Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

NHL negotiations: the next 48 hours will tell us a lot

  • Print

Don Fehr and his brother Steve are now out on a limb with their union and the entire hockey world waiting to see if the gamble pays off.

The Fehrs have the constituents of the NHLPA convinced they can get them a better deal by waiting and forcing the NHL to bend once again.

The "let’s meet and see what happens," offer they made the league on Tuesday is simply cover. The Fehrs don’t want to meet and make a deal right now. It’s the opposite. They want to stall and see if they can squeeze ownership just a little more.

The Fehrs were told by the league earlier this week no talks would take place unless the union had a new proposal to table or wanted to negotiate on the NHL’s last offer.

The union is unprepared to do either at this juncture. So why make a bunch of public noise about wanting to meet? To convince fans they want to make a deal right now and to keep restless players at bay.

The NHL has established a trend of bending so far in these negotiations and the Fehr brothers have seen no reason to not keep pushing for more.

Will the league capitulate once more? We’re going to see, but if the league blows off a bunch of November games on Friday a clear message will be sent to the players.

"We’re not budging. This is the best economic offer we have."

The latest stall tactic of the union’s could be expensive. The next block of games to be cancelled will cost the players more in terms of money lost this season than the economic concessions the NHL has asked for in its 50-50 package.

There is also the threat of the NHL’s offer getting smaller the longer the lockout continues.

There is a theory the Fehr brothers promised the players they could land a better deal than those signed at 50-50 by the NBA and NFL and that’s why they don’t want to reach an agreement right now.

The next 48 hours will tell us a lot. Is the league willing to bend again as it has before? Or will the league hold its water and sit stone-faced, cancelling games and burning players’ paycheques?

It’s high-stakes chicken right now, with the players caught in the middle and fans locked outside with their noses pressed against the glass.

 

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca

 

Twitter: @garylawless

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

In the Key of Bart: Can’t It Be Nice This Time?

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JJOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-Postcard  Day-Horror frost and fog created a most beautiful setting at Assiniboine Park Thursday morning in WInnipeg- Enviroent Canada says the fog will lifet this morning and will see a high of -7C-  JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Feb 18, 2010
  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

About Gary Lawless

Gary Lawless is the Free Press sports columnist and co-host of the Hustler and Lawless show on TSN 1290 Winnipeg and www.winnipegfreepress.com
Lawless began covering sports as a rookie reporter at The Chronicle-Journal in Thunder Bay after graduating from journalism school at Durham College in Ontario.
After a Grey Cup winning stint with the Toronto Argonauts in the communications department, Lawless returned to Thunder Bay as sports editor.
In 1999 he joined the Free Press and after working on the night sports desk moved back into the field where he covered pro hockey, baseball and football beats prior to being named columnist.

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google