Monday, October 8, 2012
Replacement Players? Fehr Secretly Hoping?!?
1) A report out of Toronto today, and yet to be confirmed by Fauxrumors, is that the NHL/Gary Bettman is considering bringing replacement players if the lockout appears to be going into Thanks Giving (in the US) or late November. The word is that the league will attempt this maneuver in an effort to try to spur on the NHLPA to move off their intractable position. The person went on to say that he thought many over 30-ish players would "cross the picket line to get one last paycheque"
2) To the second point first. The author of this story apparently doesn't know/understand the way the NHL players' mind works. From what we have seen the past 40 years (and it hasn't changed all that much) NHL players are some of the most loyal, trust worthy people you could ever meet. Certainly they are head and shoulders above their brethren in the other major team sports. Extrapolating that loyalty, there is NO WAY that any 30+ year old NHL vet crosses the lines and plays with the replacements (if that ever occurred) more on that momentarily. Those players most likely to 'cross' would be guys with little to no real future to legitimately play in the NHL. Has-beens, or more truly 'never-beens', who would look at this as their one chance to ever skate in an NHL arena during a regular season. Low level ECHL or rec league guys. No 4th line NHL players and only a minuscule number of lower level AHL guys would attempt to cross for the reasons cited above; loyalty.
3) Now, on to the legalities of attempting this. None of us at Fauxrumors are attorneys, but from asking around we're told it would be a nightmare for Gary Bettman to try to make this attempt. One told us Gary 'might have an easier try if he waited until they lost a season". Meaning it wouldn't fly in a court if they tried it so early. Even then, the labour laws, especially in Canada would make it difficult. Additionally, and as our title suggests, NHLPA head Donald Fehr would secretly LOVE it if Bettman and the owners tried this maneuver. Most probably don't recall but back in 1995 the MLB owners tried to do the same thing after losing most of the 94 season and looking at a lost 1995 season. The players headed by Donald Fehr brought the owners to court and won. The decision made the previous CBA the law of the league for the season and not long afterwards the 2 sides made an agreement and there has been labour peace ever since. Could this be what Donald Fehr has been brought in to try to do? Perhaps, but one would have to think that Gary Bettman is smarter than to fall into this trap (or maybe he isn't smart?) One thing is certain, the impasse is likely to continue and cancel the season.