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NHLPA calls Winter Classic cancelation “unnecessary and unfortunate”

Nov 2, 2012, 4:15 PM EDT

Donald Fehr AP

If you didn’t think we’d hear from the NHLPA after today’s announcement that the Winter Classic has been canceled, you haven’t been following the lockout very closely.

The following is a statement from Donald Fehr, the union’s executive director:

“The NHL’s decision to cancel the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is unnecessary and unfortunate, as was the owners’ implementation of the lockout itself. The fact that the season has not started is a result of a unilateral decision by the owners; the players have always been ready to play while continuing to negotiate in good faith. We look forward to the league’s return to the bargaining table, so that the parties can find a way to end the lockout at the earliest possible date, and get the game back on the ice for the fans.”

We won’t get into all the reasons the NHL would never start the season without a new CBA. Been there, done that. At this point, the rhetoric from each side has become beyond exhausting.

  1. mpg44 - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Hey fehr …. GO F$CK YOURSELF!!!!!!!

    • afc22 - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      same reaction here….go stuff it Fehr.

      you ruined baseball for the fans and now you’re trying to do the same to hockey, don’t even pretend to care about the folks in the seats

      • mpg44 - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:32 PM

        Like he even knows what hockey is!!

      • id4joey - Nov 3, 2012 at 7:31 AM

        Agreed! I believe he’s misguiding the players and underestimating the owners.

  2. elvispocomo - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    “At this point, the rhetoric from each side has become beyond exhausting.”

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

  3. flyeredup - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    $50 million out of the pie! Good job Fehr!

  4. steeeve718 - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:42 PM


  5. comeonnowguys - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Unnecessary? Yes, in the fact that both sides should have worked this out. Spoiler Alert: YOU’RE ON ONE OF THE TWO SIDES.

    But with all the the logistics and equipment involved in the event, yes, it did need to be cancelled this far in advance.

    But getting back to my original point…

  6. blomfeld - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    “Later on, we’ll conspire, as we dream by the fire … tra la la la, tra la la la …” :)

    Attention All Fellow Conspiracists !

    Hey man, I do have to admit that I’m a bit surprised the NHL decided to throw this one out the window ? After all, the Winter Classic has been a money-maker as far as I know and it’s become the flagship for the marketing effort Stateside, etc. So what gives here ? Has Bettman seriously gone nuts or something ? … you know, “absolute power corrupts absolutely” etc ? Or do any of you fellow conspiracists know whether it’s possible to reverse this announcement over the next few days ? I’d love to hear from you ! … take it easy man … Blomfeld :)

    ps: as far as all you “pessimists” go with your threats to leave the game, etc … well I say good riddance to you people ! … you are not “real” hockey fans, you never were and this business of catering to your ilk is a big part of the reason why we’re in this mess ! … NHL hockey is not meant to be “entertainment” like some movie or DWTS … no, it’s rather the “food” which we real hockey fans live by !

    • manchestermiracle - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:52 PM

      C’mon, blom, admit your bloomers are showing. Your “hockey by Thanksgiving” mantra is toast, the WC has been flushed, and most of us find it rather absurd to think there is anyone in the NHL talented enough to pull off a conspiracy on the level you’ve been suggesting.

      Oh, in case you haven’t noticed, us “pessimists” (i.e., realists) aren’t leaving the game, the game is leaving us.

    • id4joey - Nov 3, 2012 at 7:39 AM

      No way, blom. Cancelling the WC is part of the process and pre defined milestones. What is going to be next? Will they cancel the all star break to make room for more games should they make a deal, or flat out cancell the season if there is no deal by end of nov?

      • williplett - Nov 3, 2012 at 8:24 AM

        Tell us, blom. All of us. All of us who think alike. All of us who speak of one mind. As if we were all controlled by one guy.

  7. id4joey - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Blomfeld, good riddance indeed to the non passionate true fans of this great game.

    NHL had to cancel or else they would have had to pay u of m 250k. Expensive gamble, unless you truly believe yourself with respect to the conspiracy theory. Anyway. It is possible that there remains an opportunity to reschedule the WC, but probably no more than within a week or 2.

    • blomfeld - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:37 PM

      “but probably no more than within a week or 2” …

      Id4joey – If that’s true friend, then I think we’ve got this case solved ! :) For the life of me, I just couldn’t see them throwing out the Winter Classic ? Anyway, that will dove tail perfectly with my original assertion that a “magical” agreement will be announced during the week of Nov 5-10 with a margin for error of “plus or minus” 3 x days.

      Book em Dano … murder one ! :)

    • manchestermiracle - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:54 PM

      “Two weeks, tops.” Isn’t that the line the contractor tells Hanks and Long in the movie The Money Pit? You know, for a remodel that takes what, a year?

