Monday, December 17, 2012

Last Ploy(s) Or Is Season Toast?

1) We are getting mixed signals from our usually reliable sources the past few days. Which is why we have refrained from making any premature posts until today. Some are saying that the latest legal wrangling is simply a last ditch effort by both sides to gain the last bit of traction/leverage before a deal is finally signed within the next couple of weeks at the latest.  Still others are telling us that the NHL is soly focused upon the legal aspects and are now ready to go to full war mode to get rid of Donald Fehr who they view as the main obstacle from getting an agreement done.

2) There you have it. Two basically diametrically opposing angles  emerging from the same story. How could they be so right/wrong?  Because if one is accurate then certainly the other has to be 180 degrees wrong, no?  Well, not really, for this is the NHL/NHLPA we're talking about. Sensibility is no where to be found here.  Where in reality a deal could/should have been made last spring. If the players were willing to go down to 50 from the beginning, and the owners were willing to accept that from the beginning, all the other issues could have been resolved with intense negotiating from there. After all once the cap is set, the other issues are secondary!  The money is guaranteed for both sides. Revenue sharing, once a BIG issue has ostensibly been resolved as well.   All we are arguing about is how the players split their share.  Basically how the owners prevent themselves from making stupid mistakes. (again)

3) While the NHL (specifically Gary Bettman) can't stand Donald (and Steve) Fehr, and would be giddy if they were able to divide the players like 2005, they also don't want to lose a season over what amounts to 'minor' issues.  Therefore the legal tactics they are employing are a last ditch effort to scare the players into dumping Fehr ("not bloody likely" is what a player told us Sunday afternoon) So we believe the mere threat of the players 'disclaiming/decertifying' will cause a sudden flurry of negotiations/a deal very shortly. Ironic that the NHL, which has attempted (in vane) to vilify Fehr, now needs him? They know the chaos that would result in the union ceasing to exist is FAR worse than a world where the Fehr brothers continue to represent the players. After all, and no one would disagree, even if the NHL accepted the players last proposal word for word they would be HUGE winners. So to the NHL they win regardless. Now if we could only convince them that their tactics of prolonging the agony will result in a very hollow victory!

4) Post script: If ever we had confirmation the NHL has a mole(s) in the NHLPA it was with their hastily made court filing Friday to avert a possible first filing by the NHLPA. Evidently the NHL got wind of the NHLPA's intentions and quickly entered their grievance to avert the NHLPA from doing so.  How would they know the players intended to vote on 'disclaiming'??  Easy, the mole. We wrote about this person(s) WAY back in July, then in October when the NHL almost as much admitted to having a mole. Read about it here  and here

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