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Donald Fehr explains NHL “make whole” concession

Nov 3, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

Donald Fehr: AP

Last night, the NHL made it clear they were going to alter their view on the “make whole” concession they’re making to the players.

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr, however, had to make it clear to the players what exactly it was they were reading in the press. Larry Brooks of the New York Post shared the memo to the players via Twitter.

“You may have seen media reports of supposed league ‘offer’ regarding make-whole aspect… There have been no proposals from either side since Oct. 18. You should not read too much into reports of informal phone calls.”

In other words, there hasn’t been a new proposal from the owners and there’s no reason to get too excited about the latest development.

Doom and gloom stuff? Maybe for the fans, but keeping everyone on an even keel about how talks are going is important.

If the players ride the waves of emotion that come with the reports that slip out into the press, it’s a quick way for negotiations to get even uglier than they may be.

In essence: When there’s news to report to the players, he’ll share it with them himself.

UPDATE: Here’s Fehr’s full memo to the players:

“You may have seen media reports this evening of a supposed league “offer” regarding the “make-whole” aspect of the negotiations. There have been no proposals from either side since the last talks took place on October 18th. As was discussed in detail by Steve Fehr on the Executive Board/Negotiating call yesterday, in informal conversations with the NHL this week, we have continued to explore how we can get back to the table and discussed with the NHL the issues we need to resolve, including the “make-whole” provision. We will continue to keep you updated and will let you know if anything concrete comes from these discussions. Meanwhile you should not read too much into media reports about informal phone calls.

“Following further phone conversations today, Bill Daly and Steve will meet tomorrow in a city and location that both sides have agreed to keep confidential in an attempt to keep the focus on the talks and not on conducting media scrums. We will update everyone following this meeting tomorrow.”

  1. freneticgarfieldfan - Nov 3, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    When exactly plans the NHLPA to start moving from their initial position? Otherwise this deal never gets done.

    • chrisvegas - Nov 3, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      The last deals offered where the NHLPA 3 counteroffers, so I would say the ball is in the Owner’s court. Only the owners can “make a concession” while not actually making a concession. Like several of us pointed out yesterday, this “make whole” concession was nothing but a media ploy. These didn’t offer anything new. They didn’t counter off of the NHLPAs 3 offerers. Why not take one of the NHLPA offers, make some adjustments and send it back? The problem is the owners have not and aren’t willing to honor the current player’s contracts. Until that changes we will not have a deal. This is in the Owner’s court.

      • gp424 - Nov 3, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        This is so funny, and so wrong. The NHL offered 1 COMPLETE offer, on all issues. The NHLPA put together 3 proposals on Revenue sharing only, and even they admitted they did not run the numbers on the proposal. So no the ball is in the players court to make a complete offer on ALL ISSUES. What is the Fuhuers stance on and NHLPA offer on Aribitration? Free Agency? Discipline etc.., until they address all these issues in an actual offer, then they are just blowing smoke.

      • somekat - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:25 AM

        No point in explaining that. This is obviously one of the liberal union tards that no matter what the situation it is going to be the “cheated union” against the “greedy owners”. Regardless of any facts (you know, like the one where players get a higher percentage than any sport in the country). All that matters is that the owners are greedy, and shouldn’t care if they are losing million of dollars every year. They should do so, happily, just for the honor of giving the union whatever it demands

  2. antkowiak666 - Nov 3, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    why does he look constipated in the photo!?!?

    • esracerx46 - Nov 3, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      Because he just took a crap on all of us fans

  3. dbarnes79 - Nov 3, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    These idiots are so greedy. I’m sick of both sides. Knock, knock you are paid very well to play a game you supposedly love.

    • gp424 - Nov 3, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      This was what I expected when the NHLPA made the mistake (and it was a mistake) to hire Donald Fehr.

  4. tbbolts91 - Nov 3, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    So, how ’bout that election..?

    • mmcneels81 - Nov 3, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      No! Even worse topic.

      • tbbolts91 - Nov 4, 2012 at 1:40 AM

        Nothing gets worse than a hockey lockout. Ahah

  5. mpg44 - Nov 3, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Fehr doesn’t want the players to get too excited cause he is still having a good time messing up hockey for everyone!! What a tool!!

  6. atfinch1984 - Nov 3, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Oh ok.

