11:27 AM EDT

Steve Fehr Getty Images

NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr thinks it a bit odd that owners and general managers were allowed a 48-hour window to speak to players, and that the window just happened to open last week after the NHL tabled its optimism-inducing 50-50 offer.

“Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings,” Fehr said in a statement. “No owners are allowed to speak to the media about the bargaining. Interesting that they are secretly unleashed to talk to the players about the meetings the players can attend but the owners cannot.”

In reality, it’s not “interesting,” and Fehr knows it. It’s fairly obvious the owners and GMs were permitted to speak to players in hopes of convincing the players that the NHL’s offer was a good one.

“Propaganda” is what one player called it, as per TVA Sports.

But whether the league did anything wrong depends how you look at it. Some may call the move underhanded; others just an attempt to get a deal done.

Regardless, there’s still no word when the league and players will meet again, and with the league saying a deal needs to be struck by Thursday in order to allow an 82-game season, it’s an understatement to call time a factor.

  1. paperlions - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Player: “Are you pissing down my back?”

    Owner/GM: “No, it’s raining, I swear.”

  2. footballfan - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    I’m really getting sick of the whole mess.

  3. paledevil - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Is it me or is Fehr aging in dog years ?

    • blomfeld - Oct 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM

      it’s not just you friend … I was also shocked when I saw this image for the first time, as it does portray Donald having aged by at least 20 years ? … however please note that this is “Steve” Fehr, who is Donald’s dad … they’re essentially like a father-son legal team and they’re reputed to be about the “best” there is in the business …

  4. sjsharks66 - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    I can’t stand Fehr. He sounds like such a teenage girl. “Why can they talk to the players? Huh? Huh? Answer me that question.”

    How about you work on a better deal Fehr and then go deal with golf or some other sport.

  5. joeyashwi - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    No Fehr, don’t. I like golf and don’t want that ruined too.

  6. chrisvegas - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    I can’t stand the owners and Bettman. They got the deal they wanted last lockout and now they aren’t happy with it. Do we have to have a lockout every seven years? What a joke! They just tripled their TV contract and they pretend they are losing money. Ya a few franchises are in bad markets and need to move their team, but other than that anyone who believes the NHL is losing money hasn’t a clue. The NHL has record profits the last seven years and they have not been able to prove the need for their demands. We will miss the whole season and maybe more until someone caves. I hope it is the owners because this mess is their own fault. They over pay players and then try and get out of the contracts that they signed. The players are right to want their contracts honored. Screw the billionaire owners.

  7. gallyhatch - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    So now Fehr is to blame for ruining the NHL? I find that about as logical as blaming Bettman for this whole mess.

    Maybe I have it wrong, but Bettman, like Roger Goodell in the NFL, only has his job for as long as he serves the owners’ interests. It’s my opinion that the owners want more & more off the top, therefore are responsible at the end of the day for this whole cluster.

    Likewise, Fehr is charged with serving the players interests which he seems to be doing rather well. Neither man is in it for the fans, I don’t know why people would think they are.

    With that being said, Bettman SHOULD be able to act in the best interests of the league, but I am under the impression it’s the owners he has to answer to, ergo he’s pushing their agenda first & foremost.

    • elvispocomo - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      In particular, it’s a small subset of the owners that hold the cards. Guys like Jeremy Jacobs don’t have the same interests as Mark Chipman. To think they all agree – and more importantly, have the same power in these discussions – is naive.

      There are certainly players that disagree on the course to take as well, but it’s not as much that there are certain players with all the power dictating what is happening. They are working much more as a collective, or at least using the representatives from each team to forward the other players’ concerns.

      • macjacmccoy - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:28 AM

        That statement is just false, every owner has the same amount of power in the negotiations as the next man. They all get an equal vote so 1 vote doesnt count for more then the next. This isnt like prime time games or winter classics where teams like the Flyers Penguins and Red Wings have more pull.

      • elvispocomo - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        Each owner may have one vote, but to think each owner holds the same power when they talk about issues is what’s naive. The more powerful owners certainly have some sway in convincing the others what is best for the league if only 8 of them are required to make decisions.

  8. id4joey - Oct 23, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    chrisvegas, keep in mind that the economic landscape has changed since the last agreement. It is passé. Hence, the CBA can never be a definite agreement, and therefore expires every 5 to 7 years.

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