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Fehr explains players’ side of contracting issues

Nov 11, 2012, 8:00 PM EDT

Donald Fehr: Sidney Crosby AP

Some believe that Sunday’s talks were marginal (when they weren’t contentious) because contracting issues were the topic of the day, but NHLPA Donald Fehr might disagree.

In fact, he told’s Corey Masisak that contracting issues* are “vastly more important” than the much-cited revenue split.

“They’ve indicated to us from the beginning that the share was really important and the contracting issues were really important,” Fehr said. “We told them both are important, but as share is limited, contracting rights become not only more important but vastly more important.”

Fehr believes it comes down to losing power at the bargaining table.

“Players have two interests here,” Fehr said. “Interest No. 1 is how big the share is and that’s not agreed upon yet either, but the parties have at least moved on that. The second one is how does an individual player negotiate his piece of the pie? [The] answer is players will have vastly fewer rights, vastly less leverage for vastly longer portion of their career under the NHL proposal.”

To be more specific, Fehr said he has problems with the system for entry-level players, the restrictions on salary arbitration, the five-year maximum contract length and one interesting point of contention: salaries varying significantly from year-to-year.

” … The provision that says there can’t be significant variability to what a player makes between one year and the next in a contract … really cuts down the number of teams you can talk to and a number of other things,” Fehr said.

Getting more details than Fehr’s terse no path response is interesting, but it doesn’t necessarily make labor peace any more foreseeable.

As far as the nearer future is concerned, Masisak reports that the two sides might determine the next steps since they’ll both be in Toronto for the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame induction.

Coming soon: Bill Daly explains the NHL’s side of contracting issues.


The owners’ perspective

Daly initially speaks of “no progress”

Fehr doesn’t see a “path to agreement”

Meetings end briskly

* – Such as when a player can become an unrestricted free agent …

  1. jaybertx - Nov 11, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    At the moment, players are free agents forever and make 100% of the $0 in revenue. Their annual salary increases 0% (pessimist) or 10000000000% (optimist) of what it currently is, which is $0.

    I guess technically that means that I have either 0% or 1000000000% interest in the NHL at the moment as well. Enjoy 1000000% of my $0.

  2. sippindasyzurp - Nov 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    These players already have gueranteed contracts.. Is that enough in its own right?

    It boggles my mind how brainwashed the players are by Donald Fehr.. Like it or not, they will be the ones who lose out the most in the end..

    It just boggles my mind how much the players think they are entitled to.. They will end up getting there contracts honored in the long run anyway..

    I think honestly think we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the NHL.

    • sportsinhd - Nov 12, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      The contracts don’t seem very “guaranteed” to me if the owners can reduce those salaries in the current labor stoppage.

  3. sportsfan69 - Nov 11, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Blah, blah…as Mr. Donald Fehr leads the players to a loss season. Mien Fuhrer needs to be removed, NHLPA needs players to step up or they’ll end up like Germany, in a path of an unnecessary destruction. Egos, greed, and pride will be the demised of the NHLPA. You guys will not win this. Salvage what you can or else. Stupidity is not what you want to be remembered for.

  4. kingjoe1 - Nov 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    February is in it to show how tough he . The NHL is different than the other major sports. Fehr needs to realize how tenuous tThe health of the NHL Is right now.

  5. fortwaynekomets - Nov 11, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    I am loving my ECHL season pass on America One Sports online. Best investment ever why these NHL CRYBABY EXECS LOSE OUT!

    Go Fort Wayne Komets!!!!

  6. beerjunkie69 - Nov 11, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Screw Fehr! Support the Junior leagues! Great hockey. USHL is awesome hockey. Check it out!

  7. greatminnesotasportsmind - Nov 12, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    I’m sensing a turn towards the fans starting to side with the owners.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Nov 12, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      Mainly because it was cap circumventing deals like the one Philly offered Weber that are at the root of the problem.

      To give the small market teams a chance, the wealthier teams can’t be allowed to simply front load huge deals to lure the best players away, and stash players at a cap hit that does not reflect what is actually being paid to them.

      • flyeredup202 - Nov 12, 2012 at 3:38 PM

        Flyers fan here and I agree, that deal was a death blow to the preds.If they take it, then they are strapped for cash. They dont they loose their captain and then the fans dont care and they are then strapped for cash.
        The nhl needs to put a luxary tax in place for teams like the flyers, wings, bruins, and other big markets that can pay the salary on just the price of admission. There is a way for players to get paid and not crush the bank… Make the teams think about the deal they are offering…. there should not be a way to pay a guy 26 mil in a calender year and his salary is only 1 mil.?
        They need to find a way to make sure that the bonus money is pushed out over the years of the contract, in this case 5 years. No team can afford that kind of bonus money over 5 years….. The teams need the rules to protect themselves from themselves, but also to help keep these guys from demanding such outragous money. Parise and Suter are not worth the money they were paid to go to the Wild.

  8. bhawksrule - Nov 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    The Fehr bros aint so “fair” anymore are they ??? HAHAHAHAHA SEE WAT I DID THAR ??

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