  7. rainyday56 - Nov 3, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    If Bettman & Daly were partners in a chain of public pay toilets, you can be sure that the stalls would be locked right now. Which begs the question: could Bettman and Daly be trusted to run a pay toilet? . . .

    • manchestermiracle - Nov 3, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      They’re certainly doing a good job of flushing an entire season away….

  8. bleed4philly - Nov 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I can’t stand unions, especially the ones that represent millionaires. Let’s get back to hockey please. preferably sooner than later. if owners want 50/50, players should agree to it. Period.

  9. bruinsfan19 - Nov 3, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    @bleed4philly the players have already said taking 50/50 is fine they want their contracts honored though an the owners don’t want that. Which is stupid if to sign someone pay them what you said you would

    • mmcneels81 - Nov 3, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      Taking 50/50 means taking a pay cut. They can’t agree to 50/50 AND have their contracts honored. The two are mutually exclusive. Don’t forget that player contracts are subject to the CBA. The old one has expired and is no longer valid, so the value of players’ existing contracts are not legally guaranteed. The existing player contracts will be subject to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

      • gp424 - Nov 3, 2012 at 3:29 PM

        Here is a question what is better a 7% pay cut, or a 100% pay cut?

      • mmcneels81 - Nov 4, 2012 at 12:25 AM

        7% of course. The math is pretty simple, right?

      • esracerx46 - Nov 4, 2012 at 12:42 AM

        The players agreed to contracts that expired after the CBA. When they did so they were being naive to think that the owners would just continue the old CBA percentages. The players forgot that in the NHL people besides them and are trying to make money. You got snookered.

      • mmcneels81 - Nov 4, 2012 at 1:24 AM


    • gp424 - Nov 3, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      What players have said this? Was the proposal put to a vote of all 700 members of the NHLPA? Or is this just what the Furher said?

  10. ducksk - Nov 3, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Answer is no. These to dbags, 1 with stiffer upper lip Napoleon complex and 1 who hasn’t taken a good crap in months. Those of u that say u don’t care anymore, u don’t care that 10’s of thousands of collateral damage done to families and businesses that are innocent victims of this calamity are left hurting? I care and a want an agreement. And your right I will eat near the rink, pay to park, buy NHL stuff etc. I’m an NHL fan and have been for 50 years.

  11. sportsfan69 - Nov 3, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    As long as Donald Fehr is in-charge of the CBA there will be NO DEAL.

  12. ducksk - Nov 3, 2012 at 2:47 PM


  13. youngs79 - Nov 3, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    This is the third work stoppage on Bettman’s watch. He clearly doesn’t care, or at the very least, takes the fans for granted. Every work stoppage has one purpose, make the owner’s more money. Hooray for the owners and screw the fans.

    • gp424 - Nov 3, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      I believe it is the 3rd work stoppage for any union led by Don Fehr as well.

  14. dutchman1350 - Nov 3, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Donald Fehr was behind the MLB not having a WS. No cup this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is no deal by training camp next year. Owners are not moving.

  15. manchestermiracle - Nov 3, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    “(K)eeping everyone on an even keel about how talks are going is important.”

    Yes, because you don’t want your sinking ship to capsize. That wouldn’t be good, right?

  16. sampulls - Nov 3, 2012 at 5:17 PM


    Like a player has never held out on their contracts…give it a rest you more on.

    • antkowiak666 - Nov 3, 2012 at 7:12 PM

      your one to talk….you can’t even spell MORON!!!!

  17. jucam1 - Nov 3, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Not taking sides, but it seems that if you hired Fehr as your negotiator you never planned on coming back this year right?… I like hockey but the damage is already done….. They should have learned from the past

  18. detroit09 - Nov 3, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    That would be you’re or you are a moron.

  19. 8man - Nov 3, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    There is something about Fehr that leads me to believe that he has his own agenda. And that agenda doesn’t favor a mutually agreeable, and painful, compromise between both sides that gets the league going again.

    The owners offered 50/50. That’s as fair as it has to be in my mind. Let this thing go as long it takes until the players cave or the league eventually moves on without them. I blame the union and the players from here on. Let their suffering continue.

    The NHL doesn’t have an anti-trust exemption. Without a CBA they could be sued, but cross that bridge when it appears on the journey.

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