Pro

Fehr has painted locked-out NHL players into a corner

By Doug Johnson
Let’s Play Hockey

NHL Players Association boss Donald Fehr has come to the place and time in the labor negotiations in which he needs to accept the major portion of the NHL’s offer. There are still unresolved issues that can be agreed to quickly, but the realization is that 50/50 revenue split is now a given.

The players have now missed their third paycheck. Their first check was due on Oct. 15, followed by Oct. 30, and then on Nov. 15. They receive 13 checks during the season. They have now lost 23 percent of their salary for the 2012-13. When they miss their Nov. 30, check, which they will, they will have lost 31 percent of their pay which cannot be made up.

 

On the players’ homefront, times are getting anxious. There are bills to be paid – mortgages, tuition, cars, etc.

Fehr is a smart man and he knows that the NHL owners would sit out the entire year. Precedent had been set when they sat out the entire 2004-05. Fehr must now convince the players that this is the best deal they are going to get. He must show them the pluses and minuses that he was able to achieve in the negotiations.

He will work to secure more games when the season resumes so the players will get more of their pay. The odds are that an agreement will be reached in possibly two weeks and the season resuming in mid- to late December. The current schedule will be followed and games will be added when buildings are available.

The NHL made a couple of mistakes when they negotiated the CBA that expired in September that they are now correcting in the new CBA.

The sooner Fehr figures a way to break the news to the players, the quicker play can resume.