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Fehr on negotiating: “The more things change, the harder it becomes”

Oct 30, 2012, 10:00 AM EST

Donald Fehr: AP

NHLPA head Donald Fehr opened up for a lengthy Q&A with the Minnesota Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo on Monday.

It’s worth a full read, but here are a few of the highlights.

  • After being asked about going after the salary cap and the general frustrations that come with negotiating, Fehr said, “the more things change, the harder it becomes.”
  • On the subject of cutting contracts – including ones just recently signed – Fehr said, ” … you’ve got to wonder how somebody can look at themselves in the mirror when they do that.”
  • Many justifiably wonder why the players would fight over pieces of the puzzle even if it means getting nothing in the event of a canceled season. Fehr had an interesting response:

“If this was a one-year agreement, that would make a lot of sense,” Fehr said. “But it’s not. It’s a five-or-six-or-seven-year agreement. Also, look at what’s on the table [from the owners], there’s a lot more that’s on the table in addition to just player share.”

  • Still, some players might not be satisfied with the long view. Here’s what he said when asked if he was frightened about players getting anxious about missed paychecks:

“Yeah … But that doesn’t mean you make a bad agreement because of it,” Fehr said.

  • Finally, on assuming fans would come back after a lengthy lockout:

“I never take the fans for granted,” Fehr said. “It seems to me that anybody that does is foolish.”

For more, click here.

  1. habsman - Oct 30, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    My first thought when I saw that photo was, hey that’s Marlon Brando, the Godfather!

    “Make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

    • habsman - Oct 30, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      Maybe that’s what we need to end this impass, a modern day Don Corelone to call a “meeting.”

  2. sjsharks66 - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Shut up Fehr. No one likes you. If you were on a sinking boat with Gary, I would save him over you. At least he put a deal that can be worked out on the table. Stop the pissing contest, you’re going to lose.

    • tfaltin - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      Why weren’t the NHLPA proposals workable? All they included was the full payment of signed contracts…I think a better answer to your sinking boat scenario is: C) None of the above.

      I really thought, up until today, that there would be a breakthrough because there’s too much at stake for the players and owners. I’ve changed my stance, and have resigned to this season being a lost cause. Not that I’d oppose being pleasantly surprised.

      I trace it all back to that first NHL proposal, there was no chance at changing perceptions from either side once those details surfaced.

      • mpg44 - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        Cause , and I quote here . all of three of the proposals ” worked towards a 50/50 split “. Which of course means that they are not in the start and would take the remainder of the new CBA to goer to 50/50. If fehr was actually serious , he would have at least went I. With the notion of modifying the NHL offer to better suit the desires of the players. But no , he didn’t do that. He didn’t even want to negotiate with the NHL offer .

    • hockeyflow33 - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Not sure how the blame falls on him. All reports state the NHL’s unwillingness to negotiate, not the NHLPA’s.

  3. necromerlin - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Get your mouse over the thumbs down…

    I have been a loyal paying customer for over 25 years, tickets, jerseys, card collections, and other merch.

    It’s not worth it anymore. I found the product on the ice boring last year with a return to the clutch and grab and instead got swept away by an exciting NBA playoffs.

    Well tonight instead of deciding which games to watch on Center Ice, I’ll be watching the start of the NBA season.

    • hockeyflow33 - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Bye

  4. jessejames182 - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    They’ve got about a week to get this right. If they cancel the classic, I won’t go as far to say I won’t watch if there is a season, but I’m not paying for gamecenter live, or anything other than nationally televised games. NBA is about to start, I hold the NHL above the NBA but I don’t have a hometown NHL team, I do have a hometown NBA team. The NBA will distract people especially casual fans from hockey. This is their last chance to capitalize on last season’s momentum.

  5. rsl22 - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    When the league comes back, a lot of us will watch again. The problem isn’t us, it’s the corporate sponsors and luxury box buyers.

    I don’t think the NHL is seriously enough considering the damage they’re doing to themselves. Corporations aren’t die-hard hockey fans. If they go, they won’t come back.

  6. sharksfanatic - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    It seems to me that Fehr is the one that has made this harder than needed. VERY disappointing.

  7. antkowiak666 - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    “I never take the fans for granted,” Fehr said. “It seems to me that anybody that does is foolish.”
    that’s a load of BS!!everyone is taking the fans for granted.

  8. sjsharks66 - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    It’s like I said, pissing contest. Yeah they players will do 50-50 as long as contracts are upheld but they want to do it their way. They are playing overseas not caring about coming back. They’ve all just said, well seasons over. It’s the players, owners and fehr’s fault. At least the owners are trying to have a season though. Who cares who “wins” while they try to “win” all the fans lose.

  9. mpg44 - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I really feel as I am starting to blame this on fehr for being a stubborn ass! I really don’t feel the players are in control of this union anymore.

  10. blomfeld - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    “the night is always darkest just before the dawn” …

    Keep the faith friends … something “very” significant is about to occur :)

  11. id4joey - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Hockey will be back soon and we ll all go back to fighting for our favorite teams and players. It will happen as my friend blomfeld has been writing all along. Go blomfeld.

    • blomfeld - Oct 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM

      I just know it in my bones friend … sanity and reason are about to take center stage here !

  12. thedavesiknowiknow - Oct 30, 2012 at 5:32 PM

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