    • manchestermiracle - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:59 PM

      Also, joey, from HuffPo:

      “The NHL was to pay a total of $3 million – over multiple installments – to rent the stadium. Calling the game off by Friday cost the league only a $100,000 deposit paid to the University of Michigan.”

      Collateral damage is much higher for the NHL:

      “The league said it would schedule the…Winter Classic at the stadium, which holds more than 100,000 people and had been expected to set a record for attendance at a hockey game. Among other things, the event called for a winter festival about 45 miles away in Detroit and the construction of two outdoor rinks for multiple college and youth teams.

      “Some 400,000 people were expected in the area over the New Year’s weekend, filling hotel rooms, restaurants and bars.”

      More small businesses damaged by the antics of millionaires and billionaires.

  8. id4joey - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    I don’t believe Fehr. He would have dragged this out until the playoffs and then declare a strike.

  9. sportsfan69 - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:50 PM


    As long as Donald Fehr is the leading NHLPA there will be NO HOCKEY.

    • id4joey - Nov 3, 2012 at 7:43 AM

      Sportsfan, who should be leading the NHLPA for a deal to be made?

  10. ducksk - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Blom and Joey right on. My inside sources are telling me deal by thanksgiving. Plus, the 3rd and 4th liners and the old timers are getting a little uncomfortable with De Furher and the big $ guys “speaking for the players”……from a true NHL fan from life! Lets go boyz!

    • blomfeld - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      Ducksk – With all kidding aside, hockey by US Thanksgiving is “precisely” what I’ve been saying here all along ! … that’s what Bettman wants and so that’s what Bettman gets ! As for Der Fuhrer and his band of clowns ? Well I do honestly doubt it if they have any “serious” say here. I remain convinced that this entire charade is being driven by Bettman “in concert” with several key power owners and that it’ll all play out according to “their” schedule and “their” schedule alone.

      • manchestermiracle - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:01 PM

        Perhaps you missed the minor news item stating the league has cancelled November’s games. Last time I looked Thanksgiving was near the end of November.

      • id4joey - Nov 3, 2012 at 7:47 AM

        No big deal blom. Starting the season in December is acceptable. So what if your off by a couple of weeks. Remember! The NBA started the season in December last year.

  11. sportsfan69 - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    In every CBA that Donald Fehr has been involved in has turned ugly and immensely against the best of interest of the game. Players salaries become extremely bloated and inflated, “WE THE FANS END UP PAYING FOR IT.” Tickets, parking, concessions, merchandising, and TV subscriptions. Oh, also by public financing for new Arenas and infrastructure, so that teams can stay competitive with larger market teams.

    Look at MLB, you have about ten competitive teams, the rest is well- CRAP! Pirates, Blue Jays are just name a few examples.

    The facts are clear, we will not have hockey.

    Greed, arrogance, pride, and emotions will cause STUPIDITY AMONGST PLAYERS.

    • manchestermiracle - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      Blind faith and a lack of restraint on the part of fans is what feeds the bloated league. The stupidity among fans is what allows this distasteful display of greed to continue.

      I stopped buying game tickets when the last dispute went down. After the Kings won the Cup I was about to order their DVD until the current dispute went down. Keep mindlessly paying to line the multi-millionaires pockets and they’ll keep treating you like trash.

      • id4joey - Nov 3, 2012 at 8:00 AM

        manchestermiracle! Ah! Yes! We are the stupid consumers who buy smart phones, tablets, cars that still run on gas. Yep! Idiots we are for trusting Goldman Sachs, financial institutions, the govt to,protect us from fake market bubbles. Yep! Friend! The stupidly of consumers like you and us is what allows the distasteful display of greed to continue. Sweat shops, and low wage jobs in China.

  12. sportsfan69 - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    If you don’t believe me, check out the average MBL player salary. The facts speak VOLUME.

    • blomfeld - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:25 PM

      I believe you friend … and yet I’m not convinced that this clown actually has the clout he’s purported to have ?

  13. bjbeliever - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    The NHL keeps things close to the vest, the NHLPA has a leader that loves to sling poop through the media….it’s been slowing this down at nothing else

  14. mmcneels81 - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    not even reading the article. eat a d*ck.

  15. sportsfan69 - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Five-O, awesome!

  16. 8man - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    If I’m the owners, I’ve already lost everything this year. The closer this gets to January, the less flexible I become. I offer one last take it-or-leave-it proposition. And then I kill the season and the union.

    There is no contract correct? Doesn’t that mean the NHL is free to negotiate with any group willing to meet it’s labor requirements.

    You want Donald Fehr to go away? See what happens when several careers end and everyone loses a year of their career.

  17. thedavesiknowiknow - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:44 PM

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