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Bissonnette says he’d take a salary rollback

Nov 21, 2012, 11:00 PM EDT

Paul Bissonnette Getty Images

For the most part, players are standing behind Donald Fehr in the continued CBA discussions, but some are faltering here and there.

Roman Hamrlik goes far enough to wonder if if Fehr should be ousted if the season gets totally canceled, while Paul “Biz Nasty” Bissonnette admitted on Sirius XM’s Home Ice that he’d take a salary rollback on Wednesday.

Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski transcribed some of his most notable comments:

“We’re a union. We have to stay together,” Bissonnette said. “If anything, it’s the opposite of greedy. We’re not asking for more money, we’re just asking for what we signed for. At this point, would I take a little bit of a rollback? Absolutely, just to get back playing. But we trust what Fehr’s telling us, and the way he’s leading us. And that’s that.”

Unlike many others, he’s not beating up on Gary Bettman, who Bissonnette believes is “just trying to do his job.”

Instead, he critiques (but doesn’t slam?) Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs.

“I’m more upset with a guy like [Boston Bruins owner Jeremy] Jacobs,” Bissonnette said. “It just sounds so hypocritical for him to think the last CBA was so awful and how garbage it was, and then go out and sign three of his top guys right before the last one expired. If it was that bad, why rush to sign those guys?”

The outspoken enforcer doesn’t reprimand Fehr like Hamrlik did – there’s plenty of common themes in his comments – but admitting he’d take less money (and not bashing Bettman) emphasizes that there are some different views among players.

  1. jimw81 - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Bissonnette nailed it. there will be no real progress unless a owner like jacobs is involved on the other side. You don’t see an reasonable person like shananhan or a yzerman in the room on the owners side and there is reason for it. Look at the last lockout, lou lamoriello was the voice of reason for both sides and they were able to get it resolved.

  2. valoisvipers - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    For all those of you out there that feel the owners that signed players to big contracts knowing that they would roll them back, therefore cheating the players out of money. I ask this then, how would the players feel if the owners signed them to their regular sized overpaid contracts then went for a roll back? Now that would be more like cheating them out of money wouldn’t it?

    • stakex - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:16 AM

      The thing is, people who attack the owners for giving out big contracts right before fighting to roll back said cotnracts have a narrow minded view of the situation.

      First of all, it wasn’t just the owners giving out these deals like candy during the summer… it was also players demanding these deals. Why? Becuase the players knew damn well that a salary rollback was a very real possibility going into the CBA talks, and that other changes might be made to contracts (like length limits). So yeah, you can say its hypocritical for owners to give out these deals and then demand a rollabck. However in a lot of cases the owners were pretty much forced to give out such deals or risk losing valuable players.

      Theres really no one to blame in all that and no fingers should be pointed. Its business. The players wanted to get the best deal possible, and the owners didn’t want to miss out on or lose good players due to CBA uncertainty… and both sides were well aware of the pending CBA talks.

  3. antkowiak666 - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    i imagine Cole will be posting any second now saying that he is pissed off at Biz as well.

  4. stakex - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    These are probably the most all around level-headed comments I’ve seen from either side in a long time. He not only accepts that this is just business…. but also accepts the reality of the situation.

  5. id4joey - Nov 22, 2012 at 4:45 AM

    At this point one has to wonder if the players will take a page out of the NBA labor negotiations from last year. Will the players make a move to decertify the PA to force the hand of the owners, or will they push for a mediator. Certainly viable options as dissention will continue to increase within the membership.

    • jimw81 - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      it’s the only thing players could do at this point. i wouldnt be surprise they do it within a week. owners are so anti-mediator, that’s the problem. there position is it’s our way or arena doors stay lock up.

  6. pastabelly - Nov 22, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    He’s right about Jacobs. He is a selfish POS. The Bruins are very profitable and now spend to the cap. He’d love to spend much less and make obscene profits. Thanks for doubling ticket prices over three tears, you selfish prick. He is why I side with the players.

    • tbbolts91 - Nov 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      God I feel bad for you. The lightning lucked out with Jeff Vinik. $40,000,000 rennovation and ticket prices stayed the same (for me at least)

  7. gallyhatch - Nov 22, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Glad to know I’m not the only person who subscribes to the completely insane idea that Bettman is an extension/ employee of the owners and not the other way around. Do people really think he would still have a job if the owners didn’t like what he was doing? It’s their league, not his.

    Thumbs down all you want, but this lockout is between the players & owners, not Fehr & Bettman; blaming the representatives of the two parties is ridiculous.

  8. shotzongoal - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    The player’s salaries are based on the CBA percentages of gross revenues or total sales. The owners know this, the players know this, the player’s agents know this and the union knows this. Before the old CBA expired, when all the multi-million dollar, multi-year contracts were, sought out by the agents, offered by the owners and gleefully accepted by the players, everyone involved knew these would be contingent on the new CBA. There should be no surprises. The owners may have to cram a 57% salary into a 50% limit. Again everyone, player, agents, union officials and owners knew this could be a possibility. Both the players and owners are at fault for this mess but in reality it think everyone involved went into this with eyes wide open.

    • id4joey - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      shotzongoal, It was reported that the NHL would like the next CBA to be retroactive. That is, all previously awarded front loaded contracts would be subject to the new CBA terms. We’re not talking about only contracts signed over the summer of 2012, not that it matters because one would think that anything signed before the expiration of the last CBA would not be affected by the next CBA, of course exception is made for the players share of HRR which should be a percentage anyways. In other words, the structure of a contract should be honored based on the CBA in existence when the contract was signed. Again, the PA would like front loaded contracts like Luongo’s and Hossa’s to be honored. However, the owners don’t want to honor them. So, this could lead to the players making a request to decertify the union, which will give them other legal avenues to pursue the owners to have current contract structures honored.

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