Archive for the ‘Don Fehr’ Category

I have long since abandoned hope that this season is going to actually happen.

That whole thing started when I wrote a column for Puck Daddy saying I was somewhat optimistic that, given the frequency with which both sides of the labor battle were meeting prior to the NHLPA’s counterproposal — and that only came after a prolonged period of retiring to their respective corners and staring angrily at each other while firmly not-negotiating anything at all — and like three days later there was some sort of public pissing match. In retrospect I should have thought the league would swat that offer down as being far too logical and therefore unacceptable, like Dikembe Mutombo in his prime.

And the disgust on both sides seemed only to mount in the days leading up to and indeed immediately following the expiration of this past, dearly departed collective bargaining agreement. Now were Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr not only glowering at each other in meeting rooms, they were both throwing up their hands to the media like, “Do you believe I have to deal with this friggin’ guy? He’s being TOTALLY unreasonable!”

And so it was that the sides haven’t met in quite a while. There was kind of no point to it, if you want to be really pragmatic about it. Here’s how that kind of meeting would go:

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Alright folks, I give up. This will be the last I touch these NHL/NHLPA shenanigans because I have come to grips with the utter insanity this league, this lockout and its half-witted constituents feed. I’ve hit my breaking point, and it came courtesy of one Donald Fehr this morning with this gem of a forthcoming soundbyte.
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Prior to the lockout, only the rich teams had success, or so the NHL has claimed.

[We] believe we’ve had seven years of incredible competitive balance. Twenty-nine clubs have made the playoffs. We’ve have seven different Stanley Cup champions. The game on the ice has never been better. That’s a function of this system. The system, as originally negotiated, in our view, needs some adjustments.

So said Gary Bettman. Either he’s lying, fully aware that he’s lying, or he’s completely unaware of what NHL teams have been up to in the last seven seasons.

Take the Edmonton Oilers, the smallest of small markets in the early 2000s. In the seven seasons leading up to the 2004-05 lockout, the Oilers made the playoffs five times. Since, after a system was put in place that was designed to help them, the team has been terrible. As Black Dog Pat suggested of the Oilers’ playoff run in the Puck Daddy Essentials, the period between 1996 and 2006 was “a fun decade of those little teams that could that culminated in the Finals run of 2006″.

No mention of competitive balance or the lockout, just the natural progression of a team over that period of time. The Phoenix Coyotes may be a better example. They were awful, in both capped and uncapped eras, until Dave Tippett came along and suddenly turned the league’s poorest team into one of its best over the last three seasons, despite no owner, no budget, and, as Bettman has indicated, no adjustment to the collective bargaining agreement that has become a haven for rich teams to spend money.

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They did! You should have seen it (if you want to, you can here). Sidney Crosby’s hat, Gabriel Landeskog’s muscles and what appeared to be a photoshop of Ruslan Fedetenko were in attendance, along with 280 other players.

Below, I will highlight the new developments: Read the rest of this entry »

Later this week, the NHLPA will be trotting out some 300 NHL players in New York for the final stages of the CBA talks, and picking up the expenses of the guys who make the trip.

I cannot for the life of me figure out what the point of this is. We get it guys, you’re together in this.

A number of articles have been written, including some on this very site, about fans helplessness in the whole Looming Lockout situation. We’re helpless, because we’re irrelevant to the negotiation of a major business deal. People don’t settle for millions less than they can get because they suddenly develop a soft spot spurred on by a hashtag. Thus, the public relations battle means nothing to those doing the deal, meaning the aforementioned PR war isn’t even a thing, and if it is, it’s only being fought by one side. Read the rest of this entry »

[scene]

[NARRATOR]
The 2012-13 NHL Lockout (TM) is a little bit like a WWE match. Each party has their script, they know the match will end with hockey games at some point (?) and they have their bevvy of special moves which will wow us until somebody taps.

Watcha gonna do when Fehrmania destroys you, brother?

He’s been here before. He is battle tested, ready and willing. Donald Fehr has no problem — none — with the idea of a lockout, but he’ll be damned if public opinion isn’t on his side in the process.

He is a puppeteer of Team America proportions. The NHLPA: F— Yeah!
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There is an incessant need to assign blame in the way we analyze situations. We love our dichotomies. There are good guys and bad guys. People who are at fault and people who are victims. Winners. Losers. So on. So forth.

More often than not though, this isn’t how things work. Rarely, in the grand scheme of things, do things break up so conveniently. It would be magnificent for those of us who have to write about things, but it’s simply not the case. When it is broken up that way, it’s largely fabricated.

I’m here to tell you NHL Labor Dispute 2012 (TM) is not Gary Bettman’s fault. It’s not Donald Fehr’s fault. It’s not the owners’ fault. It’s not the players’ fault. It’s their collective fault.

They are all utterly terrible.
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