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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.”

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