Nothing like a disingenuous - you know, lying - leader to put the kibosh on an NHL season, one who wants the NHLPA to win rather than have its members ply their trade. That's Donald Fehr and again today, Dec. 19, he held court and played the blame game.
He showed up on Toronto's Sportsnet radio, the Fan 590, and gave his usual speech about how they are close but Gary Bettman and the NHL do not want a season. Do any of you actually believe the NHL does not want to play a season? So you also think Lady Gaga isn't interested in attention, right?
Donald Fehr: Strikes fear in hearts of NHL fans
Fehr is loaded with nonsense. He's aware that the last blow-up, one he orchestrated two weeks ago, had everything to do with his taking an NHL offer that had non-negotiable items and sending back a reply chalk full of negotiations on those items (contract length being one). Nonetheless, he feigned surprise and indignation when word came down the NHL was fed-up with his negotiating tactics. But that's the way he runs and he's at it again.
On the radio interview, and later at a charity hockey game in Toronto, the NHLPA leader criticized the NHL for not wanting to negotiate when he is aware that it takes two to not-tango, that he, too, isn't willing to negotiate. Has he called and asked? No. Clearly he's waiting for the results of the player's vote to give the NHLPA executive board the go ahead on filing a disclaiming of interest and disbanding.
The thing is, after two days of talks with negotiators last week if neither side was willing to move, he's being disingenuous in saying they want to talk. They weren't willing to shift positions, so what's the point of talking? Were he to call Gary Bettman and say "Let's talk, we're willing to actually move off of some of our positions if you are" there would be talks. But he doesn't.
NHLPA leader wants win, not hockey
He also doesn't provide any real evidence that the NHL is making heaps of money and trying to rip off their players by demanding a 50-50 split instead of allowing players to continue to enjoy the 57-43 split they've enjoyed the past six seasons. Nor does he detail how it is that players deserve lengthy contracts that are front-end loaded and go so far past a player's best before date that they show promise of one day hitting the more universally accepted retirement age of 65.
Could Fehr please inform us how Forbes magazine is wrong in its assessment of the league and the number of teams losing money? How teams are trying to rip off players that now sit at some $2.5 million a season and who number among them Sidney Crosby, who has made $47 million off of fans at the age of 25? Fehr hasn't come up with anything convincing with regard owners taking it to players because he's all spin. Spin by a guy who wants to win, to exceed predecessor Bob Goodenow, to add to his legacy of sticking it to major league baseball owners (and fans, by presiding over the MLBPA in the year there was no World Series).
Let's leave Donald Fehr the final word: "...it needs to be ended as soon as possible. We certainly hope we can do that. We certainly want to tell the fans we're doing everything we can to do that.''
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