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"Pipe down, boss. Im only on level 2. I dont fight you until the last level. Deflex, you'll hurt yourself, Joel878 -- systemtool"
Madison, WI • United States • 41 Years Old • Male
Well, here we are yet again – another round of the media proclaiming success and happiness was imminent, and yet another round of reality rearing its ugly head to stomp on all those dreams. Predictable, really – and yet, some people just can’t help but make themselves giddy hoping for things to happen, no matter the ultimate cost.

Myself, I’m thrilled that talks have broken down yet again. I don’t care about the positions of the NHL or the NHLPA or the posturing each side has engaged in; I’m more concerned with actually seeing a solution that makes sense both short-term and long-term. Throughout all of the discussions, offers, and counter-offers, neither side has shown an interest in actually doing that – and ultimately, that’s going to guarantee that before the end of the next CBA, both teams and fans (and maybe even players) are looking at the CBA in effect and say, “really – how did that not get fixed?”

Perhaps that’s intentional. It probably is. Certainly, based on the new rules created in the global agreement that approved the Kovalchuk contract, they weren't interested in actually fixing things - they just wanted to slap a band-aid on and hope everything magically got better. However, I prefer actual solutions to band-aid, feel-good, do-nothing, “oops, we created a new problem that we have to fix now” faux-solutions like have been continually offered up … but that’s a topic for another time.

So … where do things go from here? Already, the slant of “this is still positive, it’s part of negotiating, give it time” has started to creep out. That’s about as accurate as “the NHL isn’t really interested in contract rules, it’s just a bargaining chip” which Daly indicated during tonight’s press conference is “the hill we’re willing to die on,” or Fehr’s repeated claims that “we’re pretty close on dollars” that Daly shot down time and time again. It’s hogwash. This is the beginning of the end.

I suspect Bettman will call a meeting of the Board of Governors shortly and ask for their recommendation on both future offers and a drop-dead date to cancel the season. Both will be decided, and Bettman will get in front of a microphone and say something to the effect of, “this is the final offer, if it’s not accepted by X date the season is off.”

Don’t be surprised if we go over the cliff.
Filed Under:   CBA   negotiations   NHL   NHLPA  
December 7, 2012 10:36 AM ET | Delete
gotta love fehr...he's driving bettman and the hardline owners nuts...w00t!!!
December 7, 2012 10:52 AM ET | Delete
fehr is doing a great job for the players...the owners thought they could ram THEIR proposal down the players throat, just like they did in 2004/05...sure, the players are losing that 7%--and that's fair--but i like the stance on contract limits
December 7, 2012 2:18 PM ET | Delete
Fehr is a complete douche. How anyone who is a hockey fan or otherwise could like him is beyond me?
December 7, 2012 3:57 PM ET | Delete
love hockey...have for many years...am also an average joe who has no problem with what the players make...i think fehr is doing an outstanding job for the players, for whom he works...he understands everything at the negotiating table and he always thinks two, three, four moves ahead...plus, what he did to bettman and co. last night is "gold, jerry...gold"
December 7, 2012 4:26 PM ET | Delete
There's playing your hand for all it's worth, and there's overplaying your hand. Last night, Fehr may well have overplayed his hand. I have a really tough time believing the owners are going to come back and start from their last, best offer and sweeten the pot - not after 4 of the moderates saw what happened first-hand when they did that.
December 7, 2012 4:44 PM ET | Delete
all depends...there's that ace in the hole fehr still has...it seems that this whole process has been staged by the nhl...doug maclean even said that bettman had it planned out to where the owners would push for everything they could get and on dec 1, they would strike a deal...
December 7, 2012 4:49 PM ET | Delete
fehr is a smart man, he just blew up their plan...look how bettman and company reacted--angry little rich boys stomping their feet crying to "mother" media because they didn't get their way...fehr showed complete irreverance for the owners and how they've approached this lockout...i think it's awesome
December 7, 2012 8:25 PM ET | Delete
December 7, 2012 8:25 PM ET | Delete
We're a little bit past December 1. I think MacLean might have been wrong - just like everyone in the media who has been continuously optimistic and projected a deal by X date, and been continually wrong. As far as Fehr's tactics, it works only if he gets what he really wanted all along; if he doesn't get that and 2012-13 goes off the boards, ... well, I'm really curious what Plan B is and how it's going to be any better.
December 7, 2012 9:42 PM ET | Delete
if you look at the anger with which bettman and daly responded to fehr's "antics", fehr won that battle the battle last night by blowing up their "no cherry-picking" approach to the final stages of "negotiations"...in doing so, he brought out the essence of the owners through bettman and daly...
December 7, 2012 9:46 PM ET | Delete
all along the owners have used bully tactics to grab as much as they can...and when the nhlpa doesn't play the way they want to, they take their net and stomp on home like they did with the tri-offer from the nhlpa...this time, not only did they take their net, they let the world know that they were offended with bettman defending his side with some pretty off-base statements
December 7, 2012 9:50 PM ET | Delete
"plan b" will be the nuclear option...but it doesn't need to go there...a compromise on contract lenghts may be all that's necessary to get the job done...of course, that's the owner's "hill they will die on"...that proposal and the way it was presented/defended last night by daly was yet another absurd statement by the owner's representation, and shows just how far fehr has gotten under their skin
December 7, 2012 10:05 PM ET | Delete
Take emotions out and look at things from a more objective point of view - or better yet, play devil's advocate and argue from the owner's POV, and see if your arguments for the players side really make as much sense.
December 7, 2012 10:54 PM ET | Delete
Clearly Fehr is under the league's skin but how does that matter? Are the 2 sides 85% of the way to an agreement, 40% or nowhere even close? If it's 85% which i think it is, enough details can be worked out to get a document done. But what's going to be missed? - have heard nothing about re-alignment, the problems that the cap floor creates for poorer teams, any new rules to improve the game itself.
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