September 12, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NHLPA executive director Don Fehr speaks during a press conference at the 2012 NHLPA summer player meetings at the Marriott Marquis. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Don Fehr responds to latest setback


Don Fehr, National Hockey League Players’ Association Executive Director, has just released the following statement regarding the NHL’s decision to withdraw its October 16, 2012 proposal and cancel further regular season games:

“The league officially informed us today that they have withdrawn their latest proposal and have cancelled another slate of regular season games. This is deeply disappointing for all hockey fans and everyone who makes their living from hockey, including the players.  But it comes as no surprise.

Last week the owners gave us what amounts to a “take-it-or-leave-it” proposal.  We responded with the framework for three proposals on the players’ share, each of which moved significantly, towards their stated desire for a 50-50 split of HRR, with the only condition being that they honour contracts they have already signed. Honouring contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request. Unfortunately, after considering them for only 10 minutes they rejected all of our proposals.

Since then, we have repeatedly advised the owners that the players are prepared to sit down and negotiate on any day, with no pre-conditions.  The owners refused.  They apparently are only interested in meeting if we first agree to everything in their last offer, except for perhaps a few minor tweaks and discussion of their “make whole” provision.

The message from the owners seems to be: if you don’t give us exactly what we want, there is no point in talking.  They have shown they are very good at delivering deadlines and demands, but we need a willing partner to negotiate.  We hope they return to the table in order to get the players back on the ice soon.”

Willing partner to negotiate. Sadly, only thing Bettman has done for the process so far is throw around so much mud and empty promises. Now all sides have earned the ire of the fan base. Hockey as we know it will of course survive, but a lot of people are going to fall out of love with the sport. That’s a bloody shame.  This whole world of hockey has been an amazing expierence for me.  I only regret I didn’t fall in love with the sport a quarter century earlier.

 

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  • Phil in Cleveland

    You said “I only regret I didn’t fall in love with the sport a quarter century earlier.”. Well, I fell in love with hockey in the ’69-’70 season (Orr,Espo and the original “big bad Bruins”) but that love is wearing thin, at least at the NHL level. I guess my point here is that if they’re turning off a 40+ year fan I’m afraid they can kiss a lot of their newer converts goodbye. By the time the millionaires and billionaires settle on how to split the pot it’s going to be a lot smaller pot than it’s been