Wasn't that Donald Fehr who led the Players union through the strike? Now I know this is a lockout, and not strike, but Donald Fehr is no angel in these proceedings. I see a lot of Bettman hate on here, but I have to believe, as Triumph said, overall the owners are happy with their unprecedented revenue growth. While I am not really in either sides camp, I believe that Donald Fehr is a very big reason why this thing drags on the way it does. He is playing hard ball, and keeping his troops in line along the way, but there does not appear to be a real strategy for a true settlement in place. His jotting down notes on a napkin as "an offer" should have been seen as a red flag by the players. The fact that the Players first fully written offer was just a few weeks ago seems almost disinterested to me.
The players hired Fehr for this. They hired Fehr as a sign that they weren't going to let what happened to them last time happen to them this time. Goodenow was not Goodenow - not only did he lead them through a season-long lockout, it was clear that only a small group of players were loyal to him and there was not much communication with the rest of the union.
Fehr is not tipping his hand because, as I've mentioned earlier, anything the players don't concede is ignored by the NHL, and anything the NHLPA concedes is used in all future NHL offers. This was how the league operated during the last lockout - Goodenow offered a 24% rollback when, as I recall, the NHL's offered rollback was less substantial. But the NHL said 'yoink!' and when the season started in 2005-06, the players were making 24% less.
I am surprised there is not a deal yet, but that's because I would've figured the NHL would have made a move towards the players by now. Maybe after the December 5th Board of Governors meeting there'll be something.
Either way both sides have lost big time here. I believe that in the end the owners will ultimately recoup these losses over many years. The players on the other hand will never recoup the lost time, and salary during their small window of oppurtunity, they call a career. This whole thing is just sucjh a shame...
It isn't about money anymore. If the NHL split the difference in the money gap between the two sides (which is not wide) and agreed to some of the things the NHLPA wants with contracts there would be a deal. The NHL has not conceded anything significant to the NHLPA besides moving on Make Whole, which shouldn't even be a question.
Edited by Triumph, 30 November 2012 - 08:56 PM.