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Did the NHL underestimate Fehr?

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08:26 AM ET 10.29 | The owners are, no doubt, aware of NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr's resume, correct? [Fehr] brought Major League Baseball to its knees, had the 1994 World Series cancelled, and yet rebuilt the labor force there to the most successful sports union of its kind. ... "The league was up against rank amateurs last time," said one person intimately familiar with the inner workings of the NHL. "This guy is the consummate pro. Cool Hand Luke. He has no tell. A great poker face. Has buy-in from the players." ... Is it too obvious to ask whether Gary Bettman and his owners underestimated Fehr's influence over his group and resolve to see matters through, regardless of consequence? "I don't know, I certainly hope not," Fehr told CSNPhilly.com.

CSN Philly

Donald Fehr (with Bud Selig), Getty Images Donald Fehr (with Bud Selig), Getty Images
October 29, 2012  08:40 AM ET

Yes...next question

October 29, 2012  08:57 AM ET

"This guy is the consummate pro. Cool Hand Luke. He has no tell. A great poker face. Has buy-in from the players." ...



That has nothing to do with it...just like Napoleon, he could care less about the game of hockey!

October 29, 2012  09:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

"This guy is the consummate pro. Cool Hand Luke. He has no tell. A great poker face. Has buy-in from the players." ... That has nothing to do with it...just like Napoleon, he could care less about the game of hockey!

Agreed...this situation is about Fehr and Bettman's egos - not what's best for hockey and the fans. Methinks the season is lost - guess this means I have to get a life! :-)

October 29, 2012  09:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

... That has nothing to do with it...just like Napoleon, he could care less about the game of hockey!

Very true and it probably would have been preferred to have him last go around but it is true that the MLBPA is one of the better players unions

October 29, 2012  09:14 AM ET

All November games now toast.....and still this guy will not negotiate off the owners last offer. All Hail the Fuhrer

October 29, 2012  09:25 AM ET

"Did the NHL underestimate Fehr?"

An equally valid headline would've read: "Did the NHLPA underestimate Bettman and the owners?"

October 29, 2012  09:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

All November games now toast.....and still this guy will not negotiate off the owners last offer. All Hail the Fuhrer

Eventually, the bottom two thirds of the NHL players will start to feel the hunger pangs. We'll see how much "resolve" do they have as the the bills start to pile up and they sit at home watching their millionaire brethren getting paid to figure skate in Europe.

October 29, 2012  09:30 AM ET

No, they just don't give a sh!@. They were going to close it down if the players put up any resistance at all.

October 29, 2012  09:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

All November games now toast.....and still this guy will not negotiate off the owners last offer. All Hail the Fuhrer

From what I understand, the league refuses to even negotiate.

October 29, 2012  09:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Yes...next question

Funny but sad....

October 29, 2012  10:24 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Funny but sad....

I do feel like I miss out on many of your antics being that they block pics and videos

October 29, 2012  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I do feel like I miss out on many of your antics being that they block pics and videos

That's too bad....try this.

http://www.artizans.com/image/KRI1908/kids-scolded-for-playing-hockey -in-the-house-color/

October 29, 2012  10:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

All November games now toast.....and still this guy will not negotiate off the owners last offer. All Hail the Fuhrer

The players gave 3 counter proposals to the owners last offer, all of which agreed to a 50-50 split of HRR. The owners dismissed them in 15 minutes and then refused the PA's attempt to negotiate last week.

Sooner or later you need to take your owner shades off and see the big picture. A negotiation requres both sides to compromise. The owners however are taking an infantile "My way or the highway" attitude which is what is holding things up.

Comment #14 has been removed
Comment #15 has been removed
October 29, 2012  10:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

"This guy is the consummate pro. Cool Hand Luke. He has no tell. A great poker face. Has buy-in from the players." ... That has nothing to do with it...just like Napoleon, he could care less about the game of hockey!

It's Fehr's job to take care of the players. That's what he was hired for. As for taking care of the game, that is the responsibility of the league, owners and players and all of them have failed.

October 29, 2012  11:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I think Harry is right on this subject. The 3 proposals that NHLPA came back with all contained "poison pills" ie; line items that the players reps knew were untenable for the owners. It was a sham and that's why the owners bolted. It was no different than the players claim that they offered to continue playing under the current CBA until a deal could be reached. Nothing more than a public relations ploy and very far from a good faith negotiation.The staggering amount of anti-owner rhetoric that flies on these threads makes me sad.

How did the owners know there were so-called "poison pills" in the proposals if they dismissed them without reading them? And, the owners proposals have just as many poison pills in them so they are hardly innocent of this tactic.

The players proposals were not shams. They were responses to the owners offer of a 50-50 split of HRR. When looking at the owners position and players position as it now stands, they are not that far apart. Some compromise on both sides could resolve this quickly but when one side refuses to meet cos they have to have everything their way, it makes it hard to negotiate.

How do you know the players offer to play while negotiations went on isn't sincere? The answer is you don't know that. And, none of us will ever know as the league initiated the lockout.

As for anti-owner sentiment - it might result from the fact that this is the second lockout in 7 years. The owners are taking the game away from the fans and have shown greater reluctance than the players to negotiate. Both sides are at fault, but the league (and owners) own most of it for their lockout first mentality.

October 29, 2012  11:31 AM ET

Nobody "underestimated" Fehr. I think most knew from the moment he weas hired that a long, nasty labor disagreement was coming when the CBA expired. Owners? They have as much fault as the NHLPA....maybe more. 10 to 14 year contracts for bazillions of dollars and a complete disregard for the economics of a business, expecting fans and business buyers of tickets to bail you out by paying hundreds of bucks per game for tix, programs, parking, beer etc. Sad. I no longer care if the season starts soon, or ever. Let the super-talented go to Europe and Russia and take the jobs of those players. At l;east half of the teams may lose LESS money than if they were playing. There's lots of hockey to enjoy in my area, and most of Canada too I'm sure. High school, collegiate, AHL..........You killed a World Series, cost Montreal an MLB franchise, empowered drug abusers and now helping out hockey with your usual panache. Way go Donnie boy. Are you Bettman's illegitimate son?

October 29, 2012  11:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

It's Fehr's job to take care of the players. That's what he was hired for. As for taking care of the game, that is the responsibility of the league, owners and players and all of them have failed.

His job is to take care of the players unfortunately for them he is not doing it.
The path he is taking them down will cost them millions they will never see.
Even the hard line Jeremy Roenick has softened his stance and suggests the players should take the deal.

 
October 29, 2012  11:42 AM ET

.....successful sports union of its kind?? It always was. Yet they still give big money away to mediocre players. This was why I quit following baseball.

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