Apparently the resident peacemakers are at it again. Outside hockey sources claim that NHLPA#2 Steve Fehr, and the leagues’s #2 Bill Daly are working behind the scenes to attempt some sort of negotiation to give us an abbreviated hockey season. Could it work? Steve Fehr and Bill Daly have brought a certain element to the table that other people in the CBA fight have lacked so far. These two gentlemen can actually put themselves in each others shoes long enough to understand where they are coming from. The owners don’t want to deal with the other Fehr(and still current NHLPA head despite the current ‘disclaimer of interest’.), and we’ve read enough rotten comments about Bettman from the players to last a lifetime.
What steps will have to be taken to guarantee a long sought after, but ill achieved consensus? A few thoughts from myself and around the blogosphere.
1.) Jeremy Jacobs, for the sake of the negotiations, should remove himself from the current negotiation process.
Jacobs, owner of our Boston Bruins has been a hard-liner that has worked tirelessly to push the owner agenda(and shut up anyone who tried to say otherwise amongst the players and management.) ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun brought this novel idea up a few weeks ago. This was when we almost had the deal that took Fehr and Bettman out of the room for the negotiations. The longer I think on it, the more it makes absolute sense. In Mr. LeBrun’s own words:
I’d go further. I’d request that Jeremy Jacobs also join Bettman on the bench. Whether or not the kind of vitriol the players have for the Boston Bruins’ owner is justified on all levels, the fact remains that he has come to represent all that is wrong with NHL ownership in the eyes of players. Get him out of the room.
Let’s get some fresh voices with a fresh approach. At this point, the process requires it.
2.) Owners, put it all back on the table!
The last time the owners were in a generous mood was the negotiations on December 13th. The owners were in a giving mood, and they were finally taking hits that acknowledged their responsibility in the litany of poor choices they made since the last signed CBA. If the owners have the heart(not to mention a little bit of brains) to attempt this again the day after Christmas, we might see a deal.
3.) Fehr’s part of the process(like or not) so you need him to sign the deal.
Self explanatory. He is still the head of the union. They haven’t officially decertified, and owners that should tell you how badly they want this deal to go forward. They won’t(in my opinion) pull the plug on the union until they believe they can no longer reason with ownership. They’re still willing to hope, so there is still time for a deal. They still want Fehr(in a leadership or an advisory capacity), so read between the lines and listen to the players.
The holiday season is all about giving. So owners, and players give your fans something memorable for 2013. NHL hockey.
(Editors Note: This was researched on my iPhone and partially put together on my PSP. With my computer melting for Christmas, I’ve been finding new and interesting ways to keep this going.)